Monday, December 20, 2010



written by Enrica Jang
artwork by Jhazmine Ruiz
(Red Stylo Media)

Omi's Note:
Big up to Bill Thade, who along with his wonderful wife, run Fearless Readers comic book shop in Dayton, Ohio for hipping me to Azteca.

I love indie comic books. They can take the risks that bigger publishing houses can't. They also can fill a niche that is usually ignored by the majors. It's a great reason to find a comic genre that fits your sensibilities. If you like steam punk, you can find a gazillion indie comics on or off line. If you like zombie action, you don't even have to turn a corner. Ernrica Jang of Red Stylo Media probably wanted the same thing.

Azteca takes place in Paradiso, Mexico, a small tourist town filled with drug cartels and violent gangs. Although tourism literally saves the small town economically, crime is rampant and corruption remains unchecked. Suddenly, someone is decapitating and mutilating the bodies of gang members and members of drug cartels. While the natives of Paradiso are willing to turn a blind eye to this vigilante, the cops and politicians are not.

The first issue is split into three parts and allows the story to flow smoothly. It gives the reader a chance to digest the scenes and get an understanding of the major characters. The vigilante is never shown without his hooded sweater. The reader is allowed to catch a glimpse of his tattoo. So Jang provides enough mystery to make the reader want more.

The artwork is fluid and heavy on the inks. Those who follow Aztecan mythology will find the artwork familiar. It adds tremendous authenticity to the story. It is truly one of the best art I have seen in an independent comic since Dread Society X.

The project does remind me of Jason Aaron's “Scalped” on DC's Vertigo. I mean that as compliment. I hope that the crew at Red Stylo Media meet with much success and I look forward to reading issue 100 of Azteca (if they plan on making that many issues).

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The New Man Without Fear

if you haven't heard it yet check aqui

wild huh?
the new man without fear will be none other than T'Challa himself...

Monday, November 01, 2010

Black Dynamite

No, I haven't picked it up, but I plan to. So no review. Sorry folks.

but here it is, aqui.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

more updates

Sorry I haven't been on my square. We are working on a few projects, so bear with us.. Here are some more treats:

1. Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes Mini Episodes... they pretty much set up the background for the series. They are definitely worth checking out. Check out Nick Fury.
You will love that.

2. Check out Black Science Fiction Society's website. it's choice. Some really dope stuff happening there.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Written by Mat Johnson
Art by Warren Pleece

Book Review by Dan Tres Omi

It is a nerd's sweet revenge when graphic novels and comic books are considered literature. It is about time that these genres get their recognition. In the last few years, we have seen several comic books (I.e., Y: The Last Man ,
Ex Machina ) and graphic novels garner critical acclaim. Incognegro: A Graphic Mystery is another one of those novels that are definitely top choice. It is published by DC's own Vertigo line. Although I have never been a huge fan of DC comics, their Vertigo line has released several high quality graphic novels such as Sentences: the Life of Grimm and DMZ.

Although the story in Incognegro is fictional, it is based on the true accounts of African American news reporters who traveled to the deep south in the early 20th century to cover lynchings. This African Americans could pass for European Americans and infiltrated many lynchings. This was called “going incognegro.”

Zane Pinchback, an incognegro, decides to pull one more stunt even after almost being caught playing a white man during a lynching in Mississippi. This time, the stakes are higher as he learns that his brother is framed for the murder of a white woman. He takes his friend Carl, another African American who can pass for white but who is an actor, along with him. To make matters worse, Carl heads into Tupelo, Mississippi and poses as an Englishman and has the entire town infatuated with his British airs. Pinchback also learns that the woman his brother is accused of killing is actually not dead.

What the reader will appreciate about this graphic novel is that it is drawn in black and white. At times, even the reader will not be able to tell who Pinchback or Carl is when he is drawn amongst white people. This adds much more mystery to the story and also makes the reader see how these reporters were able to get the inside scoop.

Mat Johnson's writing is top notch. The story twists and turns almost at each panel. The ending will shock everyone. The final panel caused this reader to laugh out loud while on a bank line. Non comic book readers will get a big kick out of Incognegro. Warren Pleece's work shines and both of them work well together.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Nemesis Issue 3

Written by Mark Millar
Art by Steve McNiven

Review by Dan Tres OMi

I almost gave up on this series until a certain talkative comic book retailer at a local comic convention explained that this issue was dropping in a matter of days. When I arrived at my local comic book store (big up Fearless Readers!), I was able to grab the last issue on the stand. After reading it from cover to cover three times in a row (something I rarely do), I can understand why.

Millar continues to shock and awe. In Issue #2, Nemesis is captured by Blake Morrow, DC's super cop. While everyone is happy that Nemesis is captured after killing thousands of people in Washington, DC, no one knows where the president is. Unbeknownst to Morrow, being captured is part of the plan.

Nemesis does a daring prison escape. He even provides super fast armored cars for every prisoner he sets free. The chase is on. There are even more twists and turns as the story flows. Millar does it once again. What Nemesis does to Morrow is unprecedented. Watch how he turns the table on Morrow and gets him with a double whammy.

Again, McNiven's artwork really sets the tone. The splash pages and wide panels tell so much without any words. McNiven's DC is both hip and gritty. I enjoy the fact that most of Nemesis' moves are done in the daytime. It demonstrates the power that Nemesis wields. I can't wait until the next issue. Maybe there we will find out what happened to the president.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Here are some treats (big up to Dwayne McDuffie for hipping us to this):

1. "Shaft or Sidney Poiter" -- I am so looking forward to this.

2. Daredevil to become Black Panther: The Man Without Fear

Big up to Comic Book Resources for this bit of news. While many have issues with what Marvel has done to Wakanda, even more people are upset about the direction Marvel is taking with T'Challa. We will see if the stories will be any good. It does remind me of the time T'Challa lived in Harlem and worked as a school teacher. Only time will tell. It can either flop or sell out. We shall see. Of course, we will have the latest reviews on here.

3. Please support the folks at Black Comix . They have a new book out that we will soon cop and review for the folks out here. The blog is awesome and they stay up on so much. Please support our writers, pencilers, and inkers!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cincinnati Comic expo recap Part One

First up, Big up to everyone who came out the 1st Annual Cincinnati Comic Expo at Xavier University. It was a great turnout. We had a blast. As usual, folks treated my children like VIPs and they got a gang of free stuff. I want to point out a few heads we should make a note of. I know we rarely do, but we want to highlight some artists/writers of color. So here are a few people you should check out.

The weekend before at the 2nd Annual Champion City Comic Con in Springfield, Ohio, we ran into Victor Dandridge's family. They have alot going and have some dope plans in the future. Matter of fact, this Saturday, Sept. 25th in columbus, Ohio, they will be putting together a nice kick ball game with some vendors. Check him out on his blog, and try to come through. We will be there, capoeiristas and all. He is a family man and his focus is bringing comics and literacy to the children. So he gets mad support from us.

We also ran into "The Renegade Creator" Stanley Clark and his wife. They were great. They emphasized the importance of family and passing down our stories to our children. Their comics are great. Stay tuned for a review of one of their graphic novels.

Finally, we met Chad taylor, writer and penciler for the 5ive Footers... the brother is out of cincinnati. Check him out here. Issue #2 of his series will be released at the end of the month of September 2010.

Please support these artists and pass it along.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Taskmaster #1

Written by Fred Van Lente
Art by Jefte Palo

Comic Book Review by Dan Tres Omi

I have always felt that Taskmaster was an underutilized villain. I was glad that he was hired by Tony Stark to train new super heroes under the Initiative program. He an integral part of that story and actually began to see the usefulness of working for the right side. When Norman Osborn took over H.A.M.M.E.R. And the Avengers, Taskmaster stayed on the roster. He relunctantly followed Osborn to the siege of Asgard. When he saw that Osborn was losing, Taskmaster took off. I actually searched for the Siege crossover issues in the Thunderbolts looking for more information on the Taskmasters fate. Not much was told. I was at a loss until Joey Stacks gave me the good news. The Taskmaster was getting his own limited series.

We find the Taskmaster in a diner trying to remember a particularly important yet tiny detail in his past not knowing that someone has put a $1 billion dollar bounty on his head. Rumor has it that the Taskmaster has turned States evidence and is also helping Steve Rogers maintain law and order. So everyone from A.I.M. The cyberninjas are gunning for him.

With groups falling all over each other to get the Taskmaster and the Taskmaster skill at knocking heads, it leads to pages of fun. Jefte Palo's artwork works. He covers the chaos well as well as the flashbacks. The best part is when the Taskmaster fights, you can see whose style he uses by the frame ins of certain heroes and villains. Taskmaster has always been bounty hunter speak so Fred Van Lente doesn't have to do much dialogue. Most of it is funny. There are even disses about Deadpool.

The backdrop to the story is that Taskmaster is trying to find out who he is. Because of his power, he has bits and pieces of everyone else and honestly doesn't know who he is. Tracking down those who what him dead might help him solve that piece of the puzzle. I hope that this limited series does not spell the end for this Marvel character. Hopefully, we will see more of the Taskmaster.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Star Wars: Blood Ties #1

Written by Tom Taylor
Art by Chris Scalf

Review by Dan Tres OMi

When Jango Fett was introduced in Episode II, I was amped. I gobbled up all of the Dark Horse stories about the Fetts. There wasn't too many. I wanted to see more stories with Jango and Boba. The story was near and dear to my heart. People say my oldest son is a clone of me. I have to agree. We don't get to spend too much time together yet when we are, we think alike. So it does seem like we aren't really father and son but template and clone. Not to mention the fact that he loves everything Mandolarian. When I heard that Dark Horse was doing a series centered around Boba and Jango that spans decades, I had to cop it.

The artwork is superb. Chris Scalf brings that majestic oil painting style that makes the story come alive. Scalf works the splash pages well and does not overwhelm the reader. Taylor's Jango is on point. He is ruthless and takes no prisoners. Jango puts Boba in so many perils. He is the toughest and deadliest drill sergeant. He cuts Boba no slack.

I am glad that this will be a four issue series and with the same team, I am sure there will be surprises. It will add more depth to the Fett's relationship. I forgot to mention that the first scene shows Boba Fett being set up by one of his customers. So the back story takes place in the present. I look forward to seeing what happens.

My only gripe with the story is that issue one reveals Jango Fett's current job is tracking down someone who happens to be another one of his clones. Of course this takes place before the events on Geonosis. I was hoping it would not have to come to another clone tale.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Ex Machina Issue #50 (Last Issue)

Written by Brian K. Vaughn
Art by Brian Harris
Review by Dan Tres Omi

The first issue (which WildStorm Comics has republished for a $1 comic price!) pretty much points out that the series would have an end since it begins with Mitchell Hundred aka Ex Machina explaining how he ended his super hero career to become the mayor of New York City.

At this point, Hundred is not running for re-election. Due to his past as a super hero and his current policies as mayor, his popularity polls plummet. Yet Hundred was in it to do what was best for the the people of NYC.

Ex Machina's powers, if you didn't know, didn't provide him with super strength, or speed, or even telepathy. Ex Machina can talk to machines. He couldn't even fight that well. He lost more than he won. So unlike the usual super heroes, the readers come to find that Hundred wasn't really cut out for it. However, he finds that he can do much more as a politician than as a superhero.

What I always liked about the story was how it centered around Hundred's failure to stop the second plane to hit the tower. In this alternate history, only one tower fell. It was this event that convinced Hundred to give up his life as a super hero and become a politician. It has eaten him up since.
Vaughn never exploits the tragedy. Instead, he uses the decisions, friendships, and enemies Hundred has made in his past as a super hero to make the story flow well.

While many consider Ex Machina a super hero comic, it comes off as a non super hero one. Hundred relies on wits and the power he has a Mayor of a metropolitan city to fend off against his enemies. He squares off against unions, corrupt politicians, estranged citizens, and yes an arch nemesis or two. Even some members of his administration had sinister motives. That is where Brian Vaughn brings the reality to the story. Hundred could have easily used his powers on several occasions but he doesn't. Ironically, he is accused of rigging the ballots to win his office.

What makes the story even better is the fact that it takes place between 2002 until 2005. So the story takes place in the past versus the present or the future. It allows the writer to avoid writing about current events. Vaughn has room to breathe. Brian Harris' art is New York. It is metropolitan for a lack of a better term (help me out here). Harris captures the feeling and the rudeness. Together it works.

While this is the last issue, and yes it is unlike me not to do spoilers, Vaughn ends it well. Hundred's vice mayor fills in his spot. The traitors are revealed to Hundred. Kremlin goes off the rocker. Bradbury, the very loyal assistant and body guard, takes the fall. The ending will surprise you and make you laugh. I think the last issue is worth the price of admission. And like Lauryn Hill once sang, all good things come to an end.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nemesis Issues 1 & 2

Written by Mark Millar
Art by Steve McNiven
review by Dan Tres Omi

Some of you might be familiar with Mark Millar and Steve McNiven's work on Old Man Logan and Marvel's Civil War. Together these two bring classic material to the masses. You have seen Millar's work come to life in the already cult classic “Kick Ass.” Just when you thought Millar couldn't top his work, Millar along with McNiven give us Nemesis.

Nemesis is one of the illest supervillains since the Preacher's The Saint of Killers. He is filthy rich, ruthless, and calculating as they come. He doesn't bore his opponents with ill tales about his past or how he plans on destroying the world. If you are on his hit list, consider it a done deal. Nemesis travels the world killing off all of the top cops in a flamboyant fashion. As a matter of fact, he sends his enemies a postcard with the exact date of their assassination and Nemesis is never late.

When Nemesis finally touches down in the United States, he raises the stakes by kidnapping the president after sending Blake Morrow, Washington DC's super cop, his dread postcard. It seems as if Nemesis has bitten off more than he can chew when Morrow thwarts his plans and captures him.

Unlike Millar's “Wanted,” where Millar slowly put the story of the villain together and then began to build everything up to the climax, Nemesis comes crashing down on the reader. It is not until Issue 2 where we get a glimpse of Nemesis' origin. Millar works this well into the story line. Although, there are more explosions and bullets then a hollywood blockbuster movie, McNiven's art doesn't go overboard with the panels. McNiven's style does justice to Millar's work. In Issue #2, Millar slows it down and this is where McNiven shines. You can see the flaws on the faces of his subjects.

Nemesis is published by the Marvel imprint Icon. Instead of putting out Issue #3, Icon has reprinted a variant cover for Issue One. This really bought much head scratching to the fans of Millar and McNiven. Hopefully, Icon will publish the upcoming issues soon. In the meantime, copping Issues #1 and #2 is a must.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

DoomWar Issues 2 thru 6

Written by Jonathan Maberry
Penciled by Scott Eaton
Inks by Andy Lanning & Robert Campanella

Book Review by Dan Tres OMi

And the plot thickened. In Issue #2, the X-Men jump in to save Ororo. By Issue #3, the Desturi are defeated as Shuri kills off their leaders. Despite their efforts, Doom steals all of the Vibranium from Wakanda. One would ask, how? Well, the Panther God deems the good doctor worthy. While we may all think that Doom just wants to destroy the world, we find that this is not the case. Instead, Doom wants to make the world stronger to prevent it from collapsing due to conflicts between several nations. The Panther God as well as Doom, see him as the only one to pull it off. This part of the story alone makes for interesting debate.

Although Shuri and T'Challa regain control over Wakanda, they have no army but must wage a war against Doom and his Doombots. Doom is supported by none other than Walter Declun who was once CEO of Damage Control. Together they build huge armies of robots to safeguard the several deposits of vibranium throughout the world.

T'Challa enlists the Fantastic Four and later the War Machine to accompany the Dora Milaje to take out those Doombots. Doom, the ultimate chess master, outwits T'Challa everytime. That is when T'Challa realizes that the only way he can beat Doom is by unconventional means. He sends Deadpool to assassinate Doom. He also gets his tech geeks to hack into Declun's network and deplete Doom's funds. Then he creates a new mixture of Dark Alchemy and Quantum Physics called Shadow Physics (very interesting indeed).

By Issue #4, the reader will see so much happen very quickly. Issue #5 continues more of a build up. The long awaited issue #6 leaves much to be desired. Marvel should have added another issue since Maberry doesn't tie it all up. For example, the X Men are there and then they aren't. War Machine shows up and no explanation is given as to why. Shadow Physics, while it's the trump card, is only discussed in one issue. It sounds like I am nitpicking but many loose ends don't get resolved. In Issue #4, the artwork gets very sloppy. Very sloppy. One starts to wonder if Marvel changed the penciler and inker without telling us.

Overall, the story was very good. The resolution could have been better. We don't see Doom and T'Challa debate about the future of the world as foreseen by the Panther God. What I love the most is that this series ushers in a new age for Wakanda. Hopefully it is the beginning of a new golden age for the African nation. I also hope that Shuri remains the Black Panther and Marvel brings back Hudlin. This skinny Afro Latino kid can dream right?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The New Avengers: Luke Cage

Written by John Arcudi
Art by Pepe Larraz & Eric Canete
review by Dan Tres OMi

To be honest, I am really open with what Marvel has been doing with Luke Cage. Let's be honest, he was a fourth rate superhero based off of a stereotype (lawd, the yellow shirt and metal head band with black tights, wtf!). Making him a prominent member of The New Avengers was a dope idea. I really dug the Noir series done on Luke Cage. Cage was given greater roles to play in the Civil War and Dark Reign. If you haven't heard, Cage is now heading the New Avengers.

This three issue limited series finds Cage heading out to Philadelphia to help out a friend who has followed in his footsteps. He even encounters an old foe, Lionfang. While Cage has been spending his time fighting world class super villains and saving the earth from a Skrull invasion, he has neglected his roots. Although, his teammates urge him to stick around Cage heads to the city of Brotherly Love to help an old comrade.

Cage quickly realizes that he can easily just smash heads and beat up super powered bad guys all day. Yet as soon as he lives Philadelphia, his enemies would just come right back out. So he decides to use his brain over brawn. This makes for a great story as Cage demonstrates a great leadership ability to plan ahead. It works beautifully.

Larraz & Canete's artwork is superb. The devil is in the details. You will cringe during the painful parts and duck when Cage throws his opponents around. What I dig the most is the writing. As I have stated before, there was a time when I dislike Cage. From his costume to his speech, Marvel just bought a stereotype to life. You won't see Cage speaking in out dated slang.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Dark Avengers #16

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Mike Deodato

Marvel had a great run with the Dark Avengers. With Norman Osborn/Iron Patriot at the head of the official Avengers as well as the Shield like H.A.M.M.E.R., one found several psychopaths and former villains as heads of management. Things seem to work well until Osborn began to make more enemies and slowly fall back to his old ways. Not to mention the fact that several members of the Dark Avengers such as Bullseye (acting as Hawkeye) and Daken (acting as his father Wolverine) began to make trouble of their own.

During the Siege of Asgard, many of the founding members of the Avengers, the New Avengers, and their affiliates banded together with the Asgardians to defeat Osborn, the Dark Avengers, and H.A.M.M.E.R. While the Siege event crossed over into several issues, Dark Avengers #16 focuses on the end of this super-villains acting as heroes team.

Although the final issue of Dark Avengers is short and should have been longer. The end is sweet as Osborn gets what's coming to him. Some of the Dark Avengers escape but most are imprisoned. Deodato's artwork is crisp and it is great to see him continue on the Secret Avengers series.

What's interesting is to see Steve Rogers admitting that Osborn made some sensible decisions. It's one of the reasons I enjoyed the Dark Avengers run. Osborn, who despite his shortcomings, really tries to fight against his Green Goblin persona. Osborn also believes that what he is doing is right for the country. Osborn succeeds in containing national security threats and keeping certain super-villains in check. However, Osborn's paranoia is difficult to overcome.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Star Wars Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth

by Karen Miller

Book Review by Dan Tres OMi

George Lucas and his gang are really stretching the Clone War era of Star Wars. While the Clone War actually raged for a little over 3 years before Revenge of the Sith (ROTS) there are quite a few stories that need to be told about other Jedi Knights and Clone units throughout the galaxy outside of the Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. However we are told that if the folks at Lucas Arts steer away from this story, no one would buy any books. I guess.

Miller's previously published Clone Wars: Wild Space left much to be desired. It helped explain why Kenobi and Senator Bail Organa seemed close in ROTS but that's about it. While the Clone War Gambit story arc will cover two books, the first installment starts off very slow.

At this point, the war is at a stalemate (more on that later) since the Separatists have figured out a way to disrupt short wave communications between Republic war ships. This has forced the Republic to just hold the ground in several sectors throughout the galaxy and refrain from any offensives. In the meantime, Senator Organa learns that something fishy is happening on the planet Kothlis, one of the many planets that fell during a major Separatist push but the Republic could not assist.

Kenobi and Skywalker are picked to infiltrate Kothlis as citizens and find out why the Separatists are doing on that planet. Of course, Kenobi and Skywalker are way out of their element acting as spies. While the writers could have used several other Jedi to embark on this mission (Quilan Vos would have been ideal) I can understand why Kenobi and Skywalker were chosen. In this instance, Skywalker who is used to swashbuckling his way through any problems, is forced to restrain himself.

While Kenobi has no problems keeping his emotions out of his decision making as a Jedi, Skywalker has always pushed his boundaries. It always made their relationship interesting. In this mission, Kenobi has no qualms leaving innocents to their doom. Skywalker, who was once a slave, refuses to do the same. Both Kenobi and Skywalker get into some major ethical arguments. When Bant'ena Fhernan, a scientist held captive by the vicious General Lok Durd, is forced to help the Separatist design a lethal bioweapon. Although she is forced by the threat of the assassination of her friends and family, Fhernan does not seem to have a dilemma. Kenobi sees her as complicit in the creation of this bioweapon while Skywalker sees her as an innocent victim.

Not only do the ethical debates help the story, this arc also helps to explain why Skywalker had no problems killing Jedi in ROTS. He saw the Jedi as betrayers to the people of the Republic and did not see them as family at all. It makes sense since several members of the Jedi Council did not see him as the Chosen One and treated him as a pariah. When it came to helping wealthy and corrupt politicians, the Jedi seem to eager to help but when it comes to helping the downtrodden, the Jedi always seem to choose the side against those less fortunate.

Overall, the average fan can overlook this story arc. Most fans have a gist of why Anakin turned to the dark side and his feelings towards the Jedi. The storyline is uninteresting so far. General Grievious has yet to make an actual appearance. General Durd is a minor and a character who won't be missed at all.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Iron Man 2

Review by Dan Tres OMi

As a true comic book head, I have realized that there are NO movies that were produced in Hollywood for the silver screen that can truly satisfy that part of me. While I don't expect Hollywood to get it right in that manner, I do expect a decent movie since comic books is basically about fantasy. Of course there is more to comic culture than meets the eye but let's be real, super heroes and heroines duking it out in tights is fantasy. The only dope movie franchise that is based on comic books is the Dark Knight movies but that franchise deviates from almost all of the Batman story arcs and rewrites over the last six decades (I have yet to watch Kick A$$ so bear with me).

For some reason, Marvel Comics seems to come up short when it comes to their staple super heroes. Both the Spider Man and Fantastic Four movies lack so much in depth, continuity, and writing. The first two Blade installments were probably Marvel's best efforts (even Stan Lee admits in his autobiography that the Blade movies saved Marvel Comics from going belly up) However, the Iron Man franchise has impressed me. While I still find that Robert Downey is not convincing as Tony Stark, I can't front on his acting chops. When you need it, Downey does come through in a clinch.

What plagues the Marvel comic movies is that the writers seem to throw in several subplots and story arcs in each movie. In the X Men franchise this seems to really tear up the movie. It forces the writing to be fuddled and disrupts the continuity. The only exception is the Fantastic Four movies where the plot is kept simple yet somehow it just doesn't work. In Iron Man 2, there are several subplots (ie. S.H.I.E.L.D., Pepper Potts romance, War Machine/Dusty Rhodes, the Black Widow, the Avengers Initiative). Of course, the movie house is doing this to ramp up interest and buzz for the future movies based on Thor, Captain America, and finally the Avengers. It must be noted that for Iron Man, it seems like the writers are borrowing from several story arcs such as Orson Scott Card's rework of Tony Stark/Ironman, Mark Millar's the Ultimates, and the Tony Stark/S.H.I.E.L.D. pre Civil war story line. Although scary, Marvel pulls it off.

The best part about the movie is the team up between Iron Man and War Machine. I don't think the director Jon Favreau could have pulled it off with Terence Howard. I gripped my seat expecting Rhodes/War Machine to talk jive as he peeled off on the battle droids but he didn't. I was so happy. Don Cheadle came off as a respectable equal and not a side kick to Iron Man.
I also noted that Iron Man 2 does not relying heavily on CG as the original did. Most of the fight scenes are done in the evening so the audience does not get lost in high speed robotic antics.

One underlying theme I dug was the idea that one man can only have access to a powerful weapons system and how many people, organizations, and governments are trying to acquire access by any means necessary to that power weapons system. In the comic books as well as the first Iron Man movie, the writers deal with that idea of deterrence. I doubt that the writers were trying to pull a political angle when it comes to nuclear proliferation but it's important to ask who watches the watchers. Stark, an ego maniac as hard as they come, feels that he is stable enough and has the sound judgement to control this dangerous piece of technology. Most people agree with him until someone happens to invent the same platform. Now the genie is out of the bottle. While the similiarities between the Armor War (as it is dubbed in Marvel comics) and the arms race are there, Stark quite easily settles this dispute with the help of S.H.I.E.L.D. (a free comic of our choice to any reader who can tell me who starred as Nick Fury in Marvel's hapless attempt at making a S.H.I.E.L.D. movie -- the memories drive one to drink! Can I get a mindwipe PLEASE!).

My only gripe is that although Mark Millar rewrote Nick Fury to look like Samuel Jackson in the Ultimates (Millar also wrote Halle Berry into Marked) but Jackson just doesn't pull it off. I expected him to say "fothermucker" sometime in there. He didn't come off as by the book, super duper top secret Fury. He came off as a big guy with new toys. Sorry Jackson, you have to go back to the lab on this one. Maybe Millar is reaching when it comes to his fantasies?

Overall, the movie is one of the best and only second to the Dark Knight franchise. Marvel hits it out of the field with this one. It has lived up to the hype (geez, that was alot of hype). I enjoyed the quips made by Stark and Fury when it came to the other heroes who will be on the Avengers roster. I also dug how they played Stan Lee (Stark believes he is Larry King!). The scene with Stark at the Senate hearing is worth the price of admission (wait until you see who the Stark haters are). I must urge the reader to stay until after the credits. It's well worth the wait.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Deadpool Corps #1-2

Written by Victor Gischler
Penciled by Rob Liefeld
Inks by Adelso Corona
Review by sean IS…

Honestly, when I first saw the Deadpool Corp advertisements, I was kinda skeptical even though I am a fan of the solo book. It’s like I saw the concept as a gimmick of sorts. However, I took the gamble and my expectations were surpassed. Anyone who is familiar with Deadpool (exclude the Wolverine: Origins movie debacle) knows that he is a complex, insane, and highly efficient killer who has a penchant for untimely yet rib-hurting humor that surpasses Spiderman. Now take the character that you know, add a band of four alternate universe counterparts, and watch the sparks fly. Each Corps member shares the spotlight with the comedic banter, which is very prevalent within the pages.

Here’s the story run-down in DP’s words, “A giant cloud of mind-eating evil is wreaking havoc on the universe, so I’ve gathered a bunch of Deadpools from alternate realities to kick some cosmic a**.” So far the Corps, contrary to what would be expected, has avoided any major fisticuffs but has found hilariously creative ways to make their first “villain”, a cosmic being known as The Champion, look like an utter buffoon more that once. Did I expect more fighting? Yes. However, when I saw how the group averted physical combat, I was dying laughing. What makes it’s even funnier is the effective use of non-verbal communication drawn exquisitely by the great Rob Liefeld.

Two issues in, we see a motorcycle jacking, alien pick-up lines, cosmic hangovers, and jokes every second. At this pace, I expect the series to continuously appeal to Deadpool followers; however, I am not sure what other audiences will think about the overall quirkiness. If you are looking for an ultra-serious read…this series may not be for you. I do recommend that you give it a shot though.

Issue #1 includes a detailed guide on the background of each individual Deadpool, which is a great resource for any reader. Undoubtedly, many people will need an explanation for the “flying head Deadpool”. Yeah, dude is literally a zombie head with a propeller on it, haha. Check out Deadpool Corps soon and prepare for a laugh fest.


Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Daken Akihiro - Dark Wolverine #75-77

(okay, I take back what I said)

When I learned that Wolverine/Logan had a son named Daken, I was perplexed. Not to say that Logan can't get his swerve on. At the end of the day, he is human and has desires like the rest of us. To be honest, Logan is over 100 years old. So I am sure Daken Akihiro won't be the last offspring to pop up.

Like his father, Daken has a healing factor. It's a power that I am really kind of sick of. So there was one strike against Daken. It also made me wonder that if he had a healing factor like his father, then he isn't a mutant since there is no genetic variation. Take it step further with Daken's bone claws. I figured he was just another carbon copy (like Dead Pool -whom is really a mixture of Wolverine and Spiderman if you think about it). However, Daken also uses his pheromones to manipulate people's emotions.

Daken, unlike his father, uses deception to control people and pit them against each other. At times, Daken is willing to be defeated to achieve his aims. In the Dark Wolverine series, we see Daken manipulating the Fantastic Four against Norman Osborn and the Dark Avengers. This story sold me on Daken Akihiro.

I still have my issues with bone claws and the fact that he rocks a tattoo (how does a guy with healing factor keep a tattoo?). Like any comic book hero (with the exception of Dead Pool, Moon Knight, and 85% of the DC Universe) in the hands of a decent writer, some great stories can be produced.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Doomwar Part One

Written by Jonathan Maberry
Penciled by Scot Eaton
Inks by Andy Lanning & Robert Campanella
Review by Dan Tres OMi

When I first saw the promo for this limited series, I was hesitant to pick it up. Now I think Dr. Doom is one of the best villains out there. I dislike the Fantastic Four movie franchise and felt that Hollywood did a horrible rendition of Dr. Doom. Dr. Doom is vastly powerful and I find that most writers haven't explored Doom's personality or genius. Since Reginald Hudlin began writing and reworking Black Panther/T'Challa, he has introduced Dr. Doom as a rival. I really liked this. Two monarchs of two advanced nations squaring off on a grand chess board. Sometimes, T'Challa and Doom are allies and sometimes they aren't. Well, Doom has finally made his final move and has behind the dethroning of T'Challa and his sister Shurri. To top it off, Ororo, T'Challa's wife and X-Man has been captured by Doom's minions, the Desturi.

T'Challa and Shurri flee Wakanda leaving Ororo/Storm to fend for herself. With no allies and the entire world community believing allegations of human rights violations committed by T'Challa ans his family, the monarchs find refuge with the X-Men. Cyclops however, realizes that his hands are tied since Utopia Nation X is a new nation with few allies and very few nations that recognize it's sovereignty.

The story so far is wonderful. T'Challa knows that a full all out war will kill a great number of his people so he has to pay Doom's game for the time being. Meanwhile his sister, refuses to wear the kid gloves and wants to return Wakanda to it's rightful owners by any means necessary. The X Men are wary of T'Challa since he so readily abandoned his wife. It will be interesting to see who else who take sides and lend a hand.

This is a story I have been waiting and hoping on. I hope that we see the Wakandans take the war to Latveria since Doom rules that country like an Iron Fist. If not, it would be great to see another political realignment with several groups within the Marvel Universe.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Siege: Captain America (one shot)

Written by Christos N. Gage
Pencils and Inks by Federico Dallocchio
Review by Dan Tres Omi

I thoroughly enjoy the Dark Reign crossovers. Having Norman Osborn in charge of the Avengers and H.A.M.M.E.R. (which is just Osborn's evil version of S.H.I.E.L.D.), allows several characters to take a back burner and 2nd and 3rd rate characters to really see the light. Not to mention the fact that several political factions such as Dr. Doom's Latveria, Namor's Atlantis, Wakanda and the Inhumans are realigning themselves with different groups never tried before.

The Siege story arc is really shaking things up. As usual, Marvel tries to really capitalize a story arc by not just doing crossovers but publishing one shots or mini series that coincide with the story such as the Secret Invasion Embedded. I decided to pick up Seige: Captain America since the actual Seige limited series is very good.

I should have left it on the shelf. I expected Captain America/Steve Rogers and Captain America/Winter Soldier to take on Venom (as depicted in the promo poster for the Siege crossovers). I thought that would have been a good battle. Of course, that didn't happen. Instead both Captain Americas end up fighting some 4th rate villain who isn't worth the pencils he is drawn with.

What saves this lackluster story is Federico Dallocchio's artwork. Dallocchio who has done loads of work at DC, brings a wonderful touch to Captain America. The artwork is great and really drips off the page. Other than that, one can afford to miss this issue.