Robert J. Baden

Robert J. Baden (197)

TMNT Annual 2012Annual issues are really interesting, as they tend to be longer than normal comic books and give stories that are directly related to what’s been going on in the main issues over the past year. A lot of annuals I’ve read give a story that has to be read in order to continue with a specific storyline in the main issues, but the 2012 issue of TMNT is very different; this is a stand-alone, which can be read all on its own while still adding to the overall flavor of the continuity. It was a nice “break” from the rest of the stories in the TMNT titles and allowed me to see more into the underbelly of the various baddies in the TMNT universe. I’d say “go green machine,” but given that it’s in black and white, I don’t think it would apply; oh, well—“go newspaper grey machine?”

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hourou-musuko-01It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to read manga, having spent a good bit of time—and money—perusing the Japanese art form many years ago.  But, at the near insistence of one of my best friends, I started reading a series that not only had I never heard of, but is still in production.  I have tried to avoid current ongoing titles simply because I hate waiting for new releases from overseas—and I certainly can’t read kanji worth an Imperial credit chit—but this series drew my attention right away because of the subject matter:

Two school kids wanting to be the opposite gender of their genetically-born ones, because that’s who they really are.

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SW Agent of the EmpireHe believes in the order that the Empire has brought to the galaxy and kills to protect it in the name of his Emperor.  Moving around under the cloak of being a diplomatic envoy, he defends against those who seek to disrupt the ideals that Palpatine and his chief lieutenants have implemented throughout known space.  He’s often described as a rogue element, going against the wishes of his superior in order to mete out justice against those who oppose his sense of duty and fulfillment.  He is Jahan Cross, agent of the Empire, and someone you don’t want to cross.

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Ghostbusters 100PageSpooktacularI’ve never read any Ghostbusters comics before, because I wasn’t sure if I’d be interested in it, but I figured it was worth finally giving it a show—and let me just say, I’m glad I did.  The storytelling and artwork were fantastic, and I have a feeling I’m going to investigate more Ghostbusters titles for my future reading.  Just what I need, yet another comic series to follow. Darn you, IDW!

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Avengers vs. X-MenI’m not the biggest fan of crossovers, especially when it becomes a company-wide event such as Marvel’s previous Secret Invasion, Fear Itself, or Siege storylines, because it tends to require me to read a lot of titles that I normally have no interest in, and don’t know the full background of, just in order to get the entire experience of the storyline.  However, considering I already read Avengers and X-Men titles, it was harder for me to ignore the AvX event, and so I took on the task of reading it all for review purposes.


Sadly, I wasn’t surprised by the majority of the storyline—it was pretty easy to see where certain characters would fall in regards to the division amongst the heroes—but there were a couple of surprises that really threw me for a loop, and the consequences of the event will forever change the Marvel Universe (or at least that’s what Marvel NOW! proponents keep saying).

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tmnt 2012New on the Tube is a series devoted to reviewing relatively new television shows and determining how they may (or may not) appeal to their intended audiences, where the shows are going, and what can be done to make them better.
 

Show Premise: 


15-year-old turtles with ninjutsu skills decide to take on the world above their New York sewer home, but end up coming into conflict with groups and individuals who wish to do them harm.  In the midst of it all, they befriend a teenaged girl named April, as well as learn more about their mysterious past and how certain elements have had a hand in their development since the very beginning.  Full of impatience, dangerous martial abilities, and the will to change things for the better, they become “heroes in a half-shell.”  The show airs on Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. (Eastern) on Nickelodeon.

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Arrow TVFive years after being stranded on an island in the China Sea, Oliver Queen—the sole survivor of his father’s cruise ship—is rescued and returned to his home of Sterling City.  He is very different, having survived off the land on his skills and wits, and plans on righting the wrongs that set his father on a path to destruction.  Armed with his tenacity, archery skills, and a willingness to change things for the better, he plans on taking on the scum of the city while continuing to portray the charismatic playboy that he’s so famous for.



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BW Dr. M 2The comic book event of the summer is nigh!  Before Watchmen, the much-anticipated prequel series to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen, will consist of seven limited series and an epilogue one-shot.  Stay tuned, as the Fanboy Comics crew will be reviewing each title as it is released. Hurm.


Reflecting once again upon the fact that I’m not a fan of the original Watchmen series, my faith in J. Michael Straczynski’s skills is what prompted me to keep reading this particular series, even though is starting to wane a bit.  Issue #1 left some really prominent questions in regards to Dr. Manhattan’s origins and how they relate to the greater series created by Alan Moore, but I’m afraid that the writing from this issue really doesn’t do the previous one justice.  Throughout the issue, I was hoping for something that would set this once apart, that would really draw my attention to keep reading, but most of the time I just ended up wondering when I would get to the end of the book.  I’m disappointed, JMS; I expected more from you.



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Go OnNew on the Tube is a series devoted to reviewing relatively new television shows and determining how they may (or may not) appeal to their intended audiences, where the shows are going, and what can be done to make them better.
 

Show Premise: 


Ryan King, a sports radio talk show host, has recently lost his wife to a car accident.  His coworkers want him to get help from group therapy in dealing with his loss, but he doesn’t want to focus on the situation and move on.  As he integrates into the group sessions, he offers his own brand of advice to the others going through loss and ends up allowing his life to change through hesitancy and challenges.  The show airs on Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. (Eastern) on NBC.

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Spider-MenI’m a fan of Spider-Man—this is nothing new to people who have read my reviews before, or to the people who know me—but I’m not the largest fan of crossovers.  So, when I heard that there was going to be a crossover between mainstream Marvel Spider-Man (grown-up Peter Parker) and Ultimate Marvel Spider-Man (Miles Morales), I wasn’t sure what to expect. Then, I found out that Brian Michael Bendis was doing the writing, and I changed my tune.

Two heroes meeting together for the first (and perhaps only time) in continuity, taking on the good fight to defeat a common enemy. What couldn’t be more enjoyable?

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