Dick Grayson. Robin. Nightwing. He was captured, unmasked, and murdered in DC's big crossover event earlier this year called Forever Evil. But that's okay, he got better. Hey kids, comics!
Seriously, heroes do come back to life in comic book universes, but it's not the same as coming back to the same life. Dick Grayson had to disappear, but such a great hero can't be gone for long, so he's re-invented himself. Grayson #1 is the start of a new series, a new character, and a new beginning.
This time out, Richard Grayson is a secret agent of sorts, doing the sort of thing we used to see Nick Fury, James Bond, and Napoleon Solo do. He's an agent of Spyral, an organization readers may remember from Grant Morrison's Batman Incorporated. Along with Helena Bertinelli (a long ago alias of the Huntress a few continuities ago), Grayson is making a new start of it. And it's not all spy action, the first issue features the New 52 version of the Midnighter as well.
Grayson #1, with story by Tim Seeley, plot by Seeley and Tom King, and art by Mikel Janin, came out last week but is still available, especially at All Things Fun!. Check it out!
Like his legendary father before him, artist John Romita Jr. is a Marvel Comics man. He made his mark on Uncanny X-Men, Amazing Spider-Man, Iron Man, Avengers, and even the creator-owned but still under the marvel banner, Kick-Ass. Now in one of the biggest moves of artists from Marvel to DC, just as huge as Jack Kirby, George Perez, or John Byrne in the past - John Romita Jr. has come to DC Comics, and not just to DC, but the biggest DC Comic of all, Superman. Yeah, this is huge.
Superman #32 marks the debut of JRJR as artist on the man of steel with Geoff Johns writing and Klaus Janson inking. And other than the New 52 Superman costume that I am still just not used to, this is an amazing comic. Almost as an easy transfer, we're introduced to the origin of a new character, very similar to Superman, called Ulysses. His design is very marvel and flows well under the lines of JRJR, but that's where the Marvel stops, because the artist has Superman down.
JRJR's (and Geoff Johns' as well) treatment of Superman is superb. When he is on panel, he is the world's greatest hero, center of the action and the hero of the book, big and larger than life. But Romita also gets it right (as does Johns) in the quiet moments. His Perry White and Jimmy Olsen are vibrant, more so than they've been in a while. His Clark Kent is warm, believable and human, and believably not Superman, which is as it should be.
If you haven't been reading Superman, issue #32 is the place to jump on, and if you have, strap in, it looks like it's going to be a fun ride. This is a new and different, as well as more traditional and bright, Superman. Superman #32 is available at All Things Fun! this week, check it out! Up, up and away!
I've talked about Batman '66 here before, and in the dark dreary world of the New 52, Futures End, and Marvel NOW!, it is something singular. It's a fun comic book. Based on the 1966-68 "Batman" TV series, full of camp, color, and yes, fun, it is always a joy to read. I loved the TV series (yes, I'm that old) and I love the comic, hardcopy and digital. And if you haven't experienced digital comics, I full suggest Batman '66 as the one to try.
Now what could be better than Batman '66? How about a comic book sequel to one of the absolute best and fanboy-explosive stories of the show - the two-parter where Batman and Robin face off against the Green Hornet and Kato? "A Piece of the Action" and "Batman's Satisfaction," episodes 85 and 86, along with the Londinium adventure, and anything with Batgirl or the Julie Newmar Catwoman were always my favorites - but I loved the Green Hornet. When I was able to track down his TV show later in life, and then collect all the radio series and comics, the Hornet became a major favorite. With successful Green Hornet comics over at Dynamite, what better time to cross over once again? Another clash between TV's caped crusaders and masked vigilantes? Oh yeah, baby, that's just filled with all kinds of awesome, bring it on.
A little background might be needed. Everyone knows where Batman comes from, and slightly later, Robin, tragically bereft of their parents and pledging to avenge them by warring on criminals, but you might not know about the Green Hornet. Here would be a good place to start. The folks behind "Batman" on TV wanted to do something a bit different, more serious in 1967, and created a show for the Green Hornet. When ratings sagged, they did the obvious, teamed them up… or as reputation would have it, the Green Hornet fronting as a criminal, set the two duos against each other.
The Green Hornet and his masked companion came to Gotham, on the trail of an insidious stamp counterfeiter called Colonel Gumm, and eventually clash with the Dynamic Duo. There was lots of fun in the episodes, which featured Adam West's Bruce Wayne and Van Williams' Britt Reid as old competitive friends. The second episode ended with the two teams fighting to a draw, much to the dismay of the fans. There is much myth to the confrontation between Bruce Lee's Kato and Burt Ward's Robin, but I'll leave that to Hollywood legend and your Googling fingers.
The new comic, Batman '66 Meets the Green Hornet, out this week in comics form (hardcopy, just two weeks after digital release), and available at All Things Fun!, is everything I could have wished for. Written by Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman, and illustrated by Ty Templeton, this is a terrific book. The cadence, the pacing, even the action of the TV series is alive in this comic, and it feels every bit of the sequel to the two-parter that it could be, even Gumm is back, in a more sinister form.
Definitely pick up Batman '66 Meets the Green Hornet, one of the best comics out this week, maybe this month. You won't be disappointed.
The fury continues. Whether you're talking about the hype machine that has everyone talking about this new comic or the heroine and comic themselves, Furious is hot, and this past week brought us the second issue.
Furious is the brainchild of award winning writer Bryan J.L. Glass, friend of All Things Fun!, who you might know better from his work on The Mice Templar and Thor: First Thunder, and it's illustrated by artist Victor Santos, also of The Mice Templar and his own project Polar.
Furious is the story of the world's first superhero, branded 'Furious' by the press because of her violent quick temper in her debut. The comic, commenting on the media and how we treat our celebrities, is one of the best on the shelves, and only threatens to get better if Furious' secret identity gets out - that of disgraced child star Cadence Lark. Furious #2 continues the heroine's dark journey of redemption, her tragic and careless past, the reactions of the press and the police to Furious, and the emergence of a super-villain. If you're not reading this book, you will regret it.
Remember, Furious is available at either location of All Things Fun!. And if you want to know more about what has gone before in Furious #1, you can check out my and Ray Cornwall's interview with creator Bryan J.L. Glass on The GAR! Podcast here or my brief review at Biff Bam Pop! here. Don't forget, you can Like Furious at Facebook and Follow her on Twitter!
New creators, new number one, new costumes, new concept, and all at a discounted price - how much better can the new Fantastic Four #1 be? This is a new adventure, and a new chapter for Marvel's premiere family and super-team. Brought to us by new writer and artist team James Robinson and Leonard Kirk, we are thrust into a world where the Fantastic Four have fallen, and in the narrative of the Invisible Woman, we flash back to how it all happened.
In part one of "The Fall of the Fantastic Four," we watch as the team battles one of Marvel Comics' oldest, most powerful, and dangerous villains - the dragon Fin Fang Foom. James Robinson, one of my favorite writers since his Starman run back in the 1990s, has a good grip on the FF while in battle, almost reminiscent of Stan Lee or Roy Thomas, but his personal interaction off the battlefield might need some work. It's still good, and you can see his heart's in the right place, even though everything seems as though it's screaming toward a downward spiral.
The art is functional, not the best, but not the best either. Perhaps that's too harsh. Kirk is amazing, but he's not jack Kirby or John Byrne. Fantastic Four is the world's greatest comic magazine for a reason, there's a lot to live up to. I don't mind the red costumes as much as others seem to, and the new logo doesn't bother me either. These guys have been around for fifty years - it might be time to shake things up. And trust me, Robinson and Kirk do shake things up!
I think this is a terrific new start, and I'm willing to give Robinson and Kirk a chance. You should too. The new Fantastic Four #1 is available at both All Things Fun! stores, and if you get there now, while supplies last, and only for a limited time, it's only two dollars! Now how can you beat that? Get your copy today!
The power couple comic is here, Superman/Wonder Woman #1 is finally on the shelves this week. I have talked (or maybe ranted is a better word) about this before. I've talked about why this relationship won't work, why it won't last, but here in DC Comics' New 52 universe, the powers that be are pushing it to see how far it will go.
The Superman/Wonder Woman ongoing is written by Charles Soule and illustrated by Tony Daniel. Soule is a newcomer from the independent side of the industry who's making a splash recently, taking over Swamp Thing, Red Lanterns, and over at Marvel, Thunderbolts. Talk about a baptism by fire. He's also an attorney and musician. One imagines that he must not sleep.
The story, coincidentally called "Power Couple," pairs Daniel's stunning visuals with Soule's terrific parallel storytelling. And wait until you see who the surprise villain is! Ignore the hype of Superman and Wonder Woman in a relationship, and pick up this first issue, one of the best books on the shelves this week. Superman/Wonder Woman #1 is on sale now at All Things Fun!, check it out!
Good vs. evil, it's a timeless concept, and in mankind's storytelling history, good usually triumphs over evil. I'd say that's 99% of the time that good comes out on top, but that one percent, man, that one percent that goes the other way - that's hot. From the serpent getting Adam and Eve kicked out of Eden to this summer's Age of Ultron where Earth's Mightiest Heroes and the entire planet get blasted by the Avengers' greatest foe, it's always a juicy story when evil gets the upper hand. And that's what Forever Evil from DC Comics is all about.
This seven-issue mini-series is the first major crossover event affecting the entire New 52 line of comics, and ironically doesn't seem to star any of DC Comics' heroes. At the close of the Justice League mini-event, "The Trinity War," we find the Crime Syndicate from Earth-Three has invaded. Here in Forever Evil #1 they are releasing all the villains of our world, recruiting an army, and insisting that the Justice League is dead.
If that's not enough to get your heart pumping and worrying about the future, Forever Evil is written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by David Finch, both superstars in the industry. And don't forget about the stunning and amazing lenticular 3-D technology covers on all the tie-institution this event!
Where will Lex Luthor, the Joker, and other baddies stand with this new regime? Who are the new members of the Crime Syndicate? And is the Justice League really dead? Pick up Forever Evil #1 on shelves today at All Things Fun!.
I reviewed the first issue of this new Superman title by DC Comics superstars, writer Scott Snyder and artist Jim Lee, a couple months ago, and so far, it has not disappointed. The third issue, "Answered Prayers," part three of the Ascension storyline, delivers everything one might expect of a comic titled Superman Unchained.
There is no lack of action and slugfest this issue as Superman battles new hero/villain Wraith, whose eerily familiar origin is revealed here. Jim Lee's pencils are as dynamic as ever, and Scott Snyder's words add a realistic edge to formerly one-dimensional characters like General Lane.
Speaking of the Lane family, regular readers here know I have an affection for Lois Lane, a character who has basically gotten shorted in the New 52, and I'm not just talking about losing her part in comics' longest and greatest relationship. Snyder gives us back the smart capable woman we all loved from days gone by.
Superman Unchained #3 is on the shelves this week at All Things Fun!. If you dig old school Superman, and Lois Lane, with a modern spin, this is the book for you.
Off in its own little corner of the New 52 DC Universe is the new Earth 2, a parallel world that has been ravaged by a war with the forces of Apokalips. Had the initial battle with Darkseid that helped to form the Justice League not gone the way it did on our world, Earth 2 shows what may have happened afterward. On Earth 2, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman were all slain in the battle against Darkseid. It is a tale of reconstruction, and rebirth, in this case, the rebirth of many of the Justice Society heroes and the New Gods in the New 52.
For fifteen issues and one annual, writer James Robinson and artist Nicola Bryant have presented this epic second generation of heroes and villains in a world between wars. We have seen the emergence of new versions of Golden Age heroes like the Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, the Atom, Dr. Fate, as well as new takes on the Sandman, Fury, Red Arrow, Mister Terrific, Red Tornado, and even villains like Solomon Grundy. There is even a second Batman coming to the mix.
Just when you thought that that might be enough new concepts for one comic book title, Robinson and Bryant are also bringing new life to several of Jack Kirby's Fourth World characters as Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Steppenwolf, and the Hunger Dogs. Fresh takes on classic favorites, an Earth under siege from Apokalips, and some of the best concepts around - why aren't you reading Earth 2?
In issue #15, on the shelves now at All Things Fun!, has not only our 'wonders' (the as yet unnamed Justice Society) doing battle with 'terrors,' the Four Horsemen of Apokalips, the new versions of the Gambler and the Fiddler taking on Hawkgirl, and Fury vs. Mister Miracle and Big Barda.
Also available is the trade reprint of the first six issues of the series, called Earth 2: The Gathering, and also look out for concurrent titles World's Finest and Batman/Superman, which are also exploring the characters, histories, and concepts of Earth 2. Check them out!
I picked up this Vertigo comic book on the recommendation of friend and Biff Bam Pop! colleague J.P. Fallavollita. Usually if J.P. says something is good, it's good. You can read his review here. This is one of the ones that's really good.
There has been much talk the last couple of months, and even more recently with the demise of Hellblazer, that DC Comics' more sophisticated adult line, Vertigo, which once boasted work like Swamp Thing, Sandman, and Transmetropolitan, was a dying thing. I think that may have been an obit too early, because this slick blue collar new wave scifi comic right here - Collider - may in fact be Vertigo's savior.
Written by Simon Oliver and illustrated by Robbi Rodriguez, Collider #1 is the story of Special Agent Adam Hardy of the FBP, that's the Federal Bureau of Physics in case you didn't know. Hardy takes care of gravity failures in a world where sometimes, just sometimes, the laws of physics fail us. Weird science is the everyday in this world, and Hardy is the guy who fixes it, along with the rest of the crew in the FBP.
The writing is top notch. You will become as involved in the pseudo-science of Collider just as much as its characters, and the art matches the words, quirky, mod, and odd. If you want different, and engaging, Collider is for you, on shelves this week at All Things Fun!. To quote the advertising campaign for the new Vertigo - "Defy," and pick up Collider #1.