Cover Comments February 2014 – DC & Dark Horse Edition

Welcome to cover comments! A monthly feature where we break down what we think are the best and worst covers the month has to offer.

DC Comics

I am really digging what’s going on with the various Superman covers this month. So eye catching. But two definitely stood out as especially awesome.

Action Comics #28

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Superman #28

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I just love what they’ve done with the titles and the old fashioned look to Action Comics. They look classic but with an edge.

Batwing #28

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As always I adore the Batwing covers. The colours are so unique and pop right off the page.

Batgirl #28

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Talk about jumping out at you. The painted cover, the dark shadows, Batgirl as a vampire…I need this comic! It’s dark and disturbing and different from what you normally see on Bat-books.

Sandman Overture #2

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We may have lost J H William’s gorgeous art on Batwoman but at least there is still Sandman. And in Sandman he can let his creative flag fly. There is so much going on in this cover, I’m curious to know what every little bit represents even though I have read the main Sandman series.

Dark Horse

Creepy Comics #15

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This was probably my least favourite cover of the month. Not because the art is bad. The art is fine. But it’s just so silly. What she’s just running around the jungle naked but yet ready to kill things? And if she doesn’t care what she’s wearing why even bother with that stupid strip of clothing that covers nothing? But of course Jungle Women still have time to style their hair.

Tomb Raider #1

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If the last cover was an example of what not to do, this is an example of them getting it right. Lara Croft looks bad ass here! She’s wearing logical clothing, she has not one but two weapons, she is not looking over her shoulder so that her butt is the first thing we see, and despite being wounded she is not depicted as “in distress.” Love everything about this.

Mind MGMT #19

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I always love the art in Min MGMT but the last few month’s I’ve found the covers kind of blah. This feels like a return to the truly bizarre nature that is this series.

Occultist #5

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I love the mixture of styles going on here – from the fluidity to the red cloak to the neon sign reflection of his adversary. I’m not familiar with this series but this cover makes me want to dive in.

Star Wars #14

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Favourite Dark Horse cover of the month. Just gorgeous. (Plus I’m such a Darth Vader fangirl). I bet it looks even more amazing in print.

Looks like we had better luck this month with DC & Dark Horse titles than we did back in November. Which ones were your favourites?

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Archives: “Comix Reviews: Week of September 4th, 2013”

Originally posted on September 6th, 2013.

*Reviews may contain spoilers. We just can’t help it. Proceed with caution*

THE DEBUTS

God Is Dead #1
Avatar Press. Written by Jonathan Hickman. Art by: Di Amorim. Issue #1 of 6

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In the year 2015 the major cities of the world have fallen, natural disasters are happening left, right and centre and the gods have returned to rule Earth once again. All the gods – Ancient Greek, Egyptian, Hindu, Mayan and Norse. They are not the merciful, bountiful gods of our current religious systems. These are the blood thirsty, irrationally angry, kind of rapey gods of old.

Things escalate very quickly in this comic. Going from bad to worse in only a few pages. But amidst all the chaos Hickman gives the reader a tiny sliver of hope. Dr Sebastian Reed and a team of sewer dwelling geniuses who are working together to take back Earth for humankind. This series starts off with a bang and I am very curious to see where it is going. I haven’t read Hickman’s other series – East of West – but after reading this I’ll be adding that to my list as well.

4 out of 5

– Christa

VILLAINS MONTH

Action Comics #23.1: Featuring Cyborg Superman
DC Comics. Written by Michael Allen Nelson. Art by Mike Hawthorne. Cover by Aaron Kuder

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I am not at all familiar with the majority of Superman villains but in the spirit of adventure I decided to give Cyborg Superman a try. What I found was this comic was actually two stories in one – the story of Zor-el and the story of Cyborg Superman and one of those stories was infinitely more interesting than the other.

The story of Zor-el was a tragic one. Constantly living in the shadow of his much more successful brother, desperate to save his family he throws his lot in with a crazy man – Brainiac. Of course this ends horribly. By the end I really pitied him. Cyborg Superman’s story on the other hand was kind of dull. He just went around deciding people were unworthy and destroying them. If anything it made me more interested in Brainiac’s story than Cyborg Superman.

3 out of 5

– Christa

Batman #23.1 – Featuring Joker
DC Comics. Written by Andy Kubert. Art by Andy Clarke. Cover by Jason Fabok.

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Andy Clarke knows how to draw crazy well. I love his Joker especially when he does close-ups and the flashbacks felt haunting in it’s messy lines and gloomy color palette. In regards to the story, the only issue I had was the sympathetic back story given to Joker who’s psychotic nature and the previous back stories that only went as far as “he fell in a vat of chemicals and came out crazy” were appealing to audiences BECAUSE he had no real relatable reasons for being mad. This back story made me feel sorry for Joker which made me feel sad because it turned the most scariest villains (one who did what he did for no reason) into a typical villain who’s acting out a shitty childhood.

3 out of 5

– Ardo

Batman: The Dark Knight #23.1: Featuring Ventriloquist
DC Comics. Written by Gail Simone. Art by Derliz Santacruz. Cover by Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray.

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The Ventriloquist and her creepy doll Ferdie are two sick puppies. If you’re a regular reader of Batgirl you may already know this, but if you’re new to the character they may surprise you. Seriously, in many ways she reminds me of the Joker, only with a desire to succeed in showbiz. This issue gives you a brief glimpse into Shauna’s (the Ventriloquist) early life and tensions with her twin brother. There’s an explanation for why she is the way she is but it doesn’t feel like a complete one. I was left with a lot of questions about how exactly she came upon her ability and the logistics of Ferdie. The art was detailed and nightmare inducing. It’s an excellent horror short story but not really a stand out in the hall of DC villain fame.

3.5 out of 5

– Christa

Batman and Robin #23.1 – Featuring Two Face
DC Comics. Written by Peter J. Tomasi. Art by Guillem March. Cover by Chris Burnham.

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I really enjoyed this comic. I liked that throughout it Two Face maintains his rule of letting the coin decide and having others respect the coin’s word which is final. It’s what has Two Face agree to join the Secret Society and ultimately what causes him to part ways with them. I liked the artwork in general but LOVED the first few pages where Two Face is on top of the Bat-signal and March plays with the lighting. Overall, great job.

4 out of 5

– Ardo

Detective Comics 23.1 – Featuring Poison Ivy
DC Comics. Written by Derek Fridolfs. Art by Javier Pina. Cover by Jason Fabok.

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My favourite comic this week goes to Poison Ivy as she takes over Detective Comics. Derek Fridolfs and Javier Pina need to team up for an ongoing Ivy title because this one ROCKED. I want to start with art because I’m just salivating over this one. I’ve been talking about it on twitter and so has a lot of people in regards to the flashback sequences specifically which look gorgeous. The texture of the page is different and it’s lighter in palette with pinks, yellows and light greens. It’s safe to say that Pina used water colors and little Pamela is adorable.

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Fridolfs created a complex and sympathetic character by giving her a story that involves loving mother with a green thumb and a dark cloud of domestic violence hanging over them. I really enjoyed this story and I want more of this team up on either an ongoing series or at least a limited one.

I also think Pina should draw everything in water colors for now on.

4.5 out of 5

– Ardo

Trillium #2
Vertigo. Written by Jeff Lemire. Art by Jeff Lemire. Cover by Jeff Lemire. Issue #2 of 8

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If there is one lesson to take away from the world of comic it is this – when Jeff Lemire both writes AND illustrates a book it is a must buy. The first issue of Trillium introduced us to our two protagonists separately and issue two brings them together. The two could not be more different – she a scientists from the year 3797. He veteran in 1921. But as they slowly begin to realize there is something familiar between them. I love the pacing of this book. You’re given little titbits of information but left desperate for the next issue to find out what’s really going on. And the art is just gorgeous. It’s a fantastic colour palette and worth rereading a few times just to take it all in.

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5 out of 5

– Christa

Review Spotlight: Superman Wonder Woman #1

DC Comics. Written by Charles Soule. Art by Tony S Daniel, Matt Batt Banning. Cover by Tony S Daniel.

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Beginning a bold new series that details the relationship between The Man of Steel and the Warrior Princess as rising star writer Charles Soule is joined by fan favorite artist Tony S. Daniel to tell the tale of a romance that will shake the stars themselves. These two super-beings love each other, but not everyone shares their joy. Some fear it, some test it—and some will try to kill for it. Some say love is a battlefield, but where Superman and Wonder Woman are concerned it spells Doomsday!

I have to admit going into this issue my expectations were extremely low. How could they be anything else when the creators were going around describing the story as “boning and flying.” I love Wonder Woman – a lot – she is an icon and hero and it was so disappointing to hear that she was finally getting a second book, only to be reduced to someone else’s girlfriend.

So I was all prepared to write this review about how Wonder Woman got the shaft and was underwritten but it actually wasn’t that bad. She was strong, very much in control and refused to be left behind. It really does seem like Soule tried to represent her in her full glory. However what did happen was that in an effort not to make Wonder Woman passive and secondary they turned Superman into an awkward penguin. He always seemed so nervous and insecure and I just wanted to reach into the comic and remind him that he is Superman! If I had no previous knowledge of Superman, I would have a hard time believing that this guy was the most powerful man on Earth.

I actually feel for Soule quite a bit here. I’ve heard good things about his work outside of this series, but this just felt like he was forced to follow a very specific script and it didn’t flow quite as naturally as one might hope. The scenarios felt forced and raised a lot of questions (like the Justice League called Superman because he’s “good with storms.” But wouldn’t they actually have called Aquaman or as Wonder Woman points out, the daughter of Zeus?). I think it is very poor planning to try and force a story around an idea. Some things just don’t work and characterization suffers for it.

There are other things that just didn’t make sense as well. Wonder Woman holds a plane in the air, grabs the passengers out before it ultimately explodes but then hands them off to Superman with a quip about how “he’s better at flying anyway.” Or when she tells him he’s like crude weapon with no fighting skills? Their relationship just doesn’t feel natural. I truly do not understand why they can’t just be a super awesome fighting team like Batman and Superman without the romantic element. I think this book would be better for it.

Overall I did enjoy the artwork. I thought Daniel’s depiction of Wonder Woman in particular was well done. She actually looked strong and powerful. And her bustier seemed like it would stay up (which is always something I look for). It wasn’t the most innovative or original artwork but it did the job.

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Sidenote: despite my annoyance with this issue there was one panel that did make me giggle:

superman wonder woman2 out of 5

– Christa

Superman Stamps

If you remember back to our second Canuck Comic Fact, Joe Schuster, one of the creators of Superman was a Canadian. So Canada Post has rolled out a series of Superman stamps just in time for the Man of Steel’s 75th Anniversary.

The stamps are available is a couple of different formats. Personally I love this cover version, that you can get with a strip of 5 stamps.

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Here’s a close up of the 5 stamps:

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The stamps are also available in booklets of ten.

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And these booklets have five different covers to choose from

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The stamps are available from your local Canada Post offices or online.

*Big thank you to Lindsay from Me on Books for supplying us with pictures of the stamps!