Category Archives: Comics

And Then I Read: JIMMY OLSEN #5

Image © DC Comics. Written by Matt Fraction, art by Steve Lieber,
colors by Nathan Fairbairn, letters by Clayton Cowles

This is the Saturday Night Live of comics, back when it was funny. Not content to wreak havoc in Metropolis, Jimmy is now extending his chaos to Batman’s Gotham City. Batman is not amused with Olsen live blog events like “How Many Jokers Can We Fit Inside This Frozen Yogurt Shop Before Batman Notices?” Continuing as a series of vignettes, several in the issue also focus on Bruce Wayne/Batman with amusing clarity. The Bat’s attempts at humor are priceless. Back in Metropolis, Jimmy’s scheme for avoiding trouble by staging his own funeral blow up…literally. And in olden day Metropolis, star-crossed lovers from the Olsen and Luthor feuding families attempt to get married. In Gotham, we also meet Jimmy’s goth sister Janey for more laughs.

I am really having a good time reading this series. Recommended.

And Then I Read: LIVEWIRE FUGITIVE

Image © Valiant. Written by Vita Ayala, art by Raúl Allén and Patricia Martin,
letters by Saida Temofonte, cover by Adam Pollina

I received this trade paperback collecting the first four issues of the LIVEWIRE series at the ‘Ringo Awards. I don’t follow Valiant comics, having read only one previous collection, and this one did not give me an easy way to get up to speed. There is a brief bio of the character, but the story jumps into a continuity that obviously happened in some other series, but that’s never identified or made clear. Despite that, I enjoyed the writing and the art.

Amanda McKee is a psiot (hero with mental powers) known as Livewire, who can control any digital device or system. Apparently she and her friends were put in a corner by the U.S. Government, and to allow them to escape, Livewire shut down the entire electrical grid for the country. This caused a number of deaths from various causes. Now the psiots are on the run, and when Amanda tries to gather her psiot friends in a safe location, she finds they too want nothing more to do with her because of her actions. Soon Amanda is being hunted by another superhuman who has powers equalling her own, and she finds herself captured, powerless, and in more trouble than she’s ever imagined.

Recommended, despite the unclear story origins.

And Then I Read: THE DREAMING #15

Image © DC Comics. Written by Simon Spurrier, art by Bilquis Evely, colors by Mat Lopes, letters by Simon Bowland, cover by Yanick Paquette & Nathan Fairbairn

And so, the Vertigo label is gone from this and I suppose any other new issues at DC to be replaced by “Black Label.” Isn’t that scotch whiskey?

As one might expect, things are not going well for some of The Dreaming’s key figures. Cain is missing, and Abel finds himself unable to go on without the routines of the past. The new ruler of The Dreaming, Wan, the mothlike creature reportedly made of computer code, seems to be losing control. Matthew the raven, the eyes of Wan, is seeing things that disturb him, such as Merv Pumpkinhead playing an odd kind of golf. Perhaps most disturbed is Lucien the librarian when he finds out his library has been digitized. Back on Earth, things are equally askew.

A new storyline falls into play. I’m liking it so far. Recommended.

And Then I Read: BLACK HAMMER 3 FOR $1

Well, only one third of this is new to me, and that’s what I’m reviewing here. This new Black Hammer starter set contains BLACK HAMMER #1, which I lettered, and THE QUANTUM AGE #1, which I’ve already read and reviewed. The third book is SHERLOCK FRANKENSTEIN AND THE LEGION OF EVIL #1, written, as they all are, by Jeff Lemire, nearly everything else in the story is by David Rubin.

SHERLOCK features and is narrated by Lucy Weber, the daughter of the original Black Hammer, still in Spiral City and trying to find out what happened to her father and the other heroes who disappeared in the cosmic battle with Anti-God, some years before. So far she’s found her father’s secret base, the Hall of Hammer, and has decided to try to find some of his most notorious opponents as a way to help track him down. Number one on that list is Sherlock Frankenstein. (Hard to think of a more memorable name than that!)

Lucy’s search leads to the Spiral Asylum for the Criminally Insane (an Arkham analog), whose warden was a winged hero during World War Two. With the assistance of guard officer Lopez, also a former superhero, Lucy visits the ominous armored creature known as Mectoplasm, a one-time henchman of Sherlock Frankenstein. What Mectoplasm tells Lucy fills out the rest of the issue, and sets up the rest of the series.

Nicely done, but of course, one is left wanting more, as is the point. Recommended.

And Then I Read: ONCE & FUTURE #1

Written & © by Kieron Gillen, art by Dan Mora,
colors by Tamra Bonvillain, letters by Ed Dukeshire.

As a long-time fan of Arthurian legends, I knew this was a new version of them by the title, derived from the prophecy about King Arthur that he would someday return to rule England. Kieron Gillen’s take is refreshingly different, and the art by Dan Mora is excellent. At the site of an archaeological dig in Cornwall, an ancient scabbard has been unearthed. A woman and three tough guys show up to take it by force. As the story hits the TV news, a tough older woman named Bridgette is troubled by this, and goes off on her own. Her grandson Duncan is on a date when he gets a call from the home, then from his Gran: she needs his help. When Duncan arrives at Gran’s side, he begins to find out about a very different aspect of her that she’s kept well hidden. Weapons are involved, and knowledge about mythical beasts and legends that may be more real than Duncan could ever imagine. One of them is in his face.

This is a fun idea well done. Recommended.