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.


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.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Secret Wars sneak!

I’d say it’s a pretty cover but it’s Alex Ross. It doesn’t need my feeble commentary. I hope the event is as good as the cover. But I doubt it.

Presenting the First Epic SECRET WARS #1 Cover!

Secret_Wars_1You’ve seen Alex Ross’ spectacular promo image. You’ve seen the teasers. You’ve learned the first secrets of Battleworld, the strange, patchwork realm playing host to countless separate realities. Now, Marvel is pleased to present the first cover to next year’s game-changing SECRET WARS #1! From the chart-topping creative team of Jonathan Hickman (Avengers, New Avengers) and Esad Ribic (Thor: God of Thunder) with covers by legendary painter Alex Ross, this 8-issue event brings together a legion of Marvel super heroes for an epic story the scope of which you’ve never seen before!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bitrot Reviews - Mockingjay!

Welcome back to another edition of Bitrot Reviews. I’m less than a week out from The Hunger Games : Mockingjay Part 1 and I just did another screening today at the 4DX screens. If you’re in Los Angeles, I’d strongly suggest trying their theaters. Normally, I’m not into gimmick screenings but this place is pretty cool. Can’t wait to hear from you if you see Mockingjay next weekend. It’s a pretty cool film. As for comics I’ve got fifteen reviews. As always, they’re scored on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1o being the very best.

Amazing Spider-man  - Issue 9

(Marvel Comics)

FullSizeRender3Everything is all about The End in the Marvel Universe. There’s this whole thing with a new Battleworld and Secret Wars coming next year. And while that’s building up, there’s the whole thing in Avengers as the world is in peril by other universes encroaching. It’s pretty bleak. Well, apparently Spider-man isn’t immune to this cross-over madness, either. This is the new event that’s been building up about all the various Spider-men (and women) across the multiverse. Or, at least, the ones that have survived thus far. There is this vampire-like dude named Morlun after the Spider-people/creatures (see Peter Porker) and they’re looking to eat these beings. His family is in on this and they’re called The Inheritors. Bad vampires who only like to eat Spider-people.

So, according to the cover and check-list in the back the event kicks off in this issue. The creative team does an excellent job in conveying the stakes. There’s only one safe place but the Spiders can’t stay there forever. No matter how awesome Spider-ham is. A lot of things happens and a lot of information is down-loaded. Still, they manage to keep humor in the story which is positive and not surprising given how many Spiders there are. I do keep wondering, though, why Peter just doesn’t call Thor and have him deal with them? That should be a short fight. The interior art is excellent. The cover is just as nice.

Score: 7 out of 10

Friday, November 7, 2014

Bitrot Reviews - Countdown to Hunger Games

Welcome back to another edition of Bitrot Reviews. Less than two weeks away from The Hunger Games : Mockingjay Part 1 and I’m a bit stressed out. Maybe one day I’ll delve into those films but, for now, just know it’s crazy. But that’s not the only film I’m working on in the news. The Power Rangers movie is getting some attention, as well. Maybe that one will be good to dive into. For now, I’ve got reviews for eleven new comics. As always, titles are scored on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the very best.

Usagi Yojimbo : Senso – Issue 4 (of 6)

(Dark Horse Comics)

24434Right off the bat, you know you’re in for something special with the amazing colored, wrap-around cover that shoes Usagi and Tomoe fighting the aliens. Sorry if the aliens thing is a spoiler but if you don’t know this 2/3s of the way through this mini-series, then you know nothing, Jon Snow. It’s a beautiful image and it sets everything up nicely. I’d like to, also, give a shout-out to Tom Luth. Luth has been the long-time cover colorist for Usagi Yojimbo and he deserves credit for his fine work.

So, the inside continues moving this story along. It’s interesting because so much of this story is dominated by this alien invasion and our heroes efforts to not only stop them but to save lives. Even Hebi, Lord Hikiji’s confidant, does the right thing in this story. It’s so sad that it took this tragedy to bring out the best in so many. However, what really dominates things is relationships like any good story. Of particular note is the melodrama involving Usagi and Tomoe which has been decades in the making. Lesser time is devoted to Jotaro and Gen’s fate but it’s just as moving. A master storyteller presenting a possible denouement in one of the greatest series in sequential art. Outstanding art. And a great recap to start things off.

Score: 10 out of 10

Agents Of Comic S.H.I.E.L.D.

I can’t believe this didn’t happen sooner. Shocking, really. Marvel miss out on cross-promotion? Never again …

Marvel Welcomes You to Level 8 For The S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 Launch Party!Your Local Comic Shop is Your Place to Be on New Year’s Eve!

SHIELD_1_CoverEnd the calendar year with a bang this New Year’s Eve as high-tech weapons, high-stakes missions and high-octane adventure come to a comic shop near you withS.H.I.E.L.D. #1 – the debut issue of one of the most highly anticipated titles of the year! In addition to being among the first to purchase and read this exciting first issue, fans will also be able to receive special items exclusive to these launch parties.

Along with All-New Miracleman Annual #1, S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 stands as one of only two Marvel comics being released on 12/31 and Marvel making sure comic book stores nationwide are armed and ready to close out 2014 with a bang when these two books explode onto stands!

Written by Eisner-award winning writer Mark Waid and drawn by a rotating crew of top-flight including Carlos Pacheco, Humberto Ramos, Alan Davis and more – each issue of S.H.I.E.L.D. teams Special Agent Phil Coulson and his team with the best and brightest the Marvel Universe has to offer. From Thor to Ms. Marvel to Captain America to Howard the Duck. If you’ve got the skills – S.H.I.E.L.D. has a mission for you!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Bitrot Reviews - Is Skye an Inhuman?

Welcome back to a slightly shorter edition of Bitrot Reviews. Still not quite recovered from my little buddy’s passing but I needed the distraction. So, here we are. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is pretty great now. I think Skye in an Inhuman. You? Eight new releases. As always titles are scored on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the very best.

Avengers – Issue 37

(Marvel Comics)

FullSizeRender2A few points on this. First off let me say this comic is depressing. In fact, many of the recent Avengers comics by Jonathan Hickman have been depressing. The basic underlying story has been about how there are these incursion happening with earths from different universe that are coming into contact with one another. The contact destroys both worlds/maybe universes (not quite sure about that part.) Something has caused this to start happening. Main Marvel universe 616’s group The Illuminati has become aware of this and they’re trying to figure it out and stop it. But they’re failing. And they seemed to have angered the rest of the heroes. There is a lot of anger and this actually feels more organic than the Civil War story-line did.

A second point is that this issue, like many others in this event type thing, feels like nothing happens. Sure, you don’t have to have people in costumes punching each other but it genuinely feels like almost nothing occurs. The heroes argue a lot. The heroes try to argue with a hologram. And (spoiler) a traitor is revealed. That’s pretty much it. The character interactions seem fairly true even if Steve Rodgers come across like an ass repeatedly. The artwork in this issue is excellent by Mike Deodato. The cover is very cool and sure to make Captain Marvel fans happy.

Change Of Pace - A Music Review!!

Every now and then, we’ve got to mix it up from just looking at comics day in, day out. For this review, I wanted to recommend a new album by “Cocksure”. Cocksure is Chris Connelly and Jason Novaks, but in case you’re not familiar with these names, Connelly’s been in nearly every seminal Wax Trax band, including Ministry, and Novaks is one of the founders of Acumen Nation. The name Cocksure is an obvious harkening back to the infamous Ministry offshoot, The Revolting Cocks.

So, yeah, Chicago-style industrial music’s been over for a while, but the influence of these artists endures. Putting it another way, I’d rather buy this than whatever slop Taylor Swift’s got coming out this week.

Cocksure’s debut, “TVMALSV” does not disappoint. Let’s start with the first song, “Skeemy Gates” – the drones in this song seem to come straight from the earliest Cocks album, evoking sinister horrors over Connelly’s Scottish-twinged pseudo-rap. Another song reminiscent of something else, but still utterly unique is “Guilt, Speed and Carbon”. A fine thrashing ride from the techno-cowboys, I’ve been cranking this one up at work every time it comes on my playlist. But, my absolute favorite song on the album has got to be “Ah Don’t Eat Meat, Bitch”. The lyrics of this song flat-out crack me up. Its got that catchy Revco feel, deep dub from Novak, and wry sensibilities.

I’ll even be so bold as to say this – commercial radio / spotify / pandora / whatever sucks just as hard now as it did in the nineties. I’ve (accidentally) turned on the radio in my car, and I can’t believe I’m still hearing
the same crap I did twenty years ago. I always had this feeling that when ‘they’ started replacing live DJs with automated boxes, that someone just flipped the switch on, and left the building. There haven’t been human beings curating the radio in two decades, so I guess it makes sense that radio remains frozen. And without actual stores for people to browse in or hear the clerks playing their favorite tracks overhead, no one knows what’s good and “Alternative” anymore.

Cocksure, to me at least, is proof that these artists are still vital and powerful, and driven to rail against
the commercial music system. You might think, oh, its been twenty years, time to send out a rehash right before the greatest hits album drops. You might be right, I mean, Taylor Swift is supposedly worth over 200 million dollars and owns eight sprawling mansions, whereas Connelly is a manager for Reckless Records in Chicago. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind a little more money in their pockets before they can’t afford healthcare, like 99% of us in the US. So why not go out and support some decent artists, and at the same time, have a party doing it. Taylor’s got enough money for the rest of her life, it’s time for ilk to go away and for music to get some of its balls back.

Cocksure, available now from

(Link goes to vinyl, if you’re extra cool)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Bitrot Reviews Skips A Week To Grieve

Hi everyone. No review this week. I lost one my best friends yesterday and I just don’t have it in me to write this.  I’ll just tell you that I read some stuff and some are worth buying and others aren’t. The ones that are:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 – Issue 8

Colder : The Bad Seed – Issue 1 (of 5)

Wild’s End – Issue 2 (of 6)

These are the ones you should avoid:

Edge of Spider-verse – Issue 5 (of 5)

Original Sin Annual – Number 1

Trinity Of Sin – Issue 1

Justice League – Issue 35

I’m sorry about this. It’s been a bit much as I need time to grieve. Stop back next week and we should have some real reviews.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Image series is getting buzz

What’s with all the buzz? I think the artwork looks alright. Maybe these people are reading advance copies and the story is good?  I guess.

f5d8c229-e4aa-4dfd-83f7-bccfbad5ca53DRIFTER REVEALS EARLY ARTWORK
The new dark sci-fi series has the industry abuzz
“Before their untimely deaths, the great Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein produced one final, amazing comic.” —Jonathan Hickman

Image Comics is pleased to reveal early artwork from writer Ivan Brandon (Wolverine,Men of War) and artist Nic Klein (Captain America, Thor), from their new, dark sci-fi series, DRIFTER. The ongoing series will launch with issue #1 on 11/12 and final order cutoff deadline for retailers is 10/20.In DRIFTER, mankind has spread across the universe in a frantic rush to survive and has colonized and strip-mined countless planets in the process. Abram Pollux barely survives a crash landing on Ouro, a lawless backwater world where life is cheap. This world’s unique properties set the stage for a story that combines the dark wonder of a strange and alien landscape with the struggles of an abandoned and lawless frontier town.Praise for DRIFTER:

The Marvel House Of Recycled Idea Part 2

I posted a piece, yesterday, about how Marvel seems to be recycling old event stories. Here are two more:

Armor_Wars_2015Here is one based on the Iron Man Event that ran through his series in the 80s. There was this whole thing where Tony Stark realized that his technology was being used by the bad guys and he goes all emo and tries to stop all of those villains. Here is Wikipedia’s breakdown:
While “Armor Wars” is the popular name for the storyline and is the name used for the trade paperback collection, the actual story is referred to as “Stark Wars” within the issues themselves. The source of the name “Armor Wars” stems from the fact that the storyline was advertised in other Marvel titles with full page ads reading: “TIME FOR THE AVENGER TO START AVENGING. THE ARMOR WAR BEGINS IN IRON MAN #225.” The storyline ran throughIron Man (Vol. 1) #225 (December 1987) to #231 (June 1988), plotted by David Michelinie and Bob Layton with art by Mark Bright, though much of the groundwork for the story itself occurred during Iron Man #219-224. Iron Man encounters the Spymaster, who steals the Stark technology. Iron Man also encounters Force, which sets up the plot of “Armor Wars” in the following issues.
I’m guessing this is somehow going to be some aspect of the plot for the next Iron Man movie though didn’t the first film sort of feel like this?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Recycling the past at Marvel

There’s not much text involved in this. Just pretty pictures.

House_of_M_2015Over here you have House of M, which after I consult Marvel Wikipedia gives me this (third paragraph):

When the Avengers and the X-Men flew to Genosha to check in on Wanda, Professor Xavier disappeared and suddenly the world burned white, to be replaced by a mutant utopia where humans had become the minority ruled under the House of M. No one remembered the world as it had been, except for S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Wolverine and a girl named Layla Miller, who exhibited the ability to unlock people’s subconsciousnesses, reminding them of the world as it had been.

It’s not a bad looking cover. Even if Wolverine is there given the whole Death of Wolverine which, even The Girlfriend roller her eyes at cause the “house of ideas” is not going to give up on their cash-cow, er, wolverine just because some chairman has a beef with 20th Century Fox.

This isn’t the only series announced/hinted at that caught my attention. Another one appears below.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Bitrot Reviews - DC Movie Plan?!?!

Welcome back to another edition of Bitrot Reviews. I have to say that the birthday festivities for both The Girlfriend and myself were pretty awesome. Click here to get a brief tour of what we saw. It was pretty crazy at The Queen Mary but I like what we did. A side note first. There has been a lot of talk about what’s happening with the Warner Bros. slate of DC Comics movies. I didn’t like the Nolan Batman and I hated Snyder’s Man Of Steel. But I’m willing to give some chances to this new stuff even if I find the casting of Ezra Miller as The Flash to be baffling. I wish they would keep continuity between the tv shows. I did like him in Perks Of Being A Wallflower so I’ll give it a chance. Now, for the comics. As always I score on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the very best.

Birthright – Issue 1

(Image Comics)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

All-New (again) Captain America

I just wanted to put this up because of the cover.

A New Hero Takes Flight in ALL-NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA #1!

Can’t go wrong with an Alex Ross cover!
This November, the hero formerly known as the Falcon soars once more, recharged, reborn and reinvigorated in ALL-NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA #1! Originally revealed on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report and seen on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, USA Today, New York Magazine and many, many more – Marvel is pleased to present your first look inside the gorgeous first issue! The blockbuster creative team of Rick Remender and Stuart Immonen take Sam Wilson to new heights as part of Avengers NOW!, as he dons the stars and stripes and steps into the mantle of his closest friend.

Drained of the Super Soldier Serum that gave him his strength, speed and endurance – Steve Rogers is no longer fit to wield the shield. But there must always be a Captain America – and his trusted friend and partner Sam Wilson is ready and able to take the job. With Steve’s son Ian at his side as the new Nomad, he’ll spread his wings as the new star spangled Avenger!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Archie ... and Predator?!?!

I’d say this mash-up is borderline orgasmic. It slops the brain up with goo, making it all slippery-like.

Dark Horse Comics and Archie Comics team up for a bloodbath in Riverdale!

Probably better than the current Aliens cross-over.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NEW YORK, NY—America’s favorite teen meets the galaxy’s fiercest hunter! Dark Horse Comics and Archie Comics are proud to bring you spring 2015’s hottest crossover: Archie Meets Predator.

With writer Alex de Campi (Grindhouse, Lady Zorro, Smoke/Ashes) at the helm, with artist Fernando Ruiz, things are going to get wild quick.

“In the grand tradition of Archie Meets the Punisher and Archie Meets Kiss, we’re unbelievably excited to partner with Dark Horse to show what happens when the Predator comes to Riverdale,” said Archie Comics publisher/co-CEO Jon Goldwater. “It’s going to be a surprising, energetic, and must-read series, and we’re so glad Alex de Campi and Fernando Ruiz are joining forces to tell this off-the-wall story.”