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:

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.