Saturday, April 24, 2010

Yes, I am proud to be a Gleek!

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past eight months, it is hard to miss that FOX's Glee has become the smash breakout new show of the 2009/2010 television season. Created by Ryan Murphy (the man behind such shows as Nip and Tuck and another classic teen dramedy Popular), this show is full of snarky goodness, quick paced plots, and plenty of teen drama. The show is about a high school teacher who relaunches the school's glee club, and how the club is made up of a variety of kids from all the recognizable teen circles we know and love. You've got the drama kids, the AV guy, the cheerleaders, the jocks.

And, of course, you've got the music. Lots of wonderful music spanning all genres, performed with polish, production and coreography.

Is the show over the top? Yup. Can it be cheesey at times? Sure. Is it a bright spot in a sea of crime scene spin-offs? Absolutely.

The show is about different people trying to be something. And it makes me feel good every Tuesday night.

Yes, I am a Gleek - and proud of it.

Comics of the Week (4/21/10)

Blackest Night: Director's Cut - this one-shot is a nice follow up to the mini series that just rocked the DCU. It features commentary by the book's creators, giving thoughts on key moments of the eight issues. Next up is a cover gallery of all the minis, including varient covers that probably never got seen in most comic shops (I wish some of the images were bigger though - still cool). Next, a neat feature - the actual script for issue 1. This really is insightful into the creative process between writer and artists on comics. A couple pages are then devoted to the figures based on the series. Last up, very cool character designs of the various Black Lanterns and such. All in all, a good special.

Brave and the Bold #33 - it is billed as a team-up of three heroines but it really is more about the women when not in costume. And though she gets third billing behind Wonder Woman and Zatnna, it is Batgirl's story mostly. Now, I didn't really like how J. Michael Straczynski basically shoe-horned this tale into continuity prior to the Killing Joke. I don't buy his premise that Zatanna knew something would happen and that she and Wonder Woman would let it. I get the emotion the writer was going for, but it just felt like it was a story trying to cash in. Not one of my favorites of his work on the book so far.

Green Lantern #53 - with Blackest Night done, it is on to Brightest Day. So, you know the GL books have to be a big part. This was a nice sequeway issue as we start "the New Guardians" story arc. It will be interesting to see how all the Corps follow-up after the last event. I am confident in Geoff Johns' writing ability to keep me entertained.

Justice League of America #44 - Robinson and Bagley deliver another solid issue. The tone of the book is definitely refreshing, and this issue sets up a JLA/JSA team-up in the grand tradition of the classic ones. And it ties into Brightest Day as one of the twelve reborn returns to Earth in a startling way. I like the use of other guest stars like the Demon and Faust as well.

R.E.B.E.L.S. #15 - she left the JLA book last month and we see where she ended up. Starfire heads back to the Vega System. This book has picked up a lot of familiar and favorite space heroes like Adam Strange and Captain Comet in recent months. My hope is that they along with Starfire are used to the best of their abilities. I do like the scenes with Despero and, as always, it is fun to figure out just what Vril Dox might do next.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Comics of the Week (4/14/10)

Adventure Comics #10/513 - once more a disjointed issue for me because it is tying into the Last Stand of New Krypton arc in the Superman titles. I'm still going to pick the book up because, as announced this week, the Atom (Ray Palmer) will be getting a feature in this book in three issues (#516). Looking forward to that as Ray had a major role in Blackest Night.

Booster Gold #31 - Dan Jurgens puts in his last issue on the title - but it nicely done. A good done-in-one kind of thing while being an epilogue to the last arc at the same time. That's kind of sad because I have loved this book under the guiding hand of Booster's creator. The good news, also announced this week, is that Dan is going to be the guiding force behind a Time Masters mini which will include Rip Hunter, Booster and other heroes searching for the missing Batman. Nice. Meanwhile next issue Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis take over this book. Not sure how I'll like that. It might mean the beginning of the end of Booster's run. We'll see.

Brightest Day #0 - the biweekly mini kicks off with a teaser issue of sorts, and count me as very happily teased. Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi do an outstanding job touching on all of the twelve resurrected from the end of Blackest Night. I'm very intrigued by what is going on with Deadman, and I love seeing Aquaman and Mera back together (and the same for the Hawks). The stuff with Firestorm as well as Hawk and Dove also have me wanting more. All in all, I am very pleased with who this mini will be focusing on over the coming years, and I am planning to pick up a number of other books that'll be falling under this banner. I love getting excited about a new title.

the Flash #1 - and speaking of, Barry Allen is finally back in his own title. Count me very excited for this one. Again, Geoff Johns does wonders and Francis Manapul's art fits this book nicely. It has a silver age feel with modern touches (like Barry and the CSI focus - very popular in modern TV dramas). So glad to have a good Flash book back in the pull-bag again.

Secret Six #20 - Gail Simone continues to rock this title, and J. Calafiore's art adds the creepy perfectly as always. Catman is between a rock and a hard place, and he makes a decision. Word of warning: don't cross Catman! This arc is going to get violent and messy, and this book serves that up so well. If you feel a little "unclean" and "disturbed" after reading this one (like I do), the creative team is doing their job properly. Oh, and Gail will be back doing the new Birds of Prey title - which I am so picking up. You know these books will cross over at some point, and I'll be loving that.

Friday, April 2, 2010

catching up on Comic Books

Hey, blog-readers! It has been awhile. My apologies. I thought I'd take a few minutes and give some summaries of titles I've been getting these past few months.

Blackest Night - issue 8 just came out this week, concluding this epic event. And, believe me, this has ended up pretty well. I loved how this whole mini pitted friends against friends, living against the dead (and in some cases newly dead), and made some uneasy allies among the various Corps. This series has brought some characters (like Mera) back into the forefront of the DCU, and those that have been brought back to life in this final issue will set a nice foundation for the coming year as well as the Brightest Day bi-weekly mini starting later this month. As for the tie-in minis, those focusing on Superman, the Titans, the Flash and the JSA were my favorites. I could have skipped the Batman and Wonder Woman ones and most of the one-shots and been fine. Also, tie in with that the regular Green Lantern title which ran a nice parallel to the main mini series quite nicely.

Flash: Rebirth - this one finally ended, with a little delay due to production, but the end result was well worth it. Barry Allen is back where he belongs, full throttle. This sets up very nicely for the first issue of his new series coming also this month.

Justice League: Cry For Justice - this mini ended with two big changes to the archers of the DCU - Red Arrow and Green Arrow. This changes are the primary focus of the Rise And Fall arcs that are running across the main Justice League title, an Arsenal mini series (yup, Roy is changing back to his old name) and on the Green Arrow title. This is some heavy stuff but a very cool new direction to take the characters.

Over on Justice League of America, James Robinson and Mark Bagley are taking the roster into a new direction. In the first few issues it started out being a Titans graduation party but the roster is settling it out a little bit. All of this is following on well from the "Cry For Justice" mini too.

I have not been so thrilled though with the direction the Justice Society of America main title has gone along with it's spin off JSA All-Stars. The creative teams are taking things off in weird directions that just doesn't do it for me.

Similary too, Teen Titans has lost a lot of its focus since the creative team changed a few months ago. Over on REBELS, I think the Starro story line dragged out a bit too long. I am hoping these books can pull it back in or they're close to the chopping block for me.

Meanwhile, both Booster Gold and Secret Six continue to shine in their own ways. These creative teams are perfect and that should help keep the books entertaining month after month. Gail Simone is also going back to a relaunch of Birds of Prey in May, so that's another I'll be adding to my pull list.

I'll give Adventure Comics some slack for being up and down. Loved the focus on Superboy Prime during Blackest Night and the Legion back up. Not so thrilled with the issues tying in to the Superman books but oh well. On the plus side, the Legion is getting its own title again in a few months with Paul Levitz as the writer. Very psyched for this!