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Showing posts from September, 2011

TEEN TITANS #1 REVIEW

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Writer: Scott Lobdell

Pencils: Brett Booth

The Titans return in their new form which is noticeably missing Cyborg and Starfire’s boo, Beast Boy. The issue starts with readers immediately meeting Kid Flash, an over eager glory hound who speeds to the aid of a group of fire fighters who don’t really need assistance. Causing a back-draft, he makes the small fire into a raging inferno. Enter Red Robin who is monitoring superhero news stories. He is accosted by a mysterious group who call themselves NOWHERE Escaping them he tracks down Cassie Sandsmark (Wonder Girl) and saves her from a similar fate. They team up and we are transported to the NOWHERE headquarters where the mystery man who accosted Red Robin makes the decision to unleash…THE SUPERBOY!

The story is interesting as first issues go. And I think that this will be an interesting take on the Titans. The cover shows at least three people that I don’t recognize so I am interested and excited to see who they are and how they…

COBRA CIVIL WAR REVIEW

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Writer: Mike Costa

Artist: Werther Dell'Edera

If G.I. Joe defined your 80s kid experience and you think the filmed diarrhea called GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra borders on child abuse, then IDW has THE grown-up title for you.

Writer Mike Costa and artist Werther Dell’Edera keep up with the Cobras in this month’s COBRA: Civil War #5 which, if you haven’t been keeping tabs on it, follows a handful of COBRA elite as they vie for the vacated throne of Commander in a jolly free-for-all power struggle that’s like a lethal backyard game of Duck, Duck, Goose meets Russian Roulette. Regular series artist Antonio Fuso sits this one out and that’s fine; Werther’s pencils fit neatly into Antonio’s very sparse detailing, a look that suits the tone of the series perfectly. As always, Costa’s damn good at nailing character nuances, like the Baroness’ icy disposition and Tomax’s cavalier ruthlessness.

In this issue—and we’re keeping it spoiler-free, so keep reading—we’re seeing the fallout from a r…

CELEBRATE BANNED BOOKS WEEK

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The following is a piece I wrote back in 2006 about Banned Books Week for Erasing Clouds, a pop culture website. I believe that censorship is wrong and we still need to preserve and protect artistic creativity. 
As posted at Erasing Clouds during the month of October 2006.
Freedom of speech and artistic expression has been debated for years, and it is very doubtful that everyone will come to a consensus on these basic liberties. Libraries, whether public or academic, are at times a battleground where these ideas are challenged by the public because they deem certain works as inappropriate or nonconformist, especially for children. It is understandable that people want children protected from books that are considered too vulgar or violent, but removing or restricting books would be a victory for the censors and a loss for readers. In order to preserve the rights of speech and artistic expression, the American Library Association (ALA) spearheaded an event known as Banned Book…

KAV'S REVIEW OF 'THE MAN OF STEEL' (2013)

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MAN OF STEEL 2013


OK, before I review a movie which hasn't come out yet let me point out all the defects in Superman Returns in the hopes that these types of lame defects will not be in the new film.

First of all, using Luthor for the villain is so worn out. And having him pull the old 'kryptonite in my back pocket' ploy is even more worn out. You'd think Superman would have learned by now to scan the dude before approaching him. And what was with Superman being weakened by kryptonite one minute, and getting his ass kicked then minutes later lifting an ENTIRE CONTINENT of kryptonite into space? WTF man?

Also newsflash to Superman: a bunch of crystals which anyone can walk into at any time does not constitute a 'fortress'. Hello-maybe you should have stored those crystals which can GROW INTO A CONTINENT on the moon? Anyway. So the new movie: (Budget: $175,000,000!) The costume looks cool and gritty/noir:
http://www.movie-moron.com/?p=17748

Squaring off aga…

CATWOMAN #1 REVIEW

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Writer: Judd Winick
Artist: Guillem March
Judd Winick (Batman, Outsiders) and Guillem March (Gotham City Sirens) team up to bring you the sexiest woman in all of comics; Catwoman! Just looking at the cover makes me drool a little, and I have to remind myself that it’s just two-dimensional art. This title certainly earns it’s “T+” rating (as in, don’t buy this for your kid or you’ll be answering many uncomfortable questions).

The first three pages are basically boobs-in-your-face, as Selina struggles to gather her belongings and pull her catsuit on. Some thugs bust through the door and she ducks out the window, dodging gunfire. These thugs really don’t get much explanation, other than the possibility Catwoman probably stole something from them and pissed them off. This might be explained further in another issue, but they get little face time in this first issue.  After they blow her place up, she looks back. I’ll say this much, she’s not the prettiest comic book woman, but her facial ex…

WEBCOMIC WEDNESDAY: UPDATE FOR SEPTEMBER 28, 2011

We have two new and exciting titles to preview at Champion City Comics! The first is Coalwater and it is a great Western-themed webcomic that will deliver plenty of action in upcoming issues. The second is The Burning Blade and it will be a great webcomic fix for those of you seeking some zombies with your fantasy tales. We hope you enjoy these two new selections and thank you for supporting Champion City Comics!

COALWATER

Writer: Hugh Orr

Art & Lettering: Hugh Orr & Will Harris

Synopsis: Coalwater is a town ravaged with little-to-corrupt law enforcement. Established circa 1826 in Ohio, Coalwater quickly became a ghost town within a decade. The town experienced a resurgence in 1861 when coal, copper, and iron deposits were discovered. Coalwater's rebirth led to an economic boom which led to widespread violence. We know you'll enjoy this action-packed epic so check out the webcomic below.

CLICK ON FULLSCREEN AND SWITCH TO BOOK MODE FOR A GREAT WEBCOMICS EXPERIENCE! 
C…

HAWKEYE #2 REVIEW

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Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Rafa Sandoval
Hot on the heels and hot off the presses of issue #1 comes Ultimate Comics: Hawkeye #2, continuing the previous issue’s solo story by tying in what uber-archer Clint Barton has been up to with Nick Fury’s scrambling attempt to save a fraying world over in Ultimate Comics: Ultimates, Hawkeye’s sister title. 
The second of a four-issue series, we see Clint still in Southeastern Asia, trying to locate and neutralize the threat of a mutant-killing virus while tracking down remnants of the Super Soldier Serum, all while ducking local hostile forces and a renegade group of super-nationalists called The People. As dumb luck would have it, Hawkeye’s out of his league against these heavyweights and doesn’t have the luxury of calling in the Ultimates cavalry, leaving him only half a quiver and small unit of SHIELD grunts to execute Fury’s mission directive: to soldier-up and secure the formula at all costs, a task that involves toting two VIPs through a …

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #2 REVIEW

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Written by Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz

Art by Dan Duncan

The Turtles return (well mostly just Raphael) in an action-packed issue that pits Raphael against a drunken father, young April O’Neil against two ninjas (Foot Clan?), and Michelangelo against boredom.

Most of the issue is dominated by Raphael taking down the drunken father he witnessed hitting his kid at the end of the previous issue. It goes on for just a bit too long in my opinion, and when it’s over, the man just drives away drunken and vaguely agitated. Raphael comes back and talks to the kid and we discover the young man is named, wait for it… Casey Jones. Their story ends with Casey suggesting they go get some food, and when Raphael turns around, Casey is in a hockey mask carrying a large blunt object which may or may not be a cricket bat.

It is flashback time and April is hard at work at the lab with the rat and her turtles.The rat the other technicians call Splinter brings her a top secret disk. While she’s loo…

SUNDAY SONG SELECTION: TWILIGHT ZONE BY GOLDEN EARRING

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It would have made sense to use R.E.M.'s cover of 'Superman' for this week's song selection because the band called it quits this week. However, we've already used that song in a previous selection.

I was uncertain what song would be picked for this week and a moment of inspiration hit me while driving the family to my in-law's home. I was listening to one of those classic rock shows that are aired on Sunday mornings and they played 'Radar Love' by Golden Earring. That song is a jam and then I realized that they had another jam, 'Twilight Zone'. When we pick songs at Champion City, we look for something that references geek culture, so this one fits the criteria.

Golden Earring was formed fifty years ago in the Netherlands. Today's selection is their 1982 hit.

WONDER WOMAN #1 REVIEW (A SECOND REVIEW)

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Writer: Brian Azzarello
Artist: Cliff Chiang
Let’s start with what you really need to know, and that is that Wonder Woman #1 is one of, if not the, best books in the reboot. This is good, as the title comes into the reboot in an unusual position. The fact that the previous year’s run of Wonder Woman was so dire has actually increased the anticipation and hype around the new number 1 for the Amazon princess. And, boy, does the new team deliver.
This isn’t an origin story, or one packed to the gills with continuity. Every reader, newbie or veteran will come into this issue on the same foot, with a world filled with malevolent mythical mysteries, and Wonder Woman being drawn into them.
We’re introduced to Greek gods playing games amongst each other, the same old stories playing themselves out – oracles, vengeance, Zeus sleeping with everything – except, it’s not the same. In fact, it’s very, very different. In much the same way that Neil Gaiman took various types of mythology and imagined th…

BATMAN #1 REVIEW

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Writer: Scott Snyder

Pencils and Cover: Greg Capullo

Inks: Jonathan Glapion


The New 52 has been more miss than hit in my opinion, which has been discouraging due to the fact that DC seemed to give readers some hope that the re-launch would feature a new, improved, and exciting look at the DC universe. As a fan of Batman, I was excited to pick up my #1 issue of the series, which looked promising due to the cover showing our hero fighting off a horde of his most famous villains. After the reading the first issue of Batman, I believe that I've chalked up another miss for DC.

What's wrong with Batman #1? For me, the story seemed to start off on the right foot with Batman taking on his most feared opponents at Arkham. Fights like that never get old and they make for good reading. I applaud Scott Snyder for giving fans a dose of excitement. As the story went on from there, I felt like I was going down the same old path with some recycled story lines that were not intriguing. Withou…

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #1 REVIEW

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Written by Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz

Art by Dan Duncan

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back! As a child of the 90’s, and a boy to boot, TMNT was a staple of my childhood. Of course being named Michael, Michelangelo and I were basically indistinguishable (it helped that my favorite color was orange). When I learned that TMNT was making a comic resurgence I was obviously ecstatic, and Eastman didn’t let me down.

The story begins with an alley scene where Splinter and three (COUNT THEM, THREE) turtles, all in red masks, are facing off against a group of street thugs led my a one-eyed cat man whom Master Splinter refers to as 'Old Hob'. It’s clear that Hob and the Turtle family have some history that we aren’t privy to. Splinter, in his classic wise learned man style, tries to talk Hob out of a fight, but no dice. The Turtles fight the street thugs while Splinter internally comments on their styles and makes a metaphor to nature. We see some thugs fall to katanas, a bow …

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #1 REVIEW

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Written Peter J Tomasi
Pencils by Fernando Pasarin 
Inked by Scott Hanna
Synopsis.  Can a Green Lantern have a life outside of the Corp? First off, I like this book.  The art was just fantastic, it was tight, detailed and very well colored, unlike Green Lantern.The Green Lantern Corps focuses more on the other two human lanterns, John Stewart, and Guy Gardner.  Having some down-time, the two decide to embark on a life outside of their Corps only to find that it's not really what it's cracked up to be.  Apparently being a lantern means not having a day job because both Guy and John have a terrible time at finding work.

Meanwhile, something bad is happening in Space Sector 3599 which is  home to the creepiest Sinestro Corp Member, Kryb. You remember Kryb? He's the vile kidnapping alien Quasimodo.  Well he's not in this, but I found the information relevant.
So, two lanterns are sitting in a space station in Sector 3599 with an inmate when a hidden, or incredibly fast entity, s…

WONDER WOMAN #1 REVIEW

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Writer: Brian Azzarello

Artist: Cliff Chiang


Someone once said to me, "Brian Azzarello can't write superhero stories". I do not remember who said that to me, but the comment struck me as a bit harsh because I thought Batman: Broken City was a good story. Now I have enjoyed his non-superhero work with 100 Bullets, and I feel that Azzarello brings a gritty and edgy quality to his work. I thought he would do something gritty and edgy with Wonder Woman, so I decided to pick up the first issue from the New 52.

By no means am I a Wonder Woman aficionado. I have nothing against the character and have no real excuses for not reading the title. As a reader of DC Comics, my attention has always gravitated towards titles like Batman and The Flash. The New 52 has for some reason given me the motivation to check out some titles that I have ignored in the past.

The first issue of Wonder Woman takes place in three locations: Singapore, England, and the United States. In Singapore, we …

NIGHTWING #1 REVIEW

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Writer: Kyle Higgins

Pencils: Eddy Barrows

Inks: J.P. Mayer


Nightwing #1 opens just after his nearly year long stint as Batman.  It seems that in this new DCU, the death (in the broadest of terms) of Batman still happened.  Dick spends the first few pages thinking about what being Batman has done for him as a man and a crime-fighter while taking down a psychopath, who is stabbing people to death, on a train. He concludes that, “Now, Gotham has nothing that can scare me.”  Dick is forced almost immediately to eat those words when he sees Haly’s Circus has returned to Gotham.

For anyone who has just gotten into comics, or doesn’t know, Haly’s Circus was the traveling show that young Dick Grayson and his family (The Flying Graysons) performed in as acrobats before he became Robin.  While the method used varies in certain stories, the fact remains that Dick’s parents are killed and Dick is adopted by Bruce Wayne who feels an affinity to the young boy. Dick is trained by Bruce and eventual…

WEBCOMIC WEDNESDAY: UPDATE FOR WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2011

We are pleased to announce a new addition our our webcomic selection. Childhood is a comic that was developed by John Hudson, Jr. and is true to the classic family-friendly comics like Peanuts and Garfield. I was thrilled when John presented the idea to me because my four year-old son has shown interest in this page, but I really do not have the comics that interest him because some are too scary/violent for his four year-old mind. A title like this will be great to addition to our selection for those that are looking for something more family -friendly. Enjoy!

PLEASE CLICK ON FULLSCREEN ON VIEW THE WEBCOMIC. SWITCH TO BOOK MODE FOR A GREAT EXPERIENCE.
Childhood

GRIFTER #1 REVIEW

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Writer: Nathan Edmonson

Pencils: Cafu

Inker: Jason Gorder

In the age of the three dollar and four dollar comic books, one must choose their titles carefully. A solid creative team must develop a story that's engaging and brings readers back for more. Sadly, that is not the plan of the creative team behind Grifter.

Now, I will admit that I never read an issue of Jim Lee's WildC.A.T.S., so my knowledge of Grifter is minimal. Why did I pick this title? I was sold by the cover, which showed some promise. We see the main character, the Grifter, falling off a building with guns blazing. I thought it was cool and I am a sucker for cool covers. However, after reading the first issue, I will not make the same mistake. OK, maybe I will with other titles, but Grifter is no longer on my must read list.

What did I find out in the first issue? Not much. The Grifter is a man named Cole and he's something of a con artist from New Orleans on the run. There is a sub-plot where we find out …

BREAKING INTO THE BUSINESS 2011

It's a game of thrones.

Man, can you imagine being able to mail samples of your great writing or beautiful art directly to Marvel or DC?  You have to go to Comicon and stand in line for a portfolio review. And that line is so long you could graduate from college or pay off your mortgage in about the same length of time. So you stand there with a dry mouth thinking of what to say when your turn comes. Why is it like this?  Because after years and years of a steady diet of crap, the publishers just completely shut off the spigot.  And I don't blame them.   

Putting ads on Digital Webbing or some of the other sites has opened my eyes considerably. The number of lame applicants who over-estimate their weak output is staggering.  The number of applicants with fractured English is also staggering.

So how do you break in?  Well, it's like becoming a movie director-no two paths are the same. It's been compared to breaking out of prison-every time someone breaks in, the publis…

BATMAN & ROBIN #1 REVIEW

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Writer: Paul Tomasi

Artist: Patrick Gleason

I have been a faithful Batman reader for many years, but I must admit that my reading has not been up-to-date over the past four years. The birth of two children, adding a second job to the mix, launching this webcomics page, and everything in between has had a higher priority over my Batman reading. Life has slowed down just enough for me to return to my regular comic book reading schedule. The New 52 by DC has taken up the majority of my new found reading time and I had placed titles like Batman & Robin on my "must read" list.

Silly me, I had some idea in my head that it was going to be Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson rebooted with a fresh look at their beginnings as a crime fighting duo. Wrong. It's Bruce and Damian Wayne. Instead of the dynamic duo, we have the dysfunctional family.

I was reading Batman when Grant Morrison brought Damian into the spotlight. It made sense that Bruce would have some baby mama drama at some …

SUNDAY SONG SELECTION: 99 LUFTBALLONS BY NENA

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Everyone's a superhero Everyone's a Captain Kirk

The Sunday Song Selection for today is the 1983 hit song, '99 Luftballons' by Nena, a German band. For those of you that remember this song, there were two versions released: one was in German and the other was in English.We picked the German version because it's cooler.

This song is about how a nuclear war is accidentally started due to the release of 99 red balloons. A military commander mistakenly views the balloons as oncoming enemy fighters and the results is a Doctor Strangelove ending sans Slim Pickens. At the end, the singer of the song stands in the rubble of a post-nuclear war city and finds a lone red balloon. The singer thinks of someone and lets the balloon go.

DEMON KNIGHTS #1 REVIEW

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Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist: Diogenes Neves

DC has solicited horror comics, western comics, sci-fi comics, war comics and spy comics. So, it’s not surprising that in their huge line-up for the reboot, they’ve found space for a fantasy comic. What’s more, it looks like it’s a good ‘un.
Paul Cornell, known in comics mostly for the recent Lex Luthor led run Action, spends most of the issue laying the scene and introducing the protagonists: our Demon Knights. He paces the whole thing quite effectively, so that there’s more than you’d think packed into the twenty pages, though it doesn’t feel remotely slow or over talky. The crisp art of Diogenes Neves helps with the pace, with big bold images, whose detail does not detract from the viewing experience.
In fact, the scenes rush by quite quickly, introducing us to named cast - primarily Jason Blood and his alter-ego, the Demon Etrigan and his lover, Madame Xanadu. These two (or three, depending on your point of view) were cast together after t…

SUICIDE SQUAD #1 REVIEW

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Writer: Adam Glass
Artists: Federico Dallocchio, Ransom Getty, and Scott Hanna
I wasn’t sure how I felt about Suicide Squad at first because I wasn’t familiar with them before the reboot, but I figured I didn’t have an excuse not to jump on board. Overall, it was a good decision. The Suicide Squad consists of mostly non-famous characters, including Harley Quinn, Deadshot, El Diablo, and King Shark.

The first issue starts off with a brutal torture session where someone is trying to get the team to admit who's their leader. There are plenty of interesting panels and the characters are introduced as they are tortured. Harley and Deadshot have their backgrounds explained through flashbacks. The dialogue between the characters and their captors is great because some of it is funny, some of it is deep, and some of it is personal.

How did the end of in this situation? Somehow, they ended up on the team by being “volunteered” to assassinate a guy. During the hit, a bomb goes off, knocking …

ANOTHER GREEN LANTERN #1 REVIEW

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Writer Geoff Johns
Artist Doug Mahnke
Everyone seems to be going crazy about the New 52 and I have had mixed emotions, but like most fans, I can roll with the punches. First, this title is written by Geoff Johns and at this point all I can say is virtually anything this man writes is excellent stuff.  This issue doesn't fall short of that either. The artist, Doug Mahnke, does some really tight work, and certainly does Green Lantern justice.
Unlike most of the titles in the recent New 52, Green Lantern has not changed from its predecessor which causes some alarm for a couple of reasons: 1.In Justice League #1 (also written by Johns), Hal Jordan is the Green Lantern, and in this one, he's not. 2.I can't really wrap my head around how everything else has changed in the DC universe but this has stayed the same. 
Inconsistencies aside, the book starts where Green Lantern #67 left off. Hal Jordan has been outcast from the Green Lantern Corps, and his replacement, as chosen by the Sen…

CHAMPION CITY SHENANIGANS: KAV RAPS

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From time to time, you will be able to enjoy some video shenanigans from the Champion City Comics staff. Today, A. Kaviraj, our resident artist, writer, and guru, raps about the dangers of drinking and driving. Enjoy.

GREEN LANTERN #1 REVIEW

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Writer: Geoff Johns

Art: Doug Mahnke

Green Lantern #1, written by Geoff Johns (52, Blackest Night, Flashpoint) and art by Doug Mahnke (The Mask), begins following the events of the War of the Green Lanterns. Sinestro has been reinstated as a Lantern while Hal Jordan has been stripped of his ring and rank. This story focuses on both Jordan and Sinestro.

Sinestro finds himself in a no-win situation. The Guardians have chained him down until he says the oath and is told in no uncertain terms that he is expected to “protect his sector”. Sinestro takes to the stars and returns to his home planet of Korugar where he discovers that the Sinestro Corps have enslaved his people. After a brief, yet intense fight with a corps member in space (All I’ll say is garrotte construct) Sinestro jets to the stars.

Meanwhile on Earth, Hal Jordan is having a tough time due to the fact that he has no money, no job, and no apartment. He has a run-in with Carroll Ferris that sets a tone for his charact…

KAV & TONY BREAK IT DOWN: ACTION COMICS #312 'SUPERMAN, KING OF THE EARTH' (PAGES 5 TO 8)

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Ladies and gentleman, we are still reviewing Action Comics #312! If you missed the first part of this segment, then go back and check out what you missed.

CLICK ON EACH IMAGE TO VIEW THE PAGE
PAGE 5
Kav: OK the Planet staff go out on Perry's yacht for a secret meeting. They go out on the yacht to get away from Superman's prying eyes.....uh....guys? Superman can see a space gnat coughing in a distant solar system. Superman states that he no longer patrols Metropolis for fear of being assassinated by kryptonite. Suggestion: since there's so much kryptonite on Earth, just give each resident a piece because Superman's reign would be short.

Tony: Clark complains in the first panel that the Superman symbol is a sign of tyranny. We know that evil Superman will be defeated, but why would Clark use the old symbol after evil Superman was defeated? I'm still dumbfounded that the Daily Planet staff decided that a meeting on a little yacht was a good idea. Why not meet on a …

WEBCOMIC WEDNESDAY: UPDATE FOR SEPTEMBER 14, 2011

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My apologies for the late post, but that's life in the Champion City. This week, we have two new pages for Dr Death vs The Zombie. Doctor Death and Phreaker survived an attack from the vampires, but the hunt continues for the zombie and for their mystery man, Jesse.

Ladies and gentleman, you are missing an action-packed webcomic so I urge you to check out Dr. Death vs The Zombie because you will not be disappointed.


CLICK ON EACH IMAGE TO VIEW



ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #160 REVIEW

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Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis           
Artist:  Mark Bagley
What can I say about this issue? First, I'm filled with doubt concerning the actual death of our beloved Peter Parker.  I recently read 160 issues of this franchise and am not buying the “death” angle. In the Ultimate Universe, Peter Parker is a sixteen year-old, which is something I rather liked, because all the wise cracks, and constant drama could only happen to a teenager. This Peter Parker is incredibly likeable and throughout the entire 160 issues, he has been thrust into situations which I don't think Stan Lee ever envisioned.  Bendis does a superb job of re-creating Peter Parker, and at the end of the issue, even though the doubts run rampant, you have a hard time knowing he's going to die, albeit quite unconvincing. 
Before I review this issue, I will provide a brief back-story, and I'll do this with minimal spoilers, because you should really be reading it instead of using the Cliffs Notes version f…

BATGIRL #1 REVIEW

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Writer: Gail Simone


Artist: Adrian Syaf


Before I say anything else, let’s all just agree that if you were going to fix Barbara Gordon’s legs and make her Batgirl again, the writer you’d want for the series is Gail Simone. It’s not just that they’re both red-heads, it’s that Simone has been the main driving force behind the character’s very many high points through the later half of her Oracle career in Birds of Prey. And while you can argue about whether ending such an effective and unique character (as well as the fun Stephanie Brown Batgirl) is good thing, if you’re going to do it, get Gail Simone.


Simone is writing about a slightly different Barbara Gordon to the one we left only a week ago. This Babs was still shot and crippled by the Joker (a scene that gets its almost obligatory replay) some time in the recent past, and spent three years as a paraplegic, with no reference to any career as Oracle - though this might just be an omission. She’s now donning the Batgirl c…