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Booster Gold #26 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 4.5/5
Art: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

Deadpool #17 [Review]

Want You to Want Me Part Three: The Revolution Will Be Televised

Writer: Daniel Way
Penciller: Paco Medina
Inker: Juan Vlasco
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Assistant Editor: Jody Leheup
Editor: Axel Alonso
Cover: Jason Pearson
Publisher: Marvel Comics

It’s hard to believe this is only the third issue of Deadpool that I’ve bought new of this series. Since picking up #15 to “try” at a friend’s persistent urging/recommendation, I’ve gone back and bought issues 12-14, the Secret Invasion trade, the Deadpool/Thunderbolts trade, a Suicide Kings hardcover, Merc With a Mouth 1-3 (and 4 “new”), as well as Deadpool #900 and Deadpool Team-Up #899. (And of course, also picked up this week’s Amazing Spider-Man #611 just because it had Deadpool in it).

As the above paragraph probably suggests…I’m hooked. I’m a total sucker for anything Deadpool right now. Of course…that’s for good reason The character’s at the top of his game under the various creative teams right now. And over-exposed or exploited as the character may be, I’m thoroughly enjoying such a concentrated dose of the character at present.

This issue picks up on Deadpool seeking to prove himself to Cyclops, that he can cut it s an X-man. Cyclops is handling a sensitive political situation, and Deadpool doesn’t exactly help. His involvement leads Cyclops to send Domino after the Merc…and a misunderstnding with her overhearing Cyclops talking to Wolverine keeps them from hanging onto Wade once they have him. We’re also given a sort of wacky take on H.A.M.M.E.R. and its agents that fits perfectly with Deadpool. The ending sets up the concluding chapter of this arc on a fairly generic cliffhanger.

The art’s good stuff here, and I continue to really enjoy Medina’s work. This contrasts with the cover art, which–while amusing enough–isn’t all that appealing. Still, I’m thankful for the interior being to my liking.

I like that this title is fairly well self-contained; despite the large number of other Deadpool comics and appearances going on at present, this story isn’t forced to acknowledge all of that; its story is its own entity.

This isn’t a great jumping-on point, really (but certainly is not the worst, thanks to the “Previously Page” that Marvel actually does very well with). As a whole, this really feels like the “main” Deadpool book, allowing the other books their status as “secondary” or “side” titles. This seems the book you’ll want to give a look at if you’re interested in Deadpool’s place in interaction with the current Marvel Universe’s ongoing continuity (Dark Reign and all that).

All in all, another solid issue, and I’m ready for the next.

Story: 7.5/10
Art: 8.5/10
Whole: 8/10

Green Lantern Corps #42 [Review]

Hungry Heart

Story & Words: Peter J. Tomasi
Penciller: Patrick Gleason
Inkers: Rebecca Buchman, Tom Nguyen
Colorists: Randy Mayor, Gabe Eltaeb
Letterer: Steve Wands
Editor: Adam Schlagman
Cover: Gleason, Buchman & Mayor and Buchman (variant by Greg Horn)
Publisher: DC Comics

This issue is mostly battle scenes, as we see the Green Lanterns (with help from the Indigo Tribe) defending Oa from the Black Lanterns. Killowog faces the Black Lanterns of recruits who try to stir up his guilt for failing to keep them alive. And the Black Lanterns reach 100% power…and prepare to Devour WILL. With things looking bleak, Kyle seizes on an idea that might just buy the defenders an edge–and sets his plan into motion. Unfortunately, an Alpha Lantern’s interference sends things in a less than desireable direction.

The ending of this issue was pretty much what I expected as the story progressed–from the moment the Alpha Lantern showed up, I had a sinking feeling…and the heroic action that resulted left me all the more sunk. The final page, seeing the body and the ring’s declaration that its Green Lantern was deceased and flying off…totally heart-breaking. Especially given WHO it was.

The action in this issue was so fast-paced that I hardly noticed the art. Where I did notice it, it didn’t seem all that bad. Gleason’s art seems much more well-suited for the alien characters; and even the cartooney aspect that usually bothers me so much didn’t really show through in this issue. The story was basically a straight-forward battle sequence followed by a fairly typical “heroic death” sequence. While significant in and of itself, it’s nothing special, and is rather formulaic in execution.

On the whole, a mostly average issue tending toward the better side for me as one who generally has not liked the visual style of the title’s artist. While the death at the end sucks, it fits in with the story, and provided me the biggest “Oh, crap!” moment since the end of Blackest Night #1. I must also applaud all involved for not letting this slip beforehand–I had no idea this was going to be the issue’s end when I bought the issue.

As usual, I certainly recommend this to anyone following the title anyway or Blackest Night as a whole.

Story: 7.5/10
Art: 6/10
Whole: 6.5/10

Amazing Spider-Man #611 [Review]

This Man, This [Expletive Deleted]

Writer: Joe Kelly
Artist: Eric Canete
Colorist: Andres Mossa
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Asst. Editor: Tom Brennan
Editor: Stephen Wacker
Exec. Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics

I never expected to be reviewing–much less BUYING–an issue of this title given the current status quo. I’m one of those who has zero interest in the current Spider-Man post-One-More-Day. That I bought this issue at all is high praise to the draw of Deadpool. And, as I’d hoped…this felt more like a Deadpool title than Spider-Man.

The issue opens with Deadpool amidst a bunch of mostly recognizeable Marvel Women taking a phone call about a new job. Of course, this plays out in typical Deadpool-fashion and manages to reference/poke fun at a couple notable points of Spider-Man comics the last couple years. Even the “Previously Page” is given some hokiness, breaking the “fourth wall” having the Marvel EIC and other editors give the situation-so-far. We then quickly move into seeing Spider-Man in action against Lady Stilt-Man and all the ridiculousness one can imagine. Deadpool steps in and he and Spidey fight (though the fight devolves to juvenile “yo mamma” trade-offs). Finally, Deadpool attains his goal, and the scene shifts to show us the real purpose of Deadpool taking on Spidey, with a fairly major character now lying dead, as this title heads into something called “The Gauntlet.”

I’m not familiar with the artist…and honestly, this issue did absolute zero to make me want to get familiar. The style is rather stylistic…but really does not at all fit what I’d expect of something with Deadpool (or Spider-Man, for that matter). If I wasn’t 1. so stoked about Deadpool as written by Joe Kelly and/or 2. never bothered to look inside the issue before purchase, due to knowledge of Deadpool’s presence and the “regular” cover being the one I wanted*…I’d recommend against this for anyone but those already following and enjoying the title.

(* see how I’ll use the asterisk to note something? Sort like Deadpool and his “voices.” I specifically avoided a recent issue of Hulk that had Deadpool in it, due to the fact that the cover I wanted turned out to be a 1:200 or so ratioed-variant. I’d’ve avoided this issue had it been the same set-up.)

Where this issue succeeds is in feeling like a Deadpool story guest-starring Spider-Man. As I have zero interest in Spidey’s current status quo, this issue worked very well by not dealing with it in any focal manner. I recognize background characters–Madame Web, and Mattie in particular–and see how they provide a sort of “framing sequence” that marks this as a sort of “prologue” to The Gauntlet.

Where this issue fails is in establishing anything to bring me back next issue. This felt like a one-off, and though I’m mildly intrigued by what was set up here…I’m still not at all interested in actually investing in the next arc.

Deadpool fan? This is well worth picking up, if you don’t mind the art. Regular reader of The Amazing Spider-Man? This’ll probably be right up your alley and have more significance for you than me (not having touched a Spider-Man comic in close to two years).

Final thought: The cover is great. And yet realy has nothing to do with the issue. This is the sort of image that would make a great ad in that regard…and I daresay I’d buy a poster if they made one of this image.

Story: 7/10
Art: 3/10
Whole: 5/10

R.E.B.E.L.S. #10 [Review]

The Son & the Stars Part One

Writer: Tony Bedard
Artist: Andy Clarke
Colorist: Jose Villarrubia
Letterer: Swands
Asst. Editor: Rex Ogle
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Cover: Kalman Andrasofszky
Publisher: DC Comics

This issue opens with a brief re-telling of the origin of L.E.G.I.O.N. and what got characters to the current R.E.B.E.L.S. status quo. The characters deal with the ongoing conflict with Starro, and we see Dox losing control as his son is taken by agents of Starro, and the forcefield he’s created to contain Starro is endangered. As Dox and crew jump into action to deal with this, they encounter seveal Sinestro Corps members…and discover that something even WORSE is chasing the sinestros. The issue ends on a relatively high “holy crap…that’s awesome!” moment (though it was topped by this week’s ending of Green Lantern Corps #42).

The writing’s solid, and the art is good stuff. There’s a distinctive style to the visuals that sets this apart from a lot of other comics; sets it above, actually. It fits the story and gives a definite feel that adds to the narrative.

On the whole, not a bad issue. I’m somewhat familiar with the characters, mainly from giving this series a try for its first 3-4 issues. I’d dropped the book for boredom and not really caring about the characters. This issue doesn’t do much to change that…but the context of the Blackest Night tie-in makes things a bit more interesting. And the ending has me VERY interested in what comes next–all the moreso if it adds a lasting element to the status quo BEYOND Blackest Night. Didn’t take much, but this certainly out-did the Doom Patrol tie-in last week, which earns it additional credit in my sight for that alone. Not as good as the Booster Gold issue this week, or GL Corps…but still a worthy chapter of the overall Blackest Night story.

Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10
Whole: 7.5/10

Star Trek: Where no DVD has gone before?

I’ve been waiting MONTHS for the release of the new Star Trek film on DVD.  I’ve been amazed in recent months to note the likes of X-Men Origins: Wolverine and GI Joe and such already being released to DVD.  After all, Wolverine debuted 5-7 days BEFORE Star Trek, yet that DVD’s been out for a month or more now.  GI Joe came out a couple weeks ago, and it debuted 3 MONTHS AFTER Star Trek.  Says something about the “legs” ‘Trek had, right?

Recently, I did some searching online and discovered that a Blu-Ray edition would come with 4 badge replicas (of the officers) if one purchases from Best Buy.  OK, fine ‘n dandy…but what about the DVD edition?  Nope–you’ve got a “bare bones” edition, a 2-disc “special” (hah!) edition, or the Blu-Ray (3-disc) edition with the cool exclusive.

Oh, and get this: the discount pricing (which for the last 6-some years I have been aware of it and buying DVDs at all has been day-of-release and lasts at least until that Saturday) is being offered by Best Buy for a mere two hours.

For the first two business hours only, your local Best Buy is open, you can purchase the DVDs or Blu-Ray at a discount off Best Buy’s regular pricing.  (And if your store has a midnight-release of the movie, it’s the first two hours from midnight, AND the first two hours of “regular” business hours).

The best part of all this? It’s DOORBUSTER pricing.  Over a week before Thanksgiving and “Black Friday” and all that.

Blu-Ray-only for an exclusive? Strike one. Discount pricing offered for only two hours instead of all week? Strike two.  Calling it a “doorbuster?” Strike three, Best Buy…I’m not buying.

Target has a special edition for $26.99 where the case actually transforms into a replica of the Enterprise. The idea of having the Enterprise be the dvd case was, until 20 minutes ago, merely something I thought would be amusing, but never thought they’d actually DO.  (Presumably, the saucer section will hold the disc(s) themselves).

Yet, awesome as that is…the price is NOT awesome.  $26.99 + tax puts the thing darned near $30, which is rather expensive for a single movie, even if I do expect to watching it a number of times. (Sure, $30 isn’t bad compared to certain tv seasons on dvd, but at least with those you typically get a heckuva lot more entertainment time for the monetary investment…to say nothing of one perhaps being able to justify a less-than-$20 purchase, but $30 really pushes it.) Especially when the Blu-Ray has an extra disc of content (3-disc) while the “special edition” DVD is only 2-disc. It’s probably just me, but somehow, a 2-disc DVD held to a 3-disc other edition seems somehow an inferior product.

I’ve been increasingly put-off lately by the fact that the “single-disc” or “bare bones” editions of movies are priced at what the “full edition” DVDs were just a few years ago, that often were what enticed me to purchase the films at all. The “special editions” being what contained most “extras” being significantly more expensive (simply for BEING “special,” apparently) has been a growing point of frustration for me.  Most recently, I’ve been all the more frustrated at the shift to the aggressive marketing of Blu-Ray; with Best Buy being the primary guilty party, seeming to mostly advertise the Blu-Ray while almost as an afterthought noting that a DVD edition is also available.

This film–til now–has been my favorite film of the year, and instantly ranked with some of my all-time favorites. From the moment the end credits rolled opening night, I made intention to buy this immediately upon home release.

But with the points made above…the shenanigans with pricing, exclusives, and format…

I’m actually considering simply not buying the thing at all.

I mean, I refuse to buy a comic book when a single image is split among two or more covers of the same issue. Shouldn’t I hold movies to at least a similar standard?

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