See what the Smash Pages crew has been reading lately.
Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our look at what the Smash Pages crew has been checking off their “to read” list lately. Today’s reviews include Gotham Central, Doctor Strange, Unstoppable Doom Patrol and Don’t Spit in the Wind.
Let us know what you’ve been reading lately in the comments below or by tagging us on social media.
See what the Smash Pages crew has been reading lately, including Dark Web, Doctor Strange, Aquaman and more.
Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our look at what the Smash Pages crew has been checking off their “to read” list lately. Today’s reviews include recent issues of Miracleman and Mary Jane & Black Cat, some classic Doctor Strange and Aquaman, and some new/classic Bishop stories.
Let us know what you’ve been reading lately in the comments below or by tagging us on social media.
Tom Bondurant shares his thoughts on the first two issues of Batman ’89, which continues the story started in the first Tim Burton ‘Batman’ film.
The more I think about the current Batman ’89 miniseries, the odder it seems.
Tim Burton’s Bat-movies don’t fit easily into any one category. Weird as they are, they’re not full-on “Tim Burton” movies, because they’re beholden to at least a nominal amount of source-material lore. That weirdness also sets them apart from other action-movie blockbusters. Today, after a decade or two of superhero movies becoming more faithful to the comics, Burton’s efforts seem almost primitive, with a dreamlike quality – far from the hard edge of Christopher Nolan’s urban crime stories or the DCEU’s CGI-enabled spectacle.
However, Batman ’89 – written by Sam Hamm, drawn by Joe Quinones, and colored by Leonardo Ito – isn’t really interested in translating Tim Burton to comics. Although writer Sam Hamm penned the Burton movies’ original drafts, both were revised to varying degrees by subsequent writers, especially Daniel Waters on Batman Returns.
This is it! The moment you’ve all been waiting for! The final chapter in Marvel Comics’ spectacular summer event, Heroes Reborn comes to a close in Heroes Return #1.
Tom Bondurant, Shane Bailey, Carla Hoffman and the jovial JK Parkin bask in the final faceoff between the Squadron Supreme of America and the remnants of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes for the answers to all our questions! Who will win? Who changed reality? What was Mephisto’s secret purpose? And why were these books $4.99??
Carla Hoffman offers a quick review of the second chapter of Doctor Doom’s wedding.
So I love superhero weddings almost as much as I love pro wrestling weddings, and the two genres have a lot in common.
After all, none of us are coming to the nuptials to see love triumph or watch people slow dance at the reception; we want to see the carnage. If there’s a big cake, we want someone to go through it. If the officiant asks for anyone to “speak now or forever hold your peace,” there should be at least five people jumping to their feet to object.
It’s drama, it’s fashion, it’s a comic book wedding for Fantastic Four #33.
Shane Bailey cracks open ‘Sandman: The Deluxe Edition V1,’ journeying back to the late 1980s for a look at the influential series.
Last week I decided to start a massive reread of the Neil Gaiman-written Sandman family of books, starting with the Deluxe Edition v1, and honestly I forgot how great these books are. Over the years I’ve come to take them for granted, but they are really top of the class in terms of subject and craft.
Reading these books again I see how heavily it leans into horror, which I had forgotten. It has that creeping horror feel down, the kind that starts the hairs on the back of your neck to signal that something isn’t quite right, rather than in-your-face shock horror.
Carla, Tom, Shane and JK assemble once again to discuss Marvel’s latest comics event.
Time for round three of our Heroes Reborn roundtable, where we break down the latest Marvel crossover issue by issue. This week Shane Bailey, Tom Bondurant, Carla Hoffman and I talk about Heroes Reborn #3, which puts the spotlight on the super-speedster, Blur, and the more mystical elements of the Marvel Universe.
You can read part one of our roundtable discussions here and part two here.
Plus: A new graphic novel looks at Japanese Americans who resisted internment.
The Malaysian political cartoonist Zunar is in trouble with the law again. Police in the state of Kedah have summoned him to appear before them on May 7 (the original date, given in the linked article, was May 2 but it was rescheduled) for violating the country’s sedition law, a much-criticized relic of its colonial past, with a cartoon criticizing the Kedah state minister’s decision to cancel the traditional Tamil Hindu festival of Thaipusam.
Zunar got into lots of trouble during the tenure of Prime Minister Najib Razak, whom he mocked endlessly for his corruption; Razak was not amused and his government repeatedly raided Zunar’s studio, confiscated his books, banned him from traveling, and brought charges against him that could have led to lengthy prison sentences. The pressure eased once Najib was voted out.
Ironically, Zunar’s latest skirmish coincides with World Press Freedom Day, which was Monday; several national and international groups have criticized the Malaysian government for its repressive stance.
A new era begins in ‘Justice League’ #59, which ‘includes a number of familiar, welcome elements, all deftly executed.’
[Note: This post contains spoilers for the lead story in Justice League #59. The issue also includes a Justice League Dark installment, which was creepy and suspenseful, but won’t be discussed here.]
Last year’s trip through the Justice League’s 60-year history got as far as the start of the “Snyder Era.” (No, not that Snyder — Scott Snyder.) Because some of us still have a slight Death Metal hangover, a post on those years is still TBA. Regardless, the “Bendis Era” began this week with May 2021’s Justice League #59. Written by Brian Michael Bendis, drawn by David Marquez and colored by Tamra Bonvillain, it includes a number of familiar, welcome elements, all deftly executed.
Chief among them is the notion that the Leaguers have lives outside this book. At the risk of being redundant, the point of an all-star team is the interaction of characters who can each carry their own features. Sure, you can craft a perfectly entertaining adventure by dropping a handful of heroes into a standalone story, but the best League runs have incorporated larger DC continuity to one degree or another. (Somewhat ironically, the Bendis Era begins just as DC has decided to have free-range continuity.)
Ibrahim Moustafa’s new graphic novel from Humanoids adapts ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ into a science fiction story, but ‘the magic is in what Moustafa and team add to it.’
When I was in school I was asked to read a lot of books deemed “classics.” Some I thought were okay, some I had to pull myself through even though I hated them, some I grew to love over time, but there was one book that had me hooked from the very first chapter. That book is The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas.
I absolutely adored it. It had an interesting hero, wrongly accused and searching for revenge, it had a daring escape from prison, and an interesting message. I had the pleasure of reading an adaptation of this wonderful story, this time with it turned into a science fiction tale. To say I was ecstatic to read this is an understatement, and this book lived up to that excitement.
Retitled simply Count, it’s written and drawn by Ibrahim Moustafa (High Crimes, Mother Panic) along with Brad Simpson as colorist and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou as letterer. And they all brought their “A” game here. It’s a faithful retelling of the story with a new skin to all the characters and settings.
Scott Snyder and Tony S. Daniel’s new series from Image Comics begins with an impressive debut.
Nocterra, the new title by Scott Snyder and Tony S. Daniel, began life as a Kickstarter project last year that raised more than $200,000, thanks to more than 4,000 backers. The plan, though, was to always publish it through Image Comics at some point, and this week the first issue arrives like a burst of light in a dark world.
I have to say I went into this book a little skeptical, as the creators involved have been hit and miss with me the past few years with their DC projects. But I’m a fan of both creators, and their independent projects resonated with me in the past. I’m happy to say this is one of those hits.
Carla Hoffman reviews ‘The New Mutants,’ the film based on the classic comics by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz.
I was terrified, you know. Despite having it marked in my digital calendar (a few times, really), despite my overblown excitement at seeing a lobby poster at the end of last year (‘this time, for sure!’ listed as the date), sitting on my couch in excitement through an online SDCC panel, I still couldn’t find myself to be excited, let alone relieved, that The New Mutants was finally going to be viewable to the public and streaming online.
Repetitive disappointment can do that to a person; the constant backstage chatter, the infinite new release dates, the literal fall of Fox Studios as an independent movie production company, mergers and major misspeaks by the director regarding casting, this movie felt destined to fail. It was Schrodinger’s Movie: as long as we didn’t see it, the film was either a hit or bust and for a long time, it was just better not to know.
So what was The New Mutants? Is the cat alive or dead? Is this the secret savior of the Fox-X Franchise or an ugly cousin they had every right to keep hidden from prying eyes? Keep reading and let’s see what we can make of it.
(SPOILERS: to discuss the movie means that we have to talk about the movie and all the twists and turns it takes. Find your own online digital copy and watch and read along!)