Showing posts from May, 2006

Castle Waiting

The 450+ page beautiful hardcover collection of Linda Medley's Castle Waiting exceeded my high expectations. That doesn't happen too often. The story, a truly feminist fairy tale, is about a group of ecclectic characters who live together in an abandoned old castle that was once under a witch's curse. The focus of the story, once the just-as-interesting prologue material is out of the way, is a pregnant woman who comes to the castle for sanctuary. In a magical world where humans and animal people live amongst each other peacefully, piksies and brownies cause mischief, and demons trick the unsuspecting out of their souls, a group of strangers share their stories, meet hostility head-on and become a family. Castle Waiting is a wonderful all-ages story that begs comparison to Jeff Smith's Bone. And it's really at that level. I was debating for awhile which of the two I liked better, but in the end I think Smith is a better cartoonist, although Medley's art…

In Stores 6/1

Some last minute highlights of books coming to comic stores Thursday...

Abadazad (Book One): The Road to Inconceivable and Abadazad (Book Two): The Dream Thief - Fan favorite (and one of my favorite comics) Abadazad returns from the ashes of Crossgen in the form of a comic/prose hybrid. I've been waiting very patiently for these.

Seven Soldiers of Victory (volume 3) TP - The second-to-last collection of Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers maxi-series saga. If you were crazy enough to wait for the trade, it has arrived. Who knows how long of a wait it'll be before the final installment...

Showcase Presents: The Haunted Tank (volume 1) TP - From DC's vault, another obscure series is collected in the wonderfully affordable Showcase series.

Art Out of Time: Unknown Comic Visionaries 1900-1969 HC - Dan Nadel's beautiful book of unsung comic creators shipped from Amazon last week and Patrick has been loving it. In a few days, it'll be available in comic stores as well.


Cool Poster


The Ticking

Renee French's The Ticking is a beautiful graphic novel. It's not told in the traditional sense of comics; Most pages only have two illustrated boxes on them, and many only have one, with words sometimes beneath the pictures, sometimes not. There are no word balloons throughout the story either, but dialogue is written beneath some of the illustrations, and is more like a children's illustrated book in that regard (but why can't they be considered comics?). The story begins as "Edison Steelhead was born on the kitchen floor." His mother dies during childbirth, and he inherits his father's deformities, causing his father to seek out a life of solitude. Edison, however, feels no shame for his appearance and tries to find beauty in his surroundings, even in ugly places, to please his father, who seems unable to appreciate them. This book is really very beautiful. The story is bound in a dark brown hardcover, gold-embossed, and it's home to some of t…

In Passing...Deadgirl to X-Factor

A disappointing week for the floppies...

Blue Beetle #3 - As a guest penciller, Cynthia Martin does a decent job of fitting in, mimicing our regular artist, but the issue did seem kind of "off" in wake of it. The entire issue was kind of weird though, not just the art. The scene with Jaime's family was great, but everything else just seemed rather silly... The repercussions from the last issue should have really stood out. D

X-Factor #7 - Madrox gets a proposition and Siryn's in denial of Scott's news that her father has died. The Madrox scenes were alright, but the rest was just kind of bland. And I did not care for Ariel Olivetti's art here at all. D+

Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. #5 - This book's always pretty creative. And fun. The jokes keep coming between killer koalas and growing broccoli men. I really like the short sequences revealing brief moments in the characters' pasts, but in this issue they weren't as clever or done in spirit of the oth…

X-Men: The Last Stand

Warning: Contains Spoilers!

Where do I begin? I'll start off by saying that X-2: X-Men United is still my favorite superhero movie. There was more time spent with fewer new characters, and a clear focus. Plus the hints of Dark Phoenix were cooler than the realization in the new movie. That being said, X-Men: The Last Stand doesn't exactly suck. It's actually good. My expectations going in were extremely high, so I'm not surprised that they weren't met (even though they were with X-2), but this movie just wasn't very spectacular. There were spectacular scenes (though very few), like that of Phoenix after she goes back to her home growing up and confronts Xavier, and some action scenes were executed near perfectly (Kitty vs. Juggernaut in their race to get to Leech first), but overall, things were sort of bland. Particularly the climax. It just didn't pay things off. It needed to be much more spectacular than it was. We needed to spend more time with the chara…

Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness

The third volume in the Scott Pilgrim series of graphic novels by Bryan Lee O'Malley has arrived. And doesn't disappoint. Easily on par with the previous two volumes of the series, The Infinite Sadness begins a little lowkey on the fun, but once things get rolling, it explodes into action and it's nearly impossible to put down. There are a lot more charcters in this volume than I remember previously and it can be a little hard to keep track of them, but the ones you really need to know about are prominently featured. Wallace is once again the funniest part of the book. Without him, this book just wouldn't be the same. Scott's charming in a dopey sort of way, if not extremely paranoid this time around, and he's actually growing a little bit as a character, concerned for the people around him, a little more aware. And we get treated to plenty of flashbacks that give insight into his relationship with Envy and what kind of a person she was/is. And she really is a …

The Fate of the Artist

Eddie Campbell is amazing. The Fate of the Artist, the semi-autobiographical book from :01 First Second Books is wildly imaginative and insightful. Campbell pushes the medium of comics, kicking and screaming, as he creates a masterpiece with his seemingly endless supply of creative juices. This book is comprised of comic strips (both weekday and Sundays), traditionally-paneled comics, photos with word balloons, and even narrative that incorporates pictures into the story, and pictures that replace letters. Then there are crayon drawings "taped" onto watercolor pictures, etc. etc. He wasn't holding back. So, amid all of this bubbling imagination, Eddie Campbell has gone missing, and there's an investigation to find out what has become of him. As the investigation takes place, people close to the artist describe him through his eccentricities and philosophies, often relying on the explanation "that's an artist for you." Stories of artists from the past ar…

Previews: August 2006

Once again, I'm going to highlight books scheduled to hit comic stores in August...

Ape Entertainment:
Athena Voltaire: Flight of the Falcon #1 (Ape Edition) - This collects the first issue from Speakeasy, and continues the story with the never-before-seen issue #2! This book is wonderful, and it's good to see it back.

Archaia Studios Press:
Artesia (volume 1) Limited Edition HC - Sometimes it pays to wait. For those who haven't jumped on the band wagon with this amazingly gorgeous fantasy series by Mark Smylie, you can now get a hardcover version of the first collection for the same price as the soft cover.

Archangel Studios:
The Red Star: Sword of Lies - The Red Star returns in a 40-page original story that reveals the rise to power of the villainous Imbohl.

Dark Horse:
Chickenhare: House of Klaus TP - An all-ages book about a half-chicken, half-hare, and his group of friends who try to escape the hands of an evil taxidermist who likes unique animals.

DC Comics:
I looked at DC boo…

50 Greatest Comic Characters

I feel all left out because I don't know DC characters well enough to, in good conscience, supply a top fifty list for the "best of" at The Great Curve. And I wasn't part of the Marvel poll recently taken either. So, I'm just going to go ahead and present my 50 greatest comic characters of all time, from DC, Marvel, Image, Fantagraphics, manga, whatever. And I'm unapologetically listing them, with Darkstar next to Hopey or whatever I feel like. So sit back and enjoy!! (With commentary!)

1. Kitty Pryde (X-Men, Excalibur) - What can I say about my favorite comic character of all time? She's what drew me into comics in the first place, from a Marvel Universe trading card to my first issue of Excalibur, to her fiery, innocent personality in Uncanny X-Men. She was my first true love, the inspiration behind Buffy Summers of my favorite television show. Wearing her religion proudly alongside her idealistic attitude - a purple dragon, her constant companion.

2. Lub…

Buffy, the Vampire Slayer

A few weeks ago, me and Patrick finally concluded our Buffy, the Vampire Slayer marathon. That's 144 episodes over seven seasons. We began in Fall and went very few days without finishing the day watching an episode of the beloved show (the third full time experiencing them from start to finish). Next year, it'll be Angel's turn, but now I feel quite prepared to provide some best-of lists for the show.

Best 10 Episodes
1.The Body (Season Five) - Joyce Summers is found dead on Buffy's couch. The camera doesn't stray from Buffy's devastated, shocked face as she tries to revive her mother, imagines what such a rescue would be like, and telling her younger sister the news at school. I can never watch it without crying.

2.Once More With Feeling (Season Six) - The musical episode was awesome, with all of the music written by Joss Whedon himself. Me and Patrick listen to the soundtrack often and man, how can you not love this?

3. Hush (Season Four) - Much of the episode w…

In Stores 5/24

It's time to once again highlight books coming to comic stores this coming Wednesday. You can see the full list of Diamond's releases at their website.

Black Widow: The Things They Say About Her TP - The sequel to Richard K. Morgan's "Homecoming" mini-series featuring the Russian vixen isn't really very good, but Bill Sienkiewicz' art is...

Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness - The third installment of Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim series has finally arrived!!! What else is there to say? Go buy it!

Marvel Masterworks: Fantastic Four (volume 10) HC - Jack Kirby and Stan Lee's legendary Fantastic Four run is finally completed in the Masterworks series with this volume.

Carl Barks' Greatest Ducktales Stories (volume 1) TP - Carl Barks is a master cartoonist. One of the greatest cartoons was based on these stories, the first volume of which is available this week for just $11!

Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do HC - The mini-serie…

Wonderland #1

Slave Labor Graphics debuted a book based on Disney's Alice In Wonderland (in turn, based on the Lewis Carroll children's book) this past week, named Wonderland. Not Alice In Wonderland mind you, because Alice does not appear in the book. The book, written by Tommy Kovac (author of Autumn, which always caught my eye at the comic store, though I regret I never picked up an issue), with art by Sonny Liew, takes place just after Alice leaves the magical kingdom, with the loveable characters from the world such as The White Rabbit, Tweedle-Dee, Tweedle-Dum, and The Queen of Hearts, in their element. The main character of the tale is a young human girl named Mary Ann, who if you recall the story of Alice In Wonderland, was who The White Rabbit mistook Alice for when she showed up at his house and eventually experimented with the whole eating/drinking, shrinking/growing thing until she got it right. So this character who was never actually seen becomes the protagonist of this story.…

Girls: Emergence

The second volume of The Luna Brothers' Girls opens immediately where the previous book left off (collecting issues #7-12) , with the first chapter chalk-full of non-stop action as the remaining Pennystown citizens fight/run for their lives. I like Girls. I don't think it's as strong as The Luna Brothers' first major work, Ultra: Seven Days, but it is a suspenseful, intriguing story. It's basically a post-apocalyptic story like the ten thousand zombie stories out there, but it's focused on a specific area (the small town of Pennystown, population 65), and the zombies that are after the characters are replaced by a group of pitiless girl clones, who have some sort of specific, mysterious objectives. They're some sort of alien, but it's hard to predict what they'll do and what other surprises they've brought along with them. It's a mystery and a survival tale. War of the Worlds meets Dawn of the Dead. Very strange, but effective. The Luna Brot…

X-Men Fairy Tales

X-Men Fairy Tales is a four-issue limited series, with different artists each issue, retelling a fairy tale using characters from the X-Men, ala the infamous "Kitty's Fairy Tale" from Uncanny X-Men. Issue #1 of the series features the writer C.B. Cebulski, and artist Sana Takeda, retelling the Japanese fairy tale Momotaro. But the premise sounds a lot cooler than it actually is. It's really neat to have a series that showcases a different artist like this, like in DC's recently-canceled Solo, but the stories (or this one anyway) really have nothing to do with the X-Men. The main character of this story, Hitome, who was found by his parents floating down the river within a giant peach, can shoot red beams out of one eye when he removes a peach pit. And that's the extent to which he resembles X-Man Cyclops. It's not the same character, doesn't look like him - they just half-borrowed a power and slapped the X-Men logo over the series' title to s…

In Passing...Ms. Marvel to Fell

I've decided to start going with letter grades for my "In Passing" column. Very last minute choice this week, but I think it will get the message across clearer.

Ms. Marvel #3 - I love Frank Cho's covers for this series. Really. I haven't read much by him - I'm thinking I will. This issue of Ms. Marvel was better than the last, which seemed very rushed and clumsy. The battle between Carol and Cru was clear, very fun and noisy. But really, I enjoyed the personal life of Carol from issue one more than any of the action, so I hope there's plenty more of that to come. C+

Fell #5 - It's strange, but I never look forward to reading this comic. I begrudgingly pick it up and begin reading. But I always love it. There hasn't been an issue that I haven't liked since it began, but I just don't feel compelled to keep reading it. Very strange. This issue is a fun interrigation room scene. Detective Fell's one cunning badass. B

Manhunter #22

All-Star Batman & Robin #4

Well, they finally reached the Batcave in this issue. And that's about all that happened. All Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder is one padded-out series, but it's damn good nonetheless. And anyway, the creators make fun of how padded out the series is (that or how late the book is) when Robin says, in reference to being in the batmobile, "When are you going to let me out of this thing? It feels like it's been days!" That and the whole six-page fold-out that displays the Batcave that "goes on forever" and "just doesn't end." Hell, maybe the entire series will be one excruciatingly long story arc. That would be a neat idea. But there were other cool things in this issue besides the Batcave. When Robin's crouched down with the rats and bats, his shadow falls over the cave floor in the form of his mask. Nice foreshadow. Literally. And then there's the whole flashback that Batman had of his parents' deaths. He think…

Art School Confidential

I don't get why people are generally giving unfavorable reviews to Terry Zwigoff's Art School Confidential. It's a really good film, with great performances by Max Minghella and John Malkovich. The characters all have such personalities that really make you care about them, whether they're set up as a cliche or not (but all of the cliches in the movie are used so well, and for comedic effect, not to fill a character with flat characterization). I know one of the big complaints is that it's an unwieldy cast. True, there are a lot of characters in this film, and doing without a few of them would have probably been alright (his closeted gay roommate, for example), but I had no trouble following the film because of it, and it certainly didn't distract. It was all done very competently. Another complaint is about the serial killer element. I kind of liked having this dark cloud hanging over the campus. It was a small part of the film in the background that ki…

Marvel Solicits: August '06

And now a look at several Marvel books scheduled to ship in August that caught my eye (full list at Comic Book Resources).

Annihilation #1 (of 6) - The four separate Annihilation mini-series merge into a single crossover book, bringing with them four cosmic players: Silver Surfer, Super Skrull, Ronan and Nova. I've heard some pretty decent things about the individual minis.

Claws #1 (of 3) - A new mini-series from Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, with art by Joseph Michael Linsner, teams up two unlikely comrades: Wolverine and Black Cat. Yes, Logan and Felicia will battle for their lives on an island against a bunch of hunters with big toys (Didn't we just read about a team-up on an island for survival in another Marvel book recently?)

Heroes For Hire #1 - Another debut series from Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, this time with art by Billy Tucci. Heroes For Hire is spun directly out of Civil War, where Misty Knight and Colleen Wing track and apprehend superheroes who refuse to …

In Stores 5/17

And once again, a look at some books coming to comic stores tomorrow. You can see the full list of Diamond's releases at their website.

Castle Waiting HC - From Fantagraphics comes a collection of the entire Castle Waiting series by Linda Medley in one hardcover volume.

Wonderland #1 - Amaze Inc/Slave Labor Graphics presents a tale of what happened in Wonderland following Alice's departure from the kingdom. Nice art, could be neat.

X-Men: Firestar Digest TP - I don't know why Marvel's collecting this Firestar four-issue mini-series. They may be experimenting to see if people will buy these older throwaway series in this sort of format, or maybe they want to capitalize on Firestar's involvement in the upcoming The Beyond series. Either way, it was kind of strange seeing the solicitation for this. But, hell, it's only $8.

Krazy & Ignatz 1937 - 1938: Shifting Sands Dusts Cheek Powdered - George Herriman's comic strip continues with a really pretty cover this m…

DC Solicits: August '06

DC has released their list of titles shipping in August, so I'll be highlighting some things you may want to ponder picking up. Check out the full list at Newsarama.

Manhunter #25 - I saw the news before I read the solicitation for this issue. This will be the last issue of the series. It really sucks, because I love Kate Spencer and it's such a great title. I think this is the first book that's been cancelled while I was reading it that I really felt sad about since the original Excalibur ended back in the day. This is the only DC Universe title I currently read aside from the new Blue Beetle. It's too bad not enough people were reading it despite the acclaim, but at least we had a great run. Sigh. (Also, I should note that another acclaimed DC book, Solo, will have its final issue this month, with issue #12, featuring the art of Walden Wong).

Showcase Presents: Batman (volume 1) TP - It was only a matter of time. DC couldn't have really held this one off much longe…

Borrowed Time

The first book in a series of graphic novels debuted this past week from Oni Press called Borrowed Time. This book, written by Neal Shaffer with art by Joe Infurnari, is about a reporter, Taylor Devlin, who leaves behind his perfect life to venture through the Bermuda Triangle to spice up an article he's writing about it. Unfortunately for him, something happens. When he returns home following the incident, he finds things different, and longs for that life he can no longer touch. Others are in his same predicament however, and teach him how to cope with the ordeal. I enjoyed the first book of this series. I was genuinely intrigued by the events depicted by Infurnari's competent illustrations. Even if I did feel a little odd and disoriented by how things changed, it only proves the prowess of the creative team, since Taylor Devlin is just as out-of-sorts, if not more so. I don't know how interesting the story is going to be following this first chapter, since it seems like…


Lewis Trondheim's A.L.I.E.E.E.N. (Archives of Lost Issues and Earthly Editions of Extraterrestrial Novelties) is written as if it were a comic found on Earth, actually written by an alien species. The world is foreign, the creatures speak an alien language and the customs of the characters are strange. The book comprises of several short stories featuring different alien characters in stories of pooping, bludgeoning and loneliness. And the stories kind of weave in and out of each other, so some things that may not have made sense in one story become clearer as they're expanded on elsewhere, or one story may just enhance the story of another character's. It's all alien, yet there's something human about what the little guys go through, whether bullied or merely misunderstood. And I kind of had a fondness for the creatures that made me not like seeing them hurt, since their characters can shine through the language barrier just fine. It's strange reading a story…

In Passing...Fables to Nana

American Virgin #3 - I'm really enjoying Becky Cloonan's art on this series. The story is also pretty compelling, courtesy of Steven T. Seagle, but if not for the art, it wouldn't be one I'd necessarily have to pick up every week. This issue's the weakest of the series so far, but it's leading toward what has the potential to be a really cool conclusion. It'll be interesting to see what direction the characters take following this initial story. 7.1/10

Fables #49 - The "Wolves" story arc comes to a conclusion as Jabatberhari from The Jungle Book closes in on Bigby Wolf's location, and a guest departs from the animal farm. I did enjoy the last issue of this arc much more than this - it had more really cool moments and character interaction. This one was just consistently mediocre. Although I'm sure it's setting up some big events for the 50th issue next month. 4/10

From Shojo Beat: June 2006:
Absolute Boyfriend - This was probably the best…

New Mutants Classic

The original New Mutants finally get a collection as part of Marvel's new "Classic" line. Following the excellent Excalibur Classic, this trade collection has beautiful production values to experience the comic as it was meant to be experienced - in color, on quality paper, and in an affordable package (some people may argue that $25 is a lot, but really I'd rather see it like this than as a "Masterworks" at twice as much. Excalibur Classic was only $20, but contained three less issues. Anyways, you can find them both on Amazon for $16 and $13, respectively, if it's a big deal.)

New Mutants Classic (volume 1) collects Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod's New Mutants #1-7, as well as Uncanny X-Men #167 (an issue I actually read fairly recently from an Essential X-Men volume) and the debut of the characters contained within, from Marvel Graphic Novel #4. I was kind of disappointed at the introduction of the characters, as it was done exactly like Giant-Siz…

In Stores 5/10

Books shipping to comic shops this week that you may want to give a second glance...

:01 Second Books' first wave of titles appeared in bookstores last week, but this Wednesday they make their comic shop debut with titles such as A.L.I.E.E.E.N., The Fate of the Artist and Vampire Loves.

Samurai: Heaven and Earth TP- Collecting the five-issue mini-series from Dark Horse, this Ron Marz/Luke Ross title looks just amazing, about a samurai who's fighting to be reunited with his love.

Girls (volume 2): Emergence TP - The Luna Brothers' Image series gets a second trade! I love the Luna Brothers. While I much preferred Ultra to Girls, Girls was still one of my favorite books of last year and it's been too long since the last collection came out.

Skrull Kill Krew TP - Anything coming out from Grant Morrison is exciting. This mini-series came out years ago, so you know, Marvel had to capitalize on him now that he's DC-exclusive.

Nymph GN - Frank Thorne's latest graphic novel,…

Death Note (2 & 3)

I'm trying to get all caught up on Death Note since I came into the game a little late (and it's damn addictive), so I read two volumes of the series over the weekend: two and three. These books were, predictably, as fast-paced and suspenseful as the first, prompting me to run out to the store for the next installment immediately following the second volume's conclusion (I'm gonna be sweating it out when I actually get caught up). New players come into the game in these books, and new situations arise as the police get closer to the person in possession of the death note. Light Yagami finds that he has to be even bolder and more cunning than ever before if he is to paint the world his version of Utopia, free of criminals. I'm really enjoying Light as a character, as well as the enigmatic, eccentric L. And the new element introduced at the end of volume three has me biting my nails for volume four... What I'm trying to say here, in case I'm not gettin…

Free Comic Book Day 2006

Another Free Comic Book Day has come and gone. My local store had a parade of storm troopers hanging out with friends Darth Vader and Leia outside the doors, trying to embarass me, discourage me in my mission for some free floppies. I passed the trials however and snatched up my two allowed comics, choosing Free Scott Pilgrim from Oni Press and X-Men/Runaways from Marvel.

Free Scott Pilgrim - Bryan Lee O'Malley is awesome. The characters in Scott Pilgrim are just instantly loveable. It's been about a year since Scott Pilgrim vs. The World came out and in the first panel, I recalled my affection for the characters and fell in love with them again, on the spot. Scott starts his adventure choosing which soda he wants on the way to the movies with his gay best friend and the girl of his dreams, comparing the nutrition facts in terms of RPG lingo (Strength -1, Speed +2, etc.). As they proceed to the theater, Scott gets attacked by a movie star who comes out of several posters, a…

In passing...Robotika and Season of the Witch

Season of the Witch #4 (of 4) - The four issue mini-series by Jai Nitz and Nicola Scott concluded this past week, on a poor note. As the series progressed, the story got more interesting as the protagonist slowly turned toward a dark direction in favor of the clean-cut champion she was being groomed to be. Unfortunately, with Jessica taking the throne in wake of the previous issue, the comic just got silly, as the new monarch stood around complaining about the newspaper and building their world's version of McDonald's. It was a pretty ridiculous and almost insulting, end to the story and the character. On the bright side, Nicola Scott's art improved dramatically from the first issue to the last and we could potentially see some really nice stuff come from her in the future. 2/10

Robotika #3 (of 4) - Alex Sheikman's mini from Archaia Studios Press is shaping up to be a really great comic. Plenty of action is offered amid the fast pace and imaginative world that the autho…

Civil War #1

After plenty of hype and media coverage, the first issue of Marvel's big summer crossover Civil War (of seven issues) has arrived in comic stores. And so far, not sucking so much. I knew that if anything, the Steve McNiven art would be worth picking up the first issue of the series. I've been a fan of his since his work on Crossgen's Meridian and he's only getting better. But Mark Millar's storytelling isn't so bad either. The issue opens with the New Warriors raiding a residence housing four of America's Most Wanted, for a boost of ratings on their reality show. Unfortunately, things don't go as planned as the villain Nitrate causes an explosion that not only engulfs and kills every member of the superhero team, but a school of children as well. The public outcry at the event, the recklessness of the heroes involved, have spurred Congress to consider a Superhero Registration Act, whereby heroes would essentially be superpowered cops, identities…

Ultimate Spider-man: Deadpool

***Contains spoilers***
The latest Ultimate Spider-man arc, "Deadpool," concluded with issue #94 after a four-issue run. For a series that seems to come out every other week, this book remains high quality and ferociously entertaining. Sure, there are a few duds here and there, but overall this series is great. "Deadpool" was the story arc that was just waiting to happen since Ultimate Spider-man Annual #1, when Peter Parker got a new girlfriend in the form of Kitty Pryde. She was a girlfriend who could hold her own in dangerous situations; He wouldn't have to worry about her like he would with Mary Jane. So, of course her being an X-Man had to endanger him eventually, and Peter Parker ends up getting kidnapped as the entire Ultimate X-Men team is dragged off to Krakoa Island for round two of Mojo's fight-to-the-death reality television (the first appearance of which occurred in Ultimate X-Men). It's a fun crossover, as the X-Men and Spidey team up to…

Mouse Guard #2

When I think back to the first issue of this mini-series, it really was a great way to introduce the world of Mouse Guard. A small band of mice searched for a missing grain merchant. Simple. But then they introduce the overlying thread of the mini-series as well, that of a spy among the Guard. It was a pretty self-contained story, with a little nudge toward the story arc of the series. Mouse Guard #2 starts off just as much its own story. In this tale, "Shadows Within," we follow Sadie, with her cute little swords and big mouse ears, as she attempts to discover what became of Guard member Conrad, who hasn't made contact for a season. The opening scenes of the book showcase the beautiful environment that the mice live in, of a lazy river with lush grassy banks and cattails, then moving into a sandy beach where a small house stands at the edge of wild grass. It really speaks to David Petersen's craft that much of the book is really a showcase of nature. It goes hand-in…