Collections

Review: Jack Kirby’s Galactic Bounty Hunters Paperback Collection

jack-kirbys-galactic-bounty-hunters-tpbTitle: Jack Kirby’s Galactic Bounty Hunters Paperback Collection

Publisher: Marvel Comics’ Icon Imprint

Cost: $19.99

Storytellers: Jack Kirby (concept), Lisa Kirby, Michael Thibodeaux, Steve Robertson and Richard French (developers and writers) with Michael Thibodeaux, Karl Kesel & Scott Hanna with Jack Kirby and Mike Royer (artists)

A love letter to Jack Kirby, this series focuses on Mainframe, a retired member of the Galactic Bounty Hunters who becomes a comic creator and starts a family. Jack Berkley is a famous comic creator, using his previous adventures with the GBH as fodder for his comic stories. When one of his former enemies seeks out Jack’s evidence on his mother, Jack’s son Garrett is kidnapped and whisked away on an intergalactic journey, learning that his father isn’t a “joke” and that he was once the hero Mainframe. Suiting up and getting his old team back together, Jack seeks out his captured son and goes all out in order to defeat Slugg and stop the evidence keeping Slugg’s mother in prison from being destroyed!

A very short synopsis, but one that sums up this amazing tale. While some of Kirby’s art is used in this collection, most of it is not Jack’s but the artists do an amazing job of coping his style and giving the whole trade a great feel. I wish this collection had been in hardcover, as that is my preferred way to collect trades, but just having this is great. I really love the Kirby esthetic, which includes his writing style, which this does a fine job of mimicking, and his character designs, with their unique costumes and color pallets. The story here is great, allowing all of the members of the GHB to shine and giving us some father-son realizations in the process. We even get a cameo from Captain Victory, which is amazing!

Each of the six collected issues is massive, allowing the story to breath. Also included is a bunch of art and interviews with the creators behind this collection, which adds more depth, if reading that stuff is your thing. All-in-all, what can I say, I’m a Jack Kirby fan and even though he didn’t writer or draw this entire collection, with his daughter at the helm, if fells as if he had!

Recommended

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Review: Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Volume One Paperback Collection

mighty-morphin-power-rangers-vol-1Title: Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Volume One Paperback Collection

Publisher: BOOM! Studios

Cost: $19.99

Storytellers: Kyle Higgins (writer) with Hendry Prasetya (art) and Matt Herms (colors); The Ongoing Adventures of Bulk & Skull: Steve Orlando (writer) with Corin Howell (art) and Jeremy Lawson (colors).

Taking place after the Power Rangers free Tommy from Rita’s clutches, the Green Ranger is the newest member of the team. Tommy is having some problems with adjusting to taking orders and his new life in Angel Grove. Tommy keeps having visions of Rita, who derides him, driving him to take risks and disobey orders. This is all part of Rita’s plan to use Scorpina to gather the chaos energies of the Green Ranger in order to open a portal. Sending Putties after Tommy while at home,  Scorpina is able to make an imprint of the Dragon Dagger, which Rita uses to take over the Dragonzord. After the battle with Scorpina and the Dragonzord, the Rangers capture her and bring hero back to their base. The Rangers are angry at Tommy, who is constantly disobeying orders and getting himself into trouble, but it’s all too late as their anger activates the fake Dragon Dagger and opens the portal, destroying the Ranger’s base.

This is a fun and fantastic read, especially if you love the Power Rangers! I watched the original series, back in the day, and really enjoyed the concept and action of the show, while the dialogue is painful, especially today. But with that said, this series takes what I liked about the series and amps up the action and set-pieces, and gives us much better character interaction and dialogue, and frankly, a much better story! The art is also great, feeling a bit anime at times, and seeing as how the Power Rangers have a connection to Japan anyway, this fits. The main story is more serious than anything Power Rangers I’ve every read.

The back up feature focuses on the goofballs that are Bulk and Skull, and their attempts to get the girls to join their Power Ranger club. While it’s odd and the art doesn’t hold up to that of the main story, it’s still fun and reminiscent of the Bulk and Skull adventures seen on TV series.

All-in-all, this is a great collection, filled with great art and fantastic two fantastic stories, and I can not wait for this story to be continued.

Recommended

 

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Review: Jack Kirby’s Silver Star Hardcover Collection

silver-star-hcTitle: Jack Kirby’s Silver Star Hardcover Collection

Publisher: Image Comics (hardcover collection), Pacific Comics (original issues)

Cost: $34.99

Storytellers: Jack Kirby (creator/writer/pencils), Mike Royer (inks/letters, issues #1-4), D. Bruce Berry (inks/letters, issues #5-6).

Truly Jack Kirby’s wildest concept, Silver Star tells the story of Morgan Miller, a name who is the next evolution of human: Homo-Geneticus! During an engagement Viet Nam, Morgan displays a feat of incredible strength, by lifting a throwing a tank, and afterward discovers his true potential, as a super-powered being. Wearing a silver suit, designed to contain his powers, Morgan becomes the Silver Star, a man with the abilities of atom rearrangement (think Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen), he can teleport, astral project and create with a thought. He becomes aware that his father, a doctor and scientist, had experimented on many subjects, including his own son, while they were in the womb, in order to create a version of man who could withstand the atomic bomb. Morgan is connected to these “Others” and wishes to seek them out in order to stop one of their own, the villain Darius Drumm, a powerful Homo-Geneticus who was raised by a cult, which has given him many mental scars (to match his outward ones) and seeks to remake the world as he sees fit. Drumm and Morgan seek the “Others”, with Drumm killing off most but Morgan is able to find a few, one of which is a female stunt woman named Norma Richmond, with whom he starts a relationship and helps him defeat Drumm.

My synopsis on this one isn’t great, because there is a lot going on here, but if you liked anything that I mentioned, then you must read this, because I absolutely loved this story! I love, pretty much everything that Jack Kirby has created, so I can’t tell if I’m biased or not, but I thought that there were some very interesting concepts here, that could have been explored, had this been written in a post-Watchmen era. Jack’s art is fantastic and the new coloring makes each page stand out, especially Jack’s double-paged splash pages. The story is good, but most of the dialogue is a bit dated by now, but that’s to be expected. This collection also includes a copy of Jack Kirby’s original screenplay, because this story was meant to be a movie with the ability to expand into other mediums.

I picked this one up on a whim, not knowing what to expect from it and I’m glad that I did! This was the last series that Kirby did and I think that he ended his creative and professional career on a high note!

Recommended

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Review: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Minicomic Hardcover Collection

9781616558772Title: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Minicomic Hardcover Collection

Publisher: Dark Horse Books

Cost: $29.99

Storytellers: Too many to list, with some going uncredited. However, the one’s listed on the back cover include Robert Kirkman and Bruce Timm.

This, novel-sized, think monstrosity, contain over 1230 pages of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe related minicomics, which were packaged with the original toys produced by Mattel. This hardcover collection includes comics from the Masters of the Universe (1982), Princess of Power (including the fashion guide), He-Man: The New Adventures, Masters of the Universe (2000), and Masters of the Universe Classics toylines, as well as some unpublished works and designs.

This collection is not for the faint of heart. It is a massive collection of some of the oddest and weirdest stories every told in the comics. The stories presented in the original minicomics are nothing like the animated adventures of He-Man or She-Ra. In fact, the first few issues of the ‘Masters minicomics aren’t even comics, they are more like a Golden Book, where there is one picture/scene per pages with some text underneath. This collection also includes some commentary, which is present at the bottom of the page, giving you more insight into these classic tales.

I find myself enjoying these versions of the characters better than their animated counterparts, as the comics come off more serious and less childish, if that can be believed. One thing that I found interesting, is how, in the early issues, He-Man talks about changing outfits or armors depending on the situation. They were definitely toying around (pun intended) with the ideal of He-Man having different accessory packs, where he could change armors depending on how you wanted to play with him, which is odd, because changing outfits is a feature of dolls!

Anyway, if you’re a ‘Masters’ fan or someone who wants to read, or re-read, these unique promotional items, which were used to flesh out a world for the toys to inhabit, then this is the collection for you. I loved everything about this one and it currently sits front and center on my book shelf!

Recommended

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Drax Volume 1- The Galaxy’s Best Detective Paperback Collection

Drax Vol 1Title: Drax Volume 1- The Galaxy’s Best Detective Paperback Collection

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Cost: $15.99

Storytellers: CM Punk and Cullen Bunn (writers) with Scott Hepburn (artist)

I’ve already reviewed most of this paperback collection here, as part of Marvel’s new Timely Comics line of introductory titles. That one-shot collected the first three issues of this series and this collection adds two more, giving us Drax #1-5.

This series focuses on Drax, the green-skinned mercenary from the Guardians of the Galaxy, and his adventures on his own. When the Guardians split to go their separate ways for a while, Drax decides to continue his quest to kill Thanos, the being responsible for killing his family. After borrowing a busted ship from Rocket, Drax finds himself stranded on a fringe planet with nothing to do. Teaming up with a local barkeep and the former herald of Galactus, Terrax, Drax must uncover a mystery that involves missing items and people, all of which somehow involves the dragon, Fin Fang Foom!

This collection is great! I really loved the story and can’t wait to see where our hero ends up next. The book is funny, serious and violent, and can definitely be picked up and enjoyed by those who have only seen the Guardians movie. The art is fantastic, having a cartoon-like quality to it. My only complaint is the price of this collection! Having already spent 3 bucks on Timely Comics one-shot, I felt that almost 16 dollars was way over priced for only 5 issues. I’ll admit to grabbing this one, for cheap, on Amazon, but only because I already own/read the first three issues. However, you you’re new to this series, this collection is a must, especially if you loved the character of Drax from the Guardians of the Galaxy movie!

Recommended

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Review: Pretty Deadly Volume 1- The Shrike Paperback Collection

pretty-deadly-vol-1-tpbTitle: Pretty Deadly Volume 1- The Shrike Paperback Collection

Publisher: Image Comics

Cost: $9.99

Storytellers: Kelly Sue DeConnick (writer) with Emma Rios (artist)

Pretty Deadly is a magical/mythological tale with a western skin, it tells the story of a little girl, who is wearing the skin of a vulture, who is being chased by death. To say anything more would give too much away…if I actually understood what was going on in this one!

After reading Monstress, this paperback collection was recommended. I love the fact that Image Comics publishes inexpensive first volumes, in order to ease entry into a new title, but I really feel that this title doesn’t deserve your money!

I really have no idea what I just read (REALLY!), as both, the story and the art, are a bit hard to follow at times. While the overall art is beautiful, I feel that it doesn’t help the narrative. There were time that I had a hard time knowing where to read, as there are plenty of pages without the standard panel layout. I’ve read “artsy” comics before, but this one will only appeal to a few. While I do prefer my four-color adventures to feature super-heroes, I have been trying to step out of my comfort zone and give something new a shot, and this title didn’t appeal to me at all. It may appeal to some, but I think you should just…

Pass

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Review: Thor- For Asgard Hardcover Collection

Thor For Asgard HCTitle: Thor- For Asgard Hardcover Collection

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Cost: $19.99

Storytellers: Robert Rodi (writer) with Simone Bianchi (artist)

Thor: For Asgard is a beautiful story of Norse mythology, telling the tale of sacrifice and responsibility. With Odin gone, traveling the Nine Realms to find an answer to the winter that plagues Asgard, Thor is the regent All-Father, setting aside his hammer in order to keep Asgard, and the Nine Realms in one piece. However, the signs of Ragnarok are upon the Norse Gods and it’s up to Thor to stop the Civil War among his people and find a way to the the gods to reclaim their immortality.

This is a very basic synopsis to the overall story, which I don’t want to spoil, as you should read this book. I love Thor, especially when a writer tackles the Norse God Thor and not the super-hero Thor. The story in this one is great, but it’s the art that steals the show, making this hardcover fantastic! Whether you love Marvel’s Thor or the mythological Thor, this book will not disappoint!

Recommended

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Review: Timely Comics: Drax #1

TC- Drax #1Title: Timely Comics: Drax #1

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Cost: $3.00

Storytellers: CM Punk and Cullen Bunn (writers) with Scott Hepburn (artist)

When all of the team members leave Drax to go off and do their own things, he decides to continue his mission to kill Thanos. Rocket Raccoon, lends Drax the use of a beat-down shuttle, so that he can complete his mission, but after being attacked by space pirates, Drax crashes onto a no-name planet. Looking for a way to rebuild the ship, he runs into Terrax, a former herald of Galactus and a mystery, that involves people and items from the planet going missing. In helping a mechanic and barkeep try to find the missing things, Drax runs into something unexpected… Fin Fang Foom!

I expected very little from these series, as Drax is one of the two-dimensional Guardians members, but I must say, these series is awesome! Drax on his own, actually shines, since he’s not being over shadowed by the other Guardians. I loved the art and humor in this book and really want to know what is going on and why Fin Fang Foom is involved! I’ve always loved Marvel’s cosmic stuff and this one is up there with the best!

Recommended

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Review: Timely Comics: Web-Warriors #1

TC- Web Warriors #1Title: Timely Comics: Web-Warriors #1

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Cost: $3.00

Storytellers: Robbie Thompson and Mike Costa (writers) with David Baldeon (pencils) and Scott Hanna (inks)

Web-Spinning (se what I did there?!) out of the Spider-Verse and Secret Wars events, comes the Web-Warriors, a team of Spider-Men, er, Spider-People from different realities who protect the multiverse, especially worlds without a Spider-Man.

The series kicks into high gear right from page one and doesn’t stop. You don’t get much information about who these Spider-People are or much about the worlds they are from. Having never read Spider-Verse, I’m not sure who half of these characters are! The team is quickly forced to deal with the capture of one of their own by a team of world-hopping Electros. While not much is resolved within this Timely Comics issue, the villain in revealed and the heroes on their way to defeating the Electros.

While not being the biggest Spider-Man fan, I can’t say that this series helped me in anyway, in knowing who these Spider-People are or what they ultimately can do. Spider-Gwen seems to be the star of this series, as a lot of time is spent on her, but Spider-Man UK appears to be the team’s leader, but it doesn’t really come through. This is an interesting concept for a team, but I’m not sure how long this premise can hold out! I did not enjoy this issue, but would like some closure, eventually!

Wait

 

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Review: Timely Comics: Squadron Supreme #1

TC- SS 001Title: Timely Comics: Squadron Supreme #1

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Cost: $3.00

Storytellers: James Robinson (writer), Leonard Kirk (pencils), Paul Neary (inks, issues 1 & 2) and Scott Hanna (inks, issue 3) with Frank Martin (colors).

I’ve been out of the Marvel Universe proper for some time now, and while visiting a local comic shop, I discovered these Timey Comics reprints, which collects the first three issues of a Marvel series for only $3! Three dollars for three issues, that’s a steal, especially since most Marvel issues these days are $3.99 cover price. I decided to give this issue a shot, as I’ve enjoyed the Squadron Supreme in the past and I wasn’t disappointed!

I know this series hinges on the end of Secret Wars, which I never finished, but I didn’t feel lost or confused about anything going on. I won’t spoil too much about the issue, but after the team comes together, which is made up different members from different realities, they go after one particular Marvel character and kill him. This sends one of the Avengers teams after them, which forces the team to escape to Weirdworld.

All of that action and excitement for only $3! I hope Marvel continues this trend as I will not only be picking up more Timely Comics issues, but the Squadron Supreme collection, so that I can finish this story!

Recommended 

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