Monday, February 26, 2024

Review: Batman/Superman World's Finest #24

Batman/Superman World's Finest #24 came out last week and was just an absolutely wonderful issue. 

Throughout this arc I have worried that somehow the events of this issue would, in my mind, impact the Kingdom Come world. And indeed, it is hard to know how the JLA that is in this story and witnessed what Magog does here would somehow allow him to go on his bloody purge in that Elseworlds.

But here is the deal. 

I don't care.

Because this issue shows why Mark Waid is such a great writer. It shows why he understands what heroes in comics are supposed to do, supposed to say, supposed to act. I grew up reading heroes who had ethics and morality, who didn't cross lines, who inspired. In this book I get to read that Batman and that Superman again. And even though we see the murkiness of Magog's character, the story ends with hope. 

The story is only raised by the stupendous work of Dan Mora. I have sung Mora's praise this whole book. This issue includes a tremendous brawl, double page spreads, homages to the legendary work of Alex Ross. It all just sparkles with life and energy and emotion. 

I'll still read Kingdom Come as a stand alone story. But I'll appreciate this story too.

On to the issue.

Friday, February 23, 2024

Review: Superman #11

Superman #11 came out this week, the next chapter in the Joshua Williamson era and a chapter moving the 'Lex Luthor Revenge Squad' storyline forward. After last issue's wonderful Western side mission, this issue sort of puts the pedal down on the plot, pushing it forward nicely. It also sharply shines a spotlight on Lena.

One thing that I have appreciated about what Williamson is doing is how he is leaning into older, some might say 'classic' (although that makes me very old) storylines and making them part of this continuity. In this issue we hear about Lena, Brainiac 13, Imperiex, and even Lex's Kryptonite poisoning. I don't know how easily I can squish those into a Rebirth timeline, but here we are.

These references are done to build on this storyline. Finally, the Lex Luthor Revenge Squad is formed and it includes a couple of surprise members. There's even a decent cliffhanger. 

David Baldeon is on art here, bringing a stylized take on the action. There is a hint of anime in his style but nothing overwhelming. It feels sort of classic, a nice resonance with this story. 

On to the specifics.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Supergirl McFarlane Multiverse Figure

In what is best described as a late Christmas gift to myself, I finally got my hands on a McFarlane Supergirl Multiverse action figure

It is a very nice action figure and a solid addition to my collection.

It all starts with the box. The front is nice and clean with a good look at the figure. I like the back as well with a nice Emanuela Lupacchino shot of Kara flying in the city.

It is a wonderful sculpt as well. The face has Supergirl sporting almost a wry small smile, as if she is thinking that the villain doesn't know what they are in for. Like a bit of confidence. I am a bit particular about hair designs and  this is gorgeous. Lots of details. 

It is a small touch but I like that the yellow aspects of the costume are actually gold, even the S shield. It just works. Surprisingly, the full red legs didn't bother me on the figure. 

There is lots of articulation so plenty of poses are possible. 

I really appreciate the clear flying stand that you can pose her in as well.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Review: Action Comics #1062

Action Comics #1062 came out last week, the second issue in the Jason Aaron run.

I had never read Jason Aaron before so went into last issue with a little apprehension. After reading Action Comics #1061, I was generally happy. The Bizarro World story had some interesting wrinkles. It ended with a cliffhanger. The John Timms art was slick. So I went into this issue with less worries.

I should have remained worried.

Because the optimism for the book and the arc sort of eroded over the course of the issue. There are plenty of moments in this book that did not work for me. And there was one set of pages that completely broke me. By the end of the book, I felt all the good will the first issue gave me was not only gone but the needle had moved into the negative. Even the cliffhanger made me roll my eyes a little.

Talk about a quick turnaround!

One thing I think still works and works well is John Timms art. I have always liked his work and here he brings a panache to the devastation that unfolds in this issue. His Superman is muscular, imposing, and handsome. I even like his Bizarros. 

On to the book.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Preliminary Con Prep: Terrificon 2024

It's that time of year. The days are short. The nights are long. It's cold and raw.

And I start thinking about convention season.

Specifically, I start thinking about my favorite convention, Terrificon and at least start to loosely think about goals and sketches. I hope to meet some creators and hopefully some friends on August 16-18!

As always, the showrunner Mitch Hallock has put together a tremendous guest list. As of today, there is a glut of comic talent that is going to be there. Now I have had the luxury of having been to many cons over my life. So I have met many of the superstars that have been listed, including but not limited to Jim Lee, Chris Claremont, Scott Snyder, Howard Chaykin, the Simonsons, and lots of others. While I am sure that I will have books to get signed from many of them, I thought I would focus on the announced guests that have grabbed my attention the most.

And at the top of the list is:

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Happy Valentine's Day

Hey all!

Hooray for romance!

Happy Valentine's Day for those celebrating!

Monday, February 12, 2024

Review: Kneel Before Zod #2

 When Kneel Before Zod was announced as a mini-series, I didn't know what to expect. For a while Zod was everywhere. Then he was nowhere. Now he was going to headline a book? And from creators who I didn't really know.

Kneel Before Zod #1 came out last month and was a solid first issue, laying out a number of plot threads. One of the more interesting ones was seeing the beginning of a rift between Ursa and Zod. For the last couple of decades, the two have been a team. Zod was the more calculating leader. Ursa the blood thirsty assassin, the tip of his sadistic spear. 

Last week Kneel Before Zod #2 came out and focused mostly on their interactions. Joe Casey shows us how things are unraveling. After years of seeing Zod portrayed as the ultimate alpha predator, looking to amass power and destroy his enemies, this issue showed us some cracks in his psyche. Last issue we saw him hallucinating Jor-El. This issue we see a weary leader who is a bit lost in machinations. His bloodlust seems dimmed. And Ursa is there, ready to seize control of their situation. Again, interesting. More than I thought the book might be. 

It is, for sure, an about face for everything we have read of Zod recently. While it seemed shocking, and maybe a bit out of character, I had to remind myself that it has been a while since we have seen him. Time has passed so there maybe things we don't know that has led him here. I am a giant fan of John Boorman's Excalibur. In that movie, Uther Pendragon, after years of marauding, wants to settle back and raise a child. He grew weary of battle. This issue reminded me of that.

All this leads to the dramatic cliffhanger of Ursa seizing control. Unfortunately, all thoughts about where this might go were spoiled by Bleeding Cool here. Read at your own risk.

Dan McDaid's art is bold and has a sort of blunt beauty to it. His Ursa is wonderfully mad. 

As an aside, seeing Ursa dominate Zod might rankle some people. But this is completely in her character. It made some sense to me that if she saw weakness, she would take control.

On to the book.