Saturday, February 28, 2015

Bitrot Reviews for 2/28/15

IWelcome back to another edition of Bitrot Reviews. I'm currently wrestling with the name of this column. Much of this is because I'm shutting down Comic Book Bitrot. There are a number of reasons for this. The biggest was that it wasn't getting much traffic no matter what we did. The rest was a mixture of frustration over how difficult Wordpress is to use and the costs involved. Well, neither here nor there. I'm sticking with this site for the time being. As always, titles are scored on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the very best.


Multiversity : The Mastermen - Issue 1
(DC Comics)
Review by Zach Hunchar

This event is still having an incomplete feel. Mostly because there is a thematic tie-in to events even if the individual comics don’t really seem connected. We’re getting lots of starts but I’m not clear if there will be middles and/or ends. Much like Morrison’s other events there is a Prometheus-like quality to his actions. That’s made some of these issues more misses than hits.

This one is a hit in that it was the most comprehensible of them. Very straight-forward and very fun. We’ve seen Injustice Leagues before so it’s not new. It does push the Nazi angle very forward which is great as it makes them very easy to determine sides. The Superman role is still a character that will get to the right side. You know it. His teammates are afraid of that. The art is excellent with AWESOME coloring. The cover is a blast.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Bitrot Reviews and Comiccon Registration

Welcome back to another edition of Bitrot Reviews. Comiccon International registration was this morning for badges and I slept through it. To be fair I was pretty tired. This is my second year in a row not going. Oh well. It’s not what it once was. It used to be a place that fans went to and enjoyed. Now it’s just a place where talentless film studio executives go to be seen. Kind of creepy when you get down to it. As always, titles are scored on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the very best.

LumberJanes -Issue 11

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 3.49.10 PM(BOOM! Studios)

Review by The Girlfriend

Shannon Watters rocks! I had the pleasure of meeting her at Brave New World Comics up in Santa Clarita a few weeks ago. She’s charming, creative, and down right nice. And she was open to The Boyfriend’s suggestion of doing a role call at the beginning of each issue. Yes! 

Any who, issues 11 was fantastic. I love how Molly and Mal’s relationship is growing. It seems organic. And it’s nice that they are separated from the rest in order to accomplish that. I also like Mal’s journey in this story–from uncertainty to strength. As for the rest of the gang, April and Ripley crack me up. Their attempt at being mundane just isn’t easy to do. The guest artist has a nice, soft quality to it, which works. 

Score: 8 out of 10


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Bitrot Reviews and big Spider-man news

Welcome back to another edition of Bitrot Reviews. Spider-man is the big news this week as Sony announced that they’re (wisely) partnering with Marvel Studios to help them improve their product. Less discussed and more upsetting to me was the ouster of Sony Pictures Co-Chair Amy Pascal. In the wake of the Sony leak, I found it disgusting that it was a woman who took the fall for this.

Having connections to the studio, I know she was no saint. But the problems that the studio experienced were not solely her fault and to think that all of the men in charge are still there makes me want to take a big dump in certain parking spaces. That she’s found a silver lining makes me a bit calmer. As always, titles are scored on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the very best.

Avengers – Issue 41

(Marvel Comics)

Review by Zach Hunchar

FullSizeRender2With the upcoming Secret Wars redo/reboot/homage/lazy editorial work and the return of Battleworld, things appear to be poised for change. And what a sucky change it will probably be. I’d say I’m jaded from decades of cover blurbs talking about how everything changes with the newest issue but I simply no longer believe that Marvel editorial will make changes that everyone wants.

This issue makes it extremely clear what they’re trying to do. All you have to do is look at the cover which is the same cover as the very first issue Ultimates. That was an excellent reimagining of The Avengers by a great creative team. And it was very clearly the foundation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The problem is that the Ultimate universe isn’t the 616 universe.

At least, it wasn’t. Now with Secret Wars, I’m 100% positive it will become the main universe so the movies synch with the comics. Which is a mixed blessing. Ultimate Spider-man was the best with that character, in my opinion. However, X-men and Fantastic Four weren’t so great in my opinion.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Bitrot Reviews for 2/9/15 - Tyrese We Hardly ...

Welcome back to a late edition of Bitrot Reviews. There won’t be much preamble as I’m trying to get caught up. Other than goodbye Tyrese. Also, there might be an amendment but I’m not sure. I’ve got seven new reviews. As always, titles are scored on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the very best.

The Goon One Upon A Hard Time – Issue 1 (of 4)

(Dark Horse Comics)

21206Review by Zach Hunchar

I love this series. I’m sad that I only discovered it so late in it’s run as it consistently the best title on the market. When it’s released. Which is infrequent but understandable. Series creator Eric Powell handles pretty much everything on the series. I guess that he’s getting work elsewhere to just write (like on BOOM! Studios’ Big Trouble In Little China) and I don’t blame him for that.

I know he’s planning on wrapping The Goon series and this mini may be the start of that. Goon has pretty much gone off the rails. He’s on a rampage of violence and destruction and it’s equally glorious and horrifying. He’s down but not out. It’s weird but everything happening makes you really feel for the guy. The artwork is excellent with subdued colors. The cover is fantastic.


Score: 9.5 out of 10


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Bitrot Reviews for 2/1/14 or Superbowl!

 Welcome back to another edition of Bitrot Reviews. This (hopefully) is going up in January so that would mean two for the month of January. Only slight delays are slowing us down (<cough> The Girlfriend.) It’s doubtful you’re looking for this, anyway, given it is Superb Owl weekend. Or Superbowl. Well, if you did stumble across this, we’ve got ELEVEN new releases. As always titles are scored on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the very best.


Dying and Dead – Issue 1
(Image Comics)
Review by Zach Hunchar


Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 10.45.50 AMThough fans and critics latch onto one comic book’s creator in our description of a series, we’re often remiss in describing the artistry that goes into all phases of a comic book being produced. My first instinct when I thought about this review was to lump this comic as the new Jonathan Hickman project. I’ve enjoyed his recent works for Image like The Manhattan Project and East Of West as well as all of the Avengers books he’s writing for Marvel. His style is so unique that it just draws the description. Smart. Bleak. Desolate. Efficient. And The Dying & The Dead fits all of those descriptions.


Time travel. Destiny. Violence. Love. All of these things permeate this story. But they’re not the sole provence of the writer. Artist Ryan Bodenheim has created a landscape that is equally detailed and spartan. Expansive and blank. This is further enhanced by colorist Michael Garland who shows admirable restraint. All of these things work together and build up something greater. This is a heavy story that requires attention and focus but it’s soaring. We’ve seen this a million times and this could be one of the best. The cover is fantastic, as well. Typical of books Hickman writes. There I go, again.

Score: 9.5 out of 10

Saturday, January 24, 2015

First Bitrot Reviews of 2015


Welcome back to another edition of Bitrot Reviews. This is the first one of 2015 and I apologize for the delay. We’re kind of figuring things out about this site and future plans. I wanted to get this up even though The Girlfriend might have some updates. As always, titles are scored on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the very best.


Avengers – Issue 40

FullSizeRender(Marvel Comics)

Review by Zach Hunchar


OK, so the big thing here is the “death” that happens. I’m not going to say who it is even though I’ve seen it talked about on the internet. I, like most long-term readers, no longer excited about deaths which is why I use quotes. The minute Barry Allen/Hal Jordan/Jean Grey etc. came back from great deaths it stopped having any real impact. Death isn’t the end in comic books. At least where there are intellectual property owned by major conglomerates.

Anyway, the story wasn’t subtle about the death. It pretty much telegraphed who the killer would be and who was going to die. Whatever. Given who else was there at the death, I can come up with 100 ways the character didn’t die. The issue had some solid humor. Particularly with Sunspot and Cannonball who finally have value in the universe. The art was alright. Same with the cover.


Score: 7 out of 10


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Bitrot Reviews - Flash, Arrow, S.H.I.E.L.D.

Welcome back to another edition of Bitrot Reviews. We’re still reeling from the mid-season finale of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as well as the Flash and Arrow mid-season finales as well as the cross-over event. S.H.I.E.L.D. was outstanding and it revealed some major changes. Too bad about Trip, though. Flash was exciting for the reveal but neither The Girlfriend nor I think it’s that simple but our reasons were different. And Arrow was decent even if the ending should lead to the Lazarus Pit. Overall a great week for comic book television. For the column, we have twelve new releases. And, as always, titles are scored on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the very best.

The Goon An Occasion For Revenge – Issue 4 (of 4)

(Dark Horse Comics)

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 9.06.10 PMLongtime readers of my columns will know that I’m a big fan of this series. Even though it’s published only sporadically, I still think it’s one of the better books being released. There is a great deal of attention given to book by writer/artist Eric Powell. He’s created an interesting character in the Goon. Just the right amount of depth for a classic anti-hero. The stories are, usually, very entertaining. There tends to be excitement and horror. Mixed with a fair amount of humor and just the right amount of meta/winking at the reader. Plus the artwork is generally excellent.

This issue concludes the current story-line about the war between the Goon and his team against the witches. Much of the issue deals with several double-crosses by one of the Harpies and it’s devastating. The Kid’s fate isn’t clear but the implication is. And something special happens with The Goon’s heart being broken. It was monumental and superbly handled. Plus, there was a revelation that the fight that seemed to end in the prior issue actually was over. This story was a classic misdirection and that made it all the more interesting for what it sets up. The art continues to be excellent. Same with the cover.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Great art by Stjepan Sejic joins fun book

I was pleasantly surprised by the story in this comic. Funny and raunchy. The art was always solid but the addition of Sejic is a huge step forward. This I’m looking forward to.

IMAGE COMICS/SHADOWLINE WELCOMES

NEW ARTIST ON RAT QUEENS

SUNSTONE artist Stjepan Sejic

to team up with series writer Kurtis Wiebe

69070e9e-c625-41aa-9457-83a002f31344Image Comics/Shadowline’s New York Times bestselling high fantasy series RAT QUEENS written by Kurtis J. Wiebe will welcome a new artist: Stjepan Sejic of the #1 Amazon bestseller SUNSTONE for issues 9-11.The RAT QUEENS SPECIAL: BRAGA #1 will feature guest artist Tess Fowler and release on January 14.

Sejic’s art will premiere in the following issue, RAT QUEENS #9, on February 25. The series will be monthly with #12 soliciting for a May release.

”Having admired Stjepan’s work at Top Cow for some time now I’m extremely excited about his coming on board to Rat Queens,” said Jim Valentino, Vice President of Image Comics. “He will usher in an exciting new era for one of our most popular titles.”Wiebe added: “I’m excited to have Stjepan bring the Rat Queens to life in his distinctive style, a voice that understands both the heart and the humor of Hannah, Dee, Betty and Violet.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Bitrot Reviews - Movie News

Welcome back to another edition of Bitrot Reviews. Comic book movie news was in full blast this week. The biggest was the announcement of casting on such projects as Dr. Strange, Jessica Jones, and The Suicide Squad. The Girlfriend went out of her mind with the news of Benedict Cumberbatch being cast as Dr. Strange. I liked the Kristen Ritter surprise. And The Suicide Squad could be great or terrible. Also, best wishes to the folks at Sony Studios who are a bit distracted with the hacking problems to move Spider-man related properties forward. As always, I score on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the very best.

Usagi Yojimbo : Senso – Issue 5 (of 6)

(Dark Horse Comics)

24435I’ll confess I read this issue with a bit of hesitation. Perhaps a bit of sadness creeped in as blasted through the pages. The feelings I think stem from the sense of finality that is coming through in this story-line. It’s set in the future. Major characters have already died. Somewhere in all of this hints the idea of a possible happy-ending for some of the characters. And then take into consideration everything that is happening with creator Stan Sakai’s home life. Everyone at Comic Book Bitrot offers our condolences to Mr. Sakai. I had the pleasure of meeting both Stan and Sharon and they were lovely humans.

This particular issue may have been the weakest of the series. Much of this was because it felt rushed and things unfolded suddenly. The section involving the Komori Ninja and Buichi Kubo sort of came out of nowhere. There was high drama and tragedy but it still felt out of sorts with the other story. And Usagi’s relationship change with Tomoe seemed abrupt. That being said, it was still excellent. It was exciting and heroic. The artwork is fantastic, as always. The cover is excellent, as well. Even if I wonder if the next issue will be the very last issue.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Jem And The Holograms?!?!

I’ll read this just for Ross Campbell’s artwork! It does look a bit different than the 80s cartoon.  But progress! And girl-bands!

JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS Get A Comic Book Series That Is Truly Outrageous! 

It’s Showtime (Synergy) At IDW Publishing

d6016760-12a7-4024-afbf-a31ab6d409a0San Diego, CA (December 2, 2014) – IDW Publishing is excited to expand its long relationship with Hasbro and welcome JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS to the world of comic books. Starting in March 2015, Jem and company will star in their first ongoing series! The creative team bringing this world full of fashion, art, action, and style to life is writer Kelly Thompson (Storykiller, The Girl Who Would Be King) and artist Ross Campbell (Glory, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), with subscription covers by Sara Richard (My Little Pony, Kitty and Dino).
It’s the 21st century, and Jem and The Holograms are 21st century girls! Meet Jerrica Benton, the gifted singer of The Holograms, a band that has the right look and the right sound… But one thing is holding them back—Jerrica’s crippling stage fright. Luckily, Jerrica is about to find help in the most unlikely of places when she discovers a forgotten present left by her father. And what she finds is truly outrageous!

“As a kid I was a huge fan of the original 80’s JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS cartoon and so the chance to breathe new life into it for a savvy modern audience, not to mention to work with Ross, an artist practically destined to draw this book, is really a dream come true,” said series writer, Kelly Thompson.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bitrot Reviews Last Of Mockingjay

Welcome back to a post-Thanksgiving edition of Bitrot Reviews. Did you survive Black Friday? I hope so. Did you do anything fun? The Girlfriend and I and a friend (The Doctor) went to see The Theory Of Everything. Very solid movie even if Jane Hawkings seemed a bit one-dimensional. Beautiful film and well crafted. Also, congrats to the USC Trojans for beating Notre Dame. Fight On. I hope to get back into a real routine now that The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 is almost done. Eleven titles reviewed this week. As always, titles are scored on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the very best.

Lumberjanes – Issue 8

(BOOM! Studios)

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 6.25.26 PMThis is quickly becoming a favorite with some of the team at CBBR. I’m digging this series and The Girlfriend seems to love it. Not sure about Derek but my expectation is he’d be indifferent. Which isn’t a big deal. This book is solid. Let’s start with The Girlfriend’s thoughts:
At the heart of this story is true friendship and love. The campers are strong willed individuals, yet they shine when they work together. The art is fun and fits well with the story. I still would like a recap at the beginning…as my mind is going in my old age. Because, I could have sworn that the body that Artemis inhabited was Jo’s sister. I could be wrong. If not, it seemed odd that she left with her dad…a cow. Anyway, that was the only confusing part. The rest of the story was enjoyable (although a little predictable) and a fast read.
There are moments in this series where I truly wish that the creative team did a better job with things like recaps and roll-calls. Each character is pretty fleshed out but I still have the worst time with names. And I can’t always recall what happened in prior issues. They do a decent job of incorporating the past events in the new issues but it really demands you be up on the series. The family stuff was fine, even if it seemed a little understated. The adventure and humor is as top-notch as usual. And the Janes are heroes, straight out. And that’s fun. Quirks abound but at their heart is good, caring young women. The art is solid. Same with the cover. Can’t wake for the next arc.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hinges isn't Wayward

Even though it sort of feels like it.


EXPLORE A CLOCKWORK CITY IN HINGES
A fantasy graphic novel that readers can get wound up over

2687b135-55a4-4d1c-8c11-67881d24b40bNew to Image Comics this February, comes Meredith McClaren’s enchanting fantasy HINGES.Written and drawn by McClaren, the graphic novel introduces the nuts and bolts of a city called Cobble, where one girl new to the city, Orio, must depend on help wherever she can find it.

Her assigned familiar, Bauble, has his own agenda however. As the two explore the walls of the city, they find they are not the only new arrivals.Visually, McClaren had thought about creating a world inhabited by dolls, puppets, and stuffed animals for a few years before a story was even attached to the idea. “Later on I came to Orio, and her growth.

The idea of working with dolls meant I could explore a person’s development into an individual (from a completely blank slate to a fully realized person) on a much more expedient track then watching a character physically grow up.”

Star Wars Launch Parties?

I really hope that Marvel doesn’t screw this up. Dark Horse did some rather interesting things with the license. To be fair, they did some crappy things, as well. I’m a bit thrown off by the cover I included.

Welcome Home Star Wars™ With Epic Launch Parties in January!

The Force is Strong With Your Local Comic Shops in 2015!

Star_Wars_1_Pichelli_VariantMarvel is kicking off 2015 with a bang big enough to destroy a Death Star as Star Wars makes its triumphant return to the House of Ideas and into comic shops on January 14th! That’s right, your local comic shop is the place to be to get your hands on the blockbuster first issue of Star Wars! In addition to being among the first to purchase and read the landmark STAR WARS #1, fans will also be able to receive special items exclusive to these launch parties.

STAR WARS #1 is already poised to be one of the biggest launches of the year, and Marvel is making sure comic book stores worldwide are armed and ready for the landmark return of Star Wars to its home at Marvel. Each retailer opting into the STAR WARS #1 Launch Party will receive aStar Wars Party Kit from Marvel, containing exclusive promotional materials including exclusive variants, promotional buttons, cake toppers and more. Check your Marvel Mailer for more information on how to opt-in by 12/08 to ensure your store has these promo items and exclusives.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bitrot Reviews Mockingjay Madness!

Welcome back to another edition of Bitrot Reviews. I know I mentioned The Hunger Games : Mockingjay Part 1 was coming out in last week’s column but it’s so heavy on my mind it was worth repeating. As of today’s posting it’s pretty much number one in every country on the planet that opened it. It seems to be doing very well in the US even if it’s trending a bit lower than Catching Fire. This movie isn’t as exciting but it makes up for that in nuance. This is a heavy film but the performances are what elevate it. Solid movie. Now, on for this week’s reviews. Thirteen titles reviewed. As always, I score on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the very best.

Thor – Issue 2

(Marvel Comics)

FullSizeRender2Marvel made a big deal about this new direction for the series and I think it was deserved. There are a lot of interesting things about it. The least of which is the “new” Thor, whatever that means. But most importantly, what does The Girlfriend think:
After reading the first two issues, I’m not sure what’s going on.  Sure, I get that a woman is Thor with all the powers of that hammer he used to carry. But is the underlying reason why she’s Thor and seems to have conversations with an inanimate object that’s uncertain to me. And it may be okay. The new Thor (and I don’t believe she has a name yet) appears to be in the dark like us. It’s an interesting way to let the story unfold. And a refreshing one at that…as long as the writer doesn’t screw up the payoff. I enjoy the artwork too. They created a female character who looks like she can kick ass instead of frail. (I hate toothpick leg on women. It’s unrealistic for a healthy one to have.) So, I hope Marvel can pull off a strong and realistic woman I’m their universe. Read on!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bluewater and Bono!

Full disclosure, I’ve written for Bluewater Productions in the past and I’m good friends with the publisher which is why I usually don’t review their comics.

However, this one seemed like a fun topic and I found the cover to be fairly solid looking.

BONO GETS THE COMIC BOOK TREATMENT

FameBonoBluewater Productions is proud to announce the release this week of a comic book biography on the life of Bono as part of their popular Fame series. Fame: Bono is available in both print and digital. Written by Michael L. Frizell with interior art by Jayfri Hashim, Fame: Bono features cover by famed rock artist David Frizell.

As the lead singer of U2, Bono electrifies audiences with his dynamic stage presence, while his electrifying persona draws people to social causes that concern all of us. His story is born from a divided Ireland and the dueling nature of the rock star live versus a devout faith.

“Bono is a fascinating artist. Equal parts rock star, goodwill ambassador, and humanitarian, his work has stood the test of time,” said writer Frizell.