Monday, November 24, 2014 • Afternoon Edition • "Good enough for government work!"
Young Avengers # 14 - Gillen, McKelvie, Vieceli, Ward Wu

Young Avengers # 14 - Gillen, McKelvie, Vieceli, Ward Wu

By Arion in Blog on January 22, 2014

When the effervescence of youth erupts there is only one suitable solution: Party like there is no tomorrow! And that’s exactly what the Young Avengers do after saving the universe. They throw the biggest ‘we saved the universe and it’s New Year’ party ever. But it’s not just a simple annual tradition; they are alive and they are celebrating that. It’s both exultant and scary to realize how fleeting life can be for these youngsters, who face not only the cruelest villains but also their own insecurities and fears.As Kieron Gillen affirms “This is a book about the end of the universe”; but unlike most Marvel (or DC) books, here the biggest threat comes from within: we are our worst enemies. Gillen’s run is characterized by “using the characters' emotional lives as a solution to the problem”. And after one year of groundbreaking stories and unexpected plot twists, all things have fallen into place.“Resolution part 1” gives us a glimpse of New Year’s Eve. And in a few pages we understand the relevance of “romantic love and how it affects people, and responsibility, both in terms of growing up and being a hero”. The Young Avengers set up on a long journey at the beginning of the series, and only now do they have the time to take a breath and process what has happened to them. Loki is gone. And without him, his lies have lost all meaning. Hulkling no longer believes he was ‘wished into existence’ by Wiccan’s reality altering powers. When Billy and Teddy are dancing together, the wizard tells his boyfriend that he needn’t worry: “I could never dream you up Teddy. I could never have imagined loving anyone like I love you”.   Jamie McKelvie: the party begins / Jamie McKelvie: la fiesta comienzaNevertheless, love’s victory is never guaranteed. “Love fails because the other person is in love with the reality of an earlier love, to the point where they almost don't care about anything else. Marvel Boy dumps Kate for the idea of an old girlfriend that doesn't really exist”. And a relationship that started in the first issue of this series comes to a bitter end during this final chapter.  Emma Vieceli: young heroes in love / jóvenes héroes enamoradosThe after party sequences are beautifully illustrated by Jamie McKelvie (his double page spread is magnificent); the moment of intimacy between Billy and Teddy is aptly depicted by Emma Vieceli; Christian Ward is responsible for the colorful sequences dedicated to Ms. America; and at last, but certainly not least, Annie Wu draws Kate Bishop pages. Immediately after breaking up with Marvel Boy, Kate decides to dance with Tommy Shepherd (AKA Speed).Wu’s final splash page is admirable for two reasons: because it faithfully captures the youthfulness and pure joy of the kids; and because it’s also a wonderful homage to Bryan Lee O’Malley’s variant cover for Young Avengers # 1. In this prophetic cover, published 1 year ago, Kate Bishop is dancing with Tommy, while Teddy tenderly touches Billy. At midnight, the young heroes are as happy as they should be. There are only two missing characters here: Marvel Boy –who probably regrets having ruined his relationship with Kate– and Loki –neither a child, nor an adult, the god of lies is now destined to become an agent of Asgard. “This is how we think comics could be in this genre in 2013. Take what you like and leave what you don't. And enough of it worked to make me happy with it”, has expressed Gillen. But honestly, I can’t think of a single aspect or element about this book that I haven’t loved, except for the fact that it is ending. But I respect Gillen’s decision, he “did manage to do a big pop statement comic at a major comics publisher to enormous acclaim”. And that certainly deserves a standing ovation. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Annie Wu: Kate Bishop and Marvel Boy break up / Kate Bishop y Marvel Boy rompenCuando la efervescencia de la juventud estalla hay una solución adecuada: una juerga absoluta. Y eso es exactamente lo que hacen los Jóvenes Vengadores después de salvar el universo. Con una gran fiesta, ellos celebran el año nuevo y también haber salvado el universo. Pero no es una simple tradición anual; ellos están vivos y eso es lo que celebran. Es exultante pero también terrorífico observar lo fugaces que pueden ser las vidas de estos jovencitos quienes no sólo se enfrentan a crueles villanos sino también a sus propias inseguridades y miedos. Tal como afirma Kieron Gillen “Esta es una serie sobre el fin del universo”; pero a diferencia de la mayoría de títulos de Marvel (o DC), aquí la amenaza más grande viene de adentro: nosotros somos nuestros peores enemigos. La etapa de Gillen está caracterizada por “usar las vidas emocionales de los personajes como una solución al problema”. Y después de un año de historias innovadoras y giros argumentales inesperados, todo cae en su sitio.“Resolución parte 1” nos da un vistazo a la noche de año nuevo. Y en pocas páginas entendemos la relevancia del “amor romántico y cómo afecta a la gente, y la responsabilidad, en términos de crecer y ser un héroe”. Los Jóvenes Vengadores se embarcaron en una travesía al inicio de la serie, y recién ahora tienen tiempo de tomar aliento y procesar lo que les ha pasado. Loki se ha ido. Y sin él, sus mentiras han perdido todo significado. Hulkling ya no cree que fue 'creado' por los poderes alteradores de la realidad de Wiccan. Cuando Billy y Teddy bailan juntos, el hechicero le dice a su enamorado que no necesita preocuparse: “Nunca podría inventarte en mis sueños, Teddy. Nunca podría haber imaginado amar a alguien tanto como te amo a ti”.   Wonderful homage to Bryan Lee O’Malley's cover / maravilloso homenaje a la portada de de Bryan Lee O’MalleyNo obstante, la victoria del amor nunca está garantizada. “El amor fracasa porque la otra persona está enamorada con la realidad de un primer amor, al punto que casi no les importa ninguna otra cosa. Marvel Boy rechaza a Kate por la idea de una antigua enamorada que no existe realmente”. Y una relación que empezó en el primer número de la serie llega a su amargo final durante este último capítulo. Las secuencias de la fiesta están hermosamente ilustradas por Jamie McKelvie (su página doble es magnífica); el momento de intimidad entre Billy y Teddy está apropiadamente retratado por Emma Vieceli; Christian Ward es el responsable de las coloridas secuencias dedicadas a Ms. America; y por último, Annie Wu dibuja las páginas de Kate Bishop. Inmediatamente después de romper con Marvel Boy, Kate decide bailar con Tommy Shepherd (Speed).La página final de Wu es admirable por dos razones: porque captura fielmente la juventud y el goce total de los chiquillos: y porque también es un maravilloso homenaje a la portada variante de Bryan Lee O’Malley para Young Avengers # 1. En esta profética portada, publicada hace 1 año, Kate Bishop está bailando con Tommy, mientras que Teddy acaricia a Billy tiernamente. A la medianoche, los jóvenes héroes están tan felices como deberían. Sólo faltan dos personajes: Marvel Boy –que probablemente se arrepienta por haber arruinado su relación con Kate– y Loki –ya no es un niño pero tampoco un adulto, el dios de las mentiras está destinado a convertirse en un agente de Asgard. “Así es como pensamos que podrían ser los cómics en este género, en el 2013. Toma lo que te guste y deja lo que no te guste. Y buena parte de ello funcionó para hacerme feliz”, ha expresado Gillen. Pero honestamente, no puedo pensar en un sólo aspecto o elemento de la colección que no me haya encantado, excepto por el hecho de que está terminando. Pero respeto la decisión de Gillen, quien se las “arregló para hacer una gran declaración pop de cómic en una gran editorial de cómics, con una enorme aclamación”. Y ciertamente eso merece que aplaudamos de pie.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/01/young-avengers-14-gillen-mckelvie.html

Swamp Thing # 51 52 - Moore, Veitch Alcalá

Swamp Thing # 51 52 - Moore, Veitch Alcalá

By Arion in Blog on January 19, 2014

We have all known the horrors of civilization, the revolting nature of human culture: prejudice, injustice, discrimination. All these elements are as much part of our DNA as our capacity for language. Alan Moore acknowledges that, and in “Home Free” (published in Swamp Thing # 51, August 1986), he reminds us that after the war in hell, after the ultimate supernatural battle, peace is not guaranteed. On the contrary, after saying goodbye to his allies (Deadman, The Phantom Stranger and John Constantine), Swamp Thing will discover what has transpired in his absence.For months Abigail had been visiting the swamps, without ever realizing that she had been followed by an amateur photographer who takes a few compromising snapshots. He takes those pics to the local newspapers, and the images that show intimacy between this white-haired woman and this creature of the swamp enrage the public. Quickly, Abby is accused of having carnal knowledge with a monster, and she’s brought to court under charges of bestiality and crimes against nature.Humiliated and harassed by every man and woman in Houma, Abby decides to escape. To flee to the big city. But she makes one mistake: she goes to Gotham City. Trying to find solace, she falls into an urban sewer, filled with human putrefaction. Crime runs rampant, moral and physical decay seem to prey upon her, and when she’s captured by the police –mistaken as a hooker– an extradition order is announced. Swamp Thing was able to control his anger in the past. Peace is the way of the wood. He had learned as much from the Parliament of Trees. But this time, he cannot contain his fury. “And out in the swamp the monster raged, and trampled… and roared his lover’s name… and promised war”.A war against civilization and a confrontation against Gotham’s authorities are “Natural Consequences” (Swamp Thing # 52) of Abby’s unfair apprehension. In Arkham Asylum, Swamp Thing meets Batman’s greatest foes but only one of them captures his attention. Jason Woodrue –the Floronic Man– has been incarcerated along the criminally insane, losing whatever was left of his feeble mind to the demented hollering of the Joker, Two Face and the others. Finally, Swamp Thing forgives Woodrue’s trespasses against nature and tells him that no one else in Gotham deserves his forgiveness.And so Swamp Thing gives the city an ultimatum. He will recover Abby or the gothic metropolis will succumb to nature. “All over town, from sudden cracks and fissures, the sidewalks begin to bleed emerald […] Eden comes to the city”. Concrete and steel cannot resist the unstoppable power of life. Plants, trees and flowers invade Gotham’s monotonous landscape. Artificial structures are replaced by vibrant botanical designs. But Swamp Thing has strayed far from the bogs of Louisiana. Gotham isn’t his turf. Gotham is Batman’s city. And the inevitable confrontation between the Dark Knight and the creature of the swamps will only be the preamble of Lex Luthor’s sinister intervention.  Swamp Thing, Deadman & Phantom Stranger Although Stephen Bissette quit as the main artist of the series, he was still drawing the covers. They look slightly more rasping than previous covers, mainly because Totleben is no longer inking them. The artistic team of the title has also suffered an important modification. The penciler is now Rick Veitch and Alfredo Alcalá, the inker. Together, they bring about a much needed sense of emotional weight and earthly anguish to Abby’s conundrum.   __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Gotham's urban misery / la miseria urbana de GothamTodos hemos conocido los horrores de la civilización, la repugnante naturaleza de la cultura humana: prejuicio, injusticia, discriminación. Todos estos elementos son tan parte de nuestro ADN como nuestra capacidad para el lenguaje. Así lo reconoce Alan Moore y en “Hogar libre” (publicado en Swamp Thing # 51, agosto de 1986), nos recuerda que después de la guerra en el infierno, después de la batalla sobrenatural definitiva, la paz no está garantizada. Por el contrario, luego de decirle adiós a sus aliados (Deadman, Phantom Stranger y John Constantine), Swamp Thing descubrirá lo que ha sucedido en su ausencia.Durante meses, Abigail había estado visitando los pantanos, sin darse cuenta que había sido seguida por un fotógrafo amateur que obtiene algunas instantáneas comprometedoras. Él lleva estas fotos a los periódicos locales, y estas imágenes que muestran intimidad entre la mujer de pelo blanco y la criatura del pantano enfurecen al público. Rápidamente, Abby es acusada de tener conocimiento carnal con un monstruo, y es llevada a juicio bajo cargos de bestialismo y crímenes contra la naturaleza. Humillada y acosada por todos los hombres y mujeres de Houma, Abby decide escapar. Huir a la gran ciudad. Pero comete un error: ella va a Gotham City. Intentando encontrar algo de calma, cae en este desagüe urbano, lleno de putrefacción humana. El crimen impera, la decadencia moral y física la rodean, y cuando es capturada por la policía -la confunden con una prostituta- la orden de extradición es anunciada. La Cosa del pantano fue capaz de controlar su ira en el pasado. La paz es la táctica de la madera. Él había aprendido esto con el Parlamento de los Árboles. Pero esta vez, no puede contener la furia. “Y afuera, en el pantano, el monstruo iracundo ataca... y ruje el nombre de su amante... y promete la guerra”. Batman's greatest foes / los principales enemigos de BatmanUna guerra contra la civilización y una confrontación contra las autoridades de Gotham son las “Consecuencias naturales” (Swamp Thing # 52) del injusto apresamiento de Abby. En Arkham Asylum, La Cosa del pantano conoce a los principales enemigos de Batman pero sólo uno llama su atención. Jason Woodrue –el hombre florónico– ha estado encarcelado junto con los criminales dementes, perdiendo lo poco que le quedaba de sensatez con los aullidos desquiciados del Joker, Two Face y los demás. Finalmente, La Cosa del pantano perdona las trasgresiones en contra de la naturaleza de Woodrue y le dice que nadie más en Gotham merece su perdón. Y la Cosa del pantano le da un ultimátum a la ciudad. Recuperará a Abby o la metrópolis gótica sucumbirá ante la naturaleza. “Por todas partes, a través de repentinas grietas y fisuras, las veredas empiezan a sangrar esmeralda […] El Edén llega a la ciudad”. El concreto y el acero no pueden resistir el imparable poder de la vida. Las plantas, los árboles y las flores invaden el monótono paisaje de Gotham. Las estructuras artificiales son reemplazadas por vibrantes diseños botánicos. Pero la Cosa del pantano se ha alejado demasiado de las ciénagas de Luisiana. Gotham no es su territorio. Gotham es la ciudad de Batman. Y la inevitable confrontación entre el Caballero de la Noche y la criatura de los pantanos será sólo un preámbulo para la siniestra intervención de Lex Luthor. Lex LuthorAunque Stephen Bissette renunció como el artista principal de la serie, todavía seguía dibujando las portadas. Ahora se ven ligeramente más ásperas que antes, sobre todo porque Totleben ya no las entinta. El equipo artístico también ha sufrido una importante modificación. El dibujante ahora es Rick Veitch y Alfredo Alcalá es el entintador. Juntos, aportan una muy necesaria sensación de peso emocional y angustia terrenal al conflicto de Abby.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/01/swamp-thing-51-52-moore-veitch-alcala.html

Preview: BUBBLEGUN #4

Preview: BUBBLEGUN #4

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 17, 2014

CoverBUBBLEGUN #4 Mark Roslan ­ Story / Mike Bowden ­ Art / David Curiel, Erick Arciniega - Colors / Josh Reed - LetteringThey like the tech, but live for the high stakes!The BUBBLEGUN team is banged up, worn down, and low on confidence after their leader is taken from them. Molli, in desperation, resorts to extreme measures in order to rescue her captive sister back from the dangerous clutches of Drazic, Craine and Vitadrone. The odds of survival are low, which is par for the course with this group!Creator and writer Mark Roslan, along with penciler Mike Bowden and colorist David Curiel invite you to take part in what¹s sure to become Aspen¹s next hit sci-fi, action adventure series, BUBBLEGUN!BUBBLEGUN #4 is in stores January 22nd, 2014! Preview Page 1 Preview Page 2 Preview Page 3 Cover B Cover C Cover DFollow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/01/preview-bubblegun-4.html

Young Avengers # 13 - Kieron Gillen Jamie McKelvie

Young Avengers # 13 - Kieron Gillen Jamie McKelvie

By Arion in Blog on January 16, 2014

One day, walking down the street, attending classes, going to your office, or simply having fun at a party, you fall in love. It doesn’t matter who you fall in love with. What counts is that suddenly, for one hour, one week or one year you find someone else, someone that inspires you and complements you. You find someone to love. And that’s no easy feat.When Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie decided to reinvent Marvel’s most notable juvenile team, they focused exactly on that idea. Finding someone else, and holding on to him or her, for as long as possible, no matter what. And yet, in the pages of “The Kiss and the Make-Up”, Billy Kaplan and Teddy Altman come to a hard and painful realization: they can no longer be a couple. And they break up.In subsequent issues, Mother, an inter-dimensional demon reunites an army of –you guessed it alright– former boyfriends and girlfriends of the Young Avengers. In one way or another, the failure of love symbolizes a prophecy of universal doom. And Loki’s mischievous plots provoke the deterioration of Hulkling and Wiccan’s relationship. Finally, Loki admits his treachery and explains how he had been manipulating everyone since the beginning of the series. It’s sad to see that now Kid Loki –and therefore his naïve and innocent aspect– is gone; Teen Loki has no hope of redemption. Alex Power (from Power Pack) / Alex Power (de Power Pack)When Marvel Boy declares he is more into the bondage-sadomasochism elements embodied by Oubliette, the Exterminatrix –and one of his many ex-girlfriends– Kate Bishop feels betrayed and hurt. Simultaneously, Ms. America can barely stand against his former couple. There are no guarantees when it comes to romance and rejected partners.  If Wiccan is to triumph over Mother, he must rely not on hatred or anger but on love. Love and reconciliation. In one truly exciting and touching moment, Prodigy explains to Hulkling what is the nature of love: “A magical power someone else has over you for no reason you can really justify but cascades through you until every cell calls out for his touch”. And so Teddy joins Billy in the ultimate battle. And together, with one passionate kiss, they prove that their love is, indeed, stronger than Loki’s lies and greater than any pan-dimensional demon. In the words of Gillen himself: “Love is the heart of the book. There are two dovetailing romances. One is between Wiccan and Hulkling, and the other is between Marvel Boy and Kate. Wiccan and Hulkling have this moment of transcendent love in issue #13. It's one of the key parts of the issue. It's a moment where they genuinely understand each other and they save the universe. It's an old fashioned, only slightly ironic ‘love will save the world’ kind of beat”.“Young Avengers part 2”, is an extraordinary example of an intelligent narrative combined with an outburst of emotions. An unforgettable issue that marks the end of Jamie McKelvie’s run as the main artist (in this case inked by Stephen Thompson and Mike Norton); and he bids us farewell with an offering of breathtakingly beautiful art. McKelvie’s salacious hidden images and ambiguous designs demand to “be read” narratively and conventionally and yet ultimately resist any harmonizing univocal meaning; his elegant approach is the result of a style that simultaneously "tells" and yet aestheticizes. And his unrivaled graphic experimentation is a joy to behold (especially the page of the kiss that saves the universe and the double page spread that shows Wiccan contemplating the complex reality that we, as readers, have experienced in the pages of this brilliant ongoing series).________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The kiss that saved the universe / El beso que salvó al universoUn día, mientras caminas por la calle, vas a clases, te sientas en tu oficina o simplemente te diviertes en una fiesta, te enamoras. No importa de quién te enamoras. Lo que cuenta es que repentinamente, por una hora, una semana o un año, encuentras a alguien más, alguien que te inspira y te complementa. Encuentras a alguien a quien amar. Y esa no es una hazaña sencilla. Cuando Kieron Gillen y Jamie McKelvie decidieron reinventar al equipo juvenil más  notable de Marvel, se enfocaron exactamente en esa idea. Encontrar a alguien, y no dejar que se vaya, por tanto tiempo como sea posible. Y, no obstante, en las páginas de “El beso y la reconciliación”, Billy Kaplan y Teddy Altman llegan a una dolorosa conclusión: ya no pueden seguir juntos como pareja. Y se separan.En capítulos recientes, Madre, un demonio inter-dimensional reúne un ejército de –seguro ya lo adivinaron– ex-enamorados y ex-enamoradas de los Jóvenes Vengadores. De un modo u otro, el fracaso del amor simboliza una profecía de condena universal. Y las intrigas de Loki provocan el deterioro de la relación de Hulkling y Wiccan.  Finalmente, Loki admite su traición y explica cómo había estado manipulando a todos desde el inicio de la serie. Es triste ver que ahora el Loki infantil  –y por lo tanto su aspecto ingenuo e inocente– ya no existe; y el Loki adolescente no tiene esperanzas de redención. Reality can be quite complex / La realidad puede ser muy complejaCuando Marvel Boy declara que lo que busca son los elementos de dominación y sadomasoquismo encarnados por Oubliette, la Exterminatrix –y una de sus muchas ex-enamoradas– Kate Bishop se siente traicionada y herida. Simultáneamente, Ms. America apenas puede enfrentarse a su antigua pareja. No hay garantías cuando se trata de  romance y compañeros rechazados. The victorious Young Avengers / los victoriosos Jóvenes VengadoresSi Wiccan ha de vencer a Madre, debe apoyarse no en el odio o en la ira sino en el amor. El amor y la reconciliación. En un momento realmente emocionante y conmovedor, Prodigy le explica a Hulkling cuál es la naturaleza del amor: “Un poder mágico que alguien tiene sobre ti sin ninguna razón que puedas justificar y que cae como una cascada sobre ti hasta que cada célula clama por ese contacto”. Así que Teddy se une a Billy en la batalla definitiva. Y juntos, con un apasionado beso, demuestran que el amor es, de hecho, más fuerte que las mentiras de Loki y más poderoso que cualquier demonio pan-dimensional.En las palabras del mismo Gillen: “El amor es el corazón de este título. Hay dos romances entrelazados. Uno es entre Wiccan y Hulkling, y el otro es entre Marvel Boy y Kate. Wiccan y Hulkling tienen este momento de amor transcendental en el antepenúltimo número. Es una de las partes claves de ese cómic. Es un momento en el que ellos se entienden el uno al otro genuinamente y salvan el universo. Es un enfoque un poco de vieja escuela, ligeramente irónico, del tipo ‘el amor salvará al mundo'”.“Jóvenes Vengadores parte 2”, es un extraordinario ejemplo de una narrativa inteligente combinada con una explosión de emociones. Un número inolvidable que marca el fin de la etapa de Jamie McKelvie como el artista principal (en este caso entintado por Stephen Thompson y Mike Norton); y su despedida es un ofrecimiento de arte tan hermoso que nos quedamos sin aliento. Las sensacionales imágenes ocultas de McKelvie y sus ambiguos diseños demandan “ser leídos” narrativa y convencionalmente y, no obstante, en última instancia se resisten a un significado armónico y unívoco; su elegante enfoque es el resultado de un estilo que es simultáneamente "narrativo" y estético. Y su incomparable experimentación gráfica es un disfrute para nuestros ojos (en especial la página del beso que salva el universo y la página doble que muestra a Wiccan contemplando la realidad compleja que nosotros, como lectores, hemos experimentado en las páginas de esta brillante serie mensual).Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/01/young-avengers-13-kieron-gillen-jamie.html

Review: Spider-Man 2099 Volume 2

Review: Spider-Man 2099 Volume 2

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 16, 2014

Cover (close enough) The Marvel 2099 was an attempt to create a separate Universe, a possible future, for creators to play around with similar and new concepts. One of the first books to see the light of day was the Spider-Man 2099.The year was 1992 but it was only on 2009 that this series first got collected. Fulled by nostalgia I got it as soon as it hit the stores. I wasn't expecting much to be honest, these old stories aren't always up to par by these days standards. Memories often betrays us, but I was willing to experience these stories again for nostalgia sake.It came as a surprise when I just couldn't put the book down. It was really good., engaging, fast paced, and took a few liberties with the usual super-hero memes. I'm not saying it was a master piece, but it was really, really good, especially if you consider it was a 90s super-hero comic book.But 2009 was way before I started this blog, so no review for volume one (maybe one day).It took Marvel 4 years to release the second volume. Why? Who knows? Poor sales of the first volume? Change of strategy? Douchebaggery? Your guess is as good as mine.  But it was, eventually, released! (Huzzah!)Spider-Man 2099 tells the story of Miguel O'Hara, a scientist in one of the biggest corporations of the World that through a botched experiment gained Spide-Man like powers. There are a few differences, like he produces his own webs, but its basically the same set of powers. Miguel also creates one of the best looking Spider-Man outfit ever put on paper, apart from the arm-pit web one of course.In this volume Miguel is already comfortable in the Spider-Man shoes. Unlike the previous collection there isn't a grand story arc that encompasses the whole book. Instead we get several episodes of his superhero adventures with a social guideline to tie them together (albeit a bit loosely).You might ask "If there isn't a collection long story arc then what do I get?" Well what you get is pure Spider-Man super-heroic fun stories. The underdog superhero struggling to balance his personal life, with his work (aka revenge on Alchemax) and the protecting of 2099's average Joe.In these pages you'll get to experience the first appearances of Mutagen (a crazy man searching for the cleansing of the human gene pool), the Net Prophet (possibly someone from the 616 Timeline) and Thanatos (another crazy person with, as of yet, obscure motivation) Mutagen Net Prophet ThanatosArt wise its a though book to describe. On one hand it suffers from the 90s Marvel art style. On the other hand it has great costume designs (Mutagen is a exception), awesome mood, especially in the portrait of the high city versus the slums. I find it an example of the 90s style done right, but it's not perfect.There is an issue drawn by a different artist, and that issue stands out like a sore thumb. Its a shame really, because it tarnishes a good job by LeonardiIts a good bang for your buck. Cool stories, interesting characters and nice looking art. It was great to re-read these stories. Hope Marvel doesn't take another 4 years to publish the next volume.Publisher: Marvel ComicsYear: 2013Pages: 240Authors: Peter David, Rick LeonardiISBN: 0785185372Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/01/review-spider-man-2099-volume-2.html

Next on RGN #10

Next on RGN #10

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 14, 2014

Stack of Books New year, same resolutions. Read comics, make photos, travel, spend time with family and just try to be happy.This time we're going to take a look at independent books, well, almost.I love Kickstarter funded books. You never really know what you're getting, but its usually a labor of love. A personal work, sometime intimate, sometimes not, that has a different appeal from the more commercial books.Also a Brazilian book, that are very, VERY, hard to get here in Portugal. Sadly so, because this one is absolutely amazing.And a Superhero book, from my teen years.So, these are the next reviews: Spider-Man 2099 Vol 2 Astronauta Magnetar NAWRG Ungrounded PapaFollow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/01/next-on-rgn-10.html

Sandman Overture # 1 - Neil Gaiman J.H. Williams III

Sandman Overture # 1 - Neil Gaiman J.H. Williams III

By Arion in Blog on January 13, 2014

Something compels me to come here, to this place that doesn’t exist in the “real” world to talk about the dreams of others and, sometimes, about my own. Whatever art we possess is born in dreams. And there is no art that fascinates me more than comic books. Nevertheless, some of you might notice that I haven’t reviewed the most important graphic novels of the past 30 years. Perhaps I’m too cautious or –I hope not– too much of a coward. I dare not talk about Alan Moore’s Watchmen and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. So much has been said about these two seminal masterworks of the ninth art that I simply refuse to believe that I could shed a new light on this topic.And yet, here we are, talking about Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. Only this time it isn’t the Sandman you knew or read about. In 2013 we celebrated the 25th anniversary of Gaiman’s creation. It was in the late 80s when the legendary British writer dreamed of the Endless and Morpheus, the lord of the oneiric realm. And dreams never die, although sometimes we forget about them when we wake up in the morning.This time, however, awake or asleep, we’ve all been invited to dream on. Now we celebrate the beginning of Sandman Overture, a miniseries that explores Sandman’s past. What was the Dream King doing before he was imprisoned in the 20th century? What happened with his helmet, his amulet and his pouch? As Gaiman explained “People have often asked me what happened to Morpheus to make it possible for him to be captured in THE SANDMAN #1. And now they get to find out. And finding out, they get to learn secrets of the Endless that I've kept to myself for 25 years. Family secrets”.And the secret starts to reveal itself at the edge of the universe, in a planet that reminds us that the Endless only look human to us because we are humans. The mystery increases as the Corinthian excitedly seeks to murder a young man. And the family enigma is still stronger than any other family tie: Destiny and Death share their opinions about Dream. “The book is the universe, and only blind Destiny sees how the universe shapes itself into stories. Perhaps he is the only one who reads all the stories the universe forms. It is chained to him, whether for protection, or to prevent him escaping from it, or to indicate that Destiny and the book are one and the same”. Even teeth can be panels / hasta los dientes pueden ser viñetasIn the pages of the first issue we all get reacquainted with old friends. Lucien is still there, taking care of an infinite library filled with books that nobody actually wrote and that exist only in dreams. Merv Pumpkinhead continues to be as mischievous as ever. It’s been almost two decades since the last issue of Sandman was printed. And yet, in a matter of minutes, we more than make up for the lost years. Destiny meets Death / Destino se reúne con MuerteThe key for this smooth transition between yesterday and today is no other than J.H. Williams III. It’s rare to find so much beauty, elegance and perfectionism in the same page. And every page in this book is even more beautiful and elegant than its predecessor. With unprecedented creativity, the illustrator turns teeth into panels, draws a never-ending image of Destiny’s hand holding his book and emphasizes Sandman’s majesty as he soars above the Dreaming. And the final four page foldout (with dozens of alternative versions of Dream) is a masterpiece. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Algo me empuja a venir aquí, a este lugar que no existe en el mundo “real” para hablar de los sueños de otros y, a veces, de los míos. Cualquiera que sea el arte que poseemos, nace en sueños. Y no hay ningún arte que me fascine más que los cómics. No obstante, algunos de ustedes podrán haber notado que no he reseñado las novelas gráficas más importantes de los últimos 30 años. Tal vez soy demasiado cauteloso o –espero que no sea así– demasiado cobarde. No me atrevo a hablar sobre el "Watchmen" de Alan Moore y el "Sandman" de Neil Gaiman. Tanto se ha dicho sobre estas dos influyentes obras maestras del noveno arte que simplemente me rehúso a creer que podría añadir algo más a la discusión.  In the realm of the Dreaming / en el reino de los sueñosY no obstante, aquí estamos, hablando sobre "Sandman" de Neil Gaiman. Sólo que esta vez no es el "Sandman" que ustedes conocen o sobre el que tanto se ha escrito. En el 2013 celebramos el 25 aniversario de la creación de Gaiman. Fue a fines de los 80s cuando el legendario escritor británico soñó con los Eternos y Morfeo, el amo del reino onírico. Y los sueños nunca mueren, aunque a veces nos olvidemos de ellos al despertar en la mañana. Esta vez, sin embargo, despiertos o dormidos, todos hemos sido invitados a seguir soñando. Ahora celebramos el inicio de "Sandman Overture", una miniserie que explora el pasado de Sandman. ¿Qué estaba haciendo el Rey de los Sueños antes de ser apresado en el siglo XX? ¿Qué pasó con su casco, su amuleto y su alforja? Como explica Gaiman “La gente me pregunta a menudo qué pasó con Morfeo para que fuese posible que sea capturado en THE SANDMAN #1. Y ahora podrán averiguarlo. Y al averiguarlo, descubrirán secretos de los Eternos que he guardado durante 25 años. Secretos de familia”.Y los secretos empiezan a revelarse al filo del universo, en un planeta que nos recuerda que los Eternos sólo se ven humanos porque nosotros somos humanos. El misterio aumenta cuando el Corintio planea emocionadamente el asesinato de un joven. Y el enigma familiar todavía es más fuerte que cualquier otro lazo de familia: Destino y Muerte comparten sus opiniones sobre Sueño. “El libro es el universo, y sólo el ciego Destino puede ver cómo el universo toma la forma de las historias. Tal vez él es el único que lee todas las historias que el universo forma. Está encadenado a él, ya sea por protección, o para prevenir que escape, o para indicar que Destino y el libro son una y la misma cosa”. Infinite worlds, infinite Dream Lords / mundos infinitos, infinitos amos del sueño En las páginas del primer número nos volvemos a encontrar con viejos amigos. Lucien aún está allí, al cuidado de una biblioteca infinita llena de libros que nadie ha escrito y que existen solamente en sueños. Merv Pumpkinhead continúa tan travieso como siempre. Han pasado casi dos décadas desde que el último número de Sandman fue publicado. Y no obstante, en cuestión de minutos, recuperamos los años perdidos. La clave de esta suave transición entre el ayer y el hoy es J.H. Williams III. Es raro encontrar tanta belleza, elegancia y perfeccionismo en una misma página. Y cada página de este cómic es incluso más hermosa y elegante que su predecesora. Con una creatividad sin precedentes, el ilustrador convierte dientes en viñetas, dibuja una imagen sin fin de Destino sujetando su libro y enfatiza la majestad de Sandman mientras sobrevuela sus dominios. Y la cuádruple página final (con docenas de versiones alternativas de Sueño) es una obra maestra.Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/01/sandman-overture-1-neil-gaiman-jh.html

Review: OZ: Road to OZ

Review: OZ: Road to OZ

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 12, 2014

Cover The sweetest Marvel book out there is back for another adventure. Eric Shanower and Skottie Young transport yet another heart warming L. Frank Baum book to sequential art format.This is the fourth adaptation of Baum's books. At this point, Baum's approach is a bit formulaic, something transports Dorothy and Toto to the Land of OZ. There they meet a bunch of strange an quirky characters and make a journey in search of something that will enable them to return.And, like previous stories, its the not the end that's the point to all this, but the journey.This time Dorothy and Toto gather the company of the Shaggy Man, a lovable homeless man, Button Bright, a little boy that is very intelligent but doesn't seem to know anything and Polychrome the daughter of the Rainbow. Dorothy's companions As previous stories, Dorothy's journey is a plot crutch to talk about about overcoming personal limitations, fears and just becoming a better person. Her companions are the story. Its almost like Doctor Who. Dorothy and the Doctor are the vessel through with the story is told, but the companions set the mood and add the substance.In this book there are some truly terrifying imagery. Skottie Young does a terrific job bring Baum's words to life. Young creates beautiful character models, gorgeous landscapes and his characters are very expressive. The art alone is a reason to buy these books, and Road to OZ is no exception.Eric Shanower's adaptations make for some great reading experiences, even if you don't have kids to read to. Of course the original work is very good, but he does a great job adapting it to the comics format. I'm loving the ride, and I recommend it to anyone that enjoys comics. King DoxPublisher: Marvel ComicsYear: 2013Pages: 136Authors: Skottie Young, Eric ShanowerISBN: 0785164057Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/01/review-oz-road-to-oz.html

Young Avengers # 12 - Kieron Gillen Jamie McKelvie

Young Avengers # 12 - Kieron Gillen Jamie McKelvie

By Arion in Blog on January 12, 2014

A war between dimensions has begun. Mother, a demon from a parallel reality has brainwashed an army of alternative versions of the Young Avengers. And as if that weren’t enough, Mother has recruited most of Marvel Boy’s angry ex-girlfriends… and Leah (of Hel) too.   After a dozen of issues, there are no more skirmishes or minor confrontations. This is an epic battle that might cause the end of the universe. As Gillen explains “From top to bottom, our season of ‘Young Avengers’ is about communication breakdown. The emergence of Mother means that the adults and the children simply can't understand each other anymore. It's very easy to say, ‘Oh the grownups are bad guys’”. But are they? Or is it something far more complex? Something that entails different perspectives, different ways to see the world…“Young Avengers part 1” acknowledges the age gap and explores it wisely. As we saw before, whether you feel young or old has more to do with your own state of mind that the number of years you’ve lived upon this Earth. “Fundamentally, the first step of saving the universe is saving it from yourself”. And perhaps this is why it’s so difficult for this group of teenagers to save the world. They’re still trying to figure out who they are, what it is they want from life and how to achieve it.Wiccan is destined to become the Demiurge, the arch-mage, the galaxy’s wizard supreme. But before his greatest feats he must first find some sort of balance and acquire at least a modicum of maturity. Of course, this has been especially difficult with Loki lying to him since the first issue. Finally, it’s revealed that the Asgardian god pushed him to the limits and forced him to believe –very wrongly– that his suicide would fix everything. But death is never a solution. Life is the only choice. “Whims and dreams are all it takes”, says Leah. And she’s right. And, if we are in the mood of a bit of meta-fiction, we can apply that phrase to our own lives. Whatever it is we do, whatever goal we have for ourselves, it all begins with whims and dreams. Marvel’s youngest heroes / los héroes más jóvenes de MarvelThe proverbial ‘calm before the storm’ is beautifully portrayed by Jamie McKelvie. In one gorgeous splash page he let us see the Young Avengers allies: members from the Young X-Men (Anole, Pixie, Hellion, etc.), Avengers Academy (Striker, White Tiger, Finesse), Jean Grey School for Gifted Youngsters (Bling, Armor, Mercury, etc), Runaways (Karolina Dean), Power Pack (Alex Power), etc. Then we have the opposite splash page, the forces of destruction commanded by Mother. And then we have some spectacularly creative page compositions, especially the beginning of the fight. Here instead of panels we get to see bullets of visual information. It’s impressive. “McKelvie made it a point to never repeat an approach to a ‘Young Avengers’ action sequence”, and that has been evident since I reviewed the first issue. McKelvie wanted to “tell an action sequence in a unique way -- and then never do it that way again”. This is one of the reasons I decided to review every issue of the series on a monthly basis. Because there was so much innovation going on here that I just had to share it with all of you. Of course, as usual, I love the yamblr / tumblr recap page and the content page, done by letterer Clayton Cowles. “The lettering in ‘Young Avengers’ does a lot of tricky stuff, and Clayton is responsible for the contents pages, which have become quite an important part of the book”, affirmed Gillen. And I totally agree with him. This has been such a brilliant title that even the content pages are exciting. How cool is that? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Alternative versions of the Young Avengers / versiones alternativas de los Young AvengersLa guerra entre dimensiones ha comenzado. Madre, un demonio de una realidad paralela le ha lavado el cerebro a un ejército de versiones alternativas de los Jóvenes Vengadores. Y como si eso no fuera suficiente, Madre ha reclutado a muchas de las ex-enamoradas de Marvel Boy… y a Leah (de Hel) también.   Después de una docena de números, se acabaron las escaramuzas o las confrontaciones menores. Esta es una batalla épica que podría causar el fin del universo. Como explica Gillen “Desde el inicio hasta el fin, nuestra temporada de ‘Young Avengers’ aborda el quiebre de la comunicación. El surgimiento de Madre significa que los adultos y los chicos simplemente no pueden entenderse entre sí. Es muy fácil decir, ‘Oh los mayores son los malos’”. Pero ¿lo son? ¿O se trata de algo mucho más complejo? Algo que involucra diferentes perspectivas, diferentes maneras de ver el mundo…“Jóvenes Vengadores parte 1” reconoce la brecha entre edades y la explora con sabiduría. Como vimos antes, sentirse joven o viejo tiene más que ver con nuestro estado mental que con el número de años que mide nuestra existencia. “Fundamentalmente, el primer paso para salvar al universo es salvarlo de ti mismo”. Y tal vez por eso para este grupo de adolescentes es tan difícil salvar el mundo. Todavía están intentando descifrar quiénes son y qué es lo que quieren conseguir en la vida. Wiccan está destinado a convertirse en el Demiurgo, el archi-mago, el hechicero supremo de la galaxia. Pero antes de las grandes hazañas primero debe encontrar algún tipo de equilibrio y adquirir al menos una pizca de madurez. Desde luego, esto ha sido especialmente difícil con Loki mintiéndole desde el inicio. Finalmente, se revela que el dios asgardiano lo empujó hasta el límite y lo obligó a creer –muy equivocadamente– que su suicidio lo arreglaría todo. Pero la muerte nunca es una solución. La vida es la única opción. Every bullet is an action sequence / cada bala es una secuencia de acción“Impulsos y sueños, eso es todo lo que hace falta”, dice Leah. Y tiene razón. Y si estamos de humor para un poco de meta-ficción, podemos aplicar esa frase a nuestras vidas. Lo que sea que hagamos, cualesquiera que sean nuestras metas, todo empieza con impulsos y sueños.La proverbial ‘calma antes de la tormenta’ es hermosamente retratada por Jamie McKelvie. En una preciosa página completa podemos ver a los aliados de los Jóvenes Vengadores: miembros de los Young X-Men (Anole, Pixie, Hellion, etc.), de la Academia de Vengadores (Striker, White Tiger, Finesse), de la escuela Jean Grey para jóvenes superdotados (Bling, Armor, Mercury, etc), de los Runaways (Karolina Dean), de Power Pack (Alex Power), etc. Luego tenemos en la página opuesta a las fuerzas de la destrucción comandadas por Madre. Y luego tenemos algunas composiciones espectacularmente creativas, especialmente el comienzo de la pelea. Aquí en vez de viñetas vemos balas de información visual. Es impresionante. “McKelvie se propuso nunca repetir el mismo enfoque en una secuencia de acción de ‘Young Avengers’”, y eso ha sido evidente desde que comenté el primer número. McKelvie quiso “narrar una secuencia de acción de una manera única -- y luego nunca hacerlo de nuevo del mismo modo”. Esta es una de las razones por las que decidí reseñar cada número de la serie mes a mes. Porque había tantas innovaciones que tenía que compartirla con todos vosotros.  The final confrontation between Wiccan and Mother / la confrontación final entre Wiccan y MadrePor supuesto, como siempre, me encanta la página inicial de yamblr / tumblr y la página de contenidos, hecha por el rotulista Clayton Cowles. “La rotulación en ‘Young Avengers’ hace un montón de cosas difíciles, y Clayton es responsable por la página de contenidos, que se ha convertido en una parte importante de la serie”, afirmó Gillen. Y estoy totalmente de acuerdo con él. Esta ha sido una colección tan brillante que incluso la página de contenidos ha sido emocionante ¿No es eso genial?Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/01/young-avengers-12-kieron-gillen-jamie.html

December comic books / cómics de diciembre

December comic books / cómics de diciembre

By Arion in Blog on January 9, 2014

The year has just begun and I’m celebrating with a quadruple overdose of Gillen! Two issues of Young Avengers, Three and Uber (that’s the good stuff). I didn’t think much of Inhumanity till I reached the final pages, what a surprising ending! My favorite issues of the month come from Dark Horse & Icon. I’m talking about the first issue of Shaolin Cowboy; it sure deserves a special award: great story and splendid art, I’ve always been a Geof Darrow fan and his Shaolin’s pages are unbelievably fantastic. Kick Ass 3 # 5 was brilliant. And now, without further ado, here are December 2013 comics as per solicitations. ASTONISHING X-MEN #52 (W) Marjorie M. Liu (A) Mike Perkins (CA) Dustin Weaver • The explosive aftermath to the year's most talked about event! DC COMICS ESSENTIALS WATCHMEN #1 (W) Alan Moore (A/CA) Dave Gibbons. The unforgettable debut chapter that began the best-selling and most talked-about graphic novel of all time is back in a new, promotionally priced reprint! The saga of The Minutemen begins with a bang as the Comedian is brutally murdered - but who could have killed him? GHOSTS #1 (MR) (W) Al Ewing & Various (A) Rufus Dayglo, Phil Jimenez & Various (CA) Dave Johnson. Check out this all-new anthology from some of the biggest talents in the industry! Stories spotlight a space heist on a ghost ship, a spirit who wants to play synthesizer in a techno band, a ghost-for-hire haunting agency and others dark, twisted tales. With stories and art by some of comics' greatest talents, this special features a cover by Dave Johnson, and a variant cover by Brendan McCarthy!INHUMANITY #1 (W) Matt Fraction (A/CA) Olivier Coipel • After INFINITY, the Marvel Universe has changed. • The Avengers find themselves face to face with Karnak who has discovered the secret of the Inhumans that will shake the Marvel U to its core. JUDGE DREDD CLASSICS #6 (W) John Wagner, Alan Grant (A) Carlos Ezquerra (CA) Jim FernEast-Meg One's 'Mad Dog' Kazan introduces the Diktatorat to a new order of command, while Chief Justice Griffin has been kidnapped and brainwashed by the Sovs! Will Dredd administer justice on Griffin as swiftly as he does with East-Meg's soldiers? KICK-ASS 3 #5 (OF 8) (MR) (W) Mark Millar (A/CA) John Romita. At long last, the earth-shattering event destined to tear apart the Kick-Ass universe forever: Dave gets a girlfriend! Also, a new vigilante team known only by their Skull and Bones masks makes its presence known.   ONE FOR $1 ABE SAPIEN #1 (W) Mike Mignola, Scott Allie (A) Sebastian Fiumara (CA) Mike Mignola, Dave Stewart. To celebrate the release of the new trade paperback collection, Dark Horse is offering Abe Sapien #1 again-for $1! On the run from the B.P.R.D., a mutated Abe Sapien traverses a devastated America, with monster corpses scattered around and cities in ruin. SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING TP BOOK 05 (MR) (W) Alan Moore (A) Rick Veitch & Various (CA) Rick Veitch, John Totleben This volume continues Alan Moore's award-winning run on SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING with issues #51-56! Swamp Thing returns from hell only to learn that Abby has fled Gotham City, where he runs afoul of Batman, Lex Luthor and the Gotham City Police Department. SHAOLIN COWBOY #1(W/A) Geof Darrow (CA) Geof Darrow, Peter Doherty. The Shaolin Cowboy returns, but nowhere in sight is there a dead Robin, any infinity gauntlets, or a single conquering Ultron-just flat-out action, intrigue, and plenty of roadkill. Geof Darrow's slow-talkin', kung-fu-gripping hero proves once again, in this brand-new new series, that the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a chainsaw! SIDEKICK #4 CVR A MANDRAKE & HIFI (MR) (W) J. Michael Straczynski (A/CA) Tom Mandrake,  HiFi. Barry Chase, a.k.a. Flyboy, returns in shame to Sol City after his failed attempt to start a new career elsewhere under a different name. He finds himself a man without a home, ridiculed by the press and abandoned by those he thought were his friends. Alone... until the notorious female villain Moonglow makes him an offer he may find too good to refuse. Will Flyboy cross the line from hero to villain, and is he prepared to pay the ultimate price for that decision?   THREE #3 (W) Kieron Gillen (A) Ryan Kelly, Jordie Bellaire (CA) Jordie Bellaire, Ryan KellyCurse the Spartan who is a Trembler. Shave his beard. Rip his cloak. Beat or spit on him if you will. If you found yourself condemned in such a fashion, a few short years after all of Sparta's men ran, the hypocrisy could bite. Discover why it's not just the helots who suffer under Spartan Law, and discover what a Trembler plans for the three slaves responsible for his shame... UBER #2 (MR) (W) Kieron Gillen (A/CA) Caanan White. KIERON GILLEN has created a frightening alternate timeline where the Nazi war machine introduced super powered soldiers into the dying days of World War II. As one spy flees Germany with the secrets of the Ubers, the world around her falls to pieces under the onslaught of these living weapons and the Allies struggle to contend with the destruction left in their wake. The last days of Hitler's reign of terror are coming but the monsters of the master race are determined to make their enemies pay to the last. Available with Regular or Wraparound cover by Caanan White , Propaganda Poster cover by Michael Dipascale, and a special Blitzkrieg Incentive cover by Caanan White VERTIGO ESSENTIALS Y THE LAST MAN #1 (MR) (W) Brian K. Vaughan (A) Pia Guerra, José Marzan (CA) J. G. Jones. A science-fiction epic begins in the first issue of the hit series Y: THE LAST MAN, as a mysterious plague wipes out every male on Earth-with the exception of escape artist Yorick Brown and his pet monkey, Ampersand.  YOUNG AVENGERS #13 (W) Kieron Gillen (A/CA) Jamie McKelvie • This periodical plans to include an above-industry average amount and standard of drama, conflict (both internal and external), action set-pieces. It will include 20 pages of comic art. It prominently features heroic attempts to save the world and kissing. • 'The best comic I've ever written. Called Young Avengers #13.' - Kieron Gillen.YOUNG AVENGERS #14 (W) Kieron Gillen (A)  Various (CA) Jamie McKelvie. RESOLUTION (1 of 2) • We gather in a night club, and have a string of connected and overlapping stories starring our cast. It's a completely and unprecedented approach to a story in comics history. There are no parallels. We refuse to accept it. •Team Young Avengers are joined by an all-start cast of some people we really like. Each individual section gets one individual artist. It's a metaphor, probably. • It's been one hell of a year. In two episodes, one before and one after the new year, the Young Avengers get resolution. You guys do as well.  ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________¡El año acaba de empezar y yo estoy celebrando con una sobredosis cuádruple de Gillen! Dos ejemplares de Young Avengers, Three y Uber (esto sí que es bueno). Aunque el inicio es lento, las últimas páginas de Inhumanity me sorprendieron ¡vaya final! Mis cómics favoritos del mes son de Dark Horse & Icon. Me refiero al primer número de Shaolin Cowboy; sin duda merece un premio especial: gran historia y espléndido arte, siempre he sido un fan de Geof Darrow y sus páginas de Shaolin son increíblemente fantásticas. Kick Ass 3 # 5 fue brillante. Y ahora, sin más preámbulos, aquí están los cómics de diciembre de 2013. ASTONISHING X-MEN #52El explosivo desenlace del evento más hablado del año. DC COMICS ESSENTIALS WATCHMEN #1Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons.GHOSTS #1 (MR)Al Ewing, Rufus Dayglo, Phil Jimenez et al. INHUMANITY #1El universo ha cambiado. Los Vengadores se encuentran cara a cara con KARNAK, quien ha descubierto el secreto de los Inhumanos. JUDGE DREDD CLASSICS #6La guerra del apocalipsis continúa.KICK-ASS 3 #5 (OF 8) (MR)El impactante evento destinado a cambiar el universo de KICK-ASS: ¡Dave consigue novia! Y un nuevo vigilante enmascarado aparece. ONE FOR $1 ABE SAPIEN #1Huyendo del BPRD, Abe viaja a lo largo de un Estados Unidos devastado, lleno de cadáveres de monstruos y ciudades en ruinas.SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING TP BOOK 05 (MR)Alan Moore, Rick Veitch et al.SHAOLIN COWBOY #1El cowboy regresa, pero por ningún lado hay un Robin muerto, un guantelete del infinito o un conquistador cósmico. Sólo acción a raudales, intriga y muchos asesinatos de carretera. El héroe del habla lenta demuestra una vez más que para detener a los malos hace falta una sierra eléctrica. I drew this in 2011 (page 2 of 7) / dibujé esto en el 2011 (página 2 de 7)SIDEKICK #4 CVR A MANDRAKE & HIFI (MR)FLYBOY regresa avergonzado a Ciudad Sol después de su fallido intento de iniciar una nueva carrera bajo un nombre distinto. Ahora es un hombre sin hogar, ridiculizado por la prensa y abandonado por aquellos que eran sus amigos. Está solo… hasta que encuentra a una notoria villana que le hace una oferta demasiada buena como para rehusarla. THREE #3Maldigan al espartano temeroso. Quitadle la barba. Arrancadle el manto. Escupid sobre él. Si esta fuese tu condena, pocos años después de que los espartanos huyeran, la hipocresía sería ardiente. UBER #2La maquinaria de guerra nazi introdujo soldados súper-poderosos en los últimos días de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Cuando un espía huye de Alemania, el mundo a su alrededor se desmorona bajo la matanza de estas armas vivientes, y los aliados luchan con contener la destrucción que dejan a su paso. Estos son los últimos días de terror de Hitler pero los monstruos de la raza suprema están determinados a hacer que sus enemigos padezcan.VERTIGO ESSENTIALS Y THE LAST MAN #1 (MR)Una misteriosa plaga ha eliminado a todos los hombres del planeta, a excepción de YORICK y su mono mascota.YOUNG AVENGERS #13Este cómic planea incluir una cantidad por encima del promedio de drama, conflictos (internos y externos) y acción. Tendrá 20 páginas. Y exhibirá de manera prominente intentos heroicos de salvar el mundo y besos.YOUNG AVENGERS #14Nos reunimos en un club nocturno, con historias conectadas que se superponen. Es un enfoque completamente sin precedentes en la historia del cómic. No hay paralelos. Nos rehusamos a aceptarlos. El equipo de Jóvenes Vengadores es acompañado por un elenco de gente que realmente nos gusta. Cada parte individual tiene un artista individual. Es una metáfora, probablemente. Ha sido un año del demonio. En dos episodios, uno antes y otros después de año nuevo, los Jóvenes Vengadores llegan a una conclusión. Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/01/december-comic-books-comics-de-diciembre.html

Young Avengers # 11 - Kieron Gillen Jamie McKelvie

Young Avengers # 11 - Kieron Gillen Jamie McKelvie

By Arion in Blog on January 7, 2014

You are only as young as you feel. And it is true, in many ways, age is a state of the mind. It has been quite rejuvenating, at least for me, to read Young Avengers every month for the past year. I even sent a letter to Kieron Gillen trying to explain my excitement and joy (the letter was printed on YA # 4, ‘nuff said). There was certainly something very special about this title, something as strong as a heartbeat and as a rhythmic as the best songs. Yes, Young Avengers is Marvel’s finest title of 2013, but it’s also the best in the industry. It has received plenty of recognitions, chief amongst them the prestigious Arion’s Achievement Award for Best Ongoing Series of the year. But seriously, even without medals and laurels, I’m sure you would absolutely love Young Avengers.  “You are as old as you feel” explains Loki, and Marvel Boy makes a very pertinent intervention. “It’s a truth I’ve seen in many worlds and people: the young worried they’re too old”. I’ve shared with my friends the same concern, the fear of getting older. Soon I’ll be 30, and I think that I no longer have the right to consider myself young. Kate Bishop is worried (just like I am). She says she’s 21, what happens if in the intergenerational battle she ends up teaming with Mother, the demon from a parallel dimension? If it’s grownups versus kids, is she the former or the latter? Loki and Marvel Boy convince her that she is young. Totally, absolutely. And it’s very reassuring to admit that, even if I’m getting closer to a change of digits (from twenty-something to thirty-something), I would still fight alongside Wiccan, Hulkling, Marvel Boy and Loki. Kid Loki / Loki de niño Teen Loki / Loki de adolescenteWere you afraid of the future? Did you ever stop to consider what it would mean to stop being a teenager and becoming an adult? In order to defeat Mother, Loki must dispose of his child persona, if he is to gain enough power he must turn into a teenager warrior. And thanks to Wiccan’s magic and an arcane ritual involving candles, Kid Loki is annihilated and Teen Loki finally walks amongst men. Although he is the god of mischief and the supreme master of lies, there was something very endearing about Loki’s childhood innocence and enthusiasm. Once the child is gone, the Young Avengers lose a fundamental part of their spirit as a group.In “Stage Nervous Breakdown”, the battle is near. And Prodigy has summoned every teenaged hero of the Marvel universe. Hundreds of underage adventurers reunite under the same banner. It’s time for youths to vanquish their elderly foes. Jamie McKelvie’s art is superb. From the splash page that includes a prepubescent Loki to the amazing panel that shows Loki as a teenager deity. Despite the dramatic events there is always room for humor (a good example would be Marvel Boy “getting caught” by Kate Bishop watching something inappropriate on his holographic screen). And watching the faces of over 50 juvenile heroes in the same page is –surprisingly– a visual delight. □________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Marvel Boy “getting caught” / Marvel Boy con las "manos en la masa"Eres tan joven como te sientes. Y también es cierto que la edad es un estado de la mente. Ha sido bastante rejuvenecedor, al menos para mí, leer "Young Avengers" todos los meses durante el año que acaba de pasar. Incluso le envié una carta a Kieron Gillen, intentando explicar mi emoción y mi alegría (por cierto, la carta fue publicada en el # 4). Había ciertamente algo muy especial en esta colección, algo tan fuerte como el latido de un corazón y tan rítmico como las mejores canciones.Sí, "Young Avengers" es el mejor título Marvel del 2013, pero también es uno de los mejores de la industria. Ha recibido muchos reconocimientos, algunos muy preciados como el Arion’s Achievement Award a mejor serie mensual. Pero en serio, incluso sin medallas ni laureles, estoy seguro que todos quedarían encantados con "Young Avengers".  “Eres tan viejo como te sientes” explica Loki, y Marvel Boy interviene de manera muy pertinente. “Es una verdad que he visto en muchos mundos y personas: los jóvenes se preocupan de haber envejecido demasiado”. He compartido con mis amigos la misma preocupación, el miedo de envejecer. Pronto, tendré 30 años, y creo que ya no tengo el derecho de considerarme joven. Over 50 young heroes / Más de 50 héroes juvenilesKate Bishop está preocupada (igual que yo). Ella dice que tiene 21, ¿qué pasaría si en la batalla intergeneracional ella termina aliándose con Madre, el demonio de una dimensión paralela? Si se trata de adultos versus chiquillos, ¿ella es lo primero o lo segundo? Loki y Marvel Boy la convencen de que es joven. Total y absolutamente. Y es muy reconfortante admitir que, incluso si es que estoy próximo a un cambio de dígitos (de 20 tantos a 30 tantos), aun así pelearía al lado de Wiccan, Hulkling, Marvel Boy y Loki.¿Le tenían miedo al futuro? ¿Alguna vez consideraron lo que significaría dejar de ser un adolescente y convertirse en un adulto? Para derrotar a Madre, Loki debe deshacerse de su identidad de niño, si ha de ganar suficiente poder debe convertirse en un guerrero adolescente. Y gracias a la magia de Wiccan y a un arcano ritual con velas, el Loki niño es aniquilado y el Loki adolescente finalmente surge.Aunque es el dios de la travesura y el amo supremo de las mentiras, había algo encantador en el entusiasmo y en la inocencia infantil de Loki. Ahora que el niño ya no existe, los Jóvenes Vengadores pierden una parte fundamental de su espíritu como grupo.En “Ataque de nervios escénicos”, la batalla se aproxima. Y Prodigy convoca a todos los héroes adolescentes del universo Marvel. Cientos de aventureros menores de edad se reúnen bajo un mismo estandarte. Es hora de que los jóvenes venzan a sus envejecidos enemigos.El arte de Jamie McKelvie es soberbio. Desde la página que incluye a un Loki pre-pubescente hasta el asombroso panel que muestra a Loki como una deidad adolescente. A pesar de los eventos dramáticos siempre hay espacio para el humor (un buen ejemplo sería Marvel Boy atrapado con las "manos en la masa" por Kate Bishop mientras ve algo inapropiado en su pantalla holográfica). Y mirar las caras de más de 50 héroes juveniles en la misma página es –sorprendentemente– una delicia visual. □Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/01/young-avengers-11-kieron-gillen-jamie.html

Frogman Returns @Kickstarter

Frogman Returns @Kickstarter

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 6, 2014

RRRAGH!!!Frogman Returns! For those of us that read the original Frogman, this is great news. What?! You didn't?! Don't feel bad, you can catch up on it in my Frogman review.Matt Fitch and Mark Lewis are back with the sequel to the entertaining Frogman. This time with art by John Aggs.From the authors: Thanks to the generous support of the Kickstarter community, last year we were able to print and release our debut comic book, Frogman, which introduced the world to a not-so-super superhero who kicked, punched and shagged his way through his shitty life, sort of fighting crime and sort of saving the day. Now, due to popular demand, Frogman is back in ‘FROGMAN RETURNS’, filled with even more action, romance, jokes, puns, nerd-references and scenes of hardcore sex and violence. You can help this come true in the Frogman Returns project page.  In the meanwhile, here is a preview (from the same page). Preview Page 1 Preview Page 2 Preview Page 3Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/01/frogman-returns-kickstarter.html

Transmetropolitan'o'ton #4

Transmetropolitan'o'ton #4

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 4, 2014

Cover Spider Jerusalem, his filthy assistants, The Word and The City have reached the 4th installment of this epic series alive and (for the most part) well. In this volume The Beast and The Smiler join in for some presidential campaign fun. While its not the first time these characters show, it is the first time they are interviewed by Spider. That is a show on itself and reason enough to read this book.Transmetropolitan Volume 4 The New Scum... Its the poor and the middle class. The voting citizen the one that can't be bothered to move his/hers ass to the voting booth and doodle a cross on a box. Its the uninformed and the uninterested. Its the blind and the unwilling to see. The new scum was written almost two decades ago, but could very well be written today. The new scum is me and you.The presidential campaign is in its final stretch. Only 2 weeks until election day and both candidates are playing their last trumps. And Spider gets trapped in the midst of their political games. Warren Ellis, once again, turned something that is inherently boring and tedious into a gripping word battle between Spider and the presidential candidates. And as a result the reader not only gets some very interesting moments, but also some much deserved character development that, until this point, was missing. Front-Biter 7-K Of course we all knew The Beast or The Smiler from previous volumes, but just from Spider's point of view. In this volume that changes and both gain something new and very scary. At the end of this book the next president is elected, Spider gets a bunch of new enemies and life goes on as usual. The party is on But the election is not the only topic. In this book Spider goes soft. This misogynist arrogate bastard journalist shows that he also has a sensible side. Not only he helps out a lost little girl, he also has a very kind and thoughtful gesture towards a secondary character. On top of that he proves that he does have a heart, when the death of Vita finally takes a tool on Spider.This is a great addition to the Transmetropolitan Universe. It expands on important characters, creates new threads for future stories and on top of that, it entertains the reader immensely.Publisher: VertigoYear: 2009Pages: 160Authors: Warren Ellis, Darick RobertsonISBN: 1401224903Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/01/transmetropolitanoton-4.html

Review: The Manhattan Projects Volume 2

Review: The Manhattan Projects Volume 2

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 2, 2014

CoverThe Manhattan Projects Volume 2 continues the saga of the alternative versions of the people involved with the original Manhattan Project, reinvented by the mind of Jonathan Hickman.This volume can be divided into three major stories, the first is the tale of Helmutt Gröttrup, where Hickman explorer the maxim “All men have masters”.By following the life of Helmutt Gröttrup from the moment the Oberammergau Castle is being stormed by the allied forces until the "present" time, we get a tale about the behavior of the individual in the group. Hickman explores the  inter-group relations through the eyes of an Omega almost to a sadistic level.This is my favorite story of this collection, mainly because it follows an unexpected protagonist and delivers a unapologetic take on the human condition. While this is not breaking any new ground, it is a very entertaining, off-beat take on the subject. Helmutt is captured by the Russians The second story, and by far the least interesting, is about a common struggle for power, between the established power of the USA and the World, and the new power, the Los Alamos Scientific community.To be fair this one is a bit tame. Its more silly than interesting, although it does make you giggle a bit seeing Harry Truman in the midst of an orgy in the Oval room, or Einstein torturing a Luchador. But in the end of the day it’s a forgettable plot that only exists to change the status quo of the series. While not a bad plot, it pales in comparison with the rest.Last but not least, there’s the Oppenheimer mind-fuck fest. There isn't much that can be said about this story without spoiling it. This is the trippiest story of The Manhattan Projects to date. It makes great use of the duality concept in the series (usually present though the coloring) and it paves the way to more Oppenheimer madness in the future. Starcity This is a good book. A bit shy of the greatness of the first volume, mainly because of the lackluster second story, but a very enjoyable book nonetheless.Art wise it’s the same as the first one. While I’m not the biggest fan of Nick Pitarra’s art style, he is coherent, and that is always a good thing. The coloring is a big part of the enjoyment of the book. It may be a bit gimmicky, but it does accentuate many of the twists of the plot and craziness of the characters, and it shines in the last story. Publisher: Image ComicsYear: 2013Pages: 152Authors: Jonathan Hickman, Nick PitarraISBN: 1607067269Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/01/review-manhattan-projects-volume-2.html

Preview: Executive Assistant: Assassins #17

Preview: Executive Assistant: Assassins #17

By Rui Esteves in Blog on January 1, 2014

CoverEXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: ASSASSINS #17 Vince Hernandez ­ Writer / Jordan Gunderson ­ Art / Teo Gonzalez - ColorsThe second part of Blood Origin!The Blood Origin three-part story line continues as Executive Assistant Daffodil learns the painful truth that a life devoted to the training of women in the art of killing can lead to unintended‹and fatal results. And, this lesson may prove to be her last, as the reality of this existence may prove too much to survive‹even for her!Covers by Jordan Gunderson, Tina Valentino and Mirka Andolfo.EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: ASSASSINS #17 is in stores December 31st, 2013! Preview Page 1 Preview Page 2 Preview Page 3 Preview Page 4 Cover B Cover CFollow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter. Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2014/01/preview-executive-assistant-assassins-17.html

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