Welcome, comic book fans, to Four-Color Bullet for the week of May 21, 2014. It is here that I will review the notables of that most magical of days: New Comic Book Day. Just like you, I go to my local comic shop, make the owner happy by getting all the books out of my file, then go home and read my stash. And then I write about the two or three that I think are the best of the week. Interested? Then follow along, Faithful Reader!
Before I get started though, I’d like to take a second to thank Gene Turnbow and Susan Fox for letting yours truly sit in on this week’s episode of The Event Horizon. The Event Horizon is a weekly discussion panel show where Gene and Susan talk to some of fantasy and science-fiction’s best and brightest. They’ve talked to such folks as Bruce Boxleitner from Babylon 5; Tim Russ from Star Trek: Voyager; award-winning science fiction author John freaking Scalzi; Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, who are keeping Frank Herbert’s Dune series going; one of my favorite authors, Cherie Priest, who is setting the Steampunk genre ablaze, and still more. This week, Gene and Susan talked to Margaret Weis, co-designer of the Dragonlance campaign setting for Dungeons and Dragons, co-author of the Dragonlance Chronicles, Dragonlance Legends, The Death Gate Cycle, and more novels still, and her roleplaying game company just released the new Firefly RPG. I’ve been a fan of hers since I was a kid and she’s really the reason I love fantasy, and Gene and Susan were kind enough to let me sit in and talk to her. Which also marks my first time on the radio. So that was fun.
Over in the Marvel Universe, Marvel’s heroes chase the Watcher’s killer to the ends of the universe, and then things get bad, in Original Sin #2; Daredevil and the Shroud team up to take down the Owl, but The Owl’s not going out like that, in Daredevil #3; and Spider-Man takes on Electro, even as he struggles with his new life, in The Amazing Spider-Man #2.
At DC, a new Justice League is born as members quit and Lex Luthor takes command, in Justice League #30; Forever Evil concludes with an explosive finale that will have the DC Universe reeling in its wake, in Forever Evil #7; and the Outlaws take on the new Lobo in Red Hood and the Outlaws #31.
And, IDW celebrates 30 years of pizza-chompin’, shell-shockin’, ninja-kickin’ action in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: 30th Anniversary Special.
In 1967, two popular crimefighting teams would meet, and blow the minds of Batman fans everywhere. Batman and Robin met the Green Hornet and Kato on the 1960s Batman TV series starring Adam West and Burt Ward. The two back-to-back episodes, premiering in the second season and titled A Piece of the Action and Batman’s Satisfaction, would pit the heroes against Colonel Gumm and a counterfeit stamp ring. Now, Kevin Smith (Silent Bob of Jay and Silent Bob), who wrote the Green Hornet’s acclaimed return to comics, and Ralph Garman, are writing the sequel to those episodes in a miniseries called Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet. The Batman ’66 series is a digital exclusive series that brings back all of the zany fun and camp of the Adam West/Burt Ward series. And the Dynamic Duo’s adventures only get zanier since they’re not constrained by a budget. You can actually get the series in a collected print form, but you’re missing out on the fun if you don’t get the digital experience.
Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman go together like ham and eggs lately, as both of them are frequently collaborating on all things pop culture. Smith is a comics geek like the rest of us, and Batman ’66 and the Green Hornet reads just like what I imagine the actual episode would be if there were one. Bruce and Britt arguing over whose costume makes more sense. Dick on a date. It’s just crazy fun written by two guys who are true to the medium. And, we get introduced to a new villain. And since it reads like an actual episode, the lighthearted fun is there and it’s kid-friendly.
If you yearn for the days of the Bat-computer and Bat-lasers, and Bat-shark repellent spray, check it out. Same Bat-Time. Same Bat-Chan — er, um, publisher.
One of the fun things about the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series is watching who Joss Whedon gets to write it. He’s tapped his former Buffy crew to write story arcs, Brad Meltzer, who is a famed writer of political thrillers, pretty much wrapped up Season 8. Now, in Buffy‘s Season 10, Nicholas Brendon, who played Xander on the TV series, launches his comic book writing debut with this issue, with some help from current series writer Christos Gage. Brendon continues the ongoing story in which a new, more powerful breed of vampire has surfaced. These new bloodsuckers all have the powers of the Lord of the Vampires, Dracula. So Xander, who was briefly Dracula’s manservant until they had a falling out, and Dawn travel to Transylvania to see why this is. And the story is funny and charming and witty until the end, when the bad thing happens which may affect the Scooby Gang and Xander in particular. And Xander seems to be the punching bag lately. In Season 9, he betrayed the team to save Buffy, and this has affected his and Dawn’s relationship. It’s because of this that the end of this issue is so poignant, and I really wasn’t expecting that. Brendon will write more, and I’m glad he will. Besides portraying my favorite character on the show, he scripted a tale that dropped my jaw and left me fearing for the status quo, which Buffy said last issue was, “once again quo.”
I hate being lied to.
And the art is good. Rebekah Isaacs, Georgia girl, delivers another spot-on issue. Action scenes easy to follow, good facial expressions, she was meant to draw for this book. And I hope she stays for a while. Buffy Season 10 has a good creative crew and fans have a place to call home.
And that’s Four-Color Bullet for this week. Feel free to drop me an e-mail or a comment below. And go see X-Men: Days of Future Past this weekend. My international friends who have already seen it are saying “Holy Crap” in regard to its awesomeness.
Man, it’s a great time to be a comics fan. Happy Reading!
Michael Brown is a comics nerd and a father who lives in small town Tennessee. When he’s not making his players mad in his “Shadowrun” RPG or experimenting with new and inventive uses of duct tape on his children, you can find him checking out the latest comics and movies for SCIFI.radio!