Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hollyweird Living Halloween Edition!

Halloween is upon us and the final Halloween edition is up.  Tyrone comes under the curse of the werewolf!

Also be sure to check out their entire adventures here!




Friday, October 21, 2011

Review the DCnU: Legion of Super-Heroes #1

The Legion of Super-Heroes has seen many reboots and reincarnations of the years so its not surprising to seem them as a part of the entire DC reboot. The one surprise though is that they are the only ones thus far that have openly talked about the Flashpoint event.  This book also established the fate of one of the Justice Society members that I have been wondering about since the announcement that they would not be a part of the new DCU with the exception of a few members here and there. We find that Starman is once again a part of the LOSH and is going again by his name Star Boy here.


All Legion of Super-Hero characters
copyrighted by DC Comics

by Paul Levitz and Francis Portela

All Legion of Super-Hero characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
One thing that I can be thankful that the LOSH book here provides that the Legion Lost book failed is the little boxes that tell you who all the characters are.  Something that is essentially needed in the book with the over abundance of characters presented throughout.

All Legion of Super-Hero characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
Levitz spends a good portion of the book trying to tie-in the conclusions of the previous Legion of Super-Heroes and Adventure Comics as well as tie in to the Legion Lost book all while establishing this as an entirely different universe.  No easy task for any writer. The other thing that I have already mentioned is that the current roster of Legion characters is massive.  Just when you thought you've seen every character they throw another two or three at you. 


The book at times I think suffers because of how much Levitz is trying to fit into this first issue.   The lost of some of the characters as well as the promotion of others is done rather oddly in passing. 

All Legion of Super-Hero characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
All Legion of Super-Hero characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
Portela though for his part provides some great artwork throughout here.   Portela really brings to life the 31st century and being able to jump through the several different stories that are running simultaneously here. Portela shines in making the facial expressions, the elaborate costumes of the various Legion members, as well as the background images that go from ships to alien planets.  Portela is one of the strong points here.

While this issue serves as a pretty good jumping on point, at times it can be a but jumbled as there is so much different stuff going on in within these pages and many of the little subplots don't seem to really go anywhere.


All Legion of Super-Hero characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
GRADE OF NEW TITLE: I really feel that this first issue suffered because of how much different stuff Levitz is trying to fit in here. The artwork is great and one of the saving graces of the book, but I can't give the book a grade higher then a C+ simply because of how poorly put together the plot was I felt.

WILL IT SUCCEED: LOSH books normally do pretty good, and I think this book will begin to come into its own now that Levitz has established his universe and can explore it some more.  I'll look at this to be one of the titles still sticking around next year about this time.

All Legion of Super-Hero characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
All Legion of Super-Hero characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
SHOULD IT SUCCEED: LOSH is an interesting concept and I think this book could be good.  Many of the problems with the first issue could be chalked up to Levitz just trying to tie everything together and I feel the book should do better in the coming issues.

Review the DCnU: I, Vampire #1

One of my favorite folkloric mythological characters has always been vampires.  So this is one of the things that peaked my interest in the new on-going by DC.  I have to admit that while I know that the characters are old I had very little prior knowledge of them.  So I could go into the book and not be effected by the take on these characters more easily then some that are fans of the characters from the old House of Mystery.

I, Vampire and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino

I, Vampire and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
To be honest I really was unsure how this book was going to play out when I saw the announcement for it.  It seems that this day and age you can't turn into any form of media rather it be movies, television shows, or books without running into some sort of form of Vampires.  So it comes as no surprise that DC has decided to go that route by resurrecting an old book with hopes of capitalizing on some of those fans of the genre with the relaunched DCU.

Fialkov has created a very fascinating and very frightening world here.  One that can almost completely mesmerize the reader as the story plays out.  This book is a dark tale of the romance between a vampire hunter and vampire queen.  The twist of course being that the vampire hunter is an actual vampire himself here. To top that off he is actually the maker of the vampire queen making this all the more tragic as he feels solely responsible for the horror and havoc she has unleashed upon the world. 

I, Vampire and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
The story goes back and forth between two separate intertwining tales.   In one we see Andrew the vampire turned vampire hunter slaying vampires in modern times while the other tale shows us Andrew and Mary, the queen of the vampires, as the discuss their very different looks at their undead lives and brethren. 

I, Vampire and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
All of this sets in motion so that the reader learns both what is currently happening as well as the events that set in motion to the two former lovers turning into enemies. Mary revels in what she has become, loving the power and holds a strong belief that they should rule the earth.  While Andrew is regretful that he has damned her and turned her into an evil creature. 

I, Vampire and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics

This first issue does a great job at establishing the characters as well as presented an incredibly good story here.  One of my favorite parts though was Andrew himself asking Mary how they are to succeed in conquering the world when they live in a world full of caped superheroes.  It established that they are in the same universe while at the same time that the are dealing with a far more darker part of it. 

The artwork of Sorrentino is beyond amazing here.  It easily established the dark tone of this world and very great detail displays the horrors that unfold.


I, Vampire and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
This is easily one of the best books of the DCU and probably one that will fall well below most people's radars.

GRADE OF NEW TITLE: This was a solid book in every aspect, easily garnering an A from me for its fantastic storytelling as well as its brilliant artwork.  This is one of those books that are so good that its a shame that it most likely was not picked up by many in the comic world.

I, Vampire and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
WILL IT SUCCEED: While I understand that DC is playing their part using the rebooted DC Universe to start a book in hopes of capturing the vampire fans, I am not sure how many people are actually going to be picking this book up.  Andrew says it best himself, "What chance do vampires have in a world full of Supermen, Wonder Women and Green Lanterns."  What chance indeed.

SHOULD IT SUCCEED: This book was simply stunning and I really hope that it succeeds.  I just don't think that the DC fans though are the ones that will be picking up this book and I don't think that the book will draw in enough new readers to DC to sustain the numbers worth the book sticking around.  And that is indeed a real shame.

Review the DCnU: DC Universe Presents Deadman #1

Trying to get anthology books to sell is tough.  With no defined star of the book it is often hard to get people to jump on board and put trust in a book that they have no idea who is going to be starring in it from month to month.  At the same time though these books are great for showcasing characters that are popular but may not be strong enough to support their own titles.  The first up in the series is Boston Brand aka Deadman who has really been showcased heavily over the last year or so with first Blackest Night and then Brightest Day.

Deadman and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics

by Paul Jenkins and Bernard Chang
Deadman and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
Deadman and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
The first issue of the new DC Universe Presents book takes a look at the classic character Deadman and gives us a new look into his origin story. While not much is changed of the character's origin here we are given more depth into the character and Jenkins does a fairly good job of fleshing out the character and the aspects surrounding his origins more.

One of the major changes in the story is that Deadman is no longer trying to hunt down his murderer, instead he has been set on a path of redemption through helping others.  Its an interesting twist to the character and one that suits him well.  Deadman here has his primarily goal of using his powers to inhabit people's bodies to do good and to help the person with something that they need and in exchange it brings his soul one step closer to balance out and atonement.
Deadman and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics

The new take on the character makes it seem that while his powers are the same, the difference is that when he fully inhabits a body he experiences their whole life and as such he has now lived countless lifetimes.  Boston Brand truly suffers here for his past misdeeds and it helps to make people sympathize with the character.


Deadman and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics

The art is pretty solid as well.  Chang provides us with some pretty solid work here.  The tone is slightly darker and adds to the story.  One of the stronger points of Chang's artwork is his capturing of human emotion in their facial expressions.  They are pretty spot on.

I really like the first chapter in this arc with the Deadman character and I look forward to seeing what the team can do with other seldom seen characters in the DCU.

GRADE OF NEW TITLE: The book isn't the best work to come out of the new DCU, but its pretty strong in its on way.   The artwork was great and Jenkins really did a fantastic job fleshing our Boston Brand's origin as the Deadman.  I have to give the book a pretty strong B.  I am looking forward to reading more tales from this team.


WILL IT SUCCEED: This is one of the books I am unsure of how it will do.  The problem being that one month it could have huge sales because of a character being featured's popularity then the next month do poorly because the character may be more obscure.  I think the book could fair well if they focus on those more popular characters that maybe haven't ever gotten their on monthly or ones that are popular but shouldn't be the focal point of an entire series. 
Deadman and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics

Deadman and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
SHOULD IT SUCCEED: I really think the team did a great job here. The writing was great and I like books like this that allows characters that are often in the shadows to step forward and take the spotlight.  It works well when you have a strong creative team and I hope this book continues to succeed.

Review the DCnU: All-Star Western #1

Jonah Hex is one of those characters I have always had a soft spot for.  While I don't read many Western comics I have always liked Jonah Hex.  Seeing that Jonah Hex the famous bounty hunter's new book was going to be taking place in a old Gotham City is actually a really cool idea that I was looking forward to reading.

Jonah Hex and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Moritat

Jonah Hex and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
Jonah Hex and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
The first thing that DC has done right with this book is by bringing in long time Jonah Hex writers Gray and Palmiotti on board.  The first issue of All-Star Western serves well as both an introduction to the character as well as some strong story telling.

While the first issues relies heavily on narration it doesn't take away or hinder the flow of the book like some others have had trouble with excessive narration in the new DCU.  The best part of the narration though is that its not Jonah Hex narrating his tale, no here its Amadeus Arkham.  His narration serves greatly here and delves into the psyche of Jonah Hex.

Jonah Hex and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
Jonah Hex and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
A team-up is not something you would normally expect out of a Jonah Hex book, but it works well here, especially considering the polar opposites that the two characters represent here. The clash of personalities between the two is what makes this first issue work so well here.

The artwork done by Moritat in this book is beyond impressive.  His spot on work really makes you feel like you are reading a book from a different era and the style works marvelous with the period of time that is being presented here. Moritat does nothing but add to the atmosphere of the book and helps to make it an even stronger issue.

Jonah Hex and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
This book is great and if you haven't picked it up yet you are missing out.  Also seeing some of the different famous names of Gotham lore thrown out throughout the tale was a nice touch.  This is a book that you will not want to miss out on.

Jonah Hex and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
GRADE OF NEW TITLE: The storytelling as well as the artwork in the book was nicely done.  This is one of the better books to come out of the new DCU.  I can easily go on and on with the praise for this book, but I will just simply say this book is amazing and it deserves the A that I am giving it.

WILL IT SUCCEED: Western books are tough sells, but Jonah Hex is a popular character and this book is being done by the previous team.  I have no doubt that while the book may not post Justice League numbers, it is going to do well enough to continue on.

SHOULD IT SUCCEED:You simply can't say enough good things about this book.  The team did a great job of drawing you into the book and really making you feel like you were actually there and a part of the era that this book is taking place in.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hollyweird Living celebrates Halloween!!

Halloween edition of Hollyweird Living is up. Come check it out this one features Alexander Skarsgard of True Blood fame as well as several references to vampire flicks if you are a Horror fan
 Check it out here.



Monday, October 17, 2011

Review the DCnU: The Savage Hawkman #1

Hawkman has always been a character that I have followed.  His latest run as a member of the JSA had really made me like the character even more.  I was glad to see that he was going to be getting his own book as part of the rebooted DC Universe.  Hawkman is one of those characters that despite not always getting the opportunity is more then capable of holding his own title.

Hawkman and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
by Tony S. Daniel and Philip Tan

Hawkman and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
 Daniel starts the book off pretty quickly and efficiently.  Here you can tell that Carter Hall is wanting to be done with Hawkman but unfortunately things that are out of his control are not going to let that happen. Hawkman is a character that already has multiple origin stories and it appears we are going to be getting another one here as well.

The book was pretty action packed and even in the slower parts managed to keep my  attention rather easily.  Daniel makes a pretty good start to the story.  I would have liked to seen more about where Carter got his powers from, especially because Daniel seems to be taking the character in  totally different direction then what we are used to.

Hawkman and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
The best part of this book though is the stunning artwork done by Philip Tan.  The book at times almost feels like you are watching a movie unfold before your eyes rather then reading a comic.  His art is that good throughout the book. Tan's attention to detail and unique visual style is what makes this book shine.

The book was a good read but I think that we need to learn more about Hawkman's past here to better understand what all is going on here.  Something that hopefully will be explored more in future issues.

Hawkman and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics

While I enjoyed the book I could see how new readers and people that have not been introduces to the character before could become lost.  Heck I'm a long time fan and I am not entirely sure what is happening to Hawkman here with his powers.  I think that Daniel maybe should spent some more time here catching us up to on why exactly Carter Hall is burnt out being Hawkman, how he became Hawkman, and more importantly what is up with his powers here.

Hawkman and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
GRADE OF NEW TITLE: The artwork was the definite highlight of this book.  While the story was fast paced and attention grabbing there are several different places that Daniel really dropped the ball here.  He really didn't tell us anything about this Hawkman character and left me feeling more lost then intrigued to pick up the next book.  Daniel didn't do enough to want people to keep following the book and that's a real shame being how great everything else in the book was.  I have to give it a B- simply because of that fact.


Hawkman and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
WILL IT SUCCEED: I want this book to succeed and I think it can once the readers know more about who Carter Hall is in the new DCU.  But until that happens I have a feeling that despite the great artwork and compelling action scenes the book is going to lose readers that will be left feeling lost here.

SHOULD IT SUCCEED: I think that if Daniel give us some more backstory, something that I am sure he plans to, that the book is going to be great.  I am willing to pick up a few more issues and give this book a little more time before I say rather or not I think this book is on the right track or not.  But as far as a first issue I think Daniel really missed out on a great opportunity to get more people interesting in reading about Hawkman.

Review the DCnU: Captain Atom #1

I am not even going to lie when I first saw some of preview shots from the new DCU of Captain Atom the first thought that popped into my head was boy he sure looks like Doctor Manhattan.  Ironically being as how Doctor Manhattan was actually based off of Captain Atom.  This is a book that intrigue me more because of the character then anything else.

Captain Atom and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics

by J.T. Krul and Freddie Williams II

Captain Atom and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
Captain Atom is a character that has been with out a solo title for a very long time.  Since almost the 80s it seems.  So its refreshing to once again see the character back with his own title and shining in the new DCU.  I can honestly tell you that this could easily be the biggest sleeper hit coming out of the reboot.  I've always been a fan of the character but not big enough to go out and track down all of his old titles.  But enough that I was intrigued and looking forward to picking up this book.


Captain Atom and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
Krul does a great job of showing us several different aspects of Captain Atom's life.  Showing him using his powers though he is still not completely aware of everything he is capable of doing.  We get to see his human side and of course the heroic side that despite learning he could die still goes out to save the day.

Captain Atom and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
The book works well on so many different levels here. Williams artwork is just great and really helps to bring to life Captain Atom's universe throughout the pages of the book.  This is one of the few books that I found myself reading through a second time not just because I missed something or was looking for clarification but rather because of how much I enjoyed the book.

Krul and Williams work well here within the pages of Captain Atom, Krul tells a stunningly good story that delves into the inter psyche of who the character is and Williams provides stunning artwork to accompany it.

The two work well together and their work really mirrors what the other is trying to get across providing us with a seemingly easy book that captures the readers attention and leaves them craving for more.

Captain Atom and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
I was looking forward to this book wasn't sure how long I would be following it. I can tell you know this is going to be near the top of my pull list each month.  The book is simply one of the best to come out of the rebooted DCU and that is saying something being that this is not one of the high profile books.


Captain Atom and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
GRADE OF NEW TITLE: Straight off I am giving this book an A.  The artwork was outstanding, the story by Krul was truly captivating this could easily become one of my favorite books.

Captain Atom and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
WILL IT SUCCEED: This is one of the times when I can see with how well the book is written that I don't think Captain Atom is an obscure enough character that he will be overlooked.  I think people will pick up this book purely because of word of mouth and it should do fine in the new DCU.

SHOULD IT SUCCEED: I can't say enough good things about this book.  I was truly impressed and looking forward to picking up the second issue when it comes out.  I can not stress enough how much you need to pick up the book and check it out for yourself.