Category Archives: Reviews

And Then I Read: JUSTICE LEAGUE 45

JL45Image © DC Comics.

Darkseid is dead. This issue is about what happens next. One thing is, apparently members of the Justice League are becoming gods themselves, Newer Gods, perhaps, taking on aspects of the fallen or disappeared. The Flash, for instance, is the God of Death. Superman is the God of Strength. Batman is the God of Knowledge. Some of these make sense, not sure about Flash. I enjoyed the ideas being flung about this time, and the art by Francis Manapul is always a delight. My real problem with the story is that I don’t believe Darkseid is really dead. Or, not for long. That takes me out of the drama, and turns this into an academic “what if” rather than a tale I can get absorbed in. Your reactions may differ, of course.

Mildly recommended.


GLLA5Image © DC Comics.

The GL Corps, or some of it, is lost in the very distant past, and in a space prison. This issue is all about the jailbreak, and it’s well done. B’dg, the chipmunk Lantern has an important part to play, and we continue to see flashbacks of John Stewart’s military days on Earth before he got his power ring. The art on this issue by Jesus Saiz is back to excellent, and the writing by Cullen Bunn is fine. The story feels like it’s moving more this time, and gaining freedom is always a good theme. I didn’t care for the cover, but otherwise, it’s a winner.



KrakImage © DC Comics

I love the idea of these Quarterlies with a sound effect theme. Maybe the title SFX (comics shorthand for sound effect) is a little too insider for some, but it does make for great visuals in the logo, as here. These anthologies are a much-needed place for young talent to take the stage, and Vertigo always throws in some seasoned pros to enrich the mix. I don’t have comments about all the entries, but here are the ones I liked best.

The lead story EKOH by Nathan Fox is visually stunning and full of great art and lettering, but a bit hard for me to follow. It’s also continued, presumably in the next Quarterly.

Veteran writer/artist Peter Kuper has a nearly wordless entry that showcases his painted art and his interest in environmental issues. Quite good!

KRAK(en) is a great story by Robbie Thompson and Claire Roe that puts sea monsters and a fearless girl together for a charming result with excellent art.

THE KRAK IN THE WALL by Corinna Bechko and W. Scott Forbes has lovely art, but a story that didn’t live up to its promise for me.

THE AUDITION by Mark Buckingham and Jessicia Martin is a delicious showbiz story with a nice twist ending, and nearly without words except for the ever-present sound effect.

Finally, KRAK! by Gilbert Hernandez is as wacky and endearing as a story about an alien invasion of Earth can get. Bravo!

In all, lots of fun reading here, and recommended.


TwiChil1Image © Gilbert Hernandez and Darwyn Cooke

A small seaside fishing village, perhaps on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, though we aren’t told that, is introduced and explored, as are the people in it, in this brilliant new comic. There’s Tito, a looker with an adoring husband, Nikolas, and something else going on with the fisherman Anton. There’s old Bundo, living in his creaky shack on the beach, a little weird and scary to the three kids who like to play there. And onto this scene comes a glowing white sphere floating on the ocean, something like the white balloons in the TV series “The Prisoner,” but even more sinister. The local sheriff is called, and a scientist, but before they get very far with their investigation, the sphere vanishes. The next sphere appears suddenly in Tito’s bedroom at an awkward moment, and then a third in a cave where the children are playing…or is it all the same one? When one of the children dares to touch the sphere, a violent reaction follows. What does it mean? And who is the beautiful naked woman on the beach?

I love everything about this book, from the enchanting characters—to the mood and mystery—to the clear, classic art where every line and shadow is important. Writer Gilbert Hernandez and artist Darwyn Cooke are each wonderful storytellers on their own. This collaboration promises to combine their strengths and ascend to new heights. I can’t wait to read more.

Highly recommended.

And Then I Read: ASTRO CITY 28

AC28Image © Juke Box Productions

When young Ben is bitten by a wolf spider in Australia, his brilliant scientist mom figures out a way to save him, but the side effects change Ben’s life. First, he goes small. VERY small. Then, with his mother’s help, he gains four extra mechanical limbs, and finally he grows up to fight crime as the new hero, Wolf Spider. Along the way, Ben becomes fascinated with the TV super-hero cartoon show in Australia, “QueensLaw.” Imagine his shock when a real QueensLaw group surfaces and begins to fight crime. Ben is determined to join them, but all is not as it seems…

Kurt Busiek is having way too much fun in this issue, and it’s a fine read. The guest art by Cary Chaloner and Wade Von Grawbadger is quite fine as well. Nicely done and recommended.