The All Things Fun! Blogs

22Aug/14Off

Review – The Multiversity #1

By Glenn Walker

Grant Morrison is back, baby. If you enjoyed the thoughtfulness of his Animal Man, the Silver Age cool of his JLA, the offbeat weirdness of his Doom Patrol, the mind-bending insanity of The Invisibles, the historical awareness of his Batman, and the monumental epic-ness of his Final Crisis - you will love The Multiversity by Grant Morrison.

The existence of the multiverse as part of the DC Comics Universe is a vital part of its history and its continuity. From the first time the Silver Age Flash of Earth-One met the Golden Age Flash of Earth-Two, DC Comics has been a place of parallel universes. This convention of science fiction is a cherished concept in the heart of many comic book readers, myself included. Crisis on Infinite Earths banished the concept for many years, but now it's back, and Grant Morrison's long-awaited The Multiversity mini-series is going to explore this new frontier.

Along with artist Ivan Reis, Morrison takes us on a travelogue of several of the New 52's parallel Earths. We get to see old friends (and foes) like President Superman and Captain Carrot and Lord Havok, and also new characters Red Racer, Aquawoman, Thunderer, and a team of ersatz Avengers from Marvel Comics - the Retaliators. And that's only the tip of the iceberg in this epic that threatens all of our universes - including the very one you're reading this comic in. Yeah, Grant gets weird in a cool way in this one, and I love it.

The Multiversity #1 by Morrison and Reis is on comic shelves now, and as always you can find it at both All Things Fun! locations. Check it out!

 

16Aug/14Off

All Things Fun! for Best Comics Shop

By Glenn Walker

Let's talk about comic book shops, shall we? When most folks think about comic book shops, the first thought that comes to mind is The Android's Dungeon, the place run by Comic Book Guy on "The Simpsons" and while there are places like that, they are not the norm. The next thing people think of is the comic book shop on "Big Bang Theory" which is a bit more reality-based, but still not an appetizing place to shop.

And there's All Things Fun! in West Berlin NJ, with a second store at McGuire Air Force Base. Both are run by the wonderful Ed and Dina Evans. The store is (and I admit I'm biased, but the truth is the truth) the best place for comics, games, and toys in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area. All Things Fun! is (like the name says) fun, inviting, and family friendly. Ed and Dina, and the entire staff are some of the coolest folks around, and they love what they do, are knowledgeable about the products, and just plain good people.

Today writer Gail Simone was talking on her Twitter about comic book shops and said the following: "Comic shops that are inviting and inclusive change not just their readership, but actually create communities and acceptance." This is exactly what All Things Fun! is about. I walk into the store, and I know I'll find friends either behind the counter or in front of it that will share my interests.

If you read further on Gail Simone's Twitter, you will find the discussion turning toward how comics shops treat female customers. Many are not very good at it, much like the "Simpsons" and "Big Bang Theory" examples cited at the start of this article, but ATF! is one of the best, not only is it female-friendly, it's also family-friendly.

All Things Fun! is where I met Allison Eckel who's a friend, fellow writer and sometime co-conspirator. With Allison, I write the All Things Fun! Blog here, and for years we hosted, with ATF! owner Ed, the All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast, which on a weekly basis talked about new comics, and even featured kid comics segments for younger readers.

Honestly I can't think of any other comics shop that even comes close to ATF!, it's simply the best place for comics in this area. If you've experienced the store, the staff, and the community of All Things Fun!, maybe you might think about voting for them in the Philly Hot List for Best Comic Book Shop. You can vote here. And vote or not, you're not changing my mind, All Things Fun! is still the best comics shop in the area.

16Jul/14Off

Review – Grayson #1

By Glenn Walker

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!

26Jun/14Off

Review – Superman #32

By Glenn Walker

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!

5Jun/14Off

Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet

By Glenn Walker

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.

5Mar/14Off

Review – Furious #2

By Glenn Walker

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!

 

27Feb/14Off

Review – The New Fantastic Four #1

By Glenn Walker

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!

9Oct/13Off

Review – Superman/Wonder Woman #1

By Glenn Walker

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!

4Sep/13Off

Review – Forever Evil #1

By Glenn Walker

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!.

21Aug/13Off

Review – Superman Unchained #3

By Glenn Walker

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.