Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Desu DC Comics!

Comics are so cool! Wow! Sparkles!

...that's me trying to be an anime character. Or the stereotypical anime character I guess.

So not sure if you know or not, but DC Comics a few years back released a few really cool anime style statues and mini statues as well. All the classic female heroes and villains that we have known over the years got redesigns that in my opinion looked really good, especially Poison Ivy and Catwoman. These became very popular, practically every DC girl had one made and even Christmas variants were made, so the next logical step would be a comic book right? That's right, and enter Ame-Comi Girls!

To be honest, I didn't know this even existed! So I was really surprised to find a few issues at a discount price available. I liked the designs on the characters, so there was enough curiosity for me to take a crack at this series and see what it's all about. be honest, I didn't know this even existed! So I was really surprised to find a few issues at a discount price available. I liked the designs on the characters, so there was enough curiosity for me to take a crack at this series and see what it's all about.

Before I start I should point out that this particular issue of Ame-Comi Girls is part two of a four part storyline. And since I am missing that issue, no doubt there are things I may not have picked up on or missed out some key elements. So we start this issue with Power Girl fighting Star Sapphire for the heart of Jimmy Olsen. I really wish I was making this up. That's right, two of the sexiest women in the DC comic universe are fighting over the Krusty Burger teen of Metropolis. What?! As a comic book geek, I have read a lot crazy stuff over the years, I've seen Batman spray his blood over Gotham as a cure for a fear toxin, I've seen Colossus murder Psylocke with a car and I've read Ultimatum. And even after all that, this still takes the wedding cake. In the comics defence, they made Jimmy look like a handsome man and not some dorky part timer kid. But still! I mean the very idea that this taking place is really jumping the shark for me! But it's only the first four pages, let's see where we go next. 

Okay so Sapphire tosses Power Girl out in space, and Power Girl starts to lose oxygen...wait what? Is this a thing? I thought she was Kryptonian. Google break.  So yeah, apparently some writers make note that she has to take a deep breath before flying through space. And now we know. But luckily for Power Girl she is rescued by Green Lantern, more specifically Jade! Who equipped with alert hearing headphones which alerted her to Power Girls danger. Huh? This universe though, right? So anyway, they go back down to Earth, save Jimmy and take the power source of Star Sapphire. End of comic, go home and rejoice? Nope, here comes Atom! Power Girl brings here in to help Supergirl, who has been infected by black kryptonite. And that black kryptonite takes form of Brainiac, in the insides of Supergirl. So with fighting going on inside and outside, Atom manages to shrink the kryptonite out of her system. After that takes place we get a lengthy back story to the main villain in this arc, Sinestra! And this makes this book even more of a head scratcher, we see the black power ring taking over Sinestra as she attacks different plants before being stopped and arrested by the Green Lantern Corps, only to escape years later with the yellow power ring. And now she has taken control of both fear and death power rings and is out for revenge. Again, what?

See this my main problem with this book here, the identity is extremely unclear. Are you a fun read, something like A+X or are you an epic tale like Batman or something. Why waste time on a massive plot but try to pass as a light read. What are you? And yeah maybe this is supposed to be either an advertisement or fan service of both, but that doesn't mean skip a trip to the editors office. I just don't know who to recommend this book to, but if you are a big fan of the designs, well the art should help get through, it is cool seeing these designs in action. But to everyone else, save up and get the figures, this book is not worth your change.

I didn't want that to come off harshly, but sometimes you got to lay the smack-down, even on cute looking super heroes. But maybe I am not seeing something here or maybe I am right, regardless leave a comment below and join the conversation. I got to get going though, be back tomorrow for another comic book review here at Storm Watch, until then keep chasing the storm!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Public Mutant Enemy...

It's good to be Scott Summers. That's something you aren't going to hear very often now in days, not only did he kill his mentor Charles Xavier, he is a wanted criminal, a dubbed terrorist, with his powers working on and off. And he now has some new robotic stalkers. And if you think it can't get any worse, lets put that thought on hold until we get through more issues. Going through all the comics that I have, I decided to take a look at Uncanny X-Men #10 today, I needed to catch up with the series and not to mention that I am feeling like I am on a big X-Men trip. That I need to avoid reviews all the one shot and annual comics that I have, on going series comics are important as well, to see how it holds up as a single issues and how it helps the entire series as a whole grow in general. The Marvel Now series of Uncanny X-Men follows the rag tag group of mutants who follow Cyclops, this includes classic team mates like Emma Frost and Magneto, but also includes a lot of the new younger mutants who have shown up thanks to the aftermath of AvX. It's a great team to follow, a team that really does want to do go in the world but who are all also wanted criminals as well. The anti-hero of superhero teams if you will. I highly recommend you check out the earlier books, but for now let's take a look at this issue.

So first off this series is being written currently by Brian Michael Bendis, who is also currently writing the All-New X-Men series as well, so needless to say he is doing his best to keep and respect the current continuity. I have always been a big fan of his work in the New Avengers and in the Ultimate Spider-man series, and I hear Powers is a really good series as well. Come to think of it, I have only met one person who really didn't like his work, and that guy seemed bitter and sour about something. Could have been weak coffee or something. Needless to say, Bendis is one the top writers in comics today, and he has done a great job so far with the X-Men titles. Another thing to keep in mind with this issue, is that it's drawing by Frazer Irving, who has an incredible style to his art, it reminds me of the kind of work from Jae Lee. And while it is completely different from Chris Bachalo, who is the other main artist on this title, his art really works well here in these stories. Amazing splash pages as well, and tells a story through colour and mood. And while it may not be for everyone, I personally see Irving doing some incredible work on some big titles!

I want to do my best to review this book without giving away too much. I will say though, as a starting point comic for new readers, it will be extremely confusing and not give you a lot of background on what is going on and who is who. But for long time readers this book is great, showing the evolution of mutant abilities and some of the relationships going on behind the scenes. It also shows a rally of human supporters for Cyclops and the mutant cause. A sight that has started ever since Cyclops was deemed a criminal of the state. An interesting idea to play with for sure, Cyclops getting a rally of support like this over a guy like Xavier, who for years peacefully pleaded for mutant rights. Makes you wonder, is action the loudest way to get your message out there. Even after the event of AvX, I don't feel that Scott Summers is a villain or a bad guy, also considering Professor X was part of the illuminati group of heroes. The things they have done, the damage and the secrets they hold, doesn't exactly make them saints. And you know it's a bit of irony, that now Cyclops finds himself in a Scarlet Witch like situation. Maybe this is a Marvel thing, heroes get turns at being cast out and labelled as criminals. And apparently with AXIS, the next big Marvel event, a lot of good guys will be making some bad choices.

All things said, this book does a great job of making this series move along. And for anyone collecting the series it's a no question, this book is a must in the collection. An absolute delight to read and plenty to see within each page. 

That's all the time I have for today guys, plenty more comic book reviews on the way! I just picked up my weekly books and a few more from the discount bin, got to love those one dollar comics! I also got a lot to get done for Fan Expo, so plenty to take care of. Comment, share and subscribe as well guys. Until then, keep chasing the storm!

Friday, 15 August 2014

Original X-Class...

The Season One line is an interesting idea for sure, an interesting idea that could fail, crash and burn in a blaze of fail glory. I would say this idea has got some wings and some life in it though. And while the need to go out and get these books could be there, for a single fan who lives on his own, maybe not. But the fan who has a family and wants to continue the legacy of these books, or the new fan who wants to read the classic stories and well even if you want to refresh your memories. The Season One books can do that, and so far I've got to say, these books really hold up and do justice to the classic heroes and their stories. The latest collection that I just finished is Season One of X-Men. I decided to pick this one up for a few reasons, first of all I am a huge fan of the current All-New X-Men comics, in my opinion it's one of the best series out today and I loved the Battle of the Atom arc that went down. So naturally I was excited to see an update version of the classic X-Men stories. The first time this team has to go into battle and work together, the difficulties they faced growing up in a world that fears and hates mutants. Not to mention that the art is done by Jamie McKelvie, who did some fantastic work on Young Avengers and currently on The Wicked + The Divine. Shut up and take my money! And was it worth the price of admission...?

With the amount of years that have passed since Stan Lee originally brought the X-Men to life, it can be hard to remember that the classic team had a lot of history behind them, and this is before time travel and clones and Apocalypse. This was a simpler time. Although dealing with Magneto and the Brotherhood is hardly a walk in the park, it was a lot easier to understand as a reader. So here we are now with X-Men Season One, a modernized take on the same events that happened back in the 1960's, which gives the young mutants cellphones, laptops and a better fashion sense. Though I got to say I love the retro look on Jean Grey. I don't what it is but she can rock that retro look like no ones business. Back to the comic though, I had mentioned earlier that it was illustrated by Jamie McKelvie, while the writing is handled by Dennis Hopeless. And they both do a great job here, the book feels modern but it stays true to heritage of the X-Men, no big changes or anything as such that would take away from the experience. The five heroes; Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Ice Man, Angel and Beast are all written as we have come to know them by now. We see Cyclops learning to become a leader on the field, we see Jean evolving with her powers, Angel the rich kid who doesn't have a clue, Bobby as the class clown and Hank as the brains. We get to see a love triangle between Scott, Jean and Warren, that feels authentically awkward as any young romance. As well as the friendship between Beast and Ice Man. Not to mention how each mutant deals with the headmaster of the school, Charles Xavier. He prepares his students with various crazy missions that include field trips to the Savage Land and the occasional fight with Magneto. All the X-Men things that we love are alive and well in this book, the team interactions to the concept of fighting for a world that fears and hates you, it is the perfect treat for any and all X-fans!

That being said the books isn't without a few complaints. Minor complaints though, nothing that makes the book unreadable. This is a little silly but I have to say, while I do enjoy McKelvie's work, I don't understand why he made Bobby Drake look like Justin Bieber. Call me crazy if you don't see it, but the face and hair is practically the same, even the purple flannel shirt is similar. Maybe it was something for the young readers, and if that is the case then I guess that makes sense. But it is still kind of awful seeing that little pop-star puke in my comic panels. I swear that's my only beef with this book, otherwise you are looking at really solid piece of any X-Men collection. A book that gives you an even greater appreciation for the original five, to read their past and enjoy their future. 

Well that's another comic book review in the bag. I actually need to mention this, I got a really good deal on this graphic novel over at my local comic book shop, Excalibur Comics. If you live in the Etobicoke area this is the comic book store to go to, just off Royal York station and above the Kingsway theatre. An incredible store with an awesome atmosphere for the comic book fan, an incredible collection of classics and new books alike! Check it out! And an apology to all the readers outside of Toronto and Canada, just got to plug my store. So have you read any of the Season One books from Marvel? What did you think? Leave a comment below and subscribe to the page for plenty more comic book reviews and blogs. My road to Fan Expo continues still, but I will be back with more, until then keep chasing the storm.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Remember Your Calendar...

Every now in then it is nice to get a pleasant surprise with a comic book. Especially when that book happens to be another Annual issue and isn't being handled by the current writer/artist duo that is working on the main series. I will admit, I've been picking up Batman Detective Comics recently for the incredible artwork by Francis Manapul. By far one of the best looking Batman series in a long time, and with an actual mystery to solve through the issues, it's a welcomed change from the last "Gothtopia" story arc and even the Arkham War arc. So I was a little disappointed when I saw that the current Annual for Batman Detective Comics was not going to be handled by Manapul. But you know what, regardless, I have got to say that this book was handled properly, by giving us an interesting origin story for a classic Batman villain and by adding more depth to the current Icarus story arc. It's a packed house of creators on this book, and I will let you know why it's worth a read...

This book feels like either a good starting point for readers who have yet to read the current run of Batman Detective Comics or as added bonus that gives more backing to the current readers. A great balance done perfectly well here, with a series that is currently competing other Batman titles and the big guns like Superman and Justice League titles, Detective Comics feels like a breath of fresh air from the current super heroes tittles. This book is written by Brian Buccellato and hosting three different artist; Werther Dell'Edera, Jorge Fornes and Scott Hepburn. And while this is a new team to the book, the pace and feel to this world stays in the same pace, the book feels like a lost chapter instead of a new book in general. The art is used to change through the different ongoing stories, but each artist does an incredible job of making sure each page is looks greats and each panel carries the story along. And seeing how they have to live up to the incredible pages from Manapul, these guys do a great job in taking care of the artwork responsibilities. We get more of what we wanted from the pages of Icarus and more, we follow Batman as he is tracking down a drug deal going on in Gotham, we see the danger of this new drug product and we also get to see the origin of a potential and deadly foe for the Dark Knight. It's a really cool surprise, sort of, you can kind of call it already just by the cover and by the title of this blog, which now that I think about it, I am sorry about that, was the best name I could come up with. But it is really cool how we see him become that character, and that I will not spoil. But a very clever process and a great story overall. 

I will say this though, the book is only 50% really if you haven't been reading the current story of Batman Detective Comics, you will be more then a bit confused and all. But even that being said, I think it holds up really well as a stand alone issue. The extra dollar on the price tag feels justified given the size of the comic, and the overall product is definitely worth your money. So if you want to get started on a Batman book that feels like a classic Batman book, with mystery and crime solving and character, then I highly recommend this book to you. With Scott Snyder dominating as far as current Batman goes, it is nice to see some healthy competition. And if DC Comics can keep this kind of consistency with all their titles, we are in for a great era in comics.

Thank you guys for taking the time to read this little review, I would love to hear from you guys though, what did you think about this issue? Are you reading the current run of Detective Comics Batman? And what books would you recommend. Leave a comment below or shoot me a twit over at my Twitter account, @ChileanStorm and on Instagram and all those good pages. Got some long nights ahead of me, but I am going to my best to keep the comic book reviews coming in. Much love and I will see you guys later, keep chasing the storm.

Friday, 8 August 2014

So August...

You ready for ChileanStorm?!
Hey storm clouds, plenty of news here to catch you all up on, so let's not waste time. First thing is first, I am going to be at Fan Expo this year! Hells yes, this storm don't stop! I am going to be at the Artist Alley, with my big brother and mentor, Vince Sunico and with my current employers, Guerilla Printing! And I will be there with plenty of new art products for you guys to take and enjoy, I am not going to give out too much, but I am working my ass off to make some pretty cool stuff, so be ready for it. I am going to be at A260, but be sure to look out for Maddsketch and the brand new Captain Zinc products, Kevin Briones at his own table, Spent Pencils will be there, Hugh Rookwood and so many other amazing and talented artist. I can't wait for Fan Expo!

That being said I am going to be really and I mean really really busy this month. The kind of busy you can't really prepare for, you just work all the way through. Needless to say a lot of time that I would have spent on my blogs are going to be placed into hours and hours here at the shop. I've got a lot to take care of here this month, but I promise to back on schedule with blogs.

So thank you guys for staying with me and get ready to make some noise this Fan Expo! Keep chasing the storm!