Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Weekly Comics list 1404.02

Weekly Comics list 1404.02


Taxes made me ill.

Short post this week because I am behind on reporting the comic list. I started the taxes last week and then fell very ill, which is unusual for me. I took to the couch, knocked out, and lapsed in and out of a doze, losing consciousness frequently, though I did manage to read many comic books.

Though I recuperated for four days, I only managed to obtain the new comics from last week on Friday and did not begin reading any until some time Saturday, so I did not get through them all.

I recovered by Monday, but I have been caught up in taxes and teaching. I also did some cooking but since that does not start with "T," I could not make a triptych with the other two Ts.

I did manage to watch a lot of Baseball, but that's a subject for another time. Here's some thoughts on this week's comics in brief, which constitute "reviews" of a sort and so the new category.

Apparently, I cannot complete my weekly comics entry until a week later. As I complete this entry, these comics are a week old and a new batch came out yesterday (as of this writing, which was 1404.09).

I previously wrote about the new Moonknight comic by Warren Ellis, Declan Shelvey, and Jordie Bellaire over on 365 T-shirts Blog, in this entry here: Death Shi Comic T-shirt #353. I will reprint some of my comic books reviews from that post here because I also reviewed Green Arrow, and Starlight, both of which came out this week, and I like reruns.

Banner this week is devoted to The Ultimate Spider-Man, which almost always takes the top spot the week it comes out. I love this comic and have loved it for many years through it's various incarnations. This week's issue is a capstone for the death of Peter Parker story line, which I thought was a terrible idea for the comic but has turned out to be an excellent expansion of the Spider-Man mythology.

For more on my Spider-Man adoration (and I am not even as passionate as a certain friend of mine at Fanfare), check this out T-shirt #105 - Ultimate Spider-Man.


Moon Knight #001

If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you already know that I am a very fond fan of writer Warren Ellis, so much so that I have devoted a category just to post concerning him in my category list. For those who are not regular readers, there, I just told you.

So it should be no surprise that I eagerly anticipated the new Moon Knight comic by Ellis, Declan Shalvey, and Jordie Bellaire.

In the exclusive CBR interview (see link below), Ellis promises a Planetary-esque experience with Moon Knight, which will set all Ellis fans' hearts aflutter as there is a great deal of general agreement that Planetary is if not his best work, surely top five. It's also one of the best comics of its kind ever produced.

Ellis discussed in the interview (again, link below) that his "Planetary process" is to scrape back barnacles to "what excited people about it [the comic, the character] in the first place." This process of scraping has me intrigued and has set my creative juices a-flowing on my own projects.

The Moon Knight comic is a great new look at the character (though I am hoping that the cape and special helicopter eventually make appearances) supplied by Ellis' inventive twist. The ending, which I will NOT spoil here after all, makes a great reversal of an assumption about the character that will produce some very intriguing stories going forward. This comic could easily have taken my top spot for the week, though it's rivaled by other GREAT comics that came out on March FIFTH.

BTW, Quirky thing, because they can be quirky, the Moon Knight comic letters page -- "Going Postal" -- is only accepting hand written letters mailed in the postal mail and marked "Okay to Print." I find this request amusing and wonder how many they will receive. Will they in turn be postal mailed to Ellis or scanned into a Google account or sent via email?

I will share some pages from the comic after the links.



Charles Skaggs always produces good reviews.

Damn Good Coffee and Hot! - Charles Skaggs' Moon Knight Review


Starlight #1

Though derivative of the John Carter set up that's been re-used many times in stories and comics (such as the wonderful Adam Strange), Mark Millar takes a new look at the hero visits another world and returns to earth story motif, but here, the aging hero is losing what makes his life on earth worthwhile and no one on earth believes his stories of others planets, aliens, and rocket ships.

Millar is a good writer, though I have not read everything he does. I find him a bit indulgent sometimes (though aren't we all) but I generally have enjoyed his work. His in top form here with a strong story and dynamite first issue. Art by Goran Parlov is exceptional. The art is very reminiscent of Moebius with a bit of Alex Toth thrown in, which I love.

MOEBIUS. If you don't know, GOOGLE.

Though the art I will share is out of order, I like the way it works out of order. Enjoy.


REVIEW OF STARLIGHT - Nothing But Comics

Green Arrow #29

Okay, here I go again. Green Arrow is one of the best comics being currently published. It may be the best DC Comic, at least of those I read (and I do not read Swamp Thing though I plan to catch up via trade collections).

Lemire and Sorrentino have transformed this comic completely from its former incarnation, have worked in older popular Green Arrow story lines (Shado), and are developing a rich, complex new mythology.

This issue marks part four of an ongoing story but it ends with such a devastating cliff hanger that I will not even reveal it here.

Suffice to say that Green Arrow will keep hitting the top of my stack. I would have ranked it higher this week if not for the debut of Starlight, which I was eager to read, and of course the others, which were either debuts, easy reads, or, as with Velvet, have the slight edge on the life and times of Oliver Queen.

I have not yet watched the TV show Arrow, and I do plan to at some point, but I am happy that this comic, at least I assume, is not transformed to match that show outside of the addition of the hood and a leaner, greener (as in younger) Ollie Queen.



I am not doing elaborate reviews on this page like those I reprinted from 365 T-shirts Blog. But here are some "mini-reviews" on this week's batch.

Moon Knight #002 was even better than issue #001. But now, I see what Ellis is doing. Rather than a multiple story arc, each issue will be somewhat self-contained, though he established some story elements in the first issue, which he did not explore in the second issue.

After the white suit, vest, and tie garbed Moon Knight of the first issue, the character returns here to the traditional comic book out fit with the enormous white cape. Like in the first issue, Moon Knight must track down a crazy killer terrorizing New York City. Here, it's a mercenary (which is ironic because Moon Knight's Marc Spector was a mercenary) cut loose by "The Company" that hired and used him when it was more profitable to change allegiances.

The cape and a personal helicopter type thing were handled beautifully, but one of the best moments is featured in the page following and Moon Knight's creepy response to why the adversary cannot hit him: "I am not real." Other pages from the comic follow in a final cover/art gallery at the end of the post today.

I am underwhelmed by Starlight. I shared the review of issue #1 above. With issue #2, I like the art, which is reminiscent of Moebius, and I like the derivative story that's taking another look at the John Carter/Flash Gordon saga and updating the concept. But there's something missing that's not jiving for me.

Because of how much I have loved Ultimate Spider-Man, I had to put this issue in first place, and it was a very good issue, but it was not a mind-blowing one. Still the art is great, and I am sharing some it, with more comments, below.

If not for Ultimate Spider-Man, Green Arrow would have taken the top spot this week. My review of the previous issue appears above. This issue is more of the same excellence, with a clever way out of the cliff hanger in which Green Arrow had an arrow in his head. My only criticism is that Oliver is being stubborn and bull-headed, unreasonably so,  even for a character who is known for being stubborn and bull-headed. But it's still arguably the best of the DC comics, at least of those I am reading.

I am excited to have a second Aquaman book, and as a big fan of the Geoff Johns stuff that introduced the Others, giving Aquaman a team much cooler than Justice League-Detroit, I love this. But sadly, given the competition this week, and the lack of Pelletier art, it falls to fifth.

She-Hulk is the new Hawkeye; it's a great, fun, and smart book.

I admit to a weakness for Red Sonja, hence the art in the following.

COMICS FOR 1404.02

Ultimate Spider-Man #200
Green Arrow #30
Black Widow#005
Moon Knight #002
Aquaman and the Others #1
Starlight #2
She-Hulk #003
Captain America #019
New Warriors #003
The Punisher #004
Red Sonja #8
--------------------------- bookmark as of 1404.09
inserted comics from back log here ----------------------------
Inhuman #001
Superman: Action Comics #30
God is Dead #10
Black Science #5


Earth 2 #22
Green Lantern #30
Batman: Detective Comics #30
Sidekick #6
Trillium #8 of 8
Fairest #25


Does the cover for Aquman and the Others inspire you? I like these heroes and look forward to learning more about them. One of the pages from the comic follows. Lan Medina is no Paul Pelletier, but the art is still very good nonetheless.

GREEN ARROW stuff follows. This story with the totems and the clans is very compelling. But the art really makes it work. There's also a flavor of Lost, the TV show as well.

Already wrote about the MOONKNIGHT comic in the previous remarks. Here's some more beautiful art.

Like I said, weakness for RED SONJA.

SHE-HULK represents DOCTOR DOOM's son. Awesome.

SEVERAL images from the Ultimate Spider-Man Comic. BTW, Peter Parker is dead in that universe in case you were wondering.

Each character imagined how Peter's life would turn out. Here's the Gwen Stacy and Kitty Pryde pages. In this universe, Kitty and Peter dated. Peter and Gwen did not.

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1404.10 - 19:34

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Weekly Comics List for 1403.26

Weekly Comics List for 1403.26

Usually, I like to transmit these on Fridays, but I am a bit off my game now that the T-shirt blog is in official hiatus for a time and has ceased daily transmissions. I find it a bit strange to post a blog entry with a picture of myself in a T-shirt as a guiding anchor. After all, I did 365 of those posts since last March. It became a bit of a habit.

Ah, there.... I feel much better having added a cover image.

As I wrote over on 365 T-shirts, I planned to continue my Weekly Comics Lists posts and post with some regularity here on SENSE OF DOUBT. I like the process of cataloging my comics stack weekly in the order I plan to read them. I confess that I flipped Alex + Ada, which was originally fifth, and I switched it with Amazing X-Men when it came time to read the issues.

For those who have followed my T-shirt blog, I am going to be repetitive and share my intentions yet again (just to make sure they get read by everyone).

I did not end 365 T-shirts. I simply stopped daily broadcasts on March 21st (though I did not share the final entry with the social media world until March 30th). I will return in a few weeks with new T-shirt blog posts, which will come out intermittently with no apparent schedule at all. The same will be true for this blog more or less. Though these Weekly Comics List posts will appear weekly (often though not always on Fridays), other posts will appear in a desultory fashion. Eventually, I will host episodes of fiction, but those posts are a bit farther down the road. I have to make sure I get enough in the can first.


So, as per the format I used on 365 T-shirts, I will recap the stack and share some thoughts on those comics I have read so far. BEWARE SPOILERS. And because I have not done one yet on this blog, and I have a lot of images saved up, I will conclude with a cover gallery.

Once again, Aquaman takes the top spot because I have seen no drop off in story quality since Geoff Jones left the book. I liked Jeff Parker's work on The Incredible Hulk among other things. And I think Pelletier's art is simply gorgeous. The recent issue has taken a peculiar turn, and I am not sure I am on board with the re-envisioning of Hercules, but I am along for the ride.

Alex + Ada continues to impress me. It's an excellent examination of what it means to be human in a story about "unlocking" a commercially made android companion to experience true sentience and the full-range of human emotions. The most current and fifth issue really nails this story line beautifully. I cannot wait to see where this one goes. I am especially curious if there will be an eventual pay off on the sexual tension that's building, which the creative team has so far resisted the urge to explore.

Surely, I will share reviews of some of these comics. I am REALLY disappointed in the awful state of Teen Titans, one of my beloved comics, which is mercifully being canceled. Though I will mourn the loss and feel that something is missing as no Titans book is being published, like with the Legion of Superheroes, I suspect that DC is biding its time to re-launch with much hoopla and fanfare.

Superman is saved from the back log, and I am pleased with both it and its companion Action Comics, which have shown recent improvements. I am super excited about the return of Nightcrawler, my favourite mutant of the second set, to the Marvel landscape, and this issue pays off how he returns and the burden he must carry, which should have some wonderful story repercussions moving forward.

Comics for 1403.26

Aquaman #29
The Walking Dead #124
Superior Spider-Man #030
Alex + Ada #5
Amazing X-Men #005
Guardians of the Galaxy #013 (Trial of Jean Grey # 6 of 6)
Uncanny Avengers #018.NOW (Avenge the Earth #1)
Avengers #027
New Avengers #016.NOW
She Hulk #002
Hawkeye #018
Flash #29
Silver Surfer #001
Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze #4
Fables #139
Deadly Class #3
Uber Special #1
Real Heroes #1
Superman #29
Catwoman #29
Indestrucible Hulk #020
Survive #001
Teen Titans #29
World's Finest #21


Sandman: The Overture #2



Lastly, we all knew that Doctor Octupus' reign as "the Superior Spider-Man" would eventually come to an end and Peter Parker would return to the landscape. Surely, I will work up a review of this issue as I have a great deal to share. In short, despite many great elements, the creators botched the ending of this long saga. First, they mishandled the return of Peter Parker's consciousness and identity with all his memories given the way Doc Ock supposedly "removed" all of that mental material. And, most importantly, the way Peter regains control of his body was very rushed and poorly executed. I like that Octavius willingly gives control back to Peter because only Peter can save the woman he loves and defeat the goblins, but Ock's realization that this is the best course of action is terribly handled and very rushed.

Still it's all good stuff. It was enjoyable and entertaining to read, and I cannot wait to see Peter fully returned to his role as Spider-Man and how he deals with the consequences of Ock's time in the suit. 

More on what I mean by "rushed" and "botched" when I get around to reviewing this issue.

Here's the final images of the pivotal issue #030.


All of the covers shared below can be found at a blog I plugged repeatedly over at 365 T-shirts, it's a blog called PENCIL INK run by a blogger  known only as Teddy who posts nearly daily, multiple covers with explanations of work by his favorite artists, such as Neal Adams, Jim Starlin, Mike Ploog, and others. If you like comics, it's a tour de force worth saving in your rss feeds. Here's some of my recent favourites with the associated links. If curious for more, venture off to PENCIL INK.

I always liked the Werewolf By Night comic. Marvel committed to doing several monster/ horror books in the 1970s, quite likely to combat DC's wildly popular books, like House of Mystery and The Witching Hour one of which is seen below.

I am not sure that the werewolf being part of a man named Jack Russell was the best idea (given the dog breed), but the comics were fun to read. The catch in the cover above for issue #35 is that Jack and the werewolf are one and the same.

This cover is by Jim Starlin and Bernie Wrightson: PENCIL INK LINK TO WEREWOLF BY NIGHT #35

I like this issue very much as it qualifies among my oldest comics. I believe it was my first issue of Werewolf By Night. This cover is by Mike Ploog: PENCIL INK LINK TO WEREWOLF BY NIGHT #16.

AH.... Neal Adams. One of the greats. There's a lot going on with this cover. It could produce all sorts of stories.  Is there also something in the bed? Apparently, Adams did a bunch of covers for DC's House of Mystery, which I did not know. PENCIL INK LINK TO HOUSE OF MYSTERY #178.

This issue of the Batman Family comic features a great image by Jim Aparo, the great long-time Batman artist. This comic book cover is a very good example of DC's popular hook mechanism to get readers to buy comics. In many cases, like the comics of the 1960s, the cover was often drawn before the story was written. Given that this comic came out in 1977, it's likely that the story may have been at least proposed first. Since this is a "Giant" comic, it contains many stories, like an anthology. Marshall Rogers contributed interior art. PENCIL INK LINK TO BATMAN FAMILY GIANT #11.

More Neal Adams above with the cover of Flash #217. This is what I was talking about with the cover hook or lure. DC's approach to this lure technique was always much different than Marvel's.

Machine Man is another beloved character from Marvel's fertile 1970s period. Here, Barry Windsor-Smith takes on the character with an iconic cover and amazing interior art. This is one of the bright spots from Marvel's not so fertile 1984. PENCIL INK LINK TO MACHINE MAN V.2 #3.

This is not a comic book I own or would have owned. Though I ma fascinated by romance as a genre and especially the romance comics. These story hooks are rather intriguing, and yet given the period, totally easy to analyze and critique. The classic Joe Kubert cover. Google him. He started a comic book art school.

I admit to having a weakness for the martial arts craze of the 1970s. With the success of the Kung Fu TV show, Marvel launched books like Master of Kung Fu and Iron Fist while DC launched books like Karate Kid (the Legion of Superhero character not the movie, which came later) and this book featuring Richard Dragon. What's surprising is that Jim Starlin known for his cosmic adventures and space-faring art work drew this cover. PENCIL INK LINK TO KUNG FOO FIGHTER #2

This is a classic Neal Adams cover using a tilted horizon for dramatic, unsettling effect. This another one of those hooks. If you saw this comic on the stands, you would be compelled to buy it, right? You want to know why Superboy is tossing aside his costume and giving up on his parents and town, right? Well, I do.

An excellent of Jack "The King" Kirby in his halcyon period. I actually own this comic. It is one of my early Thor comics. This cover presents a powerful image. The figures dominate the foreground in a dynamic way. The camera angle shows off the dizzying heights at the angle Kirby loved to use, adding the falling rubble to further emphasize the perspective of the buildings far below. Brilliant.

Coming soon over on 365 T-shirts more about one of the all-time great masters of illustration in comic books: Wally Wood. A classic Weird Science cover seen here.

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1404.02 - 19:15