Advanced Review of Dragon Age Magekiller #1

_20151123_202002by Greg Rucka, Carmen Carnero, Terry Pallot & Michael Atiyeah

Greg Rucka is a true rebel, straight up. This is a guy whose politics are front and center in all of his work, whose burned bridges at both major publishers by speaking out on them publicly, whose been one of the leaders in advocating for creator owned comics way before it was in vogue and who comes across as fearless in everything he does. But in spite of all that, not only has he managed to maintain a career in comics despite the risks he’s taken, he’s been one of the leading creators in the medium for well over a decade now. That’s because no matter what Rucka may say or do, no matter how you feel about his views and no matter how he may feel about you, his talent as a writer in undeniable. Think of everything Rucka’s done for the last couple years; creator owned series at multiple publishers, Star Wars & Cyclops at Marvel, The Question at DC Comics; it’s always good at minimum and often it’s straight up heat rocks, especially when he can really get in the head of the character. That’s why on the debut issue of Dragon Age: Magekiller, Greg Rucka and co are firing on all cylinder’s in a fantastic opening salvo for the series. Continue reading Advanced Review of Dragon Age Magekiller #1

The Golden Age Catwoman, Part 2: The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne

Brave and the Bold 197 Jim Aparo
Jim Aparo

Last week, I discussed the earliest adventures of Catwoman, aka The Cat. Today I shall continue my celebration of Catwoman’s 75th Anniversary with an examination of Alan Brennert and Joe Staton’s classic revisiting of Selina’s Golden Age days.

In 1983 Alan Brennert wrote “The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne” for The Brave and The Bold #197. Brennert is mainly a television writer, who wrote a handful of comics, most prominently some Batman tales. One of these “To Kill a Legend” from Detective Comics #500, is a classic which deserves an article of its own sometime (the ending is a compelling statement on the nature of Bruce Wayne and the role of fate in his life). “Autobiography” revisits the past, presenting itself as “a very special tale of The Golden Age Batman.” The narrative conceit is that an older, retired Batman is writing his memoirs. “The Autobiography” centers on a specific incident, a late career adventure with the Catwoman.
Continue reading The Golden Age Catwoman, Part 2: The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne

Deciphering the Alien Text in PAPER GIRLS

Written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by artist Cliff Chiang and colorist Matt Wilson, with lettering and design by Jared K. Fletcher, the Image Comics series Paper Girls thrusts four newspaper delivery girls into a strange adventure when they encounter weird, mysterious characters that speak an unknown language.  This language is represented in the comic by an alien text; after reading the second issue of Paper Girls I had a theory that this text was a substitution cipher for English words.  My theory was correct – a few weeks ago, I deciphered the text and began writing an article for Nothing But Comics on the decoded language.

A sample page of my decoding efforts
A sample page of my decoding efforts

But then – doing a Google search on a translated alien phrase in issue two (“Nostalgia is death”) – I discovered that someone had already deciphered the alien text a month before I did!

Continue reading Deciphering the Alien Text in PAPER GIRLS

So This Is A Comics Convention: A Day At The NJ Comics Expo

uxm-teentitansMy only experience with comic conventions has been at New York Comic Con, which had probably skewed the experience for me somewhat. Next to San Diego, NYCC is the biggest comics convention in the United States and like San Diego, that means all the comics publishers are there competing for attention and space with not only each other, but also the film & television industry, book publishers, toy companies, video games and just about anything else that is tangentially related to “geek culture” Because this was my only experience at a comic convention, it was how I viewed them even though I know that most conventions aren’t necessary like that to varying degrees. So when I had the opportunity to attend the NJ Comics Expo I was curious enough to give it a shot and in hindsight, I feel that my experience was better then I could have ever expected. Continue reading So This Is A Comics Convention: A Day At The NJ Comics Expo

Review of Jessica Jones Episodes 4-6

jessicajonesposterMild Spoilers

Jessica Jones is a fantastic show. I won’t make too many comparisons to Daredevil because they are completely different, but one can’t help compare a Marvel Netflix show to it’s predecessor. Where Daredevil lost followers I think Jessica Jones excels. There was a period in Daredevil which became a little dry. Most fans connected very strongly with the first few episodes. Once the shock factor of extreme violence passed, there was little left to hold onto until later in the season. I know many people who started with enthusiasm over Daredevil and just couldn’t get through the middle episodes. Jessica Jones shouldn’t suffer the same fate as it’s a mysterious PI story, while Daredevil was more of a hero origin story. The first three episodes set the scene and seeded the plot’s many mysteries. The next three add layers to the already fantastic story.

Continue reading Review of Jessica Jones Episodes 4-6

Review of Jessica Jones Episodes 1-3

Jessica Jones posterNo Spoilers

This weekend Marvel Studios launches the latest chapter of their unfolding Cinematic Universe. After the highs of Daredevil Season 1 this April the production company’s results have been a bit mixed. While Age of Ultron and Ant-Man were both enjoyable films, neither matched the same level of quality as last year’s Winter Soldier or Guardians of the Galaxy. Meanwhile Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues chugging along, improving in bits though failing to live up to its potential. Now comes Marvel’s final entry for the year and their second series for Netflix: Jessica Jones. Based on the initial three episodes, Jessica Jones is a fitting follow-up to Daredevil. Where Daredevil brought a new sophistication and maturity to superhero TV, Jessica Jones dives even deeper. As with Daredevil, this is not simply outstanding comic book television, but outstanding television of any kind.
Continue reading Review of Jessica Jones Episodes 1-3


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