Monday, October 31, 2011

THE FLASH #2 REVIEW



Writers: Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato

Art: Francis Manapul


Warning: This review contains spoilers


As a big fan of The Flash,my first impression of Flash #1 by Francis Manapul and Brian Brian Buccellato was a less-than-memorable issue. The owner of my local comic book store said it best when he told me, "Yeah, I read that issue but remember nothing about it at all." My thoughts exactly. Of all the New 52 #1 issues I had purchased, it was Flash #1 that I could not remember that well. It is sad to have to re-read one of your favorite characters' debut titles to refresh your memory. I like to re-read my comics because they are amazing works of writing and art. I know the fanboys are going to want to know why I have a negative opinion of the first issue, so allow me to share my personal opinion. Let me give you a quick overview of my displeasure. The first issue of The Flash was an unimpressive debut where Barry Allen went head-to-head with an army of clones that looked like a second rate version of Cobra commandos. Not only were the villains unimpressive, but the story itself was in my opinion a slow page turner that did not end with me thinking, "Wow, I have got to see what happens next!" Instead, my thoughts were, "Wow, hopefully they get it together with the next issue."

Manapul and Buccellato have rebounded with Flash #2 which has given me a glimmer of hope for this title. While some issues with the story have improved there are some problems in my opinion that have the story somewhat stuck in a problematic state which is fixable. First, let's discuss the villains. They are clones which were created from one of Barry Allen's good friends named Manuel and those clones have taken him hostage. The Flash is fighting clones and while they are large in numbers, the Fastest Man Alive has no problem using his speed to knock them out one by one. The first few pages of Flash #2 shows us how this should be an easy victory for our hero. However, the way he is halted is disappointing. The clone leader says they have taken Iris West hostage, so they tell The Flash to stand there and count to one thousand while they run away with Manuel. Stop the presses. The Flash can move a great distance in the blink of an eye and he should be able to call these guys out on their bluff. However, he doesn't and finds out it was all a lie when Iris calls. Hey genius, use your speed to get out of their view and call Iris or even run around the city to see if she is fine. Also, why didn't The Flash do something drastic like break the legs of his enemies? If you are fast and fighting a group in numbers then immobilize them by any means necessary. The Flash does not do that and he allows his enemies to regroup and cause more havoc. I'll admit that I'm warming up to the clones because they know they are dealing with someone they can toy with and they seem to create some devious problems for our hero. 

My second issue is that we seem to have a slight overload of secondary characters. Apparently, Manapul and Buccellato have decided to introduce to us every person Barry Allen knows in the city. Instead of a trickle of introductions to establish the characters for the sake of new readers we have to keep up with Barry going from co-worker to co-worker and friend to friend for assistance and advice. Yes, The Flash lives a fast-paced life and I understand that completely. However, it is easy for certain elements of the plot to get lost when we jump around too much and not establish various sub-stories within a plot. 

My last problem is that The Flash of The Justice League series by Geoff Johns appears to be more complete as a hero than the hero in training that we see in Manapul and Buccellato's story. What is more frustrating is that the Johns Justice League supposedly takes place five years before this story. 

You may be wondering if I have anything positive to discuss. I do and it is the artwork, which is beyond impressive this issue. For some reason, Manapul's work did not impress me with the first issue, but there are some incredible panels with the second issue that gives me the glimmer of hope. I shouldn't say glimmer. There is more than that with the artwork alone. My first "wow" moment was the credits page where we have a long red panel of The Flash fighting the clones. That was very well done. Beautiful work. There is a moment in this issue where Barry realizes that his thought patterns can move quickly just like his body and we are treated to a cool panel of Barry going to a higher level of awareness. Manapul also delivers an awesome pair of pages where Barry is using this new found awareness to take care of a series of problems in the city. Also, the last page of this issue was well done. You want a cliffhanger of an image and Manapul gives you that with The Flashing experiencing a major "Oh, hell..." moment.  

I also enjoyed how issue two ended. Those crazy clones have created some major problems for The Flash and after reading this issue, I thought to myself, "Wow, I have got to see what happens next!"






TonyDoug Wright is the owner and editor of Champion City Comics. His webcomics include Dr Death vs The Zombie, The End of Paradise, and Day 165.
 

AQUAMAN #2 REVIEW




Writer: Geoff Johns

Pencils: Ivan Reis

Warning: This review contains spoilers!

"Haters gonna hate" is an appropriate statement for some Aquaman sentiment prior to the launch of the New 52 by DC Comics. I'll fully admit that I was a hater due to the fact that I had read some Aquaman comics from the 1980s and 90s that were less-than-interesting. The New 52 launch changed everything for me. After I read an impressive first issue and purchased an even more impressive Aquaman #2 I have shredded my Aquaman Haters Club Card. Writer, Geoff Johns, and penciller, Ivan Reis, have a winner and they've gone from a humorous well-paced first issue to a thrilling action-packed second.

Aquaman #2 begins with the freakish evil sea beings that are in search of food. Fortunately, they find a ship out at sea and are pleased to find the food they are looking for, which is the crew. The ship returns back to a harbor sans the crew and the local authorities search for Aquaman to solve the crime. Not only do we have the local authorities, but it seems that the Coast Guard and Navy are brought in as well to investigate. Mera is still with Aquaman, so both assist with the investigation despite some wisecracks from some of the authorities. The evil sea beings attack and we are treated to an awesome battle. Aquaman #2 ends with one of the creatures trying to take Aquaman back to their lair at the bottom of the ocean.

Kudos to Geoff Johns for a great issue that has plenty of action. The Aquaman jokes are not as abundant in this issue but I believe that he is in slight danger of going to the well one too many times for a laugh at the expense of Aquaman. Yes, Aquaman has been the punchline to many jokes and the joking continues with this series. However, I do understand the idea behind the joking, which is to establish Aquaman as a superhero that should be respected. Also, I am pleased with the way Johns has added the Aquaman biography to the first two issues. There are many readers that are not familiar with the story of Aquaman, and Johns does do a great job of adding the back-story to get new readers acquainted.

The artwork by Ivan Reis is very impressive and I really enjoyed his splash page that showed the investigation scene at the harbor. But the best of his work was placed on the cover because we area treated to a big close-up of one of the big ugly bastards that are fighting Aquaman. I loved the added touch where we can see Aquaman in the pose from the first issue in the reflection of the sea creature's eyes. Very nice, Mr. Reis.

Those 2012 apocalypse people might be right due to the fact that I am excited to see the third issue of Aquaman.


TonyDoug Wright is the owner and editor of Champion City Comics. His webcomics include Dr Death vs The Zombie, The End of Paradise, and Day 165.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

SUNDAY SONG SELECTION FOR OCTOBER 30, 2011: 'HALLOWEEN' BY THE MISFITS

The Song of the Day concept did not go over well, so I've decided to bring back The Sunday Song Selection. Let's get in the Halloween spirit with The Misfits.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #3 REVIEW


Writer: Kevin Eastman & Tom Waltz

Art: Dan Duncan

Warning: This review contains spoilers.

We dive again into the story as Casey Jones and Raphael patrol the streets bringing justice to the world one purse snatcher at a time. Meanwhile, his brothers train themselves to confront Old Hob and his men if they should cross paths again, and continue their search for their lost brother. We flashback to the final moments of the turtles lives as test subjects. They’ve been removed from their facility by ninjas and one turtle was carried off by an alley cat that looks suspiciously like a one eyed feline villain we know. Splinter maneuvers a tricky rescue and saves three turtles, but at the cost of everyone getting covered in mutegen, and the alley cat losing an eye (I called it the first issue! Check if you don’t believe me. I DARE YOU). Splinter comes around and realizes he can talk, and is in his current state. On a rooftop, just before a patrol the three brothers have it out over the, as of yet, unfruitful search for Raphael. Leo refuses to believe that Raph might be dead, and Mikey and Don at least persuade him to do a little more than just look for Raph. As Mikey puts it, “Let’s go kick some ass, take names, AND find Raphael! Win-Win!” Somewhere in the city Raph and Casey stop to get hotdogs and are accosted by two men supposedly fleeing from the cops. As they give chase they fall into a trap set by none other than Old Hob.

I was worried that this new telling, which is very obviously different than the beloved cartoon I grew up with, wouldn’t sit well with me; that I wouldn’t be able to separate the two. I have to say that, other than their names, I forget all about the cartoon once I start reading the issues. I’m being introduced to the story all over again. And I love it.

I’ll say that I think Raph needs to be found in the next issue. I’m running out of patience, and the suspense is starting to get drug out. It’s still tolerable, but I think I can only handle one more issue of it. I like Old Hob as a villain for now. I think he makes a good training villain, a neighborhood Shredder. Something to prepare them for their ultimate enemy.

The art is still spot on in this issue. I’m still having some trouble differentiating which is which when their weapon’s aren’t visible, but that’s still a semi minor complaint.

Overall the turtle’s return to action is into it’s third issue and still continues to be a strong book. Unless they start trying to drag it out I can’t see missing this book in the near future.

4.5 out of 5


Michael Knoll is a contributing writer at Champion City Comics

GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS #2 REVIEW



Writer: Tony Bedard

Artist: Tyler Kirkham

New Guardians picks up right where the last issue left off with Kyle Rayner surrounded by members of the Red, Indigo, Violet, and Sinestro Corps. And that’s not even covering all the RINGS. One from each Corps. The other lanterns, intent on killing Rayner, fight Kyle and each other to the death. Saint Walker arrives and manages to help Kyle escape and get to OA where he seeks out Ganthet for advice. Upon entering the Guardians chambers he finds that there’s something rotten on the planet OA. Meanwhile back on Earth the other lanterns have decided to team up and go after him, even though that means breaking the ban that The Guardians seem to have put on their planet. The issue ends with The Guardians attacking Kyle to seize the rings, and interrogate him. Somehow the rings make their way onto Kyle’s fingers and we are treated to a pretty awesome splash page.

One thing that I’m starting to wonder about is, what’s Kyle’s motivation in all this. Not the New Guardians, but as a Green Lantern. He tells Saint Walker that he sees Ganthet as a mentor/ father figure, but so far we haven’t really glimpsed much of Kyle’s character.

The art by Kirkham continues to be solid, and his respective splash pages are fairly impressive. The aforementioned splash page with Kyle wearing all the rings is ranked up there on my most favorite comic art.

The story is getting pretty heavy, and I’m loving it! At the outset I didn’t know what they meant by New Guardians. I’d heard that Rayner was going to be leading a team of Lanterns from each Corps, but it seems like they might be usurping The Guardians! Only time will tell.

4.5 out of 5

Michael Knoll is a contributing writer at Champion City Comics 

Friday, October 28, 2011

SONG OF THE DAY FOR OCTOBER 28, 2011: 'LITTLE BABIES' BY SLEATER-KINNEY

Dum dum ditty dah dum dum dum dah dum yeah! Crank this one, kids.



BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE LIVING DEAD ISSUE #1 REVIEW




Writer: Joe Wight

Art: Rod Espinosa

Publisher: Antarctic Press


Warning: This review contains spoilers.

If you are familiar with the titles from Antarctic Press then you know that they have an affinity for Manga inspired comics. As a comics reader, I am not that fond of Manga or Manga inspired works, but Antarctic Press is an exception. Personally, I have always been impressed with their work and it is good to see an independent publisher stay afloat during these god-awful economic times. Like many publishers of comic books, Antarctic Press has some zombie themed offerings that are worth reading. Battle for the Planet of the Living Dead #1 which was written by Joe Wight and featuring the art of Rod Espinosa is a another great work for zombie fans. 

This first issue follows a man named Adams who lives on a planet known as Kaiser Sigma. Adams is a blue-collar guy who works for the industrial firm that pretty much runs the planet. Adams' typical day comes to an end when a space freighter crashes into his place of work. The freighter opens and from the wreckage we see a swarm of zombies. They are attacking the planet and Adams has no choice but to run for his life. Security clears up the area but their success is short lived. It is Adams who saves the security force only to see more zombies coming his way.

Battle for the Planet of the Living Dead #1 is a great first issue by the creative team of Wight and Espinosa. Wight's script is pretty well paced and the main character, Adams, is not a one-dimensional lead. He has the strong-guy angle but also has a friendly and humorous side as well. Adams is the kind of guy you can relate to and root for in a horror story. This is my first time reading a story by Wight, so I can not determine if he's one for dark humor or not. The reason I mention this is that there is a panel that seems to be unintentionally funny. While the zombies advance on the security forces, we see the zombies throwing something at the force. What they are throwing are zombie heads that are somehow still alive and are able to chew up the face of a security force member. I laughed at that panel and I'm hoping Wight was going for humor with that one. If not, that was a swing and a miss.

Espinosa's artwork is very good. His panels are pretty clean and I really enjoyed the fact that the comic is printed in black and white as opposed to color. The black and white worked well for this issue and there are a few panels where Espinosa does some amazing work. One example is a view of the industrial area where Adams works and another great example is the panel where the zombie's crash a freighter into the industrial area.

Please note that this title is for mature readers due to dialogue and violence. I am definitely checking out other issues for this title and this one is for zombie fans looking for an awesome sci-fi connection. In my opinion this is Aliens 2 where the zombies have replaced the aliens. And this one doesn't have Hudson screaming, "Game over!"



TonyDoug Wright is the owner and editor of Champion City Comics.

'68 #4 REVIEW




Story: Mark Kidwell

Pen and Inks: Nat Jones


Warning: there are a few spoilers in this review.

I am a comic book reader that is willing to take risks on titles simply based on their cover. As a historian, a fan of war comics, and a fan of zombie comics, I felt I could not go wrong with '68 #4 by Image Comics. The cover featured an American GI turned zombie, which seemed good enough for me. Titled 'Crossfire Hurricane', this issue by Mark Kidwell featuring the artwork of Nat Jones is an action-packed journey into the jungles of Vietnam.

It is my duty to inform you that I was not able to find copies of the first three issues of '68 at my local comic book store. I wanted to be thorough in my review, but zombie mania has struck once again. While reading this issue I was able to get the idea of this story, which is the world experiences a zombie outbreak in 1968. I'll give the creative team plenty of props for coming up with a cool zombie story set during one of the most tumultuous years in our country's history.

'Crossfire Hurricane' follows an American military unit deep "in the shit" of the Vietnamese jungle. Zombies are everywhere and the military has no choice but to join forces with the communist North Vietnamese forces to fight the zombie hordes. However, the union of these two military powers is no match for zombies. The Americans are desperate for help and are willing to make any sacrifices necessary for winning the war against the zombies. Joining the American military, is a CIA operative who seems to know the cause of the outbreak, but has no intentions of sharing his knowledge.

As far as the story goes, it is pretty much a non-stop action story that has more explosions and decapitations than the French Revolution. Kidwell keeps the reader's attention and for me, I was never bored. This is typical horror gore, so this issue is not for the squeamish.

The artwork of Nat Jones was pretty good overall. He was given an action-packed script and did a good job of portraying the horrors of a zombie apocalypse. Jones had plenty of gory panels to work with and I thought he did an excellent job. The battle scenes and bombing of Saigon are very nice. Also, I encourage you to check out the variant covers he developed for '68 because they feature some zombie versions of pop culture personalities like Hendrix and Nixon.

Overall, this is a must-read for zombie fans. Think of this series as George Romero invades Apocalypse Now.



TonyDoug Wright is the owner and editor for Champion City Comics. He likes zombie stories too.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

SONG OF THE DAY FOR OCTOBER 27, 2011: 'CAN'T FIND MY WAY HOME' BY BLIND FAITH

Another late entry, but enjoy this rock classic.

MARVEL ULTIMATE COMICS - ULTIMATES #3 REVIEW



Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Art: Esad Ribic

Someone once said that art imitates life; that seems fairly apropos, considering the hell-in-a-hand basket state of global affairs in the real world. But at least the real world’s not Marvel’s Ultimates world, ‘cause boy, have problems really compounded, as evidenced in issue #3 of the relaunched Ultimate Comics The Ultimates.

Hawkeye’s back on home turf, fresh off his suicidal jaunt in Southeastern Asia (that story wraps in next month’s Ultimate Comics Hawkeye finale.) Here, and if you’ve been following the story or are considering it, know that Thor has no home, mainly because some super-people decimated Asgard and all its godly inhabitants. His powers waning, Stark concocts some stand-in armor for the Thunder God so he can keep up with all the hammer tossin’ that needs to be done, because the good guys have lined up to take it to baddies who’ve said to hell with drawing lines in the sand and instead want to eradicate all forms of human resistance. Needless to say, out of the 22 pages in the book, I’d say most of them are all high on Marvel-esque action. With a showdown a few thousand feet in air, Fury, Hawkeye, Spider-Woman, Black Widow and the SHIELD fleet are all Captain Picard about subduing the Children of Tomorrow while tucked away in the Triskelion as Iron Man and Thor vie for air superiority against the machinated horde.

The story keeps in line with its two predecessors, delivering quality story and dialogue from writer Hickman and wonderful pencil work from Ribic. If I had to ding the story for anything, it’d be over Spider-Woman’s look: take Spidey’s black costume, color it red and throw on a wig and voila, Ultimate Spider-Woman, AKA Ben the Spider-Clone in drag. I know that’s the way she’s being handled in the Ultimate-Verse, but geez. Google “ultimate Spider-Woman” and see for yourself.

Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars. Would of garnered an extra half-star, but the wig thing’s too creepy.


Brian Cee is a contributing artist at Champion City Comics. 

STRAY BULLETS REVIEW


Stray Bullets by David Lapham

It's hard to deliver good visuals and a strong story in the same book, but this book delivers. Let me stress this book is not a super hero book, it's about life. Extreme circumstances, sure, but real and complicated people, with every-day problems thrown into extraordinary circumstances. But the real treat of this book is the way the people are connected.

This book delivers continuity in a new fashion, by ignoring serial-linear story telling. It's quite brilliant. The meaning behind the name of the series stems from that continuity play. Take a line of time. Imagine time as one piece of yarn stretched tight. Now take a gun and fire a bullet at a seemingly random part of that line. That's where the next book picks up. At the end of the story, fire the gun again and pick up where that bullet hits. But the joy of the series is still to come. Every story, though seemingly random, is another point where our lead character of the book intersects another leading character from a previous story. It's a magnificent play on how each of us are connected in some way.

Sometimes as an Easter Egg, sometimes as an inegral part of the protagonist's character arc. Sometimes they are related. These cross-cameos are both intriguing and delightful. Our lead in issue #5 leaves on a cliffhanger and you're left wondering what happened. In issue #12 he shows up, ten years later and aged with sometimes new motivation. But you know the character. Sometimes the writing is sculpted so perfectly the character speaks in almost an inside joke to the reader. We know where he's been, the other characters in the story do not.

When I say you recognize the characters, let me stress it's not because they have an iconic uniform, or everyone is saying their name twenty times. It's cause you visually recognize them. Davip Lapham does the amazing in giving each character a look and continuing that look throughout the series. What I mean is too many times 'great' comic artists, with their cross-hatching and swollen muscles and fifteen satchels, usually miss one important thing which is making the faces look different. Even making the bodies less perfect and be a continuation of the personality is a loss art form. But Mr. Lapham delivers on that front too. Even the facial expressions are at par with Terry Morre; you feel the characters.

I've read comic books for almost twenty years and to this day this series is the pinnacle of inter-woven, complex, real story telling. This series has been complete/finished for over six years now, but it still holds it's own in today's market. Currently there are eight volumes reprinting issues #1-32. If you want a nice change from the over-populated super hero genre, if you want a solid story, good clean art, and enough surprises to make Keyser Söze look twice, this book is for you.



Hugh Orr is a contributing writer at Champion City Comics.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

SONG OF THE DAY FOR OCTOBER 26, 2011: 'LIFE'S BEEN GOOD' BY JOE WALSH

"I can't complain but sometimes I still do." - Joe Walsh 

WEBCOMIC WEDNESDAY: UPDATE FOR WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2011

Champion City comics has nineteen webcomic titles for you to enjoy and we have updates this week for Dr. Death vs The Zombie and The Red Devil.


DOCTOR DEATH VS THE ZOMBIE

Writer: TonyDoug Wright

Artist and Letterer: A. Kaviraj

Dr. Death character based on the story Dr Death vs The Vampire by Aaron Schutz

Champion City Comics is pleased to present the exciting conclusion to Dr Death vs The Vampire. Dr. Death has taken refuge in Las Vegas following a brutal encounter with a vampire clan. However, his refuge is short-lived due to the presence of a zombie that is terrorizing the city.

Have you been checking out this awesome webcomic? No? What is wrong with you?! We have an exciting tale where superheroes, vampires, and a zombie battle it out in Las Vegas. What else do you need?

Check out the latest pages where Maximillian, a vampire leader, has recovered from his battle with Dr Death and has encountered Jessie Santiago, a thief who has an ancient skull which controls the zombie that has caused death and destruction to Las Vegas. Check out some of our new pages!

CLICK ON PAGES TO VIEW







Writer: TonyDoug Wright

Pencils and Inks: Erik Roman

Color and Lettering: Joe Haemmerle

Synopsis: Dublin O'Darby (The Red Devil) is an international crime-fighter who works for Sebastian Coronado, the director of an organization dedicated to combating cartels of evil. Joining The Red Devil is teenage sidekick Charlotte Murphy (Kid Diablo). In the exciting first issue, Red Devil and Kid Diablo track down a dangerous ninja, Silent Noise, who has stolen a mysterious ring which once belonged to a diabolical group of demon worshipers known as the Order of Methalius.

We hope you are enjoying our action-packed series, The Red Devil. This title blends pulp classics, with fast paced action, and a James Bond attitude.

CLICK ON PAGE TO VIEW 



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

SONG OF THE DAY FOR OCTOBER 25, 2011: 'TUESDAY'S GONE' BY LYNYRD SKYNYRD

Tuesday is almost gone but I updated the song of the day.


BATMAN ARKHAM CITY VIDEO GAME REVIEW



Batman Arkham City

By RockSteady Studios

The highly anticipated game Batman Arkham City is out; and after almost 12 hours of campaign (I didn’t do many side missions to begin with) I, that is to say Batman, have stepped victorious from the abomination that is Arkham City. The real strength of this game is the sprawling map and comprehensive cast of characters. And I mean COMPREHENSIVE. Since beating the game I’ve completed a number of side missions and have thus encountered Joker, Two-Face, Clayface, Mad Hatter, Penguin, Bane, Solomon Grundy, Mr. Freeze, Victor Zsasz, Harley Quinn, Rha’s al Ghul, Talia al Ghul, Riddler, Hugo Strange, AND legions of thugs. And that’s just the villains.


The story of the game is pretty engaging and keeps you running all across the map. The main mission task involves Victor Zsasz calling random payphones and you rarely stop moving for long. I haven’t been able to play the Catwoman missions but I’ve been told that her parts are fun to play, and doesn’t seem like a contrived way of sexing up the game.

The game-play varies almost un-noticeably from it’s predecessor. One thing I really enjoy doing is gliding. It’s similar to gliding the original game, but this time you can go into a dive bomb to gain momentum and keep gliding. Also you can use your grappling hook to grapple to a ledge and immediately go back into a glide. The fighting is standard, and anyone who has played Asylum will already be familiar with it. This time around they’ve added a few more combos that utilize almost every gadget, gliding, grapnel boosting, and the various new special thugs.



That’s right, there's more than just gunmen, knives, bats, and tasers to deal with this time. Arkham City inmates have utilized crude armor and shields, making them an even bigger pain in the ass to deal with. This brings me to my first real gripe with the game. It’s really freakin’ hard. I play on normal on my first go because I figure it’ll give me a challenge but still be manageable. Wow, was I mistaken. The number of thugs, both special and normal, that I encounter in almost every main mission fight is ridiculous. It felt like I was playing on hard. It was rough and I swore A LOT.

Visually the game is stunning. It captures the grime and filth of Gotham, and amplifies it accordingly in line with the idea of a cordoned off prison city. I’m very impressed with the level of detail that the developers added with everything from decrepit buildings and ravished bridges to news paper stands and fliers littering the streets. Acrosst the bay, and on either sides of the retaining walls you can see Gotham City rising brilliantly lit, and even pick out a few landmarks.

Which leads to Riddler Challenges. I LOVE RIDDLER CHALLENGES. I love the whole game, but I love the references to Batman canon at large. Finding famous buildings like the Iceberg Lounge, or the store where Mad Hatter worked before he was a villain, and so on. It’s just really cool to let my inner comics nerd run rampant across the city. Not to mention the Riddler Trophies that now require some form of interaction. Almost every Riddler Trophy you’ll find is locked in some kind of cage and you have to figure out how to free it. It’s usually pretty straight forward, but some of them are real brain teasers.

There’s a few minor audio and voice acting issues that are minimal. During a few of the early cut scenes Batman’s voice is inordinately loud in comparison to some of the other characters. It’s like they all recorded in a big studio, and then recorded Kevin Conroy in an airline bathroom. Similarly once you complete a mission, or even fail it, the voice acting is sort of half-assed. Joker and Harley are fine, but Strange, Two Face, and Rha’s al Ghul are just a couple who lack in quality of writing and enthusiasm.



Another thing that I LIKE about this game over Asylum is that you can set custom waypoints. Similarly it auto sets your waypoint while doing main missions. The waypoint shows up both on the map, but also puts a big ole Bat Signal in the air over the location in game. I can’t tell you how much time I wasted in Asylum checking and rechecking the map to make sure I was going in the right direction.

One last negative that I’ve heard some friends mentioning is the lack of “Boss Fights”. Let me clarify. There ARE bosses, and you do FIGHT them, it’s just not quite what you would think. The boss fights in this are a lot of beat ‘em ups. You fight the 50 plus thugs, and then takedown the villain. There are really only one or two boss fights that aren’t like this. I don’t really have a problem with it because each fight, after the 50 plus guys, is unique in it’s own way.

That’s really all I can think of. Apologies to anyone who was looking for an in depth breakdown of the story, but I’m not about to ruin it for anyone who hasn’t played yet. I’m going to say DEFINITELY go out and get this game. The positives far outweigh the few negatives I’ve encountered. I had a lot of swearing, but even more fun.

Verdict: 6 out of 5 (because I’m cute like that)

Michael Knoll is a contributing writer at Champion City Comics 

KAV & TONY BREAK IT DOWN: JIMMY OLSEN #108 (PART 2)


Kav & Tony Break it Down is nothing more than two long-time comic book readers making fun of the Golden and Silver Age Superman comics. We understand that these books were written for a juvenile audience but we could not resist reviewing these classics. Please note that no comic books were hurt during the review. 


Kav and I are continuing our review of Jimmy Olsen #108 titled 'The Midas of Metropolis', which was published by DC Comics in 1968. The issue was written by Leo Dorfman and featured the artwork of Curt Swan.

Did you miss part one? If so then click here to read.

CLICK ON EACH IMAGE TO VIEW

Page 5



Kav: Jimmy buys out a movie theater and what's playing? Of course, it's another SUPERMAN movie. The Hollywood of Jimmy's world is even more closed minded than the real Hollywood. Mostly they crank out Superman movies. No Green Lantern or Batman movies, just Superman. Then he goes to an airport to shop for planes....we know what this means- every time Jimmy is near airplanes Lucy Lane just so happens to come of a flight and of course she is not expected to work more than one flight in a day. Also-what idiot goes out for a night on the town wearing their stewardess outfit???

Tony: The writer of this comic, Leo Dorfman, must have been on an anti-charity crusade because once again we are reminded that Jimmy can not give one single dollar to charity. But when Jimmy decides to find a loophole, he decides to help out his pathetic fan club by allowing them the opportunity to see a Superman movie with all the soda pop and popcorn they desire. I guess buying out a restaurant and having a bunch of homeless people come in for dinner on Jimmy was not a good idea. If I ever strike it rich, I can go shopping for airplanes at the Metropolis Airport. Apparently, it does not violate any Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules to have air traffic controllers talking over the airwaves about Jimmy Olsen's wealth. This is one goofball city.  

Page 6



Kav: This is a rare event- a Silver Age Curt Swan full panel page! And there's Frankie Paradise singing away. Check out the HUGE orchestra pit, man! Is this a nightclub or an ice hockey rink??? Lucy says, 'I'll never forget this moment', but she will, as soon as she sees another hunky pilot with a pencil mustache....that ho.

Tony: This comic may have been written in 1968 but we have writers stuck in 1958 because they have Jimmy and Lucy check out an unnamed artist that looks like Frank Sinatra and sings a song that sounds like a Sinatra classic. Those DC cats knew how to avoid copyright issues by changing the song from 'Young at heart' to 'Young in heart'. Well all know that Lucy would dump Jimmy for the Chairman of the Board in the blink of an eye. Also, way to be with the times, DC comic book writers. It is 1968 and Jimmy should take Lucy to the Filmore Metropolis to see Big Brother and the Holding Company or The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Lucy would totally dump Jimmy for Jimi.   

Page 7



Kav: The use of large panels in this story is really unusual for Swan-I'm thinking he was trying to go large to show wealth-and it works! Why Jimmy needs to take the racehorse on a 'tryout trot' when time is of the essence is beyond me.

Tony: Jimmy gets Sinatra for his lady and all he gets is a kiss? You should close the deal, Jimmy. Click here to hear what I think about Lucy. I love the portable computer that calculates Jimmy's spending spree. After all of his nonsense buying a gold Rolls Royce and hiring Frank Sinatra, he has spent a whopping quarter of a million. Why couldn't he give more money to Sinatra? He is three quarters of a million dollars away from his goal, so he decides to buy a horse. What an idiot. Yachts are more expensive, airplanes are more expensive, and commercial property is more expensive. There seems to be no rhyme or reason in purchasing big ticket items in Metropolis, Jimmy. You should have purchased the Metropolis Colosseum when you were there with      

Page 8



Kav: Here we have another mythical scene-the 'two-millionth customer' prize. Have you ever heard of this type of thing happening in real life? This is 1968 and I really doubt that for years the toll workers were making a pencil scratch for every vehicle which went by or that they wouldn't have said something to their friends about the upcoming cash event when they got down to like the 1,999,900th car.

Tony: Jimmy is slowly making his way to the $20,000 prize and not one single car decides to pass Jimmy and take the money? I would expect Luthor to come in and take the money so he could build some device to weaken Superman. Oh well, looks like Jimmy has a famous problem. I can't wait to see how this spending spree continues.



TO BE CONTINUED... 

Monday, October 24, 2011

SONG OF THE DAY FOR OCTOBER 24, 2011: 'I DON'T LIKE MONDAYS' BY THE BOOMTOWN RATS

Enough said.


COMING SOON: RAPID CITY #1

What makes Champion City Comics special is the fact that we are always developing new stories and adding more issues to our webcomics collection. Writer, Josh Dahl (Rapid City: Escalation), and artist, A. Kaviraj (Dr Death vs The Vampire, Dr Death vs The Zombie, and Tales From The Future), have teamed up for another Rapid City project. If you've read Rapid City: Escalation  then you are familiar with this superhero tale then you can see how it all began.

Synopsis: In a city where superheroes are still learning and questioning the choice to be superheroes, even coming up with a name can be a struggle. Meanwhile, forces are coalescing around them that they are oblivious to.

CLICK ON AN IMAGE TO VIEW



GREEN LANTERN CORPS #2 REVIEW



Written By: Peter J Tomasi

Pencils: Fernando Pasarin

Inks: Scott Hanna

This issue picks up where Green Lantern Corps #1 ended. We return to a planet that has had its entire water source removed, an entire amphibious race killed, plus several Green Lanterns were impaled in the process.  If you read my first review, you know I could have sworn that the Sportsmaster was behind this.  Well, surprise, he's not.  This is disappointing in so many levels but now is not the time, nor the platform for me to vent my frustration at this Golden Age villain.

A mysterious force is at work in this issue, in what I had assumed was a sole conspirator, but turns out to actually be a whole army.  After the Lantern team visit the planet Nerro and find it devoid of water, they find fellow members of the Corp impaled, and their ring fingers removed.  After some heated, heartfelt words the story takes us to an undisclosed location where we find a black figure surrounded by four oddly shaped Lantern power batteries.  Being that they are all the same, I can't quite put a finger on how this guy would have these batteries, but I keep going back to the whole green eye's thing.  In this issue, and the first there seemed to be an emphasis.  

Turns out this mysterious man is harvesting the resources of other planets in an effort to revitalize his own, barren wasteland world, and there's still one more target left named Xabas, a planet inhabited by awesome looking squirrel folk.  The Lanterns receive a message that there is a problem on the planet and go to investigate, when they arrive, they find a huge wormhole vacuuming the planet of it's awesome squirrel people.  When they get there, they are able to seal the wormhole and stop the suction, but something on the other side is trying to get through.

The giant seal the Lanterns have used suddenly erupts and then it's a free-for-all slug fest with the Green Lanterns taking on some black garbed minions wielding green lightsabers.  Someone please kill me.  I was thinking that if we were going to have such epic bad assery happening that if it wasn't going to be the Sportsmaster, it would at least be some lone super being doing this.  It's not.  It's an army of bad guys wielding green light sabers. Light sabers? 

Allow me a moment to rant, a Jedi Consular would never use their awesome powers of the force for this kind of crap.  What is happening here has nothing to do with spreading peace and harmony through diplomatic measures and studying the secrets of the force. In my time at the academy I decided that Consulars were in fact pussy's regardless if that's the path Luke undertook.  That's why I decided to be a Guardian, and wield the blue crystal in my saber. But that's just me. George Lucas is phoning his lawyers as we speak.

So the interesting thing about these baddies is that they are somehow able to overcome the Green Lanterns energy and level the playing field.  This results in a more physical confrontation which I actually enjoyed, but the bummer is what happens to Isamot Kol.  The raptor bad ass reseals the wormhole but in doing so finds himself on the other side, and that is not a good place to be.  After finally capturing the wannabe Jedi’s the Lanterns find out that the squirrel people exhale a source of element that was vital in sustaining life on their dead planet.  Before more questions could get answered Isamot Kol erupts through the wormhole, and he's missing his arms and legs.  This saddens me greatly.  Not only do you have a Raptor, but you have a Raptor Green Lantern, and now he's reduced to this.  More baddies swarm through the wormhole and we are left wondering what is going to happen now that the Lanterns are about to face a whole army of these guys.

I can not give this issue a great score.  I was really let down that this was not going to be the premier of a super hard ass villain, just another version of Sinestro and his corps.  The artwork was again fantastic, but damn this story went somewhere were I didn't think it would.  The Jedi Enclave.  George Lucas is so pissed right now.
            
3.0 out of 5.0


Bret Kinsey is a contributing writer at Champion City Comics            
           

Sunday, October 23, 2011

SONG OF THE DAY FOR OCTOBER 23, 2011: 'TIME HAS COME TODAY' BY THE RAMONES

I enjoy a good cover and The Ramones do a great job covering this Chambers Brothers hit. 






Saturday, October 22, 2011

SONG OF THE DAY FOR OCTOBER 22, 2011: 'I AM A SCIENTIST' BY GUIDED BY VOICES

It's my birthday, so I've picked one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite artists.






TonyDoug Wright is the birthday boy. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

BATMAN #2 REVIEW (SPOILERS)



Writer: Scott Snyder

Pencils: Greg Capullo

With a cliffhanger leaving Dick Grayson implicated in murder, and a flaming death sentence for Bruce Wayne on the wall, the first issue provided some momentum for the second issue. Batman #2 utilized the momentum by talking about gargoyles for two pages which at first seemed to be a bit of a kill joy, until Bruce came crashing through a window with assassin knives in all his major arteries, restricting his movement. We then have a flashback 23 hours prior to the window crashing where Batman is investigating the man who Dick supposedly killed. Gordon helps him get access to the body, by means of a scanner installed in the security cameras. Batman finds several clues that tell us the victim was a rich man’s sword trainer. His wisdom teeth bare the markings of a “nonexistent” secret society called The Court of the Owls. Batman assures Gordon that they don’t exist. Nightwing shows up and tells Batman that he ran into the man at the party held in issue 1, and that as the man was being dragged away, he scratched Dick’s hand which explains the DNA. Bat’s has already corroborated his story with security cam footage. Bruce goes to meet mayoral candidate Lincoln March and they talk about making Gotham better until an assassin dressed like an owl tries to take down Batman. Going out the window they fight, and Bruce grabs a 13th gargoyle he neglected to mention in the beginning, leaving the assassin to plummet to his doom. Later we witness the assassin had faked his death and murders the ambulance drivers and escapes. While this is going on, Batman has a monologue about how the court can’t exist because he knows Gotham well enough to know they don’t exist.

I’m really digging the revamped Batman. He’s not the omniscient, omnipotent, infallible God Bat that was starting to surface. This Batman can be hurt (fairly badly), he can be outsmarted, and most importantly he can be WRONG. The gargoyle thing at the beginning sets it up for the secret gargoyle later on, as opposed to him just landing on it and then saying that he knew about it the whole time. I’m rambling and probably a little nonsensical right now so I’ll move on.

The art by Greg Capullo is really cool for this comic. It gives it a gritty feel, and the covers are phenomenal. There’s the panel where Bruce is standing triumphant on the secret gargoyle and it’s just…awesome.

Overall a good solid issue in a good solid Batman book.

5 out of 5


Michael Knoll is a contributing writer at Champion City Comics

WONDER WOMAN #2 REVIEW (CONTAINS SPOILERS)



Writer: Brian Azzarello

Artist: Cliff Chiang

We've had an impressive run of second issues from the New 52 by DC Comics. Justice League #2 was a fantastic issue thanks to Geoff Johns' well paced action-packed comic which featured a cool showdown where Superman took on Batman and Green Lantern. The incredible artwork by Jim Lee was elevated to another awesome level thanks to the work of Scott Williams. To add to the excellence we have Batman #2 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. The fanboys are high on Batman #2 like a crowd at a Grateful Dead concert circa 1972. I'll admit I was not 100% impressed by Batman #1 but was absolutely blown away by Batman #2. Rounding out the list of great comics is Wonder Woman #2.

Holy Toledo, folks! Wonder Woman has to be one of the best titles of the New 52. I was very pleased with the first issue and was hoping for an equally strong second issue. Azzarello and Chiang have once again knocked it out of the park and I have to say that I'm working on checking out some Wonder Woman anthologies to become more knowledgeable with our beloved Amazon.

I still have no idea why it took me so long to appreciate Wonder Woman. Fortunately, Azzarello has created a series where new readers like myself can jump right in and not feel lost. I'm very pleased with the way he has developed a tale that blends action, horror, and mythology.

In this issue, we have more of the mythological angle with Diana returning to her Amazon home to aid Hermes and to seek the guidance of her mother. Along for the ride is Zola, the young lady who is pregnant with Zeus' baby. We got some serious 'baby momma drama' here. Also, we are introduced to the wife of Zeus, Hera, and her daughter, Strife. To be honest, I've never been one for the Greek or Roman pantheon of gods, but my interest has peaked slightly since reading Wonder Woman. Azzarello is one of those writers that I enjoy and he has been impressive with this title. He is building up Zeus, who we have not seen, and I have a feeling we are in for an epic battle of the gods

Not only do we have a great story, but we have some impressive panels and a very cool cover by Cliff Chiang. The cover features a giant Strife looking down on Wonder Woman who looks down in horror at the bodies of Amazons in the water. The cover may be one of the best I've seen this year. Chiang's panels are superb, and my favorite pages are of the duel between Wonder Woman and one of her fellow Amazon warriors.

Overall, Wonder Woman is excellent. Comic book fans have no excuse for not picking up this title.




TonyDoug Wright is the owner and editor at Champion City Comics.






SONG OF THE DAY FOR OCTOBER 21, 2011: 'LOW SPARK OF THE HIGH HEELED BOYS' BY TRAFFIC

Today is one of those days where you need to take a song to eleven. I picked an eleven minute psychedelic jazz rock jam called 'The Low Spark of the High Heeled Boys' by Traffic. Hit play and take it easy.


JUSTICE LEAGUE #2 REVIEW (CONTAINS SPOILERS)




Writer: Geoff Johns

Pencils: Jim Lee

Inks: Scott Williams

Justice League #2 picks up where the first one left off, with Batman, Green Lantern, and Superman locked in a titanic power struggle. Green Lantern calls The Flash in for back up and Batman realizes there’s been a big misunderstanding. After a few more punches are thrown Batman manages to calm everyone down and they relocate to an abandoned paper mill to analyze one of the boxes Darkseid’s minions have left behind. Meanwhile, Vic Stone (the not-yet-Cyborg) confronts his father about missing his football game. His father gets angry and tells him that his sports prowess is nothing compared to the super humans that are emerging. Vic goes to leave but the boxes begin to show some activity and legions of Darkseid’s soldiers pour out, burning Vic horribly.

This issue definitely fixed the action to story ratio that was a little off last time. A great deal happened, in both story and action, but was kept at a good pace. I like the character they’re setting up for Green Lantern. It’s common canon that Hal Jordan is cocky, brash, and a hot head, but this is really the first time I’ve felt it. With Pre-52 Green Lantern most of his flaws had been worked out by the time I got to the comics, even though they still shone through on occasion. The other characters also have some good, discernible development as well. Batman is a tactician and, at least in this issue, peace keeper amongst the group. Flash is cautious, encyclopedic, and only wants justice for people who don’t get any. Superman’s a little off, at least in this one. We don’t really get much from him, other than him being a total badass in his fight with Batman and Green Lantern. I’m holding out that his infallible moral compass will surface in the coming issues, and his abilities as a leader within the JLA will as well.

The art by Jim Lee is just that, it’s Jim Lee. The panels are gorgeous, and there’s a two page spread inside that is just amazing in both detail and just the subject matter itself.

The end of the comic has something that threw both Michael Newton and I for a loop at first, a transcript of an interview between Amanda Waller and Steve Trevor about his crash landing on Paradise Island. Other than some insight into Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Shazam that anyone not familiar with the characters would find useful it doesn’t really add much to the experience. What it does do, that I am extremely pumped for, is foreshadow the 53rd comic to the line up that has been announced. Geoff Johns will helm a Shazam book.

Back on point, this issue of DC’s flagship book was a step up from the already solid first issue. And it’s only going to get better from here.

5 out of 5


Michael Knoll is a contributing writer at Champion City Comics. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

HAWKEYE #3 REVIEW




Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Art: Rafa Sandoval

By now you know the meat n’ potatoes of the whole series: Hawkeye’s hunkered down in unstable southeastern Asia, trying in vain in track down a Super Soldier serum recipe while avoiding The People, some super-patriots who are all about toppling the existing government and inserting and asserting themselves as the Powers That Be. Oh, and they also want to exterminate all of mutantkind. Kinda important footnote.

Here in issue #3 of the four issue mini, we join up with Hawk and the gang, one of which is The Hulk, so you see where this is heading. The way they have it figured is if the gang sneaks into the enemy fortress unnoticed and “steal” the plans telepathically, no harm’s done. “Hulk” and “covert” are practically antonyms, so there’s plenty of resulting property damage until a mystery man sends the big grey mass down to his knees. Yeah.

Meanwhile, Hawkeye and the squad find out what they want to steal might be practically given to them by another shadowy figure. Might’s the keyword, so there’s gotta be a catch, and rest assured you’ll catch it in November’s final issue.

On the good side, everything remains the same: Hickman moves the story along well, dashes of action throughout. On the bad side, I’m still not a huge fan of artist Sandoval’s Hawkeye; instead of a former Olympic archer, he looks like steroidal boy-band member with facial expressions that him look like he’s always chewing gum. Gum he doesn’t particularly care for, either. When he’s not looking that way, he wears a “who farted” grimace. Otherwise, everything looks presentable, especially backgrounds, something I feel is one of Sandoval’s strengths. One thing to nitpick and I’ve never mentioned in the reviews of the two previous issues, but in the book Hawkeye uses a recurve bow; in the excellent covers by Kaare Andrews, he’s using a tech-heavy compound which looks as cool as all get out. The latter better suits the “ultimate” style of the character’s all I’m saying.

Not the best issue in the series (so far) but still a vital piece to the overall storyline.

Verdict: 3 out of 5 stars.



Brian Cee is a contributing writer for Champion City Comics.

SONG OF THE DAY FOR OCTOBER 20, 2011: 'YOUTH AGAINST FASCISM' BY SONIC YOUTH

It's time for some noisy indie rock and nobody does the job like Sonic Youth.




TonyDoug Wright enjoys noisy indie rock

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WEBCOMIC WEDNESDAY: UPDATE FOR OCTOBER 19, 2011

Ladies and gentlemen, you should be excited to hear that we have updates for Doctor Death vs The Zombie and Red Devil.


DOCTOR DEATH VS THE ZOMBIE:

Writer: TonyDoug Wright

Artist: A. Kaviraj

Synopsis: Champion City Comics is pleased to present the exciting conclusion to Dr Death vs The Vampire. Dr. Death has taken refuge in Las Vegas following a brutal encounter with a vampire clan. However, his refuge is short-lived due to the presence of a zombie that is terrorizing the city.

Update: Doctor Death and Phreaker have regrouped since their encounter with the vampires and are now on the hunt for a person of interest. Check out pages 67 to 70!




 CLICK ON PAGES TO VIEW





THE RED DEVIL

Writer: TonyDoug Wright

Pencils and Inks: Erik Roman

Color and Lettering: Joe Haemmerle

Synopsis: Dublin O'Darby (The Red Devil) is an international crime-fighter who works for Sebastian Coronado, the director of an organization dedicated to combating cartels of evil. Joining The Red Devil is teenage sidekick Charlotte Murphy (Kid Diablo). In the exciting first issue, Red Devil and Kid Diablo track down a dangerous ninja, Silent Noise, who has stolen a mysterious ring which once belonged to a diabolical group of demon worshipers known as the Order of Methalius.

Red Devil #1

SONG OF THE DAY FOR OCTOBER 19, 2011: 'RAIN' BY THE BEATLES

The perfect song for a day filled with rain, rain, and more rain.





TonyDoug Wright digs The Beatles

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

KAV & TONY BREAK IT DOWN: JIMMY OLSEN #108 (PART 1)

Kav & Tony Break it Down is nothing more than two long-time comic book readers making fun of the Golden and Silver Age Superman comics. We understand that these books were written for a juvenile audience but we could not resist reviewing these classics. Please note that no comic books were hurt during the review. 

Kav and I decided to give the Superman and Action Comics titles a break, so this week we are starting our review of Jimmy Olsen #108 titled 'The Midas of Metropolis'.


CLICK ON EACH IMAGE TO VIEW

Page 1



Kav: OK, we see Jimmy is rich in this story. Of course any rich guy has to sit out in front of a motel watching flamenco dancers on TV with his gold Rolls Royce and a ROCKET in the courtyard.

Tony: It's funny to see Superman flying in with a basket of cash for Jimmy who is dressed like Thurston Howell, III from Gilligan's Island. After reading this first page, it seems to me that Jimmy's crib already rivals that of Master P's crib and MC Hammer's 'Hammer Time' circa 1991. Apparently, Jimmy purchased these items without paying for them first. I guess in the DC Universe one can purchase a hotel, rocket, a gold Rolls Royce, a horse, etc by saying, "I'll take it, and Superman will deliver the cash in the morning".   

Page 2



Kav: Jimmy is told how hard it is to spend money-guess Washington didn't get  the memo-and that if he can spend a million in 24 hours he gets another million. He can only spend 50 grand max on each item. OK numbnuts-don't screw this up-you need to buy 20 items at $50K each.

Tony: Looks like the 'Gospel of Wealth' philosophy went out the window with this comic book, folks. Also, I have a feeling someone watched or read the novel Brewster's Millions. Instead of doing the right thing like giving money to charity or to his family, Ron Hilton, a millionaire playboy, decides to teach Jimmy Olsen a lesson from the grave. It is the second page and I'm already at a Lewis Black level of rage. It's not hard to spend money, Ron. It's very easy to squander money on useless gadgets and junk. Most of you have watched MTV Cribs and have seen large amounts of cash wasted on Scarface and Kiss memorabilia. I'm amazed that someone wasted time putting a silly game into their will. Jimmy Olsen needs to call Charles Barkley and MC Hammer to see how he can lose a million dollars in 24 hours.   

Page 3



Kav: I guess Superman wasn't busy in 'another galaxy' because here he is working as a security guard at a dead rich dude's house. Supes explains that he's been asked to guard the money and act as an errand boy for this whole deal. I didn't know you could just ask Superman to do stuff for you. "Hey Supes-can ya squeeze me a bag of high quality diamonds? Oh yeah and go into the earth and grab me a boulder gold nugget". Then Jimmy says, "Great Supey when I need you I'll signal with my watch like"...so....uh, Jimmy? Why did you have to demonstrate to Superman how the watch works-he built the damn thing.

Tony: Thumbs down to Superman for being some dead guy's bitch. Double thumbs down to Jimmy for being the dumbest man on the planet by not breaking the rules to help the needy. Good luck wasting money, Jimmy. Remember, don't give it to homeless shelters, hospitals, medical research centers, orphanages, battered women's shelters, starving children, dying children, the unemployed, non-profits, etc.  

Page 4



Kav: OK, WTF? Jimmy immediately buys a high end 'wardrobe'. I guess this doesn't count as 'more than one of the same thing' as the rules specified...if so, stop right there Jimmy. Your mission is over. Just tell the owner of that establishment to provide '"one million dollars worth of clothes." OK, then Olsen buys a gold Rolls. This mythical car exists only in comic showrooms, to be purchased by people who just got rich. I know because I went to my local Rolls dealer and there was not a single gold plated model on the lot. So I left. PS the artwork in this issue is stupendous. Look at the last panel man. Great job Curt Swan and George Klein. This was before Google and all those drawings were freehanded.

Tony: Olsen starts with clothes and that's a rookie mistake. Go big, dummy. Buy the mansion, if there is one circa 1950s/60s, in that price range. Make sure that property is located next to a body of water and purchase a few yachts. Once you've purchased a place to live then fill it with the expensive art and high-end furniture and appliances. Then buy one of every car available at the car dealership. Not only can you buy a gold Rolls Royce in the comic book world, but you can purchase art from a public gallery. Nice. I'm sure the person that donated those gifts to your art gallery are pleased that they were purchased by some buffoon who is playing a game with some dead guy's money.  


We'll end there for today, but stop back next time to see what Jimmy does with his millions.

SONG OF THE DAY FOR OCTOBER 18, 2011: '99 PROBLEMS' BY JAY-Z

Yeah, it has been that kind of week. Testify, J-Hova.





TonyDoug Wright is a tired dude. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

CRIMINAL: THE LAST OF THE INNOCENT REVIEW




Writer: Ed Brubaker

Artist: Sean Phillips

Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips are back with another CRIMINAL story-and it's the best yet in my view.
It unfolds like a true crime book or an episode of DATELINE. Riley Richards married the girl of his dreams and high school sweetheart, the rich girl Felix. Clever transposition of male/female names, Ed. Also clever is the Betty/Veronica angle on the other girl in Riley's life-the not rich girl. Anyway Riley finds out his wife is
a ho, banging his nemesis from high school on the side. Old Riley has gambling debts and we see RICKY LAWLESS appear in this story. He plays the trickster role from Joseph Campbell's 'The Hero's Journey'. He wants his MONEY. He also helps Riley to protect his investment. So, there's the set-up: cheating wife, hubby with a pre-nup and gambling debts. He wants to keep his knees intact so he decides to kill his wife Felix.

And we like Felix. We also like Riley. Great tension is created by Brubaker's masterful character-izations. The story is spot on realistic with cool flashbacks to high school in an Archie comics style to further solidify the Betty/Veronica thing. the flashbacks actually look like Love and Rockets, and indicates a simpler time. Great job Sean.

OK Sean does some masterful drawing in the 4 issue story. As I read it I kept thinking, "I want that page". I have two pages of Phillips art, one from Batman and one from Wonder Woman. But I wish I could afford one of his CRIMINAL or INCOGNITO pages man. Maybe one day. The cover of issue one is the BEST COMIC BOOK COVER EVER PAINTED. It's done in gauche and reminiscent of Van Gogh's brushstrokes. We see the doomed Felix dancing away in a 60's party.

The story takes place in the 80's and I wish Sean had added 80's elements like zippered shirts and Duran Duran like Tony and I did in the 80's flashback scenes for 'End of Paradise'. But it's still way cool.

So basically it's the story of what if Archie married Veronica then decided to kill her for the money then went with Betty. Awesome man.

I liked this CRIMINAL so much I bought an extra set for my dad. After reading the first issue he said, "I can see why these guys are gods to you". He's right.

So: Pick up 'Last of the Innocent' and try to do what I tried to do, which was read it slowly. I wish there was some machine that could selectively erase memories because I would just keep reading this thing every day for the rest of my life.

That's a wrap.


A. Kaviraj is an artist, writer, reviewer, and force of nature at Champion City Comics. 

SONG OF THE DAY FOR OCTOBER 17, 2O11: 'SWEET BABY JAMES' BY JAMES TAYLOR

Today is my son's fourth birthday. His name is James and this song is for him. Happy Birthday, James!





TonyDoug Wright is the owner and editor at Champion City Comics

Sunday, October 16, 2011

GREEN LANTERN #2 REVIEW



Writer Geoff Johns

Art: Doug Mahnke

When last we left our fallen Lantern, Hal Jordan, his life was generally in shambles and he’d just been confronted by his long time nemesis Sinestro, who is now in possession of a Green Lantern Ring and is the Green Lantern of Sector 2814. Jordan was told that if he wants his ring back, then he must do exactly as Sinestro says. I made my disappointment in the first issue no secret, but this issue rewards my faith that it would get better. Hal decides the best course of action is to attack Sinestro by, you guessed it, tackling him out a window. Sinestro does some pretty impressive talking down to Hal before giving him a Green Lantern ring that he (Sinestro) can turn on and off at will. When Hal turns his attention to a bridge that was destroyed by something falling from the sky, Sinestro decides it’s time he learn a lesson. Cutting the power to Hal’s ring he not only stops him from saving the people, but then saves EVERYONE and rebuilds the bridge himself. Then he chastises Hal for having a ring for so long and always thinking so small, for not working to better the WHOLE planet, like he did for his planet before subsequently ruling it like a dictator. It turns out the thing that destroyed the bridge was a member of the Sinestro Corps, looking to kill Sinestro so as to take his place as leader, and Sinestro kills him. Then he tells Hal that the Sinestro Corps have enslaved his planet and that Hal is going to help him destroy them.

I’m really digging the story, and Sinestro’s long talking sprees make for an interesting philosophical read and musing on Green Lantern in general. I like the idea of Sinestro destroying his corps for giving in to their “sadistic urges” and running wild. It evokes a whole Noah’s Flood vibe of cleansing your creation from existence. I’m wildly confused as to if the ring he gave Hal is a light construct of a ring that can itself create constructs, or if it is the whole deputization protocols we saw in Blackest Night.

The art by Mahnke is pretty solid in this, I’m still digging it, and I was really amused by the three faced alien on the cover. It's the alien that brings up my only negative for the art. The cover has absolutely NOTHING to do with the story inside. I know that covers rarely, if ever, depict a panel in the book, but this cover doesn’t even show the alien they are fighting. It shows four Sinestro Corps members fighting Sinestro in space. But that doesn’t ever happen. I don’t know but it just sort of sits oddly with me.

Overall a good read and I’m looking forward to more from this story. I think when it’s done Hal and Sinestro are going to have more of a grudging respect for each other and that they will probably kick ass as a Sinestro Corps Buster team.

4.8 out of 5

Michael Knoll is a contributing writer at Champion City Comics

SONG OF THE DAY FOR OCTOBER 16, 2011: 'SUNDAY MORNING COMING DOWN' BY JOHNNY CASH & KRIS KRISTOFFERSON

This is the country music that I enjoy. Don't put Johnny and Kris into the same crowd as the pop driven garbage that passes for country. Don't do it, man. Just play the song and crack open a beer. 






TonyDoug Wright is the owner and editor of Champion City Comics.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

SONG OF THE DAY FOR OCTOBER 15, 2011: 'ALRIGHT' BY CAST

Better late than never. In case you're wondering, I'm doing alright.



Friday, October 14, 2011

KAV & TONY BREAK IT DOWN: ACTION COMICS #312 'SUPERMAN, KING OF THE EARTH' (PAGES 12 TO 14)

Kav & Tony Break it Down is nothing more than two long-time comic book readers making fun of the Golden and Silver Age Superman comics. We understand that these books were written for a juvenile audience but we could not resist reviewing these classics. Please note that no comic books were hurt during the review. 

Ladies and gentlemen, your response to our last post was incredible, so we've decided to finish up our review of Action Comics #312. Are you not familiar with this series? Fear not because you can catch up with our on-going review of Action Comics #312 by reading part one , part two, and part three of our review.

Please click on each image to view!

Page 12



Kav: Stupidman explains it was all a 'hoax'. Aliens are coming with a bomb and they will demonstrate their power by freezing the ocean, destroying a model city etc. In order to stop a 'global panic' Stupes just told the world instead that HE IS NOW AN EVIL A SUPER POWERED BEING WHO CAN DEMOLISH THE PLANET WHILE PICKING HIS TEETH!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah, dumbass-that didn't panic anyone.

Tony: This was some lame backpedaling by the writer of this comic book. This might be worse than the Dallas episode where it was all a dream. If Superman knew the threat was coming then why do all of this nonsense of becoming King of the Earth to avoid telling the truth and starting a so-called panic? Strike "Truth" from Trusth, Justice, and The American Way. He could have used the time he wasted ORGANIZING THE JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA to stop the impending doom. Did he do that? No! He made statues of himself and chased Clark around like a total dope. I would be pissed if I knew Superman was dicking around while a weapon of mass destruction was on its way to destroy everything. Thanks, Superman. Then again, this is a Superman that was developed from the mindless blob of stupidity we call Clark Kent. Remember folks, it was Kent who decided to have his ENTIRE BODY from the head down replaced in a questionable surgical facility (Hi, Doctor Nick!) after being shot by a small-caliber bullet. Stupid + Stupid = Stupid.  

Page 13



Kav: I'm still speechless from the last page Tony-you better handle this one. Hold all calls.

Tony: And the backpedaling goes deeper and deeper into the realm of awful plot development. Who wrote this garbage? I will say it again: Instead of confronting the aliens, Superman decides to do his King Superman routine because that would be less shocking to the people of Earth than an alien invasion. Who was lamer? Evil Superman or the aliens? Can this get any worse? Wait...    

Page 14



Kav: AAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!!!!!!!!!! Clark's head somehow magically reconstitutes his chopped-off body and merges with Superman!!!!!!!!!!!!! WTF??? What happened to the body back in Atlantis, then? Did it 'disappear' at the same exact time? This would really frighten Einstein, Podolski and Rosen! Apparently quantum mechanics means NOTHING to the DC writers. PS I think stupes should have kept the leopard skin trim on his cape, man.

Tony: I had a feeling it would be one of those six panel lets-wrap-it-up-quickly pages. This was awful and we've reviewed some awful Superman comics. So Clark's head melds with "Evil" Superman's body? The Metallo version of Clark's body does not meld, but what happens to the head of "Evil" Superman? It would have been cool if the head was kept in a freezer with Walt Disney's head and Ted Williams' head. Now that's a TV show, folks. Of course the meld happened just in time. Of course Superman stopped the weapon of mass destruction. Of course stupidity prevails. Yay! 


We ended this issue but not the series. Kav said he's got a piece of dung disguised as a Jimmy Olsen comic book for us to review. Joy!