Friday, July 31, 2015

Weekly pulls for 07/29/2015

I find myself struggling this week to find things to ramble on about. There isn't too much exciting jumping at me from the comic book world, and honestly, my focus has been on gaming. With my summer break coming to a close, I am rushing to finish a few games that have been sitting on my shelf for the past year so that the collection doesn't continue to grow and remain not played. I mean, I just got to Bastion this past week and am sad it took so many years to give my attention to such a masterpiece.

Even though my focus has been elsewhere, I did acquire five books from my comic shop. I found myself overwhelmed with Doctor Who, a nice return from a series that was on hiatus and another piece from Secret Wars:

Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #003
Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #013
Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #010
Sex Criminals #011 - Pick of the Week!
X-Men '92 #002

Again, I am starting to battle my desire to continue on with all of the Doctor Who titles, especially the Twelfth Doctor, but the review will reveal more about those ponderings. Remember to give the new episode of The Panel Scanners (found on iTunes!) a listen and until next time, happy reading!

X-Men '92 #002

Writers: Chris Sims & Chad Bowers
Artist: Scott Koblish
Colorist: Matt Milla

"Chapter Three: Those Who Help Themselves"
"Chapter Four: Love is a Battlefield"

Again, I am surprised how much I am enjoying this series along with many of the other Battleworld books that are being published by Marvel right now. These basically Elseworlds stories give an interesting insight as to what could have happened and what did happen in alternate universes during major events in Marvel history.

The way that this almost double sized book works is that the Shadow King is trying to mold the X-Men into nonviolent, obeying heroes that will make Westchester a peaceful place to be. Ironically, the Shadow King may have killed Professor X to get control over his X-Men, but we will let him ignore that. 

The first chapter focuses on Wolverine and how he is his own greatest enemy. The Shadow King shows Wolverine that every piece of violence, every choice he has made, is because he wants to attack himself and doesn't trust himself. Forcing introspection of Wolverine starts pushing him down the path of being a docile and nonviolent version of himself which allows for the Shadow King to want to keep him around.

The second chapter focuses on Gambit and Rogue. The fact that there is sexual tension between them bothers the Shadow King and he shows them how they can be together and not have the tension there. Of course this also allows for him to let them be part of his peaceful world.

During these two chapters there is a subplot that focuses on Jubilee find the Rej-X, the rejected mutants from the Shadow King's program. The X-Men that failed the Shadow King's assessment soon join the group (Beast at least), but it is a little unclear as to what their plan is. I am sure it will be a revolt.

As an epilogue we see the X-Force of the 90's find Professor X's body which is sure to bring them into the mix in the next issue. Each piece plays really well together and makes for a fun read. It almost reads like a 90's book but with a clearer goal. It isn't as convoluted as many of those books which is a great thing. I am actually quite enjoying the ride thus far and am looking forward to next month's addition.

Rating: 8/10

Sex Criminals #011

By: Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky


After quite the hiatus, Sex Criminals is back and definitely feels that same as it always has. A weird mix of sexuality, comedy, heist and mystery is played out between the covers clearly marked as mature. For those that do not know the premise, the two main character, Suzie and Jon, stop time when they have orgasms. Once they found each other and realized that they both had the same power, the started to use it to rob a bank that shut down Suzie's library. Of course this spiraled and more people with the same powers showed up, specifically the Sex Police. When we last left our duo, they had stolen files from the Sex Police that cataloged other people that had the same powers as Jon, Suzie and the police.

We open this issue with a story of another character that has the same powers, Doug D. Douglas. He seems to have the same kind of messed up life that all of the other characters have, but is a good guy overall. The duo go down to Miami to find Doug by using their powers, trying to show him that others are like him and that they should team up to go against the Sex Police. What they walk in on is...interesting and a tad perverse which fits with the overall ton of the issue.

During this time we see the head of the Sex Police seducing Jon's psychologist, trying to find things out about him. Things don't look good for Jon when she has an orgasm and time freezes, allowing her access to all of the doctor's notes.

Even though there is a lot of perverse things happening, it is no secret that this is an adult book and in all reality a fun read. It is very different than anything else out there and Matt Fraction does not disappoint. Every issue of this book looks into human nature and desire, while still entertaining the reader with exciting moments that don't always have to do with sex. If you are mature enough to handle a book that deals heavily with sex and regret, give this a shot.

Rating: 10/10 - Pick of the Week

Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #010

Writer: Robbie Morrison
Artists: Brian Williamson & Mariano Laclaustra
Colorist: Hi-Fi

"Gangland Part 2"

We last left Clara and the Doctor in Las Vegas dealing with gangs of both alien and human type. The Cybock Imperium had captured Clara and the Wolf Pack, trying to convince the Wolf Pack (through violence) to perform in their casino to try to take the last little power away from the other leading gang of the city. Of course the Wolf Pack and Clara argue against this and in timely fashion The Doctor and the enforcer of the other gang show up to save them moments before Clara is zapped with the Time Gun of Time Lord creation.

From this point the Cybock Imperium decide to show themselves and start fighting out in the open, destroying quite a few people and leading us back to the first page of the arc with The Doctor playing a weird version of Russian Roulette called Rassilon's Roulette that would force whomever got shot's timeline to vanish. There of course is a Doctor ploy and all works out okay. The book closes with cheesy one-liners from the Doctor that felt incredibly campy and forced, but I am sure would have felt slightly better on screen. 

Overall, I feel that this book has been the weakest of the bunch. I am not sure if it is because I have spent the least amount of time with this Doctor, or if the stories just aren't as grasping. I just find a lot of the things on the pages forced, the characters less likable, and the general concepts to be heavily cliche. The last line of the book made me look around embarrassed, not sure why it was forced in. This may be the issue that makes me cut down my Doctor Who pulls.

Rating 5/10 - Some good, mostly blah

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #013

Writer: Nick Abadzis
Pencils: Elena Casagrande
Inks: Di Meo
Colorist: Hi-Fi

"Spiral Staircase Part 1"

This new arc starts sort of in the middle of the past arc. The Doctor and Gabby are trying to figure out exactly what the device that transformed the former great actress, Dorothy Bell, into a younger, almost magical version of herself really is. In the previous issues the duo along with Gabby's friend Cindy have finally joined together with the team that was originally searching for the artifact, as well as with Vivian, Dorothy assistant. I know that is a lot to follow but hopefully it makes sense. 

After Dorothy's transformation, she seems to have an urge to enhance everything around her to make them better if not perfect. She takes flight while bringing Gabby along, to enhance the buildings around New York, specifically a wing to a hospital she was funding, then everything else that didn't seem quite right. During this, the other players in the story are trying to find her and figure out exactly what she has become and what to do about it. The Doctor, in true Doctor form, seemed to know what she was but kept choking on the information until the end of the book. The Doctor finally states that she has merged with a high end of alien tech and that it isn't a good thing, but he doesn't get the chance to explain why. During all of this a large ship is approaching Earth and seems to think very little of our home planet. The end pages show the ships approach and gives a hint as to what its reasoning for being there is. 

With the Tenth Doctor still being one of my favorites, I am still enjoying the stories told here. I think this and the Ninth Doctor books are the strongest. There doesn't seem to be any grasp at being campy but simply a desire to tell more stories about this Doctor. I hope the pace can continue.

Rating: 8/10

Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #003

Writer: Cavan Scott
Artists: Blair Shedd with Rachell Stott
Colors: Anang Setyawan

"Weapons of Past Destruction Part 3"

This issue is the third part of a five part mini-series that shows the Doctor with Jack and Rose on a planet that is sort of like a flea market of illegal things encapsulated in a time bubble. This time bubble is under threat of being shut down because the Unon have shown up to stop the illegal activity and to put the cosmos back into proper order. The Unon have interest in the Doctor and the TARDIS, much as everyone else seems to have interest in getting their hands on a time machine.

During this, Jack and Rose get separated from the Doctor and are forced to believe that he was killed by the Unon. By no surprise to the reader, the Doctor is fine but in a sub-dimensional void talking to the Unon about what is going on. I am actually interested to see how everything plays out. 

This comic is a firm reminder as to what a shame it was that there was only one season with the Ninth Doctor. His personality is a bit more serious with overtones of comedy that he obviously uses so he doesn't punch someone in the face. Scott does a phenomenal job capturing that attitude with the way that the Doctor handles the aliens that are around him in this issue as well as with how he handles Rose and Jack. He is more concerned with what is happening to the planet with very little interest in his own survival. 

Rating: 8/10

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Weekly Pulls 07/22/2015

The past few weeks have been a fun time to be a comic book fan. We got the chance to see what the future holds with SDCC 2015, Secret Wars pushes forward guiding the future of Marvel comics, and we got the release of Ant-Man. I have to admit, going into the film I wasn't certain what to expect. Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn't really disappointed me since it really got rolling but Ant-Man wasn't something I was expecting, then again I felt the same about Guardians of the Galaxy. The movie itself was very enjoyable, plenty of Easter Eggs for those long time comic fans that look for that stuff, funny writing and a decent heist film all tied into a comic book movie. Simply because it felt so different from the other action films as of late, Ant-Man was pure joy to watch.

Now I wont say that the movie was perfect, I think it is hard to ever have a perfect film, but it was enjoyable and I would actually enjoy seeing it again. It gives me great hope for the plethora of Marvel movies pouring onto us in the coming years, as well as the television shows and whatever else the studio decides it wants to do. I hope that the future of the comics looks as bright after Secret Wars resets the universe...more on that in October I suppose.

This week I had a little bit of a heavier week with five books:

All-New Hawkeye #004 - Pick of the Week!
Fight Club 2 #003
Magneto #020
Spider-Woman #009
Uncanny X-Men #035

Each book has its merits and as always you can click on the link in this post to read a short blurb about each book. That is all for this week though, so until next week enjoy your comics and be sure to catch up on The Panel Scanners if you aren't already listening!