Monthly Archives: February 2014

Casual Comics Rewind Review: Vision and the Scarlet Witch Volume 1, Number 4

Here we are, at the end of the line for this wonderful Marvel mini-series from the 80s, starring my all time favorite married couple – Vision and the Scarlet Witch. And, it’s been a heck of a ride. Let’s check in on my favorite Marvel sweethearts and see what kind of family drama awaits the duo into this month.

“Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself…!” opens with a mystery. A figure clad entirely in white climbs Mount Wundagore. The narrator is content to call him the “White Pilgrim” at the outset.

Vision and Scarlet Witch; Vol 1 #4.

And, you know what? Snark about the stories all you like, haters. But there’s no denying one thing – that’s a gorgeous splash page. Read the rest of this entry

Casual Comic Picks: Hot Comics of the Week (February 26, 2014)

This is the time of the week where I would normally be introducing my good friends at Dragon’s Lair Comics and Games, along with their picks of the week. However, this past weekend, tragedy struck when the shop next door caught fire.

The Blondo location of Dragon’s Lair is currently closed. That store is where I cut my casual comics teeth and became a rabid comics fan. Almost any series I will rave to you about from the 80s and 90s are titles I picked up in this very location. A few titles off the top of my head I remember discovering and purchasing at the Blondo store:

  • Nightcrawler mini-series
  • Cloak and Dagger (eagerly awaited the shipment of this one each month)
  • Vision and the Scarlet Witch (2nd mini-series)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (3rd printing), and the first printing of each one after that for a while
  • The Tick
  • Miracleman
  • Scout
  • Usagi Yojimbo
  • Mage!

…and so many more. It sounds like the stock is mostly lost – CJ put it best when he said smoke and water are not comics’ friends. But, hopefully the building did not suffer debilitating damage and they can re-open in the same location. Until then, please consider visiting Lair 2 for your comic needs, at least until they get the inventory and ordering back in hand.

So, for this week, you’re stuck with me and my picks again… I’m feeling nostalgic, so I’ll start with:

Miracleman #3

Miracleman #3 by TBD, Garry Leach, Alan Davis. Marvel Comics

Either the solicitation is way out of date or Alan Moore is being prickly again, since it’s listed as TBD for the writer.

This is a great series that we all raved about while milling around the counters at Dragon’s Lair after school. Issue #3 is an important turning point in the series. If you haven’t read this series, you’ve GOT TO start picking up Marvel’s reprints.

Ghostbusters #13

Ghostbusters #13 by: Erik Burnham, Dan Schoening. IDW Publishing

Well, as long as we’re in a somber mood anyway, I’m going to honor the memory of Harold Ramis by checking in on the Ghostbusters realm this week. It’s the first part of a new story arc, apparently, so I’m going to dive in and see if IDW can rekindle any of the 80s magic that the Ghostbusters brought the first time around.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #31

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #31 by: Tom Waltz, Ross Campbell, Kevin Eastman. IDW Publishing

So let’s go for the nostalgia trifecta this week and see just what the Ninja Turtles are up to:

“While strategically secluded in Northampton, the Turtles are hit by new revelations involving enemies’ shifting loyalties, miracle cures, and ghosts from the past. And in the present, grave danger is about to strike! What new Foot Clan menace is hunting the Turtles?”

Well, that actually sounds interesting. Maybe this lookback to my youth will pan out after all.

Superior Foes Spider-Man TPB Vol. 01 Getting Band Back

 

Superior Foes Spider-Man TPB Vol. 01 Getting Band Back by: Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber, Marcos Martin. Marvel Comics

Ahhh… the war cry of the Casual comics fan, “I’m waiting for the trade paperback!” And, it’s finally here.

This title didn’t hit the top five of any of the “best of 2013” lists I saw. But it hovered between seven and ten on enough lists that it piqued my interest. Not “important” enough to bore me, yet not trivial enough to be ignored, this has been a title I’ve been dying to catch up with. Here’s the solicit:

“It’s a new sleeper-hit series starring some of Spidey’s deadliest baddies! Boomerang and his fellow villains prove that with terrible powers come terrible responsibilities, and Spider-Man will soon learn that with superior villains come superior problems! Out on bail and aiming to stay out of jail, Boomerang must get his cronies on target – but does Frank Castle, the one-man army known as the Punisher, have them targeted already? The Foes have a plan and the means to pull it off, but they’re about to learn the hard way that you can’t steal the head of Silvermane without severe repercussions! Rising star Nick Spencer teams with Eisner Award-winning sensation Steve Lieber for a walk on the Spider-Verse’s evil side! Collecting SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #1-6. “

Sounds like just enough quirk to make it a cracking read. Superior Foes of Spider-Man Trade Paperback is my official Casual Comic Guy Hot Pick of the Week!

As you’re having fun with this week’s title, please keep the team at Dragon’s Lair in your prayers (such as they may be). The store is staffed with good people, and Bob has done so much to make sure that comics and nerd culture are appreciated in the Midwest. If anyone deserves a break, it’s Bob and the Bob-squad at Dragon’s Lair.

Even though it’s out of my way, I’m buying all my new comics there this week. I’d love it if the rest of Omaha did the same.

“Cheers” seems like an unlikely sign-off, so for this week, it’s… Stay Frosty!

– CCG

Casual Comics Review Double Down – She Hulk #1 and Ms. Marvel #1

With so many great titles hitting the last couple of weeks, I’m still digging out from my pile of recent purchases. It’s all relative, though, since I only buy about four titles a week.

Two super-buzzworthy titles dropped, so I wanted to give you the Casual perspective on both She-Hulk #1 and Ms. Marvel #1. Two books with female leads, but both come from very different places. One is an established hero with a long publication history, the other is a brand new hero with a familiar name. One is a grown (7 ft. tall) woman with a professional career, the other a teenager out of her element and just discovering her powers while navigating high school.

How’d they each do in their respective first issues?

She Hulk #1

She-Hulk #1; Marvel Comics

Full disclosure, I absolutely adored the last She-Hulk series I read. Read the rest of this entry

Dragon’s Lair’s Picks: Hot Comics of the Week (February 19, 2014)

Aaaand we’re back with the hot new comic books from the week of February 19, 2014. We’ll see if I can manage to be in a bit of a better mood this week. Looking at the list that the Dragon’s Lair crew was kind enough to provide, it looks like a pretty good week.

As always, I’ve left the picks to the pros (for the most part) and the uneducated commentary is mine – no passing the blame on that.

Fables #138

Fables #138 by: Bill Willingham, Russell Braun, Christopher Moeller DC Comics

Fables is still running after 138 issues. Good for them. I always did have a weak spot for this title. I’m not sure this is the best jumping off point for new fans, but the one-shot sounds interesting: Read the rest of this entry

The Official Casual Best Comic Book Duos of All Time

So, it’s not a comic book. It’s my blog and I’ll put up photos of Doctor Who if I feel like it.

I’ve showered a heap of love on one particular comic book couple since I started casually commenting on comics. In the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, I spent a bit of time (OK, way too much time) thinking about my favorite comic book duos. As always, additional comments or suggestions are welcome.

Here’s my frame of reference for defining the greatest twosomes to grace the pages of comic books:

  1. I’m looking almost exclusively at guy/girl duos in comic books. Like I said, Valentine’s Day got me thinking about the topic. Whichever way the wind blows for you, it’s all good. That’s just my frame of reference.
  2. I’m thinking mostly of duos that functioned as a self-contained team, or at least teamed up regularly enough that they’re linked in my mind.
  3. Romance not required, but the possibility of romance certainly helped some duos jump up in the rankings.

Let me start with some also-rans that fell off the list for various reasons:

Sue Storm / Reed Richards

In my youth, these two were the “first couple” of the Marvel Universe.

Way to dress up for the occasion, Reed.

They lost too many points for the following: Read the rest of this entry

Casual Comics Review – Rover Red Charlie

A wise man once said, “Sometimes you kick. Sometimes you get kicked. Yesterday was that kind of day.

I stopped in at Legend Comics over my lunch break. Joe Patrick – one half of the Two Headed Nerd – finally caught me in the store, so my cover was blown. On the positive side, I stumbled onto Rover Red Charlie while browsing the shelves. The series is up to issue #3, but I only picked up the first two.

Rover Red Charlie #1 by Garth Ennis and Michael Dipascale Avatar Press

It’s a “high concept” book, and it’s written by Garth Ennis, which was enough to convince me to give Rover Red Charlie a try.

Ennis is not known for being a subtle. He often piles shocking material on top of offensive material in a short stack of mayhem that dares you to stop reading. Read the rest of this entry

Dragon’s Lair’s Picks: Hot Comics of the Week (February 12, 2014)

Eeeeiiiiks… Another week and the comics seem to be coming fast and furious. The guys over at Dragon’s Lair Comics and Games have, once again, sent me some titles for your consideration as the “best new comics of the week”. Let’s explore them together, as I once again provide running commentary this week’s hot comic picks.

Powergirl Powertrip Trade Paperback

Powergirl Powertrip Trade Paperback By: Geoff Johns, Amanda Conner DC Comics

Yes, please.

I don’t know what Powergirl has been up to in the issues covered by this trade. I don’t know that I need to know. The main selling point of this comic is Amanda Connor’s artwork. Maybe you can all ignore how Connor draws Power Girl, but few men can… Read the rest of this entry

Easy Cosplay for San Diego Comic Con

Today’s the big day. Pre-registration for San Diego Comic Con 2014 starts in just a couple hours… and ends in a couple of hours and ten minutes, I’d guess. Wish me luck, folks.

One of my favorite things about SDCC is the super-awesome cosplay.

So, in honor of the big day, I found a super-cool tumblr site: My Half Assed Cosplay Ideas

Artist Patrick Dean presents some pretty cool ideas for cosplay using only stuff you’d find around the house, at a flea market, or a thrift shop. Check out the site for all his designs, but below are a few of my favorites: Read the rest of this entry

Casual Comic Picks – Hot Comics of the Week (February 5, 2014)

Hey, there. Time once again for me to pick the top new comics of the week. It’s a brand new month, football season is over, so bring on the new comic books!

Lobster Johnson: Get the Lobster #1

Lobster Johnson: Get the Lobster #1 by: Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, Tonci Zonjic, Dave Stewart Dark Horse

I don’t know much about Lobster Johnson, but here’s what I know. I love the name “Lobster Johnson”, I love the art in this book, and because there’s a mini-series, I think it’s time I tried out this title.

I also love the solicit:

“A Manhattan sporting event goes terribly wrong as the ref is killed in front of a live audience by two crazed-and seemingly bulletproof-wrestlers. Who is behind this new reign of terror?”

I’m in!

Punisher #1

Punisher #1 By: Nathan Edmondson, Mitch Gerads Marvel Comics

Frank Castle has has his ups-and-downs. He’s been many things over the decades since he was introduced, including a weird part man, part machine Frankenstien monster.

I’m not kidding…

But, the one thing The Punisher has ALWAYS been is a hero who gets his powers from technology/weapons. Which is why issue #1 of his new series gets a spot on this week’s list.

Knights Of The Dinner Table #205

Knights of the Dinner Table By: Jolly Blackburn Kenzer and Company

As someone who has most of the issues #25-100, I’m just glad to see that this title is still around. Back in the day, it was one of the consistently funniest comics that highlighted role-playing game culture. It really captured what was special and funny about rolling dice with a regular gaming squad.

I’m going to have to peek in on the gang and see what they’ve been up to in the over 100 issues since I last tuned in.

Judge Dredd: Mega City Two #2 (of 5)

Judge Dredd: Mega City Two #2 By: Douglas Wolk, Ulises Farinas IDW Publishing

Issue one of this mini-series was both fun and funny. Mega City Two is the perfect place to drop Dredd and just watch him react to a completely different form of madness than he’s used to. I’m eager to see if Wolk and Farinas can keep up the pace established in a crackerjack first issue.

Go ahead and buy two copies – you know you want to cut out the Dredd paper doll…

Wraith Welcome To Christmasland #1 (of 5) (2nd Printing)

Wraith: Welcome to Christmasland #1 (Second Printing) By: Joe Hill et. al. IDW Publishing

I can’t believe I missed this when it first arrived. The fact that it went to a second printing already makes me eager to check out this title.

Joe Hill is one heck of a writer, and anyone who’s read NOS4A2 will be familiar with “Christmasland”. If you’ve read it, you’ll want to snatch up this title. If you haven’t, what’s wrong with you. Put down the comics for a couple of days and pick up NOS4A2, you won’t be able to put it down. The publisher’s solicit for this comic promises you don’t need to have read NOS4A2, but you’re going to want to anyway.

The Star Wars #5

The Star Wars #5 By: Jonathan Rinzler, Mike Mayhew, Rain Beredo, Nick Runge Dark Horse

So, I’ve got friends who are comic book fans. I’ve got friends who are sci-fi fans. And I’ve got friends who are HUGE Star Wars fans. So how come I’m just finding out about this title today?

I’m going to assume you’ve never heard of this title either, because WHY HAS NO ONE TOLD ME?

Read the description:

Remember the scene in Star Wars where the Sith Knight traps General Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Annikin Starkiller, and the alien Han Solo-and they have to fight their way free and steal an Imperial starship? No? That’s because this is The Star Wars-based on George Lucas’s original rough-draft screenplay! Experience a Star Wars that never was!

* Official eight-issue adaptation of George Lucas’s original rough-draft screenplay for Star Wars!

WHAT!?!

Color me intrigued. And based on the sheer novelty of this book, I’m picking The Star Wars #5 as my Casual Comic Guy Hot Pick of the Week!

Have fun digging yourselves out tomorrow, Omaha, and get down to your local comic shop for these and many more titles on New Comics Day.

Cheers!

– CCG