Comic Reviews

Ninja Turtle Cereal
The Ninja Turtles debuted a cereal in the early 90s that was to many folks pretty repulsive. Frankly, I don’t recall the cereal tasting any worse than a lot of the other stuff on the market at the time. Then again, I don’t remember particularly loving it either. One of the promotions involved sending away to get special cereal exclusive comics and that’s what we’re taking a look at today, because they’re actually kind of neat comics.

Done by the Mirage team, it offers a rare glimpse into how a Mirage “Fred Wolf” TMNT comic may have went. While one could argue that Archie’s TMNT Adventures was certainly the same idea, this was closer in style to the Mirage playbook than the Archie stories ever were.

You had to mail away for each comic, which in itself was a pretty good scheme. The comics were small, not unlike the MOTU mini comics, but had a fairly decent continuing story throughout. This one starts with Raphael and Casey Jones playing baseball. Casey Jones wasn’t shown to be a friend of the TMNT that much in the original toon, so you can already see that Mirage twist on the norm. Continue reading

In a summer dominated by superhero series entries, it is refreshing to have a non-sequel, non-adaptation blockbuster to look forward to. Even better if that movie features gigantic monsters being battled with giant mech suits. Like Newton, I am a big fan of Godzilla and Japan’s other great beasts, so the premise of the upcoming Pacific Rim pretty much has me hooked. But despite the divine eye candy highlighted in the trailers, not much is known about the world and characters, outside of the official plot description:

“When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes-a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)-who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.”

When I saw that a prequel graphic novel was coming out, I knew I would need it to satisfy my curiosity. When I saw it had a sweet cover by Alex Ross, one of my favorite comic artists, I knew I really needed it. Continue reading

Rocketeer IDW #1 Review

The Rocketeer- Hollywood Horror #1
IDW Publishing
Story by Roger Langridge
Art by J. Bone

I’ve made it clear in the past that I’m a fan of the Rocketeer’s return to comics, even after the death of Dave Stevens. I’ve reviewed a few of the IDW Rocketeer comics in the past, but I thought I would take a look at one of the new mini-series containing the famed finhead. Hollywood Horror is a new series that started earlier this year, detailing the Rocketeer’s latest adventures of mystery and intrigue, with a nice dash of adventure and excitement on the side. Unlike some of the previous forays into this character, Hollywood Horror is brought to life by J. Bone in a very unique art style that is wholly different than anything Stevens ever did. Thankfully IDW has already numbed most the reading audience to these changes by doing the inaugural anthology series which had many different artists and writers working on it.

The Rocketeer Comic
By now you shouldn’t be shocked seeing a different take on the Rocketeer, but even so Hollywood Horror has a very distinctive style. For whatever the reason, I kept being reminded of the old Disney Adventures Magazine comic strips. I suppose on a certain level, this is apropos. Of course, there’s definitely more “sex” here, as it contains a lot of the same stalwarts that we’ve come to know in Rocketeer comics. Only this time, Betty isn’t drawn with almost ridiculous realism, but she still parades around scantly clad. It’s interesting if nothing else.

Rocketeer - Hollywood Horror 6
For a story that has a backdrop of old Hollywood, you’d think there would be more nods to the town itself. While Hollywood is a character in the story, it’s not much of one. I guess I was hoping that with that title, we’d see some sort of old Universal style monsters. No such luck as of yet, although there certainly is something monstrous going on. We do get some fun nods to classic comic strip characters like Mutt and Jeff, along with a helping of nostalgic overtones that have always been a staple of the Rocketeer books. Continue reading

Captain Action 04 1
Captain Action #4
DC Comics
Story by Gil Kane
Art by Gil Kane

We’re now almost done with the DC comics Captain Action run and Gil Kane is now completely in charge. Considering how much better things got once Kane got control, that’s probably not a bad thing. Still, I have to wonder how much the writing was on the wall at this point. DC obviously was beginning to care less and less about Captain Action and even Ideal was about to pull the plug on the toys.

Captain Action (1968) 04 - 06

The comic starts off detailing where Dr. Evil disappeared to in the climax of the last issue. He ends up in some world between worlds again, only this time he discovers an alien race that happens to look just like him. They are super advanced, but apparently are on the end of their life cycle. They want to just disappear and die off, but Dr. Evil will have none of it.

Captain Action (1968) 04 - 07

Instead he convinces them that the Earth would make a suitable planet for them to inhabit and take over. It doesn’t really make a ton of sense, but he manages to whip them up into a frenzy. Once he succeeds in that, he decides to go after Captain Action and distract him so the invasion can begin. He tries to enter Captain Action’s mind but the Captain is too strong… So he enters Carl’s mind, because Carl only exists to get Captain Action in trouble.

Captain Action (1968) 04 - 13

With Carl under his spell, he gets him to unleash some sort of monsters. This isn’t very clearly defined, but somehow a device of Captain Action’s is able to unleash these monsters. Carl snaps out of the trance, just in time to team up with Pop to face the evil monsters.

Captain Action (1968) 04 - 14

Captain Action and Action Boy manage to defeat the monsters rather easily. Dr. Evil isn’t happy that his plan didn’t work. Captain Action isn’t happy that his sidekick son is useless.

Continue reading

Captain Action #3
DC Comics
Story by Gil Kane
Art by Gil Kane & Wally Wood

And like that, Jim Shooter’s run on Captain Action comes to an end. Amazingly, it’s for the better, as issue #3 of Captain Action is immediately a million times better than the first two issues. While there are some problems with this comic, it’s a stronger overall story and concept. It also greatly reflects a lot of the changes that were going on in the era.

We start off with Captain Action in his regular form, working with son Carl on extracting the power from the magic coins. Incredibly, Professor Arno believes that he can use the powers not just for himself, but the good of all mankind. He’s a nice guy. No wonder Krellik didn’t like him. They’ve borrowed a machine from the famed Dr. Tracy, in hopes of getting some progress.

Meanwhile Dr. Tracy is working on a machine of his that can repair fault lines and prevent earthquakes. It’s a great concept, but just as he thinks his machine might be ready, an earthquake is about to occur! He switches on the machine, but it’s too late. A horrific earthquake strikes California. The first two Captain Action comics were full of a lot of “Golly, gee whiz” and now less than two pages into this one we’ve got babies and children being killed in a natural disaster. We’re through the looking glass here people.

Tracy’s machine has some crazed effect, where it drags him into some trippy world between worlds. His body and mind alter, forever changing him. Some of the language here is pretty deep and world’s apart from the first two issues. This is like some some Kirby-esque concept.

Dr. Tracy is transformed into another being. He then dubs himself, Dr. Evil, because that’s all that fills his heart. He wants to destroy mankind and raise his own beings. He wants to evolve mankind, like he was evolved. Time to turn everyone into a blue skinned freak!

Continue reading