Thursday, July 13, 2006

COMICS: What You Should Be Reading This Summer!

Hello all, I'm just giving you the skinny on what main stream titles you should be reading. Now I'm not alienating the Indies, they are going to have a special article on their own very soon after I return from the San Diego Comic Con next week. In this week's comics review we'll look at the best titles from the House of Ideas, Marvel comics and their cross town rival DC.


Civil War: Frontline issue #3 written by Paul Jenkins and illustrated by Ramon Bachs, Steve Lieber and Lee Weeks. The deadline for the Hero Registration Act has passed and the line has been drawn. Captain America and Falcon have started their resistance against the government and we get our first hero against hero tragedy. The Front Line focuses mainly from the press point of view caught in the middle of this war. There are three mini-stories within this issue; the first delves into the two sides of the conflict. Reporter Sally Floyd gets the scoop on Cap and the rebels while Ben Urich of the Daily Bugle gets a story from Fantastic Four leader Reed Richards. There are many questions posed about the righteousness of democracy as well as the foolishness of tyranny and how both are being manipulated by the Rebels and the registered heroes. I personally enjoyed the second story dealing with the remaining hero from the group New Warriors, Speedball. He's stuck in prison, charged with the murder of innocents and the worst part for him he's lost his powers. You really feel bad for the guy. The third story is a little more confusing but it gauges the reaction of a terrorist bombing in a residential area, but the title is Sleeper Cell and it is the first ish so we'll have to see. Frontline is worth a read especially if you're up to par on your current events, it pushes the character's story's along well and we get to focus on smaller tier heroes and ordinary folk.

Squadron Supreme issue #5 written by J. Michael Straczynski and penciled by Gary Frank. Personally I liked this whole series when it was R rated, it was visceral and real and most importantly Gary Frank draws the female form real well. In this issue the Squad led by Hyperion takes on an army in the desert of the Middle East somewhere, most likely of Arabic descent. The story focuses mainly on team member named Inertia, who has invulnerable skin and super strength, mostly about her abusive childhood and how this very different country brings her old feelings back to the surface. This country they are attacking is supposed to be I assume a mini Iraq led by a Saddam like person who commits a form of genocide on his own people. You get to see a lot of action in this as well as develop a sense of this group's dynamic and how they probably will be sparring with each other very soon. It's not bad, but it took a long time to get to this action. Hopefully we'll be seeing some more ass whuping as we continue to issue #6.

Sensational Spider-Man issue #28 written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and penciled by Clayton Crain. Spider-Man has been unmasked and we've seen some of the reactions from various people from Jonah Jameson to Norman Osborn. Now we get to see what Peter Parker's pupils think of their unmasked Science teacher. We follow a young student of Peter's who is a bit of a nerd just like his teacher and he loves science. It's an interesting set up which mirrors Peter's own upbringing--nerdy guy gets teased at school for having a big brain. It's a nice issue with Doc Ock flipping out about the revelation and how he should have known all of these years. He now has mental scarring because he realizes now that he had his ass handed to him by a fifteen year old.


The Green Lantern issue #12 written by Geoff Johns and penciled by Ivan Reis. Hal Jordan's past has come back to haunt him in this episode, Geoff Johns weaves a great tapestry as GL has trouble with a group of Manhunters controlled by the psycho Cyborg-Superman and he has about a dozen Green Lantern rings to F*** up Hal's lunch box. Luckily Hal's got Guy Gardner watching his ass. Personally I never knew you could get Superman to look so damn creepy, I mean I know he's a cyborg Superman but--damn!

Superman issue #654 written by Kurt Busiek and penciled by Carlos Pachecho. I thought this issue was a little standard. Basically Supes has been recovering for the past year as he had previously retired the tights, he's back now and he's trying to get his balance back. His old rival Intergang is back in town led by a slightly larger Manheim. Something is brewing with Manheim and this story is obviously just the beginning, but we get a glimpse of Supes trying to tackle his reporting duties while remaining the boy in blue, nuthin' fancy. Nuff said.

Green Arrow issue #64 written by Judd Winick and penciled by Scott McDaniel. I love Green Arrow he's fun, he's a smart ass and he's bringing new game. After being out of action for the past year he's been in training as well as running the city as its new Mayor. Mayor Ollie Queen just put Slade in the big house using a little muscle, mostly the one upstairs and is now showing off his new skills downtown against a bunch of hopped up zombies who have taken over the slums. Green Arrow gets a little help from a local villain, Brick, who has turned over a new leaf, at least temporarily. The issue is fast and cool and Slade kills a guy with a wooden table. Nuff said.

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