Tom Corbett, Space Cadet: Danger in Deep Space #1

Tom Corbett, Space Cadet: Danger in Deep Space #1
Blue Water Comics
Written by CW Cooke
Art by Mauricio Hunt

Never let it be said that when times are tough Tom Corbett doesn’t step up. He’s the head of navigation on a training mission with a bunch of other cadets. Suddenly, his ship flies right into an asteroid field and the captain is, well, panicking and loses it. Then the captain decides to bail on the mission and leaves everyone else to get themselves home. Not before sabotaging the ship. So, that leaves Tom and everyone else to fix this problem and a few others along the way. Thankfully, I never had this hard of a time in college.

Reading through this, I enjoyed how smooth the panels led you to the next part of the story. There were no strange forms with this, it worked for this story. Also, the story was well written. Each character was unique and had some personality. My main issue though is the fact that there were no real accents that could help distinguish them more. Lastly, we have the art which, to me, didn’t fit the story. It looked a little more basic and not detailed. The story had funny moments but the art was more for something tongue-in-cheek. If they were trying to have a more serious story, the art could have been more detailed.

As I said, I did like the story. It’s a situation where someone who’s not supposed to be able to step up, does. I think here, the way it was written, the characters will be able to grow, given the writing holds up. But if they want to keep an audience, the art needs to choose one side or the other. If it’s going to be more fun, stick with what they have. If it’s going to be more serious or stay at this level, have the art look more serious. In my humble opinion, get this one but if #2 doesn’t pick a direction, leave it. I gave this 2 caps out of 5.

Hawken: Melee #1 of 5, 20 Seconds

Hawken: Melee #1 of 5, 20 Seconds
Archaia Black Label
Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Federico Dallocchio

In the pitch of battle, you call for help and are told it is 20 seconds out. You need to keep fighting, running, hiding; you do all three to keep alive. Throw in the fact that you’re controlling a giant mech bot. GS Lusk is in this exact situation. Ambushed on a planet by other enemy mechs and they’re coming in from all sides. Lusk has to keep moving and doing whatever he can to survive until backup shows up in 20 seconds. With his mech damaged and in a place he does not know, how will he get out of this?

With the paneling, very simple squares that in this situation, fit with the story and what is trying to be portrayed. It carried you to through the story. A very gritty, detailed art allows you to get more into the story and feel that tense, life-and-death situation that is in this story. This is also portrayed in the cover art, something I want to see, a cover that shows the story and the art. I’m torn on the writing for a few reasons. One, it was not overloaded with unnecessary talk. They kept pointing out the seconds to add to that tense feeling but there are times when you kind of get lost with what’s going on. Also, I would like to know a little more about the character.

All in all, I really have mixed feelings here. As I said, I felt the stress, waiting on the backup coming, the life-or-death situation, it was setup beautifully. But yet, it didn’t flow as well as it could have. There were points that could have used either more to push the story forward. This is still book one, but something more should have been there. In my humble opinion, I’d say read this one in the store and wait for book 2 to come out, if the story flows better in that one, then get the first. I give this 3.0 caps out of 5.

Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle #1

Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle #1
Dark Horse Comics
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art by Pete Woods

This is it, the final battle between humans and machines. Once again, three terminator units are sent into the past, Houston and Dallas 2003, to deal with a target that affects the future of the war. One human is sent into the past to stop or delay them. Lastly, there’s an escaped murder that plays into this grand scheme. All three start out as any time traveler or escaped criminal does by getting clothes, weapons and finding their target or targets. I could have sworn that I saw this in a few movies a while ago.Going through this, I can see that the writing is trying to give me the full background on what’s going and leave enough for you to want to know what happens next, I don’t think they did that. I kept asking, why is this happening?

The art was very clean detailed and bright enough to match the story. It worked for what the situation was in the scenes. As for the paneling, they stayed with simple squares, nothing too flashy. With this type of story, again, it worked. Let me throw in a comment about the cover, it was good and will draw readers but, it didn’t tell you anything about the story.Mind you, I’ve been a fan of Terminator since the first movie. I’ve seen them get better and drop in quality in the movies and in comics.

This one is leaning more towards the lower end for me because there wasn’t enough in the story to keep me reading or buying more books. For what was there, the writing was well and they gave you a brief history before you started in the story. But there are holes that needed to be filled to keep me going. In my humble opinion, this one is going to be for those who are diehards; the rest maybe not. I give this 3 caps out of 5.

Dark Horse Presents #5

Dark Horse Presents: Issue #5
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Eric Powell and various others
Art by Eric Powell and various others

This is the first time I’ve ever read Dark Horse Presents so I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew the format and how it was laid out but not of what was inside. For those of you like me, it’s a variety of different stories; some complete others are on going. They have one about a robot sent into space to see if a far off planet is inhabitable, another is about characters dressed in suits and masks trying to get a “Bleeding Heart,” and another about a guy who’s essentially a mail carrier. The artists are different for each story so you can see each take on it’s on feel. For me, this was something different.

Overall, the layout of the book was really well done. Because each story had it’s own artist and feel you knew when one story would end and the next would begin, I figured they’d do that but it was still nice to see. Each story had basic paneling done. In all stories this was the best thing they could do, don’t over do something when it’s not needed. The writing was solid but they didn’t do the one thing I prefer when I get a story part of the way in, they didn’t give you the back-story. Personally, I prefer that so I have a better grasp of what’s going on.

Each of the stories was able to keep me reading this was really good. The story, “Isolation” is the first in the book and gets you. It makes you ask real questions that could be asked in the near future. “The Adventures of Dog Mendonca and Pizza Boy” and a nice comic break but still have solid storytelling. From there, each one has a solid feel and keep you reading. If you are a fan already or if you want something new to read, this will be a good selection, in my humble opinion. I give this 4 caps out of 5.

Dead or Alive #1 of 4

Dead or Alive #1 of 4
Red 5 Comics
Written by Scott Chitwood
Art by Alfonso Ruiz

Sam and Jed are a couple of cowboys back in Texas in 1870. They’re just trying to make it to the next day, get their pay for whatever ranch hand work they can find, and move in life. In one of their days work, they see a fire at a local ranch and look into it. When they find the owner of the ranch and his workers all murdered and the owner’s daughter rushing in after being in town, they decide to find the murder and bring him in to face justice (the reward was a good motivator too). This is where everything goes down hill.
This book was different from most western comics out there, because it brings in everyone’s favorite monsters to life, zombies. The story was well written and leads into areas that you don’t expect. The characters are each unique and come off the page. Yet their accents didn’t carry in the book which is a little peeve of mine. The art is well drawn; again something where you know where they are in the time but it’s just off enough to know something is different. Now, the paneling is pretty standard but they do have a few differences to keep it interesting.

I liked this book, parts of it were routine but this story has been done a bunch of times and in a bunch of time periods. This one was unique enough to make it new again. They give the back-story to let you know who’s who and what’s going on. You can almost see each character in different times or you may even say, hey, I know that guy. In my humble opinion, I plan on checking out the rest of the story when they come out. I give this book 4.5 caps out of 5.

Seven Warriors #3

Seven Warriors #3
Boom Studios
Written by Michaël Le Galli
Art by Francis Manapul

Well, this is the third and final installment of this story. I missed the second story but from what I can gather they’re trudging across the desert, a few more of the warriors are dead, the prince is more confident of himself on this mission to meet his bequeathed bride (his cousin, eww) and the warriors who are still alive are given a bonus. That’s about as much as I can say without blowing the whole ending. I will say they do get to where they need and come across something that they weren’t expecting.

Ok, for those of you who read my review of the first book will not be shocked when I point out the same things, I figured they would have picked up on this stuff. The positive, the art from Francis Manapul did fit what they were trying to do, take us away from the here and now to somewhere else. Each panel flowed into the next, which helps the story along. Now, for me to repeat myself (I hate it when I have to do this) they didn’t tell you of the passage of time from one frame to the next. The story had holes in it and I don’t think it was because I missed the second issue.

Overall, this is one of those stories that I compare to those direct-to-DVD movies that you can rent, it was ok to watch once and give it back, or use it to run commentary on like a famous show with two robots and their mechanic. There are some good points to this series but unfortunately the negatives outweigh them. I don’t foresee this going any further than what has been done. I’d say read it in the store and leave it there, in my humble opinion. I give this 2.5 caps out of 5.

The Vault #1

The Vault: #1 of 3
Image Comics
Written by Sam Sarkar
Art by Garrie Gastonny

Growing up and living in South Florida, you get used to hearing about treasure hunters looking at old shipwrecks, coral caves and other stuff in the ocean. This book looks at that but takes it with a twist. There’s a group of fortune hunters looking at an area that is known for shipwrecks but there is a legend of a large treasure that hasn’t been discovered. After bringing in a late edition to help dig, they found some treasure but not enough to call it a success. After some further digging they find something else. I’ll stop there because you all know how I feel about spoilers.

I really liked the art and cover of this book. It was very detailed and gave the reader a feeling of being off these islands. Each character had a different look. The writing was solid, and that’s the best that I can say. The characters really didn’t have any discernable accents and I’m finding that I like it when they break up the story and let you know if there is a time change, which they did not do. But I will say they gave background of the story before you start. Yet the story wasn’t more than just telling about the dig and the paneling was good.

Overall, I know what they are doing is laying the foundation for the rest of the story but I think that they went too much into the back of the story and not getting into the things that will keep the reader interested. Now there is a trend of setting up for the trade and I think that’s what they are doing, here I don’t think it worked. The story does seem interesting and I might be more accepting when the second book comes out but not so much with this one. In my humble opinion, you might want to skip this until all three are together and you can get the lot of them, depending on what happens in the next issues. I give this 2.5 caps out of 5.

Elric #8: The Balance Lost

Elric #8: The Balance Lost
Boom studios
Written by Chris Roberson
Art by Francesco Biagini

So, let’s get caught up with our friend Elric: at the moment, he’s battling the forces of both Chaos and Law outside the city of Tanelorn with Dorian Hawkmoon. They found two new allies, Corum Jhaelen and Eric Beck. After fighting to the gate of the city, all four get in, have a little break and then find out that there are bigger plans for all of them. Just before their big news, they find that Chaos and Law stopped fighting each other and turned their attention on the city with a simple thought process, control the city, control the multiverse. My thought would be, check please, I’m done.

Thankfully, there’s a quick update on what’s been going on in the beginning, so I wasn’t totally lost, that comes later. Reading the story, I was able to follow but there is so much that the writer wants to include that there are times I got lost. The art didn’t seem to fit the story. Now, I haven’t read any of the stories before this one but the art; could have been a little more detailed but this could be the style that the artist wanted. Now we get to the paneling, in this book there was no one style. They had basic lines, then shapes separating everything then something else. It didn’t add, blend or complement what was going on.

Overall, I kind of understand what the writer was trying to say. This issue is supposed to be the end of a story arc and the start of a new one but I didn’t see that like I do with other books. The paneling at times, distracted me, art or the story didn’t flow the way I see with most other stories that I read. Now, I know this was given to me with none of the others, so I’m at a little disadvantage but if I were a casual reader and picked this issue up cold, odds on I wouldn’t get it to start something new. In my humble opinion, if you’re a fan, get it, if not don’t. I give this 2 caps out of 5.

The Strain: #3

The Strain: #3
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan
Art by Mike Huddleston

We have a new twist on the vampire in modern times story with this comic. Here the vampires are in Manhattan (I have to wonder, what’s wrong with the other boroughs) and they’re starting to spread. Here, they are not a class of people or they’re not trying to hide. They’re these zombie type creatures trying to feed and spread their sickness. One doctor starts to realize what’s going on when an older gentleman stops him and a colleague in the parking lot and there’s an incident in the middle of the street. If this is going on now in New York, I’ll happily stay down here and watch.

The premise for me seemed to blend the zombie and vampire myths together and I’m not a real fan of that. To me, Vampires have a mind and not so much of a sickness. Other than that, I enjoyed the story. I did catch one major editing error on the first page but none others. Not only was the art gritty and dark, which added to the story and gave it, not just an urban feel but added to the story. Even the paneling, basic thick lines, helped push the story to move onto the next page.

First of all, I want to say do not let children read this book. It is in no way for them. Now, having said that, the story was a basic starter book. They were still laying down the foundation for more books and stories to come. No real answers came in this book and from what I was reading; I don’t expect them to come in the next few issues. This is something that you want to make sure to follow every issue. I have a feeling if you miss one, you’ll be lost. I would like more information though when I pick up a book. This is something I think you would like, in my humble opinion. I give this 4 caps out of 5.

Dark Matter #2 of 4: Rebirth

Dark Matter #2 of 4: Rebirth
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie
Art by Garry Brown

Imagine if you will (cue the Twilight Zone music), you wake up on board a spaceship with no idea who you are, how you got there or who the other people are around you (talk about needing that first cup of coffee). Then you find out that you’re under attack. After fending off the attack by getting the ship started, you and the rest of the ‘crew’ go to the planet where you were heading, only to realize that they’re in the fight for of their lives. What do you do? How would you react? Well, welcome to the situation in Dark Matter.

This is something that brings a fresh spin to an old story. The writing drew me in; the way it was done, I wanted to know more of what was happening before and what will happen to this crew. Each frame was drawn out where you knew things were not right in some way, but it had what I think, is the detail needed for a story like this. Even the paneling was done in a way that moved the story along. All in all, the story flowed and let you know just enough from the book before and didn’t let you know what would happen in the next.

I really liked this book. As I read, I started getting to know the characters and caring for them. Even though there is no past that we, as a reader, or they know as characters. At the end of this book the writer leaves you with an expected twist but because of how well it’s written, it does not come across as cliché. This is a story that you’ll want to follow and find out what happens to these people. In my humble opinion, get the first one, get this one and keep going. I give this 4.5 caps out of 5.

Megacon 2012 Review

Ok, here’s a silly question for those of you who read my reviews of comic books, how many of you have ever gone to either a sci-fi or comic book convention? Yeah, I thought so. Well, this month, I attended Megacon in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center. It’s one of the bigger conventuons they have in the state. They had a lot of big names in the comic world, including the biggest, Stan Lee. They also had some big names from the world of sci-fi, Brent Spiner from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Tom Felton, better known as Draco Malfoy.

Now, the layout was that of your typical convention. They had an area where a lot of the vendors were setup and seling items. A lot of the stuff there was of good quality. The t-shirts were good looking; most had funny sayings on them. The comics that were on sale were in good shape and there were good deals, also if you didn’t have something there for someone one to sign, you could easily pick something up. The figures and toys were also of good quality.

Each of the conventions I have attened, I always pay attention to those who are there to sign autographs. Whether they are charging or not, I want to see how they act with their fans. Everyone that I interacted with; actor, comic artist, celebrity, they all treated their fans with the utmost respect and made sure everyone had a good experience. When I was getting an autograph from Greg Capullo, my son asked if he could pose for a picture. He held the comic over his face or moved it over covering half or pretending to lick it. I was laughing like mad and my son was having fun with it too. Allen Bellman, a legend who worked on Captain America, stayed for most of the day that I was there and was the same way, made sure anyone came up had a good experience.

This convention is held once a year and is a three-day event. When you’re there, you will see a lot of people in costume. Most will be happy to pose for a picture with you. We had fun with Thor, one of the Sailor Scouts and a few others. Overall, if you never have attened a convention, you need to go and experience Megacon one time. It’s something you will love. In my. I give it 4.5 caps out of 5.

Supurbia #1

Supurbia #1
Boom Studios
Written by Grace Randolph
Art by Russell Dauterman

I kind of foresaw this one coming, after a certain show came on about a suburban street with a lot of women who are desperate, you know which one I’m talking about. Well, take that scenario and apply it to the world of superheroes. That’s what I get from Supurbia. Here, you have a superhero team who own a neighborhood; they have their families with them and are sent off to missions. This leaves the significant others at home. Some are used to it because they’ve been doing for so long, others are new to the game and are realizing what’s going to be happening.

As you look through this book, the art comes off as bright and sometimes cheerful. Just like how most people picture suburbia. But as the story moves along, you see the issues boiling up and some of the issues are not what you’d expect. The paneling is well done and helps the story move along. There was nothing wrong with the writing that was in the story. It got the message out and laid the foundation for the rest of this story ark. My only issue is that I think there could have been a quick break down in the beginning of the book, but that’s just me.

I’ll admit, I was not a fan of the show I referenced. For drama, I watch shows about a family that builds motorcycles and wrestling but this I liked. Because you have characters that make sense, you have one who’s a little high on his power, another who has issues with one of their children and another who hasn’t realized it’s time to hang up the cape. This should be an interesting book to follow, in my humble opinion. I give this 4 caps out of 5.

Prototype 2: The Anchor Part 2 & The Survivors Part 1

Prototype 2: The Anchor Part 2 & The Survivors Part 1
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Dan Jolley
Art by Paco Díaz & Chris Staggs

I’m quickly coming to the conclusion that I should not review comics based off of games that I haven’t played. I just read two offerings for Prototype 2. I’m guessing they’re the second and third books in a series. Each has a different story about something that happened. The first deals with someone who was exposed to the Blacklight Virus and the other is a man trying to protect two survivors out of the New York Red Zone. There is no real introduction to tell you what happened either in the first book or in the game.

I’ll combine both reviews here. Now the writing was good for the most part. I was able to follow what was going on once I was in the book but again, there was nothing to tell me what happened before. That’s something I find real handy. The art is a little more graphic so you may not want younger kids to read these. Having said that, they were well drawn out and the art matched the feel of the two stories. Nothing really out of the ordinary for the paneling; so it was easy for me to follow both of the stories.

Both of these are going to be $.99 and are only 14 pages long. The stories take play between the Prototype and Prototype 2 games. I was able to get the jest of what’s going on but there are parts were I was a little lost. This storyline was pretty interesting and I wouldn’t mind seeing what happens to the two sets of characters. But there are questions that come up, are these two separate stories that don’t meet? What caused all of this and I don’t know if these will be answered. Overall, I’d say for the price, pick the full line up, in my humble opinion. I give this 3.5 caps out of 5.

Steed and Mrs. Peel #3 of 6

Steed and Mrs. Peel #3 of 6
Boom Studios
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Ian Gibson

Who out there remembers the classic sci-fi show, “The Avengers?” Or you can impress me and remember the horrible movie that was made based off of the show. Well, Boom has created a comic off of it as well. I was able to cheat a bit and read the first two of this series. So, here’s what’s going on: the founding members of an ancient club for game inventors are being killed off. One of which was a high-ranking member in the British Navy. So, Steed is called in to find out what’s going on and make sure that Queen and Country are safe. So, he calls in Mrs. Peel for help.

This was an interesting read for me. Let me start by saying that the art in this book matches pretty spot-on what the feel is for the story. Not to mention, it fit what was in the show. The paneling is simple squares and really fits; it moves the story on effortlessly. There’s some terminology that might catch you off guard if you’re not fully aware of what some of the older British slang was, but it doesn’t detract from the story. Yet, just like the show, it does get a bit out there with what’s going on.

Overall, I did enjoy the book and the first two as well. It’s just enough out there to be out of the mainstream but not so far out there that I haven’t the foggiest idea of what’s going on (I can point out a few other reviews I did for that). Even though I’m not a fan of the show (and especially the movie) I liked this and had fun with it. Mrs. Peel and Steed come off the pages and come through the writing. In my humble opinion, this is something to get, fan or not. I give it 4.5 caps out of 5.

The Reaper of St. George Street

The Reaper of St. George Street: The Adventures of Flagler’s Few St. Augustine’s Ghost Hunters Pineapple Press, Inc.
Written by Andre R. Frattino
Art by Andre R. Frattino

How many of you have either seen “Ghostbusters” or know if it? What if you lived in a city crawling with ghosts? Add to that fact that you’re a non-believer? Well guess what, that’s kind of what’s happening to Will Garrings in this book. He goes to St. Augustine for college and that’s where all the fun starts. He meets a girl, falls in love, but there seem to be weird things about here. Oh, and everyone around Will seems to be kind a freak. After figuring things out what’s going on, Will now needs to fight said ghosts. What issues did I have when I was a freshman in college?

This take on a kind of a common story was refreshing. Every time things seemed to be going in the traditional way, you get hit with a nice twist that worked; it wasn’t forced or something just to be stupid, I liked that. The art is black and white and it really added to where the story was taking you. To help with things, when they were out in the city in after dark, the pages were black and during the day, white. Something simple but you don’t see that often. As for the paneling, it actually blended standard squares with different shapes and, again, it worked.

Personally, I haven’t been to St. Augustine since I was 18 and I really didn’t get into the city. But reading this story, you know a person who loves it wrote it. The story is funny, a little tragic, heartwarming and a little out there. I have a feeling that with those who read it; might want to take their next vacation there and bring this along just for fun. If you love St. Augustine, love ghost stories, like a good story, up for a little fun, if you have a pulse or even if you don’t, this book is for you. I give it 5 caps out of 5.