New Comic Book Reviews for the Week of 3/7/18

Bloodshot Salvation #7 (Valiant)

From the summary: Master Storyteller Jeff Lemire takes the helm for the year’s most terrifying, most memorable special issue – told entirely in PITCH-BLACK DARKNESS!

The Reality: This is the “artless issue” and I paid $3.99 for pages of blurb story on black panels with a final page of actual artwork. I’ve been dreading this issue because I knew this crappy gimmick was coming and here it is. Does it work? NO!!! It’s disappointing and lazy. At least put some effort into it and make shapes on the panels in some fashion, not black panels. $3.99 for no art is a rip though. Was the story worth it? Not for $3.99. The entire “story” could have been written out in 3 pages without breaking it up into panels and then you could actually have art throughout the rest of the book. You get your “tension” in the first three pages followed by some action. Nope… just black panels. Valiant should give everyone a free comic for this transgression.

Gideon Falls #1 (Image)

This is the first issue of a new ongoing series that is creator owned by Jeff Lemire (same guy who wrote the above BloodShot), and Andrea Sorrentino. So far… I LIKE IT!!! It’s got that really dark and moody art that swims in realism while giving you those tinglies down the back of your neck. This is just the first issue and it’s a really intriguing set up. One man in the city appears to be somewhat crazy and a collector of nails and hinges that he believes to be evil, and talking to him, while a new Catholic Priest to a small town is pulled into creepy mystery of how the prior Father died and that Father’s ghost leading him through a field to a black barn.

Okay… I’m hooked. I want to know more. The Horror/Occult genre really works well in comics. Spawn proved that and Gideon Falls has the feel of the most occultish Spawn books. It’s got an interesting story with some impressive visuals. I’ll be getting issue #2!!!

That’s all for this week!!!

New Comic Book Reviews for the Week of 2/28/18

Spawn #283 (Image)

Another month another excellent Spawn cover and beautiful interior art. In this issue, Al and Cyan are returning from Japan, where things didn’t go so well, as far as protecting Cyan was concerned. We also get to see some new powers that Cyan can use. Is it just me or does a spin off book or series starring Cyan seem to be making more and more sense now?

To protect Cyan from the evil that wants her, Spawn comes up with a new idea, one that requires him to kidnap a rapper, who seems to be part of that evil, and then get publicly linked to him via pictures and every social media known to man. I’m not sure what the overall plan is but color me intrigued!!! Also, the return of an all new Violator is coming next issue, so this promises to be an interesting direction. Spawn is by far my favorite book right now. The quality of art, occult horror story, and reality (the way dialogue is spoken) based dialogue make it such an interesting book to follow. I’d encourage anyone who likes adult based comics to get on board!!!

X-O Manowar #12 (Valiant)

X-O Manowar recently has been… “Damn look at the awesome cover art!!!” Then open the book and … “Oh… well this is somewhat regular.” Issue #12 is no different there. I’m really underwhelmed by the inside art and layouts. We start out with a naked Aric by a pond who is set upon by some stragglers. There’s a fight, he takes their clothes. Then he sets out to confront the council who deposed him. Meanwhile, there are panels of the bounty hunter group discussing what to do with the X-O Manowar armor, followed by one of them wanting to try it on, which is yet again another retread of what happens when someone not suited for the armor tries it on. When Aric confronts the council, Bruto gets the drop on him after the bounty hunters show up. All but one on the council is struck down and then Aric welcomes the armor back to him as a second skin. There are no panels to show the armor escaping the containment field it was in, or flying to the council room, or even a hint of how it got there.

The best way for me to describe this issue is “janky.” I get the feeling that the bounty hunters will be disposed of in the next two issues which really makes that bounty hunter origin issue a complete waste of time. This second volume started out really well but has since dropped off with the current story. Like I said in an earlier posting, Valiant is spinning wheels in prep for the Harbinger War 2 event and as such the monthly’s are suffering for it.

Saga #49 (Image)

I can’t review this yet because I’m not caught up with my past reading but issue #49 of this excellent series came out today and this series is a no-brainer to pick up because it so damn good!!!

New Comic Book Reviews for the Week of 2/14/18

Ninja-K #4 (Valiant)

There’s this trend happening throughout Valiant and I’m hoping it comes to an end soon… That trend is what I call: The Set Up. It seems like month after month each book is doing a set up. Recently it has been set ups for the bad guy or group (Bloodshot – Rampage, X-O Manowar – A bad guy group). In Ninja-K it has been a set up for each ninja of the alphabet that MI6 has used. In this issue, it is Ninja-G, a black woman betrayed by MI6. The entire book is her history so basically Ninjak just stands around listening. Thankfully, by the time I got to the end, the blurb said that this arc will conclude next month. This volume started out well enough but it is really no match for the prior volume. It really does feel like Valiant is spinning its wheels and doesn’t want to let anything get started before the coming of the Harbinger War 2 event. It’s been frustrating to say the least. Art was once again beautiful but the story and direction don’t live up to the “Ninja Spy” tales we had been promised so far. Ninjak is a character with so much more storytelling potential, hopefully it moves in a direction more like the last volume and less like what we have been getting.


Bloodshot Salvation #6 (Valiant)

Bloodshot takes his baby to the Deadside in this issue, in the hopes of finding some way to save her life. This issue flies by mainly because you are hypnotized by the beautiful artwork that is on every single page. Oh yeah… and at least we get some more Ninjak here!!! There really isn’t much action in this one and I’m already dreading issue #7 because it is the “blind issue” where every panel but the last page is black. I don’t feel like skimping on artwork next month, at $3.99 an issue, is a nice thing to do, but I will give them credit for the art in this issue which again, was beautiful in every panel.


Scooby Apocalypse #22 (DC)

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again… Scooby Apocalypse is way better than The Walking Dead. Same premise… monsters instead of zombies, but a much better and humorous story. The art is always fun to see and the bickering between the members of the team are hilarious. In this issue, they want to finally settle down and take over a mall as a base of operations. It was brought up in the last issue that that is the major mistake that happens in every zombie movie, but hey… why not? Daphne and Fred go into the mall to scope it out and they see two different sides of warring monsters, but because they are warring on each other, none of the monsters from outside are trying to get in. So Thelma thinks it’s still a good idea to take over some part of the mall and fortify it while these two groups kill each other off. I’m still happy with this series. It’s an enjoyable read. I do wish they would kill of the backup Secret Squirrel story and devote more pages to Scoob and the gang but… oh well…

Streamline (Stream of Thought) 1/29/18

Inbox/Gmail and the Missing Notifications

I’ve about had it with Google Email. I’ve been using Inbox for years now and all of sudden, about 3 months ago, it just stops giving notifications for new mail. Yesterday, I re-enabled Gmail notifications, in the hope that the notification would come from there but no dice. No notifications and when I open Inbox it asks me if I want to disable the Gmail notifications so I don’t get dual notifications… SMDH… I’ve been moving more and more stuff over to Outlook so it looks like that is the direction it will all go. Google never fails to disappoint me these days.

I NO Political

It’s been great being on the outside of the majority of political talk lately. For the most part, I’ve been avoiding it like the plague on social networking. I switched from listening to WSB talk radio to Alt 105.7 and the Woody show, just to get away from the constant barrage. Seriously… I was and am so over every aspect of politics being talked about and investigated. Sure, I still know the happenings and bullet points for the day and I speak on that but then after sending it out (mostly via a Streamline entry here), I let it go. I have no interest in debating political plot points any longer. It’s a waste of time and listening to it all of the time just creates undue stress for something that you cannot change. You get soaked in political rhetoric, then you debate it to no end, and you are still left stressed about it. No thanks. A side note: I sure don’t need politics in my entertainment either. So if a “star” or “celebrity” is on the soapbox, it means nothing. Think about it… Social media allegedly had a ton of Russian accounts pushing for Trump but at the same time social media had all of Hollywood and every celebrity (with much more followers I might add) telling their followers to vote for Clinton. How is that different? It’s not.

What’s Going On Valiant???

Rumor broke this morning on Bleeding Cool that Valiant Entertainment (My favorite comic book company) had been sold. Last night Dinesh Shamdasani (Valiant CEO and the most EXCELLENT frontman for any comic book company outside of Stan “the man” Lee) tweeted out: “Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.” -Jim Shooter, 1992

UPDATE: DMG Entertainment has bought Valiant Entertainment in its entirety. Dinesh is being transitioned out (sad because he was the fan of Valiant as a kid who grew up to buy the comic company he loved). The really horrifying part of all of this is that the CEO of DMG said that this buy was to move the properties into movies and other media and “NOT to expand the publishing.” That to me, makes me think that Valiant Comics will be an afterthought and the characters I know and love will just be used/pushed for movies and TV. That is a sad proposition as Valiant Comics has the BEST universe in comics right now. While it would be awesome to see these characters on the big screen, it would suck to lose them in the comic book form. I’ll guess all we can do for now is wait and see how all of this pans out… Crossing fingers…

Shameless Season 8 Finale

Season 8 of Shameless came to an end last night and it was pretty good, maybe a little disjointed. It seems like the individual Gallaghers are all on an upswing, while Frank, who started the season on an upswing is back on a downswing. Season 9 will be back on Showtime closer to the end of 2018.

I purchased Showtime via Amazon Channels and I have to say, Showtime needs to purchase more bandwidth. Everything is fine until Shameless was ready to go live weekly, then the drops from HD would take effect. This never happened on HBO during Game of Thrones, who I guarantee has more viewers than Shameless (though Shameless probably has the most viewers of any of the Showtimes shows). The great thing about Amazon Channels is that you can purchase for monthly viewing and then cancel at anytime. Shameless is really the ONLY thing interesting right now on Showtime so now that it is over, I’ll cancel my subscription. When it comes back on, I may wait for the entire season 9 to add up and air so I can just buy the channel for a month and binge watch it, or I’ll just wait for it to hit Netflix. The bandwidth issue is seriously annoying to the viewing experience and I don’t feel like paying for the channel over a 4 – 5 month period only to fight with bandwidth every week. So hey, Showtime!!! Buy more bandwidth!!!

I’ve got nothing else… That’s the Stream for today…

My Current Comics Subscription List through Comixology


Ninja-K (Coming in November from Valiant): This is the next series in the Ninjak line. Which is my current favorite character to read. The last series was excellent and just came to an end recently. Ninjak #0 just came out as a recap and jumping on point for the new series. I highly recommend this one!!! Get the prior series too!!! Excellent writing and amazing art.


X-O Manowar (Valiant): This is the second series of X-O Manowar (in the Valiant reboot). The first series was excellent and this one picks up sometime in the future, from where that series ended. We don’t know how or why Aric of Dacia is where he is but I’m sure it will all be revealed as keep going. We pick up with Aric on another planet, trying to live a normal life without the X-O armor, when he is pulled into a massive war.


Harbinger Renegade (Valiant): The current series continues to follow our favorite bunch of psiots as they try to keep it all together. As far as I’m concerned, the Harbinger story line is the best group superhero story line in comics today. It’s intricate and complex but it always seems to reward you with a great payoff.


Rapture (Valiant): This was a 4 issue series that just came to an end. It’s hard to explain this one if you don’t know anything about the Valiant Universe. Basically, the Geomancer has assembled a Valiant team (Ninjak, Punk Mambo, Shadowman) to stop a demon from breaking through the Deadside into the Liveside on the Tower of Babel.


Faith and the Future Force (Valiant): This is another 4 issues summer series that features Faith in the lead role. Faith has to assemble a team of virtually every Valiant character to stop a villain that is changing time. Anyone who has read the Faith series will know that there are a ton of pop culture references and humor that a Faith book excels at doing.


Secret Weapons (Valiant): This is another 4 issue summer series that features my favorite female hero: Livewire. This one has been fun because Livewire is looking for the unfortunate psiots who have been activated, but their powers are far over in left field (talking to birds, turning to immovable stone, Etc…). It also shows more of that romantic connection between Livewire and Ninjak that we are all cheering for!!!


Bloodshot Salvation (Valiant): This is Bloodshot’s third series and the first was just released. So far it sets up the characters and is getting us introduced to how things will move forward. So we’ll see how it goes.


Spawn (Image): You know who he is. Issue 300 is on the horizon and with it, it will become the longest independent comic to be published. Good stuff!!!


Scooby Apocalypse (DC): Someone did a “What if the Scooby gang was in the Zombie Apocalypse” photo shoot, and I believe that is where this idea came from. This is the monster apocalypse, where almost all the people in the world have been transformed into monsters. This is close to Rated “R” Scooby here. They kill the monsters and they fight to survive. It’s better than watching The Walking Dead… Just saying…

As you can see… Most of what I collect is in the Valiant Universe. I haven’t collected new issues of my favorite superhero (Spider-man) ever since Marvel retconned his history by ending the Peter/MJ  marriage. I still see that as the biggest travesty to ever happen in comics. I don’t have any current Marvel subscription because they have double downed into the SJW political nonsense to the point where it is annoying as hell. I like the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) way better than their comic universe these days. Both Marvel and DC keep rebooting in odd ways too. At least with this Valiant run, they started everything over with no connection to the past run. That’s really the only way to reboot a universe. Valiant also seems to have the most adult story lines and the best art out there right now. It really is a refreshing and awesome universe to read stories in. Check it out if you get a chance!!!



3 Current Obsessions

Valiant Comics
By far Valiant Comics is my favorite comic book universe. It’s a universe that feels very adult. The art is simply amazing! It blows away the art found in the “big 2” comic universes. The writing is also top notch in comparison to the “big 2” also. My favorite character is Ninjak (an MI6 Ninja). Think Tony Stark meets Bruce Wayne, but so much more compelling. Then there is Rai. Rai lives in 4001 on a massive city satellite called New Japan. Then you have awesome characters like X-O Manowar (Think Thor with alien Iron Man armor), Livewire, and the Eternal Warrior. As far as groups, you have to read everything to do with Harbinger. The story of psiots and the greatest villain, living between shades of gray, called Toyo Harada. Out of Harbinger you get Faith, who has her own series which is a bit lighter but chalk full or geek culture and pop culture references. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed. Oh… and look for the coming Ninjak vs The Valiant Universe webisodes coming in November!!!
Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones has become an event in our house. You pop the cork on a Game of Thrones beer, pour it into your Game of Thrones glass, and enjoy the new episode on Sunday nights. Football Sunday? Nope. Game of Thrones Sunday. We watch it though the Amazon Channels HBO app on Fire TV. It’s an add on channel but you can watch it LIVE and not have to have cable. When this season is over it is going to be so hard to wait for the final season… let alone the wait for the next book. I’m reading the books right now and they are written superbly. Game of Thrones is worth all of the accolades that it gets.
Blood Drive (SYFY)
Blood Drive is one of the best shows on TV just because it is so non-PC. It probably offends little snowflake SJW’s every time it comes on the air. SYFY even lets the “F” word fly when they broadcast it. When you are talking “edgy” this is Grindhouse exploitation edgy. SYFY should be commended for being brave enough to air it. Watch it, Love it, Enjoy it!!!