Infinity Man & The Forever People #1
w. Keith Giffen & Dan Didio
a. Keith Giffen
5 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Because anything created by Jack Kirby is awesome. Period. Don’t bother,it’s true. Google “worst Jack Kirby Characters” or “bad Kirby Ideas”. Nothing comes up. Yeah you can bitch and moan about his art ( but only if your under 25 ), but the imagination and creativity behind the art was always top notch.
Now, Dan Didio and Keith Giffen ( with his Padawan, Scott Koblish on inks ) have re-imagined one of his more obscure creations from his defection to DC in the early ’70s.
And what a great job they did.
Didio and Giffen capture the original idea perfectly, Young New Gods sent to Earth to fight off Darkseid’s influence in our realm, while enlightening the people of Earth. They were meant to capture the Age-of-Aquarius-Flower-Child-Anti-Establishment of the ’60s, which would seem to be a bit out of date, but with a few tweaks here in there, your flower child hippie easily becomes your Occupy Wall Street hipster and there really is little difference between Darkseid and Dick Cheney ( that makes Bush Desaad, if your keeping track ), and the poor are still getting poorer and humanity still kind of sucks and could use some cosmic help, so it works. The New 52 Forever People has a lot of promise and Didio and Giffen follow through perfectly on the New 52 model of updating characters, yet maintaining the culture of the original concept.
All the original characters are there ( except for the titular Infinity Man, but long time fans know why! ), the rebellious Mark Moonrider, Vykin, the level 7 Orion class warrior ( they measure battle-skill in Orions,how cool is that! ), Beautiful Dreamer, Serafin and even Big Bear.
Of course there are differences: Serafin,is now Serafina and the sister of Vykin, who is no longer called Vykin the Black ( and you can’t use African-American for a Space-god from New Genesis ), BeautifulDreamer is now Dreamer Beautiful a unknown quantity who is possibly a mental patient and Big Bear is a little less hirsute.
The story itself starts off, like most things Giffen, smack dab in the middle of something big going on, and you learn as you go. Serafina, Mark Moonrider and Dreamer Beautiful have mission that will take them off New Genesis, something Vykin has a problem with, since it will put his sister in danger. But when Vykin accidently bonds with the Mother Box that wil transport the group, he has no choice but to go along for the ride. The Boom Tube drops the Young Gods into a strange and alien environment… Venice Beach California! There they meet Big Bear, who along with his super computer Kirby ( damn, I love comics ), help the new Arrivals adjust to their new home…but can he prepare them in time for the coming of …. Mantis!
If you’ve been a fan of his New 52 wor on the Legion of Superheroes, and the cancelled-too-soon O.M.A.C., you know what you getting into, but you’ll still be impressed. From the dead gods carved into the architecture, to the power behind a Boom-Tube, right up to the last page villain revealed splash, its pure King of Comics. Between this, and JRJR on Superman ( see more on that here: ) , DC has the lock-down on Kirbyness right now….. and that can only be a good thing!!
Like good comics…. read this one!
The skies are green… with Kryptonite! Super-Doom ( Superman, infected with Doomsday’s genetic material through the sporiferous effect of ripping the villain in half ) could not be contained, nor cured before the Doomsday infection hits critical mass. So the governments of the world agreed to let the America Military ( following a Lex Luthor plan, natch! ) spread a Krptonite mist throughout the atmosphere, making Earth un-livable to the Man of Steel. Which sounds like a good thing…. except Kryptonite weakens Kryptonian DNA…. not Doomsdays!!
With Kal barely in control of himself, Wonder Woman brings in some godly help, hoping to cure Superman, but Hessia the healer has other plans. With the help of his lady love, Superman finds a solution…. Exile in space!!
Only one thing stands in his way, Guy Gardner, Supergirl and a cadre of Red Lanterns who want to take him down!!!
The Weekly glimpse into the mysteries of DC’s future gets deeper. Is the bearded bartender named Cal Corcoran really Red Robin, who was believe killed withrest of the Titans in the battle for Paris? Lois Lane thinks so!
Father Time and his Agents of S.H.A.D.E are sending Frankenstein, Amethyst of Gemworld and Ray Palmer to investigate the death of the Stormwatch team, and the destruction of their headquarters in deep-space. Only they have to take a trip through the Phantom Zone to get there!
What the hell is BlackAdam doing in a Kryptonian prison-dimension?
Batman Beyond is still trying t o prevent the future from being over run by Brother Eye and his OMAC virus, how does letting The Key, The Coil and Plastique break into Mr. Terrific’s Terrifitech Headquarters further that goal??
And why is Superman wearing a helmet? Is that the Superman we all know and love? DC’s future is full of mysteries and questions…. and with this writing team, y’know there gonna be good ones.
Original Sins #1 (of 5)
w. Nathan Edmondson,Ryan North & Stuart Moore
a. Mike Perkins, Ramon Villalobos & Rick Geary
3 out of 5 Space Monkeys
A new Deathlok! The Young Avengers! Lockjaw!!! What a nice mix for this tie-in mini expanding on the events in the main Original Sin mini series ( See this one is called Original SinS, plural, not to be confused with Original Sin, which is singular… the House of Idea strikes again! ). With the Orb using one of the Watcher’s eyes as a Secret Bomb, revealing to anyone in its radius, a dark secret from their past, the Marvel Universe has been thrown into utter chaos.
First up Edmondson & Perkins give us the latest take on the Deathlok model. Riding high on his popularity from his appearances on Agents of SHIELD, Marvel decided to create yet another Deathlok, despite having at least three or four running around the Marvel Universe. And what a surprise, he looks a lot like J. August Richards. When an Agent of SHIELD who was near the Eye-Bomb recognizes Henry Hayes, a disabled vet with artificial limbs, as SHIELDS secret cyborg assassin, he approaches the man to talk shop, and tell him how impressed he is with Deathlok’s skills and body-count. Only one problem- Hayes has no idea what he’s talking about. As far as Henry is concerned he’s a vet doing recruitment work among other vets for Biotek, the company who gave him his prothetics. Hayes dismisses the man as a loon, but then something strange happens. At the behest of a shadowy figure the words “whisky david” ( military code, probably “weapon deployment” ) flash across a train time-table, and something happens to Hayes, which spells doom for a certain inquisitive shield agent!!
Then we have the Young Avengers ( loud obnoxious sigh ). So after 2 massively delayed miniseries, ruining the Vision, a failed ongoing series and being crammed into any special event marvel has, the powers that be still believe that someone wants to read about super-powered hipster teens and there silly teen problems. Sorry, just my opinion, but with YA, Teen Titans, The Ravagers, and Legion of Superheroes all being cancelled, I don’t think I’m the only one who lost taste for teen superhero team books ( liking New Warriors, but cant see it lasting long ).
Anyway, the Young Avengers decide to get involved with whole Original Sin she-bang, once they recognize one of the villains, Exterminartix, as Noh-Var’s ex- girlfriend. After impersonating Phil Coulson to get past the SHIELD agents patrolling NYC, the Young Avengers run into yet another Marvel character who has seen better days….The Hood! ( and the only reason I won’t skip over the YA story next issue )
And finally, a two-page silent story, featuring Lockjaw. What secret from the inhuman dog’s past is revealed to him? Which of the mighty superheroes will help him find the missing object he s desperately seeks??? Guest Starring Captain America, Luke Cage, Ms. Marvel, The White Queen, Black Panther,Human Torch, Spider-man and Iron-Man! All in two pages….and slightly more entertaining then the Young Avengers Story
The Illuminati have been fighting off dimension destroying Incursions from other Earths entering our dimensional space. Weather populated by warped versions of themselves, the evil Black Priests, or the harvesting Sideria Maris, the Avengers have fought them off and destroyed worlds to have ours. They face their greatest threat… heroes! Our world is moment away from crashing into The Great Society’s earth. A team of superheroes who have a startling resemblance to members of the Distinguished Competition’s Justice League, the Great Society has fought off Incursions themselves, and know what the consequences are for failure. Can the Illuminati defeat this team of hopeful heroes, who believe in truth justice and the American way? Should they?
Also, Namor acts like douche! (surprise, surprise)
Armor Hunters #1
$5.99 (chromium cover)
w. Robert Venditti
a. Doug Braithwaite
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Because Venditti was the architect behind the re-boot of the X-O Manowar series ( and the Valiant universe itself ), and Braithwaite was behind the launch of Unity with Matt Kindt. So when these two creative forces come together to bring us the next big event in the Valiant Universe, you can bet your sweet donkey, Ill be on board. And this one is a game changer. With a few titles coming to a close or going on a temporary hiatus ( Bloodshot and Harbinger ), Armor Hunters serves as a vehicle to bring those books into the next stage o the Valiant Evolution. Along with the main mini-series, and tie-ins with Unity and X-O; Valiant is putting out two mini series titled Armor Hunters: Harbinger & Armor Hunters: Bloodshot which pick up on these characters from where they were left off at the end of their books.
Fear not, wallet watchers, in true valiant style the ARMOR hunters Mini-Series is a self contained story, with the tie-ins and crossovers expanding on threads involving the characters surrounding the over all story, you don’t have to read every one in a particular order! Or, you can skip that daily Starbucks frappachino , which is only gonna give you diabetes, and get as much of this as you can! ITS GONNA BE BIG!!!
Venditti has already set the stage in current issues of X-O Manowar, the Armor Hunters are the remains of a once mighty battalion of warriors who’s sole purpose was to hunt down and destroy all the X-O Manowar armors in existence. That’s right, plural. Everything Aric knows about the Armor he learned from the spider-aliens known as the Vine. And it was all lies! They built a legend around a powerful weapon they found, and now the Armor Hunters are on the hunt. Tracking an alien named Malgam across the galaxy, the now-dwindling force is down to few members ( X-O’s are not easy to take down ) desperate to see their mission completed by taking out Malgam, and X-O as well
The Armor Hunters are deadly and ruthless, leaving whole worlds dead in their path and populations left in ruin. Nothing will stop them from killing an Armor-bearer, and with two of them on Earth ( Malgam was defeated and captured my X-O in Earth orbit, and gave the first warning of the Hunters’ arrival ), it’s safe to say our planets in a lot of trouble ( sorry Mexico City ). The Armor Hunters make known, rather quickly, the lengths they will go to kill X-O Manowar… and this former Visigoth prince is heading right towards them!
This creative team rocks! The book was great, pulling in key players and setting them up for some big time action, while showcasing the Armor Hunters themselves, their mission allegiance and the psychological damage imparted on them from years of battle. Venditti is a true sci-fi writer, with the splashy action moments a comic book event needs,and with Braithwaite on the art duties… well his reputation speaks for itself, as does his fantastic renderings. There are previews of the tie-in minis in the back, which just whet your appetite for more, and show the effect of the events of issue one across the Valiant Universe.
And besides the all the usual coolness Valiant throws out there with Chromium covers and Variants, they also have a online name generator! Find out your Armor Hunter codename, your power and how you died in your quest to destroy the X-O Armors. Its free, its fun, its here: insert name generator link here
Captured by the forces of Kingfisher’s mighty army, Duke McQueen finds himself doubting his choice to come back to Tantalus, the planet he saved from despot years ago. But once rescued by the beautiful Tilda Starr, leader of the small resistance group that sent Krish the space-boy to recruit Duke once again, and meeting Admiral Pindar, the douche nozzle that killed Space-Boy’s parents, Duke McQueen realizes this is where he’s supposed to be, and this is what he’s supposed to do. Watch the hero of a hundred space born battles coe out of retirement to end the deadly reign of King Fisher and free the people of Tantalus. A legend is Reborn!!!
Being a big Poe fan in my younger years, I couldn’t pass this up. Corben has been working his way through Poe’s repertoire. Previously publishing The Mask of The Red Death, The Raven, The Premature Burial and The Cask of Montadillo through Dark Horse in two-story one-shot issues, Corben adds his signature talent to Poe’s work and it works wonders. He captures the odd, creepiness that is at the heart of every Poe story, an his characters come alive with intensity and uniqueness. From Morella’s intricate witchcraft tattoos, right up to the great rendering on the true kill on Rue Morgue ( won’t give it away in case you never read it! ). Check this out, learn a classic. If you don’t like em, give em to some kid in your neighborhood… maybe they can do a book report, or at least fake their way!
Last Weeks Surprise Pick:
Why?: Because I loved the Strange New Worlds photo-novel so much, I had my LCS re-order this for me, so I’m not sure if it came out last week, but that’s when I read it so….. These are really cool. John Byrne painstakingly uses photoshop to create graphic novel pages from thousands of still images from Star Trek episodes of the original series ( hey as long as it keeps him busy, and away from comics and the internet ) and has created sequels to two of the best Star Trek episodes ever. They’re pretty flawless, read like an episode, and fun to look at. The high price is a little rough, but worth it… or just download it, borrow a friends, get kicked out of shop reading it, whatever, I guarantee you run home and search for Star Trek on Netflix.