Category: books of doom

Book of Doom Preview: The Warlord #1

I would not be surprised if I’m flying solo on this one.

While one of the goals of the Book of Doom is to try something new, or at least choose a good hopping-on point, I may have picked something a little too out-there for my Doomkopf peers. I’m hoping not, but I’m obviously insecure in the choice, do I’m doing my damage control in advance.

I don’t know anything about The Warlord, but I do know that I don’t read anything like this, and it’s only $2.99. Wolverine: Weapon X #1 is $3.99, and the only other new arc I knew of was in Green Lantern, but I feel like we’ve gone to that well too many times. So Warlord it is. If you’re feeling adventurous, and maybe that’s kind of a Warlord pun — I really don’t know, pick up the book, send your review to doomkopf at doomkopf dot com and join us back here on Saturday for the roundtable.

Written by Mike Grell; Art by Joe Prado and Walden Wong; Cover by Mike Grell

At the Roof of the World in Tibet, a team of paleontologists and adventurers has made the find of the century: perfectly preserved dinosaur specimens that appear to have died mere days before! Their expedition takes a deadly turn when they uncover an impossible portal to another world – an unbelievable country at the hollow center of the Earth, the mythical land of Skartaris! But they’re not the first surface-worlders to find themselves stranded in Skartaris, and their arrival in his peaceful home triggers an unforgettable new adventure for the hero who has taken the land as his own: Travis Morgan, the Warlord!

This new ongoing series marks the return of creator Mike Grell to the fantasy saga that made him famous! Reunite with Tara, Shakira, Tinder and the rest of the cast in a story that continues the adventures of the Warlord but opens up a new era where any reader can jump aboard.

Along with Grell’s scripts – and lushly painted covers – comes the art of rising star Joe Prado (ACTION COMICS, SINESTRO CORPS SECRET FILES)! DC’s finest fantasy franchise is reborn!

Book of Doom: Secret Warriors #3

Secret Warriors #3The thing about Nick Fury is that he always works better when he’s lurking around in the background. The trouble with that, however, is that it makes him an incredibly compelling character; one that you would like to see more of.

Fury is a character that’s built to fill in holes, smooth over rough patches, and advance the plot. He has access to a super-intelligent network that can pretty much figure out anything and everything (except, of course, that which the protagonist seeks). He is the hero’s best friend. He has all the right answers, and he always knows what to do next. So Fury is a real badass who’s handy in a pinch.

Unfortunately, that’s about the only time he’s handy. The rest of the time, he’s apparently caught up in the drama of playing father-figure to the amateurs around him, and slogging through failed relationships. That’s the kind of stuff we don’t want to see Fury involved with. When something goes wrong, he says “I’m on it,” disappears, and gets to work getting his hands dirty. He doesn’t get told off by children and the go somewhere to sulk; it’s just not becoming of this jack-of-all-trades.

Even if the writing were better, Fury’s “solo” adventures would still lose that trademark Fury appeal, because suddenly he’s yanked out of the shadows and, in the light, his flaws are exposed. He can’t afford to have his flaws exposed.

I didn’t read the first two issues of the series, so I don’t know why he’s herding children around, and I don’t know who ex-flame Contessa is, and in the end, I don’t want to know. This all despite the fact that I picked the series up because, yes, I did want to know.

That’s just the thing about Nick Fury.

Doominator chimes in: (more…)

Book of Doom Preview: Secret Warriors #3

Secret Warriors #3I’m responsible for the Book of Doom this week, and as all three of my regular titles came out last week, I’ll be venturing into somewhat new territory, here. While I was really curious about the comics adaptation of Pride & Prejudice, and while Doominator tried to vicariously spite my fellow Doomers and having me choose the Franklin Richards April Fools issue, I ended up choosing a Nick Fury book, Secret Warriors #3. It’s not necessarily a good jumping-on point, but it’s the closest thing to something interesting to me.

The solicit sounds promising:

The most talked-about new Marvel series continues as HYDRA’s plans pick up speed while more remnants of S.H.I.E.L.D. fall. Nick Fury reconnects with an old colleague and finds out that the balance has shifted between him and some of his former soldiers. All that, and the Warriors suffer their first casualty of war.
Rated T+ …$2.99

Join me this weekend, won’t you?

Book of Doom: X-Force/Cable: Messiah War Prologue

Plot itself: Cyclops’ elite force of murderers is hunting Cable and the messiah child through time. They land in a future with Deadpool and some sinking feelings. In the meantime, Bishop, the guy who came back to warn the X-Men of a traitor only to himself become a traitor, strikes a deal with an all-too-familiar face.

My thoughts: Well first of all, it was a quagmire to get this issue. Though I live in a fairly large city, there are only a handful of comic stores. My store dropped the ball and forgot to pull this for me. So that kind of sucks, because I had to go on a goose chase and ended up finding it at a chain bookstore with a creaky-ass rack.

So, that said, was the chase worth it? Kind of maybe I guessish? Everyone else is absolutely right. This is a rehash of X-Men in the year’s passed. Days of the Present Past if you will. Spoilers after the jump.

Book of Doom Preview:
X-Force/Cable: Messiah War Prologue

So I may have snoozed my way through Stump the Doominator this week (it’ll be back next Sunday) but that doesn’t mean I’m skimping on the Book of Doom. The pickings were a little thin this week, and I refuse to read another Bat-book. But the second part of the Messiah trilogy is upon us, and I do love me some X-Men … even if the core books aren’t involved. But anyway, here we go …

Marvel Comics

(W) Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost
(A) Mike Choi & Sonia Oback

The X-Men event of the decade. The birth of a single mutant child forever changed the landscape of the X-Universe. Some see the baby as the last hope for mutankind’s survival; others see it as the bringer of the Apocalypse. No one knows which side is right because Cyclops handed the newborn over to Cable, believing his son could save both the child and mutantkind. But Cable never came back. Now, months later, Cyclops has found his son hiding in the future… and he’s sending in the one team that will do what needs to be done in order to ensure the survival of their species: X-Force.

FC, 48pg $3.99
Item Code: JAN092540

Book of Doom:
Azrael: Death’s Dark Knight #1

azrael death's dark knight #1I’m sick. This sucked. Take ‘er away, boys.

Doom Fritter:

If the recession has hit, nobody told Marvel or DC. They keep pumping out more and more titles with little regard to the cropped and controlled distribution of the early decade. I mean, honestly, good for them. They’re apparently doing very well at the moment. I just hope that this boom isn’t crushed by another near-bankruptcy.

The latest on the stack of comics nobody asked for (which includes Fantastic Force and the blue-laser-Superman (I just saw that today wtf?)) is Azrael, who replaced Batman for a time in the early-ninties. The book itself wasn’t too bad, which is a pretty high compliment for a wallet-sucking tangential mini-series.

The story of Michael Lane taking on the mantle of Azrael was suitably dramatic, and the man behind the mask has a rather charged personality which helps make good storytelling. Even so, it wasn’t clear as to why a group would recruit a violent psychotic who admitted to helping kill the Batman for an “opportunity to serve the public good.” The only thing I can think of is that he desires some kind of redemption over something. Killing his family? I don’t know; it was pretty ambiguous.

Another thing that wasn’t very clear was the storytelling itself. It got murky at times, especially toward the ending fight scene, and the reveal was spoiled when all I could think of was “where’d he get the mask?”

Despite its flaws, some of the pacing came off quite well, and the style of the art itself is actually pretty interesting, like ink and watercolor or marker. The colors work well for the mood of the story.

If you’re down with this whole “Battle for the Cowl” thing, you would probably be well-served to pick this up. If not, well, you’ve probably already passed this one by. I mean, it’s Azrael. Who cares?

Doominator: (more…)

Book of Doom Preview:
Azrael: Death’s Dark Knight #1

azrael death's dark knight #1Hey, remember Azrael? Sure ya do. He took over as Batman for a little while in the 90s, then he got his own series and eventually died. But now he’s back. Or is he?

My choice for this week’s Book of Doom is the first issue in this three-part miniseries, where we’ll find out if this Azrael is really Jean-Paul Valley or some kind of impostor. So check it out, yo, and send us a review if you feel like it. And then come back this weekend to see what the Legion thought.

I’m guessing we’ll all probably hate it, but it’s a slow week, so what the heck. Here’s what DC says:

Written by Fabian Nicieza; Art by Frazer Irving; Cover by Guillem March

He was a husband and a father. A brother and a friend. A cop and a dark knight. But he had all that taken away. And in return, he was given a suit of sorrows, a quest for redemption and a new name. He is Azrael, avenging angel for the Order of Purity and a new protector for Gotham City’s troubled times. But who will protect the citizens from him?

Guest-starring Robin, Nightwing, Talia and the League of Assassins, this miniseries runs alongside BATTLE FOR THE COWL and features the dramatic presence of a strangely familiar, troubled hero with two things on his mind: crazed vengeance for the wrongs he has suffered and salvation for the sins he continues to commit!

Book of Doom:
War of Kings #1

First off, many apologies for the tardiness of this week’s Book of Doom. I had in-laws in town this weekend and completely spaced it until I was already in bed last night.

So as for War of Kings #1, we’ve got the Starjammers on Hala for the wedding of Crystal and Ronan. For some reason, this wedding was a surprise to me. I don’t remember if I misread something from the preview issue that came out not long ago or maybe forgot reading something else, but I thought there had been a mention of them once being engaged, but that it had been called off. Maybe it had just been put off. No matter, because it didn’t take long to realize that what I had thought was either wrong or irrelevant, for there was a couple to be wed (and that big softie Ronan got his heart broken too).

Back in Shi’ar land, Vulcan is planning to wipe out the Kree because he wants to. Thankfully for the Shi’ar, the Kree have all of their defenses coordinated from a single tower easily infiltrated by a shape-shifter, so that when said shape-shifter suicide-bombs the tower, the defenses are down and the Shi’ar can invade. That seemed a little too easy to me.

I can think of absolutely zero examples, but for some reason the concept of “Tragedy at a wedding” seems like a cliche. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, but if it is, it makes good sense. You increase the sense of tragedy, because the victims are there to celebrate love but fall by war. You also clearly establish who the bad guys are, by pointing out these sneaky Shi’ar scumbags would attack people who are in no position to fight back. (Now that I think about it, recalling Abnett & Lanning’s previous efforts at comparing the Skrull invasion to “jihad,” maybe wedding attacks seem familiar because of attacks in real life.)

This issue leaves us with a bloody wedding scene filled with casualties and Medusa declaring the Shi’ar “shall pay in blood.” So now we have two alien races the Inhumans have declared war on. Given the preview issue was the Inhumans declaring war on the Skrulls, I’m a little puzzled as to why that was a one-shot and this was issue #1. I think it would’ve been fine to have that be issue #1 and this be issue #2. Not that any of that really matters. As far as stages being set, this still looks like a good one.

Here’s what Doomsday Spa thought about the issue: (more…)

Book of Doom Preview:
War of Kings #1

This is what Guardians of the Galaxy has been building up to. I love me some Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Paul Pelletier. As for the rest, I’ll let the solicitation do the talking.


In the aftermath of the Secret Invasion, Black Bolt has led the Inhumans on a shockingly savage path to restore their strength and security. But that path has brought them into direct confrontation with the Shi’Ar Empire – and their mad ruler Vulcan! Who will get in the first strike? Who will fall on the bloody battlefield? Who will rule? The Imperial Guard, the Starjammers, the Inhuman Royal Family and more of your favorite sci-fi characters are locked on a collision course…and it all starts here! Join the acclaimed team
of Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (NOVA) and Paul Pelletier (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY) for a pivotal turning point in Marvel’s
cosmic history!

Yes, it’s $3.99, and yes, it has a Brandon Petersen cover, but if you give it a chance, be sure to send your reviews to doomkopf at doomkopf dot com to be included in the weekend roundtable.

Book of Doom: Hercules #126

Hercules #126

Hercules #126

The Incredible Hercules is one of my favorite books out right now, and I was hoping this “jumping on” point would be the best opportunity for the series to do all the talking for me. As I write this, I haven’t heard the reaction from the others, but I doubt I’ll have succeeded in proving my point. It wasn’t a bad issue, necessarily, it was just rather substandard. And for $4?

Hercules #126 was pretty segmented. His origin story took place in ancient, in-continuity Greece, followed by a catch-up piece for any new readers this book is hoping to pick up, and finished out with a light-hearted, but still moving, story of Amadeus Cho’s search for his lost pup.

It’s segmented in more than just story, however, and while the writing team showcases their diversity by bringing in Planet Hulk-style action, and Hercules-style humor, it’s too bad they couldn’t mix them together a bit more evenly. I’m not completely turned off by action comics these days, but they’re so much smarter when they pepper in a bit of smirking wit. B.C.-period writing tends to get a bit heavy-handed as it is.

So we’ve got his origin, which, as you would expect from a warrior god-halfling, is full of posturing, honor, and performance. On the other side we’ve got the super-intelligent Cho trying to unearth the whereabouts of the coyote pup he lost somewhere between World War Hulk and Secret Invasion. And hello, look guys, it’s the Hulk! Remember him from back when he still owned this book? Yeah, those were good times (and yeah, I’m still bitter, Marvel). In the middle is the series recap, which dryly parses Herc’s early Marvel appearances, and then divulges the details of a lot of recent events, including World War Hulk, Secret Invasion, and other spin-offs and universe-wide events—yawn. (more…)