Thursday, April 15, 2010

Angel: After the Fall - First Night (Volume 2) & Volume 3

Title: Angel: After the Fall - First Night (Volume 2)  
ISBN: 9781600102318

Price: $21.99
Publisher/Year: IDW, 2008
Artist: Brian Lynch, Joss Whedon
Writer: John Byrne, Tim Kane, David Messina, Stephen Mooney, Nick Runge, Fabio Mantovani, Kevyn Schmidt, Marco Pierfederici.
Collects: Angel: After the Fall #'s 6-8

Rating: 3.5/5

I thought I would try out a different format for a couple of the trades in the Angel series. I hope you will enjoy this post as a "two-fer". If you like or dislike this format, let me know so I can try this again with other series that I have read, or make sure I don't do it again. Thank you in advance for your comments.

In the continuation of Angel: Season 6, this specific trade gives us a little clarity as to what exactly happened after the final television episode. Learn what happens to Gunn, Wesley, Lorne, Gwen and the rest of the gang. To bring this story to T.V. would have defiantly cost way too much. I'm thinking at least a full length movie budget for this series... or maybe only a few episodes with the likes of Betta George and the dragon. A little to epic to regular television, I would think.

Since this trade brings together several different storylines from different characters, the multiple artists working on this title does work. Not too many chefs in this kitchen. Each bring a really good feel to their specific section. I think the "Civilian" section, penciled by Kevyn Schmidt, is probably my least favorite to look at... but the style works well for the story.

If you're reading this series, keep doing so. You won't be sorry.

Title: Angel: After the Fall Volume 3
ISBN: 9781600103773

Price: $24.99
Publisher/Year: IDW, 2009
Artist: Brian Lynch, Joss Whedon
Writer: David Messina, Nick Runge.
Collects: Angel: After the Fall #'s 9-12

Rating: 3/5

The next volume of the Angel series is well worth the read. In this volume, we learn more about what Angel is going through, and what possible negative side effects come with Angel's new life. (Hope I didn't say too much.) We also find out that Cordelia is still apart of the gang as well.

This trade has several pieces that made the television series fun to watch. There are a few sections where the art isn't top notch like I've found in most of the rest of the series. Looking at the table of contents, it looks like Nick Runge is responsible for this discrepancy. The art doesn't take too much away from the story, thankfully.

The prices and ISBN's I've provided for this series are the hardcover editions for this series. I prefer the hardcover edition. They're easier to maintain and most include a bound-in silk bookmark. Either way you go, keep up with this series and you won't be sorry.

G.I. Joe Volume 1

Title: G.I. Joe Volume 1

ISBN: 9781600104671
Price: $19.99
Publisher/Year: IDW, 2009
Artist: Robert Atkins
Writer: Chuck Dixon
Collects: G.I. Joe #'s 0-6

Rating: 4/5

As noted in previous reviews, I have been a huge G.I. Joe fan since I was a kid. Cartoons, toys and comics. When IDW acquired the license, I have continued my fandom into my adulthood. They have not let me down.

In this volume, you get a first look at characters like Scarlett, Duke, Snake Eyes, Baroness and Destro. They even give you a first hand look at why Destro has a metal face... but there's more to it than just a mask. They've even taken epic storyline features from the cartoon series and integrated them into this series. For example: The B.E.T. (Broadcast energy Transmitter) and the M.A.S.S. device (Multipoint Asychronus Subether Station).

They elude to the Cobra organization, but nothing is concrete at this point. Cobra is simply like an urban legend in the terrorist community. Those within the G.I. Joe organization that bring-up the mere idea of Cobra are looked down upon. Snake Eyes is rogue, and Scarlett is making decisions to help him out, that may get her booted from the Joes. What would the landscape of the G.I. Joes be like without the likes of Scarlett? I pray we never have to find out the answer to that question.

Robert Atkins has become one of my favorite artists as I read this series. He has a real feel for the world of G.I. Joe, and really brings it to life in his work. Atkins really accentuates Chuck Dixon's writing. Another great pairing from IDW!

Keep reading this series, as well as Origins to have a well-rounded story of this new G.I. Joe team. Yo, Joe!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

G.I. Joe: Origins #2

Title: G.I. Joe: Origins #2

ISBN: 9781600106248
Price: $19.99 Publisher/Year: IDW, 2010
Artist: Chuck Dixon
Writer: Larry Hama
Collects: G.I. Joe: Origins #'s 6-10

Rating: 4/5

After reading the G.I. Joe volume 2 trade (also from IDW), the back story in Origins sheds light to the events that happened in the ongoing series volume 2. We get a little more insight as to why Mainframe went AWOL from the Joes, and why Snake Eyes is following his lead. Reading them both at the same time is actually quite interesting. The information from one is still very fresh in my head, and enhances the read of the other. Both titles work very well together.

Chuck Dixon takes the artist's reigns in this volume. Dixon adds a wonderful compliment to Hama's writing. IDW has done a great job of combining artists and writers who work well together to bring the story to life.

My only regret for this series is that they aren't publishing the trades fast enough. If I thought it were reasonable, I would promote a campaign to have these trades published every 2 months rather than 3 or 4. The continuity between this series and the ongoing is going to be interesting to watch. Marvel and DC both have had issues in the past with continuity, even in small series. Let's hope that IDW doesn't drop the ball. I feel that as long as Hama's helping out, they should be in good hands.

Pick-up this trade, along with the aforementioned companion series. You will not be disappointed.

Marvel Zombies: Dead Days

Title: Marvel Zombies: Dead Days

ISBN: 9780785135630
Price: $24.99
Publisher/Year: Marvel, 2009
Artists: Arthur Suydam, Sean Phillips, Greg Land, Mitch Breitweiser, Francis Portella
Writers: Robert Kirkman, Mark Millar, Reginald Hudlin
Collects: Ultimate Fantastic Four #21-23 & 30-32, Black Panther #28-30

Rating: 3.5/5

A few years ago, I saw the original Marvel Zombies trade on the shelves at my local Borders. I thought "You've got to be kidding me! This is so ridiculous." But, I picked it up and read it anyways. Since I have always been a big fan of Marvel's What If...? and DC's Elsewhere books, that I thought I would give it a read just to see what it was like. It was a good book, but I was a little amazed that Marvel would put this type of storyline in continuity. I understand that Marvel and continuity have not always gone hand-in-hand in the past, but still... zombies in the Marvel Universe? Really?

Outside of my reservations of this book being run within the normal flow of the rest of the Marvel Universe, I found this trade to be a fun read with good artwork to compliment it. I love they way that classic covers have been parodied into zombie format. For just the covers alone, this trade was worth it. I wish I could take all the original covers, put them together with the zombie covers and print them on one big poster for my wall.

Having not been a fan of the Ultimate Fantastic Four series, this gave me a new perspective on the Marvel Universe where the FF weren't superheroes. Kind of an odd idea, but whatever works for them. Perhaps they hadn't heard "With great power comes great responsibility" yet. I didn't really care for the ultimate version of Reed Richards, but ultimate Susan Storm helped make up for that. The single character that I loved from the Ultimate Fantastic Four segments was Dr. Doom. I didn't like the name change to Victor Van Damme, but this Doom had me from his dramatic pose at the end of UFF #30. Very nice work from Greg Land and Mitch Breitweiser on that panel.

Unfortunately, I have since sold my original copy of Marvel Zombies, but I intend of claiming a new copy as well as picking-up the rest of the zombie series. Well worth the read, if you take it for what it's meant to be: something silly. These stories take you away from the hardcore drama that may be going through your normal weekly reads, and it does the job well.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I want to apologize for the downtime this week and the lack of a review. Sunday night, I became aware that my PC had been hit by a virus. Not sure how I got it, especially since I'm pretty good about keeping my virus protection up-to-date, but it happened. Because of the infection, I have had to recreate my computer from the ground up. I have it about 60% complete right now, and I hope to post at least 2 reviews this weekend.

Thank you to those who have been checking here for a new review. I will always post updates on Comic Collector Live forums.