Covers of the Week

Wonder Woman #14

(Cliff Chiang)

Another month and another brilliant Wonder Woman cover by Cliff Chiang. As ever it fits the darker and more serious subject matter of the book while providing us with an image of a strong and adventurous Wonder Woman. In short: I love this book and this cover!

Captain America #1

(John Romita Jr.)

The all new and all different Captain America kicked off this week. Instead of treading in Brubaker’s shadow Rick Remender has decided to give us his take on the Captain America of his childhood. Big, loud, crazy and full of action! The best part of it all though, for me, is that John Romita Jr. is on art duties for this book! I love Romita’s art and his in my list of top comic book artists so pretty much any book with his name on it is an instant purchase. This cover sets the tone of the book well giving us a darker take of Romita’s usually fun and full of colour art (although in the issue itself that sense of fun comes into play a lot). It is one of those covers that teases you enough to want to see what is going on in the issue itself.

 

Panel of the Week

Another great week for comics it seems and once again we two panels of the week!

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!!!!!!!

– Avengers #34

Kissy Kissy!

– Justice League #14

DC Comics Classics Reviews

Where it all started, the birth of the Trinity: Action Comics #1, Detective Comics #27 & All Star Comics #8

I thought I would kick off the DC Comics Classics Reviews with a much needed look at the first appearances of each of DC’s Big Three characters. Which surprisingly I have not read up to this point! The closest I have ever gotten is drooling over an actual copy of Action Comics #1 at Comic Con (do not worry it was behind protective glass!) a few years ago when I was lucky enough to go. I looked upon it like some sort of holy grail and did not think anything of actually reading it at some point. The same goes for Batman’s first appearance in Detective Comics #27 and Wonder Woman’s in All Star Comics #8.

Hell I had even picked up digital copies of these issues in the various 101 sales for each character that DC throw up on the Comics App from time to time. I felt like I had to have them, reading them or not was not the point, just owning them in some form was good enough. (I am a weird guy give me a break!) I have read the first appearance of many a comic book character, most notably Marvel ones but for some reason I put of reading the starting points for DC’s Trinity. Maybe it is because I am a lifelong Marvel reader and I only really got into DC in my late teens, so I have had less time and chances for these first appearances to drop into my lap. They are three characters I dearly love where my affection for them has grown initially through their use in other media which either defined them or used a well defined version of the character. (Most notably the DC Animated Universe versions of the characters) Maybe part of me did not want to see these early versions out of fear that it would somehow break them for me. Make the curtains fall down and shatter what thoughts and feelings I held for Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman close to my heart. The more I think about it the weirder it seems that I had not read these three comics.

So they sat there for the longest time on my iPad unread and unloved…..

UNTIL NOW!

I am insanely glad I took the time to read this all important three single issues because not only it is interesting to see how different they are to their modern iterations but to see how everything started and what was there from the get go. Also these three comics have played a huge, sweeping and important part in both global pop culture history and Americana. It makes me ashamed that I put it off for this long.

Incidentally Action Comics #1 is $0.99 and Detective Comics/All Star Comics #27 & #8 are both free on the DC Digital front. So you really do not have a reason not to read them yourself if like me you have not already.

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DC Comics Classics Reviews

Poor DC Comics! With my steady stream of Marvel Ultimate Graphic Novel Collection Reviews I feel like I have neglected you somewhat. I am having a lot of fun delving into Marvel’s history with the GN Collection line and they also happen to be among the most popular posts for this fledgling comic book blog. I wish that DC would initiate something similar to the Ultimate Graphic Novel Collection but let’s face it though, the chances of that happening at this point are very slim! So I have decided to do it myself.

This does not mean I will be making my own uniformed printing of classic and modern-classic DC stories with matching formatting and covers! (Although a man can dream….) What it does mean however is that I will be re-reading and buying a multitude of DC classic stories and trades to make up my own personal Classics Collection. The thing is though I am going to need some help with this one. My DC Comics reading started with the Superman/Batman and Hush trades then slowly developed from there to me becoming a monthly comics reader with 52. I have read some of the older stuff and must read stories but there are huge gaps in my DC knowledge and collection. So what I am asking from you is suggestions. They can be anything from the length and breadth of DC’s long history. If you have a favourite trade or story arc no matter what tell me and I will see if it fits with my tastes after a little bit of research. Plus I want to get chatting to you guys about comics more in the comments section for this blog. So please talk to me! I crave having a dialogue about comics!

There are a few caveats to this whole suggestions thing however to make life easy for me:

  • The comic trade/story should be fairly easy to obtain either in print or digital through the DC Comics App. I sadly do not have the luxury of a local comic book store to delve into the depths of their back issues or rummage through bargin bins. The closest thing to a comic book store in Bishop’s Stortford is the local Waterstone’s and even then their selection of trades is lacking.
  • Epics are fine provided I can easily break them up into chunks if needed. I’m saying a maximum story length of 3-4 trades worth of reading (make of that what you will).
  • The cheaper I can get them the better. If I get a lot of suggestions I won’t be going out tomorrow and buying everything but at the same time I do not want to be spending a fortune just on one book. I will be keeping an eye on all future DC Digital sales to grab classic stories on the cheap too.
  • To help me further with any suggestions can you please give me as much information as possible. i.e. the full trade title and volume number if applicable and the original issue to and from numbers for the comic (this will help me a lot with buying them digitally). Also a brief spoiler free synopsis to sell me on the story would be awesome too 🙂
  • Finally I want suggestions from everywhere. I have mainly got the modern stuff covered but if you really want me to write about something in particular let me know! Otherwise if you have a favourite story from the 70s that you think I should check out give me the details and I will look into it.

Until the suggestions roll in I have a few planned posts from my Digital Catalogue and Personal Library (because calling it a Personal Library sounds so much classier than longbox or bookshelf!). But please, please, please give a few suggestions to start mixing stuff up ASAP!

Panel of the Week

This week is a stellar week for great comic books. I had to many great moments to choose from to just pick one so here is two panels (well pages really, think of them as giant panels!) that took my breath away.

Screw Old Man Logan, Old God Thor is where it is at!

– Thor God of Thunder #1

The Joker takes Bats back to the beginning before tearing apart his world.

– Batman #14

Superman: Earth One Volume 2 Review

To say the first volume of J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis’ Superman: Earth One was divisive is an understatement. There are two well defined camps, the ones that enjoyed this different take on Superman in a long format book. Then the ones that hate it with a passion for numerous reasons with the main one being the changes it makes to Superman’s origins. This second volume moves away from making big changes to Superman’s well trodden story and instead decides to focus on the very Straczynskian (yes I just made Straczynskianism a thing, deal with it) idea of looking at what makes the main character who they are. Straczynski has done this with pretty much every character he has touched over the years to varying degrees of success and this is his second attempt at making this kind of examination of the Man of Steel (with Grounded being the first and very unsuccessful attempt) and you know what? It works.

Now before you start throwing nerd rage rocks at me let me explain.

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Covers of the Week

Before Watchmen: Moloch #1

(Jim Lee varient cover)

Say what you will about Before Watchmen and Jim Lee but I am a sucker for Jim’s pencils and the potential of Before Watchmen (expect a full write up on the whole Before Watchmen thing once it has finished). One of the reasons I like this cover is because the line work seems a lot more “scratchy” than usual for Jim Lee. It gives it a certain roughness that I like. So while the imagery is a tad too sexualised it kind of hits at what this particular book is about. Moloch being a semi-tragic figure who does magic and many other things to excess. It also has those incredibly random tiny white rabbits to add flavour to the image! YAY for tiny rabbits!

The Defenders #12

(Terry & Rachel Dodson)

Yet another Terry and Rachel Dodson cover appears in this weekly post! I do not know what it is about them that I like so much but whenever I see one of their covers I just fall in love with it instantly. This is a brilliant last cover for a brilliant series that you should really check out if you have not already. My only gripe with it is that Namor is missing the top half of his body and his legs are just hanging out at the top of the image. Otherwise it is a great group shot of this unlikely yet loveable team of misfits. I am sad that this book has come to an end but it has been a fun read the past twelve months.

Panel of the Week

The grand tradition of Damian being taken down a peg in hilarious ways continues!

From Word’s Finest #6

Covers of the Week

Aquaman #13

(Ivan Reis, Rod Reis & Joe Prado)

I love this cover! It is like a poster for a Star Wars film. It perfectly encapsulates all of the awesome that is going on with Aquaman and this book right now. It shows of Ivan Reis’ epic art style and shows you all of the main players in this incredibly entertaining story arc with Black Manta looming over them all and being his badass self. It does what many think is impossible, make Aquaman seem like an exciting book worth picking up and reading.

Captain Marvel #6

(Terry and Rachel Dodson)

I also cannot seem to get enough of these Captain Marvel covers either. They always seem to be full of energy and though not being directly tied to the issue’s events it still sort of fits with it in a weird sort of way. It also gets props for showing Carol Danvers as an actual woman. She has a bit of meat on her bones to explain her form and muscles. It is a far cry away from some of the more what I term “exaggerated” presentations of the character, particularly from the Ms. Marvel days. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for women with curves…

DC Comics Super-Villains Sale

 

Over on the DC Comics App and on the Read DC Entertainment website they are having a big 99¢/59p sale on various comics and series to do with super villains. There are some great modern classics such as Paul Cornell’s Action Comics starring Lex Luthor and Gotham City Sirens. Then you have the New 52 miniseries Penguin: Pain & Prejudice which is really worth checking out because it is just about the best Penguin story I have ever read! Also in the sale are older titles featuring The Legion of Super-Villains, the JLA and their various enemies and The Flash and his rogues among other equally appealing comics.

I personally grabbed the whole of the Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War storyline because it one of my favourite events and it is part of the start of the current Green Lantern craziness that has been going on the past few years. It is a must read for any GL fan or anyone interested in what Green Lantern and the Corps are all about.