Saturday, 19 December 2015

Animal Man Vol. 2: Animal Vs Man

Like the last volume, Animal Man does
indeed wear a shirt in this one- just less so.
Writer: Jeff Lemire

Artist: Travel Foreman, Steve Pugh, Timothy Green II

Collects: Animal Man # 7-11, #0 and Annual #1

Background Information:

For five years, Buddy Baker was convinced that aliens gave him the power to adopt the abilities of any animal close to him. In the last volume, Buddy found out that his powers actually come from extra-dimensional force controlling animal life known as The Red. This force is trying desperately to restore the balance between them, the plant life-force known as The Green and the force controlling death and decay called The Rot.

The Rot is gaining power, and has been hunting Buddy and his daughter Maxine- the Avatar of The Red. In the previous volume, Buddy fought one of the Hunters Three- soldiers of The Rot. He and Maxine survived, but only just.


It's a weird thing to say that a book about going to another dimension made up of flesh and bone while a demon inhabits the heroes body feels like a natural next step, yet that is exactly what Animal Vs Man is. Where most second volumes from DC have felt forced and self-compromising, Jeff Lemire's second collection of Animal Man issues builds on an already-solid first volume.
See? Not just a shirt; a whole costume!

So, the monsters of The Rot have not stopped chasing Buddy and his family and now the Hunter that
we thought Buddy had defeated last volume has taken Buddy's body for his own. Instead of using it to eat all the ice cream he can possibly handle, the Hunter uses Buddy's body to attack the Baker family. In the meantime, Buddy finds himself in The Red's own version of the afterlife, complete with goat/man guide. Buddy, naturally, wants his body back and The Red is the only thing that can give it back to him.

To be totally honest, this is a less scary volume than the previous. Whereas Volume 1 nailed the inherent creepiness involved in telling what is essentially a zombie story (and, might I add, it did it better than the first volume of The Walking Dead ever did), this one just can't build the tension right. The elements of fantasy and horror are still there- and they're still strong; they're just unbalanced. You either see lots of the fantasy with nil horror, or the exact same horror you did in the last volume with very little fantasy. It leads to a volume that falls just short of its predecessor and it's a shame.

But it only falls just short as this volumes true purpose shines through very clearly. See, this isn't really a story about Animal Man fighting The Rot. It's a story about how The Red operates and how Buddy upsets their way of doing things. Here, Buddy openly goes against everything The Red sees as proper- he makes demands, defies orders and refuses to go down as the disappointment.

I'm seriously worried that DC thinks aiming for a female
audience means "less shirts on buff dudes",
And it's here that Lemire does something that only few can do; he tells a deeply political story without showing his political bias. After reading this volume, I couldn't honestly tell whether Lemire was left or right-leaning. That's something that few writers can achieve (I'm looking at you, Mark Waid, Jason Aaron, Brian Michael-Bendis and Chuck Dixon) and it's a talent that deserves to be celebrated.

The art here is just as great as what we saw in The Hunt. Bright colours undercut the dirty, gritty lines and makes the darker twists generally unexpected. Where artist Travel Foreman shines, however, is in his depictions of Buddy's new connection to animal life. Animal Man's body now changes to resemble any animal he adapts the power of. Now we see him with an ape-like head, bulging arms and literal crows feet. It's weird and wonderful and I'm desperate to see more.

Animal Vs. Man is less scary than the first volume, but SO much better at mythos-building. It gets a four out of five literal crows feet.


Monday, 7 December 2015

Spider-Man 2099 Vol. 1: Out of Time (Marvel NOW!) Review

Starring the time period that definitely
ISN'T on the cover.
Writer: Peter David

Artists: Rick Leonardi and William Sliney

Collects: Spider Man 2099 #1-5 and Amazing Spider-Man #1 (2099 excerpt).

Background Information:

The Spider-Man of 2099 is a creation of the 90s- one of the few to remain unhated since the era passed. The story goes that in 2099, Miguel O'Hara got his genes spliced with that of a spider, and became that era's Spidey.

With us so far?

Good, because in Dan Slott's Superior Spider-Man, Miguel was transported back to our time because some truly whacky things were happening with the space-time continuum. During that time, he became stranded there and found himself having to protect his great-grandfather, Tiberius Stone.


Not knowing where a series is going is often a good thing. Not knowing if the series really wants to go anywhere? Not so much.

That's the feeling I get when reading Out of Time; a book that shows plenty of potential for the series- but doesn't convince you that writer Peter David even cares about capitalising on it.

Is it just me, or would all the Spider-characters make awesome
So Miguel is now working at Alchemax- a relatively young company now that will become an evil
monopoly by 2099- and hasn't he just achieved every millenial's dream?! He's entered the company on an executive level and done so just by showing up. After a futuristic cop tries to kill Miguel; forcing him to take him on as Spider-Man, Alechemax boss Liz Allen figures out that her out-of-the-blue worker and the Spidey with a skull on his chest are one and the same. She comes with a proposition: work for Alchemax as Spidey, or get outed as the same.

Have a guess which one Miguel choses.

To be fair; this is a good status-quo. Liz is clearly in control here, and Miguel has no choice but to follow suite. It leads him, for example, to follow Tiberius into what is either the Middle East or South America for the express purpose of selling Spider-Slayers. It also allows him to see the other super-types that Alchemax has under their employ. Here's a clue: they're bad people.

David has also written a great supporting cast here. He's been wise to keep the supporting cast relatively small. We're introduced to Tempest, a landlord who's been diagnosed with leukaemia and therefore doesn't let others get close to her. We're also re-introduced to Lyla- Miguel's wrist-mounted Siri-like hologram. It's her interjections and take-everything-literally mistakes that bring some of the more sunny moments to this book.

This could all work into a situation like what we have in DC's Grayson, where the title character is now working within the evil group to bring it down, but we don't get that here. David created the original Spidey 2099 character in the 90s, and presumably knows Miguel's relationship with Alchemax isn't great. It feels like a lost opportunity.

Spider-Slayers take tag seriously.
And I don't think David is likely to take advantage of this. The series is set to be re-numbered after volume 2 (which is based more around the Spider-Verse crossover) and bring Miguel back into the future. I don't think one volume is enough to really capitalise on the really intriguing status-quo that David has set-up. I know it's unfair to judge one volume on what comes next, but when you get invested in a series, you want a guarantee that your investment is going to result in a fully-realised story and it doesn't look like it will be.

The art is fine, but unmemorable. There's nothing particularly ugly here, but I couldn't tell this artwork from the myriad of other art styles out there. It thankfully doesn't get in the way of David's writing, though and even allows it to be as witty or engaging as you can. Here, you're reading a story more than looking at pictures.

It's a rare moment when I have a five-star love for a book but know that there are legitimate flaws. As much as I love Out of Time, I still have to give it a three out of five wrist-mounted Siris.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Nightwing Vol. 2: Rough Justice (Pre-52) Review

Are the 90s... when everything- and I
mean everything bulged.
Nightwing Volume 2: Rough Justice

Writers: Chuck Dixon and Devin Grayson

Artists: Scott McDaniel, Karl Story, Greg Land and Bob McLoed.

Collects: Nightwing 9-18, Nightwing Annual #1

Background Information:

When bodies washed up in Gotham's harbour, Nightwing moved down to Bludhaven to find out how those bodies got there. He found out that the whole thing was connected to a man known as the Blockbuster. He also developed a shaky alliance with corrupt detective Dudley Soames.

So, he lives in Bludhaven now. It's a thing.


Nighwing's second volume, Rough Justice, is the comic equivalent of eating pizza for every meal; you can only take so much of it before it gets bad for you. Rough Justice stops just before that happens, but damn if it doesn't cut it fine.

So now that Nightwing knows who's responsible for all the problems in Bludhaven. Of course, now that Blockbuster knows that Nightwing's there, the battle between them is heating up. In the midst of all this, who should show up but Batman to remind us that Nightwing is a
Batman character and since Batman is a Batman character who happens to also be Batman, this book has to have an appearance by Batman.

Okay, so there's an actual context given to Batman's appearance and his insistence that he be Batman. Turns out Bruce is there to check on Nightwing and that makes Dick think that he doesn't trust him to do anything right. A large amount of the this volume ends up being given to Dick simultaneously saying "I hope you approve" and "Go the hell away!" It's a good look into the character and helps the whole series feel that little bit more "coming-of-age-y".

Writer Chuck Dixon should be congratulated also for the way he continually makes sure that Nightwing is different in every way to Batman. There's hints early on in the volume that Nightwing will be geting a sidekick that gets totally dashed the very next panel, he gets himself a car that is nothing like a Batmobile and his lair is his apartment. It's these differences that really help to set Dick apart from the rest of the Bat-Family.

The book ends with Dick chasing down the Man-Bat before Deathstroke can capture him for a filmmaker. I had expected the appearance of Deathstroke to be a big deal; a high-stakes fight between a hero and best-known adversary.

Contrary to the look on his face, he's actually a pretty jovial
It wasn't. And it wasn't for a number of reasons- not the least of which being Deathstroke's ridiculous 90s costume. Firstly, the story around Man-Bat gave me no reason to care for what happens to anyone- the stakes aren't high in the least and Deathstroke's talents seem wasted on what is really more appropriate for an issue of Batman '66. Then there's the ending; it's WAY too abrupt and fails to cash in on what should have been the emotional core of the story. It's a disappointing pair of filler issues, but that's not the worst part of this volume.

That awards goes to the Annual issue. It's written by Devin Greyson and is about Dick faking a wedding to catch a killer. It's boring as hell, ugly to look at, and completely pointless in the grand scheme of things. I shudder to think of what future volumes are under Devin Greyson's pen, because the current evidence suggests that things will be truly atrocious.

Rough Justice is a book for Nightwing fans... and just about nobody else. It gets a three out of five Batmen being Batmen because Nightwing is a Batman character.


+ Effective as "coming-of-age" story.
+ Continues to differentiate Nightwing from Batman.
- Deathstroke/Man-Bat story falls flat.
- That Annual...

Alternate Option: Nightwing: Bludhaven

The better of the two Pre-52 Nightwing books.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Hawkeye Vol. 3: L.A. Woman (Marvel NOW!) Review

Hawkeye Volume 3: L.A. Woman

Writer: Matt Fraction

Artists: Annie Wu and Javier Pulido

Collects: Hawkeye #14, #16, #18, #20 and Annual #1

Background Information:

For the past two volumes, Clint Barton (AKA Hawkeye), has been defending his aparment complex from a gang of Russians dressed in tracksuits. At the end of the last volume, however, Clint decided he was going to "bail" as young Hawkeye, Kate Bishop, puts it. Kate didn't like that, so she up and left to L.A, taking the pizza dog Lucky with her.


You hear a lot of calls for female-led books in the comic industry. You hear a lot of calls for more light-hearted fun in comics. If there was ever a solid argument for both, though, it's L.A. Woman.

Hawk-not-guy on computers!
So upon entering L.A., Kate is promplty robbed and left broke. Only having her skills as an archer/superhero at hand, she sets herself up as a hero for hire. All the while, Madam Masque lurks in every mission she takes. I think what I love about this particular format of storytelling is that it tells a complete story like the previous volume, without sacrificing the done-in-one episodic format that made me love the first Hawkeye volume. Each mission feels like it's own thing, but somehow it links back to Madam Masque. It allows for a light-hearted comic where the stakes feel high. That's a difficult thing to accomplish, and massive kudos goes to Matt Fraction for pulling it off.

Kate's character has always been well-written by Fraction, but gving her a chance to shine in what could easily classify as her own solo book is golden. Kate's got a very different voice to Clint. She feels younger and more energetic. Fraction even gives Kate her own slang; with liberal use of the word "futzing" and he catchprase "Momma like" being the standouts.

It's actually amazing how "un-Clint" this book feels withot feeling like a seperate series altogether. The basic elements of the Hawkeye comic up til now are retained; a gang of bellboys suitably replaces the tracksuit draculas, a scruffy-looking man with a dark past fills the void left by the redhead in previous volumes better than she initially filled it, and the ground-level, almost trivial threats are basically retained. Unlike other series that have made major changes (here's looking at you, Batgirl), this change feels natural. It's masterful.

This is the first time I've had to talk about art using two paragraphs, but here goes. Most issues here
are drawn by Annie Wu and while I miss the rough pencils of David Aja, Wu  makes a decent, albeit not equal substitute. She captures Kate's body language brilliantly. With the costume that Kate wears for most of the book, it would also be tempting for writers to draw the character so that the holes in her costume were emphasised. Thankfully, that's not a temptation that Wu succombs to. The holes at her waist, rather than being the focus, seem to just be there to break up the solid purple that otherwise dominates her costume. That's appreciated, and it's something that I want to see more of in the next volume.

Hawk-not-guy in a comic... somewhere...
Javier Pulido's art is another matter. Puido draws the art in the Annual and for a large chunk of the book, it feels like the guy wasn't all that interested in actually drawing anything. Black silouettes take up places where characters shold be in many panels and while this would be clever and nice-looking in small doses, Pulido spams pages with it. Eventually you just want to shake the book and yell "FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! ACTUALLY DRAW SOMETHING, WILL YA?". He partially makes up for it, though, by putting Kate's facial expression in text boxes. That was a nice touch and something I was sad to see absent in other issues.

L.A. Woman is a near-perfect book. It gets a four and a half out of five silloute costume holes.

**** 1/2

Friday, 18 September 2015

The Caped Crusader Update: Ha, Ho, Ha Ha..

As some of you know, I've been working on a Batman fangame called The Caped Crusader, a Zelda-meets-Arkham game based primarily on the Court of Owls story arc.

Yes, there is still a stuff going on with the game. Never, of course, as much as I'd like (damn day job), but there is stuff happening. I'm adding a picture of an area, today. ACE Chemical, where Batman encounters... the Joker?

I wasn't particularly fond of this area until I added the graffiti. I think it adds something and makes the game feel more "Batman".

Anywho, enjoy. And check out the game's official blog for more.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Top 10 DC/Marvel Characters That I Hate, But Everyone Loves

I've been wanting to do this post for a while but here's the honest truth: my least favourite characters are ones that every keeps telling me are so awesome. I can better handle DC trying to push Joker's Daughter down my throat than a fanboy wailing about how terrible it is that the MCU Spider-Man isn't Miles Morales.

So what follows is my list of characters that so many people seem to love, but I can't stand. This is gonna be interesting...
Nope, that ain't even Damien... or Jason.

10: Tim Drake

Like most of these characters, my problem isn't so much the personality of Tim; it's the pedestal he's put on. Fans constantly insist that Tim is the best Robin. He's the genius, apparently- ignoring the fact that Dick, Damien and Jason have plenty of intellectual props. This one is a soft "hate," but I'm sick of the idea that Tim is godlike.

9: The Hulk

The Hulk is angry. And that's about his whole character. I know, his stories are generally about the conflict between man and monster, but neither the man nor the monster is parituclarly interesting. You say the Hulk is a great fighter? I say he generally has two poses. One is squatting while slamming the ground with both fists, the other is clapping his hands to make sonic booms. It's not fun to see and it's bland to read.

I admit, I was excited when I heard rumours that Iron Fist was going to become the new Hulk, because how awesome would Hulk with kung fu be? But, no, post Secret Wars, we're getting Ammadeus Cho. So we're going to see the same two poses for the next year, at least. *Sigh*

8: John Stewart
Yep, that's John in a nutshell.

You thought Man of Steel Superman was mopey? Get a load of John Stewart. Yeah, that Green Lantern that you have fond memories of from the Justice League cartoon had one real storyline- and that's all about how sad he is. Boo hoo, he killed a Green Lantern before the New 52. Boo Hoo, he killed a Green Lantern during the New 52. One guess what his major story arc is going to be about in DCYou...

John's entire character is based around him feeling guilty and sad. Seriously the DCCU needs Hal Jordan to balance out the morose Superman, which plenty have voiced their hatred for; yet everyone seems intent on dropping even more sad John into the franchise... the what?

Something to never happen in a comic... ever.
7: Star Lord

I know, Guardians of the Galaxy is a sacred cow in the MCU; a franchise nobody cared about until Chris Pratt played Star Lord. But here's the thing. That movie, from what I can tell, did not have Star Lord. It had Chris Pratt in space. The real Star Lord is considerably less funny.

And now we all need to think he is. Star Lord's writers don't have to make him funny at all (please note; funny and pathetic are not the same thing) and we have to claim he's funny as hell because he was in a movie.

This is one of the reasons I'm annoyed at Marvel.

Such noble! So hero!

6: Captan America

Yep, looking through this list, it should be pretty clear that I'm not impressed with the MCU. It's heavily influenced the Marvel Comic Universe and that is all kinds of wrong (Avengers beat up the X-Men, Wolverine can die "permanently", but Steve Rogers can hang around and sure, cancel the Fantastic Four but Guardians of the Galaxy should not only keep going but spin off into a billion titles!).

But Captain America gets me annoyed because he's consistently viewed as the "leader" of the Marvel Universe when I'm not sure he should be. He's a "goody-two-shoes" character that for some reason, doesn't get dismissed the way Superman does, even though he probably should be.

Seriously, what is her
5: Batwoman

Hey! This character is a lesbian. That's all we kn-- DID YOU KNOW SHE'S A LESBIAN? Yeah, but that's all there is to h-- SHE'S TOTALLY A LESBIAN! But there needs to be more to her chara-- BATWOMAN- LESBIAN... IS ONE!

Take note, DC; "lesbian" isn't a character. And that's all I've heard about her. When that's what's advertised over personality, it couldn't have been a surprise when her comic was cancelled.

Sorry, who are you and why should I care?

4: Thor

His movies were horrible. His comics, at least these days, are average. WHY IS HE A STAPLE OF
THE MARVEL UNIVERSE? I'm not even going to go further on that. Thor can go to hell (or whatever hell's called in Norse mythology... I really couldn't care less).

There are two types of people:
people who hate Guy and liars.

3: Guy Gardner

You know those people you want to punch in the face just by seeing them?  That's Guy Gardner for me. His brand of arrogance is irritating beyond belief and the result of some fist prints in my three volumes of Green Lantern Corps. His insistence on being the best is entirely unfounded and I can't for the life of me, figure out what makes him so endearing. Every time I read an issue of Green Lantern Corps or whatever he's involved in, I just hope that Hal, Kyle, hell, even John or Simon use their rings to close his mouth for good. He's not an Alpha male, he's a child.

2: Wally West

Wally fails at his A Streetcar named Desire audition
Yes, fine, my two most hated DC characters are gingers, but I swear it's got nothing to do with their
hair colour. No, the reason I hate Wally is different. It's not his personality, or his looks, or even that he isn't "my Flash".

It's his fans.

If I have to hear Wally West fans complain about Wally not being the Flash  anymore - if one more person refers to the current and longest-serving Flash as "boring Barry" one more time, I'm not going to be held accountable for who dies tonight. Wally West has a cult- and it's more spiteful than any other cult on earth. I can't bring myself to like this cult's leader- fictional or no.

That said, I've read nothing about Wally, so he may be okay despite his insane fandom. There is one character from the big two, though, that takes the cake for people to hate. And that character is...

1: Iron Man

Admittedly, I've only really been reading much in the way of comics since 2013. But here's what I've learned about Iron Man.

He's alcohlic.

He's a womaniser.

He only has one story, and it's primarily about extremis, because Disney want to sell Iron Man 3 blu-rays and they sure aren't gonna do that based on the merit of the film.

Every fight he's in involves his armour being better than whatever else is around.

His comics in the past few years have been boring the comic community to death. Nobody has praised Iron Man at least since 2013 (and I'm counting Superior Iron Man in this as well). By all accounts, this comic should be cancelled. Every comic fan should decide that his drivel isn't worth buying.

But they don't, because MCU.

I don't care how well Robert Downey Jr plays Tony Stark. I'm paraphrasing, but the saying goes that fecal matter cannot be effectively polished. Robert Downer Jr is doing a good job at playig a terrible character, but that doesn't make him a good character. If there was one overrated character in comics, it's this guy. His personality is cringeworthy, his stories are bland and he has no place in a universe that is supposed to be about heroics and wonder.

So... that was fun. What are your least favourites?

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth (The New 52) Review

Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth (The New 52)

She's almost dressed...
Writer: Adam Glass

Artists: Federico Dallocchio, Clayton Henry, Ransom Getty, Andrei Bressan and Cliff Richards

Background Information:

Who are the Suicide Squad?

Long story short, they're B-list DC villains who have been co-opted by the government to work near-hopeless missions for them. If they try to run away, then a small bomb goes off in the back of their neck.

That's all there is to it.


Okay, so I've been defending the New 52 to my dying breath. And I'm not ashamed of that. I've liked a lot of New 52 books and hated many that came before. I've been tempted to see the New 52 as infallible.

I'd like to apologise for that.

After reading Kicked in the Teeth, I now fully understand why people don't like the reboot. This is a volume that is poorly written, badly drawn and utterly boring. Indeed Kicked in the Teeth is not a description of the book's title; it's a description of how Suicide Squad fans must feel after reading this trash.

So when the Squad conduct a gone-awry mission, they desperately try to return to their boss, Amanda Waller. Leader Deadshot finds himself having to deal with a mismatched team comprising of King Shark, El Diablo Black Spider and Harley Quinn.

Oh, Harley Quinn...

Another day in high school.
Shockingly, she's a large part of what's wrong with this book. When written right, Harley's a funny, flirty, yet deep character. Adam Glass writes her as attempting-but-failing at being funny, aggressively sexual and shallow. I cannot think of one line that was actually funny from Harley in this volume. Her flirtatious attitude is replaced by her aggressively jumping Deadshot for sex (along with a bizarre and kinda gross joke about clown cars). Although there is a two-issue arc in this volume showing her cut up over Joker's apparent "death", this isn't really character development and just puts her back in the villain role that we see everywhere else - and considering that Suicide Squad is supposed to be about following villains as though they were heroes, that's a problem.

It's not like the other characters are well written; Deadshot is a typical "tough as nails" dudebro, and the rest are instantly forgettable. All the same, when the New 52 launched, Suicide Squad was treated as a book where Harley was the meant to be the drawcard- for evidence, see how nearly every cover features her prominently- and it's not done successfully.

The plot itself is also uninteresting. The squad complete one mission after another in succession. If you're going to do a story about a suicide mission, you'd better raise tension like it was going out of fashion. Glass doesn't do that. He jumps from one mission to another without letting us savour the intensity of missions that should, really, be all about looking hopeless.

Sure Harley. The unzipped coat is definitely going to keep
you warm.
There's been a lot of criticism that DC went "too dark" with the New 52. The strange part about Kicked in the Teeth is that, really, the book doesn't dark enough. We're talking about a group of killers and yet, there's not much of a sense of moral ambiguity. No morally questionable actions. Even Superman in the New 52 has made some not-so-heroic choices. Why the hell are the bad guys being so... good?

The art in this book is unspecial in some places, awful in others. There is literally nothing interesting to say about it. The one, and I mean, one good thing about the art is the flashback scenes into Harley Quinn's origins. We see Joker in the early days of the New 52 and... he looks a lot like Edward Cullen from Twilight and that is somewhat perfect, since Harley has a Twi-hard attitude toward the Joker.

But that isn't enough to save what is good reason to hate the New 52. Kicked in the Teeth gets only half a sparkly Joker out of five.


+ Joker looks like Edward Cullen... yep, that's a plus.
- Everything else.

Alternate Option: Anything Else.

Seriously, pick a comic and read it instead. It will likely be more entertaining.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Angela (Marvel NOW!) Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Angela (Marvel NOW!)
Look at all of these characters... That
are totally boring.

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artists: Sara Pichelli and Francesco Francavilla

Collects: Guardians of the Galaxy #4-10

Background Information:

The Guardians of the Galaxy... is a group of heroes who defend... earth... not the galaxy. At the moment their big concern is earth and to hell with everything else!

Not really a big surprise; when a team called "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" consists of an American playboy, an American soldier, an American archer, an American scientist, the most American russian woman I have ever seen on film and a guy who is from an entirely fictional location it's no surprise that the Guardians are only concerned with earth because there is no way characters can be relatable unless the nationalities and locations are our own, right?




If there's evidence that Marvel will keep publishing any old shlock so long as there is a MCU franchise alongside it, it's Marvel NOW!'s Guardians of the Galaxy. Two volumes in and there is nothing particularly good about it. This is the same company that cancelled the rather enjoyable New Warriors and the at-least-coherent Fantastic Four because there are no MCU movies attached to the title. Angela is a bland, pointless book that fails to hold readers' attention.

It's okay; it's not like her universe was using her.
So, Angela, a woman from heaven has wound up in the Earth realm and is getting into fights. That'
s it- that's the whole story. If that sounds totally boring and pointless, it's becasue it is. Nobody in this book seems to know their reason for fighting- and to be honest, I couldn't remember if there was. Either way, these battles are anti-climatic and bland. There's no reason to care about the victor in these fights because Bendis fails to ramp up the tension in any meaningful way. Nothing hinges on anything in this volume and if you want to see an example of that; a battle with the forces of Thanos for the fate of Earth portrays no sense of urgency whatsoever.

The introduction of Angela also fails to be a significant as Bendis clearly pretends it is. Even though the entire book is based around her, her presence doesn't seem to pose a threat. She is there to see if Earth actually exists. Nobody is chasing her, her presence hasn't upset the natural order and she isn't out to kill anyone. Yet Bendis devotes five issues to this non-story.

I like Bendis, I really do, but I like him for his character development. He's not great at action books and Angela is living proof of that. All-New X-Men, Ultimate Spider-Man; for all of the flaws of these books, they've got great character moments. I haven't seen any of that in Guardians of the Galaxy, and it's grating.

I could colour thins properly, buuuuut....
I will give Bendis this though, It's the one thing this book does right. I don't think it justifies the cost of the book. But Bendis gives us a Tony Stark that is totally out of his depth. On Earth, Tony gets too sweet a deal. His role as the face of the MCU means that everyone thinks he's a genius-supersoldier-immortal-stallion on Earth. In space, his intelligence is dwarfed by a talking racoon- which is not the least of the halariously awkward situations he finds himself in. As someone who HATES Tony Stark (I'm definitely team Steve for Civil War), it was a joy to behold. Unfortunately, these moments are few and far between and don't save this series from bombing hard.

Art here is a mixed bag of mediocre and mistaking-terrible-for-unique. There is one issue where the colourist seemed to be in the last thirty minutes of his friday shift and decided to colour each panel in one or two colours. It's not as interesting as I think the artist hoped it would be.

I never understood why people criticise Bendis until this Angela. Now? I think "oh, THAT'S why people think he can't write." This gets a one out of five minutes before the end of a friday shift.


+ Tony Stark looking like a fool.
- Dull story.
- Mediocre to awful art.

Alternate Option: All-New X-Men: Yesterday's X-Men

This is why Bendis still has a job with Marvel. Read it.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Tom Talks: Grayson #1 (with spoilers)

So, this is another post that I'll be making, where I regularly go through each issue of a comic series and mock it. And what better way to start it than with Dick Grayson's Backside Grayson: the one comic that I'll never forgive for not being Nightwing.

Wait, is this a gritty reboot of Guy Smiley?
Greyson #1: Remember how Things Used to be Better?
Open book on four panels that remind us that Dick Grayson used to be an acrobat, Robin, Nightwing and dead (but not Batman, because shut up); all of which would have made for a vastly better comic. Cut to Dick Grayson with a blond wig jumping onto a train and beating up a random because EXCITEMENT! And just in case you didn't think it was cool, a guy in a black cowl (again, not Batman) tells you it was- so start thinking it was cool, underlings!
Look everyone; better versions of the title character!
But that's all the cool you get for now, because cut to boring scene of Dick on said train in Russia flirting with a conductor. How do we know it's in Russia? Well, Dick compliments a girl in horrible Russian- hint, Dick; "Dyevushka" is Russian for "Girl", not "Jevochka".
If you're still not convinced, there are two ACTUAL RUSSIANS on the train as well; y'know, the kind we see on TV all the time; a woman who looks like every blonde supermodel ever and an overweight man- just like the ones on Anastasia. In the meantime, she is being watched by someone that I'm going to call Frizzyhairlady until this issue reveals her name. Frizzyhair lady tells Dick that she drugged the fat Russian's drink, but it's not working for some reason.
So Dick jumps in, flirting with blonde supermodel. In the process, he purposefully spills his red wine all over her white dress, and she has to leave to clean up.
Guy Smiley Dick Grayson in his blonde wig.
STOP RIGHT THERE! Blonde supermodel starts talking to someone. Not just anyone, but the random who Dick knocked out earlier; who's still clinging to the train. She can't have a full conversation, though, because Frizzyhairlady uses weird hypnotic powers to knock her out.
Meanwhile, Dick has taken the fat person from Anastasia and flippy-jumped off the train before people starts shooting at them. Wait- so, either Dick decided to jump off the train knowing that there were shooty people there, or the shooty people knew Dick was going to jump off right there. Seriously, the only other option is to have shooty people en masse along the entire train track and that would seem very un-spy-like. It's okay though, Dick and fat guy can take cover in a nuclear silo. When they're being shot at. With bullets. In a place that could cause a nuclear explosion. Who exactly thought Dick would make a good spy?
Well, not surprisingly, the silo turns out to be a bad idea. Not because the place is explody, and the last place you would want someone shooting guns, but because black-trenchcoat-not-Batman is there and he wants to fight. Cue fightscene with unrealistic amounts of talking. He discovers that Dick works for Spyral. Then BOOM! Turns out the fat character from Anastasia is covered in purple energy and has blasted not-Batman out of the silo (again, they realise this a nuclear facility, right?). Dick again uses all the logic at his disposal to call the guy covered in purple energy who can shoot people inside a nuclear silo a loser.
Spinny kicks are the best kicks.
This should surprise no one, but that annoys the fatty and he blasts at Dick. Dick dodges, fatty has powered down, and Dick can apprehend him before the silo falls down.
Back at Spy headquarters. Dick's boss, a guy with a swirly face (and even though it sounds like a kid who got bullied in high school, I'm calling him Swirlyface) compliments them a job well done (aside from the very-conspicuous explosion of a nuclear silo) and- HOLD UP; FRIZZYHAIRLADY HAS A NAME. She's Helena Bertinelli- no, not Huntress, don't call her that.
Night time, and Dick is working out in his underwear. Cue total silence from people who would be up in arms if this was a female. He then interrupts the giddy screams of women who thought they picked up a Magic Mike comic to use a hotwired radio to talk to Bruce Wayne (it's okay though, he's still in his underwear). He's interrupted when Helena interrupts him where they discuss using hypnos- source of the weird hypnotic powers. She flirts with Dick, and then reveals that she doesn't need to use hypnos, because she's hot enough to make Dick go ga-ga. That'll only happen once, right? I mean, they're not going to make Dick's sexuality the only thing driving this book, right?
For everyone to marvel at Dick's... personality.
Cut to a Spyral lab, where a scientist is examining the fat Russian from Anastasia's newly-removed stomach, which seems to be the source of his powers. Swirlyface looks at pictures of superheroes, declaring that all must be unmasked.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Batman Vol. 5: Zero Year- Dark City (The New 52) Review

Batman Vol 5: Zero Year- Dark City (The New 52)

Psst... Don't tell Oliver Queen that I
stole his gimmick!
Writer: Scott Snyder

Artist: Greg Capullo

Collects: Batman #25-27, 29-33

Background Information:

Ask any DC reader about Snyder and Capullo's run on Batman, and the only words you're likely going to hear will allude to the phrase "nailing it". The industry's own dynamic duo have been, in many ways, bigger heroes than the characters they write/draw; standing strong against DC's attempt to raise the Batman single-issue price to $4.99. When you buy this book, understand that you're buying the industry's best.

But aside from that, in the last volume, Bruce became Batman. During that time, his uncle Phillip, who was running Wayne Industries, fired one Edward Nigma, which will probably have no repercussions whatsoever, right?



Let me save you all some time. The thing you'll find yourself thinking throughout this trade is "Yeah, why not?"

So you still want to read the whole review? Okay.

Gotham has been blacked out. Amidst the chaos, the mother of all storms is coming to Gotham, and Dr. Death is wandering Gotham causing havoc. In the meantime, the Riddler is slowly closing his grip on Gotham and the cops are out to catch Batman and bring him down for his vigilante action at ACE Chemical from last volume.

He was driving a black... tank- no, wait...
This sounds like a fairly tame plot, except that nearly everything you see in the volume knocks you for six. Each thing that happens in Snyders second part to Zero Year creates feeling of repulsion, acceptance and love in that exact order.

Want an example? Have a look at this picture on the right. That's the Batmobile. Notice how it looks absolutely NOTHING like the Nolan, Burton, or Batman: The Animated Series version. In fact, it looks like nothing you've ever seen before. My first instinct was to hate it; the Batmobile to me, should be black, long and sleek. This is blue, yellow and relatively squat. I wanted to hate it; I really did. But dammit, Snyder/Capullo, I couldn't bring myself to do it. Somehow, this and various other changes just gelled with me, and I came to love it. I actually want to see this Batmobile again; I want it to be the Batmobile.

And that's a feeling you get throughout the whole book. You want to see the blimp in action. You want more of sleeveless and capeless Batman on a motorcycle. You want to see more of Batman in the day. Somehow, this team takes everything that shouldn't work with Batman and makes it work. They make it work well.

Another thing that should do nothing but annoy me is the fact that, after avoiding it last volume, we get the dead parents story again. I really thought this was going to be cliché and bland. Somehow, Snyder avoids making this same-old-same-old. I'm not sure how he does it, maybe it's that he doesn't let the flashbacks depicting that moment in Bruce's life be something that keeps us from seeing him as Batman. Maybe it's that Bruce doesn't spend this volume agonising over the loss of his folks. Whatever it is, it actually added to the entertainment in that title- something that I was sure wouldn't happen.

But by far the best part of this book is in the second half, where the Riddle has turned the entire of Gotham into a wild wasteland under his control. This is where the big set pieces are; buildings fall on each other like dominos while US marines leap from rooftop to rooftop trying to avoid falling to their doom;  whole sections of the city flood, and Batman faces off against lions in an underground carpark. It's intense, it's engaging and it's utterly masterful.

I can't go on too much further without talking about the ending. I won't reveal too much and just say that it's really about Alfred's hopes and dreams for Bruce's future. Hopes that are bittersweetly dashed in one moment. It's by far the most poignant scene in the book and shows just how much Alfred has been the emotional centre of Snyder's run.

"I am vengeance. I am the... late afternoon... y'know what,
let's skip that line."
The only complaint I really have about Zero Year- Dark City is that it leaves me concerned for the future of the series. I know Jim Gordon will take over as Batman and a new status quo will be introduced. I'm not sure if, even under Snyder's pen, we will get a Batman status quo that feels as fascinating and beautiful as what we've seen thus far. Yep, my negative is that very little can live up to this one. That's how good this is.

Capullo has been given a time to shine, here. Having so many daytime scenes allows this artist to use *GASP* ACTUAL COLOUR!!! Maybe it was because Snyder wanted to do something new, maybe Capullo was running out of black and grey paint. Either way, these daytime scenes look incredible and, somehow, we don't lose any sense of darkness despite the wide range of colours.

I'm sure someone will call me a DC fanboy for not giving perfect scores to a Marvel book. But you know what? Zero Year- Dark City has well earned it's five out of five empty black and grey paint pots.


+ What shouldn't work, somehow does.
+ Amazing set-pieces.
+ Ending that is bittersweet and beautiful.
+ A dark and gritty story that has actual colour in the art.

Alternate Option: Batman- Earth One Vol. 1&2

An origin story and a Riddler story. Not as good as this one, but still a great yarn.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

X-Men: Battle for the Atom Review

X-Men: Battle of the Atom
Hey, look what we can do with photoshop!

Writers: Brian Micheal Bendis, Brian Wood and Jason Aaron.

Artists: Frank Cho, Stuart Immonen, David Lopez, Chris Bachalo, Guiseppe Camuncoli and Esad Ribic.

Collects: All-New X-Men #16-17, Uncanny X-Men #12-13, Wolverine and the X-Men #36-37, X-Men #5-6, X-Men: Battle of the Atom 1-2/

Background Information:

Okay, the short version of X-History is this; after House of M, the mutant population was shaved down to 200. This put a lot of strain on the X-Men, and the team soon divided into two; the Uncanny X-Men, led by Cyclops, and Wolverine's X-Men running the Jean Grey School for mutants. A while later, when the Pheonix Force came to Earth, Cyclops was infected with it, and, drunken with power, he killed Charles Xavier. Now Cyclops and the Uncanny X-Men are on the run, and Cyclops is regarded as a kind of "new Magneto".

To help Cyclops recognise the error of his ways, Beast brought the original five X-Men; younger versions of Cyclops, Iceman, Angel, Beast and Jean Grey, to the present to show the current Cyclops what an evil twerp he is.

So far, it hasn't worked.


Rule of thumb: time travellers are twits.

They're always messing with the space-time continuum, enforcing dodgy agendas and generally X-Men: Battle of the Atom; the second time-travelling story for the X-Men is about as many years. It's pointless diversion that makes very little sense.
Quick, guys! Do that thing you had just decided to do! PHEW,
dodged a bullet, there.
being not very nice about anything. Such is the case of

And it's awesome.

So, the All-New X-Men run into the Uncanny X-Men while trying to take down a new mutant (who does not matter to the story in the least- thank goodness). In the process, young Cyclops gets temporarily killed (temporarily is the key word, because comics), which temporarily removes old Cyclops for existence. When all is fixed and the X-people decide that they youngsters need to be sent back to their own time after all in come a bunch of Mutants from the future, claiming to be the new X-Men. They have an important message for the X-people of today; wait for it... the young X-Men need to go back to their own time!

Lucky someone told them that... they were CLEARLY having trouble figuring it out for themselves.

Okay, Brian Michael Bendis writes more than half of this book and if you're reading his work, you're NEVER doing it for the plot. You're reading it for dialogue and characterisation and Bendis excels at that. The whole book is filled with some of the best dialogue you're likely to see in a Marvel comic. A standout here is Iceman (actually, all three of them). Bendis ramps up the silly in Bobby Drake's character to the point where nearly everything that comes out of his mouth is dripping with humour. Bendis also continues to build on the characters in both Uncanny and All-New in ways that feel organic. Emma Frost's jealousy of Jean Grey finally comes to a head, the romantic triangle between Jean, young Cyclops and young Beast continues to develop and the lack of trust between Wolverine and old Cyclops just keeps simmering.

Thankfully, Jason Aaron and Brian Wood do enough to keep the plot going, And there is a lot that happens here. Moments of note include the mental fight between Jean Grey, Xorn, Emma Frost and the Stepford sisters; it's wonderfully drawn and oozes of tension. Maria Hill's regular declarations of how much she hates Hank McCoy is also fun. Oh, yeah; and Dazzler becomes the president in the future- wow. These moments all come together in a story that feels fun, epic and mostly self-contained.

And therein lies the problem. If Bendis and Co designed this story to be a way to keep interest in the X-Titles, Battle of the Atom isn't going to do that. The book couldn't feel more like a jumping-off-point for the X-franchise if it tried. True, there's a possible future for All-New, but not one that sounds patricularly compelling.

Hmmm... is this a bad thing?
Speaking of All-New, this is very much a book about that particular series. As such, all of the virtues and vices of All-New are present. We get to see innocent idealism shown as a strength, but we also have to have our brains melted by the logical fallacies induced by time travel. We get the young X-Men, but we also get reminded that Marvel doesn't care much for the X-Men anymore. We get great character drama, but we also get dialogue that goes on, and on, and on.

There is, however, no dowside to the art. There's a lot of artists here; something that comes naturally with multiple-title crossovers, and that normally leads to a comparison to what happens with too many cooks. Here, though, it works. No artist is doing less than whole issues and their styles somehow flow with the storytelling. It's great to look at and at no point does a change in artist feel like a change in quality.

Battle of the Atom may not be perfect, but it's damn fun. It gets a three and a half out of five time-travelling twits.

*** 1/2

+ Focus on All-New X-Men.
+ Character Drama.
+ Great art.
- All the negatives you saw in All-New.
- More of a jumping-off point, even though it isn't meant to be.

Alternate Option: X-Men: Schism

Another X-Character drama.

Monday, 22 June 2015

I'm a Peter-Parker fan, and I'm not concerned with the Miles book.

Yeah, okay.
So, the internet exploded today.

The New York Times, in an exclusive interview, told us that a new book, called only Spider-Man will be released, starring not Peter Parker, but Miles Morales,  the Spider-Man who, well, looks like this under the mask:

Oh... my... gravy...
Yep, Miles is a major departure from the old Spidey, and it's a heresy. I mean, HE'S GOT REALLY SHORT HAIR! HERESY! THE SPIDER-MAN I GREW UP WITH A WAVY AND LUCIOUS HAIR, MARVEL! YOU HEAR ME?! WAVY AND LUCIOUS!

Wait, isn't that what we're complaining about?

It's not?

Well, anyway, people seem to be treating this as though Miles is replacing Peter in the Marvel Universe. Peter, according to sites like The Outhousers, are talking as though Peter is Spider-Man no more. Now I'm a fan of Peter; Miles is nice and all, but he does nothing for me. Yet, upon hearing this news, I'm not at all worried about Peter. Why, you ask?

Because Peter will absolutely still be Spider-Man.

I know this because of this teaser Marvel released about a month ago:

Notice the complete lack of no Peter-Parker-Spiderman..
Now, I may be misinterpreting, but that definitely looks like Peter Parker in a Spidey costume in the top left. He's posed like Spidey in action. He's airborne. He's still doing whatever a spider can. This isn't a retired Peter; it's the Amazing Spider-Man in all his glory.

My theory? We'll see an Amazing Spider-Man book announced to continue (hopefully under a new writer, as I'm pretty sure Dan Slott has run his course) that will run ALONGSIDE Spider-Man. DC has been doing a similar thing for a few years, now. There have been four Green Lanterns working simultaneously, and I believe there was a point where both Wally West and Barry Allen held the mantle of The Flash at the same time. There's no reason the same can't happen with Spider-Man.

But that doesn't stir controversy; which we all know is what comics media sites are more interested in, so here I am, doing silly things like drawing reasonable conclusions based on evidence.


Friday, 19 June 2015

Green Arrow Vol. 5: The Outsiders War (The New 52) Review

Green Arrow Vol. 5: The Outsiders War
In case you weren't sure, the colour
green is a big deal here.

Writer: Jeff Lemire

Artist: Andrea Sorrentio

Collects: Green Arrow #25-31

Background Information:

So, Oliver Queen has been through a rough patch, hasn't he? Turns out that the island that he never stops talking about was the home to the mystic Green Arrow (That's a literal arrow, by the way); the totem weapon of the Arrow Clan. The Arrow Clan is one of the many clans of The Outsiders; a group of weapon-obsessed clans who are set to take over the world if Oliver doesn't stop them.

Oh, Oliver also has a step sister, Shado's daughter Emiko, who is being raised by last volume's big bad, Komodo.


With the huge success of Arrow, it would have been tempting for Jeff Lemire' Green Arrow to go the same route as it's TV counterpart; make Count Vertigo a drug dealer, have Ollie fight Deathstroke and make Deadshot a major part of the plot. Thankfully, Lemire decided to go the opposite direction and make Green Arrow one of the most interesting DC titles out there, The Outsiders War continues this tradition, delivering a story that is action-heavy and conspiracy-driven.

... Apparently, so are circles.
Now Ollie and pseudo-step-mother Shado (yep, not love interest; take that, CW), have gone back to plot device island where he was stranded for years in search of the famous Green Arrow (like I said before, that's an actual arrow)- the totem weapon of the Arrow Clan. In the meantime, the Outsiders are getting ready to take over the world.

Okay, so the real hero of this book isn't Oliver Queen- it's the art by Andrea Sorrentino. Her page designs are nothing short of amazing. In some places it takes less time for me to write this review than it does to fully take in a page-spread. Usually, such busy panels would be a minus, but here, Sorrentino's style takes you by the throat and drags you in. You want to see everything because it all grabs your attention.

The story is hardly a afterthought, the whole thing is paced exceptionally well, and Lemire peppers the whole thing with surprises. I won't spoil them, but Lemire shows here that he's a master of misdirection. I can't say that I'm a fan of all of them, but I appreciated the effort and admittedly did not see the ones I didn't like coming at all.

Action here is also incredible. Lemire has a real flair for making villains threatening; Komodo, last volume's bad dude, look more intimidating than ever minus one eye, and the Shield Clan may just be the most oogah-boogah crazy group of killers in the Outsiders- which I also never expected.

See? Green!
The volume also gets points for bringing Katana into the Green Arrow lore. Lemire cast her as the leader of the Sword Clan, with the Soultaker sword as the Clan's totem weapon. It works; at no point did I feel that it was a stretch for it to happen- something helped, I think, by the fact that Katana is the only Sword-Clanner shown in the volume.

The only part of the story I really wasn't fond of was the Zero Year crossover. This certainly isn't a bad issue; the action here is just as good, and Ollie battling Killer Moth actually makes for a fun story. But it gets so bogged down in John Diggle's backstory that I lost interest halfway through. It's no exaggeration to say that this overdrawn exposition ruined the issue for me.

Thankfully, anything aside from that issue is brilliant and as a whole, The Outsiders War gets a four out of five oogah-boogah shields.


+ Art is amazing.
+ Lemire writes near-perfect action.
+ Katana's addition feels natural.
- The Zero Year crossover.

Alternate Option: Green Arrow: The Kill Machine

If you're going to read The Outsiders War, you need to read this one.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Vol.1 (Pre-52) Review

T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents Vol. 1 (Pre-52)
"Let's put thunder in the background. That
way everyone will know they're
T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents!"
"That's Lightning, actually..."

Writer: Nick Spencer

Artist: Cafu Bit

Collects: T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents #1-10.

Background Information:

T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents has been the IP version of a football over the last fifty years. Beginning as a property of Tower Comics in the 1960s, the team has switched hands to Deluxe Comics and JC Comics. DC picked it up in 2011 and now it's in the hands of IDW.

This is the DC run on the series.


Ever thought to yourself; man, the sixties were awesome!

I mean, this is the era that had The Beatles, The Beach Boys (growing up, The Beach Boys were the only band us kids agreed on with our parents), and many of the greatest comic icons appeared in that era as well (most notably, the X-Men).

In many ways, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents feels like a throwback to the great stories of the era; chock full of spy drama, and costume designs that really feel like the silver age of comics. That's reason enough to pick up the book, but nice artwork, along with an admirable first story arc make the buy well worth it.

So, the Agents are a group of superheroes who work for an agency called T.H.U.N.D.E.R. (The
"Well, let's call the L.I.G.H.T.N.I.N.G. Agents!"
"We already have someone called Lightning... on the team..."
Higher United Nations Defense Enforcement Reserves) in their fight against Spider (Wikipedia says that's an acronym, but it's never mentioned in the book. These heroes get powers, which is cool.

Those powers eventually kill them.

Which is not so cool.

In fact, a few of the old heroes have already died, leaving T.H.U.N.D.E.R. "Salesmen" (people who try to convince others to become agents), Colleen and Toby, to search for new recruits to help save Raven; an Agent who has been kidnapped by Spider.

I haven't spoken much about the Agents themselves, and with good reason; this story is really about Toby and Colleen. In a superhero book, that would seem like a detractor, but the chemistry between the two characters is brilliant. It's hardly romantic- that would actually spoil it- more like annoying younger brother VS calm, irritated sister. The whole book revolves around their journey to find people who would be willing to die for a short life of power and glory, and while you don't see them talk about it much, there's a real sense that this whole thing is unsettling for them.

Even though I haven't spoken much about the Agents, there's a team here that I really want to see more of. Lightning is an African ex-sprinter, who has speed powers that have the side effect of making him see his death come closer and closer as he runs. Dynamo is a drunk who has the power of strength and invulnerability. NoMan clones himself repeatedly and can turn invisible; but what really makes him interesting is that cloning himself makes him lose all that made him human. Then there's Menthor; who sounds like he should be giving you fresh breath, but actually has mind powers. I won't go into who he is beyond the mask, because that's too good a twist. I really want to see more of these characters; they don't get much of a spotlight here, and I think there's some excellent stuff to work with.

"Okay, do you have a problem with this
"No, not really."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah, I'm sure."
These are all great things; which makes it so weird that the plot itself feels... lacking. The book starts off with a brilliantly placed "heist" story, but then loses all moment in the latter issues. I really lost interest in a story arc about Colleen's mother; it has so little to do with the agents and Toby's absence really hurt it.

Cafu Bit's artwork, though, is excellent. I miss DC books that looked diverse and this volume definitely has that. The sixties vibe drips off the pages thanks to classic-looking costumes and designs. That's something I didn't expect to say; because the art isn't exactly four-colour, but the book still looks like it might as well be Starsky and Hutch for the superhero genre. It's engaging and I love it.

T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents is no longer in print, but if you look hard enough, you may find the trade lying around. It gets a four out of five Menthors for fresh breath.


+ Colleen and Toby's chemistry.
+ Interesting team of heroes.
+ Nice vibe to artwork.
- Second half of the book fails to hold interest.

Alternate Option: Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol

It's the only other book I can think of that would maintain that sixties vibe.