Tuesday, October 11, 2011


The Ronin here,

After all of the reboots and reviews and the like it's time to look back at another wacky villain. This one is pretty recent and comes to us from the "Brand New Day"* era Spider-Man comics. This villain is so mind numbingly, painfully bizarre she had to end up here. Honestly I don't know what to make of this villain. (But she is probably not based on a mass murderer so that is a bonus) It is Ms. Web 2.0 her self, Screwball.

So who is Screwball? That is a damn good question. Screwball appears to be a young woman in her 20s, physically fit and skilled in the sport of 'Parkour'. (and yes, there was a bad pun based around the fact it sounds like Parker) A kind of urban gymnastics, involving running, scaling obstacles quickly, performing tricks etc. It is impressive stuff for sure in the real world... In a world populated with super heroes? less so.

DC Comics Relaunch revisited

The Ronin here,

The DC relaunch is here and its so far been mildly successful, in that the reviews have been more positive then negative and sales for September were good. So back in July I looked over some of the new DC books and wrote a short blog post about what books I was likely going to pick up. With one exception I have picked up all of those books. So did they live up to expectations? Let's see.

1) Action Comics

Action Comics is good, but controversial. There are basically two opinions of Action Comics. "Holy shit this is good!" and "This guy isn't MY Superman!" I am definitely in the first camp. Not only is it fun and actually action filled but Morrison does a good job making it accessible and easy to follow. Superman is new, young and willing to kick as some ass if it means standing up for the poor and disenfranchised.

I think Action Comics succeeds for the same reason the original Action Comics succeeded, by having Superman fight for the everyman, in a time period when the everyman has very little, and no one standing up for them.

Action Comics is good and is on the 'pull list'. With the second issue out I do not see that changing any time soon. I can not encourage people to try it more. After issue 6 it is supposedly jumping forward to 'modern time', I don't know how well the formula will hold out but so far its great. The Art is also brilliant (if not a little inconsistent, sometimes Supes looks 17, other times 38) and we get a Superman who looks scary when he wants to and understands how to intimidate and have fun. Some people felt he has been a little to rough, but honestly I am not going to shed any tears over a fictional man who roughs up his own wife (who Supes threw out a window into a river off panel) and a millionaire who endangered the lives of hundreds for a few more dirty bucks.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Star Trek #1

The Ronin here,

I am a huge Star Trek fan. I love it all, even some of Voyager. I also loved the 2009 movie. It was not flawless by any means but it was great fun. It brought tons of new viewers in as well, something that is never bad. IDW has the license to produce “Star Trek” comics and damnit they are going to use it.

Trek is an interesting property, because there is tons of crossover appeal between people already in comic shops and people who like Star Trek.

That means this cover, and this issue has a really easy job to do. Put Star Trek on the cover and put it out there, if people want to pick up some trek they will get it. Easy enough. This is a first issue and starts a new journey appropriately enough. The cover is pretty simple, well actually there were a bunch of covers all of them do a good job tying this issue into the 2009 movie.

Animal Man #1

The Ronin here,
It's been a few weeks but lets look back at one of the stars of the DC relaunch, Animal Man #1. I was not originally planing on doing this one, but I gave it a try and it knocked my socks off. No, literally they came off. My feet are cold now.

Now Animal Man is not a character I am very familiar with. I know Grant Morrison did a much loved run on the character, aside from that I've seen the character in 52, where he was partnered up with Adam Strange and Starfire... The less said about the new 'Starfire' the better.

So, what are the goals of this issue? Well it is a #1 and it is supposed to be able to appeal to numerous new readers who may not know anything about Animal Man. It needs to show us his powers and abilities, his status quo, and it needs to intrigue those readers, hook them all while pleasing older fans who expect a lot from an Animal Man title. That is a lot to do in a single issue and apparently beyond
the ability of a lot of the new DC books (or many new books for that mater).

Monday, September 19, 2011

Justice League #1

The Ronin here,

Like many people I obviously had some mixed views on the DC relaunch/boot, however I tried to be positive, and some of the new titles seemed interesting. Hopefully over the next few months I can share with you how I felt about some of the issues. First up is, well the first issue they released Justice League #1. Obviously the Justice League is DC's premiere superhero team, featuring some of the most recognizable characters in the world. Who does not know who Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are? Green Lantern just had a big budget movie made, and a HUGE advertising push for him, so at the moment anyways he should be well known. Aquaman is also well known though perhaps not as universally beloved as the 'trinity'.

One of the things DC wants to get back to is the idea of Superman as the 'first' superhero, or at least the first superhero who fights in a bright costume in the day light. Which of course mirrors the actually history of comics. There were plenty of heroes before Superman, and a number of costumed or masked detectives, but Superman was the first modern 'Super' hero. Many of the tropes and conventions of the genre go right back to the original 'Action Comics #1'.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Upcomming Posts!

The Ronin here,

I just want to let everyone who reads know what is coming up soon, possibly over the next few days.

You shall rue the day you crossed <redacted> (another silly super villain thread)

Whats the point: Journey into Mystery (Spotlight on a new .1 issue)

Justice League of America #1 review/discussion (yet another review, I bet this is the only one like it on the net)

I am excited for Action Comics #1!

The Amazing Spider-Man 668 (review)

Series spotlight: Irredeemable (indy series over look)

So stay tuned so to speak, and as always feel free to comment even if you disagree with me, discussion is never bad.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fear Itself Tie-ins

There are a lot of Fear Itself tie-ins, which ones suck and which ones don't suck? Well we have a lot of Meh, a few good and one 'what the hell is this?'

Baby why do you do me so wrong? (Spider-Girl)

The Ronin here,

There is a character I like, A series I wanted to like, but was disappointed by. She is Anya Corazon, the non May Parker Spider-Girl. I like Anya, my introduction to the character came in two places at roughly the same time. I had just finished reading Ms. Marvel's recent series which featured her as a supporting character. She was someone for Ms. Marvel to mentor, and they had a little sister/big sister kind of relationship. About the same time she appeared in Grim Hunt, as one of the 'spiders' Kraven's wacky family was after.

In Ms. Marvel she was young, new and inexperienced, but greatly wanted to be a hero.  Ms. Marvel needed what she was, a younger character to mentor, to teach. At the time Ms. Marvel needed to have a real inexperienced character looking up to her, she acted as a nice foil to Ms Marvel and really added to my enjoyment of that series.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Captain America WAS AWESOME!

The Ronin here!

Captain America was awesome. It might be the best superhero movie of the year. There are to many reviews of this film already for me to be able to add anything so I will simply say this, go watch the movie! And so many wonderful easter eggs that had me giddy.

For fans of the golden age "Human Torch", pay close attention to the exhibit hall for a little something-something, early in the movie.

Avengers Academy 2.0?

That is all!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

DC comics! (and the new 52)

The Ronin here!

First of all, I understand that like 90 percent of what I have posted has been about Marvel comics. I am a huge Marvel fan going way back, my all time favorite superhero is Spider-Man, I grew up on Marvel animation in the 90s and confusing clone saga Spider-Man comics. Although, perhaps more importantly for the blog, I have just been reading a lot of Marvel lately. That said, I love DC comics. Not just the excellent vertigo line, but the DC Universe stuff.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Mighty - Fear Itself

The Ronin here,


With three issues left and a lot of plot to go in "Fear Itself" this teaser was released by Marvel today and seems to show the Avengers powered up with weapons and armor similar to 'The Worthy'.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Flashpoint #3 is getting Awesome

The Reverse-Ronin here.

I have gone back in time and changed history to screw with The Ronin. I could not allow his beautifully written, insightful, typo free and popular reviews of dozens of DC comics to exist any longer, so I have changed history making sure they never existed. They were to awesome, and to plentiful, he had to be stopped! And now the site is filled mostly with terrible Marvel comics! Now all you will read about are 'point one' issues that have no recap page and don't explain the situation at all for new readers and best of all they will be marketed only to existing readers in other comic books!

MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA Fools! Enjoy your suck!

...Except for Avengers Academy, Reverse-Ronin thinks that it is pretty damn good, you should check it out.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Spotlight: Young Avengers

The Ronin here,

Welcome to the spotlight, a new series were we examine some part of comic books further, and hopefully introduce people to some new stories and characters. Today we are putting the spot light on Marvel's Young Avengers.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Panel Awesome - July

The Young Avengers discover hate groups are not fans. 
(from Avengers Children Crusade #1)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Green Lantern: Better late than never

I don't have much to say about a movie I didn't care much about to begin with. With time to kill on my husbands fathers day, I went in just wanting to be entertained for a couple of hours.

Although it didn't entertain quite as well as I hoped, it wasn't the worst.

I noticed a couple things that if I were to be a fan, would have made me pissed. Hector Hammond's backstory is basically non existent. They never let us in on the relationships he had with Hal and Carol growing up. Which made me wonder what the point of him being there was anyway.

The thing that bothered me the most was this: So much potential for bad ass battles, but not a lot was offered. I spent a good deal of the movie imagining things of my own that would have been a hundred times better than...a racetrack?


The Ronin here,

New comics came out yesterday. Here are some:

Amazing Spider-Man #664!

Avengers Children Crusade #6 of 9!

Incredible Hulks Annual! (part of a trilogy of annuals this year)

The Iron Age #1!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Captain America 615.1

The Ronin here,

Today we have Captain America 615.1. I liked this comic book, however I have a few issues with it. We will get into that in a moment.

As a 'point one' issue this is designed to introduce the illusive new reader into the book. I suspect that explains our cover. It is a fairly generic cover. Cap is running at the reader but in a world war II setting, and he appears to be wearing his costume from the up and coming movie, my only issue with this is this issue has nothing to do with World War Two, (aside from a couple of panels of flashback) and he does not wear this costume in the book at all.

We start with a very brief recap page, which is good, the only problem is it is a little to vague. For example there is a big subplot going on about Bucky, and while it is mentioned in the book in passing, The book never explains to the reader what has happened. I feel they could of been a little more specific. (they said "legal trouble" then quickly moved on.)

I liked the art on the book, it was very moody and fit the tone of the book, though I can understand why some people would not like it.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Uncanny X-men 534.1 Review

The Ronin here,

Today we have Uncanny X-Men 534.1. Once again as a "point one" issue this is designed to introduce new readers to the property. As we have seen in the other "point ones" this has been hit and miss so far. Uncanny X-Men is a good property for a "point one". Everyone has heard of the X-men, and at 500 some odd issues in, with tons of back story it seems like a good property for a 'jump in' issue.

It has been a very long time since I have read an X-book, I am somewhat aware (from reading the other Marvel books) of what is going on with the X-men. However I do not know any of the details. As such this would appear to be the perfect book for me, so let's dig in.

The cover is fine, it is just the heroes standing in front of a cool broken X made of steel. It does a good job showing us the main characters, Cyclops, Colossus, Emma Frost, the ubiquitous Wolverine, Kitty Pride who is in some sort of space suite and, holy fuck, Magneto and Namor?!?! Okay I am sold already. The X-men have apparently become the Squad of old men you don't fuck with.

I am okay with this.

Invincible Iron Man 500.1

Ronin here,

After several disappointing "point one" issues I sat down today with "Iron Man 500.1" I have never really read Iron Man comics, though I have always been a fan of the character,  I've seen him when he pops up in other books, and of course the Iron Man movies are fucking bad ass. That said I don't know that much about the Iron Man status quo these days. So this 'point one' issue seemed to be the perfect place to start. I poured my self a strong drink in the ironmanian style and dug in.

The cover is okay there are lots of supporting characters, and some sinister faces and what looks like Pepper Pots in her own Iron Man (Iron Woman? Iron Person?) suite. This intrigued me, I must admit. Behind Iron Man are characters I don't really recognize, I assume the black guy is Rhodey. Which either says something unpleasant about my self or something unpleasant about Iron Man's supporting cast.

Below Iron man is apparently Shinzon from "Star Trek: Nemesis". Can any one say Crossover?!?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

City of Heroes to go free later this year

Hey guys Nomaru here to give you some comic related news.

It Looks like NCSOFT the makers of the comic inspired game "City of heroes" will be making their game into a 'free to play' structured game.  I played this game back when it came out.  While I wouldn't pay a subscription for this game I would, however, play a 'free to play' version.  This is good news for those that are looking for a comic related game and don't want a $15/month price tag attached to it. The new title will be "City of Heroes: Freedom" and will be re-launched later this year.



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review of World of Warcraft Volume 1 ( Issues #0-7)

World of Warcraft Volume 1
Available for purchase at Amazon: http://tiny.cc/jtj7f

A short review by Nomaru

I will be the first to admit that I'm somewhat of an avid World of Warcraft player.  I have played many blizzard games throughout the years.  I found myself itching to know more about this (what seemed) vast and immense universe.  Who doesn't want a story with elves, orcs, ogres and halflings (known as dwarvs and gnomes in this universe) and yes even some dragons, right?  Well the team at Blizzard has done a fine job at telling this story.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Thor 620.1 - Thor and his buddies get stoned

The Ronin here,

Today we look at adjective-less Thor 620.1. First off, I like Thor. I had never really read Thor comics as A kid. Only really reading the Spider-man and X-men books. I also did not read the Avengers books. So I was only tentatively aware of what the character was about.

However when I started really reading comic books again and then dipped back into the super hero stuff, I picked up a trade paperback that introduced me to Thor properly. Thor had been gone for a while. Marvel had been resting the character and presumably looking for someone interesting to relaunch him. J. Michael Straczynski was that someone.

JMS (for short) is known as the creator of "Babylon 5", and had just finished a long run on "The Amazing Spider-man". JMS reintroduced Thor to both the Marvel universe and to many new readers like myself, his engaging, exciting and down right funny comic books drew you in from issue one and never let you go. You cared about these characters with in pages of being introduced to them. I did not even know who the Warriors Three were at the time, but I liked and rooted for them all before they even showed themselves.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Mighty Thor #3 quick preview

The Ronin here,

The Mighty Thor #3 is out Wednesday, let us take a look at the cover Marvel has released.

Okay, does anything else need to be said? 

If you have not been reading The Mighty Thor, it does not disappoint. A very epic Thor story so far, and I can not wait for #3. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

New contributor to A.L.S.

Hello everyone my name is Nomaru.  Just dropping in to introduce myself to the party (no worries this will be short).  I have been reading manga and graphic novels for quite a few years.  I will be contributing at least once a week (that's the goal of course) family and such willing.  I am going to be giving news and reviews of manga and some new comics I'm introducing myself to (as well as reading again ;) .  I look forward to posting for you.


Avengers Academy 14.1

The Ronin here,

I love this series as you might of read in my "Why aren't you reading Avengers Academy" post. So it will be harder to put my self into the mindset of a new reader, but I shall try.

Avengers Academy 14.1, like the others is marketed as a jumping on point. However this book has a harder job to do then "Secret Avengers" because unless you've been reading Avengers Academy you will recognize none of these characters on the cover. Aside from a few issues of "Avengers: The Initiative" which had Reptil in it, these are all characters new to the Avengers franchise.

The cover is nothing amazing it is just the characters running at the reader, however it does a good job showing off all of the characters. You get a good sense of what they can do from their look, and they are all very colorful and don't blend together like poor Beast did while hanging out in Steve Roger's arm pit in "Secret Avengers".

Secret Avengers 12.1

The Ronin here,

In February Marvel started their "point one" program, the idea was to release a new .1 issue for each of their lines that would serve as a jumping on point, It would bring new readers up to speed so they could jump in with this issue then start buying the regular series. It is not a terrible idea. Although I have to wonder, how did they expect new readers to know this? I mean 614.1 is not exactly an inviting number.

That said the .1 issues were hit and miss, they sold about as well as their regular counterparts, which I am sure Marvel does not mind, but I'd guess the regular readers are the ones who bought them. Only time will tell. So Today i am re-reading two .1 issues I picked up. One from a series I was unfamiliar with and wanted to try, and the other a series I love and own all of.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Green Lantern doesn't suck!

The Ronin here,

This is a spoiler free half assed look at the 'Green Lantern'.

Going to go over a few quick things, I went into the theater ready to be disappointed friday, but I walked out of the theater with a smile on my face.

'Green Lantern' is the sole DC property up this year, and DC has not had the same kind of success Marvel has had outside of the Nolan films. (which won't be in the same continuity as Green Lantern or any later Justice League movies) 'Green Lantern' is probably also DC's most difficult super hero to pull off well. He flies through space with aliens acting as a cop, he gets his powers from a goofy ring given to him by blue dwarves, he uses his ring to make goofy constructs to fight villains etc. In some ways it is DC's 'Thor', in that it would be the hardest to sell to a mainstream audience.

Friday, June 17, 2011


The Ronin here,

Every now and again, while reading webpages, or digging through old comic books of mine or my father's or just from general word of mouth on the internet I come across a character so outlandish, so bat-shit insane I just sort of let the old 'WTF' slip out. Now this is not always A bad thing, super-villains are themselves kind of a crazy idea. You have to be pretty out there to think to your self, "Wow I can bench press two thousand pounds... I should dress up as a hippo and rob banks in the same neighborhood the effective heroes work out of."

However the super-villain itself is so ingrained into popular culture we don't pay it to much mind. The super-villain is also a successful tool in story telling, as they are often the only kind of characters that can really threaten the hero.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

DC Reboot and Superman

The Ronin here,

DC's Dan Didio spoke to NBC New York today on their 'reboot' he had the following to say about the marriage of Lois Lane and Clark Kent, "Let's just say it's being reexamined".

I will never understand how DC manages to copy only Marvel's worst ideas. .... Oh god... please dear god Joe Quesada make it stop... No, no, why can't Doctor Strange help her? hes both magic and a regular doctor! No Spidey would never do that! no no... oh god it was all Mary Jane's fault? wait what? No! I won't believe it! NO NO NO.


Sorry, sometimes I have "One More Day" and "O.M.I.T." flashbacks.

So will Superman be single again? Will it be a good or bad move for DC? That is currently unknown. However if Superman starts shacking up with Wonder Woman then it is official, the DC universe will have become an Elseworld's story.

A mediocre overlook at X-Men: First Class

Before I begin this, I will let you in on a little something: I am a huge sap...any movie with back story to people that I have come to know about as already matured characters, will leave me in utter awe (Which basically means I would have loved this movie even if it got lower ratings than Howard The Duck).

Not to mention mutant bromances, oh the mutant bromance.

With that being said, this movie rocked my fucking socks off.

A few things here and there left me trying to figure out whether or not that aligned with the other movies, such as Charles and Mystique having somewhat of a brother sister relationship when there is no recall of this in the other movies. Also, Charles has said that Wolvie, Storm, Cyclops, etc were the first mutants he ever trained when obviously they weren’t. Honestly, by the end of the movie I couldn’t care less because this was by far my favorite of the franchise.

Seeing the professor get paralyzed by Magneto was (so sad and shocking I was looking around like an idiot wondering if everyone was as amazed as I was) a great bonus.

Also, the eye candy didn’t hurt. James McAvoy was a perfectly hot young Professor X, and let’s not forget Michael Fassbender making me wish I was on team Magneto.

No Room for Shadowpact!

The Ronin here,

For those unfamiliar with it 'Shadowpact' is a DC supernatural hero team. Created by Bill Willingham (Fables, JSA) it followed some lesser known mystical characters in DC's line up. Ragman, Blue Devil, Enchantress, Detective Chimp, Nightshade and the rest. (Nightmaster!)

Willingham works his magic into each one of the motley cru making them fun and exciting, the characters all get their own development arc and you genuinely care about them. It is the sign of a skilled writer when you can make a character with a name as silly as Ragman, or a concept as silly as Detective Chimp and make them awesome.

Which brings me to my point; Shadowpact's on going series ended in 2008. With the DC relaunch/reboot/preboot/smelly boots thing that is going on I had hoped they would get another regular series and when I heard DC was going to relaunch 52 new titles I was blown away. It is ambitious as hell. (if not smart) So with 52 titles surely there is room for Shadowpact!

It turns out there is not. I mean come on, 52 new titles? There has to be some filler in there. That said every character is someone's favorite and I am sure there are those who view Shadowpact as filler as much as anything else. Which is a shame because It was great.

On the plus side Ragman got his own one shot a few months back. He really is a great character with a fascinating concept and history, and terrible terrible name. Do more with these guys DC! Though, let us hope Ragman never gets a distaff counterpart... No one needs to read Ragwoman or Raggirl. Ick.

The complete run of Shadowpact is available in trade paperback, and they are worth the money! Willingham's ongoing series Fables is also available in TPB and monthly (and it is a great way to get your Manga reading friends into Western Comics.) Ragman Suit of Souls might still be on shelves if you look hard enough.

Why aren't you reading Avengers Academy?

The Ronin here,

No one is buying Avengers Academy.

In a way we are fortunate, Marvel likes this series. Which is probably the only thing keeping it from suffering the same fate as 'Young Allies' and 'Spider-Girl'. Of course it is also better then 'Young Allies' and 'Spider-girl'. Not that Young Allies actually had much of a chance to shine. the titular allies barely come together by the final issue of the series.

I understand why people aren't giving it a try. For one there are a lot of Avengers titles right now, 'Avengers', 'New Avengers', 'Secret Avengers', 'Avengers: The Children Crusade', 'Ultimate Avengers', 'Avengers: Rehab', 'Avengers: Cleveland' and finally 'Avengers: Daycare'. Some of the real ones even sell quite well. Actually there is a lot of good stuff out there for today's busy Avengers fan.