Monday, August 30, 2010


Devin Grayson
Phil Hester, Cliff Chiang, Brad Walker, Wellington Alves; Marcos Marz
Ande Parks, Rodney Ramos; Edde Wagner
Gregory Wright
Phil Balsman, Pat Brosseau, Rob Leigh; Travis Lanham
Phil Hester, Ande Parks with Guy Major

DC Comics

I have to start the review by saying a few things about former Robin and in this collection Nightwing = Dick Grayson.  I'm a really big fan and always have been of the youngest of The Flying Graysons and his masked idenity of Nightwing is one of my all time favorite superheroes but I am not a fan of Dick becoming and I've read now staying as Batman while Bruce was lost in time and now that he is back. Talk about ripping away years of building Nightwing into his own strong character. Oh, and if you want my opinion, which is all this is and all my reviews ever are, I would have made Jason Todd take up the Batman costume with Damian as Red Robin and when Bruce came back they could have stayed a team with Jason gaining his own costumed indenity. I like Tim Drake staying as Robin because he has established Robin strong outside the shadow of the Batman and the modern costume doesn't look a kid superhero so age doesn't matter either. And no I don't think Batman always needs a "Robin", I just think he needs someone to mentor and show him a different view on his misson. For that role you could have Batgirl.

But none of that rant and ramble has anything to do with this trade outside Dick going through a lot of stuff because he doesn't match up with that self-righteous ass named Bruce Wayne. Batman is all cool but the dudes a dick also.

I love that this story is one big adrenaline rush, which the whole Nightwing series from the begining was for the most part, and here Devin Grayson hits the adrenaline button perfect with the right guest characters and story structure. I've always loved how Dick relates and reacts to Superman. I've always wanted to see more stories with Nightwing and Superman because I think they relate to each other better than Superman and Batman. Plus, I also think Superman has a certain amount of pride and faith in looking at the man Dick has become on his own. Never been a huge fan of Deathstroke but liked how he was used here from Ravager to what happen with Bludhaven.

By the way, Bludhaven was my favorite DC Universe city. The name alone was just cool in a kid, "That's cool," sort of way.

Oh, and the last page. Not a fan of it then or now. Too much of a jump the shark moment for my taste.

And you see in this review, though calling my reviews reviews are like saying the *baseball Hall Of Fame means something, the actually book I was reading was drowned out by my feelings of what is currently going on with the Dick Grayson character.

*I know, not adapt, but I have to finish this and put a cat in time out.

REVIEW WRITTEN BY brian c. williams


Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Since we haven't been much of anywhere of late I thought I would just throw out some really random photos from some of the places we went this year for this photoblog. The bad news is we haven't been anywhere for me to take pictures, the good news is I'm home working on my book more.

With all of the really cool places to go in Boston guess where I wanted to go more than any other place when we went there for ALA Midwinter. Ok, I also wanted to go on a Fenway tour but Cheers was really cheaper. Though good bar food.

Mar took me to a Braves spring training game. As long as I've lived in Florida I have never taken the time to attend a game. I loved it but it was really hot that day. When someone went for food she returned with something for a Braves fan who suffered through the really shitty years of Braves teams before THEY RULED!

When we visited The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse we packed our lunch. Yes, this is the pictures I give you about that visit. It's a really nice place to visit, I recommend it. I like this picture though because it says so much.

Attend Rollerderby whenever I get a chance. The local team the Molly Roger Rollergirls are awesome. I would attend even more of their home games but its a little drive from where we live to their home field...though its not a field....more like a warehouse....but home warehouse really doesn't fit....ok, I'm away from this photoblog and the net for more book work.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Last night she cried,
Last night her tears ripped at me,
And I know how much I’ve circled us,
In this Hell,

Last night the Dream King called me Me,
And I deserved it,
Last night she cried,
Last night I felt how much I’ve failed,
In this Hell,
In the ground under our feet,
In this year,
In this time,
In this twisted wood fire,
In this Hell,

She is above the shinning sun,
And her thoughts are never done,
The woman I love despite my own hatred for the world,
In this Hell,
In this Hell,

Last night she cried,
Last night her tears ripped at me,
Is my love enough?

(c)brian c. williams



Monday, August 23, 2010


Brian Michael Bendis, Jonathan Hickman, Jeff Parkers, Adam Felber, Jim Mccann, Matt Fraction

Alex Maleev, Stefano Caselli, Carolo Pagulayan, Paulo Siqueira, David Lopez, Mitch Breitweiser, Daniel Acuna, Mike Deodato

Marvel Comics

I know a lot of people who would and have agrued with me to the point of yelling about what I'm about to say but I've enjoyed Marvel's big crossovers from Civil War to Dark Reign and most of the tie-in books. With that said this is my first introduction to the Dark Reign storyline which follows on from Secret Invasion.

But before we get into the review I have to say $24.99 for half a book of stories and half a book of so called extras is a rip. Not a rip in bad content but a rip in God Loving Dollars. Come on Marvel, $19.00 would have been fine but $24 is just too much for a book of reprints, that a lot of fans would probably already own from other collections they have purchased, is just a case of playing games as the dealer with the addict.

Alex Maleev draws Namor like a total Douche. Just thought I would say that. Been on my mind for a while. I was thinking about saying he draws Namor like The Situation from Jersey Shore but I was told even referencing him would throw a little content Douchiness my way. I don't watch the show but I do watch TMZ while cleaning the apartment...What? I don't like Soaps and the only other thing on during the day is House reruns and I've seen all of them 800000 times already.

I enjoyed reading this trade even though I had already read some of the stuff like the issue of War Machine which is included here. Even though I think this trade is overpriced for what you get, I do think its worth adding to your collection as an introduction to the Dark Reign storyline. If you have been keeping up with all of the Marvel crossovers in trade form this should probably be in your collection also.

As I stated before I'm a big crossover fan and in the market I'm a bigger fan of Marvel's big crossovers than those by DC Comics because there seems to be a cause and effect historical move to the crossovers from one to the next with Marvel. Civial War, Planet Hulk, Secret Invasion, all in my eyes have been worth reading. Marvel doesn't always live up to the ideas they come up with but I give them a tip of the glass for trying the things they have been trying over the past few years.

Marvel keeps coming out with good core ideas, DC only has Green Lantern crossovers that have grapped my attention...and yes I consider Blackest Night a total Green Lantern crossover.

I hope I get the chance to read more Dark Reign books and isn't that what they want from a reader, to ask "I want more." and "What's next?" and "Can I sale my truck to buy all of these trades?"

Oh, and if anyone is interested my all time favorite comic book company crossover is Unity.

REVIEW WRITTEN BY brian c. williams


Sunday, August 22, 2010


Welcome to the first in a monthly series of question interviews I have sent to several people about the connection between technology and the arts. The subject of technology and the arts is one I’ve always had a vested interest in, from making fanzines on copiers when I was in high school to connecting with people through the internet on blogs and the other opportunities the internet can offer up to artists. But with those opportunities for artist to grow and shine, technology has also always been a double edged sword for the artist and the consumer also with pirating hitting artists and consumer fraud for those purchasing the works of artists. I hope to get a better understanding from this series of what is being felt on the subject not just by me but by others. I also hope you enjoy reading these interviews as much as I have as they have come into my inbox.

To start the series we are starting with an artist I respect not just for her art but also for her views on issues of creator rights, piracy, publishers, and the harsh realities self-publishing can hit you with.

Colleen Doran was a name I first discovered in my local comic book shop when I was in college and looking for any comics outside the big two. What I found was A Distant Soil and though I fell away from reading comics for a few years, a year or two ago I discovered her website and now I’m falling for the beauty of the story which is one of the best space epics I have ever encountered once again.

For more detailed information on Colleen check out her ABOUT page on her website:

The answers to all questions are presented right from the emails I received.


-Hi Colleen! Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to me! I will try to keep this short but cover as much as we can. You have seen many changes in publishing in the comic industry being one of the people right there at the forefront of the independent shakeup to creating an internet presence for yourself through your blog and now having your series A Distant Soil appearing on your website, Do you believe things are headed in the right direction for artists when it comes to technology?

*Not when the primacy of the author is not respected. We need to instill in people the importance of supporting creators and their work. This myth that all creative artists are rich spoiled brats is pervasive. That they ought to be grateful for just having someone look at their work. It's nuts. That's like telling a cook he ought to be grateful for making a fine meal, or a doctor he ought to be grateful for being given the opportunity to heal. This is a job. It is hard work, it usually takes many years of study to excel, and few ever make any money at it. The average artist makes less per hour than a day laborer.

And art isn't free, even for the creator. It costs money to produce the work. It costs money to buy the supplies. It costs money to live while you are making the work.

Where is that financing going to come from if people think all art is free?
Information is free, but art and entertainment is not.

I find it interesting that even some of the internet gurus like Jared Lanier have rethought the matter. The copyleft movement isn't working out like they planned.

-You have always posted entries on your blog about artist rights, health benefits, and many other areas of great interest. You have made your blog such a friendly place for artists to find information that is helpful. Is it ever overwhelming having so many people seeing you as someone who can help?

*Unfortunately, yes. I spent the last weekend clearing out about 620 emails. I still have 180 to go. I can't answer them all personally anymore, and some people have very unrealistic expectations about what I can do for them. Sometimes they get hostile if they don't get an answer right away or if I don't have the magic formula for their problem. It can be stressful. But it's very satisfying when I do get to help someone.

I hope to help people help themselves. I don't want to be a guru. I want to give people tools, or point them in the right direction.

At the same time, I don't think some of the fans realize how much time and effort I put into this. I spend hours writing some of these articles that also take time to research. They are read by thousands of people, and they make a pittance. I do this as a public service, but

I have no choice but to be frugal about who gets my time and who doesn't.

If I encounter someone I think will excel, I will go out of my way for them because I think there will be a tangible return on the investment. And that tangible return means the future of their career. I want to see people do well. Not everyone will do well. I make a judgment and proceed on that judgment. It is entirely subjective, and I make no apologies for those choices.

I am sure there are several editors who are sick of hearing from me because I am constantly emailing them with info about creators I think are promising.

I just got a note from Charity Larrison this week: I was able to hook her up with an agent who was looking for the right artist for a children's book gig. She got the gig, and they are already looking at her for another. That makes me deliriously happy! That's why I do all this. I like to see good, talented people moving forward.

-Have you ever gone the pdf route or considered doing so with your work? Any big reasons for or against? This is my preferred way of getting my work out but I know others have problems with going that way.

*The key to a successful webcomic, in my humble opinion, is regular contact with your readers, creating an environment where they make a habit of visiting every day and feel involved in the process.

Since just about anything published is torrented in five minutes, I can't compete with pirates. I see so many people coming to my website looking for torrents of my own work.

I make them very aware of how their regular viewing of my work online helps me to finance more work. I don't have an emotional breakdown over every pirate. But it's not about me, it's about all creators and their rights.

I like having my website where people can come and read my book even if they don't have a dime. The more traffic I get, the more advertisers pay me. And people in China, South Africa, Russia, Estonia can read my book. I love that. Creators who have advertising supported sites are giving the readers what they want: easy access to the work. And creators get a return in the form of advertising dollars. That's a win-win.

-With piracy issues for every form of art when it comes to technology at large and what seems to be a twisted view by some that all things should be free do you think the pros will out run the cons when it comes to the effects of technology and the arts?

*Of course. If people can't afford to produce the work they stop producing the work. In future, the problem may become so acute that it will be even harder for professional creators to create original work - deep, thoughtful work - because the time involved to create it will be impossible to finance. I'm working on an original graphic novel for Vertigo right now: it will take me over one entire year of full time work to draw. If someone weren't paying me for that, there would be no way I could afford to produce it on my own. Each page takes about 15 hours to draw, at least. How would I do that without up-front financing? And where will the up-front financing come from for the next book if people don't buy the current work?

This book has the best drawing I have ever done, in part, because I am being paid well enough that I can afford the time to give every page the full attention and effort it requires. If I were making, say, $20 a day working on the same thing as a webcominc, I'd starve to death. If people decide to pirate it and download it the day it's published, then how is the publisher to get a return on the investment of the money they gave me to spend an entire year of my life drawing this book?

When people pirate the work of an artist, they are saying "The hours of your life are worthless to me." So, if those hours of my effort are so worthless, why are you reading my work?

Too many people see art as some kind of spoiled brat's hobby. Since artists are so desperate to be seen, they should be happy merely to be seen.

And many very popular arrogant creators who made their names on the backs of major publishing operation financing - and the lecture circuit - have got an "I've got mine so screw you," attitude toward struggling creators. That idea that it is worse to be obscure than to be pirated is a false dichotomy.

I spent many years getting ripped off by print publishers, and I don't appreciate getting ripped off by publishers I never signed a contract with. Pirates are making money selling advertising using the labor of others. I can't think of any other profession that would appreciate having to work for free, but most people don't see art as work.

If I could not get paid for my work, I simply wouldn't publish. I couldn't afford to. There is no incentive. Public criticism, rejection, the cost and the time sink - it wouldn't be worthwhile. I would simply produce for my own enjoyment, keep it to myself, and make a better living with a day job, no doubt. I have a farm. I won't starve. I grow my own food.

-Here is my off the wall questions. If tomorrow it was decided there would be no more paper books how would you see your art continuing?

*Online. Assuming it makes money. Without income, then it would be something I would have to do only for me, but I probably wouldn't publish anymore. I really can't sink thousands of dollars into an online publishing scheme if I don't get a return on that investment. I get joy out of creating the work, and I love it when people enjoy it, too. But I can't afford to buy that reader love to the tune of thousands of dollars a year in online costs. As long as my online work is in the black, I will continue. If a day comes when it is not, I will have to rethink the matter.

Fortunately, my online publishing scheme is in the black.

And I have my readers to thank for that. I am deeply appreciative of their conscientious support of my work.

They truly understand what this means to me, and they enjoy what I do.

Win-win again.

-Thanks Colleen, and again Thank You for taking part in this series and answering these questions.
The next Interview in this series will be posted on September 22 as I ask Lea Hernandez questions also about art and technology.

I highly recommend reading Colleen Doran’s website for any artist and anyone for that fact who loves comics. Also if you have never checked out any work by her, purchase some of Colleen’s work here, read her comic online starting here, or visit your local library and see if they carry any of her books.

And as always support your local comic book store, Mine is Famous Faces And Funnies

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Marc Guggenheim

Ben Oliver; Rafa Sandoval

Ben Oliver; Roger Bonet
WITH Greg Adams

Jose Villanubia, Ulises Arreola; Daniel Acuna

Dave Sharpe

This was my first introduction to the Young X-Men characters as I haven't keep up with the X-Books in years. I went into reading this thinking it was just another New Mutants rippoff. When I was in highschool and most of college I bought everything with an X on it. Around that time I was also buying all of the original Valiant books. Good thing I couldn't buy a date because I didn't have a dime after spending on my comics habits.

Reading this collection reminded me of the Teen Titans more than the New Mutants or Generation X but that isn't that bad of a creative approach or feeling to get as a reader. I always like Dani Moonstar and add in newer least new to me... like Dust, Andle, Cipher; and Ink among others and I was suprised how much I liked these stories. I was not expecting anything but found a nice late night read from the library.



Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Our apartment complex basically forced us to have to put up with them coming in and making major, not needed, changes to our kitchen and bathroom forcing us to move everything out of our kitchen, livingroom, and bathroom into the bedroom and we didn't have enough room to move more less use a computer or anything else. We had to put our cats in the bedroom and I had to watch the workers to make sure they did their work quickly and correctly thus exposing myself to a high level of paint fumes causing my asthma to go nuts. That and a bad back have me in a very whiney and blood raged mood. We are having a meeting with the complex office soon but if they dont give us good answers we are looking elsewhere. Tonight I'm catching up on writing reviews and other things for Under The Training Book but wont be able to start posting them until mid-day Thursday. Sorry for those enjoying the reviews and other postings. Tomorrow I will coutinue the daily reviews and also will be letting you know about the date for the first of a series of interviews I will be posting with artists, cosumers, and others about the arts and technology.


Sunday, August 8, 2010


Written by Greg Rucka
Art by
 Rags Morales, Cliff Richards, David Lopez and various;
Cover by
J.G. Jones

This review is going to be full of spoilers; which I usually try to avoid but just to let you know...I'm letting you know.

I know a number of people had problems with Identity Crisis, Infinite Crisis, and The Omac Project but one thing I could never understand; which a lot of people had a problem with and the characters of Batman and Superman turned away their friendship with Wonder Woman over was her killing Maxwell Lord. So you would have rather she let him live after he told her under the influnce of the magic lasso that he would use Superman as a weapon of mass destrction? She's an Amazon warrior. She has never killed with ease but she saved lives in a very simple situation. It wasn't complicated to me. By them going after her they are basically saying her taking a moral stand is better than thousands of people dying by her not acting. Superman and Batman questioning her actions so strongly speak only of complete bullshit on their parts. Batman saying he is taking the high road with The Joker places blood on his hands every time The Joker kills and to say otherwise is also complete bullshit in my eyes. It's easy to say after the fact that things may have turned out differently if she hadn't killed Lord but she showed how much of a hero she truly is by making a hard choice during the split second she had to make that choice. That's what a hero does.



Saturday, August 7, 2010


Written by Greg Rucka and Geoff Johns
Art by Rags Morales, Drew Johnson, Justiniano, Michael Bair, and others
Cover by J.G. Jones

Published by DC Comics

The further adventures of blind Wonder Woman sees a team up with The Flash, a trip to the underworld, Wonder Girl finding out who her father is, and maybe there is a traitor among Wonder Woman's allies?

A happy ending for a run of stories which have been pretty dark. Pretty good dark stories but still dark. With further appearances by The Cheeth, Zoom, and Hermes this collection is middle of the road but still very much worth the read for Wonder Woman and casual comics fans alike.

Sorry that review was even shorter than usual but I need to hit the bed sick. A librarian infected me..WITH KNOWLEDGE!, really, she got me sick and now I'm praying to the bathroom Gods.



Friday, August 6, 2010


Written by
Greg Rucka
Art by
Drew Johnson, James Raiz, Sean Phillips and Ray Snyder Cover by J.G. Jones

Published by
DC Comics

Because I wrote in my last review that Down To Earth would make a great Wonder Woman movie I have to start this review saying how Eyes Of The Gorgon would make a good sequal to that movie. The stakes are raised but so is the action, the action risen to an almost overboard level but I think that would work in a blockbuster summer movie.

I also enjoyed how in this trade collection the DC Universe and exspecially the Justice League and Batman were used in this story. I'm really enjoying Rucka's touch on the characters and how Wonder Woman's interests effect both of her worlds, the mortal and immortal realms.



Thursday, August 5, 2010


Written/Created by
Brian C. Williams
Edited by
no one but myself and my cats,
and they spell better than I do.

Once Molly spots me coming in she puts in an order for my Simple Salad and so pretty quickly after I take my seat, "Simple Salad and cold water."
"Thanks Molly, you look really busy today?"
"We were but the morning rush is over. Every day is a up and down of rush hours and clean up hours."
"Cool, glade to hear businese is good. I'll be seeing you later for lunch and dinner since I just started my vacation."
She smiles.
She's hot.
I'm not.
"The lunch special is grilled peppers and for dinner we are doing tomato soup."
"All good."
She smiles.
She's hot.
I'm not.
"I'll leave you to eat and head back to the kitchen to help with the breakfast clean up."
I dig into my Simple Salad but after a few bites I pull out my Media Mobile, think ipad but useful, and look for something to do after breakfast.
Looks like a theater near by is showing a marathon of Keeping Up Appearances episodes. I'll have to eat quick before tickets sale out.
What'd you think living on an alien planet offered for entertainment? You Wrong! It's Britcoms and Ceaser Salads... Someone help, does a Ceaser Salad have chicken?
The Simple Salad Rules!!!

(c)brian c. williams



Greg Rucka WRITER
Drew Johnson PENCILLER
Ray Snyder INKER
Richard & Tanya Horie; Trish Mulrihill COLORISTS
Todd Klein LETTER

William Moulton Marston


After picking up a number of Wonder Woman trades at one of our local libraries I found myself in a time of Wonder Woman reading starting with Down To Earth.

The first issue of this collection would make a great pre-credits seaquance for a movie and if we were talking about how to approach Wonder Woman movie in a movie as a whole Greg Rucka's run on the character wouldn't be that bad of a direction to go. I would have loved to have seen Joss Whedon do that movie but I guess we will have to live with him doing Avengers. I love Mr. Whedon's work but Avengers?

This collection has everything a blockbuster movie would need. It contains an underlined theme with Ares and the protesters going for sequals and has a big fight scene at the end. I recommend this trade and Rucka's Wonder Woman books as a whole. 3 out of 5 stars. I know, I don't always do stars for my reviews but most of the time my reviews don't really resemble a "review" that often either.



Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Jonathan L. Daris, Matthew Dow Smith, Al Davison; Tony Lee
Kelly Yates, Matthew Dow Smith; Al Davison
Phil Elliott, Charlie Kirchoff; Al Davison
Robbie Robbins; Neil Uyetake
Denton J. Tipton

IDW Publishing

This as the first U.S. market centered Doctor Who Annual is very  hit and mess which is how I would describe the whole of the Doctor Who output from IDW. I buy any and all Doctor Who books but if these stories were not Doctor Who related I can't honestly say that I would have picked up many of what IDW has put out. I go into each book with the eyes of excitement and hope that they will get better and not just fall into the line many books based on movies or Tv shows have, a line of just getting by on the name alone.

But lets get to the stories within this annual. The first story Ground Control gets 2 stars but what stands out to me is the Doctor saying he had never seen a Time Lord regenerate before? Really? That's a little hard to take in. I don't remember him watching someone regenerate from the series but not in his whole life? So not even during The Time War? And if he was just saying he had never saw himself regenerate...why would that be that big a deal?

Story two, The Big Blue Box gets 3 stars only because it is a nice little Doctor side trip story. I love small little stories within the big epic nature of most Doctor Who stories, that's why I use to love the short page stories that once appeared in Doctor Who Magazine.

Story three, To Sleep Perchance To Scream is the type of pre-regeneration Doctor Who story done many times in many short stories and a billion times in fan fiction. Love the art by Al Davison though. He's fast becoming one of my favorite artists to tackle the Doctor Who universe.

The highlight of the Annual is the last story by Tony Lee and Matthew Dow Smith because its a nice little sidestep that also leads into the last big story of the 10th Doctor's IDW era.

Overall this Annual has a nice mix of art but for the first Annual I wish IDW had gotten more big name writers and artists for this Annual because it was a big missed chance to draw in new readers. From the materials alone I enjoyed this Annual but from a marketing mindset I'm left wondering a big WHY to the planning?



Tuesday, August 3, 2010


For a change here is a video clip from our trip to Wilderness Road State  Park when I went back for a visit to where I grew up.


Monday, August 2, 2010


WRITER Gail Simone
PENCILERS Nicola Scott, Carlos Rodriguez; Amanda Gould
INKERS Doug Hazlewood, Mark Mckenna, Bit, Rodney Ramos, Carlos Rodriguez; Mike Sellers
COLORIST Jason Wright
LETTERS Sal Cipriano, Travis Lanham; Steve Wands


Even though they are not in the same tone I keep getting the same good feelings reading this trade as I once got reading Justice League books when I was in highschool. I loved those Keith Giffen Justice League International and Justice League Europe era books. Still do and would love to have every issue in trade. I get that same sort of happy here with Secret Six, though to be honest I don't know if I really can explain the comparison.

I love that at no time do you think of the Six as rehabilitaed villains. A quick flip from bad guy to good guy is always boring and since villians are almost aways better characters than heroes why waste one by making him or her into a hero? These are very human characters or as close as you get in mainstream superhero fare, which is rare in Big Two books. Well rounded, what's that? IT'S IN THIS BOOK! Something you don't see much but Gail Simone does it in spades.

I love the cast of this team and the chemistry of the realtionships makes it for me. I thought I would hate Bane on a team but I liked how he's being used here. He kind of sucks by himself anyways. He's a bottom level Batman villan who Gail Simone make you find interesting...or as interesting as Bane can be. Was actually looking to pick up another Secret Six trade Sunday at the comic shop but we got there past closing time so maybe next month?

Review written by Brian C. Williams



Just waiting for a day without pain to feel the sex,
Drinking from my fingers,
Look how easy this is for me,
Hate me,
Nothing matters,
This is just Me,
The daily news burns my eyes away,
Sue that fucker away,
Things going away,

if you liked the poetry above also check out:

Poetry Collection

Small Poetry Collection


Sunday, August 1, 2010


WRITER Gail Simone
ARTIST Ed Benes; Adriana Melo
COLORIST Nei Ruffino
EDITOR Janelle Siegel
INKERS Ed Benes; Mariah Benes
COVERS Ed Benes, Nei Ruffino; Cliff Chiang

PUBLISHED BY dc comics

One of my favorite books makes its return and thanks to my local comic shop Famous Faces And Funnies I was able to read the first two issues even though I didn't get to pick them up for a few weeks after they came out. 

The Birds returned the only way they should, in the hands of Gail Simone. She may not have been the first writer of Birds Of Prey but I really don't see myself enjoying anyone else writing this book as much as I enjoy the stories by Gail Simone. I love all of the characters but to get me to read a team book has never been an easy task. In the past it was either because I loved the artist or when I was in highschool an X-book. At one time I bought everything with an X on it. Yes, I was one of those people. I wouldn't have even read a preview of this Birds relaunch if it had returned without her in the writers chair though.

Sitting beside Gail Simone fighting through with this book is Ed Benes. In the past I haven't loved his artwork but I'm really loving what he's doing in these first two issues. It's not like I hated his artwork but I never said I really wouldn't want anyone else doing the artwork but him on a book I was buying, I really would not want anyone else on Birds, Ed wins. I'm fast becoming a bigger fan of his art by the issue.

I should mention Adriana Melo is also credited for pencils on issues 2 but I didn't even notice when I read the issue the first time and that's not saying anything bad against Melo but I think that's how it should work when a lead artist gets help or you have a fill in artist. It was simless to my reading eyes.

The four part story which starts the relaunch is somehow tied into Brightest Day? but so far I have no clue how unless its just the inclusation of Hawk & Dove to the team which is a mimual aside to the story from what I've read in the first two issues. Not to say I'm not enjoying Hawk & Dove being added to the team but I just don't think its actually a tie in, but your know, that's marketing.

Marketing practices being put away I will mention this is the only non-Doctor Who comic I buy outside of trade collections. My comic shop owner recommened #1 to me and now i'm hooked.

If you like well written stories I highly recommend Birds Of Prey which has well crafted character relationships and nicely placed action. The pacing is built like bricks to a building and each issue is floor upon floor. Now this is only after two issues but I wouldn't expect anything else after how much I loved Gail Simone's last run on the book.

As Tuesday hits I'll be keeping REVIEW WEEK going and the writing of Gail  Simone once again gets a focus as I review Secret Six: Depths.

Review written by Brian C. Williams



Next week begins my big push towards the release of my second book in December. I'm going to be trying out many things to up the traffic here and on my other sites. I didn't do much of anything to promote Stereo but that's not going to be the case this time. I will release the title of the book in a few months once I have the cover comissioned and completed. Still searching for an artist as we speak. The plan of attack is by starting things off here with a review themed week here. Every day will see a new review on something I've recently read.

The Under The Training Book schedule for next week will be:
MONDAY: I review the first two issues of the relaunch of Birds Of Prey by Gail Simone and Ed Benes from DC Comics.
TUESDAY: Review week coutinues with Secret Six: Depths also written by Gail Simone.
Also on Tuesday a new poem for Poetry Spotlight.
WEDNESDAY: Review of Wonder Woman: Down To Earth.
Since it is Wednesday a Photoblog of more photos from my recent trip back to Virginia. I'll try to pick out some good one from Mar's camera.
THURSDAY: Review of Wonder Woman: Eyes Of The Gorgon.
Also on Thursday sees the return of Clean Cue City in part four. Since you asked a few times Melinda I hope its worth the wait.
FRIDAY: Review of Wonder Woman: Land Of The Dead.
SATURDAY: Review of Wonder Woman: Missions End.
SUNDAY: Review of Doctor Who: Annual 2010.

I may coutinue doing reviews daily for a while after that or just hold to the Monday Review schedule after Review Week. It's like Shark Week but with less biting and spelling mistakes. Sharks spell better than I do, fact, saw it on Discovery Channel.

The plan of attack for the rest of the year will include reviews, poems, interviews(with people more talented and interesting than me), free short stories(a few that tie into the December book and a few that don't), the first poetry collection in a long time, and lots of fun things I hope keeps people visiting daily throughout the rest of the year. I've already written more than I've every done so in a year, this year, I hope I also release more things this year to the world than ever before also. I really love writing right now, more than I ever  have, and I hope I create more than a few things that others enjoy also.