Welcome to a very happy belated Sunday Stash! We hope you took the Holy Day off to enjoy the Pro.. haha.. We keed! We keed! We all know you were at LEAST clinging to every moment of the Royal Rumble while waiting in line at Wal*Mart for Blizzard back-up and can goods. If you snowed in and you have no choice but to read this, we’re with you!
The brainchild of Brian Michael Bendis (Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man) and Michael Avon Oeming (The United States of Murder Inc.), Powers #1 is an excellent introduction to those who haven’t yet read this superhero-crime series, and the perfect hype to the PlayStation Network-produced show of the same name. Issue 1 places the focus on Detective Deena Pilgrim, who’s a rising star in the business of apprehending Powers— humans with a genetic alteration that grants them physics-defying abilities. A mass murder on a cruise ship filled with extremely affluent passengers is her new lead, where the probability of death being caused by Powers is about 99.9%; but being that there are so many new Powers cropping up, the task of finding out whodunit is a bit daunting. That’s where the gritty, seasoned partner comes in! We meet Christian Walker in a strip club, where his police captain is begging him to rejoin the force; he’s dealt with more than his fair share of Powers perps in the past. Even though Walker’s response is an adamant “no,” if the cover is any indication, we should be seeing him come around soon. The airy rapport between detectives and panel layout both play well into the crime drama and I can definitely get behind both the comic and PSN series. 4/5 Badges.
Nothing more wonderful in this world can surpass quirky 80’s action movie/ Scifi goodness like Zombies vs. Robots. Yes, Yes, Yes– I know the cheese factor is off the charts, but that is what makes this so good!
It’s like Desert Punk meets Appleseed, meets Mad Max.
All the elements are there, though the storyline isn’t all that grand just yet. The grainy artwork of Anthony Diecidue (Moriarty) has that homage to Japan anime mech. If anything, the Zom himself chiefly feels like ZomvRob channels Tank Girl within these pages, with the Zombies something to describe– let alone understand. I’m actually looking forward to other issues just on the artwork alone. Bring on the Undead machine!!!! Log on to co-creator Chris Ryall‘s profile, Download, eat brains, Program the dead. You never know whom will come out on top The blood, bones, and brains, or the bolts, gears, and servers. It’s gonna be a hard-drive to see whom rules the Motherboard called Earth. The Antivirus vs The Virus:
This is sooo gonna rock. 3.75/5 Mutated Monitors.
A little read comic closes out a writing meccas run on the series that made him a name. Peter David’s (Any good X-Factor or Hulk comicthe last 20+ years) All-New X-Factor barely hits issue 20 before its unfortunate demise due to a reshuffling at Marvel and lackluster sales. With Marvel’s Secret Wars soon upon us, little read comics will be getting canceled and X-Factor is just the first to take the brunt of things.
A major appeal of this All-New X-Factor was that it seemed to exist on its own, with a government sponsored team of Mutants making a difference. David continued his run of eccentricities which has always brought him such critical acclaim as a comic writer. So what went wrong? What doomed this book? In this Traveling Nerd’s humble opinion, it was the wrong choice of artist taking over with Carmine Di Giandomenico and the lack of strong returning characters. Never has a nerd seem such a bright assortment of colors and art misplaced on a brand since the psychedelic days of the 70’s. Also, the fans that did carry over from the previous installment were forced to trade in their brooding carefree multiplicity detective with a smile for a brooding green haired bipolar crazy.
The final issue does tie up some plot threads and leaves the door open for future narratives with the Serval Industries sponsored superhero team. Plus, with Spider-Man 2099 already shown in Secret Wars 2.0 these plot points will hopefully play a part in the larger picture soon. This may have not been my favorite run by David, but his writing will be sorely missed till he graces another hero with his voice.
Valiant rolls out their first “new” title in the Valiant Next event with Ivar, Timewalker; reuniting Archer and Armstrong alumni Fred Van Lente (Incredible Hercules) and artist Clayton Henry (X-Men: Apocalypse vs. Dracula) for a high-spirited and hilarious romp through time. Ivar, the dashing, debonair older brother of Valiant stars Aram (Armstrong) and Gilad (The Eternal Warrior), is also an immortal; but whereas his brothers fixate on living life and fighting, respectively, Ivar rides the “naturally occurring Time-arc” portals throughout history with the help of his trusty “Tachyon Compass”. Ok?
If it all sounds a little Doctor Who, it’s because it is; but that’s not a bad thing. Having an ersatz Doctor character running around your universe is usually a good thing (example: John Constantine); and the rich Valiant lore that this story is steeped in (check out the Rai cameo in the 39th century) has resulted in a still-unique and interesting addition to sci-fi/superhero mythos. And funny. Fred Van Lente brings all of the humor his work is known for, and providing a neat counterpoint to his characterisations on work on Archer and Armstrong and The Delinquents with a fiercely intelligent, seemingly-in-control protagonist for a change of pace (that pace being: high octane chase sequence for most of the issue). An excellent first iussue, and as usual; Make Mine Valiant. 4.5/5 Brother’s Keepers.
You know something? I thought I was gonna hate this. Most of my adult revisitations to GI Joe haven’t gone great – not just because of the limits of nostalgia, but come on, the recent movies were just balls – so teeing up to another dark/gritty interpretation of the kind of silly red laser/blue laser antics of Joe and Cobra didn’t sound that great. Leave it to Mike Costa (Hack/Slash) and Paolo Villanelli (Dr. Who: The Tenth Doctor) to change my mind for me with GI Joe: Snake Eyes – Agent of Cobra. Look past the unwieldy title, and you’ll find a solidly written espionage tale centered on an self-pitying and paranoid Destro, at a loss in the semi-titular terror organization now run by his former underlings. Sworn to his service is Snake Eyes, of all people, whom Destro sends on an urgent mission, all while uncertain whether he can take the famously mute ninja at his non-word. The deception doesn’t stop there, with Snake Eyes’s motivations remaining murky throughout, but in the span of 20-odd pages, Costa’s script packs more intrigue than pretty much the whole run of the GI Joe animated series (or as we called it then, “cartoon”). Imbued with ambivalence and resignation by Villanelli, Destro is content to reminisce and lick his wounds, and even as I’m reading this description, I’m as surprised as you are at the depth of this tenth spin-off of a comic adaptation of a cartoon of a toy line. Yo Joe, you guys. Yo Joe. 4/6 Sigmas.