Kikaider 02 is a new manga by CMX Manga, which is owned by DC Comics. Kikaider 02 is an updated take on the old 1972 Kikaider TV show in Japan. Kikaider is a cyberpunk manga that is clearly influenced by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Writer: Shotaro Ishinomori
Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 5.
Their Take: The Countdown to the destruction of Earth has begun! Japan is plagued by a series of mysterious plane crashes, building explosions, and assassinations-all acts of terrorism committed by D.A.R.K.’s unleashed robots. Meanwhile, Komyoji Mitsuko has returned to her relatively peaceful life, but soon becomes a pawn in D.A.R.K.’s plan to draw Jiro out of hiding! Mitsuko is about to discover the truth about the Gemini circuit that her father built-but will she be able to handle it?
Here are the characters:
Jiro/Kikaider: An android created by Dr. Komyoji to stop DARK. Unlike the first two Kikaider models (00 and 01) created before him, Jiro, the third model, has emotions due to his GEMINI Conscience Circuit which simulates real emotions and distinguishes between right and wrong. Jiro is tormented by not being human yet being able to have human emotions such as love and anger, to learn and grow like a human. Jiro acts to protect Mitsuko and Masaru Komyoji.
Jiro is able to transform into his combat form, Kikaider, by pressing the switches on both of his shoulders. Due to the incomplete Gemini chip, Kikaider is also incomplete in appearance with an asymmetrical form, Kikaider is half-blue and half-red (he would be blue if it were complete). Blue represents good and red represents evil. It is that latter side, the dark side that Professor Gill tries to exploit in him.
Mitsuko Komyoji is the daughter of Dr. Komyoji who has had a tough and lonely childhood ever since her mother abandoned the family. Determined to find her father and put together the missing pieces of her family history, Mitsuko gets help from Jiro.
Hinano Komyoji is Mitsuko’s half-sister. She has no memory of anything before meeting Mitsuko. Hinano holds a secret pertaining to the destruction of mankind and, therefore, is a target of D.A.R.K.
Dr. Den Komyoji is a famous scientist in robotics. He was captured by DARK to help them build an army of murderous robot monsters. After finding out Gill’s plan to conquer the world with these robots, he secretly develops the conscience circuit that is built into the body that can help differentiate between good and evil.
Saburo/Hakaider: Another android, considered as Jiro's "younger brother" as he was also made by Professor Komyoji. While Jiro was made by Dr. Komyoji voluntarily, D.A.R.K. forced Dr. Komyoji to make Saburo/Hakaider with the mission to destroy Kikaider.
Kikaider 01 is Jiro's "older brother", the first Kikaider built by Komyoji in case of dire emergencies. He has a faulty Gemini chip and is the reason Komyoji instead strived to create the "perfected" Jiro.
Professor Gill: The leader of a terrorist organization called D.A.R.K. He once funded Dr. Komyoji's research. Gill hates Kikaider, seeing him as an abomination of robots due to his Gemini System (not to mention a threat to his ambition), and wants to destroy him as a result. Gill uses a giant pipe organ that can control his Dark Androids (and partially affecting Kikaider as well).
In Volume 2, Mitsoku is captured by the first Kikaider android. He captures her to draw out Jiro so he can find out who is stronger. The first Kikaider tells his horrible story to Mitsoku how his Gemini chip failed and how his “father” Dr. Komyoji turned his back on him and shut him down and then transformed him into a terrible killing robot.
We see Gill talking to Saburo, who makes it clear he is not Gill’s errand boy. Saburo is merely fulfilling his purpose which is to destroy Jiro. Gill also explains that D.A.R.K. exits to bring the end of the world. That mankind is a cancer on the earth and must be gotten rid of in order for the Earth to survive. Only by killing off environmental scientists can D.A.R.K. insure that the Earth falls into a cataclysmic state in which all of mankind is killed. Then after lies dormant it should then be able to create a more superior form of life compared to that of Mankind.
Jiro eventually makes his way to Mitsoku and battles his “older brother.” During the battle, the building they are in sustains heavy damage and explodes. Jiro makes it out alive but tell Hinano that he could not save Mitsoku or his “brother.”
As the smoke clears from the building we see Saburo in Hakaider form holding Mitsuko’s unconscious body.
The Good: First, let’s deal with the art. I like Meimu’s style and it fits this manga well. He draws nice mecha and has a cool style. Meimu’s art looks similar to “old school” manga art, but with a totally modern twist. I like it.
Second, Ishinomori is crafting a very entertaining story. He combines plenty of action along with plenty of drama and dialogue. Ishinomori has created a delightfully complex universe that pulls in the reader. I love that D.A.R.K. is not just a bunch of raving lunatics. They actually see themselves as protectors of the Earth. I like the complexities with the different androids. The first Kikaider is wonderfully tragic and full of sorrow. His story of his creation and “death” and “rebirth” is excellent and chilling. Jiro is intriguing with his acknowledging that he is not human but him still possessing a “soul.” The third one, Saburo, is more of a loose cannon. Very powerful and is going to do things on his own terms. Very confident and sure of himself.
The basic theme of the manga is from the Blade Runner (Phillip Dick’s Do Android’s Dream of Electric Sheep?) vein of Sci-Fi stories that all originally hail from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I find it intriguing and I think that Kikaider 02 brings a new twist to an age old questions of what is “life” a “soul” and “god,” and at what point does science try to replace the Devine?
Ishinomori is able to pull of action as easily as he can a very introspective contemplative scene. The characters are all well defined and have clear motivations. The Revolution is interested in Volume 3 and seeing where Ishinomori goes with this story.
The Bad: Meimu’s art may not appeal to everyone. I like it, but I can see where some people may not like the “old school” manga art influences.
Some readers may be turned off by the fact that Kikaider 02 is treading on grounds that has already been addressed by various movies, books and manga. However, in the long run, we all know that there really are no truly new or unique ideas. Almost everything is a re-tread of some type or another.
Friday, March 31, 2006
Kikaider 02 is a new manga by CMX Manga, which is owned by DC Comics. Kikaider 02 is an updated take on the old 1972 Kikaider TV show in Japan. Kikaider is a cyberpunk manga that is clearly influenced by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Posted by Rokk Krinn at 10:57 AM
Thursday, March 30, 2006
All right, the Revolution is going to change the format a little for manga reviews. We’ll give the short synopsis from the manga volume and then give you a very brief overview of the manga volume. Since these are much longer than a single issue of an American comic, we aren’t going to give a detailed synopsis of the story. Fullmetal Alchemist is one of the Revolution’s favorite mangas. Usually, we don’t dig female writers in comics. However, Arakawa continually proves us wrong by creating one hell of a manga.
Writer & Artist: Hiromu Arakawa
Rating: 4.5 Night Girls out of 5.
Their Take: The origin of the Elric Brothers! Once, Edward and Alphonse Elric were willing to do anything to become alchemists. But when they tried to use their newfound skills to resurrect their dead mother, they broke a taboo and encountered something more terrifying than death itself. Now, hardened by years of military training, Edward and Alphonse have returned to the woman, Izumi, who first taught them alchemy...but can she help them, or even forgive them?
My Take: This volume begins with the Elric brothers being left on an island for 30 days. If they survive then Izumi will take them on as her students and train them in alchemy. While they are on the island, they fight this strange man wearing a panther head and cape. Every day they struggle to find food and then half starved they have to fight this strange panther man each day. They survive the 30 days and when they get picked up by Izumi, they find out that the panther man was one of her friends sent there to “train” them and watch over them.
We then witness the brothers complete their training and go home. There they attempt to bring their mother back to life. We finally get to see how it happened. During the botched attempt, Ed sees the “creator” of all things and is shown “the truth.” This greatly expands Ed’s alchemy powers allowing him to perform alchemy of incredible feats without a rune circle. Al cannot remember anything due to the shock of losing his body.
We then see Col. Mustang first meeting the Elric brothers and offering them a job as State Alchemists. They train for a year and then accept the position since being a state alchemist gives them access to information and resources normal men cannot access. This will aid in their search to figure out how to get Al’s body back.
We then come back to present day and see the Elric brothers back at Izumi’s place and they have finished telling her everything that they have done since they finished training with her. Izumi is impressed with Ed’s abilities and that he is a State Alchemist at such a young age. She loves them but expels them from her school saying they are no longer master/students since they broke the rule of alchemy in trying to bring back their mother.
The boys are about to leave when one of Izumi’s friends tell them that they don’t have to leave. Now they can talk as peers since there is no longer a teacher/student relationship. So, the boys go back to Izumi and ask for her help to get Al’s body back. She agrees. She says the key is getting Al to remember the “truth.” His memory was blocked out due to the trauma of losing his body. The key to getting his body back will be in restoring his memories.
The Good: This was a great volume. First, Arakawa is a solid manga artist. I love all the attitude and emotion that she puts on Ed’s face. Arakawa has plenty of motion and draws great action scenes. But, she also has a nice subtle quality to her art for those quiet touching scenes in the manga. She is very able in conveying a story through her images without the needing to depend on words.
Second, Arakawa has crafter a great story. She is a very balanced writer. She can do action, comedy and drama with equal ability. It was great finally getting to read the origin of Ed and Al. We have only gotten little bits and pieces in the first 5 volumes. We finally get to enjoy the entire story in Vol. 6. The part of the story with Ed and Al on the island for 30 days was well done. How Ed and Al come to the realization of the circle of life, of the interconnection of the each being and the entire universe. It was very Zen and quite excellent.
The scene where they try to bring back their mother was horrific, wonderful and sad. Ed’s meeting the “all creator” or “the universe” as he calls himself was absolutely fascinating. Ed finding out the “truth” was cool. I liked this entire surreal scene.
Yet, probably my favorite scene was after the boys finished telling Izumi their terrible story. At first she chews them out and gives them a real tongue lashing. The boys apologize and say they deserve what happened to them. Izumi then calls them fools and tells them that they don’t have to hold back. She lovingly embraces both boys and they begin to cry saying “I’m sorry” over and over. It was such a touching scene that was wonderfully done and got the Revolution a little misty eyed. Yeah, the Revolution is secure enough in our manhood to show some emotion.
The Bad: The Revolution has no complaints. This is a wonderfully done manga.
Posted by Rokk Krinn at 9:31 AM
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
The Revolution has been anxiously awaiting the premiere of Squadron Supreme #1. Michael J. Straczynski is one of the Revolution’s favorite writers. We will check out any title that he writes. I think that Squadron Supreme is a cool concept that tons of potential. Will Squadron Supreme live up to my high expectations? Let’s find out.
Writer: Michael J. Straczynski
Penciler: Gary Frank
Inker: Chris Sotomayor
Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 5.
Synopsis: The issue is basically spent all around the military’s meeting to decide which members of Squadron Supreme will be on the public team for general public relations and which will be on the covert team that will be kept secret and conduct black ops. The General Alexander is in charge of Squadron Supreme and he meets with his advisors and goes through each member of the team, gives a short overview of that character and then decides of they should be on the public or covert team. That is pretty much the issue.
Hyperion is the first member discussed. They place him on the public team since he has had the most visibility out of all the members. Next up is Stanley Stewart and what is that we see? Oh no! Stanley, you just got your ass racially retconned! Yup, good old Stanley aka the Whizzer, is not longer a white dude. He’s black. Gotta increase minority members, I guess. And, he is no longer married with a child. He is a young man now. He is a conscientious objector (or as the Revolution calls them: wimp) so he is appealing his being drafted to be on Squadron Supreme. General Alexander put Stanley on the public team. (Man, I hope along with turning black, that Stanley gets a better code name than the Whizzer.)
Next up is Col. Joe Legder aka Dr. Spectrum. Since nobody knows him and he has never been photographed he gets put on the covert team. Joe’s alien girlfriend, Kingsley, who is a blue underwater alien, is put on the public team. The reasoning is that the public team is just for show and the General believes that Kingsley’s only powers are breathing underwater and being strong making her redundant since they already have plenty of strong members.
Arcana Jones, Emil Burbank and Raleigh Lund are next. Since all of them have had no public exposure they are all placed on the covert team. Arcana can bend quantum possibilities, Emil has a super-genius IQ and Raleigh is really dumb but is an immovable object like Blob.
Next is Edith Freiberg. Hey, she is no longer dead! And she is now a lesbian! And she’s still hot. The Revolution always likes any retcon that involve hot lesbians. Edith is the only member psyched to be a part of Squadron Supreme. She gets placed on the covert team.
Next is Tom Thumb who is put on the covert team. Next is Nuke who is unknown to the public so he is put on the covert team. Then comes Claire Debussy (originally Princess Power, but now is known as Zarda) who is a female version of Hyperion. We see that she is talking to herself saying “thank you Claire, for everything.” Then she reaches into a pile of ashes and pulls out a ring. On the wall next to the ashes is a woman’s outline. Hmmm, a doppelganger perhaps?
Next is Nighthawk who…wait a minute…yes! Another racial retcon. Nighthawk is now black. Congrats, buddy! And, oh no! Is that the Bunker’s air horn alarm going off? Yes it is! We have a Nazi Rule violation! Yes, Nighthawk’s parents were killed by white supremacists and he is on a mission to find them and kill them. The military can’t find him and since he has no super powers he ain’t on the team.
The General is done picking the teams. The plan is to keep the covert team and its members secret and only do a press conference for the public team. We then cut to Hyperion who meets up with a Washington Herald reporter. Hyperion with his super hearing heard the entire conversation between the General and his advisors. Hyperion gives the reported the list of names for both teams. The reporter runs with it and the news is all over every paper and TV media outlet. The military scrambles and ends up holding a press conference where they say there as never going to be a secret team and then they introduce all the members of Squadron Supreme.
The Good: Well, Michael J. Straczynski is a very talented writer and we love him here at the Revolution. He does a nice, but not spectacular job with this premiere issue. This issue was a little slow and boring, but necessary. It properly introduced the reader to all the characters and gave us a quick sample of their personalities, powers and motivations. There were a couple of mysteries dangled out there for us including Claire being two people with one of them killing the other and the possibility of Kingsly having some unknown super power. Maybe being able to read minds?
Even though it was incredible, this was a solid first issue and did a great job setting up the story, introducing and outlining the characters and getting the reader familiar with this universe. I think Straczynski is going to do a great job with this title. I have very high hopes.
The art was well done and fit the theme of the comic. I like Frank’s pencils. He has a nice “realistic” look that fits this team. I hope they keep Frank on this title for a good long time.
The Bad: Well, there is definitely some bad. First, the two racial retcons. The Revolution has already gone on record stating that we absolutely abhor racial retcons. I know there is an absolute need to put more minorities on the team that was all white, but I still don’t like it.
Plus, if there is a need to bump up the minority factor how about making one of them Asian or Hispanic? Why do they both have to be black? C’mon, people! The world is much more than black and white! There are more Hispanics in this country than blacks. There are more Hispanics working in comics than blacks. I would have much rather have seen at least one of the characters made either Asian or Hispanic rather than both being black.
Now, I think creating a new character that is a minority is a far superior idea rather than racially retconning a character. Having said that, if you absolutely must racially retcon a character, then do it with a relatively obscure minor character. Using that logic, I have less of a problem with racially retconning the minor character of Whizzer.
I have a huge problem racially retconning Nighthawk. He is a very well know character who has been in the Defenders and with the Squadron Supreme since they were the Squadron Sinister. I don’t think that any well established character should ever be racially retconned. Period.
And on top of the racially retconning of Nighthawk, he is given such a mind numbingly stereotypical origin. His parents were killed by white supremacist and now he has trained himself to find them and kill them. C’mon! The Revolution is Straczynski is so talented and this was the best he could do? Uggh.
Plus, Straczynski violates the Revolution’s Nazi Rule. We have mentioned it before. No comic shall have any villains that are Nazis or affiliated with Nazis. That includes modern day white supremacist groups. The only exception are comics set during WWII and Captain America. That is it.
The reason is because the idea of Nazi/White Supremacist groups as villains is so tired and played out! Boring! Whenever there is to be a racist group in comics, you know it is going to be a white supremacist group. This is naturally because only white people are racists. The Revolution urges writers to be more damn creative!
Because of the two racial retcons, the lack of either of them including an Asian or Hispanic, the violation of the Nazi Rule and a somewhat slow issue that felt a little too “paint by numbers” is why this issue got a rating of 3 Night Girls.
Wednesday is always a big day here at the Revolution. We get our fix of new comics. This week is a pretty good sized week. Waiting for the Revolution at our comic shop are the following titles:
Action Comics #837
All Star Superman #3
Green Lantern #10
Fantastic Four #536
Iron Man #6
New Avengers: Illuminati Special
Ultimate Spider-Man #92
Uncanny X-Men #471
X-Men: Deadly Genesis #5
The Revolution is looking forward to Ultimate Spider-Man. That title is always a great read. Probably the most consistently good title out there. The Revolution is also looking forward to Green Lantern. That title has been great so far and I expect that Johns is going to keep it rocking. The title that intrigues me the most is Action Comics #837. This is another “One Year Later” issue and is a continuation of the storyline started in this month’s Superman. I’m still not sure that the incredible combination of Busiek and Johns will be able to sell me on Superman, but I’m interested to see what they have up their sleeves.
The title that the Revolution is least looking forward to is easy to pick: Uncanny X-Men. That title is quickly becoming a chore to read. The Revolution is still stunned that Claremont, who was the absolute man during his initial run on X-Men, is writing such a lousy storyline this time around.
Posted by Rokk Krinn at 11:41 AM
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
X-Factor #5 has a great cover. I love the point of view coming from above Siryn. Plus, the Revolution digs the nice cleavage shot of a hot chick in leather. Muy Sabrosa! Anyway, on to the review.
Writer: Peter David
Penciler: Dennis Calero
Inker: Jose Villarrubia
Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 5.
Synopsis: The issue starts with Rictor showing up at the diner that Siryn said she was going to grab a bite. She isn’t there, so Rictor uses the tracer they all carry to find her.
We then cut to an abandoned theater with Siryn all beat up, tied up to a chair and gagged. A doctor who use to be a mutant patched up her injuries from last issue. The doctor rants and raves about how he used to be a mutant before he lost his abilities. He slaps Siryn around a little. The doctor continues to talk to Siryn and un-gags her. Her vocal cords have been temporarily paralyzed due to the dart from last issue.
The doctor continues to torture Siryn by stabbing her leg to make sure she will behave. The doctor continues to rant and rave about mutants losing their powers and how X-Factor and X-Men haven’t done anything to find out who is responsible for the mutants losing their powers.
We then cut back to Rictor who finds Siryn’s tracking device and then a lock of her hair and follows it to the stage door of the abandoned theater. We see the doctor threatening to cut out one of Siryn’s eyes if she doesn’t swear to find out who de-powered the mutants and then fix everything and get the mutants back their powers. Siryn says she can’t do that.
Rictor then calls out for Siryn. The doctor sneaks around to behind Rictor and is just about to stab him in the back when Siryn frees one of her arms, pulls the ball gag out of her mouth and lets out a sonic scream blasting the doctor’s glasses into his eyes. The doctor starts raving that they took his powers away and he wants his life back and now he is going to kill them.
Rictor wraps one of the stage ropes around the doctor’s neck and the doctor, while trying to stab Rictor cuts the rope attached to the sand bag. This causes the rope to tighten around the doctor’s neck pulling him off the ground and hanging him. That is one dead doctor. Rictor gets Siryn and they leave. End of issue.
The Good: First, this issue has the funniest intro page where you get a short synopsis of the story up to this issue. By far the best one I have ever read. Gotta love Peter David.
As always, the dialogue was absolutely fantastic. There was very little action, but the dialogue was so entertaining that you didn’t need much action. David has a great sense of comedy and is able to mix it in with gripping suspense and serious dialogue. This creates a well rounded story that never borders on too much humor that takes away from the serious side of the comic. It is the perfect amount of humor so the story isn’t overwhelmingly dark like, say, Daredevil.
Peter David’s crazy doctor was an interesting character. It was a neat way to show how many of the lower profile mutants have reacted to losing their powers and basically their identity and purpose in life.
The story was extremely well paced and crafted. It engrossed the reader and created a nice feeling of suspense. Peter David created a really cool little one-shot story that was fun to read.
The art rocked. I have really come around to Dennis Calero’s art. Calero’s art is perfect for the dark, moody and offbeat vibe of this version of X-Factor. His use of shading adds to the story. Calero draws great facial expressions and mixes up the “camera angles” for each panel. There is plenty of variety and it creates an enjoyable comic to read.
The Bad: Now, after praising David and this issue, I’m going to tell you that with this issue, the Revolution will be placing X-Factor on our Probation List. I know what you followers of the Revolution are asking? Why? You just complimented the story! You have it 4 Night Girls in your rating! True. Taken as just a single issue, it deserved a high score because it was well done. The Revolution’s rating system rates the single issue and not the title overall. Yes, this issue was well done; however, looking at X-Factor over the first 5 issues, I have serious problems with the direction of this title.
I don’t mind a one-shot every once in a while. Particularly after a very large storyline has ended. It gives the reader a chance to catch their breath, digest what just happened and re-group before the writer kicks off another large storyline. However, X-Factor has only had 5 issues and has had nothing even remotely resembling a large storyline. If anything, issues 1-4 centered around a very small storyline and not much else.
In an early X-Factor review, the Revolution pointed out that it felt like not much was going on with this title and that David had no real direction and wasn’t building this title up to much of anything. It is far to early in this series for there already to be a one-shot issue when almost nothing has happened in this title in the first four issues.
I like David and I like Calero’s art, but they really have to get this title some purpose and direction if the Revolution is going to keep spending out hard earned money on it.
The Revolution has every X-Men comic going back to the 1960’s. This is probably the only reason why we continue to buy this comic. A feeling of commitment since we have invested so much time and effort in our collection of this title. Remember back when X-Men was actually the best comic out there? Man, it has been a long time since that was the case. Let's hit the review for X-Men #184
Writer: Peter Milligan
Penciler & Inker: Salvador Larocca
Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 5.
Synopsis: The issue starts with Sunfire, now a Horseman of Apocalypse being knocked out by the X-Men and taken into their custody.
We then shift to Apocalypse talking to his assistant Ozymandias. Ozymandias questions if Apocalypse was turning soft. Apocalypse responds by smashing Ozymandias into a wall.
We then go back to the X-Men who are trying to see if Pulse can get close enough to Apocalypse to try and drain away his powers. Unfortunately, Pulse is a coward and doesn’t know if he can do it.
Back at Apocalypse’s HQ, we see Ozymandias talking with the newest Horseman, War, who used to be Gazer. Ozymandias asks War to repay his debt to Ozymandias for saving Gazer’s life a couple of issues ago. War declines to overthrow Apocalypse for Ozymandias who then begs War not to tell Apocalypse about their conversation.
We got back to the X-Men and Ozymandias appears offering to sneak them into Apocalypse’s HQ in order to defeat him. We then go back to War telling Apocalypse about Ozymandias’ plan to overthrow him.
We then go back to Ozymandias sneaking the X-Men into Apocalypse’s HQ. He leads them right to Apocalypse in his main chamber. Some of the ex-students at Xavier’s school who have switched sides to Apocalypse stand between the X-Men and their new master. Then the issue ends with Apocalypse unveiling his newest Horseman, Death, who is none other than Gambit!
The Good: Peter Milligan has been getting better and better with each issue on the X-Men. Now, the Revolution isn’t saying this is some of the best X-Men comics ever, but Milligan is at least improving from a rather unimpressive start on the X-Men. The Apocalypse storyline has been fairly interesting.
I love the return of Sunfire as one of the Horseman. And, the Revolution absolutely loves the unveiling of Gambit as the Horseman Death. Gambit is a character that the Revolution has never found to be interesting at all. Now that Gambit has switched sides and been re-made into a Horseman, I find him to be a much more interesting character. This ending is what pushed this issue's ranking from 3 Night Girls up to 4 Night Girls. This is a great storyline and I’m interested to see where Milligan goes with this.
The art is absolutely wonderful. The Revolution loves Salvador Larocca’s art. He is a talented artist that gives the X-Men a beautiful look. Larocca’s art alone makes this an entertaining comic book to read.
The Bad: Milligan is a talented writer, but I don’t think that the X-Men is a title that best suits him. Ever since he has started his run on the X-Men, this title has just sort of meandered all around the place without a cohesive vision, direction or purpose. It feels like we are just hopping around between an odd mix of stories.
First, we concentrate on the Sentinels being at Xavier’s School, then we focus on Polaris and spend a lot of time with her and some alien force that she is communicating with and then we pop Apocalypse into the picture without any sense of importance or grandeur. It seems like Apocalypse is also without direction. This doesn’t feel like a big important storyline.
Overall, Milligan has failed to establish any prime story arcs supported by various mini story arcs. The problem with the X-Men is that you can trot out any tired story and the issue will sell just because it says X-Men on the cover. I think that makes Marvel complacent when it comes to this title.
The X-Men desperately need a unique vision with a main long term plotline supported by several smaller arcs along the way. Much like what Brubaker has done during his 16 issue run on Captain America. The X-Men just don’t have it. The X-Men may always rank high on the monthly sales lists, but don’t be fooled. That is on the name along, because X-Men is most definitely not one of the top comics in terms of actual quality.
This story in Wolverine #40 is continued in Wolverine’s new monthly title named Wolverine: Origins. Wolverine #41 will continue on with a different storyline. Yay. Just what we need. Another Wolverine title. He is already appearing in every title in the Marvel Universe as it is. Anyway, on to the review.
Writer: Daniel Way
Penciler: Javier Saltares
Inker: Mark Texeira
Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 5.
Synopsis: The issue starts with Bucky apologizing for killing Wolverine’s wife, Itsu. We then go back in time when Wolverine went to this small village in Japan to seek redemption. There, Wolverine falls in love with Itsu, marries her and gets her pregnant. To celebrate the marriage, Wolverine takes part in a ritual ceremony that involves mock fighting with the other men in the community.
During the mock fighting, an explosion occurs on a nearby mountain causing Wolverine to involuntarily extend his claws injuring one of the men. The explosion was due to Muramasa, who is an evil man who takes men and makes them weapons of destruction. That night, Bucky killed Wolverine’s wife.
After that, Wolverine left the peaceful community and joined Muramasa in order to become a weapon of pure vengeance. Bucky was sent to capture Wolverine and send him to some place in China. Bucky accomplished his mission and Wolverine was picked up and taken to central China.
We go back to present day and Wolverine tells Bucky that they still have unfinished business. Then he decides to return Bucky’s favor and tells Bucky some secret that Wolverine knew about Bucky. We don’t know what it was, but Bucky had a look of shock on his face.
The issue ends with Wolverine hooking up with Muramasa to claim a sword to use to get his revenge.
The Good: The story was solid, but not spectacular. The Revolution is interested enough in Wolverine’s past so I’ll be adding Wolverine: Origins to the Revolution’s reading list. Daniel Way is a solid writer. He doesn’t blow us away, but he is technically sound and crafts an entertaining story. He has pretty good dialogue and doesn’t need a lot of action to tell an interesting story. I definitely like how Way writes Wolverine. I think Way has a nice grasp of Logan’s character and does a nice job writing him.
I like that Marvel is slowly trying to integrate the Winter Soldier into the history of the Marvel Universe.
With Wolverine’s healing factor allowing him to live much longer than the average human makes him a neat character to write about concerning his past. With being alive for so long, a writer can place Logan in various time periods and create an interesting tapestry or back stories.
The art was well done. The Revolution is a huge Mark Texeira fan. I absolutely adore his artwork. If Texeira is doing the art, then the Revolution will probably pick up that title.
The Bad: Not too much in the way of criticism for this issue. It was a very sound issue. It only got 3 Night Girls, because the story wasn’t all that amazing. It was nice, but nothing all that fantastic. This 5 part Origins storyline is just a set up plotline for the launch of Wolverine’s second title. That would explain why the storyline has been less than impressive.
Monday, March 27, 2006
Up next is Ultimate Fantastic Four. I think that this is the most underrated title in the Ultimate Universe. As always, the Revolution looks forward to this title.
Writer: Mark Millar
Penciler: Greg Land
Inker: Matt Ryan
Rating: Night Girls 4.5 out of 5.
Synopsis: Reed went into the past and stopped the accident that gave them their powers from happening. All so he could “cure” Ben from being the Thing. Now, they love in a utopia where Thor is the President and Reed is the Vice President. Everyone on the planet has super powers. This is due to Reed’s contact with the Skrulls.
Reed used his teleportation device to beam him and the rest of the non-powered Fantastic Four across the universe and made contact with the Skrulls. The Skrulls are a very benevolent and peaceful race that gave Reed a pill that could cure all disease, aging and poverty and give people super powers.
The only person on earth who did not take the pill was Ben Grimm. He liked being a regular human. Therefore, he is now a total celebrity in America. Ben says he doesn’t want to take the pill and end up a mutated freak like Victor Von Doom.
We then see Ben hanging out with his girlfriend enjoying his celebrity status when the Super Skrull instantly appears before them and says “I don’t believe it. So that’s what that thing was. Take me back. I need to go further.” With that the Super Skrull disappears.
We then cut to the White House where Thor tells Reed that he is signing a Presidential ruling tomorrow to destroy Reed’s time machine lest it fall into hands of evil like Doom. Thor and Reed are awaiting the arrival of the Super Skrull and his Skrull diplomats. The Super Skrull appears and mentions his ability to mimic the super powers of any meta-human within 1,000 miles of him. The Super Skrull congratulates the Earth on its stunning progress since contact with the Skrulls.
We then go to later that night with the Invisible Woman going to give a gift to the Skrulls while they are all meeting in their guest quarters. The Super Skrull reveals that the pills are fake and that they have horrible secondary side effects. That the Skrulls use this type of plan to invade and conquer alien races. They have done this to thousands of worlds.
The Skrulls plan to use Reed’s teleportation device to bring their invasion fleet to earth. Invisible Woman turns invisible and listens to their plan. Suddenly, Super Skrull blasts Invisible Woman telling her that he could sense her there. He then blasts a whole in Susan’s head killing her.
At this point, all the horrid side effects of the pills hit the general populace all at once. People start decomposing. The issue ends with Super Skrull saying “Beware of Skrulls bearing gifts.”
The Good: First, Millar is doing a great job on this title. Hey Millar, see what happens when you don’t try to shove your politics down our throats? You end up with a really well written and entertaining story. Ultimate Fantastic Four is a fun ride and with Millar as the captain of this ship I can’t wait for the next issue.
Millar has a great storyline going with Reed going back into the past to prevent Ben from becoming the Thing. Initially it looked like everything was going to work out. Ben was normal and the world was turning into a Utopia. Then the Skrulls pull the swerve. I knew that the Ultimate version of the Skrulls couldn’t be peaceful and benevolent. Now we have to deal with Susan being killed and the world falling apart due to the horrible side effects of the Skrull pill. Millar just keeps the hits coming with this title. He has exceptional talent at blending an interesting story, strong dialogue and great action.
Second, let’s look at the other reason why Ultimate Fantastic Four is such a great title. The art. The Revolution absolutely loves the art. Land and Ryan are phenomenal. The combination of Land’s pencils and Ryan’s inks are just beautiful. These two guys should never be allowed to work with any other artist! They should always be a team. Together, Land and Ryan create some exceptional art. The look is so gorgeous. The scenery, the people, the emotion. Fantastic. The Revolution just cannot praise the art of Ultimate Fantastic Four enough. I would absolutely love to see Land and Ryan provide the art for the Legion of Super-Heroes. I think they do the futuristic Sci-Fi look very well.
The Bad: Usually, the Revolution doesn’t have any trouble finding “The Bad” with an issue. However, this one is the exception. This was just a great issue. I really don’t have any complaints at all.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
The Revolution was totally impressed with Ed Brubaker’s work on Captain America, that we weren’t that upset when Bendis left Daredevil once we found out that Brubaker would be taking over the title. But, just because you love a writer on one title, it doesn’t mean you will love them on another one. Bendis on the New Avengers is a good example of that.
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Penciller: Michael Lark
Inker: Stefano Gaudiano
Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 5.
Synopsis: Foggy Nelson is dead. Matt is let out of jail to attend the funeral. Matt has now been pushed over the edge. After the funeral, Matt goes back to his jail cell and starts to totally lose it. He has a talk with his father in him mind. Matt tells his dad that he has lost everyone: his dad, Karen and now Foggy. It is time for vengeance. Matt’s cell door opens and the leader of the black inmates offers him the name of the guard who let the killer get to Foggy in exchange for Daredevil working for him. Matt tells him no and that he will find out that information on his own.
We cut to the courtroom where the judge rules that Matt should be taken out of solitary and placed back into the general populace at Ryker’s Island. On Matt’s first day back he kicks the crap out of the Owl for stepping into his cell. Matt then asks him for the name of the person who ordered Foggy to be killed. The Owl says he doesn’t know who it was.
We then cut to a person masquerading as Daredevil taking out some drug dealers. After beating up the drug dealers, the fake Daredevil finds the dead body of a prison guard.
The issue ends with Ben Urich having a drink with Dakota North. Ben tells Dakota that the prison guard that set up Foggy to be killed was found dead by someone claiming to be Daredevil.
The Good: There is no doubt that Brubaker is a talented writer. He has a firm grasp of Matt Murdock’s character. Brubaker also writes a great Ben Urich. The story itself is great. The dialogue is well done. Brubaker does a great job blending action with story so the issue doesn’t seem too reliant on action or too “talky.” Brubaker is a master of creating depth to his characters and to evoking plenty of emotion from the reader.
I’m interested to see if Matt totally slips to the Darkside and just starts taking out criminals left and right. This imposter Daredevil is a neat plotline. The Revolution’s guess would be either Iron Fist or Peter Parker is masquerading as Daredevil.
The art is perfect for this title. This is not the Revolution’s favorite style of art and we would definitely not like it if it were on just any title. However, Daredevil is different and this art is a perfect marriage to the tone and feel of the story.
The Bad: Now, don’t be mistaken, the Revolution really enjoys dark and heavy storylines. However, if done too long or too high of a degree, they can become too much and lose their affect on the reader completely. I am afraid that Daredevil is rapidly approaching that stage.
I have enjoyed the “deconstruction” of Daredevil that Bendis started several years ago and that Brubaker is clearly continuing with his run on this title. But, at some point is just gets to be too much. And when that happens, the reader just feels the story has become too over the top and the serious tone that the writer is trying to achieve becomes more of a parody. The Revolution is very close to feeling that with Daredevil.
I have huge problems with killing off Foggy Nelson. A super-hero is only as strong or as interesting as his supporting cast and Foggy is a huge supporting cast member for Matt Murdock. One that is so important, that I think his death will negatively impact this title. Also, I think Foggy deserved better. He went out like a total bitch. And it seems like we just breezed over his passing, his funeral and just went right on with figuring out how to save Matt and find out who is the fake Daredevil. Foggy is more than just a speed bump in a storyline.
At this point, with all the massive losses that Daredevil has sustained under Kevin Smith, Brian Michael Bendis and now Ed Brubaker, there is no possible way he can end up anything other than a psycho. This “deconstruction” of Daredevil and this dark storyline has been so extreme and has lasted for so long that it won’t be realistic or believable when Matt is “saved.” This is the only obvious end to the story since Marvel will not allow Daredevil to become another Punisher-type character.
It is starting to be laughable how much misery they are piling up on Matt Murdock. And, I don’t think that is the reaction that Marvel wants to get from this title.
Superman #650 is another of DC’s “One Year later” issues. Now, as the Revolution has stated in an earlier post, we have never been fans of the Big Red S. Having said that, Kurt Busiek and Geoff Johns are two of the Revolution’s favorite writers. So, with that in mind, we decided to give Superman #650 a try. Surely Busiek and Johns will get us hooked on Superman, right? Maybe…
Writers: Kurt Busiek & Geoff Johns
Penciller & Inker: Pete Woods
Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 5.
Synopsis: The issue starts with Clark and Lois watching a Superman retrospective on a big screen in Metropolis Park. It has been a year since anyone has seen Superman. Jimmy Olsen talks to Clark and Lois and is clearly upset by Superman having disappeared for the past year.
We cut to Lex Luthor leaving the court house after getting off scott-free from over 120 criminal allegations. The crowd turns ugly. The people of Metropolis that once loved him now hate him. Lex vows to have vengeance on Metropolis and the people who have turned their backs on him.
We then go to the Daily Planet where Perry White comments how Clark has been much more focused the past year and writing great articles. Jimmy seems depressed. Lois then tells Clark about K. Russell Abernathy who is doing R&D on using Kryptonite to develop a new energy source.
We then go to Abernathy’s lab where all of his animal tests are failing. There is a sudden explosion during their test on a monkey and Abernathy is now a being made of Green Kryptonite. Abernathy starts destroying everything around him. Abernathy says that he feels “great!” Clark hits a signal on his watch and the Superman Logo flashes.
Suddenly Supergirl (Oh man, the Revolution just cannot avoid this chick!) swoops in to answer Clark's call. Every time Supergirl makes contact with Abernathy it hurts her skin. Supergirl then punches Abernathy into a garbage truck with some lead in its body and uses her heat vision to melt the metal around him and then super breath to cool it in order to bind this Kryptonite Man.
At this point, a couple of goons grab Clark and pull him into an alley. Lex appears and tells Clark that he doesn’t appreciate all the negative stories about him. Because of those stories, the Board of Directors of Lexcorp is buying him out due to his negative “public profile.” Lex tells Clark to stop writing the articles or else he may hurt Lois. Lex then punches Clark a couple of times and Clark spits up blood and has a couple of broken ribs. Lex leaves and the issue ends.
The Good: First, Peter Woods is a good artist. His art doesn’t blow me away, but it is very solid art. His style suits Superman very well with the traditional old school look to it. I think Woods does a great job capturing the bright feel of Metropolis. His Clark looks just like he should: A large corn fed Midwestern dude.
Kurt Busiek and Geoff Johns do a nice job with the story. This is definitely a “One Year Later” issue that delivers the goods! Lex gets off of all the criminal charges against him and has lost this own company and the love of Metropolis. Superman has been gone for one year and, evidently, Clark no longer has super powers. Now that is how you deliver a “One Year Later” issue. Shake things up a bit and get our curiosity going. The Revolution has never even read this title and we are already interested in where this story is headed.
I like Busiek and Johns’ version of Lois and Clark. I still like the Lex Luthor from Smallville much more than the comic book version. I like how Busiek and Johns are making Jimmy Olsen so depressed over Superman being gone.
I think that Busiek and Johns have done an excellent job piquing my interest in this title. They have definitely decided to shake things up in the “Superman Universe” and that has been necessary for a while. It is about time that Superman becomes intriguing and that people want to buy this title. I like the mystery and the big changes that Busiek and Johns are bringing to this title. They have interested the Revolution enough that we will stick around for a while to see if they can make Superman a title worth reading.
The Bad: First, let’s go back to the art. I don’t know whose idea it was to have Clark running around wearing a 1950’s hat and his High School letterman’s jacket. Very strange and not really a good look. And Lois’ soccer mom/dyke hair cut just has to go. No way would a hottie as fashionable as her sport such an ugly hairstyle.
Now, even though Johns and Busiek created a compelling “One Year Later” issue, the Revolution is still not totally sold on Superman. Maybe it is the Revolution that is missing it. Maybe it is all us. Maybe we just don’t get Superman and his whole concept. Clark just seems so boring and so white bread. He also seems really old or, at least, antiquated. It is really pretty hard to get interested in his character.
I found myself more interested in Jimmy Olsen than Clark Kent. Lex is cool, but still not as cool as the Smallville version. I wish Lex could be shown with more depth than just a one dimensional raving madman. Oh yeah, we almost forgot something. Supergirl sucks.
It is possible that the Revolution will never “get” Superman. But, Busiek and Johns are spinning enough of an interesting tale to keep us reading as long as they are on this book. Maybe…
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #16 in another of DC’s “One Year Later” issues, well in this case it is 1001 years later. The Revolution has been waiting for this issue. Make no mistake, that the Legion of Super-Heroes has been the Revolution’s favorite title ever since we were little revolutionaries back in grade school. Even though DC and continually raped and ruined this title over the past 15 years, the Legion is still dear to our hearts.
Generally, the Revolution likes to spread change through love and humor, but we don’t live in Che Guevara’s Bunker for nothing. Sometimes a little violence is necessary to bring change. The Revolution has some Orange Goblin cranking on the Bunker’s sound system and is ready to bring the pain.
Writer: Mark Waid
Penciller: Barry Kitson
Inker: Mick Gray
Rating: 2 Night Girls out of 5.
Synopsis: This issue starts with some conservative adult complaining about the Legionnaires outside of their building. He goes outside and berates the Legionnaires for being flashy outspoken young ‘ens. The conservative adult then rallies all of the neighbors in the apartment building and they come outside like an angry mob. They denounce the Legionnaires as being delinquents and rebels. The Legionnaires respond with a bunch of lame “old geezer” cracks.
We then cut to an unidentified celestial object (UCO) heading toward earth. All they know is that it is humanoid size and shape and is wearing the Superman symbol. *groan*
We then cut to Cosmic Boy and Colossal Boy building the new Legion HQ. Cos mentions that it is time for an election for a new Legion leader. Cos then gets the distress call about the UCO and….We cut to space where a team of Legionnaires is waiting to intercept the UCO. The team consists of 9 Legionnaires.
The object heading toward earth turns out not to be a humanoid but a giant weapon of some type. Star Boy and Light lass try to tear it up into smaller pieces. Element Lad tries to transmute as much of it as he can. Lighting Lad tries to blast of chunks of the object. It is up to Colossal Boy to catch the remaining large chunk of the weapon.
Unfortunately, it is too big for Colossal Boy and it blasts though him and heads on to earth. It damages Colossal Boys flight ring so now he can’t breathe in space and none of the Legionnaires can help him. Suddenly, Colossal Boy is whisked off to earth and saved. The same blur then in one punch takes out the rest of the giant object about to pound the city. It is Supergirl.
The issue ends with Supergirl telling Cosmic Boy that she is, in fact, Kara Zor-El aka Supergirl and that she is real. But, she tells Cosmic Boy that the Legion of Super-Heroes does not exist. That she is dreaming them. *groan*
The Good: Barry Kitson. That is about it. I love Barry Kitson’s artwork. He is a fantastic artist who always does a great job. If Kitson is drawing a comic, then I’ll probably collect it. Kitson’s art is perfect for the Legion’s futuristic Sci Fi world. If it weren’t for Kitson’s art, this title would have gotten a 0 Night Girls out of 5.
The Bad: Where the hell does the Revolution start? First, the Revolution is usually a big fan of Waid’s writing. However, his stint on the Legion of Super-Heroes has been less than spectacular. The entire teenagers v. crusty adults storyline is just getting old and boring. The entire scene between the apartment building tenants the Legionnaires was just stupid.
My other complaint is Waid’s version of Ultra Boy. I know he was never a rocket scientist, but c’mon, Waid makes him dumber than a brain dead wrestler.
Now comes the biggest complaint. Superbimbo. This issue proves exactly my biggest complaint with having the “little red S” on this title. She makes the rest of the Legion irrelevant. The team of Legionnaires sent to stop the giant missile was comprised of Colossal Boy, Ultra Boy, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Chameleon, Star Boy, Element Lad, Light Lass and Karate Kid. Not only is it 9 Legionnaires, but these are some pretty damn powerful characters. However, NONE of them can stop the giant missile. NONE of them can save Colossal Boy. However, Supergirl can swoop in and save Colossal Boy AND take out the giant missile with one punch. All without breaking a sweat.
What the hell? Why bother even having the Legion in the first place. Just trot out Supergirl and let her take care of everything. The Revolution’s biggest problem with the “little red S” back when it was Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes is the same one now with Supergirl. The Legion just becomes a mere afterthought. It is all about Superboy/girl. Even power Legionnaires just come off as useless once you have a Superboy/girl on the team. And it only took the FIRST issue to prove the Revolution right.
And this entire dream storyline sounds lame. That Supergirl is dreaming them. Ugggh. The Revolution wishes WE were dreaming this horrific issue and that the Legion of Super-Heroes did not have their title hijacked by Superbimbo.
The Revolution sees absolutely nothing positive coming from this new direction. DC has demoted the Legion back to its status of when it was a back up story for Superboy. This is a huge disappointment.
Once again, DC shows that it has no damn clue how to handle the Legion. The stories are not anywhere near as complex or as compelling as they were back in the 80’s or 90’s. This issue read like the old 60’s Adventure stories without the campy humor and kitsch value or Curt Swan’s classic artwork.
Friday, March 24, 2006
First, the cover art you see here is not the cover that DC chose to use with this issue. Batman #651 is another “One Year Later” title. This issue continues the 8 part story arc that started in Detective Comics 817. Evidently, this storyline is going to cross over between both Batman and Detective Comics. Normally, the Revolution despises crossovers that force you to purchase titles you do not normally collect. However, for something as large as “One Year Later,” the Revolution is willing to forgive DC this time.
Writer: James Robinson
Penciller: Don Kramer
Inker: Keith Champagne
Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 5.
Synopsis: We start with the civilian perspective of the end of Detective Comics #817, when the Bat Signal was cranked up for the first time in year. We read various the thoughts of various civilians, including returning character Jason Bard, as they see the Bat Signal.
We then cut to Batman and Robin entering the Vanguard Building. They split up and look for Ivy. They both fight their way through some deadly jacked up plants. Batman finds Ivy first. She has all the CEO’s captured in the boardroom. Ivy then captures Batman with some of her ivy plants. Ivy goes on her rant about how these Corporations are destroying the environment and she is going to stop them.
Ivy also says that she no longer views Batman as an enemy and her goal is no longer to defeat him, but rather to protect the earth in order to create a better world. Batman then uses a pesticide gas to kill the plants binding him. Batman tells Ivy that Robin has now gotten to the building’s water system and placed a powerful defoliant in the sprinkler system. Batman tells Ivy to surrender and she does.
The issue ends with Batman and Robin back at Commissioner Gordon’s office. Gordon gets a call that the villain, Magpie has been killed.
The Good: Robinson continues to his story at a nice pace. I love how there was no dialogue except for 5 very short sentences in the 11 pages starting when Batman and Robin arrived up to when Batman finds Ivy. It made the breaking into the building and fighting their way through the building much cooler than if there was a bunch of unnecessary chatter.
Robinson has a good handle on Batman’s cold, calculating and cunning personality. It really shows through in the final scene with Ivy. Robinson’s dialogue is also well done. Batman only uses enough words necessary to convey his thoughts and no more. Robin is a bit of a chatterbox and has more one-liners. I also like Robinson’s Gordon.
The art is very nice. I like Kramer’s pencils and Champagne does a nice job inking. The art is clean and detailed. Kramer definitely draws a good Batman. Very traditional and nothing freakish or exaggerated as Batman may sometimes be drawn.
The Bad: Even though I like where Robinson is going with this story, Batman #651 did not live up to the strong start of Detective Comics #817. The story was ramped up and running in Detective Comics that it got to Batman #651 and just kind of stalled a little bit. It just felt like a lag in the story. Compared to how much happened in Detective Comics it felt like not much happened at all in this issue. However, I’m still interested in Robinson’s story and this issue did not dampen my enthusiasm for Detective Comics #818 to read the 3rd part of this story.
Detective Comics #817 is another one of DC Comics’ “One Year Later” issues. So far, these “One Year Later” issues have taken a savage beating here at the Revolution. Can Detective Comics #817 turn the tide and actually impress the Revolution? Let’s find out.
Writer: James Robinson
Penciler: Leonard Kirk
Inker: Andy Clarke
Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 5.
Synopsis: It is one year later and Commissioner Gordon can’t sleep. Not until he gets a phone call. Gordon tells the unidentified person that he is glad to hear his voice. Gordon then gets off the phone and sleeps likes a baby.
We then cut to the KGBeast (I’m not making this stuff up, people) who is about to make kill someone. A shadowy figure attacks KGBeast and drops the KGBeast off the roof of a building. The shadowy figure then says he is Gotham’s protector.
The police arrive at the scene of the crime and figure that KGBeast actually died not from the fall from the roof, but from two gun shots to his head.
We then cut to the figure that beat up KGBeast who is now beating up a bank robber. That figure is Harvey Dent with his face restored to normal. Harvey is talking to a voice with no body. The voice says it has been a year and it is time for Harvey to stop fighting crime. His work is done.
We cut back to Commissioner Gordon who we find out was reinstated 3 months ago. It has been 6 months since Harvey Bullock made his “discoveries” and 12 months since Batman went away. Gordon gets a call from the Mayor that Poison Ivy has taken over the Vanguard Building.
Gordon then takes a long walk up to the top of his building. He uncovers the Bat Signal and fires it up. Cue a sweet two page splash shot of Batman and Robin landing on the Bat Signal. Gordon tells Batman that Ivy has taken over an office building to capture some CEO’s of large industrial corporations who are raping the environment.
Gordon sympathizes with Ivy’s crusade, but says she is going about it the wrong way. Evidently, Ivy is also much more powerful than before. Batman and Gordon talk about the past year and how it was a horrible and terrible event. Then Batman and Robin take off to fight Ivy and Gordon stands there watching them saying that he is going to sleep well tonight.
The Good: It is about time! I thought that all of these “One Year Later” issues were going to strike out. Not so fast, my friends. Detective Comics #817 delivered the goods. I loved the mood and the feel of the entire issue. You really felt like it had been a whole year since you had seen Batman or any of these characters. Robinson did a great job getting the reader to buy into the “One Year Later” storyline.
It is great to see Gordon back as Commissioner. It was cool to see the Bat Signal fired up. I was totally intrigued by a “healed” Harvey Dent who has been fighting crime. And just who was he talking to? Also, who is the murderer killing these villains. We know it wasn’t Harvey. Or do we? Batman is still the same old hard-ass that we know and love despite what has happened the past year. It was great to see the mutual love and respect that Batman and Gordon have for each other.
This was a great issue. Robinson did an excellent job creating a compelling storyline on many different mysteries. What happened to Batman for the past year? What did Bullock discover 6 months ago? What is up with this new and improved Harvey Dent? Who was the person talking to Harvey? Who is the killer knocking off villains? So much to build from that I am really looking forward to this current Batman storyline.
The art was solid. Kirk and Clarke did a nice job. They don’t blow you away with their art, but it is better than average. Plus, they draw a pretty good Batman. The characters have plenty of emotion and expression. Plus, the art fits the dark mood of the story.
The Bad: Really not that much. Yeah, the art could have been a little better. Maybe nobody will really care about a killer knocking off a bunch of C-list villains. But, overall, there really wasn’t much to complain about. If the art had been just a little bit better than this issue could have gotten one of the rare and coveted 5 out of 5 Night Girls.
The “New” Avengers is turning out to be a solid title, but has definitely fallen short of the lofty expectations that Marvel built up when they re-started this title from #1. I’m not really to sure if this title is getting better or if it is merely treading water. Anyway, grab a malted beverage and read the review.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Mike Deodato, Jr.
Inker: Joe Pimentel
Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 5.
Synopsis: The issue starts in some ghetto area of Detroit. The Avengers appear on this desolate scene to the surprise of the locals and the media. They start helping the residents and beating up the criminals lurking in the neighborhood. The media comes to the scene and asks Captain America why they are in their Detroit Ghetto. Captain America directs all the questions to Luke Cage.
Cage says that when he joined the Avengers he wanted them to do more than fight aliens or super villains. He wanted them to tackle street crime during their “down time.” It is based on something called “impact police work” where city cops flood an area of a really bad neighborhood and after a week or two then move them to another neighborhood and do the same thing. The aftereffect is that the crime in the neighborhood stays down since the criminals don’t know when the cops would come back. So, the Avengers now do “impact super-hero work.”
The Avengers then get a distress call from SHIELD. The unknown fiery alien from last issue has just wiped out all of Alpha Flight. The Avengers plus Ms. Marvel or Warbird or whatever the hell she is being called this week, arrive at the scene. Captain America tries to get the Sentry to join them, but he is having one of his “bad days” and won’t respond to Captain America. (Schizos are so unreliable.)
Iron Man goes to engage the fiery alien and try to talk to talk to him. The fiery guy says his name is Michael and before the alien can say anything else, Carol Danvers pounds the guy. Damn dumb blondes. There is a sudden explosion and the issue ends with Carol Danvers looking like she did when she was Binary.
The Good: Bendis turned in a solid issue, but not spectacular. This has pretty much been his track records with the New Avengers. Again, Bendis does come up with good dialogue since that is his strength. I absolutely loved the “Super-Hero Impact Work” storyline. I think it makes the Avengers more in touch with reality. A super-hero team should exist to do more than just fight super-villains that only exist to fight the super-heroes. But, this can’t be just a throw away plotline. Bendis has to make this a re-occurring theme in the title in order for this to not seem like a total waste of a plotline.
I like that Bendis is using the fact that Peter Parker is actually a science genius. It seems that aspect of Peter’s character was lost a while ago. I’m glad Bendis is once again playing up this aspect of Peter. It makes Peter more developed and interesting rather than just being the silly jokester. What was cool about Peter Parker was that he was a total braniac like Reed Richards and Tony Stark, but still viewed himself as an “average joe” and, unlike the other braniacs; Peter has a sense of humor.
Lastly, Mike Deodato’s art absolutely rocks! The Revolution is a huge fan of Deodato’s stuff. His male characters look tough and his women characters look hot. He puts plenty of detail into his art. His characters all have plenty of emotion and expressions. Pimentel’s inks go well with Deodato’s art and give it wonderful depth and texture.
The Bad: The plot seems to be lumbering on like a lazy whale. Honestly, almost nothing happened in this issue. I don’t mind some set up or a gradual build up to a big issue. I don’t mind plotlines that move at a measured pace. However, this plot is barely moving at all. I like a writer to take his time, but Bendis really needs to pick up the pace just a little bit. This almost felt like a wasted issue. You had 7 pages spent hanging in the ‘hood. 2 pages recapping last issue. 6 pages dedicating to just flying to the alien’s location and preparing to engage him. Then, just 7 pages of contact with the alien.
While I loved the “Super-Hero Impact Work,” I cringed that it had to be Luke Cage’s idea and that he was the one that had to explain it to the reporter. Once again, if it is “urban” then only a black character can be involved. Only a black character would care about helping out the ghettos of our country. It is just so stereotypical. If it is science related then trot out the white guys like Tony Stark, Peter Parker, Reed Richards, etc. But, if it is “urban” in anyway, shape or form, then bring out the black super-hero. C’mon Bendis, you are more creative than that.
Finally, all the members of Alpha Flight better not be dead. I’m over Bendis and his obsession with big body counts. If Bendis doesn’t like a character then they must die! Ooookay.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
The Revolution is expecting a nice little batch of comics to read here at the Bunker. It is a pretty small week for DC. All the Revolution will be getting is:
Legion of Super Heroes #16
On the other hand, it is a monster week for Marvel with the Revolution getting:
Amazing Spider-Man #530
Captain America #16
New Avengers #17
Squadron Supreme #1
Ultimate Fantastic Four #28
On the manga front, we have:
Full Metal Achemist
Whew! We are going to need to load up on a lot of fried plantains here at the Bunker to snack on while we read this week's comics. Here are the issues that the Revolution is most interested in reading:
Legion of Super Heroes #16. Yeah, the Revolution knows that the title is "Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes," but it will be a cold day in hell when we refer to the comic using that title. I'm interested to see how much this issue is going to suck and if DC is effectively killing the title with this move.
Batman #651. This is another of the "One Year Later" issues. Can this issue follow Nightwing in reversing the trend of lackluster "One Year Later" issues? The Revolution thinks so.
Captain America #16. Because Brubaker is kicking so much damn ass on that title!!
Squadron Supreme #1. This is interesting. Marvel has tried to breath new life into this team several times with not much success. Can Marvel's version of the JLA finally develop from a cheap parody of DC's premiere team into an interesting team with their own identity? We shall see.
Posted by Rokk Krinn at 1:47 PM
Newsarama.com also posted the Top 100 Graphic Novels Sales List for February, 2006. The Revolution looks at this rather than a pure manga sales list in order to see how manga sales are doing in comparison with trade paperback and graphic novel sales of the domestic companies like Marvel and DC. The highest rated manga is Trigun Maximum at #16 by Darkhorse. Viz’s highest rated title is Rurouni Kenshin at #17.
Darkhorse placed 1 manga title in the Top 25. Viz placed two manga titles in the Top 25. The second being Bleach at #25.
Tokyo Pop placed 6 titles in the Top 50. Viz placed 3 titles in the Top 50. Darkhorse placed 3 manga titles in the Top 50. Random House placed 1 manga title in the Top 50. Image place 1 manga title in the Top 50.
Tokyo Pop placed 11 manga titles in the Top 75. Viz placed 5 manga titles in the Top 75. Darkhorse placed 3 manga titles in the Top 75. Random House placed 2 manga titles in the Top 75. Dr. Masters placed 1 manga title in the Top 75.
Tokyo Pop placed 14 manga titles in the Top 100. Viz placed 9 manga titles in the Top 100. Darkhorse placed 5 manga titles in the Top 100. Random House placed 3 manga titles in the Top 100. Image placed 2 manga titles in the Top 100. Dr. Masters placed 1 manga title in the Top 100.
February, 2006 was a big month for Tokyo Pop who dominated the other companies on the sales list. Viz was the next best company, but some of their heavy hitter titles were not released in February which probably explains why Tokyo Pop owned Viz in February.
Posted by Rokk Krinn at 11:42 AM
Newsarama.com posted the February 2006 sales charts. The Revolution likes to review the sales charts just to see how each company is doing financially. The Revolution absolutely does not think that a comic’s sales ranks is any indication whatsoever of the actual quality of the title. A good example of that is that Supergirl appears twice in the top 10 as does Uncanny X-Men. Uncanny X-Men hasn’t been good since I don’t know when. It has been that long. And Supergirl just sucks. Period. Having said that, sales means everything, so in order to gauge what direction a company is going to go in, we think that examining the monthly sales charts is an absolute must.
The balance of power in the world of comics is slowly shifting. Marvel is no longer just kicking DC’s ass in the Top 10 sales. Both Marvel and DC had 5 titles apiece in the Top 10. It should be noted that Supergirl and Green Lantern both placed two issues apiece in the Top 10. Marvel placed Astonishing X-Men (#1), New Avengers (#2), Ultimate Wolverine v. Hulk (#5), Amazing Spider-Man (#6) and Uncanny X-Men (#10). DC placed Justice (#3), Supergirl (#4 and #9) and Green Lantern (#7 and #8). Marvel gets the nod as the winner in the Top 10 since they placed 3 in the top 5 and placed 5 different titles in the Top 10 while DC placed 2 titles in the Top 5 and placed only 3 titles in the Top 10. Justic is a great title, and even though Alex Ross can be annoying, The Revolution loves his art. The Revolution is truly revolted that Supergirl is ranked twice in the Top 10. That is a testament to the lack of taste by the comic book reading masses. Luckily, the Revolution is here to shake up the status quo and rip readers from their stupor so they no longer waste their hard earned money on crap like Supergirl. The Revolution does read all of the other titles in the Top 10. The fact that Uncanny X-Men is in the Top 10 is truly a testament to the X-Men franchise. Uncanny X-Men is pretty much crap, yet on name alone, it can still garner a Top 10 finish. Impressive and yet disheartening.
Marvel placed 15 titles in the Top 25 while DC managed 10 titles in the Top 25. Marvel placed 8 titles between 11-20. DC placed only 2 titles between 11-20. This is where Marvel is just killing DC. In the Top 25, Marvel only repeated one title, X-Men who came in at #11, #12, and #25. Marvel placed 13 different titles in the Top 25 compared to DC’s 8 different titles in the Top 25.
Marvel placed 22 titles in the Top 50. DC placed 17 titles in the Top 50. The only independent in the Top 50 was Red Sonja by Dynamic at #49. That is depressing. Just like the Revolution hates the Duocracy of the American political system, we also have the Duocracy of Marvel and DC’s oppressive regimes in the comic industry.
Marvel placed 31 titles in the Top 75. DC placed 28 titles in the Top 75. IDW placed 2 titles in the Top 75, Transformers Infiltration and Transformers Beasts Wars. Dynamic placed 2 titles in the top 75. Darkhorse placed 2 titles in the Top 75, Conan at #64 and Hellboy at #71.
The Revolution really only focuses on the Top 100 since that is where the big boys place. Anything outside of the Top 100 is a title that Marvel or DC would probably cancel. Marvel placed 43 titles in the Top 100. DC placed 38 titles in the Top 100. Darkhorse placed 4 titles in the Top 100. IDW placed 2 titles in the Top 100. Dynamic placed 2 titles in the Top 100. Image placed 1 title in the Top 100, Spawn at #77. Ha! Remember when Spawn was actually good and had great sales ratings? Remember when Image used to dominate the Top 25 sales list? Those days are long gone. What is distressing is that inferior titles like Supergirl, Uncanny X-Men and Son of M are selling better than superior titles like Captain America.
It seems that DC still has an up hill battle. Marvel is still dominating the Top 25 sales. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are putting out better titles. I think a lot of what DC is putting out is flying under the radar since so many fans automatically believe Marvel is better since they were actually better than DC for so many years. Readers should really give DC a chance. What should really be alarming DC is that their two big characters are not selling very well. The highest rated Superman title was Superman at #23. The highest rated Batman title was Batman at #21. When DC’s two heavy hitters are Supergirl and Green Lantern, then you know there are problems. I think Supergirl will eventually fall out of the Top 10. I do think that Green Lantern has the potential to be a consistent Top 10-15 title. If DC can just get Batman, Superman, Flash, JLA and another title like Wonder Woman, Nightwing, JSA or Teen Titans up into the Top 15 then they could really challenge Marvel for control of the comic world.
Posted by Rokk Krinn at 10:34 AM
Monday, March 20, 2006
Smallville is a monster hit here at the Bunker. Every Thursday, I’m on the rotating love bed, popcorn in hand and ready for my Smallville fix. The Revolution has been addicted to Smallville ever since its first episode.
As everyone knows, Aquaman is one of the CW’s new shows. The CW being the love child between CBS and Warner Bros. designed to take the place of UPN and the WB. Like Smallville, the name of the new Aquaman show will be the place where he hails from: Mercy Reef.
Now, why do I think this is going to be a good show? Because, the same people that brought us Smallville are doing this Aquaman show. Now, I have grown up hating the Big Red S. I have never thought anything about Superman was even remotely interesting. But, when I saw teasers for Smallville, I pushed back my plate of yuca, leaned back in the Bunker's barcalounger and decided, “Hmm, this show might have potential.” And sure enough, Smallville is the Revolution’s favorite show. Smallville made me get into and really like a character I never liked before. I like how Smallville update Clark Kent. They made him more human. More complex and easier to identify with than ever before. They made Lex Luthor far more complex and interesting rather than some one dimensional maniacal evil genius.
So, because Mercy Reef is going to be done by the Smallville creators, I believe that they will be able to once again re-invent an aging icon into something modern and interesting. Like Superman, I have never liked Aquaman. Face it, he is pretty lame. He swims and talks to fish. End of story. To be in a comic, it means you must have an underwater villain, the story in the water or have some contrived plotline to get him into the water. That makes him somewhat limited. Aquaman fighting in space? Aquaman fighting street crime? Not so compelling. But, I do think that Aquaman has potential. There is no doubt that he is an iconic character. Even people who have never read comics may not know uberpopular Wolverine, but they will know Aquaman. I think Aquaman ranks just below Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Spider-Man and the Hulk on a list of Icons.
With the new Aquaman comic book by talented Kurt Busiek and this new Aquaman television show, this just might be the fish guy’s year. I definitely applaud DC’s effort tin trying to re-energize an old and slight tired character rather than giving up on him all together. Or foisting some minority character that can talk to fish and swim under water on us as the “new” and “improved” Aquaman like they have done with some other characters. *cough* Blue Beetle *cough*
Sunday, March 19, 2006
All right, the Revolution thought it was time to give some love to manga. The Revolution loves to read manga as much as American comic books. Our reviews are going to be slightly different for manga. First, since a manga volume is waaaay longer than a single comic book, we definitely are not going to give as much detail or depth in the synopsis of the review. However, The Revolution will still rate each manga volume and give you plenty of comments. The first manga that we wanted to review is the Revolution’s favorite manga: Ultimate Muscle: The Kinnikuman Legacy.
I’ll go ahead and give the Revolution’s followers a little information on Kinnikuman, but for more detailed info check out the links section for the AKIA website. Some may remember the M.U.S.C.L.E. toy line from the 1980’s that was brought over by Mattel. They were Kinnikuman toys from Japan, however, only the toys were brought to America and not the storyline. So, Mattel changed the names and gave the toy line a different background and storyline.
Kinnikuman was a manga and anime in the 1980’s that centered around a character called Kinnikuman or in English “Muscle Man.” His real name was Suguru Kinnikuman. He was originally a parody of Ultraman. However, after several volumes, Kinnikuman became a superhuman wrestler. Good super humans would fight evil superhumans in the wrestling ring with the control of the world at stake. Kinnikuman was generally a cowardly idiot who became the ultimate superhuman wrestler and matured into a might champion who still acted like an idiot on occasion.
Ultimate Muscle is the second manga starring Suguru Kinnikuman’s son Mantaro Kinnikuman. Or Mantaro Muscle as they translate it for English. Mantaro’s superhuman name is Kid Muscle. This manga follows him trying to follow in his father’s footsteps to become the greatest superhuman wrestler and to defeat all evil superhumans.
The Ultimate Muscle anime was dubbed by 4Kids and aired on the FoxBox for two seasons. It was pretty funny, but lacked the adult themes and the brutal violence of the manga. After the FoxBox cancelled the Ultimate Muscle anime, Viz licensed the manga and started printing it under their Shonen Jump Advanced label.
The Revolution will tell you up front that Ultimate Muscle is not Neon Genesis Evangelion or Ghost In The Shell. Ultimate Muscle is more absurdist. This manga’s strength lies in the outlandish characters that Yudetamago create. The stories don’t try to have any pseudo science as far as how the technology or powers of these various characters work. It is a very fantastical manga. It is just meant to be an enjoyable fanciful ride. Don’t bother trying to think while reading this manga. Just sit back and enjoy the unusual characters and the nonstop action.
Creative Team: Yudetamago. It means “boiled egg in Japanese. It is the pen name for the artists Yoshinori Nakai and Takashi Shimada who together do the story and art for the manga.
Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 5.
Synopsis: Ultimate Muscle Vol. 11 continues Kid Muscle’s “Fire Challenge” where he must take on the three deadly members of No Respect. The challenge is designed to test Kid Muscle to see if he can tap into “The Fire” which is a super power that his father wielded. Kid Muscle can only temporarily display that power. Kid Muscle has a Soul Lantern that displays how much “power” he possesses. Each time he can beat one of the members Kid Muscle’s Soul Lantern will burn stronger showing the increase in his power.
In the past volume, Kid Muscle already defeated the first member of No Respect, Forkolossus. In Vol. 11 continues Kid Muscle’s fight against the second member of No Respect: Hanzo. Hanzo is one sick bastard. He has a Japanese demon mask and a Gene Simmons tongue. His right arm can morph into a blade that can cut through anything. He also has “Origami” attacks where he can create a giant pinwheel of death to slice up his opponents. Hanzo can also create a puppet out of the ring floor and use it to attack his opponent.
The fight between Hanzo and Kid Muscle is plenty bloody and violent. During the match, Kid Muscle overcomes his own cowardice and to channel “The Fire” in order to make a dramatic come back. The match ends with Kid Muscle crushing Hanzo.
Next up for Kid Muscle is the final member of No Respect: Lone Bone Cold. Kid Muscle is transported to an Okinawa beach where the match will take place. Of course, instead of training, Kid Muscle decides to party with some of his Muscle League (Think the JLA) friends in the local Karaoke Bars. The partying includes a fake wrestling match between some dude and a hot chick. Plenty of adult humor ensues with the guy grabbing her boobs and putting his head in her crotch. Like the moron, Kid Muscle hops into the ring and wants to fight the girl. To make up from ruing the show, Kid Muscle ends up allowing a regular human to step in the ring to fight a superhuman and to win free drinks for 1 year if they can beat the superhuman. One of the Muscle Leaguers, Gyro, beats the first contestant. Then Lone Bone Cold appears and gets in the ring with Gyro. Bone Cold ends up performing a stretch move that tears Gyro’s ribcage out of his body. He then leaves telling Kid Muscle to get ready for more of the same.
Comments: This was another great volume of Ultimate Muscle. This manga just keeps getting better and better. I absolutely love the manga version far more than the 4Kids cartoon. And it seems that each volume keeps getting more and more violent. Yudetamago will never be confused with great writers, but they do know how to craft an entertaining action packed story that is also very well paced. Their art is very solid. It is a lot better than many more popular manga titles like Initial D, Eyeshield 21, Hunter x Hunter, GTO and St. Frog just to name a few.
Hanzo is a great villain. I really enjoyed the match between Kid Muscle and Hanzo. Plenty of action and very well paced. Lone Bone Cold looks pretty interesting. He is definitely one nasty snake of a villain. The scene where he first tears off Gyro’s ears and then rips his ribcage out of his body was just sick.
Of course, the Vol. 11 had plenty of humor as well. The scenes with Kid Muscle and his friends partying away in the Karaoke Bar were pretty funny. Yudetamago usually does a pretty good job mixing humor in with all the violence in order to keep this manga from being too grim. Kid Muscle’s character keeps progressing and developing a little bit more with each volume. You can see where he definitely has a heart of a champion somewhere deep inside.
Of course, the real draw of Ultimate Muscle is all the crazy characters. This volume had two great villains to make it plenty entertaining. The Revolution definitely recommends this manga to anyone who just wants some good action, raunchy humor and wild characters.
Posted by Rokk Krinn at 4:01 PM
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Son of M #4 is a continuation of a mini-series going nowhere. This title exists only because Marvel felt obligated to play out the end result of that huge disappointment known as House of M. Son of M is as equally un-compelling as House of M and feels just like what it is. A half hearted effort to wrap up some meaningless plotlines from House of M.
Marvel would much rather put House of M behind them and concentrate fully on Civil War. Which pretty much shows you how much of a bomb House of M was. It would be like if in the 1980’s, DC had followed up Crisis on Infinite Earths with another “massive” universe spanning mini-series only six months later! You only do that if you know your “massive” universe spanning mini-series totally tanked, your Distinguished Competition is kicking your ass with their “massive” universe spanning mini-series, so you panic and come out with yet another “massive” universe spanning mini-series totally unrelated to House of M. As a matter of fact, the Son of M sucks so much and is such a waste of time and space that it is getting NO real synopsis.
Writer: David Hine
Penciller: Roy Allan Martinez
Inker: Pete Pantazis
Rating: 1 Night Girl out of 5.
Synopsis: Real fast. Quicksilver is obsessed with getting his powers back and being a mutant. He bathes in the Inhumans Mists of Terrigen to get his powers back. He then takes his daughter from Crystal and goes to earth to go to Genosha to give all the mutants who lost their powers the Mists of Terrigen so they can have their powers once more. The only problem is that the Mists don’t work so well so when you get your powers back, they come back far more powerful and uncontrollable than before.
When Quicksilver get to Genosha, he exposes Callisto to the mists so she can get her powers back. She does but not her extra sensory abilities are sop powerful the rain feels painful to her skin, the light blinds her, human sweat has a smothering smell, she can hear billions of insect crawling under the ground and she can feel her finger nails growing. The issue ends with Callisto telling Magneto that Quicksilver did this to her.
Comments: OK, this mini-series is slow, plodding and boring. It has taken 4 issues to basically go nowhere. It just rehashes the same thing over and over, that Quicksilver must get his powers back and then get the other mutants their powers. The dialogue is very stiff and dry. The plot itself is about as interesting as the House of M. Well, actually it is much less interesting than the House of M and that is pretty tough to do.
The art is actually pretty cool and is the only saving grace of this mini-series. It is nice to look at. Too bad they had to put words with these pictures.
Seriously, the Revolution only started reading this mini-series with the hopes that Marvel would use it to make the House of M actually relevant. To make the House of M more than just an excuse to clean out the clutter in all of the mutant titles by de-powering a bunch of C and D list mutants. The Revolution’s hopes were evidently too high. This mini-series is about as irrelevant as the House of M was.
Nightwing #118 is the first “One Year Later” issues for this title. So far, the Revolution has been very unimpressed with the other “One Year Later” issues that DC has put out. It seems to be a lot of hype about nothing. Can Nightwing #118 finally come through on all the hype? Grab a Goya fruit drink, sit down and let’s find out.
Writer: Bruce Jones
Penciller: Joe Dodd
Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 5.
Synopsis: The issue starts “One Year Later” and we see a little girl get kidnapped. Nightwing swoops in and attacks the kidnappers. One of the kidnappers put a knife to the little girl’s neck. Nightwing takes him out. Takes the knife and slits his throat killing the kidnapper. Wow!! Nightwing grew some balls in that one year!
The next scene is Nightwing waking up in the morning after a long night of lots of S-E-X. Seriously, the girl is still panting! Dick Grayson has just come back to New York and already has bedded some ho. Then the “boyfriend” comes knocking on the door. Dick leaves saying he was just the plumber. Yeah, he did plenty of “plumbing” while he was there. The boyfriend then starts to smack around the woman who then displays some meta-human powers and blasts the guy.
We then go to Dick walking around the streets of NYC where he sees a newspaper with the story of Nightwing killing a criminal. He is shocked by the news. Clancy, an old character who is a female Asian doctor from Ireland, appears and hugs Dick and tells him the ho he bedded last night was Cheyenne Freemont and insanely rich fashion designer.
Dick then finds a nice large loft apartment to rent. He mopes a bit and appears to be having a conversation with a voice in his head. He tells this voice in his head that he doesn’t know who is dressing up like him and killing criminals, that he is ok, and that he is ready to do “this.” And that nothing could be worse than the past year. Hmmm, interesting.
We then cut to Clancy leaving work from her Hospital and she gets attacked by one of the crazy people she has treated. Nightwing shows up in the alley and saves Clancy. Nightwing then continues his patrol and comes across toy bug dudes in white suits beating up a guy. Nightwing crashes the party. These are the Pierce Brothers. Evidently they are some big time mobsters.
One of the Pierce Brothers squares off with Nightwing and takes out Nightwing. This Pierce Brother is a meta-human with the ability to chance the density of his molecules. He then drops Nightwing off the roof of the building. But, Nightwing is then saved by Nightwing? Yup. The issue ends with Jason Todd as the second Nightwing holding Dick Grayson from going splat.
Comments: The Revolution takes out our pistolas and fires them into the air in celebration. Finally, a “One Year Later” issue that lives up to the hype. Nightwing #118 was fantastic! It would have gotten 5 Night Girls our of 5 if it had a little better art. At any rate, this issue was full of good stuff. We know now that Jason Todd did not die again over in Batman.
I love the idea of the two Robins squaring off for the mantle of Nightwing. They both trained at the Bat’s side, but they came away from it with two very different philosophies. Seeing Nightwing (Jason Todd) slit open the kidnappers throat was a big shocker! Then realizing it was Jason Todd made it even cooler.
Since the Revolution has already gone with our enjoyment of Jason Todd coming back from the dead, I’m glad to see that DC is finding a useful role for him within the DC universe. I think Jason Todd has plenty of potential and makes for a very interesting and complex character. He has the heart of a hero, but his death and his rebirth have really darkened his outlook on the world creating a conflicted hero.
I am intrigued by who Dick could have been talking to in his loft. Is he really going nuts or is there a voice in his head or a spirit that is following him around. An interesting plotline. I hope that DC goes through with their plans to make Dick Grayson an even more central and important character in the DC Universe. Devin Grayson logged a lot of time writing this title, but I think it was time to jumpstart Nightwing. This One Year Later gimmick will probably benefit Nightwing more than almost any other title.
Who know what happened with Barbara Gordon. Dick and Babs were a serious item prior to this “One Year later” storyline. Now, it is quite apparent that Dick has moved on. It also seems that there is a serious rift between Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. Dick makes an allusion to a rather unhappy childhood and when talking to Ms. Freemont after he “plumbed” her, he mentions that he disowned himself from his father. I’m interested to see what happened between Dick and Bruce. This also means that now Bruce has failed with his first two protégé’s: Dick and Jason. That just leaves the current Robin with any connection to Batman and I never thought those two were ever as close as Bruce was with Dick or Jason.
I’m not overly thrilled with Dick being in New York. I think that New York already has enough heroes. I like it when comic companies get creative and realize there are actually other cities in America other than New York. I know, it is a shock. It would have been cool if he had relocated to Chicago, Boston, Philly or DC.
The art was solid. Dodd is a little inconsistent with his pencil work. Some panels look great and others below average. This seems to be a constant problem with Nightwing. It has rarely had a great artist and at certain points had some down right horrid artists. A really nice artist on this title could rocket Nightwing to the top of the DC titles that the Revolution reads.
Nightwing looks like it is really popping and the Revolution declares Nightwing as one of our hot titles and completely urges readers to hop onto this train.