From Blackest Night to Brightest Day

Blackest Night #8

Blackest Night #8

DC’s latest mega-event has just concluded with the release of Blackest Night #8 and what a thrill-ride it’s been. Ivan Reis has done a bang-up job at delivering some of the best artwork I’ve seen in recent years. He pencils every DC hero imaginable in both their Black Lantern and traditional forms well!

I’m not one for spoilers so I’m just gonna say that Blackest Night actually does a great job at resetting the DC Universe after all the recent deaths that have occurred over the course of DC’s CRISIS-labelled tie-ups. My only regret is that I hadn’t realised just how closely tied the story would be to the other Green Lantern books; namely Green Lantern & Green Lantern Corps. Looks like I’ll have to pick-up those issues when the tradepaperbacks are released.

It’s been a great 8 months and I can’t wait for the next 12 months as we jump directly into Brightest Day. Geoff Johns’ definitely has got loads planned for the DCU as more is revealed about the White Lantern rings and the return of various characters to the DCU.

On another note, Mark Millar & Steve McNiven’s Nemesis was somewhat of a disappointment. McNiven’s artwork is absolutely the pits compared to some of his stuff that made me fall in love with his artwork. Maybe McNiven’s trying to experiment with his artwork but it’s absolutely horrible in my opinion.  What a shame, I was so looking forward to new stuff by McNiven but have this instead… oh well, the premise & concept is somewhat interesting so I’m willing to see where Mark Millar is headed with this new creator-owned series. Hopefully Steve McNiven will buck up in future issues.

For a full-review of Nemesis check out CBR’s review here.

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The Blackest Night Goes On…

Blackest Night #5

Blackest Night #5

DC’s mega-event continues with issue 5 and I must say that it’s still going strong. Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis continue to deliver a solid package with plot reveals, cliffhangers and really awesome artwork. I really don’t like doing plot reveals and do anything that would spoil your enjoyment of the series so I guess I’ll just end my mini-review here. Pick it up at a comic book store near you or better yet wait for the tradepaperback. I’m tempted to pick up the other books that are associated with the main one but I suppose I can live without em’.

Comic Book Madness

Comics!

Comics!

I love comic books. You might think it childish but I beg to differ. I think comic books are great because:

  • Of the art! I love art and comic books give you that cinematic experience without the need to switch on the TV or to go to the movies.
  • The writers are brilliant. They keep you coming back each month for more much like a Chinese soap.
  • Comic book stories are rich with influences from a variety of sources. Comic book creators draw from history, science, folklore and all kinds of literary sources to make their stories interesting. Let’s not forget the human element.
  • Superhero comics especially inspire me to be more than I can be. Don’t we all want to be heroes and do the right thing each and every single day in our lives? Sacrifice. Honour. These are lessons that comic books can teach us.

I used to read a lot as a child and I am trying little by little to get back to reading but I find that I’d much prefer to read books that teach me something about myself and life rather than fiction. I don’t do that as much these days cos’ I have to read & write as a living and I can’t stand reading pages that are made up of walls of text. I guess that’s why I prefer comic books to books these days which is a lil’ sad I suppose. I read so much less now compared to my growing up years. The only book that I go back to constantly is the Bible though so at least I’m getting some reading done daily from the good book. 🙂

Here are some good books I would suggest to anyone who wants to get into comic books as a start:. You might recognise some of them as they’ve become Hollywood properties in recent years.

  • The Hellboy series written & drawn by Mike Mignola (Seed of Destruction, Wake the Devil, The Chained Coffin and Others, The Right Hand of Doom. Conqueror Worm, Strange Places)

    Hellboy

    Hellboy

  • The Green Lantern books written by Geoff Johns with either Ivan Reis or Ethan Van Sciver on pencilling duties (The Sinestro Corps War Vol. 1 & 2, Green Lantern: Rebirth, Green Lantern: Wanted)

    Green Lantern

    Green Lantern

  • 1602 by Neil Gaiman with art by Andy Kubert & Richard Isanove

    1602

    1602

Interior art from the pages of 1602

Interior art from the pages of 1602

Green Lantern is currently one of the most exciting titles I’ve read in recent years. I’ve written posts about the Emerald Gladiator before and if you’re a long-time comic book fan I can’t help but marvel at what Geoff Johns has done with the character. It’s amazing stuff cos’ he’s taken the Green Lantern mythos further. I’m in the middle of the Blackest Night saga and all I can say is wow.

Blackest Night - a Green Lantern epic

Blackest Night - a Green Lantern epic

Before you write comic books off as childish give one a spin. You’ll find that there’s a lot more than meets the eye within its colourful pages. Nuff’ said!

November 09′ Hot Picks

The Blackest Night Saga continues with Issue 4!

The Blackest Night Saga continues with Issue 4!

Ho ho! I just picked up the latest issue of DC’s on-going epic crossover and I just can’t wait for it to end. Each month is a grueling wait to see what the creative team of Geoff Johns & Ivan Reis have up their sleeves. The latest issue doesn’t detail much about what Hal Jordan & the Indigo Lanterns are up to and focuses very much on Barry Allen (the Flash), the Atom & Mera as they fend off the Black Lantern horde of undead heroes & villains on earth. Pretty cool stuff.

The Broken Steel logo

The Broken Steel logo

And here’s some news from the gaming front: Am in the midst of downloading the “Broken Steel” expansion also since I’ve been sitting on my unused credit on my Singapore PSN account. I’ve heard some good things about the expansion from my colleague over at 9/10.com. It’ll be good to continue the adventures of the Wasteland Wanderer and go past the level 30 cap. The download’s taking a bit of time so I might just leave my PS3 on today whilst I’m at work. Fallout 3 was and still is a great game. Am missing RPGs on the PS3 though and I’m very tempted to pick up a copy of Bioware’s “Dragon Age: Origins”. 😛

“Uncharted 2: Among Thieves” was really awesome and I’ve yet to find time to write up a review of the game. I’ll have to make time to do that cos’ there are quite a few differences compared to the original and while its a great game I think I preferred the original a lil’ bit more. The new one feels different even though it kept a lot of the gameplay elements of “Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune”. Multi-player is fun too but it takes ages to get into a game cos’ you’ve gotta wait and wait for player match-ups. Look out for a review soon cos’ I really wanna write this one up properly.

I’ve also been re-reading a lot of my older comic books lately in my spare time on weekends and on what free week nights I have. I’ve been going back to the following old favourites on & off over the past few years and here are some books that you should look up if you’re into comic books:

  • Infinite Crisis
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths
  • Earth X

Really good stuff. Anyways, just thought I’d write up something a bit more fun instead of all the serious reflections that I’ve been putting up in the last week or so.

Have a great day everyone!

September 09′ Hot Picks

Comic books are making a comeback in a big way! It’s exciting to see what’s happening right now with a wave of European writers making their presence felt in both DC and Marvel.

Blackest Night #3

Blackest Night #3

Geoff Johns, the scribe on the Green Lantern is causing waves in the DC Universe. Green Lantern fans won’t want to miss out on “The Blackest Night” maxi series that is currently on-going. I don’t really read much these days but I’m finding that lots of great stories are coming out from DC and it would seem as if Marvel is playing catch-up right now. The upcoming X Necrosha crossover in the X-books seems very much like Marvel is mimicking what’s going on with the “Blackest Night” event that’s happening all across the DCU. Why do I say that? Well, the free postcard that I picked up from the Mindshop Tuesday night had dead X-Men on it in Technovirus form. Heh. I’m kinda looking forward to that cos’ Clayton Crain’s doing art chores on that one for X-Force.

Necrosha X.

X Necrosha.

Back to “Blackest Night”. It’s pretty amazing what Johns is doing as he keeps me on the edge of my seat month after month with each issue. Good stuff indeed. I also picked up the “Rage of the Red Lanterns” trade which serves as a prelude to “The Blackest Night” and I found it to be a pretty good read too. Too bad I can’t say the same of DC’s “Final Crisis”. Anyways, keep an eye out for this and I’m glad I’m not reading up on spoilers online cos’ the writing in this series so far has been phenomenal. For the uninitiated “The Blackest Night” features lots of dead heroes & villains being raised all across the DCU by the mysterious “Black Lantern” rings. Who controls these rings? And why are the rings raising the dead? The answers have yet to be revealed and I’m gonna follow Geoff Johns as he takes his readers all the way to the very end! Let’s not forgot Ivan Reis’ fantastic artwork. Really, really good stuff!

Arkham Asylum.

Arkham Asylum.

On the gaming front I’ve just finished “Arkham Asylum” on the PS3 and it’s a short but really fun game. In fact I’m actually playing it on hard now and running around Arkham island looking for trophies and riddles to solve. The plot in the game is pretty alright and I must say that the voice work is top-notch. Of course one would expect nothing less from Paul Dini who has been writing “Batman: Animated” stories for the better part of the last decade or so. The game is brilliant in that the combo system is easy to pick-up and while simple it somehow doesn’t fall into the category of button-mashing. The graphics are pretty amazing but then again one wouldn’t expect anything less from a game that uses the Unreal engine.

If you’ve got a PS3 or XBOX 360 I highly recommend “Arkham Asylum” cos’ it’s a really fun romp as the Dark Knight. For those of you who’ve missed out on the first 3 issues of “Blackest Night” never fear cos’ I’m pretty sure that a tradepaperback is in the works and it’ll be handsomely bound in hardcover just like the 2 volumes I have that collects the entire Sinestro Corps War saga.

Till next time.