Monday, November 29, 2010

VINTAGE - Live Fast, Runaways

VAUGHAN, Brian K. Runaways: Live Fast. Marvel Comics, 2010 (originally published 2006/2007). ISBN: 9780785141556

There's nothing like a little vintage Runaways to get me in the holiday spirit. I can't really claim to be a fan of the shrunken manga style that Marvel Comics is now publishing them in, so when I was using my Turkey Day coupon to pick up a graphic novel at my favorite bookstore, I opted for the 'normal' oversized option. It's much more preferable. What's that? You've never heard of Runaways? Well, it's an amazing series by Brian K. Vaughan about a group of kids who, you guessed it! Ran away. Specifically from their parents who turn out to be a group of evil supervillains bent on wiping out most of humanity. You know, so they could be immortal. And they all hated each other because only half of them would win that special prize. Anyway, the parents sacrificed a young innocent girl once a year for power and usual sacrificial jazz. The only problem is that one year their kids see them. This is when they hatch their plot their plot to run away. To Breakfast Club-ise this, there's the Nerd (Alex), the Goth (Nico), the Jock (Chase), the Weirdo (Gert), the Princess (Karolina), and the Kid (Molly). At this point in the story, both Alex and Gert have died in separate incidents; new members Victor and Xavin have joined the team in their place. Throw in an awesome dinosaur (named 'Old Lace') telepathically connected to Chase, as well as a transportational 'Leapfrog' with an attitude, and you have the whole team.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

VINTAGE - Superman/Batman: Supergirl

LOEB, Jeph. Superman/Batman: Supergirl. DC Comics, 2005. ISBN: 1401202500

Just when you thought all the superhero action was over, I'm throwing a wonderful combo at you just before turkey day. TWO superheroes for the price of one. A little title DC Comics likes to call Superman/Batman. They slap those two wacky kids together just to see what wacky highjinks will ensue. In this one, the second volume that happens to be penned by Jeph Loeb from Batman: Hush acclaim, he reintroduces Supergirl into mainstream continuity. Hasn't there always been a Supergirl, you ask? Yes. Sort of. Since the late fifties. Sort of. Loeb does his best to explain the situation in a, I'll say it, poorly written foreward to the book. He uses a rollercoaster analogy because apparently some high-up muckity much at DC was riding a "Superman-themed rollercoaster" and saw that Supergirl's biography was kind of horrible. It described her a protoplasmic lifeform. P.S. I totally know which coaster they were referring to. It's totally Bizarro at Six Flags! I was there! And the best part of that was totally reading the bios while I was waiting in the line. I'm a nerd who reads comics. Rollercoasters are kind of scary.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


CLAREMONT, Chris. X-Men: Fall of the Mutants. Marvel Comics, 2001 (originally published in 1988). ISBN: 0785108254

The story here is not incredibly strong, especially if you haven't read the issues leading up to this. The New Mutants were a team of "junior" X-Men, sort of a second generation of X-Men teenagers after the original had pretty much reached adulthood. Like the team that was introduced in Giant Size X-Men #1, this team was supposed to be a little more international, to show that mutants were more than a bunch of caucasian Americans. There nine "official" New Mutants as of the first 50 issues; of these, only seven actually appear in this story. Here it's Cannonball, Mirage, Magik, Cypher, & Wolfsbane. It's kind of later on in the New Mutants history, which lasted 100 issues and served as a precursor to X-Force in the early nineties. Shatterstar, who I've talked about before, first appeared late in the run of the New Mutants. I actually really like the stories. Chris Claremont created it and wrote it for a long time. At this point, Louise Simonson was writing the title in Fall of the Mutants. I like Louise Simonson as a writer, but kind of hate what she did to these poor mutant kids. This story is a perfect example.

Monday, November 15, 2010

VINTAGE - Rest [New York Comic Con]

POWERS, Mark. Rest, volume 1. Top Cow Productions, Inc. 2010. ISBN: 9781607062103

This post will mostly be about the first volume of Rest by Mark Powers, Shawn McManus, and Marco Castiello. It will also be at least partially about my experience at New York Comic Con last month since my attendance there is the whole reason I both discovered this title and purchased it. The scans are going to be of the main character John, because I think he's supposed to be visually based on Milo Ventimiglia. There were also a lot of panels of him in his boxers and HEY, who doesn't love that? I know I do. It's also worth noting that I totally slightly ripped the top of one of the pages in this trade to give you those scans. That's dedication, people. It's also a little infuriating; this cost me $30.00. It was kind of worth it, though. I got to meet not only the aforementioned Milo Ventimiglia, but pretty much everyone who involved in making this comic. And they all signed it. Which... actually? Makes it kind of more sad that I ripped it. Even if it was just a little bit.

Friday, November 12, 2010


CLAREMONT, Chris. X-Men: Fall of the Mutants. Marvel Comics, 2001 (originally published in 1988). ISBN: 0785108254

It's part two of our Fall of Mutants series. This time, we are focusing on the original team of X-Factor. I actually briefly talked about their formation during the Phoenix Rising post since that included X-Factor #1 as the very last tale. This particular story took place over three issues from X-Factor #24 - X-Factor #26. It's not exactly the most finely crafted story, but it does introduce several elements that factored into the early nineties run of X-Men that I really loved. The first was Apocalypse as a villain. While Apocalypse had previously appeared in X-Factor #6, he's really introduced as a supervillain here. Why is that, you ask? Well, because Warren Worthington III is revealed as alive and as Death, one of Apocalypse's horsemen in the early pages of this story. Many interpretations of Warren becoming Death (and ultimately Archangel) show him as an unwilling participant in his own transformation. This story very clearly puts the blame on Warren; while Apocalypse goes to him and gives him the option to become one his servants - to "fly again." Totally not mind-controlled. Warren readily accepts his fate as he, at this point, literally had nothing else to loose.

Monday, November 8, 2010

VINTAGE - Angel Special, Lorne

BYRNE, John. Angel Special: Lorne. “The Music of the Spheres.” 48p. IDW, June 2010. ISBN: 9781600107238

Sometimes when you are visiting your local comic shop, something happens that can only be described as serendipity. You aren't looking to buy anything other than what you came for, but something catches the corner of your eye. It draws you in, and you are surprised that you haven't even heard of it before that moment. It's almost... magical. That was the case with this particular Angel story, focusing on the character of Lorne. When I was buying my monthly titles at Midtown Comics, a new tradition I'm trying to uphold, they had this propped up on display at the register. Not only did I not know that they were doing a tribute comic for Andy Hallett, who passed away a few years ago, but I also didn't know that John Byrne was the artist and writer involved with it. Byrne has done a few Angel comics for IDW. These are the few that I'm willing to admit are actually good.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


CLAREMONT, Chris. X-Men: Fall of the Mutants. Marvel Comics, 2001 (originally published in 1988). ISBN: 0785108254

Let us harken back to the eighties... to a time when only nerds loved The X-Men.

In 1988, Marvel Comics ran a sort-of crossover between Uncanny X-Men, the New Mutants, and X-Factor. These were the only X-Men related titles at the time. There's now something like two dozen. Like I said, different times. One of the reasons I'm going to be tackling each "chapter" individually is because the titles don't really intersect. At all. While all of them have to do with the nation's growing concern over "the mutant menance" in general; the X-Men are fighting a mystical god-like being in Dallas, the New Mutants are confronting beast creatures on a weird island in the middle of nowhere, and X-Factor is fighting one of their own. Like I said, nothing really connecting them on any one particular point. The Uncanny story is my favorite, so I'm kind of glad to be talking about that one first.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

VINTAGE - Those Left Behind, Serenity

WHEDON, Joss & Brett Matthews. Serenity: Those Left Behind. Dark Horse Comics, 2007. ISBN: 9781593078461

Let's talk about the Serenity graphic novel.

It's good. Let's just start there. This story, which actually ran for three Dark Horse comic issues, is collected in this awesome hardcover. I remember because I bought all the issues as it came out. Which was hard, because they were selling out fast. Each issue had three different covers, highlighting one of the nine main stars of Firefly. Unlike many other Vintage titles, it's actually still in-print so you can buy it for your library. And buy it you should. Did I mention it's good? There's a co-writing credit here between Joss Whedon and Bret Matthews. I don't know who did what; let's assume, in typical Joss Whedon comics-fashion that he did much of the story plotting and Bret did much of the nitty gritty writing stuff, like say... dialogue. You can't really tell, because this is so spot on with both the show and the movie that it's a piece of the universe everyone should read in order to... yeah, I'll say it... stay shiny.