Wes Reads: Marvel’s Avengers Standoff Stage One: The Event That is Actually Fun

Avengers Standoff Alpha #1 Cover

Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill has managed to surprise me. Heck if you read my Spoiler Filled Thoughts on Welcome to Pleasant Hill, I bought the first part of this on a whim and out of curiosity. Now I am finding myself into the idea of Pleasant Hill being a massive supervillain prison town populated by brainwashed supervillains thinking they’re someone else entirely. A massive S.H.I.E.L.D idea that has a level of brilliance that makes it great. For Stage one of this I’m reading Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Alpha #1, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #3, and Uncanny Avengers #7. I’ve been reading Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and got Uncanny Avengers as it is part of this event. It’s not too insane so two tie-ins to an event like this isn’t too bad at all to deal with. This is Stage One of my Avengers Standoff journey. These are going to be loosely reviews, yet in general my shock that Avengers Standoff is a fun event so far. Yes my friends a Marvel and Comic Book Event in general that is a lot of fun, who could’ve thought that could happen right? Time to join me in the start of my Avengers Standoff adventures!

Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Alpha #1 is doing stuff that back in the day likely would have been revealed near the end than at the beginning of the adventure. I’m going to try and keep this as spoiler free as possible too. One part of this being that without anything too spoiler crazy, this is going to be our set up for Steve Rogers becoming young again and being Captain America. No real shock there but the big set up is happening. Even more fun, I adore Maria Hill in this series as Nick Spencer writes a rocking Maria Hill and Steve Rogers conversation. I like the role the villains are playing in this too, especially love the fact of Baron Zemo being the leader of the whole crusade to deal with Maria Hill and S.H.I.E.L.D within Pleasant Hill. We even learn of a certain old favorite of the Marvel Universe in the mix too, which is a cool thing to see. We’re only starting to get more of the heroes in play too and it makes me wonder what the Thunderbolts series will be like after this is all said and done. It also helps that art wise, Jesus Saiz adds a level of rocking realism to the mix. Saiz adds depth and emotion to Spencer’s story. It’s a good way to continue the vibe that Avengers Standoff has so far.

(Seriously you all, this is not meaning to become a yay everything is awesome adventure here but this is giving me back Baron Zemo and more into the Marvel Universe, this makes me happy.)

Avengers Standoff Assault on Pleasant Hill Alpha #1 Football

It’s interesting with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D #3 and Uncanny Avengers #7 as to how much they really tie into Avengers Standoff. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has a laser sharp focus with the story. Since it involves Maria Hill and S.H.I.E.L.D. the focus is going to be more cohesive and it is overall. Marc Guggenheim is doing great work on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. anyway and Phil Coulson and his team split up as they deal with different aspects of the Pleasant Hill situation. It works well overall and I thought about it in the aspect of a reader new to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and it still reads well overall. Guggenheim does a good job in making this a story accessible for the Avengers Standoff readers. Perfect way to operate with a tie-in story like this. German Peralta’s art fluctuates but it does well in conveying the story and mood of what Guggenheim is going for, though Rachelle Rosenberg’s coloring makes this shine.  If you’re new to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. stick around after Avengers Standoff, it’s a pretty cool comic either way.

I haven’t been reading Uncanny Avengers #7 but I figure with Avengers Standoff, why not give it a go again? Outside of one story with Brother Voodoo, it is new reader friendly too. Garry Duggan works with the Avengers Standoff story as seamlessly as Guggenheim does. It’s a little off kilter with some last bit strangeness near the end of the issue but it does work. The Wrecker is the one that fills in the Uncanny Avengers on what is happening with Pleasant Hill and their place in the Avengers Standoff. It has a ton of action in between the fun banter the team has with one another too. I like that Cable is part of the squad helping to train a newer hero Synapse in new ways of using her Inhuman abilities. Lots of action, good characterization and meshing with the event too. Ryan Stegman’s art is also on point looking as sharp as ever and Mark Morales and Guillermo Ortego, the two inkers on this issue, mesh well with Stegman’s art.  The coloring of this book looks just as great too, with Richard Isanove and Matt Yackey working together on it, really making the action packed festivities look even better. I may stick around with Uncanny Avengers after Avengers Standoff is over as overall it was fun.

Stage One of Avengers Standoff for me was a good time and I will probably make this a regular thing throughout Avengers Standoff. It would be fun to cover an entire event again as I haven’t done that since Trinity War back in my Comics Crux days. If you all like this quirky pellet review/overview of Avengers Standoff, let me know in the comments below or hit me up on my twitter too. Always love feedback, take care everyone and thanks for reading!

The GWL Adventures 3/7/16: The Adventures of Comic Blog Planning and Book Recommendations

I treat this blog as more of an update blog as right now I am plotting out things and I want to make an update here. Hence the GWL Adventures label for this blog here too. When you see the GWL Adventures, it means this is a quick update to keep my writing mind going. I was going to do a thing on Martian Manhunter but it didn’t come together the way I wanted. My little bursts on twitter about Martian Manhunter vol. 1 said it best, get Martian Manhunter vol.1 and you will be a happier comic fan. After I read Martian Manhunter vol. 1 I also read 7,8, and 9 and you know, they were just as good. The art shifts do a little number on the comic but overall it’s not bad and Rob Williams does such a great job writing the comic that honestly you stop paying attention to the shift in art teams. A unique way in breaking down a character and building them back up to make them better than ever, that’s Martian Manhunter for me. Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira do an amazing job art wise on the issues they work on and Gabe Eltaeb’s coloring is gorgeous beyond belief. I know it’s not part of the DC Rebirth plans so far but still get it and get issues 7,8 and 9 while you’re at it, Martian Manhunter is good reading.

As for comic blog planning, I enjoyed the response I got on the Wes Reads Street Fighter x G.I. Joe post. That was a blast to write and it was part review and part me totally having a blast writing about this comic. It spoke to my childhood for goodness sake so heck, Street Fighter x G.I. Joe was right up my alley. I’m going to do more with the Wes Reads though as I like the format as it is reviewing but still fun and laid back for me. I am also going to work on more DC Obscure stories soon as I have a few books in mind that I have never seen written about online. I love that somehow I am likely enough the only person to have ever written about iCandy in any serious format ever. I also have a few Marvel titles in mind as Marvel has some oddball obscure books in their library too. Heck even Image has a few obscure series too, the same with many other comic companies so this could become a fun format to play with in the months to come.

Yes you wonder why I haven’t written much about DC Rebirth after the big announcement and that’s simple, I’m waiting for the full announcement. I have titles and I know about the 2.99 double shipping deal, that’s about all and I want more before I dial further into this. I know there is supposed to be legacy involved and more stuff and I want the more stuff more clarified. I call it a version of the New 52, they need to do something the DC Rebirth is that something that for the sake of DC Comics, I hope it works. So far I think DC Rebirth has a ton of potential and the fact it isn’t a reboot is a relief, we shall know more about DC Rebirth and what the possibilities will hold for this relaunch of fun and wonder soon.

No big shiny pictures or anything of that nature. Just a quick update blog here, more official articles to come. I appreciate you all checking out what you have checked out so far. Take care everyone and I hope you all are having a great one out there.

Wes Reads Street Fighter x G.I. Joe #1: The Childhood Dream Come to Life!

Street Fighter x G.I. Joe #1 Cover

Street Fighter x G.I. Joe #1 mixes two things I adored from my childhood, Street Fighter and G.I. Joe. I played a ton of Street Fighter II in all its forms in the arcade and at home and I still have a sizable G.I. Joe collection from my childhood. I even own the Street Fighter G.I. Joe toys for goodness sake. In my mind trying to give a formal review for this was going to be difficult to say the least. So I decided, let’s go for the casual review format of the Wes Reads. As Street Fighter x G.I. Joe made my inner child happy from the name alone. With my comic book now in hand, I was fully prepared to lose my mind and full admission, this made me happy. This is one moment where I am glad I don’t have a rating system. One initial title for this was F’yeah Comics: Street Fighter x G.I. Joe #1 because this was the kind of comic where I said F’yeah many times. It’s a pure joyous fight comic at its core and it doesn’t hide that either. It’s story mixed in with lots of endless action and tons of fun. Of course some of you may stop here as you already know I am a happy Wesley right now. Yet, I compel you to read on if you’re not totally sold on why you need Street Fighter x G.I. Joe #1 in your life, because in all honesty, you really do need this book.

Aubrey Sitterson writes this in such a way that you can’t help but embrace the energy he puts into this comic. Emilo Laiso’s art takes the energy from Sitterson’s script and cuts loose with killer coloring work from David Garcia Cruz. Even Robbie Robbins lettering works with the video game and cartoon energy that Street Fighter x G.I. Joe has. It all works to bring this glorious comic to life. Sure you are thrown into this with little to no exposition but before you know it you’re learning what is going on and why the Street Fighter characters are fighting the G.I. Joe team. You have eight characters with four from Street Fighter and four from G.I. Joe. It’s Crimson Viper, Hakan,  Rufus, and Ryu for Street Fighter with Snake Eyes, Baroness, Roadblock, and Jinx for the G.I. Joe side. The reason why I got why I dig everyone involved before I dived into story is simple, all the creators make this grouping of warriors work. You even have M. Bison and Destro watching the festivities like Mil Muertes on his throne in Lucha Underground, yeah I really loved this a lot. I’m really not hiding my love for Street Fighter x G.I. Joe at this stage of the game.

Roadblock Giant Gun

Sitterson’s staging is what you can’t help but dig, he really gives Laiso and Cruz as an art team a lot to work with. Lots of bright colors, high excitement, and great action are peppered throughout the first issue. Sitterson makes a point to explain the basic idea of what is happening here, gives you info on the characters, and then onward into another fight and it works. The story and the fights flow into one another seamlessly, set up in such a way that you feel like you are in a video game that happens to be in the pages of a comic book. Even the G.I. Joe characters get their own special moves similar to the Street Fighter characters at points. In overkill fighting game glory Roadblock gets out a giant gun in his fight and it is amazing as he flashes a wicked smile as the bullets are flying, it is just too cool. Put it this way, every fight in the comic will have a moment where you are smiling ear to ear. It’s why I will say Emilo Laiso and David Garcia Cruz outdid themselves here, capturing the liveliness of a video game is tough and the team worked in harmony with Sitterson’s script, I really can’t help but love all of this to pieces.

Street Fighter x G.I. Joe is pure unadulterated fun. The back matter of the book fills in the back story of the comic too, as in the fights you missed. You even get G.I. Joe style file cards for the characters too, which I adore. I do say I would have loved more issues detailing the fights mentioned in the back but it’s all good as I still dig this. You get a solid plot with a ton of action, how cool is that right? Yes there are going to be fans who may not dig this as much but for me, Street Fighter x G.I. Joe hits the spot. It’s simply put a comic that truly earns my original title for this, F’yeah comics. If you enjoy Street Fighter, if you enjoy G.I. Joe, or if you just like fun, make Street Fighter x G.I. Joe a part of your life immediately.



Spoiler Filled Thoughts: Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1

Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill Cover

Spoiler Filled Thoughts is an old idea of mine I used way back when I first started comic reviews. Mostly it was a way to get extra content on my blog and keep it going. Now I think I could make this a regular thing for books that I have no idea what to talk about without spoiling things. As Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1 has been released for a few days now I figure I can talk more about it now and why I found myself enjoying it. I bought this on a whim, I had no major interest in Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill but I had been hearing good things so I figured I’d give it a shot. As I read it I realized that I could never really give my thoughts on it without spoiling everything about it. As you read this remember the warning is in the title, there will be spoilers, there will be tons of spoilers. I am straight up going to be spoiling everything including the ending of this comic. You really only have yourself to blame if you read this before reading Avengers Standoff for yourself. If you’ve either already read it or don’t really care to read it and want to hear what happened, here you go here is my spoiler filled thoughts on Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1.

(One extra spoiler warning tag here, this is your last warning.)

Now we can get to the thoughts here as really I have a lot to dive into. Here is the thing about Avengers Standoff, this comic takes a good bit to take off. Nick Spencer does what I call a slow burn and a wonderful sense of misdirection as to how this is going to play out. You have James “Bucky” Barnes infiltrating a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility and starting to figure out something strange is happening. Before he can ponder why a mysterious little girl is somehow seeing him in a recording, he gets attacked by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. We get a blatant set up of flashbacks to World War II with Captain America and Bucky in battle. I was thinking in my mind, “Subtle.” as I saw that scene in my initial read. From there you get introduced to a man who has no memory of who he is. The man gets helped by the Sheriff of the town and you get introduced to the town of Pleasant Hill. Through our new friend we start to realize that nothing is quite right here. This is where things start to get interesting.

Avengers Standoff Bucky

Within the issue you learn that the name of the man is Jim, so you assume it is Bucky in the town. Jim has tried to escape and has seen glimpses of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, the mysterious little girl, and a piece of Stark technology in his adventures in Pleasant Hill. The misdirects in this book are off the charts, as you assume it is Bucky so Spencer is hammering it home that it is Bucky. That’s what you assume so as a reader, that is what you are thinking throughout the issue. Heck I was biding my time for that reveal. Yet, boy does Spencer have a rabbit that he is about to get out of his hat and that completely blew my mind. A fire is set inside a house in Pleasant Hill and that’s where Spencer starts to set the wheels in motion. The man who set the fire is trying to jog Jim’s memory and you get a glimpse of Bucky’s Winter Soldier arm in the midst of the chat. Another misdirection as you also learn that the mayor of the town is Maria Hill. She’s where the red flags start to really kick in as she’s trying to make sure that Jim doesn’t have any memories coming back. Even more signs that there is way more to Pleasant Hill than we ever imagined.

In a meeting Jim attends with the man who started the fire, the man looks like Tony Stark. Yet Tony is still in the main Marvel Universe so why is this guy who looks like Tony Stark here? That’s where you learn that Pleasant Hill is the ultimate S.H.I.E.L.D. prison. The prisoners have their minds altered thanks to Kobik technology and become a completely different person, a functional member of the town/prison of Pleasant Hill. Showing how powerful the technology is when Graviton is the criminal shown as the example of how well this tech works. There’s also a great point in using Graviton as the example here as it relations to our mystery man in the fire and the amnesiac Jim. Our mystery man created a device that somehow restored his memory and then uses it to restore Jim’s memory too and leading to a surprise revelation. The reveal being that Jim is Baron Zemo and the mystery man in the fire is none other than the Fixer. Let the fun begin as I smiled ear to ear at that ending.

Baron Zemo and Fixer Reveal Thunderbolts

Spencer is misdirecting the reader the entire time hammering it into your mind that this Jim is Bucky. Yet our surprise kicks in when Baron Zemo is revealed with the Fixer in tow. Meaning likely most of the Thunderbolts team is imprisoned in Pleasant Hill as a Thunderbolts series is going to come out of this event. Graviton played a role in the Thunderbolts series too, which is why I got a kick out of Spencer using him as the example villain. Even better that Mark Bagley and Scott Hanna were the art team on this as they worked on Thunderbolts as well. You have all these little hints towards who the reveal will be, yet it is so subtle that you don’t even think about it until it happens. I liked that a lot and appreciate the craft that went into this. From an event I had little interest in to one that I am more curious in within one issue, bravo to all that worked on this one.

A short review of this would be that this is worth reading and I am glad I read it just to realize that the Thunderbolts are making their return to the Marvel Universe. I already knew it was happening but this is a great way to kick it off and make this event count. I’m a big fan of the Thunderbolts as Busiek was one of the first creators I followed when I got back into comics. It’s why I formatted this in a way that isn’t a review, just me talking about why I liked this. Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill is one story that benefits from a second read after the reveals to understand how well this comic was executed. Thanks for joining me for the return of Spoiler Filled Thoughts, take care and thanks for reading!


Exploring The Obscure DC Comics #1: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s iCandy

iCandy #1 Cover DC Comics

This starts a new series for me here and one that will be expanded into Marvel and any other obscure series that got lost to time.  The first part of this is going to be talking about iCandy, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning or DnA’s seemingly lost series. It was done between 2003 and 2004 for six issues with co-creator and artist Kalman Andrasofszky with help from Eric Vedder and Rob Ross from UDON in the latter half of the run. iCandy was done when Abnett and Lanning were working on The Legion of Superheroes, simply called The Legion, for DC Comics at the time. For Andrasofszky in my research this was his first big gig for a major comic company. This makes this comic series a unique one as this is a series that was supposed to be ongoing but sales weren’t in the favor of the team. Yet why did it not catch the eyes of the audience and why was it canceled so soon before it even had a shot? That’s what I aim to figure out there. I’ve read the entire series as initially I was going to do this issue by issue, yet the series itself is so short that it is pretty digestible for one article. Sit back, relax, and let’s see what the journey into iCandy #1-6 has to offer us and in turn how the series is as a whole now.

Getting to know iCandy as a story is a strange case, it starts off simple as a boy named Matthew Spencer is dealing with the aftermath of his parents divorce. Even worse is in the aftermath of the divorce his sister Candace has also gone missing, a double whammy of pain that would be tough for any kid to handle. He’s gone mostly silent it seems and gotten lost in the world of the video games and a justified case of being a broken kid at this point. His school life is a mess, his home life is a mess, and yet the one thing that keeps him together is video games. He lives on the East Coast, likely New York as the story doesn’t really make that clear where he is. His Dad lives on the West Coast working for a video game company called I.F.X. Games and he sends his son new stuff they’ve been working on. In the aftermath of a bad day during a storm, Matthew sits down and plays with a new game his Dad sends him and sets it up seeing a character that looks like his sister. He selects her and in the midst of the storm, the character known as Candy comes to life. Which begins our adventure. (Also an amazing piece of art by Kalman Andrasofszky too, isn’t it gorgeous?)

iCandy Kalman Andrasofszky Candy Revealed

Now here’s the thing you know all the information I give you about the story? That’s from #1 and yet the full story about his Mom and Dad’s divorce isn’t mentioned until issue #2. The brutal part is Matthew is so silent in the issue and we don’t get a full sense of our cast of characters. His Mom doesn’t get that much to do outside of be angry with Matthew, and his Dad pops up via a phone and letter to set up Candy in the story.  The best part about #1 and #2 is the fact that Andrasofszky’s art is beautiful. It’s beautiful work, Candy’s design is impressive and her initial appearance #1 and the top notch fights #2 are worth seeing. The way that her move structure is set up like a fighting game showing how you’d do the move on a controller is a nice touch. ItEven showing how Candy sees the world as a video game and pocketing a shotgun for her inventory is pretty slick. It captures a game character in the real world well for the most part. Yet any actual character work in this story doesn’t begin until late into #2. I can see why this story was a tough sell as when you don’t get anything to grasp onto until #2 and the story itself doesn’t really begin until #3, I can understand why it didn’t go over well then.

iCandy #2 Fight Scene Moves

Yet when #3-6 start into the true iCandy story, that’s when it starts to become an interesting yet messy read. Before I start into things remember, this was supposed to be an ongoing and even I could barely process how the story points were flying at me as a reader. You get the intro into the villain of the piece Mr. Childes and his henchman of sorts Korben. You get a loose intro in #2 and then start getting more of an idea of the true nature of I.F.X. throughout #3 and right up into #6. During all of this, part of the focus is on Matt and Candy’s road trip to meet up with Matt’s Dad, Mike. #4 is where we start learning that Candy can be hurt but she recovers quickly and was likely used as a new reader issue, which explains all the stuff we should have known more in #1. By the way, you’re wondering where is Matt’s Mom? Matt’s Mom is at home and doesn’t have much to do at this stage of the story which makes me scratch my head a lot. Mike learns more about the company I.F.X. Games that he works for in the process. You learn that I.F.X. is in a video game battleground. There’s these creatures that Candy and Matt fight on their trip that are called Bit-Maps who are called EDS or Extra Dimensional Sentients. It gets weird to say the least as this is getting explained in #5. Reality and Gaming blurring together, which is such a cool concept but again, explained late in the game so to speak. I can only imagine what this was like for anyone following this monthly.

Yet what is frustrating is the fact that the art is so consistently good in the story. The UDON crew of Eric Vedder and Rob Ross on this mesh well with Andrasofszky. The bright aesthetics of Candy mixing anime flash with a killer structure of storytelling are excellent for the team. It looks so good and has great visuals that it drove me nuts that the story was so messy. Childes verges between supervillain and someone trying to help and then earlier Korben straight up kills someone only by the end gets to show a decent side. Good art with strange characterization, my word iCandy is a pretty mess. Yet the final issue is a massive battle in I.F.X. straight up the climatic battle of the Video Game characters taking life in a battle against Candy. It’s an amazing fight scene, by this point it is Vedder, Ross, and Andrasofszky with Jamie Noguchi on colors, and it looks good. Is it strange I could end up recommending reading this just for the fight scenes?

iCandy #3 Fight Scene DC Comics

There are moments of greatness though, Matt and Candy’s road trip and their relationship, Matt and his Dad’s relationship, and all of their friendships make it a good read. What makes me sad a bit is outside of Matt’s Mom being sad that Matt is gone, we don’t really get a glimpse into their relationship. When I say his Mom gets sent to the sidelines quick, she gets sent to the sidelines and never to return. If you’re wondering if Candy from the game is Matt’s sister Candace, well it is explained and it is probably the most coherent plot point in the comic. The art is solid throughout, from good to amazing, and that is one of the best parts of the comic throughout the run. It’s a shame that Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning couldn’t have gotten more time and fleshed out the story more early on, iCandy could have been a great series. If only the main story could have been as strong as the art.

If you’re wondering if you should hunt down iCandy for yourself, yes and no. If you’re a huge Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning fan it is worth seeking out and especially if you like rocking artwork. The story does have a solid ending despite the messiness in the story. It is hard to be too mean on this comic series considering that it barely got a chance to develop. Yet this is what we are left with, a six issue story that has great fight scenes with hit or miss character development due to the time Abnett and Lanning had with the series. As a series, iCandy is easy to find in any back issue bin, online comic store, and you can likely find a full series set for cheap on eBay right now. It isn’t available on ComiXology for anyone curious in grabbing this instantly. A strange but fascinating start through my journey into the Obscure DC Comics, thanks for reading and let me know what you think in the comments below.


The GWL Adventures 2/9/16: Setting Up The Reading Adventures for the Blog

reading books

A big part of any comic book based blog in reading projects is setting up what you want to read for it. Now here’s the thing with me, I have to organize myself or else my brain goes all over the place. You ever want a level of comedy just watch me try to narrow down projects. It becomes the equivalent of someone in a candy store trying to figure out what he wants to buy but knows he can only buy a couple things. So I went through my comics and narrowed it down to a select bit of comics I want to dive into. That’s not including the long term projects I’m planning on diving into more too. I am going to make point to make these blogs a more regular thing too. These are the Chill Bloggity Thing I did at one point, just GWL Adventures sounds cooler. Anyway, yes I have reading to do soon. The Goodreads Files are going to start pretty soon, mostly because I am backlogged on my reading period. I swear the battle over comic book backlog is going to be a long and wacky adventure, I’m cool with it. Backlog and a reader seem to be a way of life at this point and continue to tie into my ongoing reading adventures.

These are also a great way to get the writing juices flowing either way, I talk about what I’m up and I get a relaxed conversation flow going with you all. Which by the way leads me to another point, feel free to leave me a comment on my stuff. I’m encouraging that as with most of the sites I’ve written at it is tough as nails to get comments going so feel free, say hi. This blog and site in general is about cool stuff that I’m digging and exploring and creating conversation at the same time. I love interactivity so have fun with it, relax, read, and chat with me. So far I am enjoying how this blog is doing so far, and these upcoming posts I’m working on are going to be a lot of fun I think.

I appreciate you all for reading anything I’ve written here so far, I really do appreciate it. It’s been great and every last one of you that have RT’d, liked my facebook page, say hi to me on twitter, whatever else, it is all appreciated. I hope you all are having a good day and me I’m going to continue enjoying my snow day. Take care everyone!

Wes Reads Spawn #258-260: Wow Spawn is Off the Rails in a Good Way

Spawn #258 Cover

Spawn and myself have never quite connected over the years. Oh sure I liked the toys at one point, designs of the characters, even saw the movie, never could quite connect with the character. I’d seen snippets of Spawn over the years yet I wasn’t compelled to buy the series. Then I heard that Erik Larsen most notably of Savage Dragon fame was going to be working on the series with Spawn creator Todd McFarlane. From what I know Spawn has changed hosts from Al Simmons at one point but now he is back. That’s what I know and I was curious how Todd McFarlane and Erik Larsen were going to get new readers in. This is a classic situation of you barely need to know a thing. Al Simmons is Spawn, he’s going to Hell to save his wife from Satan, and that’s all you need. Larsen going off the rails with demon designs in Hell and Todd McFarlane and Erik Larsen getting to, in a sense, reestablish the character of Spawn. These three issues cover Spawn entering Hell and the first two parts of the Satan Saga Wars. It is weird to be someone who has no connection to Spawn reading this. Yet here I am reading Spawn for the first time and focusing on the character, story line, and the world that he inhabits. You’re curious to hear what I think and I’m curious to start my adventure into to Hell. Read on as you see my perspective into Spawn #258-260!

What struck me here was the fact that #258 has only minimal writing in it. You get the intro and the ending with updates in between. Now you’re wondering why there would be updates. The entire issue is a massive fight scene of Al Simmons as Spawn fighting off the hordes of Hell. Hey if you’re going to have Erik Larsen start on a comic why not let him cut loose with demons right? The entire issue feels like two old friends getting together and having a blast with tons of action. We’re talking double page spreads, splash pages, and lots of great panel to panel storytelling. There’s a craft to the silent story and when done right it can be awesome. The double page spreads in the issue are gorgeous and your eyes will be staring in awe of all the little details and craziness within. #258 is an example of a mostly wordless story done right. McFarlane and Larsen using the beginning and end of the issue to set up the Satan Saga Wars. It was effective and a lot of fun. Not the easiest way to introduce a comic to a potential new reader but at the same time it gives so much action and excitement that it could get someone wanting more. It’s interesting to see a silent story being a lead in for a major arc and the start of a new artist on a book. Yet it worked, so bravo on that front.

Spawn #258 Double Page Spread

Now for #259 and #260, now we are in the Satan Saga Wars proper. Now this is where the McFarlane and Larsen run starts to kick in. McFarlane throughout the two parts fills you in on everything you need to know about Al Simmons, his death, his time as Spawn, and his relationship with his wife. It feels organic as you read forward in the two parts. You have Satan angry about Spawn in Hell and continuing to throw everything and the kitchen sink to go after him. The best part about this is there is an excellent sense of pacing. It’s a fast paced action adventure movie set in Hell with endless amounts of dark imagination. Remember when I said that this is reestablishing the character of Spawn? This is exactly what McFarlane and Larsen are doing here. I don’t know what happened to the power meter that used to be there, not a big deal though at all. It’s even cooler to see that McFarlane and Larsen encouraged you to check out the older issues if you wanted details on what happened that got us to the point too. Nicely done. If I was reviewing this issue to issue it would be tough as nails, yet the way I’m getting to read it works for me. In reading the first two parts in a row, I like where this is going and McFarlane and Larsen are cutting loose as a team.

I talked a lot about Larsen’s art in the #258 part of this but #259 and #260 are more of the same. It’s a lot of great background work, cool demon designs, and McFarlane is inking over Larsen’s art giving it a slick look and working well with Larsen’s pencils. I do have an appreciation for Larsen’s work from Savage Dragon but his Spawn stuff with this inking is an entirely new experience and I like it. Still Larsen but with a new feel. It doesn’t hurt that the coloring on this is also strong throughout, bright reds, fire, and fury, and FCO Plascenscia knocks it out of the park throughout all the issues. I’m impressed by what I see here, every single page from writing and art begs to be looked at in detail, nothing is skimped here. The writing is exciting and the art matches this renewed level of excitement. Just rocking comic book energy and I can’t help but dig it.

Spawn #260 Double Page Spread

That’s me reading Spawn #258-260 and you know, I want to read more. Never thought in a million years I would want to be a regular Spawn reader but here we are. I’m interested and want to see where Todd McFarlane and Erik Larsen take Spawn from here. Heck I even want to give Savage Dragon another go. For me these three issues of Spawn gave me a ton of entertainment and good times, and Spawn worked on that level for me. If you are curious for yourselves, try out Spawn #258-260 for yourself and see what you think. McFarlane and Larsen are having a blast on this comic and it shows. I can’t wait to see what the next two parts of the Satan Saga Wars hold. Two old friends coming together to make a comic the best it can be, I like that.

You can find Spawn #258-260 at your local comic store or at Comixology for #258, #259, and #260 if you don’t have a local store near you.

Thought Process on DC Rebirth Rumors: The Slow News Day Made Interesting

DC Rebirth Image

DC Rebirth, you’ve heard about it, I’ve heard about it, and if you’ve even wandered in comics internet at all, you know something about it. The DC Rebirth rumors appearing on Bleeding Cool since late January, it’s been a topic of conversation. Today on February 2nd, 2016 on Bleeding Cool as it has been all day DC Rebirth rumors all the time. It must be a slow news day as even Comic Book Resources reported on the BC Rumors. Normally I would wait for official confirmation. Yet when CBR is reporting on the rumors, I feel why the heck not say something on it. It’s on my mind, it is on your mind, and let’s have ourselves a good old DC Rebirth jamboree of conversation. I want to process this, you want to process this craziness. As always as you read this, this is all rumors. Every single last bit of this are rumors. The only confirmation is from DC themselves with that Rebirth image. Outside of that we know little else. It’s fun to speculate on these things but Bleeding Cool is a rumor site, so take it as you will. Anyway, on to my Thought Process on the DC Rebirth rumors as by golly miss molly I got a lot to say on this.

First off, the one big shiny rumor out of this that something within Batman V Superman is part of this Rebirth is fascinating. According to this rumor it says that there’s a plot point within Batman V Superman that no one working on any of the new comics or in editorial know a thing about. Oh man alive this is going to be fascinating if proven true. As the rumor was that the line is going to have a Movies and Television focus to it then this sort of thing makes a certain amount of sense. We are nearing the date of the release of this film fast and by the way keep your spoiler radars on full alert, this will probably end up a spoiler before release. I can easily see it happen as this concerns a comic event and if this is part of it, someone is going to spoil that sucker on overdrive. Boy the curiosity of comic fans got even more piqued or horrified depending on your view of Batman V Superman thanks to this rumor huh?

Now we even have creative team rumors coming out of this, Tom King possibly writing Batman on a bi-weekly basis with Peter Tomasi taking over Superman on a bi-weekly basis. Now also on the actual article Rich made a potential whoops and put bi-monthly but I’m thinking he meant bi-weekly as he has in the title of the article. I like both writers and if it is true then the books will be in good hands with them at the helm of both series. The bi-weekly is going to be tough haul either way but both writers are good hands, now we’ll see who they get on art but at least writing wise we’re in good shape if the rumors are proven true. Of course these are only two names we know so far and again we are in the lovely land of Rumorville.

Then we get into the whole “Rebirth” book release before the release of the relaunched titles with a #1 to follow the release. With of course Batman potentially having a #1 release in June. I mean, bi-weekly wonderland sure but a “Rebirth” book would be better say in the concept of a pre-release book talking about DC’s new concept. I have no idea how this one is going to play out either way. I know again, we’re in rumor land but I hope this is plotted out better than what I’m reading from the rumor mill.  I hope it is used more for a select few books if they go that route with this rumor of a “Rebirth” issue to lead into the #1. I think the idea of a “Rebirth” in this DC Rebirth initiative would be better as a free pre-release book but I have no idea how this will play out so we shall have to see. Oh lordy, these rumors are fascinating but also annoying in what little we really get from them.

Justice League DC Comics

Of course there are new series rumors, a Teen Titans with Damian as the leader, a Titans series, a book called The Super Man, Man of Steel, New Green Lantern, and Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps, and a Justice Society of America book. Add in the rumor that we could get a book centering around the Trinity of Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman coming after the Rebirth, I’m curious. Of course then you have all the rumored cancellations of Starfire, Grayson, Black Canary, Batman/Superman, Superman/Wonder Woman, Midnighter,  and Doctor Fate. With Starfire possibly in Titans, Grayson back to Nightwing, and Black Canary in a Birds of Prey book. I’m not shocked by this as this seems like a way to get everything to a slate of stuff that’s either in development for TV or a possible movie deal at some point. At least it shows they’re working towards something here if the rumors are proven true. It’ll be a shame to lose some great titles if proven true but when DC goes about a new initiative, they don’t hesitate to go cancellation crazy.

Now I wonder how this is going to play out anyway, as one last rumor appeared as I’ve been writing this. The last bit being that this could be a relaunch or possibly a reboot. I was figuring relaunch but I was keeping a cautious eye on a reboot. The rumor force is real here but I’m not putting anything past DC at this point. The annoying part of this is as these rumors have been released is something I’ve mentioned on my twitter, I wish DC would say something about this. I figure they’ll talk more after Batman V Superman if the first rumor is true but I wish they would say something more about DC Rebirth. Control the information and tell us at least what you can rather than leave the DC Rebirth info to rumor sites and endless speculation.

This is why I’ve said throughout this that this is all rumors, I really wanted to get the thoughts I have here off my chest. If you all have anything to say though, feel free to leave me a comment. Talk to me on twitter about it, vent to me, I’ll vent back, we’ll have fun, we’ll have good chats. All we have is the DC Rebirth image and a whole ton of a rumors. Let’s dissect this together and if you have anything to rant about, I’ll be happy to listen. Thank you for reading my Thought Process on this ride. June isn’t that far away but we’ll know sooner or later what kind of adventure we are all going to be in for.


The GWL Adventures for 2/1/16: The Battle to Cut Down My Comic Book Backlog Begins


I am right now working on a couple blog pieces as we speak. Yet it is going to take more time than I thought it would, mostly scanning in pictures and such so I’m going to have a casual comic book chat with you all. Right now I am in the midst of a massive comic book catch up right now. My backlog of books, comic books, and more would probably blow some minds. Not that it wouldn’t shock anyone considering that I’ve learned that more than a few of us have issues in having a massive backlog of books to read. It’s going to be part of my blog too, my comic book catchup. I have a lot of stuff I want to read and setting up more cool content for you all here on the blog is a good incentive. It’s part of my intro here anyway to do a lot with my collection of comics so hey why not get that party started right? I say that is a good plan going forward. You will see a lot of that in the days and weeks to come. My comic book backlog adventures and slowly but surely catching up with my reading. Between my comic books and my goodreads account, there is going to be a lot of love happening on both fronts.

The interesting thing of doing comic book backlog projects is I get to have the fun of getting the scanner going again. That’s always neat as it gives everything a cool DIY feel to everything. My humble GIMP photo editor gets a lot of work too as I go in work with the images after I scan them. I’m going to have to figure out a schedule for this blog too. For anyone reading this, yes you’re getting a behind the scenes into what I’m up to as well. I remember being asked if I would still do these casual blogs and you know they are fun to do. It gives good content for the site and my rule with them is that they will be as well written as a more formal blog post. That’s the rule of these things but with a slight more relaxed tone. If I wanted to go full casual with this, wow that would be a nightmare and a half to read for everybody.

Not sure what a formal schedule will be like yet but I do know that the comic book backlog journey begins in earnest immediately. It is going to be a lot of fun and my reading catch up will be amazing to say the least. Thanks for supporting me so far with my blog for those of you who have been reading thus far. Sorry it has been slow going but I got a game plan and I plan to get into things immediately. Take care everyone and I appreciate you all.


Thought Process: The DC Hanna-Barbera Comic Revamp

Scooby Apocalypse DC Comics

This morning via Entertainment Weekly DC announced that they are doing new comics revamping a group of Hanna-Barbera characters. When I first saw Scooby Doo, The Flintstones, Wacky Races, and Future Quest uniting a bunch of the action characters, personally this sounds cool to me. Future Quest putting Space Ghost, Jonny Quest, Mightor, The Galaxy Trio, Birdman, The Impossibles, and Frankenstein Jr. in one book, wow that is amazing! Wacky Races taking influence from Mad Max: Fury Road and making it into Wacky Race Land, heck yes I want that in my life. The Flinstones have a nice design to them because it is Amanda Conner did the new designs and it can’t help but look good. Then you get into the fun zone of the Scooby Doo in the Scooby Apocalypse book. Once people saw the re-design of Scooby-Doo and the gang, parts of the Internet lost their minds. The re-designs by Jim Lee are actually fun for the idea of a Scooby Apocalypse but of course, Internet and anything new equals divided opinions in about five seconds. Yet to me this is not such a bad thing as right now, this is the most people have talked about anything Hanna-Barbera consistently in a long time.

Future Quest DC Comics

Now we know creative teams at least loosely for all the books and I’ll list them below for good measure.

You have Future Quest with Jeff Parker writing it and Evan “Doc” Shaner drawing the book? Wow! That’s an amazing team to have on this series and DC could not have done any better in having them working together on this project. On another note the Darwyn Cooke piece for this is gorgeous and I want it as a poster. This is the series that personally I can’t wait to see how it comes together and my must buy of the whole Hanna-Barbera adventure here.

With Wacky Race Land you have the Wacky Races concept with re-designed vehicles by one of the designers on Mad Max: Fury Road, Mark Sexton. In all I’ve read I haven’t heard officially if he’s the artist on the comic or not but his designs are cool as all get out. I love that the writer of this is Ken Pontac who has worked on many cartoons including ReBoot and Mighty Max but he has written for over the top violent but oddly hilarious Happy Tree Friends. I can’t wait to see how this comes together but this is becoming second only to Future Quest on my level of excitement for this new line.

Now The Flintstones is one I don’t know that much about yet. I know that Amanda Conner did the designs and I know that Mark Russell is writing it. It is supposed to be in line with the comedic and have social commentary and so forth to it. I’m hit or miss on this one as I like The Flintstones but I’ve never been compelled to follow anything much outside of their cartoon show. I did watch that insane WWE/Flinstones crossover movie but you know, that is digressing a bit here.

Scooby Apocalypse is going to be insane and that it is last here is more the fact that I don’t know how this one will play out. You have DC Co-Publisher im Lee with the re-design and Keith Giffen with Howard Porter handling art duties. I think likely Giffen is writing with Jim Lee getting the re-design credit. We don’t know much else about the series right now outside of the fact that this is one serious re-design. This is the one that broke a few minds on the Internet but Scooby Doo has been through so many re-designs over the years that maybe a radical one like this could be a fun one.


Wacky Race Land DC Comics

This is all we know about the Hanna-Barbera Reboot adventure at DC Comics. I haven’t seen this much conversation about Hanna-Barbera in a good while and you know that’s great to see people talking about these properties again. Wacky Races has long been on the back burner and most of the action properties have been on the shelf for years now so this is wonderful to see them come back. If you’re not happy about this for some strange reason, wait for the books to come on the shelf before you continue into the land of the cranky. If you dislike it after reading the comics then it isn’t your cup of tea. I am looking forward to this and these characters getting time in the spotlight again. Even if I’m hit or miss on The Flintstones I am hoping that the book turns out well. I am also allowing myself one last excitement blast over Future Quest as that comic should be mind blowing will likely be the one that’ll satisfy new and old fans alike.

The books make their debut on the shelves in May and then we can all judge for ourselves how this is all going to play out. With this and a DC Rebirth on the way, life at DC Comics has just gotten a whole lot more interesting.