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Make sure you check out 3 Chicks Review Comics this week as we’ve got the absolutely delightful Brian Wood joining us for a big interview. There’s also some juicy information after the credits about a special project I’m working on. Enjoy!

Hey, kids. There’s a new She Has No Head! up today, all about recommendations for great Black Widow reading.

Head on over and check it out.

A new 3 Chicks Review Comics is up with a double-sized interview with the delightful Kelly Sue DeConnick. Check it out!

Saucer Country #3

“Paul Cornell and Ryan Kelly’s “Saucer Country” continues to surprise me in a variety of ways, including how the main character takes a backseat this issue. After the focus of the story being primarily on Governor Alvarado for the first two issues, she’s in less than a dozen panels of “Saucer Country” #3 as we shift primarily to two of the side characters. It’s a good move that builds things nicely and begins already tying things together in a way that feels layered and well considered…”

Conan The Barbarian #4

“Becky Cloonan is some big shoes to fill. So it’s even more impressive that James Harren is able to pick up art chores so beautifully on the new arc for Brian Wood’s “Conan The Barbarian” #4. Wood continues the story of Conan and his queen Bêlit with the beginning of new arc “The Argos Deception” and he smartly writes this issue in a way that isn’t boring for continuing readers and easy to follow for those who might want to jump on now…”

AvX: VS #2

“AVX: VS” #2 is the second book in this six-issue limited series focusing on “off-panel” battles during the “Avengers vs. X-Men” crossover. The book is split in half with creative team Steve McNiven, John Dell and Morry Hollowell handling the Captain America versus Gambit section; and creative team Kieron Gillen, Salvador Larocca and Jim Charalampidis picking up the Spider-Man versus Colossus/Juggernaut segment…”

Hey, kids!

So I’ve been really sick, which is why you got no 3 Chicks and no She Has No Head! today. But I hope to be back with a new column next week, and 3 Chicks will be back soon as well.

In the meantime, here are some things I did prior to getting sick (and while sick). Enjoy!

Last week for She Has No Head! I wrote about the Avengers and the superheroine movies I’d like to see now that Joss Whedon has shown me that superheroines can be done right on the big screen. I even casted them – what more could you want?

I also put up a detailed Joss Whedon piece on Lit Reactor last week called “Can Joss Whedon Save The Superheroine?”

If you have any interest in writing, catch up on my Long & Winding Road pieces over on Lit Reactor, because Part III goes up next week!

I also participated in a Wonder Woman Roundtable over at Hooded Utilitarian. There are some amazing pieces up there, and here’s mine (which is less amazing): Wonder Woman: It’s In Her DNA (although Adam correctly pointed out that I should have called it “Wonder Woman makes a nice foot cushion”  I’m thinking of renaming my entire site that.

I only did two reviews for CBR last week thanks to illness but here they are in case you missed them:

The Walking Dead #97

Uncanny X-Force #25

Also, if you haven’t picked up Womanthology or Chicks Dig Comics yet (both of which I’m in!) then you should do that now. Greg Burgas has a nice review up of Womanthology…Greg doesn’t pull punches so you know he’s being straight with you. I’ve rarely been mentioned in the great reviews that have been coming in for Chicks Dig Comics, no real surprise there considering the company I’m in, but Tor.com mentioned my piece, which was an awesome moment.

I’m also WAY behind on Drunk Cover Solicits. But I should be able to do it this weekend…do not despair!

Also, I may be having some very cool original art to show you guys this week…so stay tuned.

There’s a new 3 Chicks Review Comics up on CSBG. Head on over to hear reviews of Rachel Rising #7, B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth: The Long Death #3, as well as an interview with the uber talented Saga artist Fiona Staples.

New She Has No Head! went up on Monday. All about Dennis Hopeless and Jamie McKelvie’s excellent X-Men: Season One.  Check it out!

I’ve got a new piece up on Lit Reactor about the importance and advantages of following creators, not publishers or characters, especially when it comes to comic books. Check it out!

All my CBR Reviews are up already this week, and I got some great books in the draft…check them out!

Wolverine & The X-Men #9

“Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo’s “Wolverine & The X-Men” #9, despite being a tie-in book to the massive “Avengers vs. X-Men” crossover still maintains its identity. It also remains a pretty good book, which is no small feat when getting swallowed by such a gigantic idea so early in its existence.

Aaron continues to use his characters in smart ways and he has such a diverse and interesting cast at his disposal that he can lean heavily on how compelling everyone is, regardless of the very weak plot he’s given…”

Rachel Rising #7

“Terry Moore’s “Rachel Rising” #7 is a great comic book, and as Moore ratchets up the stakes and body count (neither of which I thought could get much higher) the book becomes even more layered and mysterious.

A couple issues ago a plot point struck me as a bit too cliché to work well in “Rachel Rising” but Moore redeems himself in this issue by creating a scene with the newly deceased Jet that absolutely makes your skin crawl in horrible anticipation, resolving itself into something absolutely unexpected and almost sweet. It’s a wonderful reversal and the kind of thing we see far too little of in even the smartest comics…”

Birds of Prey #8

“Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz’s “Birds of Prey” has been a smart mix of superhero and crime comics with a lot of moving pieces and solid character development. Issue #8 continues that tradition and delivers an intriguing piece of the Birds’ story as we head into “Night of Owls” crossover territory next month.

Swierczynski has proven in his “Birds of Prey” run that he likes to jump around in time, but he does it so cleverly in this issue, it’s hard to fault him for using what works. His reveals pace out nicely and at the end of this issue we get a peek at Dinah’s big secret that he’s been teasing us with since issue #1…”

As always, likes and retweets are much appreciated and you can read all of my CBR Reviews here.

After far too long a hiatus, Sue and I are back with a new 3 Chicks Review Comics and a very special guest star – novelist and comics writer Marjorie Liu! We also have an all new Chick of the Week, two new comic book reviews, and a whole slew of chit chat to get caught up on!

Head on over and check it out, or subscribe via iTunes so you never miss an episode.

I read some great damn comic books this week and got to review some of the best of them for CBR:

Saga #2

“Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples “Saga” #2 by some miracle manages to live up to and possibly outdo the fantastic double-sized first issue. Equal parts divine character development and brisk plotting, this book continues to remind me that so many of my other comics are really unremarkable…”

Glory #25

“Joe Keatinge and Ross Campbell deliver a pleasantly surprising third issue in “Glory” #25, subverting what many readers might have expected and cranking the stakes up dramatically.  While Campbell’s powerful and unflinching visuals remain the star of this book, Keatinge’s story is taking a nicely unexpected turn, propelling us 500 years into the future (in a prophetic dream) and then yanking us back to the present with a doozy of a plot twist. The opening notes of a “new” superhero series are critical and it’s unfortunate that so many takes (and executions) feel so stale, but this is bold and unapologetic in the things it says about our characters and the paths they find themselves on…”

Northlanders #50

“Brian Wood’s grand saga “Northlanders,” set in the Viking Age, comes to an end with this month’s “Northlanders” #50. Bringing to a close his 9-part “Icelandic Trilogy” with art by Danijel Zezelj and colors by Dave McCraig, Wood delivers the same monumental and yet incredibly relatable stories he has brought throughout this series and it’s a loss to readers everywhere that is has all come to an end…”

As always, likes and retweets are much appreciated and you can read all of my CBR reviews thus far here.

Woo. Been very busy. Here’s some stuff I’ve been up to, please check out anything that appeals to you! 🙂

I wrote about The Hunger Games for Lit Reactor. It went up yesterday and it’s a “Book vs. Film” piece…so you just know that’s going to be fun!

Oh yeah, I reviewed some book you guys might have heard about – Avengers vs. X-Men #1 — for CBR, it’s up now.

I wrote a review last week for CBR for The New Deadwardians #1, which was excellent, and I urge you to check out the book.

I also wrote a review for Daredevil #10, which if you’re not on board with already, you should get on now! Very good stuff.

I was a guest on the excellent Hideous Energy podcast last week to talk more about Wonder Woman #7 and a bunch of other awesome (and not awesome) things – it’s one of my favorite podcasts yet – so please give a listen!

All of you know how I love (and hate) comic book covers, so if you haven’t already, make sure to check out this week’s She Has No Head! which features 25 of the best superheroine comic covers of the past year.

OH! And I got this 100 kinds of awesome nomination from Hooded Utilitarian for “Best Online Comics Criticism for 2012”…I’m pretty much in there among giants, so it’s just an honor to be mentioned in the same post with them.

I’ve mentioned before that I have an essay called “I am Sisyphus, and I am Happy” in the new book Chicks Dig Comics from Mad Norwegian Press, a certain 3 Chicks Review Comics co-host also has a piece in the book and we are sandwiched in there with some truly epic people including Gail Simone, Jill Thompson, Colleen Doran, Marjorie Liu, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid, Jen Van Meter, Carla Speed McNeil, Terry Moore, Jill Pantozzi, and so many more! So check that out if you haven’t already – it releases on April 10th.

Oh, and a new Audioshocker “Podcast with Ross & Nick” is up – I chat with Nick and Ross about “continuous on-tap properties” and fans reactions to them.

 

And of COURSE you all have your copies of Womanthology, right?!

If you’ve been waiting for Womanthology, now’s your day! Womanthology should be in your local comic book stores today – so make sure to hunt it down!

You can also buy it online, but it won’t be released there until 3/27.

You can read a preview of Womanthology (including my story “Superless Hero” with phenomenal art by Stephanie Hans in full HERE.

And here are some early reviews (several of which mention “SuperLess Hero” – woo!) of Womanthology:

Fanboy Comics

Word Of The Nerd

Comtemplatrix

Comic Booked

DC Women Kicking Ass

Also out this week – and a MUST read is:

Saga #1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, and I wrote a detailed review of it here on Lit Reactor:

And don’t forget to pick up this completely mind-blowing issue of Buffy – Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season Nine #7, which I gave 4.5 stars on CBR. The review is mostly free of spoilers, unless you didn’t know about that one thing that was spoiled for all of us a couple months ago.

In fact, this is really a great week for comics…you should also be picking up Paul Cornell and Ryan Kelly’s Saucer Country #1, Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan’s Conan The Barbarian #2, Ross Campbell and Joe Keatinge’s Glory #24, Jason Aaron and Nick Bradshaw’s Wolverine & The X-Men #7, J.H. Williams III, Haden Blackman, and Amy Reeder’s Batwoman #7 (get these Reeder issues while you can!), Though I am behind on Greg Rucka’s Punisher that is also out this week and worth the pick up, as well as The Ray #4, and Powers #9. AND the final (long awaited) issue of Marjorie Liu and Phil Noto’s X-23, which I’ll be reviewing for CBR this week.

I wrote an advance review of Saga #1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples for Lit Reactor.

Head on over and check it out. Please retweet, comment, and like as if there’s no tomorrow! 🙂

A new 3 Chicks Review Comics is up! Sue and I do an advance review of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga #1. We also talk about Grace Randolph’s Supurbia #1. And then there’s a “magical question bonus round!”

 

Been just swamped over here, folks, but wanted to link to the last two weeks of CBR Reviews.

Friends With Boys

“Faith Erin Hicks’ “Friends With Boys” is her best work to date, an engaging beautifully illustrated black and white coming of age story about a girl going to her first year of public school after years of home schooling and the recent disappearance of her mother. Hicks story is surprisingly bold. While on the surface it’s a simple story of a girl named Maggie, her three older brothers and their strange family situation (her mother has just left them), there’s a bizarre supernatural element that pays off in unexpected ways…”

Fairest #1

“Fairest,” Bill Willingham’s latest “Fables” spinoff series with art by Phil Jimenez promises a lot of beautiful ladies with its title and Adam Hughes cover, but what you’ll find inside is a bit surprising. While the title and the cover suggest this issue will be focused on Briar Rose, we spend most of the issue meeting Ali Baba (Prince of Theives) and his non-genie of the lamp, Jonah…”

Green Wake #10

“Although “Green Wake” #10 unfortunately brings the series to a close, Kurtis Wiebe does an excellent job of making it feel as if this was his plan all along. Morley gets to the heart of Green Wake quite literally in this final issue and makes a risky decision with ramifications for all the citizens of Green Wake, past, present and future.  Wiebe has a very specific vision for “Green Wake” and you can feel his uncompromising devotion to it as his tale draws to its conclusion. He unravels his mysteries nicely but rarely says anything outright — both a strength and a weakness…”

Supurbia #1

“Grace Randolph and Russell Dauterman’s “Supurbia” #1 is very interesting. It’s hard to know if it can deliver on all its promise, but this first issue is a bizarrely intriguing blend of traditional superhero comics and “The Stepford Wives,” with a dash of “The Real Housewives” series from Bravo thrown in for modern flavor.  Randolph’s idea is lots of fun, focusing on the “women behind the supermen.” If they were less interesting women it could have been a disaster, but Randolph chooses her cast well, which helps to offset the idea that these women (and one man) are not the actual superheroes of the story, even if they are the stars…”

Avengers Academy #27

“Christos Gage and Karl Moline wrestle with a massive roster of characters as the entire “Runaways” cast guest stars in “Avengers Academy” #27. Looking for help locating Old Lace, their lost dinosaur, The Runaways come knocking at Avengers Academy and quite naturally get into a fight. The fighting scene is expected; given superheroes too frequently default to fists first to settle disagreements. Plus, The Runaways have been treated poorly by the superhero community in the past and the Avengers Academy students aren’t the most level-headed group out there…”

Angel & Faith #7

“Angel & Faith” #7 is the first issue of the series that hasn’t really hit the mark for me. It’s still a solid book, but it’s just not ringing true enough to give it the emotional punch of the first arc. Christos Gage has a good handle on both Angel and Faith’s voices and personalities, enough so it was clear to readers something was going on with Angel’s personality and that continues here. However, on the plotting front this feels a bit weak. The second installment of this new arc, titled “Daddy Issues” is set up to parallel both Angel and Faith’s relationships to or as fathers…”

Avengers #23

“Avengers” #23 is not a bad comic book, but given the stakes and the players on the field it should be so much more. In this issue, The Avengers attempt to escape the clutches of Norman Osborne’s H.A.M.M.E.R. while Viper negotiates with the U.S. Government, using the kidnapped Avengers as their bargaining chip. Brian Michael Bendis finds some great funny moments for his characters in this issue, the kind of good chuckles that make comics fun. Unfortunately, beyond those funny moments and a decent escape scene toward the end, there is so much missed opportunity and the issue is ultimately disappointing…”

As always likes and retweets are much appreciated and you can read all my CBR Reviews here!

So, I’ve begun writing columns for Lit Reactor, a really great site for writers (and readers) that’s full of wonderful columns, as well as resources for writers.  I’ll be primarily writing about comics, tag teaming it with another columnist.  However, I’ll also be writing a series of essays about my experiences with my novel and getting an agent, so for those of you interested in that aspect of my work, those pieces might be something a little different.

My first piece, titled 10 Graphic Novels For The Literary Minded went up today, so check it out now.  Next week will see the first installment of my essay about publication (or lack thereof!).  So follow Lit Reactor on twitter, and keep your eyes peeled for my pieces.

Thanks everyone!

A new 3 Chicks Review Comics is up!

In this episode we review two great Dark Horse books – Conan The Barbarian #1 by Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan and the new B.P.R.D. by Mignola, Arcudi, and Harren.  We also interview the lovely Faith Erin Hicks about her new book Friends With Boys.  Sue picks Chick of the Week and we both chat about a variety of things, including the craziness that came out of my last She Has No Head! column. Check it out!

 

So here are a few CBR reviews I didn’t link to from last week and this week.  Enjoy!

Wolverine & The X-Men #6

“Jason Aaron and Nick Bradshaw’s “Wolverine & The X-Men” #6 continues this excellent series with the same high energy and confident storytelling we’ve seen in the first five issues.  Aaron has made his book an action packed and wild ride never skimping on character development. He does more with character in a few lines than most writers can do in pages. It’s a deft skill to never sacrifice character development for plot while simultaneously never sacrificing plot for character development…”

B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth: The Long Death #1

“B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth: The Long Death” #1 by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi and James Harren kicks off another fantastic mini-series with a story focused on Agent Johann Kraus. Like all Mignola’s excellent books in the Hellboy universe, “The Long Death” stands nicely on its own for both veterans and new readers, making it a powerful beginning to a must-read mini…”

Winter Soldier #2

“Winter Soldier” #2 by Ed Brubaker and Butch Guice is a wonderful noir espionage mix with a breakneck pace. It’s a story playing to both Brubaker and Guice’s strengths as writer and artist and the result is an exciting new book for Marvel. Brubaker is at his best in this issue with effortlessly cool dark and dirty spy capers. James and Natasha fit the roles of espionage agents perfectly and Brubaker has a great handle on both their voices. The premise for the book plays to both Brubaker’s and his characters’ strengths and the concept is firing on all cylinders…”

Birds of Prey #6

“Birds of Prey” #6 by Duane Swierczynski and Javier Pina is a good comic book but a step down from what we’ve seen for the past five issues. It’s unfortunately timed, as this issue seems like the penultimate issue of the first arc.  Swierczynski’s “Birds of Prey” has been a rollicking ride full of jumps forward and backward in time, tons of mystery, action and a beautiful amount of character development — including the introduction of a fantastic new hero in Starling. Unfortunately, this issue feels like a misstep as too much of the mystery is unloaded through info-dump talking heads. It’s never ideal from a storytelling point of view and feels completely counter to everything Swierczynski has done thus far…”

Some CBR Reviews from last week, and this week.  A lot of 4 stars in here!

Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season Nine #6

ALSO! I was quoted in an article on the latest issue of Buffy on The Guardian.  Check it out – so cool!

“Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season Nine” #6 is a bold comic. Full stop.

The people in charge of this book — creators, editors and behind-the-scenes puppet masters (that’s you, Joss Whedon) — deserve huge credit for tackling the sensitive and controversial subject of abortion with unflinching honesty and realism. Like many fans, I worried when Buffy was revealed to be pregnant in last month’s issue. I worried that the creators would avoid the potentially polarizing “A-word” as even an option. Instead, they did exactly the opposite, attacking the topic head on and devoting an entire issue to Buffy considering all her options, including abortion…”

Conan The Barbarian #1

“My interest in reading a”Conan The Barbarian” comic is right around zero (despite secretly being a fan of the movies). However, when you tell me that comic is going to be written by Brian Wood and drawn by Becky Cloonan, I suddenly have a completely different idea of what that Conan The Barbarian story might be like. I was not disappointed…”

Rachel Rising #5

“Terry Moore continues to pile on the mysteries and body count in his latest comic “Rachel Rising,” a dark horror-based story following a woman who may or may not be dead.  In this issue, Rachel spends some time with her Aunt Johnny, her best friend Jet, and Dr. Siemen, who has been invited to dinner because he signed the papers that got Rachel out of the morgue. Siemen is also the only person with an actual theory on Rachel: she’s no longer Rachel but Ma Malai, a.k.a. The Angel of Death. Meanwhile, Zoe, the young girl who killed her sister and buried her in the same dry riverbed where Rachel woke up days ago, has been checked into a hospital and then assigned to a foster family with evil intentions…”

Dark Horse Presents #8

“A great anthology is worth its weight in gold, largely because any anthology is going to be a certain amount of hit and miss. With creators like Mike Mignola, Brian Wood, Evan Dorkin, Jill Thompson, Duncan Fegredo, Kristian Donaldson, and Dave Stewart involved in “Dark Horse Presents” #8, it’s no surprise that this is issue is far more hit than miss..”

Fatale #2

“Fatale” #2 is prettier and cooler than any single comic has a right to be. It’s also smart and engrossing and oh so good. If only more comics could be as good as “Fatale”. . .

In this issue, we learn more about the mysterious Josephine as the issue continues to take place in the past. We learn Josephine’s connection to Nicolas’ godfather, Dominic Raines, and the supernatural hints begin to come, including what allows Josephine to never age. The story of Josephine, Raines, Walter and the mysterious “Mr. Bishop” unfolds, like any great noir crime story, with delightfully dark complications. This issue ends on a great cliffhanger (that I will not spoil) which is just unexpected enough to keep you wanting more. Lots more…”

As always likes and retweets are much appreciated and you can read all my CBR Reviews thus far here!

THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING

THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING

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