Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Star Wars Omnibus Volume 3: A Long Time Ago Review


It’s been quite a while since I read my last Star Wars comic so it’s good to be back. It definitely brings quite a few issues here along with the next annual. Han Solo may still be trapped thanks to the events of the movies, but the comics weren’t about to let that sideline him so you’ll still get your share of Han Solo adventures here thanks to flashback issues and the annual which is all about him. You can definitely tell that he was quite the fan favorite back in the day. (Still is!)

There are a lot of different adventures here. The first few are still dealing with the fact that the rebellion doesn’t have a home base after they were chased out by the empire. All of the characters split up to find a new home, but none of the planets seem to be sticking. Finally they find a planet that might work out and currently it is home to a bunch of little gerbils among a rainbow planet. The rebels may like it here, but will they be able to co-exist with these creatures rather than taking it for themselves? The rebels are on the right side, but the individual members can be a little hasty at times and they nearly do try to steal the world which would have been dicey. Fortunately Leia saw reason here.

One of the big story arcs that starts off early as a subplot involves a new character named Shira. You know right away that she’s going to be a big character because she has an actual design as opposed to all of the random pilots who are running around the ship. She also seems to be trying to get in between Leia and Luke so as a rival you know that the comics wouldn’t be done with her too quickly. Her saga is a lot of fun and definitely puts Luke’s force abilities to their ultimate test. You may suspect the twist about her early on, but it’s really well executed as you may start to harbor some doubts by the end. She’s just such a nice character after all.

I also dare say that this is the longest saga in the collection as most of the stories are stand alone adventures. One such stand alone is C3PO’s comic at the very end. It’s sort of like a meeting of the supporting characters as the main characters are the droids, Chewy, and the gerbils. The main villain is a powerful sorcerer and the whole thing is so random, but pretty fun. You also realize how lucky the rebels are to have managed to survive so long with such a powerful villain right in their midst. The guy was literally living right outside the base which is pretty crazy.

Meanwhile we don’t get to see a ton of Vader and the others, but whenever he appears he definitely does look quite good. Everyone is pretty scared of Vader and you would expect no less. They even reference how he is always murdering his lackeys so now some of them are ready to fight back. It makes sense to try and take Vader out because otherwise he will surely destroy them. The attempt goes about as well as you would expect though. Vader is simply way too powerful and the fact that he can use the Force means that the humans will never truly have a chance against him.

One of the generals was pretty solid. I forget his name, but he ends up being demoted after an earlier mission to an abandoned planet and even then the rebels show up to beat him once more. The guy definitely had more heart than most of the other Empire flunkies and at least he was trying. It was ultimately a futile effort but even Vader had to comment on how the guy actually had some honor. In the end you just can’t hope to beat the rebels. They may be outnumbered but whenever they get into a fight every one officer is able to beat around 5-10 Stormtroopers. It’s no wonder why the rebels are making such good ground.

They definitely aren’t the most loyal of companions though. They’re very quick to turn on Luke after he is framed. Of course the whole point of being framed is that nobody knows the truth, but Luke is the guy who saved the solar system from the Death Star and he’s been fighting against the empire his whole life. Why would he suddenly change sides now? Lando and Leia at least stay on his side, but even they aren’t bold enough to do it in public. They should have just stuck by him here as he easily could have been in major trouble otherwise. At least the jury wasn’t rigged so once it went to court he came out all right.

I haven’t talked much about Lando, but he serves as Han’s replacement while the infamous bounty hunter is still trapped in ice. His team-up issues with Chewy are fun even if he doesn’t have quite the same connection. The characters can never let him forget how he betrayed them all a while back so he’s got a lot to prove in each issue. Lando’s done a good job of making up for his earlier actions though and he even manages to save his own city at one point. I wonder if he’ll continue to be a main character once Han returns or if he’ll go back to being a guest star. Only time will tell.

Finally there are also another fun saga which involves Leia heading to a world that’s like the Savage Land. She meets up with a guy who’s like Kazar and a bunch of others who have been under attack by a faction of the Empire led by some cool alien creatures. She helps them fight against these guys and while their technology may not be too advanced, they definitely do know how to fight when it counts. The only iffy plot here is that the main guy is engaged but he falls for Leia. The whole time he even keeps telling himself that this isn’t good, but can’t seem to truly stop himself until Luke comes and puts an end to this. The fiancee was super forgiving the whole time and took it surprisingly well, but the guy should have never weakened so much anyway. Still, it was fun seeing some real hand to hand fights in a Star Wars comic.

As expected the art here is definitely quite good. It’s really nostalgic to see such retro art and these were fun times to be a Star Wars fan. The writers do a good job of coming up with so many adventures in between the movies while taking care not to actually meddle in the events that could come up in the next sequel. Luke is also a little more experienced with the Force than in the last collection so he does a little better here. He’s still got a ways to go though as some of the creatures are still able to mentally overpower him which definitely wouldn’t be happening once he becomes a Jedi Master.

Overall, This collection is definitely quite solid and continues to do the Star Wars series justice. Whether you’re a Star Wars fan or not you can easily jump into these comics and get what is happening. One solid thing about the old issues has always been that they go out of their way to recap the events for you to ensure that you always know what is going on. That’s definitely important and since most of the issues tell their own story you’re good to go. There are various plots that continue in the background like with Shira and Han, but you’ll quickly get what is happening there as well.

Overall 7/10

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Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

X-Men Inferno Volume 2 Review


It’s been a long time since I reviewed the first Inferno comic, but it’s finally time to wrap up the saga. It definitely feels like one of the grandest X-Men story arcs in scope even if it never seems to be brought up nowadays. Pretty much all of the big players are here and there’s definitely a lot of action. You probably will wonder where the Avengers and FF are at times, but they are referenced and I believe they were on a mission somewhere at the time. It’s a pretty enjoyable story arc, some parts can get a little dark and others not as exciting, but on the whole it’s definitely an intense arc.

There are a lot of plots going on at once here. For the main plot, the Goblin Queen has decided to embrace her dark powers and take control of the planet. To that end she has teamed up with demons to transform the entire city. Some of them have plans of their own as well though. Cyclops, Jean Grey, and the rest of the X Factor head out to stop her, but their team isn’t as united as usual. Cyclops blames himself for the Goblin Queen’s transformation since he did rebound after marrying her pretty quick.

Another plot is that the X-Men are doing battle against an anti mutant faction and in the process they are becoming demons as well. As they lose more and more of their minds they start to barely even resemble heroes anymore. This leads them to start attacking all of the sides. Then you’ve got the Power Pack who are being forced to deal with the fact that their parents now know who they are thanks to the events with the Orphan Maker from volume 1. The parents are having a real hard time coping.

Then the New Mutants are also flying around trying to save Magik. Magik took control of Limbo but now the villains are starting to wrestle control back from her. Magik can destroy them, but doing so will eliminate the last of her light so she has a tough choice to make. Meanwhile Colossus is also trying to find her, but going from world to world is tricky and the villains are content to mock rather than help him. Finally, Sinister is also in the mix and naturally he also wants to mess things up for the heroes.

Those are just the main plots and there are even more subplots running around. I imagine that this was definitely the ultimate X faction arc back in the day. Pretty much every X group was here and I forgot to mention that this even includes Excalibur. If the heroes were all in one place this would probably be an easy win for them, but naturally the demons won’t let that be an option. Even as this trade ends there are already a lot of plotlines set up for the next arc.

I think one of the best aspects of this saga is the subtle craziness of the situation. In the background you’ll see the animated objects making a lot of jokes at the humans as they crush them. For example one mail box reminds one guy that he should have used a stamp before eating him. There are a lot of fatalities here as by the time the heroes arrive the humans are long gone or no longer human. The villainous appliances all have a pretty good sense of humor though. It’s definitely pretty grim humor, but it works well.

As for the characters, this is definitely gonna be a rough showing for Havok fans. Regardless of all his justifications, he seems to be going for the Goblin Queen to one up Cyclops. He had no problem with cheating with her even while she was with Cyclops so you doubt his motivations from the start. I usually like Havok, but definitely not in this comic.

Another character who looks really bad here is Rachel Summers. Keep in mind that during this saga she is a host of the Phoenix Force and yet she can’t win a single fight here. There’s gotta be some reason why her Phoenix Form was so weak, but I definitely would have liked that to have been elaborated here. She gets mind controlled and one shotted early on and as such has nothing to do for the whole volume. I couldn’t believe it when she was taken out so easy.

Cyclops naturally gets a big role here as well. It’s not his best appearance, but he is doing his best to handle the situation. It’s just gotten past the point of merely being “personal” since his kid is being hostage and his ex-wife is trying to murder everyone. Cyclops did have a pretty fishy set of decisions that led to this moment like ditching his wife and getting back with Jean, but that’s all events that happened before this volume. In this one he is trying to pick up the pieces, but it’s been awfully difficult. So I wouldn’t say that he looked bad per say, but I’ll be glad for him to have this drama past the bend.

Ice Man and Psylocke don’t do a whole lot in comparison to the other characters, but they are around for the full saga. They look really good as they focus on an objective and support the team the whole time. Ice Man’s powers are definitely at the point in the series where they are steadily becoming a top tier threat. Psylocke still seems to be quite a bit weaker than the other main telepaths, but at the same time she does contribute. I don’t think she’ll ever be seen as one of the strongest telepaths, but as long as she is strong enough to help out that’s good enough.

The Goblin Queen naturally gets a really big role here as well. Her emotions are all over the place as she constantly switches between acting as the victim and embracing her role as the evil empress. I can’t really say that she’s my kind of villain, but her motivations for revenge are definitely pretty reasonable considering what a bad hand she’s been dealt. She has to live with the fact that everyone considers her to be a fake and she’s being manipulated by quite a few parties. At times it can be a bit iffy to see her being led around so much though. She’s a villain who was thrown into the role and as such isn’t prepared for it. You kind of want her to have a happy ending even though from the start you don’t really think this will be possible. She simply went too far down the rabbit hole into darkness.

We get cameos from some characters like Magneto, but sadly he doesn’t get to do much. It was nice to see him, but there was almost no point to be honest. I’m sure his scene probably continued in a spinoff though. The Power Pack’s plot is probably the most annoying in some ways as the parents just do a terrible job of handling the situation. The plot was going for realism, but I dare say that their reactions were so poor that it wasn’t realistic at that point. They basically fell into depression instantly which was a bit iffy. Surely they could find some silver lining to the kids being superheroes right?

As for the X-Men basically turning into demons, it was unfortunate that their will power was not all that good. Most of them fell into the evil instincts very quickly and so the X-Factor definitely ended up doing a much better job. One thing the X-Men comics like doing a lot that I could definitely do without is all the “Surprise!” kisses that occur. The villains seem to love doing that to the heroes which is definitely a dicey power move. There are way better ways to make the villains a threat than by doing that. There aren’t any quality romances to be found here, that’s for sure. Throw in the Cyclops drama and you’ve got a real complicated situation for the heroes.

I would have liked to have seen more of Magik’s plot since hers was probably the most interesting. Limbo seems to have quite a lot of power struggles over there and with her abilities continuing to grow it would be interesting to see how she fares against the bigger X-Men villains. I’m thinking that’s why they always keep her out of Earth. Even the Sinister threat probably would have been a whole lot smaller if she was around since one or two hits would probably take him down for the count.

The art is definitely real solid. It’s pretty consistent across the various titles. The character designs are definitely on point although of course a lot of them look pretty evil most of the time since they slowly start to lose their sanity. The battle scenes are definitely really good and it’s definitely an easy page turner. The pages are never too busy where you have to slow down. This trade also brings a lot of issues so it’s definitely a comic where you get your money’s worth.

Overall, There’s a lot happening in Inferno. It’s definitely very dramatic and the characters get a lot of development here. It’s not quite my favorite X-Men arc, but on the whole it was definitely pretty solid. I could definitely roll with seeing the town go crazy a little longer. I do think the epilogue parts are a bit hard to swallow though as there were too many witnesses for this to be swept under the rug. I mean, the humans in these comics usually aren’t too smart, but I dare say that this is almost pushing it a bit. It’s easy to see why Earth would crumble without the superheroes in these things. If you haven’t read Inferno volume 1 yet then you’ll probably want to do that before jumping into volume 2. It’ll definitely flow a lot better for you that way.

Overall 7/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Scooby Doo Team Up Volume 6 Review


It’s time for some more Scooby Doo adventures! These guys have helped quite a lot of people out by this point. They’ve aided heroes like Batman, Superman, and many more over the course of this series. It’s always fun to see how they interact with the other series and evidently many others must feel the same way for this title to have reached 6 trades. This volume is another solid one with a good array of stories.

The first issue has the team come over to aid the Atom in his fight against a ghost who exists on an atomic level. The gang is a little skeptical of a ghost showing up since usually they’re fake. That being said, how could someone put on a mask and then shrink to this size? The Atom gets a lot of hype here as he beats up on the enemies while also apologizing to the gang for not saving any for them. The Mystery Inc also keep their cool here (Aside from Shaggy and Scoob) as they realize what’s up. It’s definitely a pretty solid intro issue and the cool part is that it’s the only one that actually continues to the next.

The gang may have just escaped from their growing problems, but then they meet up with the Atomic Ant. I’m not familiar with the guy, but apparently his thing is that he has super strength and can fly thanks to a jet pack. It’s definitely a pretty handy thing to have up his sleeve. Still, he’s up against a group of monsters so Fred and the others have to think of a way to help them. This one isn’t really a mystery so much as just a team up battle. Daphne has learned how to fight thanks to a book she read during another issue which is a nice bit of character development that stuck. Together they end up having the edge in this fight.

Then we’ve got a team up issue with Huntress, Batgirl, and Black Canary. It’s tough for Huntress because she’s trying to get things done and just take out villains, but the rest of the group is busy dealing with the Mystery Inc comedy shenanigans. She is ultimately forced to play the straight man here as Huntress points out that this is no time for games. The rest of the gang apparently don’t really agree with that based on how they act. Still, the team will have to put their differences aside to save Gotham City, but can they do it? It’ll take all of their skills this time.

Then we’ve got a pretty fun comic with the Inferior Five. The story takes this moment to also bring in a lot of other infamous DC characters. I didn’t even know most of them so that was pretty neat. We finally have a group that is even more nervous than the Scooby Doo gang. There are a lot of other guest stars here as well and the whole thing takes place near a game show so that was pretty neat.

Following that we’ve also got an issue with the Legion of Superheroes. The Fatal Five have struck again and it also seems as though the ghost of Ferro Lad is here to haunt the heroes. He even has a twin brother who seems made up for the series and may have a grudge against the league. This one’s probably the closest case we have here to a full on mystery. It’s also one of the best comics in the collection as we get some fights and the gang looks reasonably good. It’s also cool to see Ferro Lad even if he is a ghost here because I remember reading the fateful issues where he ultimately paid the big price.

Finally we have Yogi Bear show up in another issue. He definitely steals the show here as he tricks the mystery gang into thinking that he is the police chief for a bit. In their defense, they’ve come across so many strange cases that it isn’t even unbelievable for that to be the case. Of course while he is guilty of many crimes it seems as if someone might be framing Yogi. Who would dare do such a thing? Furthermore, who would even want to frame Yogi? The bear seems like a nice guy and you have to make some pretty big enemies for this to happen.

Definitely a solid array of stories here as I mentioned. The art for the issues is also pretty good. The style lends itself well to team up adventures. All of the character designs are on point and it’s very easy to read through the adventures. 6 issues is also a reasonable length for a trade as I see a lot with only 4. You’re definitely getting some pretty good value for your dollar. The Mystery Inc are all in character as well. Naturally the two members who look the best here are Daphne and Fred. Daphne is the team’s best fighter by far and actually does contribute in quite a few of the fights against real villains. Then Fred always sticks up for the team and stands up to the others who try to talk down to them. Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby mostly just hold the team back which is why they should be glad that they have Fred and Daphne at the ready.

Overall, This is a solid collection to add to your pile. Whether you know a lot or a little about the Scooby Doo franchise and DC ones, the stories are very accessible. You can easily gather what is happening right away and then go from there. I definitely recommend checking it out and even more so if you are already a fan of these franchises. I definitely wonder if the series is still going. Hopefully so as there are always more heroes to cross over with. I don’t know when I’ll be reading another comic, but I’ll definitely be ready for whatever it is.

Overall 7/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Justice League #0 Review


While at the theater for the Shazam movie they ended up giving out free copies of Shazam’s first appearance in the New 52 so that was pretty cool. It’s been a long while since I’ve read a single issue as I typically read the trades. I remember how Shazam’s new portrayal was always pretty controversial. He’s definitely a lot meaner than in his original days but it works pretty well. At least if you just judge from this issue, he’s pretty solid although he loses some edge once he transforms.

The issue starts with Black Adam beating up the wizard and then dashing out of there. The Wizard feels pretty shaken at this point and then a kid named Billy Batson shows up and threatens to beat the wizard up. While this isn’t the “pure good” person that the wizard was hoping for, he learns that maybe such a person would never appear. He gives Billy his powers and the kid turns into the powerful Shazam. He manages to get Freddy to believe that this is his new identity and then he goes around beating people up. The issue ends with Shazam realizing that he can potentially make a lot of money in his new form.

You can definitely see where the film took some events from while not adapting this 1-1. Shazam is definitely attracted to money pretty easily here, but hopefully he’ll use it to help the neighborhood out. Naturally there isn’t a whole lot that you can cover in a single issue but this does a good job of setting up the characters and events. Personally I thought Billy was pretty solid here. He seems like the kind of guy who protects his neighborhood from the shadows even if he’s not all that nice about it. As Shazam he definitely seems a lot more normal so maybe that’s a subtle effect of the transformation.

The art is definitely solid. While parts of it have that New 52 glimmer, others are a bit more rugged to try and fit the tone of the issue. The end result is a very good looking comic that’s easy to read and looks pretty impressive. It’s definitely very solid. There aren’t any fights yet of course, but once those come it’ll probably look even better. I suppose the weakest part is probably the humans and even that looks pretty good for the most part I’d say.

The New 52 still feels so recent, but I suppose at this point it’s ancient history. I never really kept up with the Shazam series, assuming he ever actually got one. If he was just relegated to side issues and guest star roles then that would be pretty unfortunate. There’s definitely a lot you can do with the character. After all, he’s basically Superman 2.0 so that makes for a good read. Then there’s the fact that Billy doesn’t let anyone mess with him. Makes for a very unique experience I’d say.

Overall, Shazam is a pretty solid first comic. I’d definitely check out the follow up issues. Somehow I don’t think that’ll be happening anytime soon, but next time I’m at the library I’ll definitely stay sharp. If you have never read the new Shazam adventures then I’d recommend changing that. With Black Adam introduced out of the gate and solid artwork throughout, the series is poised to really deliver on the action front in the future.

Overall 7/10

Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

Pokemon Let’s Go! Pikachu & Let’s Go! Eevee: Adventure Start Comic Review


It’s time to look at another quick Pokemon manga. This one is about the Let’s Go game and decides to frame the one shot as being about the kids playing it as opposed to taking place in the game. It’s a tactic that Nintendo used earlier with another Pokemon manga so I guess they thought it went well. I do like this approach. I probably wouldn’t want it to happen too often but it’s a good change of pace once in a while to keep us guessing. This is a nice one shot to quickly check out before you play the game.

It starts with two brothers getting their copies of Pokemon Let’s Go. The main character is a longtime Pokemon fan so he’s been waiting for this one while the other admits that he has never played the Pokemon games before. Naturally the lead decides that this won’t do and so he lets the brother play first. As he is playing, the main character shows his bro the ropes. How to land a good catch and stuff like that. As this game takes mechanics from Pokemon Go it is a very different experience compared to most of the classic Pokemon games. A tutorial like this makes sense for newcomers although Nintendo’s always done a great job of making their games pretty self explanatory so I don’t think it would confuse you for long. As they play the two main characters quickly realize that this may be the best Pokemon game yet.

At the end of the day this is basically a glorified advertisement for the Pokemon Let’s Go game. I think it’s a pretty effective one though. The artwork looks nice and it is a very realistic showing of what the game looks like. The screens on the TV in the manga look accurate and all of the advice is quite sound. I never ended up getting the game myself so I had to forego my chance at getting all of those crispy Meltan gifts, but it’s definitely a title I could see myself getting one day once it has been long forgotten by the masses.

Overall, This is another good one shot. It helps that I am just a Pokemon fan in general. I don’t expect you will learn anything new here unless you somehow missed the Pokemon Go boom. Still, it’s a nice enough story to remind you that for some people, Pokemon Let’s Go will be their first big Poke experience. It’s definitely something to keep in mind when playing. It may not be the best installment yet, but if you hadn’t played the others then I think it would rank even higher. I’ll definitely be ready for when the next big Pokemon game comes out.

Overall 7/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

DuckTales Classics Volume 1 Review


It’s time to look at a retro collection of DuckTales comics. This was always a pretty fun franchise. It’s hard not to root for Scrooge since the guy is pretty neat with how he budgets his money. The guy certainly didn’t become rich by accident after all. He’s the smartest character in the series and it’s always good to have a main character who really knows what he is doing. There aren’t any weak stories in this collection so it’s a lot of fun from start to finish.

To give a brief premise for the series, it follows an old duck named Scrooge and his three nephews. He shows them how nice it is to be rich, but everyone is always trying to steal his money. Well, one of these stories has his most dangerous threat yet as an old magician shows up to steal his lucky penny. For some context here, this spellcaster has long been a thorn in Scrooge’s side and he has to always think of clever ways to stop her since she has real magic powers. It’s hard to really do much against that. Also, Scrooge’s lucky penny is priceless and without it he would drop from being the richest person in the world to second. Well, Scrooge has prepared for her visit by putting a spell on the coin which turns it huge. The problem is that the invention is imperfect so now the coin won’t stay one size for very long. Can Scrooge get the coin before the villain does?

That was a pretty fun comic. It does remind me why I don’t care much for the inventor character though. He may be a genius of sorts, but since his inventions always go wrong I wouldn’t consider him to be a particularly good genius. Your inventions should be able to last for at least a day tbh. I was a little surprised that this is the only issue with the magician though. She always seemed to be a pretty important character in the mythos.

Between each main comic is a side comic about the inventor and Launchpad. Launchpad is always crashing the guy’s planes so the inventor keeps trying to build one that can’t be destroyed. In each issue Launchpad figures out some way to mess it up. Most of the time it does seem suspiciously like Launchpad is intentionally trying to sabotage the inventor though so how much sympathy you have for the guy will depend on whether you believe that or not. Launchpad seems like the kind of duck to hold a grudge so all I’m saying is that I wouldn’t be too surprised if this is indeed the case.

Back to main comics, we get one where Scrooge decides to open up the world’s biggest hotel. The problem is that the Beagle Boys break in and start stealing all of Scrooge’s money. Scrooge is now locked out of the hotel but he always has a backup plan in mind. Can he make it back in before all of the money is gone? Watching Scrooge work is always a work of art. Scrooge doesn’t back down and he doesn’t play games. He’s always thinking of the bottom line and how to ensure that he is still on top. It’s hard not to admire that. This was also a solid story and everyone looked pretty good here except for Scrooge’s new hire who just slept through the events. The guy should have been fired ASAP.

Then we’ve got a story where Scrooge gets to feel like a youth again as he travels to get an ancient treasure that he has been after for years. It turns out that it is a magic lamp which can grant wishes. Naturally Scrooge uses it well, but the problem is that the villains are pretty powerful. One has super strength and the other one is very cunning. They have decided to take all of Scrooge’s riches so naturally he doesn’t take to that very well. Time to show these guys who the real trillionaire is! Of course, Scrooge is far richer than that, but it’s in the ball park I suppose.

There are other stories here, but you get the jist of it. Part of what makes the series so fun is the fact that the DuckTales premise is so good. There are dozens and dozens of stories you can use here. The cast is small yet effective. All you really need are the nephews and Launchpad to support Scrooge. Whether Scrooge is investigating a temple, grabbing some money that he loaned to a guy decades ago, or just hanging out at home, you are bound to have fun. The writing is on point and the pacing for all of the issues are good. None of them ever even remotely start to drag. Then you have the nice artwork which stands out. The colors are vibrant and sharp while the character models are always very clear. You know what is happening on any given page with a single glance. That is definitely the sign of quality art.

Overall, This is a fun graphic novel that I definitely recommend checking out. There are a reasonable amount of stories here. You’ll likely breeze through the collection, but mainly because it is just very engaging and not because it is super short. I look forward to reading more stories with Scrooge and the rest of the gang. It’ll definitely remind you of the video game or the show, whichever form of DuckTales you grew up with. The stories and tone are consistent with how you imagine the series to be and I think the writers definitely understood what made the franchise grow popular in the first place. Scrooge has always been a very sympathetic character and a nice one to root for. As long as that stays true I don’t imagine the comics will have any problem staying at a high level.

Overall 7/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

My Little Pony Pony Tales Volume 2 Review


Whenever someone asks if I’m a true My Little Pony fan or just a casual I imagine just showing off my big figure collection to answer the question for me. As I don’t own any figures though, I settle for just calling myself a casual. Well, while that may be the case I can say that this is a pretty solid comic. It’s fairly short compared to most trade paperbacks so you’ll have it done very quickly but it’ll still make for a pretty fun experience. The collection has solid writing and good pacing to back it up as well.

The first story is about the Cutie Mark Crusaders. They have grown bored of Ponyville since nothing ever happens there. They are ready for bigger and better things so they explore the wild and find a rock version of a changeling. It can turn into anything that isn’t alive. The problem is that the Crusaders want it to turn into a bunch of things which keeps tiring it out. If they keep it up at this pace, the poor creature won’t last too much longer. Can they learn to share and care?

Admittedly this story is a little cheesy since you would think that the Cutie Mark Crusaders have already learned this lesson. In fact I am quite positive that they already have so why are they out of character here? It’s a bit of a stretch, but at least they see the error of their ways pretty fast. It’s an enjoyable story that may not be all that memorable, but it’s still pretty solid I would say. It gets the job done.

Then we have the Celestia adventure where she finds out that Ponyville is once again picking on a defenseless pony. One of the oldest teachers in Equestria is being pressured into retiring because the ponies just don’t like her teaching style anymore. They’re all just really inconsiderate ponies who aren’t nearly as grateful as they should be. It’s quite unfortunate but Celestia decides to prove to the town that the teacher used to be really good so they should keep her. The other teachers aren’t thrilled about this, but agree. (Also, they can’t really disagree with the Princess now can they?)

I never really liked the peasants of Ponyville. Luna is always rather harsh on them and now I see that she may have a point. Without strict guidance they quickly become bullies and do their best to keep everyone else down. The teacher may have been a little too oblivious the whole time, but you’d think that they would be a little better at being like the Mane 6. I think Celestia needs to have a word with these ponies. They need to get in line with her teachings.

Next up was Spike’s adventure which is naturally the weakest one. For whatever reason his stories just don’t have the same pop that the others do. He decides to get a pet of his own which turns out to be a multiplying creature which threatens to embarrass him in front of Twilight Sparkle. He decides that he will teach the army how to be good citizens, but can he do it in time?

Naturally teaching a whole race of creatures how to be good in the span of 2 days is difficult, but fortunately these creatures were actually giving it their best shot. They seem like very reasonable little creatures which really helped Spike’s case. None of the ponies really get to do anything here so it’s a little sad that Spike is basically the only main character around. It’s a decent comic, but not the most interesting one.

Finally we end off with the best story of the batch. This one focuses on Luna as she decides to take on Luna’s duties for the day. She is determined to prove that she can handle anything. The problem is that Celestia’s duties are incredibly boring compared to hers. Luna spends her nights chasing off powerful monsters from the kingdom and getting into many spectacular battles. Celestia spends her days insulting everyone and making a lot of signatures. Luna just can’t bare to stay awake for all of this but she must!

Luna has always been one of the best MLP characters with her utter contempt for everyone. While she is a hero, she does a good job of keeping her princess stature as well. I’m always rooting for her in these stories even though she tends to lose every time. It’s pretty unfotunate but I guess the charm of her stories is that one day she will get the kingdom to accept her. I think she did a rather admirable job considering that it was her first time working in the morning. It’s definitely the most entertaining story as well.

The artwork is pretty good here. I don’t think it is quite up to the level of the main series, but it’s close. The characters look right and the action on screen is always clear. You know what is happening so it’s easy to read through the stories very quickly. There’s nothing bad to say here.

In general there isn’t anything bad to say about the comic at all. It’s just a nice batch of stories. You’ll enjoy spending 20 minutes reading through it and getting to see more of Equestria. This isn’t the comic collection you are looking for if you came for the fights, but if you just came to enjoy the interactions then this is the place for you. The pacing is tight and none of the stories are bad. At most, Spike’s was just a little boring, but it’s pretty short so there’s not much time for that feeling to sink in.

Overall, This was a fun volume. The idea of a comic that centers around the side characters is always a risky move, but the MLP series has a very big cast so I suppose that helps this out quite a bit. You’ll miss the Mane 6 for a little while, but you’ll adjust pretty quick. If you haven’t read this comic yet then I recommend checking it out. It’ll remind you of what a good fantasy series should be like.

Overall 7/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77 Review


It’s time to look at the big crossover between the retro Wonder Woman and Batman series. As they both starred in different eras the comic decides to have adventures that take place in both along with a third that he even sooner. It’s cool how the series was able to tackle all 3 eras and even added a sense of continuity by making them all connect to each other in some way or another. If we ever do get a Justice League comic with these characters it would definitely be intense!

The first comic takes place when Batman was still just a child. The Nazi’s wanted to obtain a book he owned that would lead to the Pit of Eternal Youth and many other places including Wonder Woman’s home. Ra’s Al Ghul and his criminal organization also wanted this info. Finally, Wonder Woman and government agent Steve Trevor also showed up to grab it. Batman’s in a little over his head here, but he needs to try and get the book to safety while also looking out for Talia. Although little does he know that Talia can certainly fend for herself as she was already taught much about martial arts when she was a kid.

It’s a fun comic and probably the only time we will see Batman’s parents for a while. Talia was probably the highlight here as it’s a nice look at how she could have been as a hero if not for the guidance of Ra’s. She probably would have been an even better Batgirl than the one we are all used to. Wonder Woman had a pretty easy time mowing down the opposing troops herself. Protecting the kids would probably be the toughest part and even that seemed rather simple for her as well. Even Steve got to contribute a bit.

The middle story has Ra’s make his way to Paradise Island. No man can arrive there without an escort so Batman convinces Catwoman to take them there. The villainess has a rather large role in both the second and third stories as she even gets a redemption arc. Her fans will likely be pleased as she does tend to go back and forth a lot but at the end of the day she always does have a lot of potential for good. Batman is rather skeptical the whole time as he should be, but doesn’t make a scene. He also doesn’t have much choice since she asks for sanctuary on the island and Wonder Woman grants it to her.

There’s not too much to say about this comic as it’s very to the point. The heroes fight with Ra’s and his team. We do get a cameo from Wonder Girl which was cool as she stood up to Ra’s. Naturally the comic does its best to keep Ra’s away from Wonder Woman because he wouldn’t last a second against her in an actual fight. Honestly that’s why Batman’s villains stay back for most of this collection as well. They can give the Dark Knight some trouble, but Wonder Woman? They are of no consequence to her and that’s considering that this isn’t even close to her strongest incarnation.

In the final story we have Wonder Woman head back to Gotham because Ra’s has returned once more. You have to respect the fact that he keeps on coming back for more each time. The guy just never gives up. Unfortunately she finds out that Batman has retired and now Robin is the only fighter left. Wonder Woman can’t accept this and convinces Batman to come out of retirement. Granted, he basically has to make this choice since Ra’s finds out about the Batcave and brings the fight to him. A more serious Bruce Wayne rejoins the fight and it’s a pretty fun climax.

This is the story that ends off the collection and it’s certainly a great pick for it. Aside from the fact that the stories were intentionally chosen in chronological order, it just feels like the most epic adventure from the 3 with the highest stakes. Ra’s is finally taken out of the equation as well so in theory the heroes no longer have to worry about him. That will certainly be a big relief for them.

The characters were all on point as you can probably guess. I’d say that Wonder Woman looks the best here as she looks out for humanity and saves the day many times. Batman isn’t as impressive since he gave up at one point, but did recover quickly and beyond that he looked solid as always. Robin still tries hard whenever he pops up and it was nice to see him as Nightwing. He deserves his share of respect at that point since he is a veteran and the heroes give it to him.

The artwork looks pretty solid throughout the issues. The character models are on point and the action scenes look nice as always. It’s not quite up to par with the mainstream DC adventures but it does a good job of recreating the look of the old shows. The panels all stand out so it’s always easy to see what is happening at a glance. Even though there is quite a lot of pages in this collection, it will all be over very quickly with how solid the writing and pacing are. This will come to no surprise as both individual series were always very good in these two areas though. If anything the writing is why these titles got so big in the first place.

Overall, This collection hits all the right notes. It’s a crossover where both heroes get a lot of tim to shine. It’s definitely interesting to see a more serious Adam West here even if you will miss the light one from the second story. I suppose that is definitely setting him up to play the role of Batman in Justice League as one more people would be familiar with from newer stories. That or since he was re inspired by Wonder Woman, he will go back to his usual style in time. Either way, hopefully we actually do get a Justice League story soon. That would definitely be a lot of fun.

Overall 8/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Star Wars Omnibus Volume 2: A Long Time Ago Review


It’s been a while since I read the first Star Wars Omnibus but now the second one is here. It adapts the second movie so I’m guessing that the third one will wrap up the original trilogy. The volume also has its own plot going on with some connected stories and a few that are essentially stand alone. It’s a fun collection and I’m sure fans were glad to have these issues around while waiting for the next movie.

One of the main plots is about Han Solo. Jabba The Hut still has a large bounty on his head so Solo wants to clear the debt. He actually does manage to find Jabba and forces him into dropping the bounty. Unfortunately as soon as Solo leaves the bounty is placed on once again. It’s definitely the best plot in the volume though simply because Han is the most enjoyable character whenever he pops up. You just have to like his confidence. When the other characters are panicking he is coming up with more plans. Han also doesn’t hesitate in launching an attack against Darth Vader even if it is unsuccessful. Of course with how the volume ends it could be a little while before Han shows up again so definitely enjoy his appearances here while you can. That should not be very difficult though.

Meanwhile Darth Vader also gets his own subplot as he chases after Luke and the gang. He lands on one planet where a cyborg has decided to silence the only informant who knows the name of the person who destroyed the Death Star. Vader needs that name so naturally the two come to blows. Vader is basically untouchable here as you would expect but I do give the guy props for effort. He held Vader back long enough for the informant to get away. It was a rather dark ending though as the only way for the guy to get away was to die. It’s one of the few times where Vader was foiled, but he still did win he fight.

Another fun Vader comic is when he shows up on a bank planet for diplomacy at the same time Leia arrives. No weapons are allowed on this planet so both sides have to try and outsmart the other in different ways. It’s a big game of mental chess between be two sides with the highest of stakes. As you can probably guess Vader tends to have the edge here, but to say that Leia lost would be a simpflication. She still achieved her objective, she simply wasn’t able to prevent Vader from doing he same so if anything it is a bit of a draw. A very unique Star Wars comic through and through.

Then we have the big movie adaption which covers the film in great detail. It does a good job of getting those who only read the comics up to speed on what is happening. You certainly can’t say that you missed out on what happened at the very least. It quickly switches art styles for the event which was interesting. The new art certainly felt very Marvel esque which was cool. I do think the normal art probably wins but both were quite good. Naturally the highlight of the film adaption is the big battle between Luke and Vader. Beyond that the story holds up pretty well in all of the other scenes as well and is just a good adventure.

Lando seems to have taken Han’s place as one of the main focuses in the series. In his subplot he is flying around and scouting strong fighters for the resistance while just looking for anything that could be helpful. His comic probably felt the most random out of them all as he meets a retired super hero who has decided to stop with the heroics and now he is just a guy who tries to stay out of the way. Lando gives him a speech and the guy realizes the folly of his ways. Not a bad comic but a bit weaker than some of the old ones.

In general I do think that some of the final stories were a bit weaker than the early ones but it’s a fairly small sample size and the Leia vs Vader comic is an obvious exception. Most likely the series will stay pretty consistent even without Han Solo to back it up. I’m looking forward to seeing Luke a little more now that he knows how to fight pretty well. In theory there is no excuse for him to lose to just about anyone now. He is the true last Jedi after all.

A pair of characters who were fun while they lasted were the dictators in the first few issues. One was blinded by Vader and now has to wear cyber goggles while the other one isn’t brave at all and so he is content to be the 2nd in command. These villains may not have been the strongest ones out there, but at least the main one had a lightsaber which made for some pretty good fights. It’s why the first half of the arc was my favorite as we had Han causing mayhem everywhere and these villains popping in more than a few times. Perhaps they will return at some point. In general the character cast in this volume was quite solid.

As I mentioned before the art is pretty solid. The characters all look right and the art is easy to follow. It complements the fast pace of the issues and also works pretty well for the fight scenes. The writing is on point as well with a lot of clever dialogue from all of the characters. I’d certainly expect no less.

Overall, This is definitely a great follow-up to the last installment. Han will be missed, but the series will live on. If you are a big fan of the movies then you definitely need to check these out. If you haven’t watched the movies yet then you’ll quickly get caught up on what is happening over the course of the first few issues and will still be able to enjoy it. It’s just a quality sci-fi action story so I can recommend it to anyone. Hopefully the third volume continues to be just as strong.

Overall 7/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Omnibus Volume 1 Review


It’s time to check back in with the ponies! I already read the first few issues from this collection during the original volume 1 release, but naturally I had to check out the Omnibus as well right? A certain scene from the first arc still holds the collection back, but it’s still a solid adventure for the most part. In some ways I wish the show would have as many action scenes as this one, but I guess that runs with its own set of risks as this comic makes evident. Well, lets dive in!

So, the first arc is old, but lets recap in case you did not read my original review. Queen Chrysalis and the Changelings are back and they took over Ponyville in an instant. Derpy was the last to fall but now it is up to the Mane 6 to stop this evil threat. They mobilize their forces and head out to also rescue the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Twilight Sparkle will have to use her full powers if she has any hope of winning this round, but it’s still going to be a very tough fight. The villains aren’t hear to pull any punches.

Well, the arc is pretty solid except for one scene where Queen Chrysalis actually destroys one of the animals. It’s a surprisingly violent scene that you wouldn’t expect in My Little Pony. This is the one tricky part about the comics taking a more intense route than the show. While the comics have more fights and serious plots, they can also add in more violence which can get risky. While it’s a quick page that you can easily miss when embracing the hype of the arc, once you notice it there is no going back. It’s a shame since this one moment does limit the rest of the collection. If we ignore that little bit then the rest of the arc is pretty solid. We do get to see Twilight unleash one of her more powerful energy blasts at the Queen even if it’s not enough to take her down for the count.

It is a little iffy how quickly the Pony bonds are broken though. They know that they are up against shapeshifters after all so they should probably suspect that something is up when their friends start insulting them right? I’d expect some of the Ponies to fall for this, but not the entirety of the Mane 6. Ah well, even the ponies have their off days right? The changeling army is definitely impressive and since they seem stronger than the average pony, it’s fortunate that the Mane 6 are strong. An even numbered fight with the rest of the citizens may not go so well otherwise.

Time for the new content! This arc is easily the best part of the volume. The Mane 6 have all been having nightmares and are wondering why this is the case. Well, it turns out that an ancient evil has re awoken. It is the same darkness which once possessed Princess Luna. It has now set its sights on Rarity and kidnaps her. The rest of the Mane 6 will have to hurry if they are to rescue her but the villain’s army is numerous with many shadow creatures at her disposal. The entire kingdom is in peril so Celestia mobilizes her troops. Still, they’re basically just cannon fodder so she needs Luna. Unfortunately, Luna is dealing with confidence issues. Can she pony up in time to stop this threat or is it game over?

This arc is basically what the first arc would have been like without that quick animal moment. The new Nightmare Moon is a fearsome villain and is actually more serious than Queen Chrysalis. She is set on conquering Equestria and comes awful close. Her magic power is considerable and we get some actual fights here. The Mane 6 even have to use their laser blasts to stop her. We often see Twilight Sparkle use her powers, but not the rest of the ponies so that was cool. Naturally Rarity gets the shaft for most of the arc since she was kidnapped, but still looks good during the adventure. Luna’s still one of the best ponies in the series and this adventure is another reminder on that. She’s strong and has a lot of character development. Luna has learned a lot throughout her adventures and keeps that development. Now that she’s gotten over her confidence issues, she is certainly one of the best all around fighters in Ponyville.

Next up was Big Mac’s two part adventure. I always like how Applejacks’ family have good related names that reminds me of the past. I always used to eat Applejacks back in the day and while I didn’t go for Big Macs until recently, I did like the name. Basically he needs to find a nail so he heads for the shop, but the whole village has been taken over by a festival. It’s going to be difficult to find the owner, but this pony doesn’t give up so easily. What ensues are a bunch of random shenanigans where it seems like every pony is conspiring against him. Can Big Mac prevail?

Big Mac doesn’t handle the situation very well and shows why he is the weakest member of the Apple family. He doesn’t take anything in stride so you have to assume that he never leaves the farm since he should be used to this. Ponyville is always quirky as its inhabitants just love to have a bunch of fun. It’s a bit of a stretch that he couldn’t find the nail for the whole 2 issues, but he was kept pretty busy. The most enjoyable side trip would certainly be when he teams up with Princess Luna to wreck everybody at track and field. That was handled pretty well. The rest of the story was fun enough as well.

The final two issues were about Cadance and Shining Armor. I have yet to see them in the TV show so it was interesting to have a little preview. Basically the issues recount the first time Cadance and Shining Armor got to meet. Armor really wanted to impress her so he worked on his skills and decided to take her to the dance. The only problem is that she already accepted an offer from a richer, more sports savvy pony. Shining Armor will have to use every dirty trick in the book in order to stop his rival.

Unfortunately this was probably the weakest two part comic. It certainly didn’t do anything to improve my opinion of Shiny. His banter with Twilight would probably be the only part of his character that works well and Twilight as a kid is still a quality character. That being said, it’s just hard to be sympathetic to the Knight. He doesn’t embrace the role playing game that his gang plays because he gets too distracted by Cadence. Furthermore, he can’t even speak when Cadance appears and can only say things like “der” and ends up running off. He’s exaggeratedly bad in this comic. Of course, you can’t root for the bully since he’s rather mean, but you have to at least admire the guy’s confidence. He talks tough to Celestia and isn’t afraid of anyone. He probably would make a firm ruler, just a petty one.

As for Cadance, she seems nice enough. Naturally her whole romance with Shining Armor seems rather out of place and isn’t handled too well but if we ignore that chunk of her character than I’d say that she did well. She’s not as fun as Luna or as unlikable as Celestia so I guess she is somewhere in the middle. A reasonable supporting character to have around. So, this volume may have ended on a rather weak note, but it’s not as if this story is bad. It’s just a rather generic prom night adventure featuring two characters that I’m not really invested in. Better them than the Mane 6 though since any romance for one of those characters would result in a permanent addition to the main cast and we don’t want that.

The art for the comics is pretty good. It does take a little getting used to with how expressive it is, but the colors are very sharp and the designs are on point. It does help the issues to feel like the TV show and the animations may be even better to be honest. The comics really breeze by as a result. The writing is also on point as you’d expect. It’s easy to just pick this comic up and start reading. Likewise, the Ponies are about the same as always as well. Rainbow Dash and Applejack are always ready for a fight while Twilight is the one who is prepared for it. Rarity and Fluttershy mainly stick to the back row with Pinkie Pie as they verbally support and insult the other from afar. It would be nice if they could fight a little more, but I suppose it’s good to have a contrast. Rarity did good while she was possessed in her evil form though.

Overall, This was a solid batch of stories. As it’s an omnibus there is certainly quite a lot of content here to make it worth your dollar. The only negative from the whole adventure is when the animal was blown up. Some stories were a little weaker than the others like the last one and even the Big Mac adventure, but it makes sense since the Mane 6 were not the leads. The Cutie Mark Crusaders can hold their own stories as well, but now we know which characters cannot do so. While I can recommend most MLP comics whole heartedly I must cautiously recommend this one. It’s a very solid collection but not for the faint of heart. Still, even with its intensity there is always a lot of quick comedic moments to keep things from getting too serious so for the most part it is okay for kids as well. I’m looking forward to the next Omnibus as that should definitely give us some quality adventures. Until then, I suppose it could be a while before I have another MLP review out I guess.

Overall 5/10