Thursday, December 30, 2010

Punisher: In The Blood #1-2 (of 5)

Taking place (apparently) after the events of Frakencastle (which was never referenced) Frank Castle takes a shot at  Norman Osborn and ends up getting sent to Prison. Frank also replaced his old Friend, Microchip (now recently resurrected), with a young kid named Henry, After this initial page of explanation, the comic kicks in full force with Frank Castle killing three skin heads to interrogate the man they were beating. Planting a bomb in the prison, calling in a bomb threat to the prison telling the warden he only has enough time to evacuate the guards, Frank then tells the man that he can die by the bomb or from the broom that he had killed the nazis with... His choice. Frank wanted to find Microchip and the rest of the Hood. The man tells Frank that he doesn't know where the Hood is, but Microchip has a base set up under the man's old HQ. Frank then shoots the man telling him that half an answer gives him half the pain as he leaves the prison and hops on a motorcycle with an extremely ridiculous Punisher logo windshield. The book then cuts to Microchip, drunk, talking to a dead SHIELD agent who he claims to have shot. A news report catches him off guard reporting that Frank Castle had blown up the prison he was in. After the report, a man walks in behind Microchip, tells him he must be terrified, then pistol whips him. Back to Punisher who's back at HQ where we meet Henry, and it's his birthday. His mom sent him some presents and a letter telling him that she sobered up and Henry decides he's going to move back and help her out. Frank tells Henry that he doesn't get sick leave, it's full time, all the time, or he can piss off. Henry leaves. He goes back home to discover that his dad, Jigsaw is back in town, and he's got a plan to bring Frank down. He leads Henry to believe that Frank is coming after all of his old sidekicks. Frank also goes hand to hand with a woman dressed in what looks like leather ninja attire. She ends up getting away. 
Issue two starts with Jigsaw revealing that he's working with one of Frank's other ex-sidekicks, Stuart. After some dialogue, the brainwashing of Henry begins. He now believes that Frank is coming to kill him. Frank is now shown going crazy and killing everyone trying to get a lead on the Hood without a partner. Henry leaving is obviously bothering him. After a few killings, he ends up in a club and gets the aid of a very fat woman who claims to know something about something. Scene then goes to Jigsaw taking Henry to his pent house while Stuart plays clips of Punisher's recent kills, and tells Henry that Frank's out looking for him. Microchip is now shown chained up in a room with no windows while looking at a picture of his dead son. His son had, apparently, been resurrected just so Frank could set him on fire and kill him again. He then hints that he wishes his family and Frank's family could be resurrected and this whole thing could end. Just then, Stuart opens the door to bring Microchip a sandwich and to tell him that Frank's looking hard to find him and kill him. Stuart and Microchip then go into a conversation about the differences between the two of them as Frank's sidekick as Stuart eats Micro's sandwich. The end of the scene shows Microchip licking the tray clean. Frank is now shown in a strip club with a gun pointed at Venom. Oh wait, after hitting him in the head, the mirage ends and it's revealed to be Mirage. Just as Frank is about to get answers, the leather clad ninja woman appears and kills Mirage. Frank goes after her and pulls his gun. She then dares him to shoot and leaves. Frank then reveals the woman to be his dead wife. End.

This is my first time experiencing a decent Punisher story outside of the MAX universe. I knew nothing about the characters but was able to hop on pretty quick. The end of issue two really threw me through a loop. I especially loved the love for the Dead Kennedys and 7 Seconds. I'm extremely curious to see where this book goes next. 
In the meantime, I still have a LOT of books left to review and all that noise. I'm ComicBookGuyMark87, and I'll see you next time some mother &^@$3*$ are getting killed!

Sunday, December 26, 2010


My computer's been down for a while now and I haven't had time to do reviews anyways. I'll pick it up this week. I have a LOT of reviewing to do. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Red Robin #17 Review.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Pencils: Marcus To
Ink: Ray McCarthy
Color: Guy Major
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Editor: Sean Ryan
Batman Group Editor: Michael Marts
*Clears throat*.

Ok, now that that has been said... Cassandra Cain's shown battling a gang in Hong Kong before Tim sneaks up on her in the shadows and offers her a Batgirl suit. Tim also asks her if she has any information about Lynx being an undercover cop. Cass informs him that she discovered there are undercover Hung Kong police in the gangs, but she couldn't get any names. Tim springs Lynx out of the INS bus. Tim also buys a place for his Neon Knights program and checks off the "find a place to live" option from his list. After making out with Lynx, Bruce shows up and tells Tim that he's sorry he wasn't able to do it earlier, and gives Tim a hug with a "nice to see you." Tim then checks off his "Find who to do it with" option from his list.

This is one of the best issues of this series and ties in PERFECTLY to Batman Inc. If Fabian were to take over that title, I'd pick it up INSTANTLY. A LOT happened in this issue. It was a lot of fun. Tim is becoming one of the best comic characters of all time and I'm loving watching it. PICK UP THIS ISSUE NOW!!

Until next time, I'm ComicBookGuyMark87, this is my blog, this is one of my favorite books, and I'll see you ON MY BIRTHDAY!!! to review Azrael! Pick it up so we can discuss!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Superboy #1 review

Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Pier Gallo
Colorist: Jamie Grant
Letter: John J. Hill
Cover: Rafael Albuquerque
Editor: Matt Idelson
Asst. Editor: Wil Moss

The story here starts in Smallville with Conner Kent (AKA: Superboy) sitting on a water tower playing with Krypto (the SUPERDOG!) when Phantom Stranger shows up and informs Conner that his actions will lead to someone close to him dying if he doesn't make the right choices. He was then told to go home where he was needed. He races home to save "Ma" from getting injured from falling from watering her plants. The real twist to the story came when Conner's friend, Simon Valentine, informs Conner that he knows Conner is Superboy. Before Conner can question him, he's attacked by an unnamed villain whose powers include being able to steal power from Superboy. The battle was basically Conner getting his power stolen from him and only having the strength to use his telekinesis to create a giant monster of his own from the leaves flying around. He defeats the creature and is quickly caught in the plant life. Poison Ivy then comes out of nowhere and says she's too late to save Smallville. End of issue.
This was actually a really fun issue, and I wish they'd put two out already. This should be a bimonthly thing as I could see it becoming one of DC's flagship titles. It's fun, it's upbeat, and it has Krypto The Superdog! Conner is one of the more interesting heroes of the Teen Titans, only being upstaged by Tim Drake. This issue is highly suggested by me. Grab it!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Green Arrow #5 And Teen Titans #88 Reviews

Writer: J.T. Krul
Pencils: Diogenes Neves
Inks: Vicente Cifuentes
Colors: Ulises Arreola
Letters: Rob Leigh
Cover: Mauro Cascioli
Editor: Adam Schlagman

The Story is a simple one. Starting with a very detailed battle that we left off on in issue #4. A casualty is the result of the battle as Ollie tries to save the man's life by dipping him in the lake that he was placed in when he died. This didn't work and a group of zombies, one notable being Ollie's dad, come racing to the forest to kill Ollie and Galahad. The issue is mostly how Ollie reacts when face to face with his dead father telling him what a failure he is. It was a damn good issue, and got even more interesting when the White Lantern tree in the forest lights up and Ollie uses the wood from the tree to shoot the zombies. Highly recommended one shot story, Little backstory is needed to enjoy this one, and that's the way I like it. 

Writer: J.T. Krul
Pencils: Nicola Scott
Ink: Doug Hazlewood
Colors: Jason Wright
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Editor: Rachel Gluckstern
Cover: Scott & Hazlewood with Wright

Lets be honest: The Teen Titans have SUCKED the last couple of years. In comes J.T. Krul to take on the task no other creative team has wanted to do. And he. Kicks. Ass. Zombies are taking over the streets of San Fransisco and Ravager, Wondergirl, Beast Boy, Kid Flash, and Superboy are out on patrol taking them down. This is basically set up to show who the team is, and to start the new arc of this book. A student is talked into an experiment by his teacher, the guy who created the zombies to begin with, and Cass questions her ability to lead the Titans, and knows that she'll never be Dick Grayson or Tim Drake. The climax of the story comes when the alarm is tripped, everyone comes running down claiming an intruder entered to stand in front of Batman (Dick Grayson, formerly Nightwing, Robin, and founder of the Teen Titans) with Damian (Bruce's son, current Robin) where Dick makes the comment that he's not an intruder, and that Damian would be joining them. This is the best Titans story I read since the first trade. I HIGHLY recommend it, and J.T. Krul is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers. If you dropped Teen Titans, pick it up again. This is shaping up to be DC's best team book. 

I still got lots of books to read/review/discuss. So, Until next time, I'm ComicBookGuyMark87, this is my blog, I'll be back soon with a review of some of the new books I got, and I need to finish my reviews of the trades I currently have.

Review: Return Of Bruce Wayne: The Road Home

Each issue here is meant to tie the respected character into the Batman Inc storyline. The best issues of these are the ones with characters I know VERY little about. Batgirl, The Outsiders, and Oracle make up the best issues. I grabbed them all to get the complete story. The story basically follows Vicki Vales attempts of outing the Wayne family while Bruce follows up on them to see how they coped with his "death." As the story progresses, Catwoman discovers that Vicki has also discovered the identity of the Gotham criminal underworld. Bruce has his supersuit, which gives him the power of all the JLA heroes, to keep him alive without giving away his identity. This is really as deep as the story gets. The end involves Bruce revealing his identity to Vicki and apologizing for not being able to share his secret with her. She then burns all the proof she had against the Wayne family and tells Bruce she needs to leave Gotham. Overall, the story was a decent one, and the Outsiders issue was one of my favorites, with Ras being the single best. I was EXTREMELY disappointed with the Red Robin issue. Batgirl, however, was a decent introduction to someone who hadn't read her solo series yet. For those interested in this book, I say hold off until the trade. They were good, but not good enough to pay $3 an issue.

Until next time (which should be soon) I'm ComicBookGuyMark87, and this is my blog!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Sorry for the lack of updates guys. The real world got in the way. Books I picked up that might get reviewed soon:

Punisher (MAX): Slavers
DC Halloween Special 2010
Green Arrow #5
Incognito #1
Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Batman & Robin; Red Robin; Batgirl; Outsiders; Catwoman; Ras Al Guhl; Oracle
Batgirl #1
Zatana #6
Teen Titans #88

So, what'd you get? What'd you think about what you got? Let me know!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Azrael #13 *SPOILERS*

Writer: David Hine
Artist: Guillem March
Colors: Tomeu Morey
Lettering: Sal Cippriano
Editor: Rachel Gluckstern

So, the Crusader arc is finally over. I'm sad to see it go. For the first time in a LONG time, there was a truly menacing villain in a mainstream comic. Michael Lane and Father Day are on the quest for the Shroud while Father Grieve is being skinned alive, as written in the book of revelations. First of all, let me say, this book depicts GRAPHIC violence, and is NOT for the weak of heart. The art work in this book is beautifully done as well, to really pull this issue together. Now, Father Grieve is being skinned alive so the Crusader can find the Shroud. It's written in the book of Revelations that he will find the Shroud. If it is written, it has to happen. So, Father Day can not interfere with the torture down stairs, and the Crusader will have to find the Shroud. We know this from the beginning. While Father Grieve is being skinned alive, Father Day explains to Michael that the Shroud has the face of Jesus. Father Day and Azrael then attempt to run from the temple with the Shroud before deciding against it and confronting their fate. The end of the story shows Azrael and the Crusader coming face to face, for Michael to tell Father Day to show the Crusader the Shroud. After being shown the Shroud, the Crusader seemingly commits suicide by jumping out of a window. Father Grieve then asks to talk to Michael alone (with no skin). Father Day leaves the room and Father Grieves explains to Michael that the Shroud has DNA evidence of the disciples of Christ and that the suit of sorrows was created to be worn by those disciples. 

The question being now: Is Michael Lane a disciple of Christ, or is it Damian Wayne? Talia Al Guhl stole the suit from here father as a gift to Bruce. Bruce tried to destroy it when he realized the suit made him more aggressive. Once he realized he couldn't destroy the suit, he tossed it where it was picked up by Michael. Talia has since been trying to get the suit back to give to her son (Damian). My take? I think Michael will be the disciple as I don't think it'd add much to the drama of the book if it were Damian. But I'd love to know what you think. Therefore, hit "comment" under this post and let me know!

Until next time, I'm ComicBookGuyMark87, this is my blog, and you should be reading Azrael! Thanks.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Every be SURE to grab a copy of Azrael. I wont be able to get mine until Friday, but I want to know what you all think. Also, to those of you browsing this blog... Don't be a stranger! Stop by and leave a comment :). 

Until Friday, I'm ComicBookGuyMark87, this is my comic blog, and I want to hear from YOU! Thanks.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Punisher: Mother Russia (MAX) Review

Writer: Garth Ennis
Pencils: Dougie Braithwaite
Inks: Bill Reinhold
Colors: Raul Trevino
Letters: Randy Gentile
Cover Art: Tim Bradstreet
Assistant Editor: Cory Sedlmeier
Editor: Axel Alonso
Editor In Chief: Joe Quesada
Publisher: Dan Buckley

Plot: Nick Fury (S.H.I.E.L.D. director) is shown flying to New York City to pick up the "only man in the world who can do this job." The job? Going to Russia to infiltrate a Russian nuclear facility to retrieve a bio chemical weapon of mass destruction. Why? Because, if he can get this weapon, Nick Fury can get S.H.I.E.L.D. back (which, apparently was lost, however this isn't explained in the book). Nick explains to Frank that it's a suicide mission but it has to be done. Frank agrees to do the mission because Nick Fury is just about the only man he respects. The U.S. military gives Frank a partner, Frank works alone, but the partner has to come along, blah blah. You know how this goes. Once dropped into Russia, Frank's told that the "weapon" is a nuclear virus that was injected into a 6 year old girl and she was also injected with the anti virus, which is keeping her alive. The military wants the kid before the anti virus kills the virus, and once Frank and Martin (his partner assigned by the military) get caught, to prevent another cold war, the military had a safeguard in place to stage a terrorist attack on an airplane to prevent the notion of U.S. involvement. Lets not get this twisted, there's a LOT more to this story, but this is a general overview.

The Review: I absolutely LOVED the way the characters were written and how they played off of each other in this book. Nick Fury was a whisky drinkin', whore fuckin', badass. Frank was a bad ass loner. Martin was a typical military jock (as Frank said, "He looks like an action figure."). The military in this book were downright devious. It was chilling to read the plots they had taken to get their hands on this virus. I also loved how they played Frank's past into this story. His daughter died when she was 6, so Frank felt the need to protect this little girl no matter what. This becomes all to clear when Frank discovers that Martin's orders were to kill the girl in order to get the virus. 

The other half of this story was Nick Fury (and S.H.I.E.L.D.) vs. the United States military. Watching Nick Fury take charge of a group of hard asses who want nothing to do with him shows just how high he is on this totem pole. Whenever they get themselves in a pickle, Nick was always there ("And next time you call me, make sure it's important. The girls I like charge $100 an hour."). The end of the story also shows how much of a badass Nick is when he's talking to Frank and Frank questions his fear of being on the U.S. shit list and Fury responds with the snarky remark, "I'm on scarier lists than their's."

The end of this story is what really makes it genius. Watching Frank protect a little girl because it's his second chance of saving his daughter brought a whole new emotion to a Punisher book. Usually you only feel fear, anger, and satisfaction... But in this book, Compassion was the overall emotion. The military discussing how they couldn't save the virus because Punisher wouldn't let anyone stick her with needles, and then Fury asking him why, and he responds with, "I told her I wouldn't let anyone else hurt her." It's something you wouldn't expect Frank to say. Especially after wiping out the entire Russian nuclear plant. 

Overall: This is everything you would expect from a Punisher MAX story and SO much more. Frank Castle and Nick Fury make an amazing team and the Russians make such an amazing enemy... They should've done a spin off on this story alone. It is, BY FAR, my favorite Marvel story, and will be placed in my top 5 comics of all time.

Rating: A. Solid story. Amazing art. 

Until next time comic fans, I'm comicbookguymark87. See 'ya.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Batman: Detective Review

Writers: Paul Dini & Royal McGraw
Artists: Don Kramer, Wayne Faucher, J.H. Williams III, 
                                      Joe Benitez, Victor Llamas, Marcos Marz, & Luciana Del Negro
Colors: John Kalisz
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher & John J. Hill

To those of you who think the one shot is dead: I highly suggest you pick this book up. Six of Detective Comics best one shots, most written by the OG of Batman comics: Paul Dini. The stories included in this book are as follows: The Beautiful People, E. Nigma, Consulting Detectve, Stalked, Night Of The Penguin, The Return Of Doctor Phosphorus, and  Slayride. All of these are done EXTREMELY well. Lets go into each story with a quick summary.

The Beautiful People: The story follows Batman as he takes a lead on a new criminal training everyday citizens to walk among Gotham's elite, how to fit in, and how to rob them without getting caught. Batman (this book is following Bruce Wayne, not Dick Grayson) discovers it to be Facade and, with a little help from Robin (Tim Drake, current Red Robin) takes him down and off the streets. Damn good issue, the only problem I have with it is Bruce Wayne looks HORRIBLE. Outside of that minor problem, the issue is a lot of fun.

E, Nigma, Consulting Detective: Is by far my favorite story out of this book. A murder has taken place and a Bruce Wayne lookalike is involved. Bruce discovers this after a recently reformed criminal, The Riddler, comes to his doorstep to disprove that Bruce could've been the man in the picture. The issue then swerves to Batman working with The Riddler to solve a murder. It was really interesting to watch the interaction, and even better to see the joy come from the Riddler's face when he believes he solved the murder... And even more entertaining after he discovers he was wrong. Pick up this book for this story alone.

Stalked: This story wasn't very interesting to me. I don't like Poison Ivy and have yet to read a story of her's that I like. So, instead of boring you with my extremely biased opinion, I'll skip it.

Night Of The Penguin:  Remember that story up above about Riddler becoming a reformed man? Well this story follows Penguin becoming a reformed man and opening up the Iceberg Lounge. How's the Penguin going to make money? Easy! By cashing in on his criminal record. The highlight of this story comes when Penguin wants to stay legit and Riddler is questioning whether or not they can continue to live the high life without crime. The end of the story shows Batman swoop down and give Penguin the money he had lost in a game of poker after Batman had discovered that the other man was cheating. He then told Penguin to keep his crime to selling overpriced T-shirts and he wouldn't get involved. Overall, another great story.

The Return Of Dr. Phosphorus: Three scientists had talked a fourth into investing in a power plant that exploded and gave Dr, Phosphorus his powers. Three corrupt scientists then kidnap the body of a skeleton radiating radio active energy in hopes to now cash in on the technology they can create from the skeleton. Just one problem: Dr. Phosphorus isn't dead, and he's back to take revenge. This one was a story I didn't think I'd like, at all, but ended up really enjoying. Just a good, straight to the point revenge story, an enemy you can feel bad for, and Batman. What else do you need?

Slayride: The only reason I bought this book. Robin (Tim Drake, current Red Robin) went in to take down some drug dealers and ended up getting caught in a gang war... Luckily a caring citizen stops to help him... Unfortunately, it's The Joker. This story shows Robin tied up in a car while Joker goes on a killing spree. Robin finally escapes and takes Joker down. That's the story. But the way it's played out is the genius of it. This story is a good one if you're like me and a HUGE Tim Drake fan. I'd suggest you grab this book for this story alone also (that's two stories I've said this about... Says something about this book...). 

Overall: This book is a damn good collection of one shots and some of the best Detective Comics has to offer. Paul Dini is, by far, the best writer Batman has had in the last decade (if not more). $14.99 gets you six of the most entertaining comic stories you'll ever read. Go to your LCS tomorrow and pick it up!

Rating: I'll give this book a solid B+ because I had to sit through a Poison Ivy story. Outside of that, this book is amazing. It also renewed my faith in the one shot. If you like this book, be sure to check out Paul Dini's new series: Zatana.

Until next time comic fans, I'm ComicBookGuyMark87 and I just gave you the best damn review on the net! See 'ya.

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Take On: DC Prices Drop

Sorry about the late news guys, been working a little bit. Anyways, DC Comics announced the other day that they will be dropping the price of a standard comic book from the $3.99 price that they implemented when Marvel raised their prices in an attempt to boost revenue. DC will also be dropping the page count from 22 story pages to 20. Also, books that were $2.99 will remain at $2.99 and go down to 20 pages. Marvel announced shortly after that they would be lowering their prices also, but made it sound like it would only apply to new books. The books they have at $3.99 will remain at $3.99 until I hear otherwise.

My take on this: This is great news. It means you, the consumer, will buy more books. While sales raise, DC can then charge more from the advertisments and even get some new endorsements. Hopefully Marvel follows suit and we get a competitive industry again. In the mean time, if you're currently a comic fan, go out and buy some more books to show some support. If you're not a comic fan, now is the time to hop on it!

Until next time, that's my take! Catch you next time - ComicBookGuyMark87.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Who You Should Be Reading: Red Robin (Tim Drake)

Writer: Chris Yost (former), Fabian Nicieza (current)
Artist: Ramon Bachs (former), Marcus To (current)
Editor: Mike Marts
Secret Identities: Dick Grayson (Kingdom Come), Jason Todd (former), Ulysses Armstrong (former), Tim Drake-Wayne (current)
Ongoing series: Red Robin

During the "Search For A Hero" arc, Tim Drake is burned by an explosion. To protect his head while it heals, he uses the Red Robin costume he found in the garbage. After the supposed death of Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson told Tim that the role of Robin was for Batman's student, and he considered Tim an equal. Tim believes Bruce Wayne is alive while the rest of the Bat family believe him to be dead. Tim takes on the role of Red Robin full time so he can "cross lines that Robin couldn't." He goes on a world wide trip to find evidence that Bruce is simply lost in time. Ras al Ghul also believes Bruce to be alive and teams Tim up with the League Of Assassins before Tim defeats him. Tim finds a cave that Bruce had been using as his "lost in time" Batcave and returns to Gotham to share the news. He's now fighting crime in Gotham alongside Batman & Robin while helping the JLA prepare for the return of Bruce Wayne.

Why you should be reading:
  • Chris Yost took Tim to a level never seen before in comics.
  • It ties into Batman and the Vicki Vale story.
  • Fabian Nicieza is the best writer of Tim Drake. Ever. 
  • Tim Drake is the star of this book.
  • It's Tim Drake's turn at becoming his own "Nightwing."
  • Tim's a non powered hero fighting street level crime in the worst city in the world.
  • It's one of the few takes on Gotham not written by Grant Morrison.
  • It establishes Tim Drake as his own character... With his own rogue's gallery.
  • Because Anarky is much more interesting than the Joker.
  • Watching Tim Drake defeat Ras al Ghul is plain bad ass!
Reasons you might not like it:
  • It's not written by Grant Morrison.
  • Fabian Nicieza is a love him or hate him type of writer also.
  • You don't like Tim Drake.
Overall, this IS my favorite monthly book. If you're interested in starting, I suggest tracking down an out of print Robin: Search For A Hero and then hop on issue #13. You'll get caught up in no time. As always, I'd love to hear your opinions on the character. Leave a comment below! Also, let me know what other books you're reading!

Until next time, I'm ComicBookGuyMark87.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Who You Should Be Reading: Azrael (Michael Lane)

Writer: Fabian Nicieza (former), David Hine (current)
Artist: Ramon Bachs (former), Guillem March (current)
Editor: Mike Marts (former), Rachel Gluckstern (current)
Secret Identities: Ludovic Valley (former-deceased), Jean-Paul Valley (former-deceased), Michael Lane (current)
Ongoing title: Azrael

Bio (from


Michael Washington Lane, currently Azrael had a troubled life. He gained a football scholarship to Gotham University as a linebacker, but lost it his sophomore year after beating his coach unconscious. He then joined the marines and served for two tours in Iraq. When he came back to the states, he joined the Gotham City Police Department to provide for his wife and young son. His son was hit by a car and died at age three. His wife committed suicide within a year. Only six months after her death, Michael's two siblings (his last living relatives) were murdered by an apparent Satanic cult. This broke Michael's psyche, and he was dismissed from the GCPD.

Batman R.I.P

Before his string of tragedies, Michael was selected for a joint Military/GCPD experiment that as designed to create someone who could take over for Batman should anything ever happen to him. Michael and two other police officers with military training were put through a series of experiments by scientist Doctor Hurt, which improved their strength and reflexes. The effects of the experiment combined with his personal tragedies made him go insane. Along with the "Bat-Cop" and "Bat-Bane," who also experienced adverse mental effects of Dr. Hurt's program, Lane, nicknamed "Bat-Ghost," plagued Batman for a short while, haunting him for the inadvertent destruction of the three men's lives. He acted as an agent of Doctor Hurt during Batman R.I.P..

Battle for The Cowl

After the death of Batman during Final Crisis, Lane confessed his perceived involvement in Batman's death to Father Day, who was a member of the Order of Purity. Michael was then recruited by the order to be the next Azrael of their order. He was given the flaming Sword of Sin and the Suit of Sorrows, which had driven his predecessor, Abraham Arlington insane after just six weeks of wearing it.
For his first act as Azrael, Michael had to defend himself against Talia al Ghul and her League of Assassins. Talia, who still had possession of the Sword of Sin's sister sword, the Sword of Salvation, wished to retrieve the Suit of Sorrows so that she might give it to her son Damian. Using the added strength of the suit, and his training as Batman's replacement, the new Azrael was able to defeat Talia and her assassins.

  • Fabian Nicieza started the run, which is the only reason I picked up the title in the first place.
  • David Hine picked up after Fabian and took this title to a whole 'nother level. Fabian's strengths are teenage super heroes... David Hine's are supernatural anti-heroes. 
  • The Crusader is, by far, one of the most interesting villains in comics to date. The only characters I find more interesting are Joker, Riddler, and maybe Professor Pyg (yes, I have to give Grant some props on some of his characters).
  • Michael Lane is DC's attempt at creating a relatively well known African American character.
  • A suit that drives a man insane by taunting him with the souls of those the suit has killed, and those that have died while wearing the suit, is one of the most interesting concepts in comic history. It's also interesting to find out that dying in the suit will unlock the suit's power.
  • The Order Of Purity are one of the more mysterious cults in the comic world. It'd be interesting to see Raven have something to do with this and to have Azrael cross over with the Teen Titans.
  • Azrael kills. 
  • The art is simply amazing, and the covers are even better.
  • The Sword Of Sin and the Sword Of Salvation are two very mysterious, and very fun things to read about.
  • This is a very character driven story.
  • David Hine's writing isn't for everyone.
  • Michael Lane's religious views might bother you.
  • A comic book questioning religion might not be your cup of tea.
  • It has too much Batman for a supernatural type story.
  • Michael Lane is very cynical. 
Overall, this is one of my favorite monthly books. If you're interested in seeing what the hype is about, pick up issues 10-current (12 at the moment) and give it a go. Those issues will instantly tell you if Azrael is for you or not. I started the run with Fabian, but I can agree that his run on the book wasn't the best (sorry Fabian). If you're a fan of the character after 10-12, then I suggest picking up 1-9 for a (very brief) back story about Mr. Lane. Give it a go and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Green Arrow

Ok, so I was at my comic shop two or three weeks ago looking for a decent one shot to read. After discovering that the art form of the one shot was dead, I decided to try a title that had just started. One I had enjoyed reading about when he teamed up with Green Lantern, but I never had the urge to read before. Green Arrow was the book, and at the time, it was only on issue #3. I grabbed the first two (the third shipment had been destroyed in transit) and went home, expecting nothing.

All said and done, I read the first two issues and couldn't wait to get issues 3 and 4. I went up today, grabbed them, then added him to my pull. Ollie is a very interesting character. Now, I'm not reading Brightest Day (waiting for them to come out in trade) but I do have a general idea of what's going on.. And I love it.

The story starts with Oliver Queen (Green Arrow) in a mystical forest that grew (overnight) on top of a city that had been destroyed (Star City- Ollie's hometown). Ollie decides he's going to live in the forest as the city has found out that he is Green Arrow and he's the only one who can manage to navigate the forest. A new character emerges and takes over Queen Enterprise after Ollie had, apparently, sold it off. Her first order of business is to create her own storm troopers to patrol the city.

Ollie had saved a girl who was running from some thugs when she ran into his forest. He defeated the thugs and got a nice "thank you" note in the form of an arrow being shot through his head. He was lucky, however, when a knight by the name of Galahad found his body and returned him to the lake in the center of the forest which healed the arrow wound. Galahad explained that it was only natural that a forest that was sprung to life over death could heal a life threatening wound. He then explained to Ollie that he discovered one thing as a knight... That his worst enemy was himself. I have a feeling this will play a bigger role in the coming issues.

Anyways, the woman who bought Queen Enterprise was revealed to be an old lover of Robert Queen (I'm assuming Ollie's dad?) and it went into her back story (very briefly) where she explained that she deserved Queen Enterprise. Down below Queen Tower however, the people of Star City have started a riot between Storm Troopers and citizens. Green Arrow comes in and quickly takes control, saves the city, then goes to a rooftop to meet with who I'm assuming is someone who works with the police and gives him intel. He tells Ollie about a murder that had taken place and gives off a phrase that triggers a memory and Ollie finds out who the killer is. A disguise artist only known as "Mary." She had masks and wigs seen throughout the series to date in her room right as Ollie busted in.

This is where I'm at now. Hopefully you've been reading. If not, where have you been? Grab it now! This book proves that JT Krul can write!

Until next time comic fans, I'm ComicBookGuyMark87!


Hello Blogspot world! My name is Mark Livingston, I'm a 22 year old from Tampa, Fl (currently living in Brandon, Fl) who got into comics (heavily) a little over a year ago. I started writing about my life online on Blurty many years ago, and then LiveJournal became the big website. If you're interested in following my personal life, you can add me at or

Anyways, I picked up my first comic when I was in the fifth grade. It was Ron Marz writing Kyle Rayner as Green Lantern right before he was shot into the past to meet face to face with Hal Jordan. I stopped reading comics altogether after Kyle left Jade in charge while he went on to reform the Corp. My interest peaked again after the movie V For Vendetta when I went out and bought the book instantly. I didn't get back into comics until after The Dark Knight came out. After that, I grabbed as many trade paperbacks that I could get my hands on involving Batman.

I've since found a shop I regularly go to (Read More Comics - Brandon, Fl), found a couple of books I follow, a few writers I love, and a few stories I feel compelled to share. I hope to help spread the word about some of my favorite, and least favorite, books to a larger audiance than I typically do on a daily basis. I started this blog because I saw a large hole as far as websites dedicated to personal opinions of comics. You'll see me on CBR as maniacthw, penciljack under maniacthw, and around the internet, usually under the same name. Under this paragraph I'll post my collection, my favorite books, my pull list, favorite writers, etc. I want this to be an awesome blog for an awesome cause, Lets get this started:

The Collection:(Trade paperbacks & graphic novels)
V For Vendetta - Alan Moore
Punisher (MAX): In The Beginning - Garth Ennis
Punisher (MAX): Irish Kitchen - Garth Ennis
Punisher (MAX): Mother Russia - Garth Ennis
Punisher (MAX): Up Is Down & Black Is White - Garth Ennis
Preacher: Gone To Texas - Garth Ennis
Preacher: Until The End Of The World - Garth Ennis
Preacher: Proud Americans - Garth Ennis
Preacher: Ancient History - Garth Ennis
Y: The Last Man: Unmanned - Vaughan
Y: The Last Man: Cycles - Vaughan
Fables: Legends In Exile - Willingham
Batman: Detective - Dini
Batman: Year One - Miller
Batman: The Long Halloween - Loeb
Batman: Dark Victory - Loeb
Batman: Under The Hood vol 1 & 2 - Winick
Batman: A Death In The Family - Starlin
Batman: Officer Down - Multiple writers
Batman: RIP - Morrison
Batman: Batman & Son - Morrison
Batman: Turning Points - Multiple writers
Batman: The Killing Joke - Moore
Robin: Year One - Dixon
Robin: Search For A Hero - Nicieza
Nightwing: Love And War - Wolfman
Nightwing: Mobbed Up - Grayson (haha! Get it?)
Teen Titans: A Kid's Game - Johns
Teen Titans: Family Lost - Johns
Teen Titans: Beast Boys & Girls - Johns
Green Lantern: Rebirth - Johns
Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War vol 1 - Johns
Green Lantern: Rage Of The Red Lanterns - Johns
Witchblade:  Vol. 1 - Marz
Iron Man: With Iron Hands - Moore

Single issues
Red Robin #1-5, 7-9, 11-16
Azrael #1-12
Batman & Robin #1
Flash #1&2
Green Arrow #1&2
Green Lantern #98&99
Detective Comics #608, 868
Batman: Year Three #1-4
Batman #703
Battle For The Cowl: Commissioner Gordon #1, Batman Alive #1
Brave And The Bold: Atom And The Joker
Joker's Asylum II: The Riddler #1Destroyer (MAX) #1 (of 5)
Time Masters: Vanishing Point #1 (of 6)
Zatana #1-5

My Pull List (what I get every month)
Green Arrow
Red Robin
And I might be adding Zatana. Still on the fence here.

Favorite Writers I'll pick up just about any book with one of these names on them:
Fabian Nicieza
David Hine
Paul Dini
Chuck Dixon
Garth Ennis

Top 5 Favorite TPBs
5 Punisher (MAX): Mother Russia - Garth Ennis
4 Green Lantern: Rebirth - Geoff Johns
3 Batman: Detective - Paul Dini
2 Robin: Search For A Hero - Fabian Nicieza
1 V For Vendetta - Alan Moore

Ok, hopefully you all got a taste of what I like. I'll be adding news, reviews, upcoming releases, etc to this blog as it picks up steam. Hopefully I get some followers on here to discuss these books with me. I'll also get a YouTube channel going eventually once I get everything together. Hopefully my blog helps you find some new characters you wouldn't normally check out, and hopefully you guys help me check out some new characters also. Now leave me some comments and introduce yourself. Leave a few suggestions for books everyone should check out and tell me what's on your pull.

Until next time, I'm ComicBookGuyMark87. I'll see you then!