GRAYSON / THE STEAM MAN / FURY / BOOK of DEATH / POWER CUBED [Reviews]: “Motha%*#^@*!!!”

Bad Mother Fucker 25:17–

“The path of the Jacksonous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of selfish and inferior chumps. Blessed is he who, in the name of hustlers abound, pimps the hos through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his lady’s keeper and the finder of lost souls. And I will skullcrack my pimpstick upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my family. And you will know my name is the Bad Ass Mother Fuckin’ King when I lay my vengeance upon thee.”

GRAYSON #12 - DC Comics
GRAYSON #12 – DC Comics
"Cardinal" Roberto de Bexar @RobBex2
“Cardinal” Roberto de Bexar

What happens when you are sent on a mission, only to have the person who sent you on that mission loses all his memories? That is what we get, in this issue of Grayson. We see the ramifications, not between Bruce and Dick (mainly because Bruce Wayne doesn’t remember who he is at all); but between Dick and the rest of the Bat-family, whom he uses to do what they do best – catch the bad guy!

The great thing about this issue, is how Tom King (Grayson, The Omega Men, The Vision) handles the relationships. King does this great thing with the re-introductions of the Bat-members, where he shows just how Grayson feels; and what he remembers about each member. We get a great inner monologue, and great insight into what is going through Grayson’s head. We’ve always known that Alfred sees Dick as another son, and now we see just how deep that runs.

Kodak Comics.
Kodak Comics.

The artwork by Mikel Janín (Grayson, Justice League Dark, Forever Evil: Blight) is crisp and clean; and in an issue where it could have been very muddled and cloddy, he does a great job of keeping it sharp. His artwork plays out exceptionally well and he does a VERY cool thing with the action sequences, when he could have gone an easy route; and he uses colors and the composition in a very insightful manner.

I haven’t been reading Grayson but if the rest of the series is anything like this issue, then I might have to go and pick up the back issues. If you’ve been loving what Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have done with Batman and Bruce Wayne, and want to see how that plays out with his first ward; or you are a fan of the Grayson series, or just the history of the family in general – then pick this book up. 4/5 Batarang Bibles.

THE STEAM MAN #1 - Dark Horse Comics
THE STEAM MAN #1 – Dark Horse Comics
Lisa "The Goddam" Wu @the_goddamn_wu
Lisa “The Goddam” Wu

The good ole Wild West was called ‘Wild’ for a reason. Writers Joe R. Lansdale (Hap and Leonard, Jonah Hex) and Mark Allen Miller (Clive Barker’s Nightbreed, Hellraiser) just made it even wilder in their new Sci-Fi Western comic, from Dark Horse, called: Steam Man #1. It isn’t just a matter of them old traditional cowboys and Indians! We “git us sum a them” occasional aliens, but also those bloodthirsty vampires; and other inhuman creatures of the underworld, “ta boot”!

To track, hunt, and whoop ass on these supernatural enemies of the West, our industrious Captain Beedle has created Steam Man: a giant gentlemen battle robot with a steam-powered top hat – a regular steampunk palooka. As otherworldy forces threaten the settlers, natives, and criminals of the American West, Beedle and his team of monster hunters operate the Steam Man to save the town! However, readers may soon find that Beedle doesn’t seem to be purely motivated by altruism, or even money – like some of his team members. It might involve a very personal vendetta against The Dark Rider, and his army of blood sucking nocturnals, the Morlocks.

Blow off a little...
Blow off a little…

In this alternate Wild West, we don’t see the dusty dry town with tumble weeds blowing across the narrow dirt street. Instead we see the landscape covered in cold white snow, with the exception of a few areas obviously destroyed by battle; littered with scorched trees on barren ground. Even the big open sky has been altered by this otherwordly invasion, with its many moons shining onto the landscape. Piotr Kowalski’s (Sex, Terminal Hero) pencils are Bowie knife-sharp, and Kelly Fitzpatrick’s (Peter Panzerfaust, Neverboy) colors, although beautiful, don’t inspire much hope. Even the Steam Man looks covered in rust. Are humans in this alternate universe fighting a losing battle? Readers are going to just have to wait and see in the next issue. 3/5 Steampunked Bibles.

Fury: 50th Anniversary of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 - Marvel Comics
FURY: 50TH ANN. OF S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 – Marvel Comics
"Martyr" Doice John @HostDoiceJohn
“Martyr” Doice John

This 50 Years of S.H.I.E.L.D. anniversary issue, Fury #1, was definitely fun for me, as I have always really enjoyed this version of Nick Fury. Every time I read his dialogue , I imagine it in the voice of Samuel L Jackson– and you know that adds some BADASSness to the mix!

This particular story was unique for me, and touching as a man of color. I usually look forward to seeing who the villan is and what the writer comes up with as far as the BIG CONFLICT; and here, David F. Walker (Cyborg, Shaft, The Army of Dr. Moreau) has truly written something that makes you think past the fighting. He really brings attention to the real life situation of racism, that continues to exist.

The villain here, is the Hate-Monger, who I would normally scoff at, but he was absolutely appropriate for this story. My favorite part of the comic was the cameo appearance by “Barry,” and how at that point, you sigh in relief as Nick takes down the Hate-Monger. Lee Ferguson (S.H.I.E.L.D., X-Men Unlimited) does a great job of illustrating this in a way that brought attention to both the dialogue and the art. The characters felt realistic in their depictions and were true to what I would imagine them to look like. 4/5 Obama Seals of Approval.

POWER CUBED #1 - Dark Horse Comics
POWER CUBED #1 – Dark Horse Comics
Jimmy "Apostolic" Cupp @thejimmycupp
Jimmy “Apostolic” Cupp @thejimmycupp

Power Cube #1, written and illustrated by Aaron Lopresti (Wonder Woman, Excalibur, Ms. Marvel), gives us a cookie cutter beginning to a coming of age superhero story.

We have Kenny, a boy who just turned 18. He lost his mother to some sort of tragic accident, which hasn’t been explained, of yet. We have the disconnected, genius father, who only wants what’s best for his son; but he can’t seem to find the right words to tell him how much he cares for the boy. And, we have the crazy, over-the-top, super cheesy villain, called: Doctor Cruel, with his moronic henchmen, who can’t seem to get anything right.

On Kenny’s 18th birthday, his father gives him a cube that basically performs feats of instant alchemy. The bad guy’s henchmen show up right away to stop Kenny from getting his gift, because Doctor Cruel wants it. This is about as far as the plot proceeds to go in this first issue. Despite it’s cliched structure, it’s still a fun set up, with great art by Lopresti; and it captures the right angles for the feel of each frame. Power Cube seems like a story that will be great for all ages, and I’m sure it’s bound to have some nice twists and turns along the way! 3.5/5 Fight the Power Cubes.

BOOK OF DEATH #3 - Valiant Comics
BOOK OF DEATH #3 – Valiant Comics
Jason "Bad Preacher" Bud @JasonElliottBud
Jason “Bad Preacher” Bud @JasonElliottBud

This cosmic Year of 2015, has conferred a seemingly comic-clad conspiracy, consisting of components we might call: conglomeration, conflation, and compression; which will undoubtedly coalesce into commendable creations of colossal excursion. DC and Marvel collide their ghosts of multiverses past, with their respective lines of, Convergence and Secret Wars of present; while Valiant Comics inverts this gambit, and goes from days of centuries future – into a past that’s actually in the now – by delivering demonically, their Book of Death, unto our doorsteps…

The Valiant Comics Forge has rendered forth a weapon of vorpal precision, in Book of Death #3, comprised of these furiously angry parts: wordsmithery by Robert Venditti (X-O Manowar, Green Lantern), artistry by Robert Gill (Alice in Wonderland, Kade: Mourning Sun) and Doug Braithwaite (Unity, Wolverine: Origins), color spectrum by David Baron (JLA, Batman Confidential), and letter-branding by Brian Reber (X-Men: Legacy, Batwing).

4809015-bod_003_003Book of Death #3, finds the imperviously immortal Eternal Warrior, Gilad Anni-Padda (counterpart of Superman and Wolverine), on the run from his former allies of Unity fame (Valiant’s version of Justice League and Avengers), with a golden child sent back in time from the future by himself, no less; and her name is Tama (descended from a mystic bloodline, known as the Geomancers – who commune with Earth and guide us mere mortals). Tama holds an esoteric tome from the future; that portends the demise of the Valiant Universe. When she cracks its cover and reads the contents within, the very Earth writhes forth, threshing flesh asunder, and staining soil salaciously, in innocent blood and anguished ichor.

Supplying Unity’s latest directive — to encounter and stop the Eternal Warrior and Tama from destroying anyone or anything else — are Colonel Jamie Capshaw of G.A.T.E. (Global Agency for Threat Excision) and MI-6 Liason, Neville Alcott – who both collectively resemble power players of Amanda Wallerian-and Nick Furyian-proportion. Yet, are E.W. and Tama the Kid, responsible for the aforementioned maliciousness? Or is the evil we’re witnessed here, being perpetuated by necromantic forces of a Darquer nature?? Perhaps with the aid of some other unknown force, enslaved into unholy allegiance??? Book of Death #4 may be destined to bring about resolution… 3.25/5 Furious Fisticuffs.

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