Tuesday, February 22, 2011

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Spider-Girl #3 (Review)

Written by Paul Tobin
Art by Clayton Henry, Tim Seeley & Sergio Cariello
Cover by Jelena Djurdjevic

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $2.99

It was a tough crowd this week when it came to finding a comic worthy of being top of the stack. Previous stack winners: Brightest Day and Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers had issues released and the DC anthology comic Weird Worlds stepped up in its second issue but none of the books had me glowing afterward. It was not until reading Spider-Girl #3, the new Spider-Girl relaunch starring Anya Corazon, that I knew I had found the next top of the stack pick.

Comic creator Paul Tobin is the writer for Spider-Girl, perhaps best known for his load of Marvel work including The Age of Sentry 2008 miniseries and several books from the Marvel Adventures line. He is steering the ship for Anya Corazon, who originally debuted in the Marvel Universe as AraƱa but after being given Julia Carpenter's costume has taken on the mantle of Spider-Girl and a new ongoing series.

In this issue, Anya deals with the aftermath of the previous issue's stunning character death. She confronts the Red Hulk and learns the whole story of what happened, attends a funeral and finds herself searching for the right person in her life to tell everything to and ends up sharing with one of Marvel's iconic female heroes, Susan Richards, The Invisible Woman, who is the perfect choice to give comfort to the young girl.

Jelena Djurdjevic drew a spectacular cover for the issue with an angry Anya in her Spider-Girl costume next to a slanted tombstone. The interior art is a step up from the last book Anya was in, but it was easy to notice when there was a different artist working on a section of the book, which might be a result of the opening and closing pages taking the art to a whole other level.

I like to support underused characters that catch my eye, and with the new costume, new moniker and new ongoing series I am ready to embrace Anya Corazon as Spider-Girl. Here's hoping this heroine solo title takes off like other heroine books have in the last few years and builds a fan base to support it.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's Spider-Girl themed picspam.

Friday, February 11, 2011

TV: A Luthor-sized Finale for Smallville (News)

Entering its tenth and final season on the CW, Smallville has been pulling out all the stops to make the season a memorable ones for the fans and the cast. Returning guest stars have come out of the woodwork to make appearances this season, including long-time former regulars of the show: John Schneider, Annette O'Toole & Allison Mack. But there was always the one hold out that fans were eagerly hoping would return to fill the void that has existed in the show since he left. The wait is over.

Straight from his own twitter account, Michael Rosenbaum confirms reports leaked out earlier today that he would be returning to Smallville to play Lex Luthor one more time in the two hour season finale.

From @mrosenbaum711:
I'm excited to come back one last time. Just promise me you'll all watch my new stuff. Then we will be even. Haha. Rock the hell on friends!

Having the original Lex Luthor return was the last hurdle for Smallville to cross to make season 10 truly one to remember. Now that it will soon be a reality in the next three months, nothing can stop the show from using its second chance at going out with a big bang and giving a true sendoff to the show and its characters.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's picspam on the Smallville/Lex Luthor theme.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Fantastic Four #587 (Review)

Written by Jonathan Hickman
Pencils by Steve Epting
Cover by Alan Davis, Mark Farmer & Javier Rodriguez

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $3.99

Every book in the last week of January was already swimming against the current with the greatly hyped Fantastic Four issue coming out as well. But that didn't stop some great issues from being produced, including Secret Avengers #9 that featured a Steve Rogers vs John Steele face off, or Shazam #1 that brought the Marvel family back into the spotlight and updating everyone on their status since Mary and Billy had their powers stripped from them. But in the end, the quality of a story that evoked true emotions out of me was the tipping point in putting Fantastic Four #587 at the top of the stack.

Writer Jonathan Hickman has been a part of the Fantastic Four creative team for the last year and a half, steering Marvel's first family into a much more exciting direction that has been true to the characters and the spirit of the book, leading to the events of this issue that change the Fantastic Four forever! Or at least for the foreseeable future.

This issue concluded the five issue arc ominously titled "Three" with Sue standing up to Namor and taking on the throne of Old Atlantis, Reed's attempts to save as many inhabitants of Nu-World from the wrath of Galactus, and Johnny with Ben and the kids try to prevent the invasion wave coming from the breach in the Negative Zone. I will keep spoilers to a minimum, but I enjoyed Susan's violent reaction to Namor, and I thought the last part of the issue was reminiscent of the feature film, Armageddon, which is not a bad thing because I enjoyed that movie. Both the comic and film produced the same emotion from me.

The cover was drawn by longtime Marvel artist, Alan Davis, showcasing each member of the Fantastic Four in their current situation and their logo centered between the scenes but it is fractured. A perfect illustration for a finale that was trying to keep the ending a surprise, and outside of the mass media push I think it was successful. Interiors were done by Steve Epting, who has done some fantastic work in recent years on Captain America and while his style might not fit my preference for the Fantastic Four I thought he did a great job of capturing the emotion in the book.

I do not know what to expect from the future of the Fantastic Four now that they are down a member. Hickman seems to have a solid grasp on the characters and where he wants to take them. The series up to now has been solid and precise, and I do not see that changing anytime soon as long as Hickman is around. I always enjoyed in the past of Fantastic Four when members of the Marvel Universe would at times become members of the team to keep it as a foursome when one of the regulars are incapacitated but I have a feeling Hickman will not be doing that this time around, intent on having the readers feel the void left in this issue's wake.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's Fantastic Four themed picspam.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Green Lantern Corps #56 (Review)

Written by Tony Bedard
Pencils by Tyler Kirkham
Cover by Tyler Kirkham, Matt Banning & Nei Ruffino

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

It turned out that the third week of January comic book releases had several outstanding series battling over being the top of the stack. Brightest Day #18, Darkwing Duck #8 and Tiny Titans #36 each continued their series quality with another solid issue but there was something in the air - or space if you will - that caught my attention instead. In what has been a revitalization of my interest in the Green Lantern characters in recent weeks, I found myself caught off guard with the latest issue of Green Lantern Corps, #56, enjoying the start of the confrontation that was issues in the making so much that it made an easy selection as the week's top comic.

Tony Bedard took over the writing duties from Peter Tomasi back in May when Blackest Night evolved into Brightest Day and Tomasi went on to start the Emerald Warriors book and has continued the tradition of orchestrating big epic battles so far in his first two Green Lantern Corps story arcs.

This issue finally brought the slow building fight to a boil with Sinestro finally arriving to face off with the Weaponer and his Sinestro Corps along for the ride to battle against the Thunderers and the Green Lanterns stuck in the middle of the conflict. Previous issues were frustrating to read with just how easily the Weaponer had handled the Green Lanterns but in retrospect it made Sinestro's might seem even far greater when he broke through the Weaponer's defenses with ease.

Tyler Kirkham came onto Green Lantern Corps with the start of the Weaponer arc, and he has been a welcome addition to the team. His art fits perfectly with the sci-fi action book, and there is some individualism displayed in the Lanterns use of their power rings. Sinestro looked sinister, and the only nitpick I have with the art was Kyle looking a bit too buff in some panels. The solitary cover featuring Sinestro was eye-catching and was a great example of showing how a simple cover can still reflect the contents of the story unlike say another release that week, Batman: Streets of Gotham #19.

Some fans had dropped the Green Lantern books after the complex mess left in Blackest Night's wake, but as recent top of the stack winners have shown that section of the DC Universe has seemed to find its path and the stories being delivered are reaching the quality the books had pre-Blackest Night. Bedard seems to have a firm grip on the characters and stories that need to be told in the Green Lantern books and Kirkham's art is solid, so I definitely think this book should be one to look out for in months ahead.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's Green Lantern/Sinestro themed picspam.