MattyLovesComics 08.19.2015 – “Superman and Batman have gone ‘bye-bye,’ Egon. What’ve you got left?”

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 12.42.56 PMWednesday! Here we are once again! Massive action is on the horizon. The book this week look filled with punching and blasting (I hope). But before I get too ahead of myself, I wanted to touch on a few of the books from last week. DC Comics has my brain twisting and turning.

Two of my favorite comic book heroes (and the rest of the world’s) are getting yet another ‘re-vamp’ treatment. I’m talking about Superman and Batman, and I feel so indifferent about each of the directions the characters are heading that I’m dreaming about waking up to a world without Superman or Batman. But wait, this is reality.

I’m pretty irritated with the complaints about Jim Gordon as the new Bats. It’s a change I’m welcome to. My only problem is Bruce Wayne and the Dyonesium. In Batman #43, the readers find out how Bruce Wayne survived the collapse of the Batcave. This also means Joker survived as well, if you think about it. Apparently, Bruce turned off the ‘Bat-mode’ in his brain. He doesn’t care that he lost everything. Instead of punching bad guys in the face, he’s working in the community. Jim comes to Bruce, asking for any help using Bruce’s connections to Batman. Bruce declines. He doesn’t want to help Jim, just the children’s rec center.

How does this sound? Jim isn’t confident in being Batman, so Jim essentially asks the old Batman to help Jim be a better Batman. Old Batman says no, so Jim, the new Batman can’t do anything until old Batman helps. How many issues will this take? What is Scott Snyder’s plan? This is a world without Batman. (I don’t count everything else that takes place in Detective Comics, Superman/Batman, or any other, ah nevermind.)

If there is one thing Snyder has done once again in Batman is develop a new, compelling villain. At the end of the day, I feel Mr. Bloom is designed to be a foe meant for Jim Gordon, as opposed to Batman. Bloom’s gimmick is weaponizing super powers and selling them to individual buyers. Not one specific power dealt to the public, but one specific power dealt to one specific individual. He’s really cool. Ask The Penguin.

Oh man, then there’s Superman and Action Comics. I love Greg Pak’s Marvel catalog. His Hulk stories are top-notch. Amadeus Cho is one of the better characters created for mainstream comics in the past fifteen years. That said, if not for Aaron Kuder’s incredible art, I’m not sure if I would be reading Action on a monthly basis. In the latest issue, Clark lets his community know that he no longer can be Superman. “You are all Superman now.” I’m sorry, but Superman would never admit defeat. All is not lost for him. Action’s tone is just off for me. Pak’s run went from horror to not really horror to now shadow creatures… I don’t know. I’m not sure what’s going on at DC.

Speaking of DC, Vertigo’s Mad Max Fury Road series of stories are solid primers for the film. I highly suggest picking up the trade. It’s available for pre-order now. If you thought the film was hands-down the best film of the year (like me), check this collection out.

Although I managed to get through all of the books from the previous two weeks, Action Comics and Batman were the only new titles from last week I got through. (I’ve been super-busy.) I still need to get to my Secret Wars stuff from last week. Later on tonight I will dive into all that and hopefully more.

Why? Because there is a ton of Secret Wars material coming out today!

My list for 8/19/2015

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN RYV 4

ARMOR WARS 4

DOCTOR FATE 3

GUARDIANS OF KNOWHERE 3

HOUSE OF M 1

HOWARD THE HUMAN 1

INVINCIBLE 122

JUSTICE LEAGUE 43

KANAN 5

SPIDER-VERSE 4

STAR WARS 8

WEIRDWORLD 3

X-TINCTION AGENDA 3

And Star Wars too! And Invincible! And Justice League! Sheesh.

I can’t wait to get into the new Justice League. As opposed to what’s going on in your Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman comics, The Darkseid War, for me, is the most entertaining storyline in all of DC. Obviously, the events of TDW predate the convoluted ‘DCYou.’ (Right?) I previously elaborated on Batman’s ‘moment’ from JL #42 a few weeks back. I want to see how The New Gods react to ‘Bat-Metron.’ I’m sure it won’t last. How could it?

Thragg is amassing an army. Invincible has no clue. But is that the real story? Image Comics dropped some teasers about where Invincible is heading. Will Thragg attack before Invincible goes back in time? Is this why Invincible is going back in time? Wait, why is Thragg building this army of alien offspring? I love this comic more than most.

Jason Aaron continues to weave the Star Wars story a lot people wanted years ago. I’m excited that Stuart Immonen takes over the pencils for the next arc. His work on All-New X-Men was tremendous. I feel Immonen’s style will fit right into this series and universe. Apparently Luke Skywalker and R2-D2 travel to Coruscant. I find this interesting. What has become of the city-planet since The Galactic Empire took over? I never understood why the Jedi Temple is on Coruscant. Who knows, maybe Aaron will give us a reason. Why not? He’s managed to knock everything else out of the ballpark.

And yes, there is the Secret Wars tie-ins. I’m especially looking forward to reading Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, Weirdworld, and Guardians of Knowhere. All three I’ve raved about. A friend of mine read Renew Your Vows #4 and led me to believe it is still moving along nicely. Annie May Parker is a character that should have already been established in the 90’s. That’s just my opinion.

Who ever thought Arkon would be one of the most interesting characters in 2015? Weirdworld is a strange brew of fantasy, magic, and sci-fi, which Jason Aaron (surprise, surprise) excels in creating. Somehow Aaron’s managed to integrate the 80’s toy property/comic Crystar The Crystal Warrior into the mix. Mike Del Mundo’s art is stunning. This title, along with Where Monsters Dwell, should not disappear after the Secret Wars event concludes.

So, yeah. It’s comic book Wednesday. Go out and grab some books. Read. Enjoy.

EP_8_SUMMERSLAMWe’re approaching SUMMERSLAM weekend. With that in mind, check out the newest episode of MattyLovesPodcast on Friday. “Dr.” Tom Lucas and I are joined by Ed Ferrara as we talk about pro-wrestling: long-formatted storylines, wild personalities, patriotism, and–of course–we run down the card for “the biggest event in the history of the WWE.” We could’ve talked for hours and hours. It was such a good time. I miss talking about pro-wrestling history. There’s more to come.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Wednesday. Come back next week! Same day! Same blog!

FullSizeRender-2Matt de Simone is a huge fan of pre-Internet pro-wrestling. He’s a fan of a lot of entertainment properties pre-Internet. Did the Internet destroy entertainment? Did it make the industry better? Why are there so many advertisements in comic books? Write an essay (5,000 words minimum) on how the dinosaurs became extinct.

 

MattyLovesComics 08.12.2015 – “Stop pitching for the Cubs and read those comics.”

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 12.42.56 PMGreetings and salutations. Another comic book Wednesday is here, and man, has it arrived a lot sooner than I anticipated. Usually I am ready for each and every Wednesday, but the past week or so caused a slight pause in some of my reading. I’m busy-busy. Have I been reading at all? Yes. Am I reading as much as I usually knock out weekly? Hell no. That must change soon or the backlog will start to get a bit ridiculous.

But before I get to the comics, did anyone see Fantastic Four? I’m speaking to ‘you,’ the reader. The numbers totally show that no one saw the movie, especially in the demo of people who go see all comic book films (me). I personally thought it look crappy from the jump, but then the trailers leading up to the film’s release gave me a little bit of hope. But once the early reviews started to roll in–all similarly dunking the movie–my interest waned. Will I see the film eventually? Yes, of course I will. But I don’t think I will shell out the $20 to go see a film I already know will waste my time and money. Maybe Fox will release the original cut when the DVD is released (doubtful).

I’ve been watching a bit of the current pro-wrestling product. It’s all shlock, in my opinion. Rather tired. However, RAW did manage to grab my attention. How about Stephen Amell wrestling at ‘The Summerslam?’ Both he and Cody Rhodes (son of the late Dusty Rhodes) aka Stardust have traded comments on Twitter from quite some time now. I think the initial rumors of Amell’s involvement with the WWE started a little before Wrestlemania XXXI back in March, if I’m not mistaken. My ear isn’t to the wrestling streets as it once was.

Anyway, Amell didn’t get arrested, letting all fans know they can attack wrestlers whenever at live events. I’ve never been a fan of the “celebrity jumping over the guardrail” deal, especially if the celebrity totally makes it look staged. That said, Amell’s effortless approach to the ring was pretty impressive (well rehearsed). Who knows, maybe he got work somewhere before he started acting. If Amell wears the Arrow gear while in the ring, there’s no way any nerds won’t tune in. The promo Amell cut was pretty convincing (he is a professional actor, after all). Some of the boys should take note. The promos nowadays… Yikes.

Next week I’m proud to say episode nine of MattyLovesPodcast is pro-wrestling centric. For any of you wondering where the wrestling has gone in my daily vernacular, fear not. I’ve been saving it for episode nine. Stay tuned.

Speaking of the podcast, we’re eight episodes deep! Well, technically seven, but the next episode is mixed down and will be delivered to the Internets promptly this Friday. This week “Dr.” Tom Lucas and I rap about some of our greatest teams in the history of entertainment. We also talk a little about the Fantastic Four and Deadpool. It’s a good time for all.

Oh, comics. How you slay thee. I said earlier that I’ve been a bit on the busy side, which has upended my reading time every week. I’m also not going to lie to you, I went ahead and snagged MLB The Show 15 like an idiot. I’m pitching for the Cubs. But it will soon lose its luster. I hardbody video games for like two weeks, and then I keep it moving. I’m not much of a “gamer.” Sports games, I like. If I play a game where I need to use a strat guide or other forms of assistance in order to complete the story, I tend to stay away. I don’t have time for that stuff. I usually play those types of games if I’m sick. For real. If I get sick, Gamestop is on my sickly to-do list. Playing a wild video game in the midst of a fever is fun for me–y’know, while I feel like crap.

As far as the comics I managed to read outside of my work and walks plus hits per innings pitched, I enjoyed some of last week’s selections.

Darth Vader #8 continues to rock the spot. The heist ended up being a success.

I’ve seen the character Skyfox playing the wall in Jupiter’s Circle. I’ve said to myself, “Who’s that guy? What’s his deal?” He’s just been ‘around.’ Well, if you read issue five, you know now what Skyfox’s deal is. He might be my favorite hero of the lot.

Giant “devil horns” in the direction of Brian K. Vaughan’s We Stand On Guard. Firstly, the book looks beautiful. The colors remind me a lot of how Invincible has that brighter hue to it. It seems the rebels’ leader is in a rather dire predicament. I wonder how the gang’s going to save her?

Outcast by Kirkman and Azaceta is nuts. The demons are everywhere. I’m beginning to think Kyle Barnes’ family might be cursed.

I’m so behind on my Secret Wars stuff. Admittedly, there is a lot of material. It’s adding up. So much to the point to where I may just end up collecting certain tie-ins and reading them together like Age of Apocalypse, Civil War, and Spider-Island. Those are just a few.

Hey look, more Secret Wars.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Put down the controller and read some comics, nerd.]

My list for 8/12/2015

ACTION COMICS 43

A-FORCE 3

BATMAN 43

DESCENDER 6

FADE OUT 8

HOWARD THE DUCK 5

INJECTION 4

PLANET HULK 4

SECRET WARS 5

STAR WARS LANDO 2

STAR-LORD AND KITTY 2

YEARS OF FUTURE PAST 4

At long last, the next chapter of Secret Wars unfolds. This is a Dr. Doom story, y’all. We’ve found out he totally wants to be Reed Richards. Well, at least Doom wants Reed’s life. If you tell him that his vision is selfish or unreasonable, you die. Ask Cyclops. Doom broke the neck of The Phoenix, essentially. Marvel just loves the X-Men these days.

Hey hey, a new Planet Hulk drops today. I can’t get over the quirks to ‘Greenland.’ I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Captain America, Devil Dinosaur, and Doc Green.

Sigh. Action Comics and Batman #43 are waiting patiently on my office desk. They sit at the top of the pile. Yes, I have a Superman “Truth” t-shirt en route to my apartment. Am I excited about the story in which the new ‘costume’ is involved? Not really. I don’t think there are any ‘Robo-Bat’ shirts available. But I think Batman is playing out a lot better than Superman or Action in this post-Convergence mess. My fingers are crossed for today’s issues.

My lists have been a little funky as of late. Fade Out #8 was supposed to be released last week (hence the graphic). It ended up in my stack today.

Finally, Descender ends today. This series was my introduction to Jeff Lemire. I haven’t read a lot of his DC stuff. I’m looking forward to reading his upcoming X-Men material. And if Descender is anything similar to his storytelling in other books, I need to read those. Please, friends, send me your suggestions. Everyone should pick up Descender when it becomes available in trade format. It’ll be cheap and totally worth the $10.

And that’s that. I hope everyone enjoys their Wednesday. I promise next week I’ll have more info on some of these titles I need to get to. Until then.

FullSizeRender-2Matt de Simone is a writer, blogger, podcast host, and finds Sponge Bob Squarepants incredibly annoying. He may just be a curmudgeon because “cartoons aren’t the same anymore.” His words.

MattyLovesComics 08.05.2015 – “There isn’t a 19th story.”

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 12.47.14 PMWhat is happening on this comic book Wednesday? At this time last week, I was up to my ears in homework and reading. Please forgive my insomnia. Well, it wasn’t exactly insomnia, but I ran on four hours of sleep tops for a solid week. That ain’t me. I managed to catch back up a bit on my Z’s and my reading. So “here I am, rocking like a [comic book] hurricane.”

Before we get to the comics, I wanted to briefly profess my love for Sideways Stories From Wayside School. My lovely mother is a 2nd grade teacher. I’m pretty sure she told me to read this book several times when I couldn’t get my head out of the comics as a child. Mom, I just read it 30 years later, and it was awesome. For any of you unfamiliar with this series of books, Wayside School is 30 stories high, with only one classroom on each level. If you’re looking for the 19th floor, or Miss Zarves, you won’t find them. The book is written for children to enjoy, but I believe author Louis Sachar wrote this story for parents to read to their children, or a teacher to her students. This may have been one of my favorite homework assignments in my scholastic history.

I write about what I read every Wednesday. One thing I don’t really touch on is comic books I currently am not reading. The other morning I woke up from a dream where I think I was Fantomex? You just had to be there. I own his first appearance (New X-Men #128), but haven’t read a lot of stories involving the character over the years. Specifically, Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force is a series I wish I snagged when it dropped monthly. I just paid less than $20 for it on eBay the other day. I have a hard time finding good deals on collections using eBay. Sometimes it works out pretty well.

Two other series I am looking forward to reading are Black Science, also written by Remender, and East of West, written by Jonathan Hickman. A few years back I decided to broaden my horizons and read more independent comics not necessarily related to your common superhero tropes. Science and EoW were two of the first book I snagged based on: a.) the writer, and b.) the cover. Black Science appeared to be a space opera. East of West looked like a Mad Maxian, future-western. I’ve avoided being spoiled on either of the books, but from what I hear, I’m a little right and a little wrong. I’m waiting on the right rainy day to kick in on these titles. It’ll happen and you’ll likely read about it.

This week’s entry focuses on the ‘now.’ It’s where my head is on this lovely Wednesday. There are several books released today that a lot of you should be reading. (Budget-shmudget.) I never complained last week about the light load. I knew this stack was looming.

8/5/2015

AGE OF APOCALYPSE 2

CIVIL WAR 2

DARTH VADER 8

DEADLY CLASS 15

FADE OUT 8

FUTURE IMPERFECT 4

GIANT SIZE LITTLE MARVEL 3

GUARDIANS OF KNOWHERE 2

INFINITY GAUNTLET 4

JUPITER’S CIRCLE 5

KAPTARA 4

MAD MAX FURY ROAD MAX 2

SPIDER-ISLAND 2

ULTIMATE END 4

WE STAND ON GUARD 2

I feel as though I’ve expressed my opinions on a majority of these titles in previous entries. So rather than get too far into how smokin’ Future Imperfect is, I’ll just do ‘quick hits’ on every single title I’m snagging today.

Whoa, I just noticed there are zero DC titles on the list. Insane. Oh wait! No, I lied. Mad Max Fury Road: Max #2 is published through Vertigo. That counts. Shew. I was sad that I have cut enough of the DC confusion out of my comic budget (shmudget) to go a week without anything from DCYou. I’m still a DC-kid at heart.

I’ll start with Marvel. ‘Quick hits,’ remember? All-Secret Wars, all-week.

Okay, Age of Apocalypse #2 is first up. It’s pretty simple here. If you never read the original, you’ll have no clue what’s going on. However, if you are a fan of Doug Ramsey aka Cypher from the New Mutants stories, pick it up. I’m not sure what’s tied into Secret Wars quite yet, but issue two should pull back the curtain a bit more.

Civil War #2. Um, I can’t remember much from the first issue except that the premise of the story is as if the original Civil War never ended. There was this meeting between Captain America and Iron Man that was their first face-to-face in years or something. There are stakes, I just can’t remember. Thank goodness for the classic Marvel recap page.

Darth Vader may be the one comic in this pile that any fan of Star Wars should be reading. This book has already solidified a spot in my Top Ten Comics of 2015. Stoked to read issue eight.

Oh yes, Future Imperfect is the ‘bee’s.’ Peter David’s Hulk stories are the best. You know how Dr. Doom is all in control of Battleworld and whatnot? Yeah, well The Maestro (Hulk) wants Battleworld for himself. So he, The Thing (not Ben Grimm), Ruby Summers (daughter of Scott Summers and Emma Frost), Layla Miller (duh, it’s Peter David doing whatever he wants) have to decide whether they can all work together and overthrow Doom. I hope this sounds bizarre to you.

Who doesn’t love the art of Skottie Young? I had the pleasure of meeting him last year at Megacon. I was onto his drawing game over ten years ago during the wave of comics Marvel released under the ‘Marvel Tsunami’ tag. His style has become more refined and it’s now everywhere. I can’t wait for I Hate Fairyland in October from Image. But until then, Giant-Sized Little Marvel: AvX is holding me over nicely. I read that this title is going to be one of the more pivotal titles in Secret Wars. If that’s the case, I’m looking forward to see how.

Guardians of Knowhere, as I have previously stated, was set up perfectly by Brian Michael Bendis. Top of the stack comic here, folks.

Infinity Gauntlet follows the ‘Nova Family?’ Beautiful art.

Spider-Island better contain Mary Jane in her ‘Spider-Island costume’ in issue two.

Ultimate End is about the end of the Ultima– Oh, you get it.

Switching to the indies, Brian K. Vaughan’s We Stand On Guard was a pleasant surprise last month. Big, American-robot assholes have ravaged the Canadian countryside making sure no one is left. But there are survivors. They have to rebel, right?

Kaptara is another book I’ve gushed over. Chip Zdarsky is hilarious.

Mark Millar is considered by many to be a hit-or-miss creator. Jupiter’s Circle expands the universe established in Jupiter’s Legacy. Instead of how the original heroes came to be, it picks up right in the middle of the chaos. It’s pretty wild.

I hope The Fade Out gets a second volume. I think of L.A. Noire whenever I think about this book. Oh, the game that could have been. Well Fade Out definitely isn’t disappointing. Hollywood murder mysteries rock the house.

Earlier I mentioned a few “projects” I keep within my collection (Black Science, East of West). Deadly Class is not only another one of my projects I’m working to read eventually, but it’s written by Rick Remender as well. Geez. I think I might be doing these books and the writer a disservice by not reading them. Should I start with the Remender stuff? Or East of West? 

I still need to shelf those. I have fifteen powerful titles to tackle this afternoon, or evening. I cranked out homework into the wee hours last night leaving me with not a lot to do this afternoon but read. And meet with “Dr. Tom” to discuss what’s in store for future episodes of MattyLovesPodcast. I made a tentative schedule. October is shaping up to be a super-fun month of episodes every Friday.

Enjoy your day. Read some comics, or at least read about some of these titles and maybe they may appeal to you.

See you next Wednesday.

FullSizeRender-2Matt de Simone is a writer, blogger, podcast host, and learned this morning how to defend your home with a katana in case a burglar tries to invade. Seriously, watch this video. He was a little pissed that, when defending your life in a basement, downward strikes are limited according to this ‘expert.’ “Bull-hockey,” Matt said, “not all basements are that small.”