new 52

My Favorite 1/23 Comics

january marvel now new 52

My 1/23 Pull List

Marvel Now’s track record is really great with me so far! As I talked about on Episode 33 and 34 of our Podcast, Marvel Now has (for the most part) delivered on their promises. We’re getting important stories from new angles without gimmicks. The creator changes are the most important component as far as I’m concerned. Ed Brubaker on Cap, Bendis on Avengers, and Hickman on FF created some of the most definitive runs for those books but…it was time for a change. We’re getting that with Marvel Now.

DC’s New 52 has been around three times as long so it’s loftier goals have hard a harder time of staying pure. While I believe DC’s titles offer a more diverse subject matter, there percentage of great books are nowhere close to where Marvel now is right now. We’ll see how long Marvel can keep this up!

captain-america-thor-havok-remenderUncanny Avengers #3

Marvel Comics

Writer: Rick Remender

Artist: John Cassaday

Before I get into the book, isn’t this cover one of the best cover’s you’ve seen in a while? It looks like it could be a movie poster! It’s so well composed and clean. Love it! Cassaday does so much for this book it’s a shame he’s also what holds this book back. With the other Avengers books shipping more often and this one coming out every other month, it’s tough for it to feel as relevant let alone the flagship of Marvel Now. This villain is the perfect foil to the new team’s mandate. I wish we could get to know the S-Men more but maybe that will come. My favorite part of this team is that it’s small enough to get character moments that matter (unlike Hickman’s Avengers). The tension between Havok and Captain America really has me interested in that relationship.

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sam-humphries-ron-garneyUncanny X-Force #1

Marvel Comics

Writer: Sam Humphries

Artist: Ron Garney

Like All-New X-Men, my reaction to this solicit was one of “Huh?” and “This won’t last” but it looks like I might be 0-2 with that line of thinking. This team seemed so odd and so unnecessary with the inclusion of Cable and X-Force and yet…this is the true successor to Rick Remender’s epic run on X-Force. Picking up where Remender’s run ended is no easy task. Taking the character to natural but unexpected places is what impressed me about Humpries’s story. This puts Pyslocke front and center in a way that makes me see it no other way now. This is one of those RARE X-Men comics that has enough explanation that new readers can jump on but also doesn’t bore hardcore fans like me. The major reason I wanted to get this book was because of the book’s future villain and he is barely in this issue. The fact that I enjoyed the book with only a brief appearance by him tells me that I’m in for more twist than just the last panel of this book.

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simon-baz-new-52Green Lantern #16

DC Comics

Writer: Geoff Johns

Artist: Doug Mahnke

This is the issue that sold me on Simon Baz. The newest Earth Green Lantern (the first since the 1994 introduction of Kyle Rayner…which was almost 20 years ago!) is joining up at one of the most turbulent times of the corps. (if not the WORST TIME ever). His back story is different enough from the other Earth Lanterns that you feel like stories starring him will be unique. With so many different perspectives being told during the Rise of the Third Army, this new set of eyes is giving us an unexpected window on the whole war that is possibly the most engaging. We see that Simon is special even amongst Green Lanterns in a way that I hope gives us even more stories staring this character. This issue also takes B’DG seriously, which Geoff Johns needed to do after how he treated him on the Robot Chicken Special!

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kirk idw comic Star Trek Countdown to Darkness

IDW Comics

Writers: Mike Johnson & Roberto Orci

Artists: David Messina & Marina Castelvetro

Movie Prequel Comics are usually wastes of time. Many of the Marvel and DC Movie Prequels, for examples were obvious cash grabs that shed almost no real light on the movies that would appear on screen. Then came 2009′s Star Trek: Countdown. I really don’t think you can enjoy that movie fully without reading that prequel. It should be mandatory for anyone who watches that movie. Nero, especially, only makes sense as a three-dimensional character after reading his back story in that book. Which brings us to the Star Trek sequel’s prequel comic, Countdown to Darkness. This first issue seems to be setting the emotional stage of where we find the Enterprise crew before the new movie begins. Only being one issue in, I have no idea how this will stack up to the last prequel but I will say that like Countdown, this book is aimed at connecting hardcore Trekies to this new universe through the inclusion of a character only real fans would be impacted by. I’ll never miss a Star Trek Prequel comic again so I’m committed to reading this all the way through!

Batwoman Reviewed

So what’s up folks? You’re saying you don’t know anything about Batwoman? Oh ok….this is what you need to know!

Yeah that’s not even the cover! The art in Batwoman by J.H.Williams III is ABSURD! His layouts are amazing and the style and painstaking attention to the aesthetic make every page almost literally a work of art onto itself. Many thanks to my good friend Travis for suggestion this title to me. I love it!

Now for those not in the know about Batwoman, the first and only fact you’re court ordered to know about her is that she’s a Lesbian, she used to date Gotham Police Department Detective Renee Montoya. Batwoman’s background and costume was first generated by Paul Dini and Alex Ross, she made her debut in DC: 52 (though this wasn’t when she was drawn by Mr. Williams) later she took over Detective Comics and this is when we get to see her grim backstory.

Like any good Bat-person Katherine Kane has one horrendously tragic back story!

If you’ve been reading the New 52: Batwoman (2012) you may already know some of the details of her origins which are well handled in flashbacks and call backs to her past. BUT! You really should read these 7 Issues of Detective Comics if you can. Like I said before it’s an amazingly drawn and handled mystery story which unfolds around the return of the Church of Crime to the streets of Gotham! Batwoman has a history of going against this group, their leader Bruno Mannheim even almost succeeded in taking Batwoman’s heart…literally!

But after surviving non-elective cardiac surgery Batwoman recovers and is now after the new “Patriarch” of the Church of Crime, Alice. The story follows Kane and this mysterious figure while pieces of Kane’s backstory and her previous exploits are explained in detail. Without spoiling it, her back story is pretty bleak! It’s handled very well at every turn, there’s a point when she’s expelled from the military for being Homosexual and her response to her father and her superior officers is actually really great and speaks well to her character of a ‘good soldier.’ Her entire encounter with Alice and her flashbacks on her tragic past are amazingly well handled by the writers Williams III and Hayden Blackman. I can’t say anything else really without spoiling it, so track these down.

Another thing worth mentioning and that’s handled well is her sexuality, saying she’s a “proud lesbian” is true, she is!

…but that conjures something else as I imagined what kind of character she is.

Kate is a proud lesbian, sometimes using her sexual preference to upset her step-mother and others but she’s mostly somewhat reserved with the way that she acts (After becoming Batwoman). And the times where there’s scenes of “intimacy” the artists did well to not overly sexualize the scenes, it seems like mostly real couples stuff and not like the artist just wanted to draw ” girls doing it.”

So I would SUPER recommend this story line in Detective Comics, it made me love this character, and I would definitely recommend her current tenure in New 52, in her own book. I haven’t read all my back issues but it’s great so far! So get out there!

marvel dc articles

Adam and Nick talk about comics coming out in January 2013. New Marvel Now books as well as New 52 crossovers. It’s more than just talk about Marvel and DC, thought. We get into the upcoming ongoing Star Wars series by Brian Wood from Darkhorse as well as Image, IDW, and more.

Listen to the episode directly here.

Listen to the episode on iTunes.

new 52 talon t7

Adam and Nick talk about DC Comics New 52 Third Wave. They review Talon, Team 7, Sword of Sorcery, and The Phantom Stranger. These new books are all VERY different ranging from fantasy, military, super hero, and mystical. What are these books about? Are they worth trying out? Find out!

Listen to the episode directly here.

Listen to the episode on iTunes.

3rd wave reviews talon podcast

Adam and Nick discuss a group of their favorite (one one of their least favorite) issues of DC Comic’s New 52 Zero Month. To celebrate the first year of the New 52, each comic that DC published was listed as #0 and featured an peak into the the origins of these new versions of heroes. Mysteries were solved and new questions asked in this initiative that harkens back to the Zero Month that DC had in the 90s. We go over some of what we learned for the pleasure of your ears. Listen!

Listen to the episode directly here.

Listen to the episode on iTunes.

This week the New 52 trading cards, created by Cryptozoic, came to my local comic store. I was really excited when I heard that they were going to release these cards, which urged me to write a previous article about collecting trading cards here at ShortBoxPodcast.com. So, when the day came for them to be sold at store, of course I had to get some packs of cards.

New 52 CardsFirst off, these cards are not game cards like Magic, they are trading cards. The have a certain character of group on the front and a description or bio on the back. The bio is the up to date bio of the character for New 52 continuity. Each pack contains 5 cards and usually costs between $3.00-$4.00. In each box of trading card packs, there is always a chance that you could get a special sketch cardbecause there is one inserted into one of the packs.

The main cards that you can get in a pack are the normal character cards. Some of the characters are harder to find than others. For example, I have bought a few packs already and not once received a Batman card, but I have received a few Flash cards. I actually seem to hardly get any doubles. This could seem like a good thing, but it is also a bad thing if you are wanting to trade. Doubles are usually used for trading purposes. You will also come across some foil cards from time to time, which are just foil versions of regular character cards. Recently got a Wonder Woman card call “Work In Progress” (WIP) which shows you the process of drawing, inking, and color when you look at the card from different angles. Of course, there is the sketch cards which are incredibly rare to find, but are cards the are actually drawn by artists. There is also a group of cards called “Lantern Cards” which are few but contain characters from different Lantern Corps.

Hal Jordan Lantern Card

My biggest complaint is that the cards don’t have that much information on the back. I mean, the updated New 52 bios are nice, but I would like to have a little more. Back in the day a company called Fleer used to make the DC Comics and Marvel trading cards. The backs of the cards would have all sorts of stuff on the back. The cards would have some character stats on them and the artist name who drew the card. My only way to see who drew the card is by reading their signature on the art, which is sometimes impossible to figure out, or by knowing who the artist is already like Greg Capullo’s art on the Batman card. Sometimes it is a total unknown. It may have been a change to put a QR code onto the cards to make it more interactive with the internet.

Fleer Marvel Canonball Card

Fleer Canonball Card Back

So far I have really enjoyed the packs that I have gotten. One of the first packs I opened had a Talon card in it which was pretty cool. I epically like getting characters that I really enjoy. That is really why I was hoping to open a pack and receive a Batman card, being one of my favorite. My biggest complaint is that very few people are buying packs, so I really have no one to trade cards with. There are over 60 normal cards to this first series to collect and it is a good way to understand who some characters from DC are.

Cryptozoic also makes the Walking Dead trading cards. You can usually find these cards at your local comic shop and if they don’t, check and see if they can get some in. They are a fun pass time and it is fun to see what characters you can get. Also, this is a good way to get your kids into reading comic books. A lot of people that I know got into reading comic books because of the Fleer trading cards back in the day, so give them a shot and see if you get some of your favorite characters.

Hello there everyone’s bodies,

Frank here again and I’m going to take a look at the newest incarnation of The Titanic Sister from Themiscera.

First off let me say, I am a big fan of Wonder Woman! She’s pretty sweet. I especially like all the times she uses wrestling moves in the DC Animated Universe.

If there’s one downfall to Wondie it’s that she’s one of the harder characters for people to write for and often misrepresented by writers who don’t know what to do with her. There’s plenty of potential and relate-able personality traits Wondie could and should have and lots of people really get those (cough cough Gail Simone). The best Wonder Women fall somewhere between an Icon of Virtue and Classical Greek Hero slicing and dicing her way through  monsters or other beasties. It’s a strange trait of Wonder Woman that she can and DOES often kill. It’s the Classic Greek Hero in her. Achilles, Homer, Hercules and many others were all Greek Heroes who killed people, often very VIOLENTLY at that. Wonder Woman is often portrayed this way, but she also has a high value for human life usually attempting to prevent the loss of it at any cost. Heroically fighting and killing beasts or evil to protect some bystanders. She’s also usually portrayed as someone who’s kind and inspiring to innocent or good people …like a Girl version of Mr. T…

Yeah like this!

This is not exactly the kind of gal the new Wonder Woman is after the 2011 DC reboot. She’s farther over to the Greek Hero side of things, which is fine! She’ mostly engaged in direct battles with God’s and mythic beasts for the entirety of the first 12 issues. She’s kind of scarey at times horrendously gutting centaurs and then lifting a car to save her pregnant friend Zola…

ARE YOU OK?

Yeah you don’t want any of that!

Now I have been really enjoying the new WW series following the reboot. The art is great and her adventures put her against almost an entire pantheon of Greek Gods collecting artifacts and favors to help her in the quest to protect her friend Zola and her unborn baby who’s father is Zeus. ..

It’s great! I would highly recommend reading it! I’ll do my best not to ruin that much of the plot but minor spoilers will be present from here on out.

First off I’d like to talk about WW’s new back story and outfit.

Her new outfit is pretty standard, she thankfully lost that goofy jacket before the reboot, but I feel like her pants were nice. . Some people are really put off that WW is in her battle underwear and not proper pants but it’s not something that bothers me most Greek heroes didn’t wear proper pants and even Hercules (marvel) usually charges into battle sans shirt and proper pants.

Both Herc and Wondie  have their shoulders and upper arms exposed.This is  a costume choice that implies great strength and a need for a freedom of movement in combat. . The thing that bothers me the most about WW’s new costume is that dang choker! It’s not part of her “Bracelets” set as seen in Issue # 12 and it’s not fitting of her whole deal as a badass amazon ass-beater, it’s really out of place. Overall though her new outfit is just a darker version of her old one which is a good symbol for the ‘darker’ tone of the new comics in relation to the older ones.

Wonder Woman used: Headbutt!
It’s super effective!

Now let’s get to the most aggravating and controversial piece of the new  back story for Wondie.

Hippolyta Queen of the Amazons and WW’s mother, she told WW that she was made of clay and given life by the Gods. Hippolyta keeps secret that it was actually Zeus who is WW’s father and Hippolyta kept this her own secret to protect herself and WW from Hera’s (Zeus’ wife) wrath if she found out of yet another person had an affair with her husband Zeus. Following this so far?

Ok, so it’s some Classic-Greek-Mythological-Fact that Zeus is a pretty unfaithful husband and who’s into freeky sex with anybody, half the Greek Pantheon is his bastard children. This is not the controversial part. Hypolita also kept a 2nd secret from Wondie and that would be that Amazons go out to have sex with Sailors in order to get pregnant and then once they give birth the girls become amazons and the boys…

…get traded to Hephestus the smithing God for weapons.

Amazon Planned Parenthood

WOAH! WOAH! WAY TOO DARK! comic woah hold on…

…Let’s back it up! Now to say that this is out of place in a Greek Myth is…

…wrong Zeus turned into a Bull once to have sex with a Cow! Seriously! And that’s just the begining of F@#!ed Stuff that happens in real Greek Myths. So yes! This is a fitting solution to what they do with the unwanted children. It’s just SOOO DARK! It’s dark enough that modern readers don’t like it and it’s a hard counter to the old Amazons who had eternal life and no men but no need to go out and harvest kids. Maybe they could have tweaked it a bit, the real problem is that unless the “Sons of the Amazons” rise up for revenge later on this was kind of pointless. It doesn’t go anywhere or do anything for the back story of WW herself, it makes the Amazons seem more villainous than maybe they ought to but hey it’s Greek Myth, no one is a good guy but…DAMN!  Wondie doesn’t know about it apparently since she reacts with shock, even trying to free her ”brothers” from Hephestus’ forge which kind of vindicates her…but it’s still really dark. Too dark for a lot of people who probably put the book down at that point. I was glad I kept though reading since there’s a lot of awesome visuals in the first 12 issues including all the Gods redesigned appearances.

War: Played by Colonel Sanders

Hephestus

Speaking visually for a moment, the art in the comics is great, simple but elegenant and emotional, using lots of pallet swaps to give different moods to different settings, from rainy London, to the bowels of Hell itself every place has a different amotsphere picked out by some simple but well chosen color pallets.

Poseidon on the streets of London

In Hell

Yeah! I love Zola’s shirt here. There’s a lot of great reveals in these books too, like when Wondie get’s her powers or a great throwback at the end to Golden Age Wondie…

…Earlier I mentioned that WW’s “Bracelets” are separate from her Wonder Choker because there’s a great throwback in a later issue where Wondie takes off her “DBZ Weighted Bracelets” and her power level goes over 9000 unleashing her true power. This whole thing is one of the very seldom remembered or used facets of WW. Which mostly appeared in the Golden Age. Here’s a glimpse…

I owe Kirby $1 for every one of those dots, but it was worth it!

You’re scared…

…Anyway if  I don’t end on that I’ll never leave, so with that it’s wrapping up time.

I love new Wonder Woman, Art is good, Characters are good, lot’s of good action and a story that’s pretty interesting. Also some great modern day touches on the core Greek Myth. I’m not a fan of the “Amazon Sons” thing but…it goes a long with the Darkening of WW’s universe so it’s at least somewhat in the same tone as the rest of the new WW stuff.

So let’s say 9/10, Get out there and read it!

Relaunch Reviewed

Adam and Nick talk about the comics of DC’s New 52 first year.

Which ones did we like? Which ones never caught our attention? Which ones did we drop?
Find out!

review-comics-podcast-liefeld-didio

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Thanks for listening!

Is it just me or does it feel like Marvel is trying to mess with the comic book collectors by moving the issue numbers all around the covers? I just wish that they would leave it where it used to be at the top-right corner of the book or at least somewhere at the top. This really screws with the comic book collectors out there because when using comic boxes, we have to pull out every issue to see what the page number is.

I understand when they are trying to be artistic and they have to move it for an issue, but the majority of new covers for Marvel NOW have all of the issue numbers at the bottom of the books. DC Comics has stuck with a uniform logo and issue number for all of their books post New 52. Why does Marvel insist on jumping the number around?

Sometimes I feel like Marvel doesn’t want people collecting comics. They sometimes decide to created a book out of some other book and then bring back the original later on. For example, Fantastic Four ended and turned into FF #1, then they brought back Fantastic Four from where FF last left off and made the spin-off FF book continue with something else. DID YOUR BRAIN JUST EXPLODE! THAT IS INSAIN! So I can’t keep my FF books together because they tie into Fantastic Four and by that time I just canceled both books and went to go read Batman.

The thing is, if you make things complicated for your customer, then they are going to lose interest. When something that is meant to be fun, all of a sudden becomes work, then what is the point. I believe in the K.I.S.S. method. Keep It Simple Stupid. Stop making collecting so complicated.

-Adam Russell

Two weeks ago I decided to evaluate my comic book pull. It started when I was bagging, boarding and boxing book. I noticed how I was going through bags and boards while storing away some books that I only want to read but have no interest in collecting. Would the value of some of these books really go up because of me bagging and boarding? Well, probably not.

The first thing I looked into was DIGITAL! Yes, blasphemy! The accursed digital format! The way I saw it was that this was the best way to read books that I didn’t really care to keep them. A good way to just read the story and that is it, leaving no stack of books. DC digital isn’t bad. The first month it is priced same as print, but after one month the price usually drops a dollar. So, I told myself, “You can wait one month”. Marvel on the other hand does not drop their price for a long time. Did this keep me getting Marvel in print format because the price is any different? No, I just canceled most of my Marvel list because they can’t work with me. My father has a good example for this. He says that people will complain about the price of brand cola, but will immediately breakdown and buy it anyway. The best way to send a message is to attack their wallets. More people just have to do it.

The only books that I left on my pull list were books that I collected, books that I really like. The main books that I love are Spiderman and Batman. Now, I kept a few books besides those two on my list, but those were the main ones that I couldn’t stop collecting. Other books that I kept were Animal Man, Swamp Thing, Action Comics, Earth 2, Adventure Time (guilty pleasure), and The Walking Dead. Just looking at this list makes me laugh. 5 years ago, my list consisted of all Marvel titles. Now I have such a different mix of comics. Animal Man and Swamp Thing are the most different super heroes you can find in DC, Earth 2 doesn’t take place on the same dimension as the main DCu, Adventure Time is my only all ages book, Action Comics is a Grant Morrison book (which is all I have to say about that), and The Walking Dead is in a realm of its own. This leaves The Amazing Spiderman and Batman as my only “Super Hero” books. This is a big change for me.

Sometimes when collecting anything, you have to set yourself a limit. You have to ask yourself if some of the things you get are stuff you really want and enjoy, or are you getting them just to collect books. It’s not easy to break away from something you’ve been collecting for such a long time, but truthfully, it only makes reading the books you really love that much sweeter.

-Adam Russell