Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Splash Page Podcast Episode 6.1

The first of two Splash Page Podcast episodes for this week is live. In this one, Tim and I respond to a certain online 'critic' and his views on decompressed stories. From there, we discuss techniques and critiquing comics in general, what superhero fans expect from their books, and all sorts of other things. Tomorrow's episode will focus on this week's books.

Again, you can listen to the Splash Page Podcast episode 6.1 HERE!

CBR Review: Thunderbolts #141

I recently reviewed Thunderbolts #141 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "The Thunderbolts finally enter the fray of Siege in this week’s issue, with a secret mission for Norman Osborn: steal the Spear of Odin from Asgard’s armory. Jeff Parker is clever in using this mission to tie into Siege since it plays to the group’s strengths and doesn’t simply launch them into the huge brawl. Parker also uses this mission as a means to explore the dysfunctional group dynamic of late with the Ghost AWOL and the team’s leader, Scourge, having shot Headsman in the back of the head under mind control."

You can read the rest HERE!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

CBR Review: Usagi Yojimbo #126

I recently reviewed Usagi Yojimbo #126 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "I’ve heard a lot of great things about Usagi Yojimbo over the years, but had never read an issue for a variety of reasons, few of them good. The chance to review a self-contained issue seemed like a great way to finally see what the fuss was about and check out Stan Sakai’s critically acclaimed series about a samurai rabbit. And this issue is a solid, clever, kind of cute story about two different hosts that take in Miyamoto Usagi and how each is unpleasant in its own way."

You can read the rest HERE!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

CBR Review: Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island #1

I recently reviewed Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island #1 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island #1 is a case of style beating out substance. The amount of plot in this first issue is the equivalent of the first ten minutes of a movie, but Warren Ellis and Raulo Caceres deliver that small amount of plot with a strong, interesting style. Throughout this first issue are text pages that provide context and background for the series, including the history of police forces in England in the early 19th century where the story takes place."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Dark Wolverine #83

I recently reviewed Dark Wolverine #83 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Dark Wolverine #82 ended with Daken running Norman Osborn through with his claws during the Siege of Asgard. It was a shocking way to end the issue since no one would expect Osborn to get killed A) by Daken and B) in the pages of Dark Wolverine. Well, he didn’t, but the manner in which he wasn’t makes sense and sets up a pretty interesting story for Daken in his Siege tie-in issues, picking up on a plot point in Michael Avon Oeming’s contribution to Thor wherein he had the character break the cycle of Ragnarok by severing Asgard’s ties with the Three Fates."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Irredeemable #11

I recently reviewed Irredeemable #11 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "The first story of this issue, drawn by guest artist Diego Barreto, has Bette Noir revealing the secrets of her relationship with the Plutonian to Orian, an alien hunter enlisted by the US government to kill the Plutonian. For the past six months, Waid has been hinting at a deeper relationship between Bette and the Plutonian despite Bette’s relationship with fellow hero Gilgamos. Bette’s revelations aren’t too surprising as a result, but the manner in which events play contain some solid ideas. Her flirting with the Plutonian, though, doesn’t come across as organic and witty, falling closer to porn flick dialogue. What happens before and after Bette’s coming on to Tony is well-written, but how it happens is cringe-worthy dialogue."

You can read the rest HERE!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

CBR Review: Spider-Man: The Clone Saga #6

I recently reviewed Spider-Man: The Clone Saga #6 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "The original Spider-Clone Saga lasted just over two years, spread across the four monthly Spider-Man titles, various mini-series, one-shots, and some issues of Spider-Man Unlimited, whereas this ‘proper’ rewriting/retelling only received six issues. While the first one was horribly drawn out and lasted much too long, Spider-Man: The Clone Saga has been very compressed, reading like a comic story on fast forward much of the time. This final issue escapes that trap by playing out as a regular conclusion to a story, though it still has many problems, including a rushed, underexplained final scene."

You can read the rest HERE!

Quickie Reviews (Feb 24 2010)

Bigger week with my getting nine books, only three of which I'm reviewing for CBR. So, let's get to it...

Batman and Robin #9: I liked the Knight/Squire punching out the bad guy call back to the first arc. Batwoman's resurrection was handled well, but the evil Batman clone stole the show with his wonderfully twisted, incomplete thoughts. The page where characters from Batman's past are mashed up and combined is great. Cameron Stewart excels in this issue. [****]

Gravel #17: A bit of a minor issue with a few different scenes, two of which involve Gravel recruiting some magicians for the Minor Seven, and the other dealing with a twisted fucker trying to get Gravel's attention. This will most likely not stand out as much when read as part of the whole, but, alone, it's a little disappointing. Though, the 'blonde magic' stuff is pretty funny. [**1/2]

New Avengers #62: Don't you love it how the various comics regarding Steve Rogers's return/appearances since his return don't really add up? Because I sure do. This issue leads into Siege while wrapping up the fight with the Hood's people from last issue. Some great art by Stuart Immonen and Daniel Acuña. I also like how Steve says some personal things to people and we don't hear it. There's a lot to live up to in those sort of exchanges and Bendis is wise to show them without giving the details. Though, the not lining up with what we've seen elsewhere is annoying. [***]

Scalped #35: This is one of those comics that I know I should like more -- and I did like it, but I didn't love it. It's a slice of life sort of story about an older couple trying to survive and doing so by getting through it together. Jason Aaron's writing is solid and he uses their respective narrations to play off one another in cute ways, showing that they've been together so long that they know each other almost as well as they know themselves. But, it didn't hit me on emotional level, which was clearly the intention. This sort of story is meant to fucking nail you in the gut and it didn't... at least for me. I liked it a lot and it shows the potential this series has to explore ideas and characters beyond the core group (something Aaron has mentioned from time to time). Danijel Zezelj's dark, angular art is fantastic. I love how much emotion he can bring out in a character's face through his use of blocky shadows and lines. The juxtaposition of the third and final pages is great if you flip back and forth. A really good comic that didn't affect me as strongly as intended for whatever reason. [****]

Secret Warriors #13: Huh, we get some more background on the Kraken... and that final stuff is good, but mostly a 'this will mean more in the broader context' issue. As well, Stefano Caselli and Sunny Gho's work on art didn't look as good here. A little too bright, a little too polished... I've been liking the darker, sloppier work of late. That final page is some harsh shit that I don't expect to stick. Then again, given Sebastian's bitching prior to that, I can't exactly blame Fury... [***]

Thor #607: The different artists were distracting in this issue going from traditional to digital inks... the story wasn't as impressive as the first three issues of Gillen's run, though I liked Volstagg's scene in the police station. Loki is really overplaying his hand here in a sloppy way. [**1/2]


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

CBR Review: The Marvels Project #6

I recently reviewed The Marvels Project #6 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "The Marvels Project #6 might be the best-looking comic Steve Epting has ever drawn. His work with Ed Brubaker on Captain America was very good, but he’s really outdone himself on The Marvels Project, delivering stunning visuals in each issue, the latest one being his best work to date. Together with colorist Dave Stewart, Epting manages to tread the same visual ground as Alex Ross did in Marvels and not look like a second-class imitator. If anything, the art here stands toe to toe with Ross’s work on the seminal mini-series."

You can read the rest HERE!

Monday, February 22, 2010

CBR Review: Superman/Batman #69

I recently reviewed Superman/Batman #69 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Continuing from last issue, Superman finds himself fighting an assassin named NRG-X who has been hired by someone to kill Clark Kent. The opening pages of the issue flashback to the hiring and we get a few details about the assassin in the process, but, mostly, it’s a pretty good action sequence as Superman does his best to neutralize the assassin while limiting collateral damage. The resolution to the fight is your typical ‘bad guy escapes’ trick, but done with some flair. While NRG-X isn’t as great as the Casey-created Assassin Lad from his Adventures of Superman run, enough is hinted at here for him to develop into an interesting character at some point."

You can read the rest HERE!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Splash Page Podcast Episode 5

Tim and I spent an hour on Friday night talking curling, the recent DC news, Joe the Barbarian #2, and Uncanny X-Men #521 in the fifth Splash Page Podcast. Not only that, but you get to hear about Tim's weekend plans and listen as, at times, his sound quality is worse than mine thanks to some technical glitches. It's good stuff.

So, you know, go download it HERE!

Friday, February 19, 2010

CBR Review: Deadpool #19

I recently reviewed Deadpool #19 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Deadpool arrives in New York, hoping to find Spider-Man and learn to be a hero, because he’s back doing that again. The issue begins with the two crossing paths with only Spidey aware of who the other truly is before a room full of dead bodies makes an official meeting unavoidable. There is some initial humor in Deadpool welcoming Spider-Man with open arms only to receive various punches and kicks, and Way uses a running hot dog-related gag to good effect in places. Largely, though, it’s pretty standard fare as Deadpool protests his innocence, Spider-Man doesn’t believe him, Deadpool proves his innocence and wants to help, and Spider-Man reluctantly agrees."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Spider-Man 1602 #5

I recently reviewed Spider-Man 1602 #5 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "It’s easy to look at a book like Spider-Man 1602 and wonder why it exists. What’s the point of telling stories involving 17th century versions of characters that we’re familiar with and can read about now? The finale to this series provides a pretty easy answer: it allows for Marvel to publish a pretty entertaining, light-hearted action comic written by Jeff Parker and drawn by Ramon Rosanas where the two of them can just go out and have fun with these ideas. Spider-Man 1602 isn’t going to win an Eisner for best limited series, but it is an amusing and enjoyable read."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Power Girl #9

I recently reviewed Power Girl #9 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "It’s not many four-star comics that begin with a woman sitting on the toilet and her cat sticking its butt in her face, but Power Girl #9 is definitely one of them (or the only one of them). Beginning with the morning after last issue, this one creates a sense of business by cramming a lot of information and events into the first six pages before transitioning to a fight between Power Girl and Satanna and her animal army that’s slightly more relaxed, but not by much."

You can read the rest HERE!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

CBR Review: Spider-Woman #6

I recently reviewed Spider-Woman #6 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "For years now, Brian Michael Bendis has been telling us how cool the Jessica Drew version of Spider-Woman is and, honestly, most of us scoffed at him, wondering if he was thinking of the same Jessica Drew Spider-Woman that we were. Well, in this week’s issue of her ongoing, Bendis and Alex Maleev do a pretty convincing job of demonstrating the appeal of Jessica Drew as she takes on the Thunderbolts in the streets of Madripoor."

You can read the rest HERE!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

CBR Review: Joe the Barbarian #2

I recently reviewed Joe the Barbarian #2 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Based on Sean Murphy’s art alone, Joe the Barbarian is worth a look, but Grant Morrison’s writing is average fantasy fare and doesn’t rise beyond the novelty of the book’s premise. Joe is a young teenager suffering diabetes and is having some sort of odd side-effect from a lack of insulin that’s resulting him shifting between the real world and a perceived fantasy world. In this issue, he manages to make it from his attic bedroom to the bathroom, while stumbling his way through the other world where his pet mouse is a warrior and he learns of his quest to save that world from dark forces."

You can read the rest HERE!

Quickie Review (Feb 17 2010)

It's just like last week where I bought six comics: four $2.99 ones and two $3.99 ones. Same deal this week. But, unlike last week, I'm reviewing the four $2.99 books for CBR. That just leaves the $3.99 ones for here...

Captain America #603: This issue continues the "Two Americas" story and features no Tea Party references, sorry. It's just some good covert ops superhero action as the '50s Cap shows why he got to be Captain America for a period of time. He totally outclasses Barnes and Falcon. Luke Ross's art looks a lot better with Dead White's colours. Bold, thick lines, lots of shadows... good stuff. I didn't read the back-up story. Maybe I'll give it a shot at a later date. [***1/2]

Dark Avengers #14: Another comic billed as a tie-in to Siege that isn't actually. Ignoring that, this is a pretty standard/solid issue of Dark Avengers with the focus on Norman Osborn and the Sentry/Void's mental problems leading up to Siege. Victoria Hand continues to be an interesting/fun character. The scene with Bullseye, Moonstone, and her is pretty good. Mike Deodato's style fits the tone of this book so well. The way that these Siege tie-in issues are working, I may have to provide a reading order for this event like I did Secret Invasion. [***1/2]

That's it for this week. Later.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Splash Page Podcast Episode 4

After some downtime thanks to using up all of the bandwidth in our free account, we are back thanks to Tim shelling out for the upgrade. He's a good man that Tim Callahan. He's allowing you to hear the fourth episode of our podcast where we discuss various DC-related topics like our top five DC runs of the past five years and some of last week's books like Batman and Robin, Daytripper, and The Unknown. Possibly other things. I can't remember. I do remember cutting out a lot of stuff that Tim wouldn't want made public (how do you think I got him to pay for that upgrade...?). So, go, download, listen, enjoy.

You can do all of that HERE!

CBR Review: The Anchor #5

I recently reviewed The Anchor #5 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "In many ways, this issue follows the pattern of previous issues: Clem fights a monster, kills the monster, eats its heart, and gains some lost memories in the process. Throw in a few scenes in Hell and an appearance from the mysterious bandaged man that has a speech impediment of some sort and it’s a pretty typical issue of The Anchor. While the story advances, especially at the end, the series feels like it’s treading water for the most part. Hopefully, the plot twist at the end of the issue will shake things up a little."

You can read the rest HERE!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

CBR Review: Chocolate Cheeks

I recently reviewed Chocolate Cheeks for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "The simplest way to determine if you’ll enjoy Steven Weissman’s Chocolate Cheeks is to read the fifth strip in the book. 'Sweet' Chubby Cheeks and Pullapart Boy are on the bus and the latter boy gives up his seat to a lumpy-faced man with a cane, causing the man to say 'A seat on the 217 bus? Thank you, sir. This brain tumor is the gift that just keeps on giving.' When reading, I laughed quite hard, causing my girlfriend to inquire about what was so funny and, upon learning, gave me a 'I’m in love with a really weird guy' look. Obviously, Chocolate Cheeks isn’t for Michelle, but is definitely for me and anyone who likes this sort of twisted, somewhat sick humor."

You can read the rest HERE!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

CBR Review: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #7

I recently reviewed Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #7 and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "The Ultimate Spider-Man status quo is very different in the post-Ultimatum world with Aunt May taking in both Iceman and the Human Torch in addition to Gwen Stacey. In the preview pages, Bendis recaps that by cleverly putting it into a conversation between Peter and Mary Jane while they’re on break at their mall food court jobs. Peter’s wonderment at how much May is loving the new arrangement no doubt mirrors that of readers, as Bendis takes almost an opposite approach to the character that was taken in the regular Spider-Man books. However, when we see May with the kids later, it reads smoothly and naturally, although truncated by the Rick Jones plot."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Human Target #1

I recently reviewed Human Target #1 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "It makes sense for DC to release a Human Target series a month after the TV series debuted on Fox, and even more sense to have it take place within the world of the show instead of the DCU or the Vertigo series’ world. Why alienate potential new readers who want more stories that fall in line with the TV show? Unfortunately, what makes the TV series work, like Mark Valley’s charm or the funny interplay between Chi McBride and Jackie Earle Haley, isn’t present in the comic. All that’s left is the bare bones of the show with serviceable art."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Ultimate Comics Armor Wars #4

I recently reviewed Ultimate Comics Armor Wars #4 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Warren Ellis’ take on Ultimate Tony Stark has been one of the best, beginning with Ultimate Human and continuing in this series, this issue giving Ellis a chance to show another side of the character as he faces the man behind the theft of his Iron Man technology. The identity is somewhat shocking and is someone close to Stark that no one, not even he, would have guessed responsible for this. Ellis crafts the man responsible in the mould of many other Ellis-penned characters, but that cranky charm of his always works -— for this reviewer, at least."

You can read the rest HERE!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

CBR Review: Batman and Robin #8

I recently reviewed Batman and Robin #8 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "As Batman & Robin hits the halfway of its biweekly third storyarc, Dick Grayson, the Knight, the Squire, and Batwoman have all converged on a Lazarus Pit in England and are, apparently, going to resurrect Bruce Wayne using the corpse Superman found after his death in Final Crisis. In a twisted recall to Final Crisis, Grant Morrison reveals that the corpse in their possession isn’t Bruce Wayne’s, but one of the clones that were meant to be an army in service of Darkseid. It’s a clever twist that spurs on the second part of 'Blackest Knight,' 'Batman versus Batman.'"

You can read the rest HERE!

Quickie Reviews (Feb. 10, 2010)

I bought six comics this week, three of which I'm reviewing for CBR, so it's a pretty small week here in quickie reviews land...

Daytripper #3: I've generally been enjoying this series, but this issue really clicked with me. The twins wrote their asses off here, finding the right balance of mythical love bullshit talk and 'realism.' Bras was more interesting in this issue as well. The ending really hit home what's going on in this series... maybe. The art is sublime, capturing the emotional texture of scenes wonderfullly. The visual storytelling in the market is wonderful. The first issue to realise the potential that the series seemed to have... [****1/2]

Punishermax #4: A solid issue. The fight between the Punisher and the Mennonite was something different. Fisk's plan is almost working. All hope seems lost. Good read. [***1/2]

The Unwritten #10: Jimmy Broxton's finishes give this issue a different visual feel, which makes sense considering the different visual reality. They're in the map! The slow solidification of Goebbels is done well. An odd issue since it has both the best and worst of this series: I find myself disliking Tom Taylor and anything related to him, but liking the framework of his world, how it intersects with fiction. Taylor is annoying; Lizzie is almost equally so with her cliched insistence on being vague and mysterious... It's not too often that I find the disparity between the intellectually stimulating elements of the book and my (dis)interest in the character so great. Is the latter great enough to make the former tolerable? I don't know... [**1/2]


Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Splash Page Podcast Episode 3

Episode three of the Splash Page Podcast is up and ready for you to download. Tim and I discussed a lot of stuff from Jason Aaron's Ghost Rider to how we're both model citizens (and people, really) to Grant Morrison's odd hang-up with Alan Moore. We also discussed the format of the podcast and its future a little bit. And I swear. And, thus, had to bleep myself. Dammit.

You can listen to or download the podcast HERE!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

random update from Steve

Hi, everyone! I'm the other guy who uses this blog on rare occasions to make my thoughts about comics known, Steve Higgins!

As always happens in the spring semester, I'm teaching a class called Comic Books as Literature at the school where I work, Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, Illinois, and this semester I've updated the curriculum a bit. I got tired of doing the same books over and over, so I switched three of the five books I teach so I could try something new. Right now I'm in the midst of teaching the first volume of Astro City for the first time. Next up will be my first attempt at Criminal (vol. 2: Lawless) and then after two books I've taught before (V for Vendetta and Sandman: Season of Mists) I will attempt to tackle Jimmy Corrigan.

So I will be updating much more frequently in the coming months, simply because I will have more to talk about for once.

Also I am going to be participating in three academic conferences related to comics. On March 27 I will be involved in the St. Louis Area Comics Friendly Faculty conference, probably taking part in the panel discussion on Comic in the Classroom. At the Comic Arts Conference which is associated with Wondercon (April 2 through 4) I will be presenting an expanded version of my first post here, analyzing the question of the identity of Holiday in Batman The Long Halloween. And in the middle of April I will be going to C2E2 to participate in their Comic Studies Conference, presenting on symbolism and visual motifs in Jar of Fools.

And finally I will be hosting my special guest lecture at the end of April again this year, bringing in a comic creator to discuss his creative process to the students of my school and the general public. I'm still finalizing the details, but it looks to be a pretty big event this year, as I am quite possibly going to be flying someone in special just for the event.

So keep your eyes peeled for future updates from me, Steve Higgins, the guy that writes here who isn't Chad (or Tim).

Friday, February 05, 2010

CBR Review: Scalped #34

I recently reviewed Scalped #34 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "The finale to 'The Gnawing' is an example of when winning can feel a lot like losing. Red Crow and Dash Bad Horse both walk out of this comic in one piece, their respective problems solved for now, but the solutions were ones that brought both characters down to lower depths than we’ve seen before. And, if you’re a regular reader of Scalped, you’ll know just how low that is. For those unaware, both men have killed before, both men have shown an ability for cruelty to those they love, and, to make matter worse, both men are in desperate situations here. Like no other issue, Scalped #34 pairs the two, having each reflect the other, and hitting that point home in the final two pages in a stunning revelation."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: The Question #37

I recently reviewed The Question #37 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "The final issue of DC’s resurrected title’s month may have spilled into February, but it’s worth the wait. The Question returns for a thirty-seventh issue and the creative team from that series, Dennis O’Neil and Denys Cowan, team with current Question writer Greg Rucka to resurrect Vic Sage/Charlie as a Black Lantern. This issue acts as a good meeting of the two different Questions’ worlds as the legacy of Vic Sage is touched upon, while Renee Montoya proves herself a worthy successor."

You can read the rest HERE!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

CBR Review: Demo Vol. 2 #1

I recently reviewed Demo vol. 2 #1 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "The first volume of Demo, a 12-issue mini-series published by AiT/Planet Lar, was one of the best comics to come out in 2003-04, as Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan crafted fantastic stories about people who powers of some sort (sometimes only in the most ancillary sense of the word.) Every issue was self-contained and the subject matter ranged from a young boy who is picked on whose powers manifest in a frightening way, to the dissolution of a relationship. Word that Wood and Cloonan would be doing a six-issue second volume brought about mixed feelings of wondering why they would want to return when the first series was so great and the desire to see more stellar work from the pair."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Zorro Matanzas #1

I recently reviewed Zorro: Matanzas #1 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Zorro: Matanzas is a comic that’s been in the works for over a decade, originally intended for publication by Topps when they had the license to the character, but never released for various behind-the-scenes reasons. This week, the first issue of this mini-series finally hits shops courtesy of Dynamite, the current license holder, and it stands out as a different book than their regular “Zorro” series, but should still appeal to fans of the character and act as an introduction for those new to it."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Indomitable Iron Man #1

I recently reviewed Indomitable Iron Man #1 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "The use of the other characters allows Chaykin to draw both the Iron Man/Titanium Man fight and those other characters in their respective activities, plus a sarcastic, flirtatious Pepper Potts who seems both annoyed at her boss and amused by his hectic day. Chaykin’s art allows for a little bit of gray, but is mostly heavy blacks and whites, and dynamic, energetic poses. He seems to love using the circular energy effect of Iron Man’s repulsor rays and it gives a lot of pages an interesting look; mostly, Chaykin favors big pictures with characters in the midst of the action. This is a fun story that rests on a simple concept, but presents it effectively and entertainingly."

You can read the rest HERE!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Quickie Reviews (Feb. 3, 2010)

As always, quick thoughts on the comics I got this week that I'm not reviewing for CBR...

The Boys #39: Another quiet character-based issue. The sex stuff between Hughie and Annie made me laugh, especially Hughie's homophobia being followed up with him stopping the porn on the lesbian scene. Mother's Milk's couple of pages were... yeah, pretty much what you'd expect Ennis to show after revealing his origin. John McCrea and Keith Burns did the art and it's serviceable, but just makes me long for Robertson. The payoff at the end is done well. Let's get into the second half of this book's run! [***]

Criminal: The Sinners #4: Man, Tracy is a stupid guy sometimes. A gorgeous comic as always. Glad that it's back on a regular schedule. [****]

Ghost Riders: Heaven's on Fire #6: A minor complaint: no letters page for this finale? Damn. The Irish Ghost Rider made me laugh quite a bit. Roland Boschi knocks it out of the park with Dan Brown's orange/red colours almost hurting the eyes on some pages they're so dominant. The conclusion to Jason Aaron's run on the character is good, not great. He doesn't give us the all-out brawl we expect, but it's an intelligent and smart conclusion. If there's a book likely to be discussed in this week's podcast, it's this one, I imagine. [***1/2]

The Great Ten #4: An enjoyable issue that answers some questions and raises others. The story behind the Immortal Man in Darkness is good and a nice spin on the Blackhawks that's a lot more subtle than last issue's Superman/Thundermind thing. I do love the energy of Scott McDaniel's art, but the finishes aren't as polished as I would like. [**1/2]

Greek Street #8: One of the better issues of this series as things seem to be moving in a direction. The first arc was a lot of promise of an eventual direction, but this one has shown movement as the characters converge and interact more. Still not a great read, though. [***]

Siege #2: No one saw that coming. I know I didn't. It's not unusual for violence of that scale to happen in superhero comics now, but, in this case, it was done well -- and was shocking. The look on Hawkeye's (Bullseye) face tells it all. The final page was going for a certain effect, but was reaching for it too much. I liked this issue more than the first. It hasn't exactly progressed beyond the concept yet, but it's executing it in a suprising manner. The text piece at the back of this issue adds to the story in a way that last issue's text piece didn't. Good stuff all around. [***1/2]


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Splash Page Podcast Episode 2.3

Today, the conclusion of the second Splash Page Podcast recording session went up with episode 2.3. We talk about a lot of stuff... do I even need to tell you what? Jonathan Hickman is one of them. I even left in a part where I say I should edit what we're saying out because it's kind of funny. So go, download, listen, enjoy.

Monday, February 01, 2010

The Splash Page Podcast Episode 2.2

The second of this week's Splash Page podcasts has gone up. There's more talking by Tim and I about all sorts of things. We begin with some reviewing talk, which we may wind up doing a lot since that's how we relate to comics a lot of the time, so hopefully people don't mind that too much. Then we actually discuss some comics. Not reviewing comics, the comics themselves. Good times. The third and final part should go up tomorrow. That link again is: the Splash Page Podcast episode 2.2!