donderdag 14 december 2017

Trials (The Omega Superhero Book Two) by Darius Brasher

In this follow-up to Caped we again follow Theodore Conley (Kinetic) in his path to becoming a great superhero. He and his friends from book 1 have to undergo a series of trials in order to become a licensed superhero. Some trials are just about fighting, some about surviving and others are more psychological.
I had a feeling some chapters were a bit less fast-paced than in the first novel. I do admit though that for instance Kinetic's battle with Myth was so awesome and well-written I could see the comic book panels in my head.
Theodore is a well-rounded character, a lovable geek sometimes (there's a Kobayashi Maru / Star Trek reference), sometimes a jerk, but always very human. His supporting cast is also very unique as were some of the other wannabe superheroes.

woensdag 6 december 2017

The Mighty Crusaders # 1 (Archie Comics)

With this first issue the familiar good old heroes The Mighty Crusaders return. I've read them in their old Red Circle comics, in their DC Comics Impact line and in the more recent Archie version.
I'm happy to say this looks like quite a strong version, incorporating several strongpoints of those earlier runs.
The feel of the comic is pretty fun and classic with nice and vibrant colors and clean artwork. The characters are fun and lively. Still, there seems to be a modern sensibility to the story.
I liked how the old and new Crusaders are linked via the new (female) Shield talking to the new one. I loved seeing all characters return but found myself especially loving The Web.

woensdag 15 november 2017

Caped (The Omega Superhero # 1) by Darius Brasher

In this novel we are introduced to farmboy Theodore Conley who turns out to be one of the more powerful metahumans in the little universe Darius Brasher created (he also has a series called The Superhero Detective). He's a nerdy, scrawny kid with a great guy for a father. He kinda reminded me of Peter Parker growing up with Jonathan Kent (you know, Superman's stepdad).
Anyway, superheroes here need to be licensed. To become that they need to go to superhero school and Theodore, becoming the hero Kinetic does that. When he faces his new moral enemy he's ready to break some rules though.
This is a fun book with just a tad of darkness every now and then. Theodore is a great character you can really identify with and root for. One of his friends, Myth, has the power to become mythical creatures which I thought was an awesome power! His friendship with his fellow teen heroes is written as good as the best Avengers Academy scenes and the fights move fast.
Great first book, have already bought the second one in this series.

woensdag 8 november 2017

Argo 5 # 24 (Argo Comics)

Do you remember those cool old comics where the Justice League teamed up with the Justice Society? Those days when team ups were still fun and cool instead of long boring stories that take a year to tell? This comic is clearly a homage to that as Argo 5 teams up with that other superteam in the Argo Comics Universe, Impact International. Just like in those old comics they split up in small groups. In this case to track down the offspring of some aliens. The stakes are pretty high if they fail too!
The artwork by Alex Garcia is great, it looks a lot like George Perez which is pretty high praise. The story by Dan Sehn is great fun to read and the Argo Comics characters are always fun and timeless.

woensdag 1 november 2017

Swan Song (Permafrost / The Swan) by Frank Fradella

I used to love the stories on the old Cyberage Adventures website. They were a very Astro City like take on superheroes, combining very human characters with cool powers. Until now I never read a novel by Cyberage creator Frank Fradella. With the big new plans he has for his characters I picked this one up and loved it.
The book is called Swan Song after a superhero appearing in the book, but the focus is more on the heroin called Permafrost. Through her eyes we meet the hero The Swan. He is a very popular kind of everyman superhero who helps Permafrost in tracking down her father's killer.
There's a nice couple of superheroes here such as kung-fu master Jade Tiger, language expert Lexicon and the Superman / Captain America mix called The Minuteman. There's also a very cool and dangerous villain with an interesting premise. The fight scenes are pretty exciting.
What makes this such a good book though is the very in-depth look behind the masks of the main heroes Permafrost and The Swan who become very real human beings throughout the novel.

zondag 29 oktober 2017

Superteam: The Red Raptor Files - Part 2 by Christopher Valin

I read this one right after Sidekick The Red Raport Files - Part 1. That was a pretty fun book as well, but it suffered a bit too much from the fact that it read like the Batman and Robin of an alternate earth. With this one stuff gets a bit more original.
Red Raptor, sidekick of dark vigilante Black Harrier sets out to create his own superteam when he's fed up with the rules of the superhero guild that wants him to use his old name Red Kite again. He gets together a pretty cool group of sidekicks together, just like Robin did in the classic Teen Titans comics. There's a powerhouse, a speedster and a Wondergirl-like character but they never feel like rip-offs I had to admit. There's also this hugely entertaining less able hero called Cricket who could be this universe's own Squirrel Girl.
When the biggest heroes of this universe seem to have gone bad it's up to Red Raptor and his team to save the world. Pretty harrowing, just like the job Red Raptor now has flipping burgers...
What makes this one such a great read is the incredibly fast-paced style of writing. You can really picture the comic book panels in your head as you read the fight scenes.
I hope there's third book soon.

zaterdag 21 oktober 2017

The Edge: Revenant by Marvin Wynne

This is a comic series, created by Marvin Wynn with a pretty original feel to it without losing what we love in superhero comics. In this paperback collecting issues 1-4 we follow the adventures of a striketeam in their hunt for the villain called Revenant, whose look reminded me of DC's Nightwing.
 The superpowered folks in this series have been infected with a virus called The Edge that gives them their powers.
There are some overtones of Extreme's Brigade and Bloodstrike here, both in the look of the striketeam involved and the violence. The costumes look pretty original and where many other indy superheroes look like copies of the bigger icons like Superman and Batman all characters here look pretty unique.
The art by Mark V is pretty solid most of the time, though not all pages look as good.

woensdag 11 oktober 2017

Double Lives (Johnny Wagner, Godlike PI) by Matt Cowper

I don't just read superhero comics. I love superhero novels as well.
I enjoyed this one more than I thought. I love PI fiction but I've come across a lot of superhero novels that combine that with superhero fiction. The writing and fun plot in this one really won me over though.
John Wagner is  a PI with the arm of a god. When a popular superhero is killed by a second class supervillain the widow asks him to investigate. Along the way he encounters many superheroes and supervillains among which his old girlfriend and the hot assassin called Deathrain.
The dialogue between Wagner and the god that inhabits his arm are very funny. The heroes and villains aren't knock-offs of popular comic book characters but very original creations. I loved that.
Very eager to see this character return.

vrijdag 18 augustus 2017

Superb # 2

Cosmosis gets into trouble at the Foresight Corporation Compound, letting his powers loose. He manages to escape and ends up at Kayla's place. She unmasks him, surprised that she knows him. The guys from Foresight are on to Cosmosis though and show up at Kayla's doorstep.
This is a quicker read than the first one with bigger art. It serves to advance the plot nicely, but in true Netflix show fashion is not much of a read on its on.
Written by David F. Walker, art by Ray-Anthony Height.

donderdag 17 augustus 2017

City Earth # 1

This series by Willie Cordy Jr. and CE Comics came out first in 2014 but is coming to Comixology now. Very cool, sure to have more people pick it up now.
This first issue starts with a dream sequence in which we see many cool heroes and villains get destroyed as a set-up. There are some great costume designs, I didn't care much for the ones that seemed to be inspired by Ironfist and Luke Cage but there's an Egyptian looking one and one in red and yellow that had me eager to see more. We don't get more though, because we see how Tommie Cooper wakes up from this dream, unhappy about his current world full of street predators.
Then we follow Fingers, a burglar hired to steal some kind of disc. When his partners don't get out alive he flees and involves an innocent man.
Now we've got the guys who got robbed after Fingers and the disc and one ominous looking supervillain lurking in the background.
This is an original tale and though I have some idea where it's going it's pretty much surprising and mysterious so far. The art is solid enough and I like the fact the writer is also the artist, making this a very personal vision. There are some typos though, which is a shame, the rest looks pretty professional.

zondag 6 augustus 2017

Earthling # 3

Every issue of this series is eagerly awaited by me. Earthling is just such a cool character, both superhero and animal rights activist. I love how he uses his powers, a bit simular to DC's Vixen but executed cooler.
In this issue his mission becomes even clearer, to us and to Earthling as he fights The Regiment, Genuine Comics' government-sanctioned heroes. Earthling is not on the side of law and order or the government. He fights for the animals.
The art by Jim Jiminez is impressive as is the coloring. We get a deeper understanding of the vegan hero with this issue, impressive writing. I'm afraid some people might think they will not enjoy the issue because of the animal rights angle. They would be wrong. Even if you don't agree with the politics involved, this is a solid independent superhero book with good production values and good characters.

woensdag 2 augustus 2017

Argo 5 # 23

Trust Dan Sehn to write a fun story. In this neat self-contained story Blue Dynamo and Chain Reaction set out to buy an action figure for Blue Dynamo's collection. They encounter an old man who has a large collection of cool stuff. When one of the items turns out to produce a dangerous enemy the heroes get help from an unexpected source.
Meanwhile we see how the National Organization of Police Departments views superheroes and especially teen heroes like the Teen Machine.
The banter during this story is priceless, the art is clean but modern. The story is nowhere deep but Silver Age style fun. Special bonus points for the cool Tom Raney pin-up included.

woensdag 26 juli 2017

Superb # 1

This is a book in the Lion Forge Catalyst Prime universe. In this universe as soon as you exhibit powers you are dragged away by the government. We find a young girl named Kayla returning to school, struggling with her friendship with nerd Jonah.
There's also a costumed hero running around, Cosmosis, who seems to have styled himself after a comic book character that exists in this universe. How their paths will cross is yet unclear, but the artwork is solid enough and the characters engaging enough for me to be interested in # 2.

vrijdag 10 februari 2017

Argo Comics Double Shot #1

Argo Comics is one of the most trustworthy publishers of indepent superhero comics out there. Not many publishers manage to put out so many books a year. This one is a partnership of Argo Comics and Excelsior Quadrinhos, featuring characters from both universes.
The All-American and Artillery face terrorists at the Olympic Games. Sensei X and Ninjana’s dinner plan’s go wrong when they face some nasty thugs. There's also the Weaponaire and Avatar who fight vampires!
All stories are short and to the point. Nothing deep, but fun action-packed stories to wet your appetite for these characters. The art can pretty much stand up to the big publishers and the coloring is awesome.
Check this book out if you want some old-fashioned superheroic fun.