Sunday, May 5, 2013

28. Batman Incorporated Vol. 1: Demon Star

Writer:  Grant Morrison

Artist:  Chris Burnham

First Publication:  2012

Challenge:  Graphic Novels Challenge (#15)

Grant Morrison’s Batman is highly regarded by me.  Some people don’t care for it.  This collection starts the finale of Morrison’s Batman epic.  The battle with Leviathan is heating up.  I can see various plotlines from his early issues coming to bear in this series.  When Morrison is finished with it, I plan on going back and re-reading his entire catalog of Batman stories.  I think it will be even better the second time around.  This is not a good place to start.  I would recommend starting with “Batman and Son”.  It is worth the effort to read all of Morrison's epic.  One of the things I liked was all of the Batman stories are in continuity.

27. Hypernaturals Vol. 1

Writers:  Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning

Artist:  Brad Walker

First Publication:  2013

Challenge:  Graphic Novels Challenge (#14)

Boom! Studios has published some very good super hero titles.  I enjoyed the Mark Waid universe (“Irredeemable”, etc.) and one of my current favorites is “Deathmatch”.  “Hypernaturals” is filling a gap in my current comic book reading.  One of the first comics I ever read was a Legion of Super-Heroes story in the original “Adventure Comics”.  I have been a fan ever since.  Sure some of the years were not as good as others, but the Legion always kept my interest.  The only time I quit reading was after Paul Levitz left and Keith Giffin did the “5 Years Later” storyline.  At some point I am going to go back and try reading it again.  The current Legion book has not been as good.  Luckily, Abnett and Lanning are giving me the “Hypernaturals”.  Some of the same basic concepts fill this book.  The team consists of a large group of heroes in the far future.  When the current team disappears, a mix of retired heroes and ones who are not ready have to fill the void.  The science fiction concepts fill this fully realized future series.  It is one of my current favorites. 

26. newuniversal: Everything Went White

Writer:  Warren Ellis

Artist:  Salvador Larroca

First Publication:  2008

Challenge:  Graphic Novels Challenge (#13)

I am one of the, apparently, few that had some fond memories of the original New Universe series from Marvel.  Some of the books I liked (Star Brand, D.P. 7, and Justice for example).  Others I did not (Spitfire and Kickers Inc).  I liked that Warren Ellis did not say the original stories never happened.  This is basically an alternate reality of the original.  The way Ellis set it up it helps to explain why the “White Event” that creates the heroes occurs.  For another take on the concept, pick up Jonathan Hickman’s current “Avengers” book.  It shows what happens when the “White Event” occurs in the regular Marvel Universe.  The only downside to this series was that Ellis did not get to finish it.  I was very interested in where he was planning on going with the storyline.  It is one of those series that will never get finished but it is worth reading what was published.  Highly recommended.

25. Vampirella Vol. 1: A Crown of Worms

Writer:  Eric Trautmann

Artists:  Wagner Reis, Fabiano Neves, Walter Geovani

First Publication:  2011

Challenge:  Graphic Novels Challenge (#12)

I like the writing of Eric Trautmann on other books.  The art in this collection is solid for the most part.  Unfortunately the story did not hold my interest.  This was a book I wanted to like but, based on this first story arc, I will not continue to read.  I would be curious if it appealed more to long time Vampirella fans.  

24. Daredevil Vol. 1

Writer:  Mark Waid
Artists:  Paolo Rivera, Marcos Martin
First Publication:  2012
Challenge:  Graphic Novels Challenge (#11)

Waid starts this series with a bang by having Daredevil bust up a mob wedding while trying to stop a kidnapping.  It sets the tone for the latest Daredevil title.  Waid connects it to the many years of the darker, realistic take that dominated the series for many years but takes it in a different direction.  It reminds me more of the original stories where the character was a little more lighthearted and definitely more of a “daredevil”.  It is a fun take with innovative art.  The darker tone has dominated the title since the original Frank Miller stories.  The only exception I can remember was the short lived Karl Kessel stories where he brought back the feel of the early issues.  It is a title that reminds the reader that comics can be fun while telling serious stories.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

23. Cyborg 009 #000

Writers:  F. J. DeSanto and Bradley Cramp 
Artists:  Marcus To
First Publication:  2013
Challenge:  Graphic Novels Challenge (#10)

Marcos To first came to my attention by doing some excellent art on the pre-New 52 “Robin” at DC.  I was not familiar with this title but gave it a try because of his art.  

It is a solid science fiction manga about cyborgs and conspiracies.  The original story was reprinted in the back.  The main story is a modern day re-imagining of the original.  This summer a longer graphic novel will be published.  I will be picking it up.

Friday, May 3, 2013

22. Uncanny X-Force: The Dark Angel Saga Part 1

Writer:  Rick Remender
Artists:  Billy Tan,Richard Elson, Mark Brooks, Scot Eaton
First Publication:  2012
Challenge:  Graphic Novels Challenge (#9)

Rick Remender’s epic story continues with this collection.  The Dark Angel takes control of Warren (Angel) Worthington’s body.  The fall into darkness brings disaster to the team.  Rememder started with this title, continued storylines into “Secret Avengers” and now is following up on them in “Uncanny Avengers”.  “Uncanny X-Force” is another interesting Marvel series that draws on the past while building the future.

21. RASL Vol. 2: The Fire of St. George

Writer:  Jeff Smith
Artist:  Jeff Smith
First Publication:  2010
Challenge:  Graphic Novels Challenge (#8)

Jeff Smith has captured my interest with his science fiction, parallel worlds, adventure series.  This collection picks up where the first one left off.  Mysteries and adventure abound.  I loved his first series (Bone) and was not sure if I would like his work on something different.  I should not have been worried.  This series has a different tone but still features the signature Jeff Smith art style.  It’s a great series that I would recommend picking up.  You definitely need to start with the first volume to get the full effect of the reading experience.