Comics – Iron Man Disassembled

1 11 2007

Iron Man Disassembled

Originally uploaded by SWFToys

Iron Man Disassembled was a comic I bought following the excellent Thor Disassembled and the good Avengers Disassembled. Unfortunately, its contents wasn’t near anywhere as intriguing although there was some connection to Avengers Disassembled.

The first story sees Tony Stark heading to the Avengers Mansion upon learning about a secret project his father had undertaken for the government. He suits up as Iron Man and heads to… the basement of the mansion to look for a super giant robot sealed within its walls. And it was meant to be a secret operation without the knowledge of other Avengers present in the mansion. I just found the story rather lame. It’s like a killer going back to the scene of a crime crawling with police. (Only Jack Bauer is capable to pull this off convincingly.)

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Comics: House of M

26 10 2007

House of M TPB

Originally uploaded by SWFToys

Here’s a long overdue follow-up to my Avengers Disassembled read some months back. I had originally intended to follow the post Avengers Disassembled storyline closely but gave up Captain America Disassembled and Iron Man Disassembled turned out not quite the good read as Avengers Disassembled. Hmm… that was quite a few ‘Disassembled’ in the last sentence… humph!

Those following the story from Avengers Disassembled would have guessed that the ‘M’ in House of M refers to Magneto since his daughter, the Scarlet Witch, was the cause of some catastrophic events at the Avengers Mansion. She had suffered a mental breakdown and had used her powers to alter reality in an attempt to recreate her children. In its essence, it’s really a sad situation. The temptation to re-animate our loved ones who had passed on would have been real for all man – not only mutants. The difference is that non-mutants have to accept and deal with the loss.

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Comics – Planetary Vol 1: All Over The World And Other Stories

12 10 2007

Planetary Vol 1: All Over The World And Other Stories

Originally uploaded by SWFToys
Here’s another one of my ‘try-outs’ of comic titles that were flagged with a recommendation by comic readers on the Internet. Written by Warren Ellis, who created The Authority, and penciled by John Cassaday. Planetary was a title notoriously plagued with delays due to the commitments of its creators.

Nevertheless, I am glad to have picked up volume 1 which I found to be a good combo of a refreshing read and great artwork. The premise of Planetary has it that a mysterious organisation exists to investigate the secret history & phenomenon of the world. This well-funded organisation operates with a super-hero field team which carries out the investigation work on the respective sites.

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Comics – Transformers: War Within Vol 2

18 09 2007

Transformers: War Within Vol 2

Originally uploaded by SwFToys

Here’s Volume 2 of Transformers: War Within written by Simon Furman and drawn by Andrew Wildman. The story in War Within Vol 2 does not follow immediately after Vol 1. I’m not sure what is the time gap but there are significant changes to the Transformers factions. Optimus Prime and Megatron had disappeared after an accident leaving the Autobots and Decepticons leaderless.

And expected, the two factions fragmented, each with their own leaders. It was quite confusing to me initially as I had not idea of the story’s setting. Prowl was heading the Autobots, Starscream led the Predacons(isn’t that the name of one of the Decepticon combiner groups?), the Decepticons came under Shockwave and Grimlock commandeered a group with a creative name – Lightning Strike Coalition. And Bludgeon headed another called Chaos Trinity. That’s a lot of group names to take in right at the start.

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Comics – Identity Crisis

22 08 2007

Identity Crisis

Originally uploaded by SWFToys

This TPB has been lying around in my shelf for sometime. It was competing with other titles (such as Planetary, Transformers, etc.) which had considerable less words on their covers. Ha. The power of marketing the cover art huh? Anyway, it was a mistake not to read DC Comics’ Identity Crisis. It was truly a fantastic read!

Identity Crisis also exposed my lopsided knowledge between the Marvel and DC universe. I definitely was more familiar with the Marvel universe. When it came to the DC Universe, characters other than Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Flash really fascinated me in a way reminiscent of the excitement I had in my childhood days when I first picked up a new comic title. There were simply so many DC universe characters that I’ve seen on the surface but never got acquainted.

I remember Firestorm in the far reaches of my memory although I do not know what has happened to him since. I’ve always seen Hawkman behind Superman or Batman but have no idea his name was Carter. And I had lost track of the persons assuming the Green Lantern, Robin and Nightwing mantles.

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Comics – Transformers: War Within Vol 1

4 08 2007

Transformers: War Within Vol 1

Originally uploaded by swftoys
If you’ve always wondered what Optimus Prime’s occupation was before he became leader of the Autobots, War Within is the comic you should pick up. Written by Simon Furman and pencilled by Dan Figueroa, Transformers: War Within is set some 4 million years before Transformers came to Earth. 4 million years! Optimus was Prime for a substantially long time!

And to answer the earlier question – clerk. Yes, Optimus was a clerk on Cybertron before he was given the mantle of Prime by the council. To be accurate, his designation on Cybertron then was an ‘archivist’. And the weird thing was he was a big lumbering-looking non-combat transformer sitting behind the desk.

And since the setting of this story is pre-Earth, all the Transformers appear in their Cybertronian form. Optimus’ alternate mode was an equally massive vehicle. However, the most alarmingly huge fella was Grimlock. Figueroa had one of his arms three times the width of his head! He was massive! Power is therefore implied!

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Comics – Batman: The Long Halloween

2 07 2007

Batman: The Long Halloween

Originally uploaded by swftoys
Here’s a much fan touted Batman title that I’ve always wanted to pick up but was rather hard to spot on shelves until recently. Batman: The Long Halloween is apparently a very good read for many. And I finally got a taste of its contents. After my first session of reading, I can confidently say I can vouch for its excellent content!

Written and illustrated by the excellent team of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, The Long Halloween was a 13 issue comice series that told the tale of a serial killer known only as Holiday nailing down mafia characters vigilante style…. and on holidays. Yes, Christmas Day, 4th of July and Halloween, you name it and Batman and Detective Gordon have a mystery to solve instead of ending work early on days most of Gotham would be having a break.

The story in The Long Halloween is certainly one of the best I’ve read for a Batman trade. Although it visits the usual premise of a crime riddled Gotham, the spotlight is on problems caused by humans. Not by Joker, Scarecrow or other Batman’s enemies. In fact, these characters play a secondary role with some of them becoming hired guns of a man who wielded a vice-like grip on Gotham. And he is none other than the mafia boss – Carmine “The Roman” Falcone.

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