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Showing posts from December, 2016

Why Aren't You Reading Superwoman?

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We're officially six months into DC's Rebirth project, a line-wide publishing initiative meant to restore the sense of legacy and the bonds between characters back to the DC Universe.   With a mission statement like that, one might almost think that the entire thing would be full of older characters from decades past, but Rebirth has come up with a nice mix of both new and old heroes (and villains!) to give the line the variety it needs.  And right now, for a couple reasons, there are few better new heroes (or comics) coming from DC right now than Superwoman.

Bottom of the Pile - December 21st, 2017

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Alters This could've easily been an overly saccharine moment, as our lady hero Chalice comes out for the first time to her brother, but the combination of dark levity and keeping things focused on other things like being hunted by an insane supervillain cannibal helps to make this the most heartfelt moment of the week for me. 

The theme with"Alters" seems to be that superpowers just can't fix everything.  At the end of last issue a fellow superhero, Morph, got injured during Chalice's first run-in with Matter Man. This issue, we discover that despite being a shapeshifter--the damage done to his spine is seemingly permanent and will leave him unable to walk or use his powers again.  If this were DC or Marvel, I'd be pissed at the idiotic limitations placed on someone who should in theory have complete control over his body--but the sense in Alters is that powers don't always help, sometimes they just complicate. 

Bottom of the Pile - December 14th, 2016

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This was initially going to be a much, much longer article, but Blogger lost my initial draft and I honestly just don't have it in me to start them ALL over again.  So this is an approximation of the best material of the original, before I move on to last week's comics and then THIS week's comics.

Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows
If you were wondering how Mary Jane as a superhero is going, well...here you go.  Renew Your Vows #2 shows the same day from issue one, only from Mary Jane's perspective.  By doing so, the writer re-frames your entire view of the character, erasing the sort of flighty, flaky girl you're used to and revealing her to be this goals-oriented, driven woman who only seemed flighty because her mind was on a billion things at once.   Showing her as a woman who splits her time between running a clothes shop, a fashion blog, being a mom AND a superhero, Mary Jane is basically the opposite of Peter--she doesn't take pictures or tell jokes, she …

Uchuu Sentai Kyuuranger: Just when I thought I was out...

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(Forewarning: This is going to be more of a rant than a structured post.)

Dammit.  I was done!  Done, I tells ya.  ToQger had a similar appeal to me it'd have to an anal-retentive English teacher: this name looks stupid, get it away from me. Ninninger tried, but ultimately the neat design and ties it had to all the previous ninja-based tokusatsu series couldn't quite compare to how idiotic its main character and how frustrating their teacher both were.   (The rest of the characters besides MomoNinja were just too milquetoast for me to have much of an opinion on.)

And Zyuohger?  The name feels unoriginal, the furries are somehow less cool than Doggy Kruger even though we're a full decade-plus removed from Dekaranger, the suit design is lackluster and the mecha continue to suck almost worse than it usually does, and lately mech design has been lacking with very few exceptions.


Bottom of the Pile: December 7th, 2016

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Avengers


Much as I hate to admit it, the second issue of this series isn't nearly as strong as the first.  Last issue, in an attempt to take out his rage on the Avengers for kidnapping his infant self, Kang (and his alternate, paradoxical self the The Scarlet Centurion) went back in time and murdered all the Avengers in their cribs, wiping them out from time.  Well...all except for Hercules, who Kang either considered beneath his notice or was unable to locate at birth.   This issue, we discover a future version of Kang who discovered the error of his ways basically snatched the Avengers out of time before they could be erased from time, leaving them stranded until a battle with a time-protected Hercules allows them to return for one final battle with Kang.  One in which, despite being Earth's Mightiest Heroes, the group kind of gets smacked around like a bunch of chumps.  They made such a big deal out of having the six of them be enough but honestly it really looks like they …

Anime Observations: Nanoha ViVid and ViVid Strike!

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Welcome to Anime Observations, a new column on JiH where I take an anime series I've watched and point out a theme or idea that might (or might not) have passed you by on first viewing, and expound on it.  Or if you haven't seen the series, hopefully by reading this you'll take an interest in it and give the show a try.  I tend to pick less popular series, and I'm always happy when a show I liked a lot gains new fans.  For our first installment, we'll be looking at the magical girl series Nanoha ViVid and it's sister spin-off, ViVid Strike!

Bottom of the Pile - November 30th, 2016

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Since this week is short, I figured I'd take care of it first and go back and knock the others out later.

Batman Annual
I've never been a fan of dogs.  Some can be cute, downright adorable, but I'm still more of a cat person.   Still, this new origin of Ace the Bat-Hound in this year's Batman Annual is the kind of thing that makes you type in all caps 'cause the story is just so cute you can't stand it.

Found after one of the Joker's...weirder escapades, Ace was one of many attack dogs Joker was using until he got bored of them...and stopped visiting, or feeding any of them.  By the time they were found, they'd all attacked and killed one another with only Ace surviving.  Because amongst other things Batman is chiefly a story about taking in broken things and making them less broken, Ace gets adopted by Alfred, who ends up training him to be more obedient and taming his violent instincts.  Over the course of several months, Alfred tirelessly works with A…