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Charlie Chipman

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All-Star Batman #11 Review

It should come as no surprise that All-Star Batman #11 is an amazing comic book that I highly recommend, because as of late, Scott Snyder’s work has been second to none, and in an issue like this, where he is teamed with an artist, Rafael Albuquerque, whose artwork brings scripts to life, Snyder soars miles above his competition. But that’s enough love for Scott Snyder (for now), you’re here to read about what of think of his latest work, so here it is…

This, the second part of The First Ally, was worth the wait, and thanks to yet another helping of Alfred’s backstory – as we were promised – I’m looking forward to seeing what dark corner of Alfred’s past All-Star Batman #12 will illuminate. Alfred, I believe, is a character that is often overlooked, or, taken for granted by Bat-fans, so placing his history at the forefront of this story is an interesting choice. Regardless, Alfred’s story is one of intrigue, and thus this book works well.

Batman comes face to face with a new adversary in this issue, and their clash is short but intense. To avoid spoiling the book I won’t say too much, but I will say that this issue’s ending has me feeling quite concerned about the Dark Knight’s well-being.

Man, I can’t wait for the next issue.

9
Score
All-Star Batman #11
The Bottom Line
Part 2 of the First Ally story arc illuminates some of the darker corners of Alfred's past. Action-packed and emotional, this issue is yet another must-read from Scott Snyder.
Yes!
A relatively Alfred-centric issue that entertains
Action-packed

Kill The Minotaur #1 Review

A modern retelling that is sure to please even the most demanding of fans, Kill The Minotaur is a fresh take on an old tale that promises readers an epic experience with each turn of the page.

So, what’s Kill The Minotaur about? From Image:

“Athens lost the war to Crete. Now, they pay tribute to King Minos by sacrificing their best citizens to his unearthly labyrinth. Conspirators believe Theseus can be the hero they need to end the mad king’s bloody reign…but no one on this world has ever encountered anything like the savage minotaur. CHRIS PASETTO, CHRISTIAN CANTAMESSA (Red Dead Redemption) and LUKAS KETNER (WITCH DOCTOR) reinvent the most fearsome beast of all with this horrific tale of heroism. Each issue features 30 pages of story!”

Typically, comics like this don’t appeal to me as I don’t really like the retellings of classic stories, or, for that matter, Historical Fiction. But, with a title like Kill The Minotaur, I figured that I would give this one a chance and peer at some of the pages. After glimpsing through some of the book’s early pages, I was convinced that it was going to be good. In short, Kill The Minotaur #1 is a fantastic comic.

Written by Christian Cantamessa and Chris Pasetto, Kill The Minotaur #1 reads like a well-written novel, as one of the books obvious strengths is its dialogue work. Theseus speaks and acts uniquely and honestly. No cardboard cutouts here folks.

Pick this one up.

9
Score
Kill The Minotaur #1
The Bottom Line
A modern retelling that is sure to please even the most demanding of fans, Kill The Minotaur is a fresh take on an old tale that promises readers an epic experience with each turn of the page. Pick it up.
Yes!
Excellent dialogue work

Regression #2 Review

This, the second issue of the series offers some added insight into our protagonist’s plight and showcases a darker and perhaps eviler side of him, but despite this, there are still so many questions left to be answered. While often having questions at the beginning of a comic series, novel, or film can be a good thing, I still find myself searching for the story and asking, “What’s going on here?” It feels to me like each time a door opens, another closes, and I questioned whether I was missing the point or had somehow overlooked something, but I don’t think that’s the case.

Although there was a good deal of blood, guts, and bugs, Regression #2 didn’t have nearly the same visual impact that Issue #1 had. Is this the comic’s fault? I don’t know. Issue #1 came out swinging in terms of being visually unsettling and left quite an impression on me. I went into my reading of Regression #2 expecting to be shocked, and that just didn’t happen.

Regression #2 didn’t work for me, as it wasn’t nearly as intense as I had hoped it would be.

Still, I am going to continue reading the series because I believe that it is going to be great. I see this issue as a bit of a misstep, but am confident that it will soon find its way back to being an awesome series.

6.5
Score
Regression #2
The Bottom Line
I'm unsure of whether I went into my reading of this issue expecting too much, but for me, it just didn't work. I'm hoping though that this issue is only a speed bump of sorts, and before long, we'll be back on track.
Yes!
Still has the potential to be amazing
No...
We learn more, but not enough
Lacked the 'Wow' factor that Issue #1 had

GWAR: ORGASMAGEDDON #1 Review

Yet again I found myself asking, “What the f*** did I just read.” But this time, after asking the question, I immediately answered, saying “I don’t know, but I liked it…I liked it a lot.” Off the bat, I’ll say that this book will not appeal to everyone, but then again, who cares? If you picked up a copy of GWAR: ORGASMAGEDDON #1 expecting an intellectual masterpiece…let’s just say it’s not the writer’s fault that you were disappointed.

What’s GWAR: ORGASMAGEDDON #1 about? From Dynamite Entertainment:

“From the depths of outer space to the frozen wasteland of Antarctica, punk rock and heavy metal’s most shocking and blasphemous band of intergalactic blood spewing alien monsters has returned to kill everything and respect nothing in the pages of GWAR: Orgasmageddon!  Banished to the past by the cold and calculating Mr. Perfect, the heroes of GWAR trample through time like a deranged Bill and Ted on bath salts – antics ensue as they stomp and smash and shape human history to what we accept as our current reality.  Co-written by GWAR themselves and Matt Miner (Toe Tag Riot, Critical Hit), GWAR: Orgasmageddon is a love letter to comics, Grindhouse movies, and heavy metal – sure to appeal to the most die-hard fan and the comics fanboy/fangirl intrigued by the prospect of social awareness drowned in geysers of blood and alien goo.”

In the book’s description, it’s said that GWAR tramples through time like a “deranged Bill and Ted on bath salts,” and having read the comic, I must say that that is as close to a perfect description as one could come. GWAR: ORGASMAGEDDON #1 is unlike anything that I’ve read, and that’s putting it lightly.

Laden with violence and smart, fittingly distasteful writing GWAR: ORGASMAGEDDON #1 offends in all the right ways. Readers don’t need to be fans of GWAR the band to enjoy this series, in fact, I think that readers who’ve never heard of GWAR will enjoy the series more than those familiar with the band.

GWAR: ORGASMAGEDDON #1is f***ing Metal! Read it.

8.5
Score
GWAR: ORGASMAGEDDON #1
The Bottom Line
GWAR: ORGASMAGEDDON #1 is a bloody good time - totally NSFW - totally awesome.
Yes!
Great writing, great art. A wicked good time
No...
Readers will either love or hate this

ASH VS. THE ARMY OF DARKNESS #0 Review

Why does this comic work? Why do we need another comic book that features Ash Williams? The answer to both questions is the same. Simply, this comic works, and we need another Ash Williams property because guys like Kenny from Electronics can’t turn away Deadite scum when it comes a knockin’ on S-Mart’s door and, well, Ash needs the money…

As much as I would like to say that this book offers a fresh look at the boom-stick wielding badass and the Deadite army hungry for his soul, it doesn’t, and believe me, that is more than alright. Zero issues typically provide a good deal of insight into the direction of a series, and from what I read, ASH VS. THE ARMY OF DARKNESS #0 is exactly what AOD fans would expect—from what I have seen, this series is going to offer fans a heaping helping of everything they love about Ash Williams.

As one would expect, this issue is exactly what one would expect from a prelude to a new series, setup. Regardless, I for one am excited about the series and am eager to see what comes next. AOD fans, we’re in for a ride.

8
Score
ASH VS. THE ARMY OF DARKNESS #0
The Bottom Line
ASH VS. THE ARMY OF DARKNESS #0 is exactly what one would expect it to be, a solid prelude to a series that is going to kick major ass.
Yes!
Ash is back!
Same formula, new story
No...
It's a Zero issue

Teen Titans Annual: The Lazarus Contract #1 Review

In Teen Titans Annual: The Lazarus Contract #1, an epic story comes to an epic end with a bang that will be felt throughout the DC Universe.

The idea of bestowing super-speed—Flash-like super-speed—on a character like Deathstroke is fascinating. Allowing an assassin to tap into the Speed Force is a risky move, but here, throughout the Lazarus Contract, it worked because Deathstroke was pre-occupied—consumed, really—by using his recently acquired abilities to traverse time and prevent his son from dying, which, might I add, is also another risky move in terms of writing. Thus, with all the obvious risk involved in writing this story, I think that the writing team should be applauded for their overall efforts because, in my mind, stitching together a multi-part crossover story like this, with these elements, is like juggling chainsaws.

While I can see why certain readers may not dig the seeds that were planted by this issue’s ending, I think that it’s important to acknowledge the impact that this arc had on all three of the involved series. Sure, I don’t think that the impact was equal for each series, but they were all affected.

Big picture aside, this issue’s script was good, not great, but good enough to get the job done, and the artwork was top-notch. Overall, I was pleased.

8.5
Score
Teen Titans Annual: The Lazarus Contract #1
The Bottom Line
In Teen Titans Annual: The Lazarus Contract #1, an epic story comes to an epic end with a bang that will be felt throughout the DC Universe for some time. Not a perfect ending, but one worth reading nonetheless.
Yes!
An epic story reaches an epic end
No...
The script was weak at moments
Read Teen Titans Annual #1 Now!

Trinity Annual #1 Review

Reading through Trinity Annual #1 was an epic experience that I—and fellow readers too, I’m sure—won’t soon forget. Brimming with action and emotion, Trinity Annual #1 is an intense read that’ll leave readers begging for more.

For me, the emphasis placed on the force (fate?) that binds Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman together—as well as the touching upon of the ‘evil’ trinity—is what made this comic so interesting. Early in the issue, we find Bruce, Clark, and Diana dressed down, eating a meal together as friends, and while a majority of this issue wasn’t dedicated to reminding readers to view these heroes as friends and not just costumed members of a super-team, the seed was planted and thus raised the stakes for when things took a turn for the worst.

I was pleasantly surprised by this issue’s quickened pace; this coupled with the extended ‘annual’ length made for an excellent read.

Also, a fan-favorite from the DC Universe swings by, and by swings, I mean plays a HUGE role in the issue and, perhaps, steals the show. To keep this review spoiler-free, I won’t say who the guest is, but trust me, he creates one hell of a headache.

9
Score
Trinity Annual #1
The Bottom Line
Trinity Annual #1 makes for an epic read thanks to the quickened pace, added length, and high stakes.
Yes!
This issue hits hard and fast
Both the art and script are packed with emotion

Batman/The Shadow #2 Review

Whereas the last issue of Batman/The Shadow had me reminiscing about my childhood and loving the 1994 Alec Baldwin flick, Batman/The Shadow #2 has me firmly planted in the here and now, grateful for such an awesome team-up. The plot has inevitably thickened, and with this thickening comes a realization that there is a world that exists just beyond the pale of the one we all call home—a world where Batman (perhaps) isn’t the scariest thing lurking in the shadows.

As the story is expanding in both breadth and depth, I find myself becoming more fascinated with the thought that in this case, as the Shadow points out, it is the truth that is defeating Batman—a character that finds comfort in what is right, just, and true.

Batman makes an attempt in this issue to clarify that he doesn’t need the Shadow’s help, but as one would guess, even Batman is going to need a hand or two this time. I believe that in coming issues, there will be a good deal of time spent stressing the necessary change—evolution?—that Batman must make in order to defeat his mysterious new foe.

Steve Orlando and Scott Snyder are doing a fantastic job with this crossover—I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

9
Score
Batman/The Shadow #2
The Bottom Line
Batman/The Shadow #2 is another great issue in an exceptional crossover series. Great art. Great writing. This is it folks.
Yes!
Great Art
Great Writing
Read Batman/The Shadow #2 Now!

Deathstroke #19 Review

Much like Titans, I hadn’t, up until now, made the effort to read any issues of Deathstroke from the current series, and if it weren’t for the Lazarus Contract arc, well, let’s just say that I am glad that the Lazarus Contract has pulled me into reading the series. Why am I so interested now? There is a line in the description of this issue that sums it up. From DC, “Find out what happens when the World’s Deadliest Assassin becomes the Fastest Man Alive!” What a thought, right?

As much as I like the idea of having the world’s deadliest assassin become the fastest man alive, I also have an issue with it. In Deathstroke #19 there is a scene/collection of scenes where Deathstroke takes a break from his main mission—to stop his son from being killed—and kills four unsuspecting targets that are in various locations around the world. This is a great scene, I loved it, but it also left me feeling the need to call bullshit.

My thinking is this: If Deathstroke can travel around Earth, and then in turn kill four unsuspecting victims in a minute’s time, wouldn’t he also be able to take out the Titans and the Teen Titans and hell, Batman? Sure, why wouldn’t he have been able to get all this done in under a minute? He could have, but didn’t, and frankly I can’t find any reason why he’d hold back. Because Charlie, you’re reading a comic book, and killing everyone, everywhere, right now, is bad for sales… I digress.

Aside from my little rant there, I enjoyed this book and recommend it to even those who don’t see themselves as fans of Deathstroke. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of depth and emotion that writer Christopher Priest incorporated into the story.

I can’t wait to see how this arc ends.

8.5
Score
Deathstroke #19
The Bottom Line
Deathstroke is a great comic for both readers who consider themselves Deathstroke fans and for those that do not. Another great chapter in the Lazarus Contract arc.
Yes!
Another great chapter in the Lazarus Contract arc
Emotional and intense
No...
Wait, so Deathstroke wouldn't just kill everyone?

Detective Comics #957 Review

I had commented on last week’s issue of Batman (#23) saying that the standalone story was a nice break—breathing room—in between arcs, and now that I’ve finished reading Detective Comics #957, I am prepared to say the same thing, but I won’t. Because more so than just an entertaining issue that comes to readers in passing, Detective Comics #957 introduces a new player to the game, the Spoiler.

Saying that the Spoiler is a new player isn’t entirely correct, now is it? No, it is not. We’ve seen the Spoiler before, but it’s been a while since Stephanie Brown (the most recent Batgirl) wore the Spoiler garb. But that is a conversation for another day. Right now, we need to focus on the fact that Stephanie Brown has returned to being the Spoiler.

I’m interested in seeing exactly what having the Spoiler hanging around Gotham will do for/to Batman and his team.

Regardless of what may happen, Detective Comics #957 is a fast-paced issue that serves as a solid re-introduction for Stephanie Brown as the Spoiler. Aside from that, there isn’t too much to say about the issue. James Tynion and Christopher Sebela did a fine job here writing an issue that was as informative as it was entertaining.

8
Score
Detective Comics #957
The Bottom Line
Detective Comics #957 is a fast-paced issue that serves as a solid re-introduction for Stephanie Brown as the Spoiler. Long-time readers will certainly be pleased with this one.
Yes!
The Spoiler is back in Gotham
No...
Another issue meant to provide space between arcs
Read Detective Comics #957 Now!
General-DC Comics

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