Superman: Earth One Review

At some point in life, you were either a teenager, or a young adult or maybe you currently are, and you’ve questioned everything before you as teachers & parents would tell you is a normal thing. Who you are, who you are meant to be, why you are, even why you don’t fit in, for example. Now for a moment, picture yourself as a child. You look like every other person around you…. Normal. You have every possible ability any other child born of this earth has. Now, keep with me, you are one day playing a little catch or stick ball with your dad/mom, brother etc, or you see a beautiful girl, or you try to run for the first time as a child, a bus with all your friends falls into a lake… And suddenly, you throw/hit that ball 20 miles away, you shoot intense heat from your eyes, you run as fast as you could and you are in China in 5 seconds (if you are reading this in China, then you’re in Brazil in three seconds) and you can pick up the bus with all your friends in it with ease. I’m sure you just pictured yourself not of this earth with the same questions. But they now have a greater weight to it don’t they?
cover

I love how this looks like a billboard
I love how this looks like a billboard

That’s the main premise of “Superman Earth One”. You aren’t just a mere mortal, you’re an alien from a distant planet. Sent as a child to earth for what? To be the master of mortals? For protection? TO PROTECT Earth from harms way (which is the actual answer, by the way)? All these are great questions for a man who can literally do anything which is very evident in the early pages of this J. M. Straczynski written, Shane Davis drawn book. The artwork reminded me kind of a hard hitting, anime that has a serious film grain like in the movie 300. The costume choice is very much like the one seen in the early pages of Smallville season 11. It’s a great design (much better than the current Superman comics book design, and the Man of Steel one as well). The entire comic is drawn perfectly. I don’t think there’s really any bad page, panel. Though, I do question the look of Jonathan Kent. He looks much like William Dafoe. As well, and this is a contradiction, but the only page that’s a little confusing, was when they show the villain’s home world in the same orbit as Superman’s. Another thing that I really enjoyed, artistically, was they gave Lois a mole. It’s easy to miss; I’ve maybe read this book 3 times and I just now caught it. The only character design I didn’t like at all, was “Jimmy Olsen”. He looked like a very poorly drawn Wolverine. Shane was a great choice for this book, and one of the best creative collaborators to work with J.M.S since J.M.S’s run on Amazing Spider-man with John Romita Jr.

(But wait,Theres still more)

The work of J.M.S is brilliant. He took the story almost any comic reading being can recite to some degree, and built around it. He did it in a very interesting way that was very compelling. He made the origin feel organic to the story, and not just, “oh ye, we need to have this, so let’s just toss this in here.” There was almost like “we’re only telling you this so you understand how its all related to the story of the bad guy”. Yes, the initial origin of Superman ties directly to the past of bad guy here, and the bad guy here is an incredible one. He is very plausible and I have to wonder why no one honestly thought of it before to this degree in the regular comics.
Moving a bit a way from the character’s, J.M.S crafts a story that is short and sweet. It could be argued that it’s not worth the money asked for the book, but it is worth it if you so happen to find it for cheap at a “used” book store (B.M.V, for example for people in Toronto). It’s an easy read and gives you a lot of options that many of today’s young adults face when finishing school or still undecided in terms of career options. He used this medium to even bring valid debatable issues on a global scale through the villain, which I sort of agree with. But we don’t live in a world, sadly, to have it ever happen. He even took a page from Watchmen with the “end game” move towards the end.

J.M.S was one of the major reasons I got back into comics. He did a story called Sins Past, which, I’m probably the only one who enjoyed that story (deals with Gwen, having relations with Norman Osborn.. Ye, it’s sickening, but it happened). Then I followed the entire run of spider-man done by J.M.S and loved it, minus the ending (one more day, wasn’t his idea, but still). Then he left Marvel for the Definitive Competition and here we are. The cover drew me to the book. I loved how mysterious and bad ass he seemed (Superman). Then I found out it was a J.M.S story, and I only said “take my money”. One thing that does annoy me with this is that THIS is called Earth One, which means it’s the main Superman. Yet, some how, for some reason, it didn’t go to become the origin of the “New 52” Superman. Why? I don’t know. It was much better of a story than what was produced early from both “Action Comics” & “Superman” books.

Bottom line if your into Superman this is probably the best origin story your gonna get for a while, that pays homage to a lot other incarnations of the Man of Steel. It’s a great out of continuity read and it’s fast as well. It’s definitely worthy of a pick up.128

Rating:

  • Overall rating of the comic: 8.7 out of 10,
  • Art:  8 out of 10,
  • layout*: 10 out of 10,
  • True to character dialogue: 7 out of 10,
  • Story: 8.8 out of 10,
  • Continuity? Well its out of normal continuity, so it works, but in general, from panel to panel, it is pretty solid.

Thank you for reading feedback is always helpful.

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” and May the Force be with you!

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Amazing Spider-Man #700 review

This final chapter in the “Dying Wish” also brings the culmination of the hero Peter Parker has become (that’s not a spoiler, that’s been out there folks). For the best way to describe it, I give you this Newsarama link.
ASM-700-001
Now, I’ve said this from time, Spider-Man is the best hero, and my favourite. So after talking to @DanSlott at this years fanexpo,

IMG_20120824_133621

he reassured everyone everything was going to be fine. This was not the fine I was expecting.

SPOILERS

(don’t want em, scroll down to the bottom where the rating is, and enjoy your day)

ASM-700-003 ASM-700-002

Long story short, thanks to the mind switch, Peter and Otto Octavius have some kind of co-working mind, and will be in next months all new “Superior Spider-Man”.

Here’s my issue with this. PETER HAS SAVED THE WORD COUNTLESS TIMES OVER, and he ends up dying in the old dying body of one of his greatest villains (Green Goblin is his greatest villain, which puts Venom as his most famous). That to me is unfair. After all he’s done and all he’s been through, which Otto Octavius sees and stirs in him the reason to live like Peter, and become Spider-Man. A good Spider-Man. In Ultimate Spider-Man, Spider-Man saves the day, he really stops the green goblin, and there was a weight to it all. IT MAKES SENSE there. Here, even though it’s a well crafted story, and I didn’t see it coming (more on this later) I just couldn’t. I can’t accept this end to the story of Peter Parker.

Now, to move on to a happy thought. This isn’t what I expected. I enjoyed reading this and knowing what may happen, but I really like to be wrong sometimes. I’m slightly curious to see what happens. But, knowing the character is really Dr. Octopus, I don’t know if I can totally accept this. I know that no life is greater than another, but Otto Octavius could’ve died and I’d be happy. Every Earth 616 resident could’ve been. It boils my blood as a fan, that in a way, the evil guy gets to keep the body and the original passes on. Then there’s the fact that he is now getting back with Mary Jane.

See children, this is why you don’t make deals with the devil. You end up losing anyway.

But if you didn’t click the link, you can still have hope that one day Peter will come back. Here’s why:

SPOLIER:

“Of course, seasoned comic book readers will note that while Peter Parker sure seemed to die in the body of Otto Octavius, the mind-swap nature of the entire storyline, as well as Peter’s lingering memories in his own body, certainly gives Marvel an “out” to return to the original status quo at some point in the story. It wouldn’t even entirely be the first time such a thing happened at Marvel Comics, let alone in the comic book world. When the X-Men character Rogue had absorbed Carol Danvers, Ms. Marvel’s powers, memories, and personality, Danvers came with it, fighting Rogue for control of her own body before eventually being transfered back into her own.” -Newsarama

Whether a scenario like that is in the future for the Superior Spider-Man remains to be done (heres hoping) but, for the time being, Peter Parker is dead and Otto Octavius is now the web-slinger.

Happy New year.

Rating:

  • Overall rating of the comic: 2.5 out of 5,
  • Art: 4 out of 5,
  • layout: 4 out of 5,
  • True to character dialogue: 4 out of 5,
  • Story: 3 out of 5.

Thank you for reading feedback is always helpful. Enjoy your Week!

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” and May the Force be with you!

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Amazing Spider-Man #698

By now the cat is out of the bag, and if not, well then here’s a spoiler

ASM-698-001                                              ASM-698-006

For a while now, writer Dan Slott has been forcing Spider-Man to deal with one of his greatest villains, Dr. Otto Octavius aka Dr. Octopus, who learned he was dying way back in issue 600 where the doctor he had seen had told him that he had roughly 18 months left to live. Cut to this here issue and our vile Doctor now has mere hours left. Skip a few other things and enter Spider-Man, who tells the ill fated doctor that he is actually in fact, PETER PARKER. DUN. DUN. DUN (Spider-man is actually Doc Ock/Peter is actually the dying Dr. Octopus)….

Now I’ve been reading comics since maybe 2005 and I don’t think I ever had a favourite issue … Ever (though I really liked JMS’s run on spider-man… Minus the OMD arc) this issue was near flawless as an issue can be. Dan Slott has been a writer on Asm for a good while now (since #648 I believe being the main writer) the reason why this issue is so good.. Excuse me… Brilliantly excellent.. Is because it forces you to re-read the ENTIRE issue, maybe even the run issue 600. When the reveal happens it kinda punches you in the face. And leaves no witnesses or even an ice pack. Which is why it’s so great… But I can’t give Dan all the credit, the penciler, colour artist, and even the lettering was beyond exceptional. On page 8 there is a word box that floats in the air that only really hits you as to why it does, in the second reading. The art of it all… For example page 14… I don’t enjoy raving about a book that has no flaws but I can’t think of one and I’ve re read this issue maybe 7 times and I’m still shocked.

Marvel pride themselves on be a relatable reading source. And even though this isn’t going to be self relatable to most if not all readers. If you have an adult who has/d a child/friend with some kind of waking coma or some kind “trapped in my body” disease. Then maybe this book can help you grasp what they may deal with on a regular basis. But I’ve rambled enough. I end with this, if you have ever wanted to read comics or read about spider-man, this is the best issue to start with cause in two issues its all over, and we get a new hero to wear the webs.

Rating:

  • Overall rating of the comic: 5 out of 5,
  • Art: 5 out of 5,
  • layout: 5 out of 5,
  • True to character dialogue: 5 out of 5,
  • Story: 5 out of 5.

Heres a free comic to use in the Marvel Comics App:

MTML9I03IPEY

MTML16CFX7LD (this is for the #698 issue)

Thank you for reading feedback is always helpful. Enjoy your Week!

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” and May the Force be with you!

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Smallville S11 #3

– Writer: Bryan Q. Miller
-Art: Pere Perez

This is the end of act one, or maybe better put, episode one. Which, when reading felt like a real season opener (When you put the first two issues together, to this issue). It’s a decent issue once you get past the first 4 or so pages, but I’ll get to that in a bit. The story in this ish seems to recap the two previous issues and tells you where this entire season direction may be headed, as so many other season openers have done in the past. This issue starts with Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow, saving the day with him then being saved by Superman, finding out Ollie is leaving for Star City, and that Him & Chloe have actually tied the knot before Lois & Clark. Then it ends on a cliff hanger, that little disturbance in space had been a disguise to bring someone/thing rocketing towards Earth.

As I was saying about the first 4 pages, the writing just seemed so…tacky. It’s true to the character in a way, with Ollie, but all else in this scene, it just doesn’t work. Feels very child like, but then again I’m reading comic books, so that’s kinda part of the package I guess (it is to David Cronenburg). The remainder of the issue is pretty dead on with what the rest of the main cast would say in the show. With the cliff hanger ending, I’m very curious to see what may happen.

The artist needs to go. If the writing is “childish”, the art is infant. It reminds me of the “New52” Action Comics art, and how bad that was. If sales of this book aren’t high, the art may be the reason. Granted it’s only 3 issues in, but damn. There should be a limit to this kind of crap. Maybe they should have rotating artists, kinda in the way Spider-Man had his when they did his “Brand New Day” reboot/recon. It really needs to have a more “realistic” feel. I’d suggest artist, but the good ones are all at Marvel doing great things (Sorry.. Its true).

******** FOR SINGLE ISSUE COMIC BOOKS, RATINGS WILL BE OUT OF 5********

  • Overall rating of the comic: 2.7 out of 5,
  • Art:  2.5 out of 5,
  • layout*: 2.5 out of 5,
  • True to character dialogue: 3 out of 5,
  • Story: 3 out of 5,*layout for anyone wondering is just how each frame is set up, from singles to full/double page spreads to word placement bubbles to the art.

Thank you for reading feedback is always helpful.

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” and May the Force be with you!

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Spider-Man Blue Review

*Hello there, it’s just your friendly neighbourhood movie reviewer, bringing you part of the next chapter. In the P.S.A I had mentioned that more reviews were coming, and since I’m a giant comic book fan for a lot more than one reason, I decided to write up some reviews so that more of my thoughts can be on the inter-web. Most of the comics I’ll review are going to be Marvel brand comics, because frankly the “New 52” DC has done, didn’t tickle my fancy in the slightest. With that said I’ll review comics from issues,  to story arcs and even Graphic novels (mostly one  shots, out of continuity stories) from today, to stories of old. There will be no order or pattern, a lot like my movie reviews.  It will all depend on what I have time to read, and so on and so forth. Suggestions on how or where to improve is always helpful. Now that the introduction is out of the way, let’s get to some comics.

I chose Spider-Man Blue, simply because I heard it was fantastic and couldn’t find much on it in terms of reviews (not that it wasn’t out there, I just couldn’t find it). I heard about it roughly when I had started to get back into comics, but at the time I was so “scared” about where to start. I wanted a good start, somewhere  I could get a handle of things, and this seemed like it wasn’t gonna be it at the time. But I did always want to read it, and so now that I’m “caught” up I said I’d give it a read and see what happens. I’ve read work from this creative team of Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale before (mostly DC stuff), and I was always left pretty impressed; not so much by the art, but by the symbolic story telling. I mean Jeph Loeb has proven himself time and time again, he worked on  “Heroes“… Ok maybe not a good example, but hey it had a good first season, also seasons 2 and 3 of Smallville. The first chapter (consisting of 24 pages) starts off very well,  if you remember the opening lines of the first Spider-man movie like I do–which came out the same year.

“This like any story worth telling, is all about a girl” – Spider-manPeter Parker – Tobey Maguire

click any picture to view lager

This story is about Peters love for Gwen Stacy.   Gwen was and always will be (to most Spider-Man fans anyway) the true girlfriend for the Peter. Her tragic demise is a milestone in comics, both for the genre and character. I believe until then, the Superhero would always save the girl they are in love with. He tried, and still to this day he battles with himself being the cause, or if in fact the Green Goblin is the reason she died. The story takes place with Spidey swinging through NYC to where he last saw Gwen “alive” as we read we understand this is a just us being taken down memory lane, but he’s actually at home talking into a tape recorder. It’s here we discover why the story is called “Spider-Man Blue” he feels “blue” for missing her, kind of  like how a jazz player feels when playing the blues. The story then flashes forwards a bit to a retelling of Amazing Spider-man (ASM) #40. After 8 pages of stunning work we get some action as the story progresses, we learn come the first chapters end, just how Peter and Gwen met. The Hidden but obvious message was “Things have to get really bad, before they can get good.”

Most recently in comics they dissolved the marriage of Peter and Mary Jane (which I won’t get into just know that they did it and only No fan agreed with it). They explained it in a similar manner that this book does with a “moment in time” (the comic book arc to see what I’m talking about is One Moment In Time) style of story telling. I don’t think I’ve read the stories/issues this book retells, but i know of them from reading the bio of Spidey and the infamous cartoon shows and what not. So I don’t know how accurate they are in terms of  replicating the frames and words and so on and so forth. However, that doesn’t mean it takes away from how pleasant this story is. Skipping along, book two we are shown a mystery man whose identity  I will reveal later. Come chapters end, we are introduced to Mary Jane Watson, this is where the book gets interesting (and all nerds who read comics and can maybe relate to Spidey, become happy that MAYBE a beautiful blonde NERD, a beautiful SUPER-MODEL, would fall in like/love with them). From here on out it’s a bit of a tug of war between MJW and Gwen (face it if you had the above mentioned options you’d just let them duke it out and hope for the best, it’s a win win really). The action here is him fighting the Rhino with the help of Dr. Curt Conners (which you will see in the new Spidey movie). Book three: MJW is now fully into play. The gang of Flash Thompson, Gwen, MJW, Harry and Peter all meet up at some local bar/pub where “The Lizard” strikes, which means duty calls for Peter to get pics for the Daily Bugle. MJW happens to go along with him (There is more to that story, but that is for another time, though it is obvious). Peter agrees to move in with Harry Osborn which was drawn to have this erie feeling like he’s up to something, which of course he is, because before Peter can really even muster a no much less yes, he asks Pete if he was gonna take a chance at MJW (which in my opinion is a huge reason why Peter and Gwen even had a bit of a chance to be together).

Book four starts with Pete and Aunt May, this may be the best scene with Aunt May ever. Well, since she figured out Pete was in fact Spider-Man all this time (way later in issues). In a way, she recaps where we left off, and gives him that friendly motherly advice that parents can’t always give because of the role they have to play, and that faint touch of being out of time helps a lot too. Elsewhere, The Vulture is poisoned only to have another, by the name of Blackie Drago, take his place as the green winged menace. There’s a fight that leaves Spider-Man seemingly dead (or unconscious), and even how that looks is amazing. It’s like your eyes watch him “drop” from the sky, only to be abruptly stopped by Spidey a pile of snow.

Book Five has the most comedy, and some how Pete finds himself to his new apartment and word has got out that he’s sick and BOTH MJW and Gwen come to play nurse to him (remember: from really bad to good). Sad part is, this isn’t even the best part but it’s on the rise. Just outside, the original Vulture and the new one are duking it outside and of course, Pete knows that “With great power comes great responsibility” so he suits up to take em both on, all while just WISHING to be with Gwen.

FINALLY, Book Six, as I said, the mysterious man is revealed to be Kraven, the hunter who was watching and studying the concrete jungles animals (makes sense when you think about it all). When that fight is all said and done, it is Valentine’s Day, and Peter finally gets a moment of what you could easily call a break (for him). In walks Gwen. (I’ll leave that to you, the reader of this entry, to find out how that all goes down). Fast forward in time to Pete shockingly finding MJW to be there only to have her say: “Tell Gwen I miss you too.”

NOW THAT THE STORY IS OUT THE WAY…

This story as I may have said before is just beautiful. If you ever lost a romantic loved one (which I pray I never have to deal with), then you can read this story and I’m sure choke up a bit, cause you didn’t get to spend the rest of your life with them like you hoped, though they did with you. As long time fan of spider-man, I believe Gwen will forever be the woman for Peter, while MJW will be the woman for Peter AND Spider-Man.

Tim Sales’ art is an acquired taste. This isn’t cause I have a personal bone with him or anything (he was quite rude when I met him at Fan Expo), but because it actually is. He draws with A LOT of lines, for the most part they aren’t straight, and sometimes it does get a little weird, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s different, and for that simple reason, I like it. I don’t know what to call it or classify it as, but his art honestly just works so well with what Loeb is writing about.

Now, for the rating system–many ask how it works. The general/overall rating is just how you would possibly think of it WITHOUT getting all detailed. Not to say you don’t understand but to just give you an idea of how I rate things, I don’t have just a general rating of things. With that said, all comic book ratings will be out of ten. (well maybe just graphic novel stories) so here goes:

  • Overall rating of the comic: 8 out of 10,
  • Art:  7.5 out of 10,
  • layout*: 6.8 out of 10,
  • True to character dialogue: 9 out of 10,
  • Story: 9.5 out of 10,
  • Continuity? I think since this was published it has been mentioned once  in the main Spidey comics, so if you just want a good story, this is a good grab, if you want to know more about Gwen, also a good story just on its own to make those issues have more of a connection.

*layout for anyone wondering is just how each frame is set up, from singles to full/double page spreads to word placement bubbles to the art.

Thank you for reading feedback is always helpful.

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” and May the Force be with you!

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW