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Showing posts from March, 2009

In Stores 4/1

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Here are the highlights of books shipping to comic shops tomorrow!
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Pick of the Week
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Fantagraphics Golden Age reprint collections - Fantagraphics is releasing two major reprint collections from the Golden Age this week: Supermen: First Wave of Heroes (1936-1941)GN (featuring the works of giants like Jack Kirby, Jack Cole, Will Eisner, Jerry Siegel, Joe Schuster, etc) and Boody: Bizare Comics of Boody Rogers GN.
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Other Noteworthy Releases
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Alan Moore: Comics As
.....Performance, Fiction As Scalpel SC
Astral Project (Volume 3)
Batman - Battle For the Cowl: Man-Bat #1
Batman: The Heart of Hush HC
Bomb Queen (Volume 5): Bombtastic TP
Cars: Rookie #1 (of 4)
Chronicles of Conan (Volume 17): Creation Quest TP
Deadpool Classic (Volume 2) TP
Dungeon Zenith (Volume 3): Back In Style TP
Fallen Angel (Volume 6): Cities of Light and Dark TP
Flash: Rebirth #1 (of 5)
Ho! HC - Ivan Brunetti
Jonah Hex: Bullets Don't Lie TP
JSA (Volume 2): Thy Kingdom Come Part One TP
Mouse Guard (Volume 1) Limited Edition Black &a…

Manga Monday: 20th Century Boys

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20th Century Boys (Volume 1)Naoki Urasawa . 20th Century Boys was released in America pretty much simultaneously with the creator's other big work Pluto. 20th Century Boys has won many awards in Japan, and if Urasawa's work on Monster is any indication, it will attract critical acclaim state-side as well, that is if it isn't overshadowed by Pluto, which many feel is Urasawa's opus. While Pluto and 20th Century Boys are both suspenseful mysteries, the latter probably has more in common with Monster, although it is a much stranger story, jumping through time to slowly unravel what is a more character-driven mystery. And while I am certainly curious as to what's going on behind the scenes of the story's mysterious cult (and the identity of its shadowy leader), I am much more interested in the men this book focuses on. When one of their childhood friends commits suicide, it seems odd, and it causes the characters to reminisce about their childhood: what they were…

Dark Reign: Elektra #1 (of 5)

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Zeb Wells & Clay Mann. The latest series surrounding the force of nature Elektra bridges the gap between Secret Invasion and Dark Reign, where she becomes a prisoner of Norman Osborne's H.A.M.M.E.R. as the transition between S.H.I.E.L.D. and the new group of villain-tinged employees goes down. Originally following her escape from the skrull's ship at the end of Secret Invasion, the ninja head of HAND is taken down and brought to a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility to be cared for, as she's obviously very sick and was examined by the skrulls for some reason (while the other replaced heroes weren't). Osborne sees this as an opportunity to find out why the skrulls were interested in her, and has her kept weak and sedate so they can probe her and interrogate her to no end. Inside the room where she's kept, she'd hooked up to monitors that show what scenarios are running through her mind, and as a result, one of the characters we see this story through, has watched hersel…

X-Men: Sword of the Braddocks

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Chris Claremont, Scott Clark & David Beaty
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I didn't really know what this was about before I picked it up, but I do like Psylocke and haven't seen her in a comic for awhile, so I thought I'd give this one-shot a shot. I knew Chris Claremont was writing the latest incarnation of the Exiles, and apparently Psylocke has been a part of the book, as this picks up a story thread from that series, where Betsy Braddock battled a version of Slaymaster, the villian who blinded her waaay back when. Now Slaymaster is hopping dimensions killing every Psylocke he encounters, and our dimension's Psylocke decides she must put a stop to this before the vision of Slaymaster blinding her brother Brian in this dimension comes true. In good old Chris Claremont style, this is a really convoluted story. But I actually kind of like it. I don't really get the title, as a sword really doesn't play into the story much, and it's really a Psylocke story (no Jamie Braddock to b…

The Incredible Hulk: Planet Hulk TP

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Greg Pak, Carlo Pagulayan, Aaron Lopresti, Gark Frank, Takeshi Miyazawa & Juan Santacruz
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This massive 400+ page paperback collects the entire story surrounding Greg Pak's Planet Hulk. That's issues 92-105 of Incredible Hulk, Giant-Size Hulk #1, a story from Amazing Fantasy #15, and a gladiator guide and various extras. I was thoroughly entertained by this comic. It was pretty, well, incredible. The book begins with Banner being sent by the superheroes of Earth to an "uninhabited" planet, where he could be alone and cause minimal damage. But things don't go according to plan as Hulk is dragged through a wormhole to a different planet, one inhabited by various creatures and ruled over by a cruel king who loves nothing more than to see bloodshed in the gladiator arena. While Hulk's strength is initially tapped by his travel through the wormhole, it soon returns to him and he earns his freedom alongside a group of various gladiator-slaves who survive a f…

In Stores 3/25

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Here are the highlights of books shipping to comic shops this Wednesday!
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Pick of the Week
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A Drifting Life TP - Visionary creator Yoshihiro Tatsumi (The Push-Man and Other Stories, Good-Bye, etc) made this massive 800+ page autobiography that's being released in one fat volume.
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Other Noteworthy Releases
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American Jesus (Volume
.....1): Chosen TP
Anna Mercury (Volume 1):
.....The Cutter HC
Avengers: Hawkeye HC
Batman - Battle For the
.....Cowl: Commissioner Gordan #1
Berserk (Volume 28)
Black Jack (Volume 4)
The Brave and the Bold (Volume 3): Demons and Dragons HC
Cecil & Jordan In New York HC
Checkmate: Chimera TP
Daredevil: Lady Bullseye TP
Dark Reign: Elektra #1 (of 5)
Guardians of the Galaxy (Volume 1): Legacy TP
Hikaru No Go (Volume 14)
Immortal Iron Fist (Volume 4): Mortal Iron Fist HC
The Incredibles: Family Matters #1 (of 4)
March On Earth (Volume 1)
Marvel Masterworks: X-Men (Volume 1) TP
Ms. Marvel (Volume 5): Secret Invasion TP
Oracle #1 (of 3)
Secret Invasion: Amazing Spider-Man TP
Secre…

Manga Monday...

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is taking a rest. It will return next week with a review of 20th Century Boys!
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Cold Heat #5/6

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Ben Jones & Frank Santoro. As of this review, there are still copies of this double issue of Cold Heat available through Picture Box's website. It is expensive for a comic book: $20. But you know what? It's limited to only 100 copies. You know something else? It's pretty much worth it. I'd rather pay $20 for a comic of this quality than $4 for a lousy superhero crossover book anytime. But if it's a good superhero crossover book, I may have to think twice about that. But anyway, I'll tell you right now, this is going to be one of the best books of the year. It's that damn good. . That being said, this book is kind of strange. You have to know that going in based on the cover alone. The entire book is told in blue and pink color of varying degrees of expressive art. Pen, crayon, watercolor - whatever the hell these guys decide to use on this book, it turns out really cool as our protagonist Castle kicks ghost-possessed or alien-possessed (or what…

Scott Pilgrim (Volume 5)

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Scott Pilgrim vs. the UniverseBryan Lee O'Malley . I can always look forward to a new Scott Pilgrim release. I've liked some volumes a little better than others, but for the most part, it's a really consistent comic. The latest volume, Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe, has Scott go up against two of Ramona Flowers' evil ex-boyfriends - a pair of twins from Japan who, of course, battle Scott via robots. Meanwhile, we get a little peek into Ramona's past as she finally finds out about Scott's past wrong against Knives. For once, Ramona isn't portrayed as Scott's perfect girlfriend, even though he still sees her that way. She's made mistakes in her life and she may be heading toward another one. I also enjoyed seeing secondary character (and part of Scott's band) Kim Pine shine this time around. We haven't seen enough of the love between Scott and his ex, and O'Malley really brings that front-and-center just as Ramona begins to question …

In stores 3/18

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Here are the highlights of books coming to comic shops tomorrow! . Pick of the Week . Courtney Crumrin (Volume 4): Monstrous Holiday TP - The fourth collection in Ted Naifeh's excellent Courtney Crumrin series following his wonderful, sarcastic character collects previously published one-shots like Courtney Crumrin and the Fire Thief's Tale and Courtney Crumrin and the Prince of Nowhere. . Other Noteworthy Releases . 1001 Arabian Nights: Adventures .....of Sinbad (Volume 1) TP Air (Volume 1): Letters From .....Lost Countries TP Alan Moore's Light of Thy Countenance GN American Flagg Definitive Collection (Volume 2) TP Avengers Disassembled: Iron Man, Thor & Captain America HC Azrael: Death's Dark Knight #1 (of 3) Batman: Haunted Gotham TP Batman Chronicles (Volume 7) TP Black Coat & Athena Voltaire One-Shot Case Closed (Volume 28) The Complete Just a Pilgrim HC Deadpool: Games of Death One-Shot Fallen Angel Omnibus (Volume 1) TP Fruits Basket (Volume 22) Golden Age Sheena Queen of …

Manga Monday: Pluto

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Pluto (Volume 1)
Naoki Urasawa & Osamu Tezuka
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This was one of my most anticipated comics of the year. I really enjoyed Naoki Urasawa's Monster, and having heard that Pluto was even better, I couldn't wait for this to come out. I was kind of impatient for Monster to end, to be honest, and I'm glad that Viz was so prompt in releasing Urasawa's highly-regarded work. And it was absolutely worth the wait.
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Pluto is based on the Astro Boy story "The Greatest Robot On Earth," by legendary manga creator Osamu Tezuka. Astro Boy is arguably Tezuka's most beloved creation and I rather liked what I read of the series, which wasn't too much to be honest, and I never did read this particular story. I don't think that that hindered my enjoyment of the story at all however. I get Astro Boy and what makes Urasawa's reimagining of the character and his universe so cool. Urasawa's interpretation of Tezuka's world is much more realistically told,…

Angel: Blood & Trenches #1

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John Byrne
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John Byrne tackles Joss Whedon's creation Angel in the new series from IDW Publishing, Angel: Blood & Trenches, in which we get a glimpse into the vampire-with-a-soul's past. I hadn't really heard too much about this book before its release, but it was a really well-done issue. A great, solid story depicts Angel during World War II, where vampires are secretly used by Germany, and Angel is suspected of infiltrating a French camp by none other than a descendant of Wesley's, Colonel Geoffrey Wyndam-Price (a really neat idea). I was a little surprised upon opening the comic that it was an uninked, uncolored book (for the most part, although there are splashes of color here and there - usually blood), but I didn't really mind it once I started reading the story. John Byrne's art is really quite beautiful here and he makes smart choices in terms of telling this story. I would say that the story is a little more immediately appealing than the recent An…

Amber Atoms #1

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Kelly Yates
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Amber Atoms is a new Image comic that debuted a few weeks ago, but proved a little hard to track down. It looks like my local comic shop ordered a few more issues in though, so I got my hands on a copy after all. The book follows a bright young girl from a hard-working family that owns a junkyard. Amber herself loves to tinker in the workshop and we get to see her fight off an assassin droid before her father scolds her for it. When she's sent to shut down the workshop for the day, she returns to find three mysterious armed men in her house, one that gives chase to Amber as she flees, knocking her out just before she reaches the safety of the workshop again. Meanwhile, King Yamoon of the Dan-Tongo race is attempting to establish himself as a good, honest ruler to the other planets in the universe, since in the past, his world chose to enslave the other "young" worlds of the galaxy. His approval ratings are up, but it seems he's not as genuine as he comes …

In Stores 3/11

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Here are the highlights of books shipping to comic shops tomorrow!
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Pick of the Week
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The Perry Bible Fellowship Almanack HC - I loved the first hardcover collection of Nicholas Gurewitch's online strip, The Trial of Colonel Sweeto and Other Stories, so I'm looking forward to reading more humor strips in this collection of all of Gurewitch's strips up till now, even though that means there will be reprints from the last collection. Great cover.
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Other Noteworthy Releases
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The Amazon #1 (of 3)
Angel: After the Fall (Volume 3) HC
Angel: Blood and Trenches #1 - John Byrne does Angel!
Anna Mercury (Volume 1): The Cutter TP
Batman: Battle For the Cowl #1 (of 3)
Be a Nose: Art Spiegelman Sketchbook Set
Blueberry Girl - Neil Gaiman's new picturebook!
Catwoman: The Long Road Home TP
Deadpool (Volume 1): Secret Invasion Premiere HC
Emma (Volume 8)
Essential Power Man and Iron Fist (Volume 2) TP
Franklin Richards: Not So Secret Invasion TP
Justice League International (Volume 4) HC
Losers by Ja…

Manga Monday: Captive Hearts

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Captive Hearts (Volume 1)Matsuri Hino . Captive Hearts is a shojo manga title from the creator of Vampire Knight. The story follows Megumi Kuroishi, the son of a man who has faithfully served the Kogami family for years. When the family disappeared during a trip fifteen years ago, they were left the legacy according to a will. Since then, Megumi has been spoiled, living a life of luxury in the Kogami mansion, lounging about all day. But suddenly there comes news of Suzuka Kogami, the daughter taken on the Kogami vacation who has turned up alive. Megumi's father is overjoyed at the news, having truly loved the Kogami family, but Megumi himself has reservations, hardly wanting to part with his easy lifestyle. On top of all of this, Megumi is informed by his father that there is a curse on the Kuroishi family to serve the Kogamis for one hundred generations. Whatever the Kogamis ask for, the Kuroishis will indulge. When Suzuka comes home to Kogami mansion, Megumi falls madly in…

War of Kings #1 (of 6)

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Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning & Paul Pelletier
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The new galactic crossover event War of Kings has been stewing for awhile now. With Secret Invasion, the Inhumans have been forced to take a more proactive role in protecting their people and have thus allied themselves with their creators the Kree, and the royal family now rules over that race. Inhuman Crystal's marriage to Kree leader Ronan the Accuser is what will firm the union up, and is the event that this first book centers around. Meanwhile in Uncanny X-Men, Vulcan has taken over the throne of the Shi'ar, forcing former Empress Lilandra to ally herself with the Starjammers who, together with a few of the X-Men, are trying to dethrone the unstable Vulcan. With Deathbird and the Imperial Guard at his side, Vulcan has been able to conquer many races in his quest for universal rule, and has his eyes on the Kree next, especially as the opening scene of this first book shows the Kree allowing the Starjammers and Lilandra into…

Angel #18

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Kelley Armstrong & Dave Ross
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With Joss Whedon's "After the Fall" run on Angel over, a new creative team takes over the book in the form of illustrator Dave Ross and supernatural novelist Kelley Armstrong. While it does have the feel of just another media tie-in book from IDW, I do think that Armstrong takes what was left for her at the end of Whedon's arc and kind of runs with it. Angel is a celebrity now, and has to live in an LA that remembers going to Hell and back, and him being their savior. With this fallout, there are new mysterious magical beings showing up, assassins sent after the hero, and bystanders feigning danger to attract his attention. Also, the lineup has changed. Shrunk, really. Instead of involving everyone who has every been in the TV show, Armstrong focuses on a small group consisting of Angel, his son Connor and Kate, the ex-policewoman who was a part of early episodes of the show, but was all but forgotten shortly after. And while i…

Previews: May 2009

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Here are the highlights of books shipping to comic stores this May! . Adhouse Books
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Remake (Volume 1) TP - Lamar Abrams book follows a "robot-boy" in a book that's described as Astro Boy meets Scott Pilgrim. Hmm. .
Archie Comic Publications . Sonic the Hedgehog #200 - The furry little speedster hits quite the milestone in the ever-popular comic. . Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures (Volume 1): Heroes In a Half Shell TP - I know people have been waiting for this for a looong while now. The Archie Ninja Turtles comic is supposed to be awesome. It begins with an adaptation of the television series, which is collected in this first volume, before moving on to its own crazy universe. ***Pick of the Month*** . Boom! Studios . The Unknown #1 (of 4) - This is a new mini-series from Mark Waid about a famous police investigator. What's kind of funny about the description is that they compare it to former Crossgen title Ruse. Which was an awesome book, but it seems odd to compare i…

In Stores 3/4

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Here are the highlights of books hitting comic shop shelves tomorrow!
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Pick of the Week
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War of Kings #1 (of 6) - The latest cosmic crossover for Marvel probably won't be as good as the recent Annihilation books, but it should be fun to see some big battles across the Shi'ar galaxy as Blackbolt, Vulcan and others duke it out for control, spinning out of Uncanny X-Men and Secret Invasion: Inhumans.
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Other Noteworthy Releases
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Barefoot Gen (Volume 7): Bones
.....Into Dust
Barefoot Gen (Volume 8):
.....Merchants of Death
Ben Ten Alien Force (Volume 1):
.....Ben 10 Returns GN
Bleach (Volume 26)
Classic G.I. Joe (Volume 2) TP
Claymore (Volume 14)
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1 (of 5)
DC Library: Life and Death of Ferro Lad HC
Dragonball VizBig Edition (Volume 3)
Galaxy Quest: Global Warning TP
Gentlemen's Alliance (Volume 9)
Goon #32 (10th Anniversary Issue)
High School Debut (Volume 8)
Honey & Clover (Volume 5)
Hulk: Broken Worlds #1 (of 2)
Invincible Iron Man (Volume 1): The Five Nightmares …

Manga Monday: Magic Touch

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Magic Touch (Volume 1)
Izumi Tsubaki .
Magic Touch is a new manga that follows Chiaki Togu, a shy girl who lets people around her bully her, especially her twin sister Sayaka, but is enthusiastic when it comes to massage. When she notices a male student with an extremely tense back on the bus during her morning commutes, she aches to knead those muscles, to the point of coming out of her shell to ask the boy, who turns out to be ladies' man Yosuke Moriizumi, if he will allow her the privilege of a massage. From there, it's your typical shojo manga, with betrayals, misunderstandings, a realization of feelings for one another, etc. Despite falling headlong into the tropes of the genre, I was really with this book for most of the duration. The premise is different enough that it works for me and I enjoyed spending time with these characters and the rest of the goofy troop of massage students. I will say that Tsubaki's strength lies in her telling a story in the moment thou…