Sunday, February 17, 2019

A Sunday Comic Books Review

DCBS
Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
  • Jun 20th
  • Three and a half StarfishAquaman #37 - Well, that didn't go as planned. Let's see... the story moved forward a little - Rath is too powerful, blah blah, Aquaman runs away, blah blah, and the mystical guardians of Atlantis decide that Rath isn't so great after all. I guess that's enough. The cliffhanger is just another bit of a fight, so I could have done with something more interesting. Ah well. At least it's clearly nearing the end.
  • Two StarfishJustice League #2 - Still more cosmic nonsense that doesn't really do anything for me. I'm just not getting into this story. I hope it'll click with me at some point.
  • Four StarfishGreen Lanterns #49 - That's it? Wow. I don't know what to think of the resolution to Jessica's tale - part of me is happy and pleased and part of me is just asking what the big deal was all along. I guess story decompression has gotten so bad that a well-paced story seemed to end abruptly. On review, though, I liked it. A lot.
  • Three StarfishTeen Titans Go #28 - The first story involved our heroes being sent to the 1950s, where they definitely do NOT fit in. The second story was much more laugh-out-loud, as the team teases Robin for being a sidekick only to learn first-hand how difficult kicking the side can be. Nicely goofy.
  • Two and a half StarfishDoctor Strange #2 - Well, he clearly isn't completely powerless if he's able to do that. I have never been a fan of cosmic stories. I guess I like my stories set on Earth or something. So far, this series is not really all that impressive to me.
  • Three StarfishSpongeBob Comics Annual Giant Swimtacular #6 - Well, that was meta. Seeing the "creative team" trying to meet educational standards was... strange. There was ever so tiny appearances by Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern on the cover of a Shakespeare-inspired version of SpongeBob. But mostly, this was just really odd. Amusing as usual.
  • Four and a half StarfishUsagi Yojimbo: The Hidden #4 - To the halfway point, and the mystery continues to deepen. I love Ishida's methods of getting his way with his so-called superior, but I'm really curious what that lamp says and what its purpose is. I guess I'll just have to wait until I reach the next issue. I'm glad it is already in the to-read pile!

  • Jun 27th
  • Four StarfishMera: Queen of Atlantis #5 - I'm glad Leron is on Mera's "side". She needed that reminder, I think, to handle what was to come. As for Tula, I can't imagine she's at all happy with this situation. I just hope Orm remembers his family on the surface instead of falling deeply into that trap of "duty" as he seems to be doing.
  • Four StarfishBatman Beyond #21 - Everyone is seeing him as a monster now, so what's in the water in Gotham. Even Matt seems to be affected. This is actually a mystery I'm getting curious about.
  • Four StarfishScooby-Doo Team-Up #39 - A JSA team-up, including the real Red Tornado! This one is fun, and while Shaggy's solution to the problem at the end is a clever one, I think they need to bury that thing much deeper than 75 years worth of deep. Maybe Superman can throw it into deep space or something. Anyway, this was another fun issue.
  • Four and a half StarfishAstro City #52 - I literally got the chills when the Hanged Man showed up behind him. I mean, I felt chills all up and down my body. That's a powerful bit of storytelling. And this is the last issue of this as a comic book. I'm looking forward to the graphic novels, but wow, this book has always been so consistently good. I'll miss seeing it on the shelves.
  • Two StarfishPrisoner #3 - So this is a story. None of it is real. But due to the nature of this particular story, the narration itself is unreliable, which means the story might not be what I'm reading. So why should I care about it?
  • Three StarfishForever Free #3 - I think this book broke my brain. We had an entire series in which physics made sense, and the laws of the universe were used to make war, then peace, and now... this? In the third act of the second book of the series, we are not only introduced to a being which has been on Earth the entire time without anyone knowing - but also something *else*. How am I supposed to react to this? What am I supposed to think? And what about the dangling plot threads - the lost people and the lost ship? I think my brain is broken.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

A Sunday Comic Books Review

DCBS
Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
  • Jun 6th
  • One and a half StarfishJustice League #1 - Something happened in a crossover I didn't buy or read that resulted in something to do with the Source Wall, and now we jump - with a first issue - into an incomprehensible epic storyline that I have utterly no interest in at all that is totally lacking a proper backstory. Oh DC, you can do better than this.
  • Three StarfishGreen Lanterns #48 - Ok, I thought the Green Lanterns were after Jessica because she somehow altered her ring. But now we've got her on the run because she blacked out or something? It's all very strange, and not nearly as bad as I was afraid it would be.
  • Three StarfishBombshells United #19 - Ah, this must be the final issue, because it pretty much wraps up the entire series and includes a little "where are they now?" epilogue. The last few issues seemed rushed to me, but I very much enjoyed Aquawoman and Atlantis in this series, so I'll forgive it the later flaws. Speaking of, Aquawoman and Arthur show up again in a single panel, and are mentioned in the epilogue.
  • Two and a half StarfishDoctor Strange #1 - The pretentiousness of the text in describing Doctor Strange put me off more than a bit, to the point where I just didn't feel like reading it after the first two times I read "the magician" and just wanted to reach in and smack the narrator. Irritating reading, but a potentially interesting plot.
  • Two and a half StarfishThe Tick #4 - Did we actually learn anything at all about his origin, or was it just a chaotic mess? I'm really not certain. I'm still kind of reeling from all the clowns and ninjas and new heroes and stuff. This book is strange.

  • Jun 13th
  • Four StarfishPlastic Man #1 - Well, this is a goofy start, which is excellent for this particular character. I don't have a lot to say about the issue just because it works. On every level of what I know about the character and the current DC Universe, it just works. If I were a bigger Plastic Man fan I'm sure I'd be jumping for joy at it, but as it is I'm amused and pleased. And what more can you ask for from a comic book?
  • Three StarfishTitans Special #1 - I'm not sure why we bought this book. Possibly because we thought Garth might be in it? In any case, it holds very little interest to me, except as a way of twisting my mind because I'm currently rewatching Young Justice and this has echoes of some of those storylines. Right. In any case, it's just part of the big crossover event I ignored. On to the next.
  • Three and a half StarfishScooby Apocalypse #26 - Six month time jump after the events of the previous issue, which were definitely shocking. My least favorite character in the Scooby-verse makes a return, but there's enough mystery building up with all the references to the dead that I'm wondering where the story is headed. So, a good issue, overall.
  • Four StarfishSpongeBob Comics #81 - Ah! Finally, an issue with a Mermaid Man story! And one that makes an interesting point about secret identities. No, not all superheroes have secret identities. In fact, some of those with secret identities rely on the fact that others don't have them to make having a secret identity seem unreasonable. Anyone would think being Superman is a full-time job, right? The twist was a tiny bit unexpected for me, but does it mean SpongeBob thinks like a villain? A fun issue for me.
  • Three and a half StarfishBack To The Future: Tales from the Time Train #6 - All well that ends well, I guess. It was a nice wrap-up with most of the characters getting enough time to sort out their fates. I was amused at the "mysterious stranger" and how Doc Brown reacted to meeting him (and his dog). Overall, the issue isn't bad, although the series was about two issues too long for me.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

A Sunday Comic Books Review

DCBS
Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
  • May 16th
  • Three and a half StarfishAquaman #36 - Murk's "acting" was a nice bit of humor in an otherwise very grim issue. The double-cliffhanger was quite nice, as well. I'm very tired of Rath and am looking forward to the day this storyline ends, but at least this wasn't a bad edition of it.
  • Three StarfishGreen Lanterns #47 - So Jessica sorts out her issues, fixes her problems (with the help of Constantine, even) and... let's just say I really don't like that cliffhanger. I like the Jessica story, even though it took too long to tell, but I can tell I'm not going to like the next few issues.
  • Two and a half StarfishBombshells United #18 - Well, at least there was one panel of Aquawoman and Arthur in this issue. One. Single. Panel. The rest was so much stuff and nonsense. I can hardly tell who the bad guys are supposed to be any more.
  • Four and a half StarfishUsagi Yojimbo: The Hidden #3 - Oh, the beautiful timing of this issue! Every piece of the story leads to the next, and the cliffhanger is just perfect. In fact, I think I let out an audible "ARGH!" when I got to it. Just about any issue of Usagi Yojimbo is better than almost any other comic book available out there, so go find this series and read it.

  • May 23rd
  • Four StarfishMera: Queen of Atlantis #4 - Intrigue on top of intrigue on top of plans gone awry. It's going to be an interesting settling if Mera ever does take the throne. Which, by the way, is an excellent idea. It frees Aquaman up for being a superhero while keeping him solidly connected to Atlantis. So I hope this new state of affairs gets done and into place, and then becomes the status quo for awhile. A girl can dream.
  • Three StarfishBatman Beyond #20 - Well, Bruce is correct. But so is Terry. It's a bad idea, but it's also something that, once started, cannot be stopped. Now, if this book kills Robin off before it ends, I will be grumbling about it for years to come.
  • Three StarfishScooby-Doo Team-Up #38 - Bat-who? A very silly issue with some very silly bad guys and heroes. Not my most favorite of the series, no, but definitely a fun ride. I wasn't a big fan of Dyno-mutt back in the day, but he's fine here.
  • Two and a half StarfishDoctor Strange #390 - A nice, light issue with a bunch of silly jokes and a reset of the status quo. Very nice after the last few crossover nonsense issues, but very light on - well, everything.
  • Two and a half StarfishPrisoner #2 - I haven't read a real psychological mind-twist story in some time... but as I read this I realized I'm still sick of them. I just want a story, not lots of "maybe this is happening" or "this isn't real" crap. Of course, I should expect nothing else from a comic book based on this TV series. So I guess I'm already bored with it.
  • Three and a half StarfishForever Free #2 - This is incredibly grim in a lot of ways. I mean, a follow-up to a book called Forever War can't be exactly a bed of roses, but wow... that's some plan they have to escape reality. And some lengths they go to in order to make it all happen. I'm still a little iffy on the artwork, but the story is very strong.

  • May 30th
  • Three StarfishGreen Lanterns Annual #1 - This doesn't pick up with the regular storyline, and is a standalone issue. Which is a good thing. It has some massive plot issues, but overall works ok as a showcase for Jessica. Not the best annual I've read, but far from the worst.
  • Aquaman/Jabberjaw Special #1 - I'm feeling a little dazzled by this story. I mean, a talking shark and a typical cartoon band get together with Aquaman and are gratifyingly stunned when he proves to them that, yes, he IS a superhero. The whole story is, like all these crossovers, goofy to a fault. But it's also lots of fun. And I'm almost too scared to read the back-up story, featuring Captain Caveman.
  • Three StarfishSuper Sons/Dynomutt Special #1 - Fresh off a Scooby-Doo Team-Up in which Blue Falcon is apparently mind controlled comes a Super Sons team-up in which... Blue Falcon is apparently mind controlled. Only this one is SO much darker than the Scooby version. Wow. Starting with a funeral and ending with grave robbing. Very dark and disturbing on a lot of different levels.
  • Three StarfishBlack Lightning/Hong Kong Phooey Special #1 - Um, that was a trip. I don't know exactly what to think of it, in fact. This is definitely the most serious I've ever seen Hong Kong Phooey written. Black Lightning seemed a little too dismissive to me, for a guy living in a superhero universe also populated by talking animals. Otherwise, um, fun?

Sunday, January 27, 2019

A Sunday Comic Books Review

DCBS
Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
  • Apr 25th
  • Three and a half StarfishMera: Queen of Atlantis #3 - It's interesting to see Orm and Mera chatting without trying to kill each other. Also to see them trying to explain royal duty, pounded into them from birth. I feel like Orm's attempt to become a drylander may be doomed, but I hope I'm wrong. I like Erin and Tommy. And it would be fascinating if Erin has more children (which is possible now, since they've been living together for awhile). Good art, progress on the story, I like it.
  • Two and a half StarfishTeen Titans #19 - The ending of this storyline was rather abrupt... so there is a hack and it's done? And not even obviously - Robin has to tell us. I'm not terribly impressed by the finish, although the story and concept had promise. I think this might be the last issue of this book we bought because of a distinct lack of Aqualad in future issues. It was... eh, an ok series.
  • Three StarfishTitans Annual #2 - Yeah, that was a good ending to an intense story that took way too long to develop. I liked Mallah's part in this one. I'm not sure what to think of the development of the Titans, but Mallah was fun.
  • Two and a half StarfishBatman Beyond #19 - Dana really has a point in this one, even though Bruce just sent the kid to blow up a couple of power sources. Doesn't he have a handy drone that he could have used to do the same thing, and thus not put Matt in danger? I'm a little confused and distressed by the direction of this book. I'm not sure what I expect from it anymore.
  • Four StarfishScooby-Doo Team-Up #37 - This feels like a classic Silver Age (or even Golden Age) tale, complete with hiding a secret identity and a tiny piece of Kryptonite. Fun stuff!
  • Two StarfishDoctor Strange #389 - The dog is still the most interesting thing about this book. And the dog isn't even alive. Maybe this crossover is done and we'll get actual stories now?
  • Three StarfishPrisoner #1 - I've never been much of a fan of the tv show. I'm a bit too straightforward in my plotting and thinking to enjoy something that never makes sense on purpose. But this is an slightly different take, with sort of a reason behind everything that's happening. Yeah, I'm curious to see what happens next.
  • Three StarfishForever Free #1 - This is an adaptation of a book I've never read. I was confused at first, because it started before the end of the war - then I realized it was from the other character's point of view. Interesting, and no burden of my history with the story to interfere with my enjoyment of the book as just a book.

  • May 2nd
  • Four StarfishGreen Lanterns #46 - We get to the heart of the matter in this issue, and it was nicely done. We saw what happened to Jessica's friends on that hunting trip and, through Simon, we learned what the alien lawyer is doing to Jessica via her memories. This story shaped up nicely and I'm actually eager to read the next issue. That's a good thing.
  • Two StarfishBombshells United #17 - This feels like, "let's throw everything in the pot, turn up the heat, and see what happens." I'm not even interested in most of the characters or what happens to them now.

  • May 9th
  • Three and a half StarfishScooby Apocalypse #25 - Well, *that* was a shocker. And a very interesting way to present it, as well. I know this series isn't going to go on forever, but this development changes what little future it has. Wow.
  • Three StarfishSpongeBob Comics #80 - Well, there was a sort-of Mermaid Man appearance, but it was... surreal. In fact, this was a pretty surreal issue all over.
  • Two and a half StarfishBack To The Future: Tales from the Time Train #5 - Chaos, a little more chaos, and then, just to be sure, some more chaos on top. Along with a mystery person who has ALL the dogs. I'm mildly interested in finding out who the mystery person is (although I have a guess) but otherwise I'm not that interested.