Archive for the ‘comics’ Category

10 Years and 100 Bullets

July 18, 2009

It is in my opinion, one of the greatest pieces of literature in any form. The (un)lucky 13th volume of Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso’s 100 Bullets came out last Wednesday and after 10 years it’s all over. Published by DC Comics and their mature imprint, Vertigo, 100 Bullets is my all-time favorite comic book/graphic novel of all time. It’s rich in fantastic dialogue, engrossing art and some of the most memorable characters ever printed.

I should start by saying that I’ve been a comic geek most of my life. I was introduced to them by my big brother when I was a kid. I fell out of it for a long while, but then picked up a graphic novel called Split Second Chance. It was volume 2 of 100 Bullets. I admit it didn’t swoon me right away. But when my brother brought home volume 5, The Counterfiifth Detective I was hooked. I was lost and wanted to be found.

The set-up was simple: Agent Graves gives you a briefcase. In it, a picture of someone and irrefutable evidence that the poor schmuck pictured made your life shit. Also, the means for revenge in the form of 100 untraceable bullets and carte blanche from any and all forms of law enforcement. But as the story got deeper, it was about way more than that. You see America was built on blood. 13 families created a “Trust” to control the power in the country and in order to maintain that trust they implemented a system: 7 men would make sure that the Trust stayed in line and if any moves were made against a member by a member, Agent Graves and the Minutemen would deal with that house. A Mr. Shepherd acted as a liaison between the Trust and the Minutemen giving orders to them when needed.

Seems fair right? Wrong because it gets rough. The Trust decides that the Minutemen are obsolete and decide to betray them. Graves doesn’t like it and hides his Minuteman into society with the intent of “waking them up” when he needs them. A review of all 13 volumes lies head after the jump.

13 Volumes, 100 Bullets

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Review: Justice League of America # 0-12

August 15, 2007

Today Justice League of America #12 came out and with its release ended Brad Meltzer‘s run on the book. When I first heard he and artist Ed Benes were relaunching the book after the God awful Infinite Crisis I was excited mostly due to Meltzer’s previous DC work, Identity Crisis. Issue 0 was mostly about situations from the past and potential situations of the future for the League and seeing what could happen made me impatient for this run to begin.

Issues 1-6 were entitled The Tornado’s Path, as Red Tornado successfully became human but it turns out it was all a set up by Solomon Grundy and his cohorts. The story had it’s fair share of action, but the big three (Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman) spent a lot of time deciding on members (most of which never even join). The highlight for me was the joining of Roy “Red Arrow” Harper as one of the Titans had to graduate. Reading Meltzler’s Archer’s Quest you just knew he had a soft spot for him. Issue 7 was a stand alone which featured several great moments including Roy’s transition from Arsenal to Red Arrow and his recognition of Dinah for taking care of him when Hal and Ollie abandoned him. Also Black Canary being selected as chairperson was somewhat of a pleasant surprise. Geo-Force also shows up for some reason.

Then the series takes a nosedive. Issues 8-10 are dedicated to The Lightning Saga which features a team up with the Legion of Super Heroes and the Justice Society. Although it was cool to see the three teams together, the story was a bit confusing and the payoff not big enough. Following the meaningless, crappy death of Bart Allen, Wally West returns as the Flash seemingly summoned accidentally by the Legion. He then joins the team in issue 10. A little late for that don’t you think? The whole thing seemed to fit into Countdown which sucks because I would have loved for Meltzer to tell his story.

Issue 11 is where Meltzer truly shines. Assisted by artist Gene Ha he delivers the best single issue of the year (thus far) with a story of entrapment featuring Roy and Mari. The art added to the claustrophobic effect and Roy proves just how much he deserves to be a Leaguer. Meltzer’s final issue is also a stand alone that works as a closing statement for him. I was prepared for a “shocking ending” but didn’t see one. The identities of the two heroes observing the team the entire issue was a nice touch and proof to how much Meltzer loves the League.

In the end there were too many dangling plot threads (Mari’s powers, Geo-Force, Wally’s return, the future stuff in issue #0) that I would have loved to see Meltzer address and not Dwayne McDuffie (who has yet to impress me with anything he’s done). Also the middle part of the run is rubbish and really bogged down the entire run. Rating: 6.5/10

Return of the King?

August 12, 2007

This was recently revealed at Wizard World in Chicago. Is he back so soon? What do you think?

Saviour of Species

August 10, 2007

Following the X-Men titles have always been tricky for me. There’s just so much messed up continuity that sometimes it gets difficult to follow. I buy Astonishing X-Men when it comes out in trades, I tried to read Mike Carey‘s recent run but I’m not a huge fan of the team (although since the Mauraders returned it’s been pretty interesting) except for Rogue. And although I loved Ed Brubaker‘s team in Uncanny he left my favorites in space. So this fall comes Messiah Complex a crossover that will happen within the X-books themselves. The art had me on board (Silvestri!) but then I read the premise and I’m fully intrigued by what’s coming. Seems that a mutant baby is born and since House of M mutants are supposed to be limited to 198 following Scarlet Witch’s destruction of the X gene. So the race is on to find the baby as the X-Men, the Mauraders and the Purifiers go hunting for it. To me this is a throwback to the crossovers of old like The X-tinction Agenda and The X-Cutioner’s Song that I so fondly enjoyed in the 90’s. Count me in on this one.