Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cosmic Review #4/5! Pull List Jun22/29 Venom, Project Superman and More!

Hey there fellow comic readers!

Sorry for the massive delay between reviews. Last week the transmission in my car busted and as such needed my immediate attention, therefore I was unable to grab my pulls for last week. As such this weeks review will be a combination of the week of June 22/29. How cool is that? Very. So let us get started by going through my pulls for both weeks.


Batman: Arkham City #3 (Jun29)
Batman Incorporated #7 (Jun29)
Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for the Swamp Thing #1 (Jun22)
Flashpoint: Green Arrow Industries -One Shot- (Jun29)
Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost #1 (Jun22)
Flashpoint:  Hal Jordan #1 (Jun29)
Flashpoint: Project Superman #1 (Jun29)
Flashpoint: Reverse Flash #1  (Jun22)
Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #11 (Jun29)


Amazing Spider-Man #664 (Jun29)
FF #5 (Jun29)
Venom #4 (Jun29)


The Traveler #8 (Jun29)

That is all for my comic pulls, overall not too bad. I must admit it is nice to combine two weeks worth of reading into a couple days, I was reading for about two hours as oppose to my usual thirty minutes. As for reviews I have decided that I shall be doing “Flashpoint: Reverse Flash #1” and “Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for the Swamp Thing #1” for the week of June 22nd, as well as “Venom #4” and “Flashpoint: Project Superman #1” for the week of June 29th. Without further delay I shall begin!

Flashpoint: Reverse Flash #1

    This is the mini that will reveal the deadly plot devised by the Reverse Flash that created the world of Flashpoint. Written by Scott Kolins with art by Joel Gomez, I will begin by saying that I think that this mini is a good read. I suppose it is easy to get a spot on a most wanted list for those who seek to get into “Flashpoint” since the Evil Plot will most likely be discussed thoroughly in the mini starring the main villain, but that is not to say that you should be disappointed while reading it. Being a student of history I am very much interested in perspective when it comes to any major event, but I suppose this should be the aspiration of any who seek to truly engage themselves within a story. Scott Kolins does shed light on the “method behind the madness” so to speak giving a voice to Eobard Thawne aka The Reverse Flash and how he came to master the powers of the Speed Force. Along the way he also answers the many questions surrounding those powers and how he manipulates them to devastating effect against Barry Allen. The art of Joel Gomez is great and I would say really captures the emotion pouring between the panels as Thawne retells the origins of his twisted new world. My only negative to this book is that it mainly serves to fill in the blanks around events which occurred in the latest Flash run, so some parts are repetitive. Overall I highly recommend this book for anyone seeking the knowledge of how and why Thawne created the world of Flashpoint and I expect this book to continue to deliver until issue #3.

Cosmic Rating: 4/5

Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for the Swamp Thing #1

    I did not really know what to expect from this mini-series, but I suppose not many expect much considering it will be a three-issue series. I must admit, the premise for this series seems somewhat dumb. I feel as if the story being told in this mini-series should have been put into “Brightest Day“. I personally felt very rushed during the last five issues of “Brightest Day” so it would not be unfair to claim that I have lingering disappointment from that series. This issue is written by Johnathan Vankin with art by Marco Castiello and Vincenzo Acunzo. The issue itself introduces the reader to the man who began the search for Swamp Thing, John Constantine. The duration of the issue explains John Constantine’s past experience with the monster and his new interest in it’s location. To be honest, I felt the issue was dragged out if only to build up the lead in to issue #2. I did however enjoy the art as it did establish the mood well, creating a good atmosphere for the story itself. As I said earlier, I really did not know what to expect from this mini, that being said I have decided to continue collecting it since I hope that the second issue will pick up the pace to something more enjoyable for myself. Overall I would say this book is for those who wish to follow the mystery surrounding the return of Swamp Thing, and for those who feel otherwise it would be best to avoid.

Cosmic Rating: 2/5

Venom #4

    This series has been excellent for me from issue #1. Initially I did not know what to expect from the new Venom run, but I am glad to see that it has not disappointed thus far. With writing by Rick Remender and art by Tony Moore, John Rauch, and Crimelab! Syndicate Issue #4 was better than I had expected. One should know walking into this one that it starts with a good old fashioned Venom vs. Spider-Man brawl. From there we see the new Venom racing against time to complete his mission and save the day. With the odds stacked against him from more than one angle it all leads to a somewhat unexpected but satisfying conclusion. I think I speak for many when I say that I will definitely be keeping an eye out for the new Venom within the Marvel Universe, hopefully he is given some crossover story lines in the near future. Doing my best not to give away too much, I shall conclude this review by saying that I highly recommend anyone interested collect issues #1-4 now and jump in on this great run.

Cosmic Rating: 5/5

Flashpoint: Project Superman #1

    This mini has to be one the more interesting titles to come out of Flashpoint so far. Written by Scott Snyder and Lowell Francis with art by Gene Ha, there is very little I did not like about this comic. This is a story of what it means to be a hero, and how one handles that burden. I believe it is this kind of story that serves to draw in a reader so well, those that see the line between the good and the bad being blurred, and making the reader pick a side not sure that their decision puts them in the “right” camp. Snyder and Francis create a great experience in this mini, and I am thoroughly excited to see where this story leads. The art of Gene Ha only serves to make the great story even greater giving that nostalgic feeling to a story based years in the past. I want to try and give some criticism to this issue but I just enjoyed in it’s entirety, I suppose one could say I am “sucker” for this kind of story but be that as it may I would wager that even the harshest of critic would not be able to denounce this mini as a bad read. Do yourself a favor and give this one a try, you will not be disappointed!

Cosmic Rating: 5/5

    That is it for today and what a read this review is. I apologize again for the delay and I will do my best to ensure that it does not occur again, at least in the near future. To those of you north of the border have yourself a fantastic Canada Day, and to everyone a enjoyable and relaxing weekend. See you all next week! Take care and happy reading!

Luca “Joriko” Baldassarra

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cosmic Movie Review: Green Lantern

Hey there Ladies/Gentleman,

     Welcome to the FIRST Cosmic Movie Review! I can see no better film I would tackle first than the most anticipated film of not only this summer, but possibly my entire comic film experience (at least until the sequel) GREEN LANTERN! Let's cover something really important first before we get started, I am a big big fan of Green Lantern. The film was pitched before it's release of being adapted from the Geoff Johns run of "Green Lantern: Secret Origins", available in graphic form just about anywhere comics are sold. This being said, I walked into the theater with that plot in mind and of course the rational mindset that this was the child of Hollywood and geared towards NON-READERS first and foremost. All these truths are fine with me, and I understand their relevance in the execution and plot of the film, so before you dismiss any of my points as the product of a raging fanboy, let it be known that I do understand the disconnect between forms of media and that the Movie format will NEVER be as good as the pages that give the hero life. Alright, I think I have given an adequate view of things to come, let us get started!

(The cast, plot summary, and film details can be found here:

    To those who know and love Green Lantern let me be the first to say you will likely walk away disappointed from this film. I know, it's not what you want to hear but the film will serve to show you the evils of Hollywood and their inability to bring to life Green Lantern in all his ring-slinging glory. On that note let us start with the characters. Now even myself as an avid Corps member has got to give the movie it's credit when it comes to acknowledging the character relationships within the film. This was one thing myself and my party of Lantern devotees acknowledged unanimously. Reynolds does a GOOD Hal Jordan. Not fantastic, but FAR from terrible. Blake Lively, though more accessorized to Hal's character than I would have liked, does capture the tension that Hal and Carol experience in their star crossed (literally) love life. Even Sarsgaard brings a believable Hector Hammond to life on the big screen, showcasing his tension with Hal and their rival dynamic. The problem I feel lies in the time frame given to these actors to express these relationships. The movie's run time was 105min or just shy of 2 hours. Those who read Green Lantern know that even in the origin story, 2 hours is like putting the story development on the Autobahn in a Mclaren F1. To the non-reader just as you started to understand one aspect of the Green Lantern mythos you were pulled away into something else, while for the avid ring-slinger you may find yourself rushed and wanting to see more of what you just witnessed rather than move into the next scene. On this note we move onto the "Heart" of the film, Hal's first trip to Oa.

     Any Green Lantern fan worth their ring knows how absolutely pivotal the Oa experience was to this film. This was the crown jewel of the film, and visually the CGI artists on this film deserve a hearty handshake and honorary Green Lantern Ring for their work in this part of the film. Stunning visuals brought to me the Oa I could have never imagined in my wildest dreams. I truly felt on the edge of my seat, and wanting to see more, More, MORE! Which brings me to possibly the biggest complaint I have about this entire film. The Oa experience, from the writer. Rushed is the best word to describe it. The writers straight out, in the most polite way I can express this, failed new and old readers alike on this. The vastness of the corps was briefly explored, and the training montage was in my opinion very lacking. I feel that if the training was approached as it was in "Secret Origin" the audience would have been able to get a better sense of not only Hal, but the Corps as a whole. I am doing my best to express my thoughts on this WITHOUT giving ANY spoilers, but you must understand how incredibly difficult it is for me to do so, I am literally getting disappointed just remembering this scene. The relationship between Hal, Sinestro, Kilowog. Tomar-Re, and the Corps as a whole could have been executed much smoother than it was. The Hal-Sinestro relationship will hopefully be better addressed in the next film (should it even happen). The Guardians, in all honesty, I have no quarrels with. The cold rational beings they are was made abundantly clear and I don't think many would be able to argue that. Overall, Oa was brought to life visually like nothing else, however in terms of writing it was severely lacking and as such served to disappoint many many fans and lose the interest of future patrons that may have come to love Green Lantern as I do.

    Alright, I suppose I should wrap this up before it goes any longer. Overall I think opening weekend will come to show the collective disappointment of many avid Green Lantern fans over this movie. What could have been our Brightest Day, may have been our Blackest Night. I still recommend you all see it yourselves to make up your own opinion on this. The actors/artists who worked on this movie did a great job and deserve credit for their hard work. The writers, though I am certain they had a difficult time bringing this film to the screen within the limited time frame given to them, will be hard pressed to find praise among the comic book community. As stated earlier, I understand that the Green Lantern origin story has a lot to cover within a 105minute run time, but it was the key scenes that fell short and by doing so brought down the ENTIRE film for me. To those who venture out to see this movie, stick around after the credits for the teaser scene that MANY foresaw and I must admit WILL guarantee my ticket for the sequel should it make it to the screen in the future. Love it or hate it, that was Green Lantern. Until next time, take care and happy reading!

Final Review: 6/10
- Fantastic Visuals
- Actors do GOOD job at bringing characters to life, limited only by film pace.
- Not. Enough. Corps.
- Overall Rushed Story (105m run)

Comic Review #3 -> Pull List Jun/15/11: Flashpoint: Wonder Woman & Avengers Fear Itself

Hey there Ladies/Gentleman,

     I apologize for the late review, this week has been absolutely jammed pack for me. Wednesday I graduated from York University and recieved my Bachelor of Arts in History:D, and last night I watched the midnight release of Green Lantern (Movie Review Incoming!). But alas, let us get down to the business at hand. Comic Reviews! Firstly as always let's take a look at my pull list for the week of Jun/15/11:


DC Universe Online Legends #10
Batman #711
Flashpoint: Wonder Woman and the Furies #1


Fear Itself: Avengers #14

BOOM! Studios

Soldier Zero #9

     Not a jammed pack week this time around. I actually took the opportunity to pick up some graphics I had my eye on. I was planning on grabbing Grodd of War as well but my "shopkeep" informed me that he had not anticipated the demand and ordered too little, he assures me I will have it on my pull soon so I will just review when I get it I suppose. That's enough FAIL for now, on to the reviews!

Flashpoint: Wonder Woman and the Furies #1

     Arguably one of the major plots within the World of Flashpoint, this mini features the writing talents of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning with the artistic talents of Scott Clark and David Beaty. Leave it to Abnett and Lanning to give me a story that leaves me pumped for Issue #2. Though people who are devotees of Aquaman and Wonder Woman or well-versed in the beliefs of Atlantis/Themyscira may have seen it coming, I think Abnett and Lanning did a great job laying the groundwork for some serious conflict. To top it all off we have the fantastic art from Clark and Beaty that really sets the mood and provides the reader with fantastic visuals showcasing the beauty of both these ancient DC civilizations. All in all, even though the villains are somewhat predictable I think the writing in this mini will have me coming back for Issue #2 and #3, this one being no doubt important to understanding what we can expect from the World of Flashpoint (as a whole, not the other mini:P).

Fear Itself: Avengers

     Fear Itself gets a lot more terrifying in this issue of the Avengers. Written by Brian Michael Bendis and featuring the artistic talent of John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson, and Dean White this issue in my honest opinion is a "love it" or "hate it" deal. Writing wise, Bendis gives us a smash-fest....a Hulk smash-fest.....what a bad pun. It's essentially Red Hulk vs one of the Serpent's "Worthy" and the art does not fail to bring it to life on the page. On that note, if you are looking for something to drive the plot forward, you will likely be disappointed. Such is the way of the Comic Cosmos my friends, you either get all action or all story, the great books manage the perfect balance. But the beauty of interpretation means that you my reader may agree or disagree with me. Overall, I am going to say that this one was an O.K. issue, since it delieverd a good ol' smash fest that was like candy to my eyes, but the inquisitive mind standing behind the drooling fan-boy could not help but say "What now?". All these questions and more next issue? Not sure I will be so inclined next time around.

     So there we have it, another week gone in the world of comics. Hopefully next week my pull will be able to give me more reading. As stated above I will be posting a review of the Green Lantern film. Just to give a heads up, Green Lantern is what brought me into comic books, so my "lens" may be more critical than others as I am at heart a member of the Corps for life. If you would like to stay informed on my reviews you can follow me @Lucacosmic on Twitter, or check out my fan page on Facebook Luca "Joriko" Baldassarra. Until next time, take care and happy reading!

- Luca "Joriko" Baldassarra

Thursday, June 9, 2011

COMIC REVIEW #2 -> Pull List June/8/11 : MORE FLASHPOINT! Emperor Aquaman and Citizen Cold!

Hey there!

Guess who is back for Comic Review #2! That's right your old pal Joriko is going to give you his magnificent and totally relevant insight on some more Flashpoint comics! First however let me give you some insight into what I picked up yesterday:

Batman and Robin #24
Batman Arkham City #2
Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1
Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #1
Flashpoint: Booster Gold #45

The New Avengers #13
Fear Itself: Journey into Mystery #624

BOOM! Studios
Starborn #7

Dark Horse Comics
Star Wars: The Old Republic #1

Now that we have that taken care of let us begin with the review of TWO Flashpoint titles, Emperor Aquaman #1 and Citizen Cold #1!

Emperor Aquaman #1

     I am very pleased that I decided to put this title on my pull. Tony Bedard has definitely given me something to look forward to as we are given a look at a very dark and calculating Aquaman. In the world of Flashpoint, the king of the seas is definitely not the person you expect in the regular DCU. Here we see a very aggressive Aquaman dealing with the same problems of global pollution in his ocean kingdom, but with a very different solution. I wish I could say more about this comic without spoiling it but I got to say, if you are thinking about jumping into Flashpoint, I highly recommend this title as it's initial impression has been the best I have read so far. Be advised that this also ties into the Atlantean-Amazonian War taking place in the world of Flashpoint, so if any of you wish to learn more about that story within Flashpoint then this title is a must.

Citizen Cold #1

     This title was quite the opposite experience for me compared to Emperor Aquaman. I was curious to see what relevance "Citizen" Cold would play in the world of Flashpoint. This title is written by Scott Kolins. Obviously as one of Flash's rogues his contribution may prove to be significant to the story of Flashpoint, however as for writing something that served to pull me in by the end of the first issue, I would have to say that Kolins did not produce. It just seems to me that this Cold differs very little from the regular DCU Cold. A change of scenery (or time space?) has not done much for Cold. Though I will say that I will still be moving onto issue #2 as Kolins has setup a somewhat interesting story involving Cold and the other Flash Rogue Gallery, however my hopes are not as high as they could be. All in all, I would say this mini is for the Flash fans, the ones that crave a story starring their favorite Flash Rogues and should be reflected upon by anyone not of this opinion.

Alright everyone! That's the reviews for today, hope you all enjoyed em' and they have served to meet your curiosity for this weeks picks. As always you can let me know what you would like to see reviewed or any comment of questions you may have. Until next week, take care and keep reading!

Luca "Joriko" Baldassarra

Thursday, June 2, 2011

COMIC REVIEW #1 -> Pull List June/1/11 : FLASH FACTS and FEAR ITSELF

 Hey there guys and gals,

Just finished reading my pulls for this week and I must say these current events are throwing my mind all sorts of directions. Before I begin let's get some formalities out of the way, here is what I pulled this week:

Flashpoint #2
Flashpoint: Batman Knight of Vengeance #1
Flashpoint: Abin Sur The Green Lantern #1
World of Flashpoint
Batman #710
Batman Beyond #6
DC Universe Online Legends #9

Fear Itself #3
The Amazing Spiderman #663

Now that we have taken care of that let us get to my review of Flashpoint(s) and Fear Itself! My biggest problem with Flashpoint seems to have an awful lot of titles attached. Some coverage is fine in my opinion, but the total 22 attached titles just seems a bit absurd. I get that the entire DCU was completely effected by the tampering of Reverse-Flash....but c'mon....I didn't realize the Negative Speed Force found a way to influence my bank account too. All jokes aside, I took a long time to narrow down my list of titles for the Flashpoint pulls I added at my local comic shop, but I may be suckered into grabbing a few more if the people I normally chat up can convince me. All in all, after reading the Flashpoint titles on this pull, I am not too impressed with Johns' work so far.

In Batman Knight of Vengeance I found myself pondering more about the question of "how?" rather than "why?". I mean how is it that Mr.Wayne became Batman, yet could be so different from regular DCU Batman. In Abin Sur, I think my interpretation of Abin, the undisputed greatest Green Lantern BEFORE Hal Jordan, became somewhat twisted. It seems to me that the Abin Sur I came to understand in Johns' run on Green Lantern: Secret Origin, was given a much darker tone if only to fit in with the World of Flashpoint. As for Flashpoint #2, I enjoyed the dialogue between Batman and Barry, but I just wasn't too thrilled by the rest of the issue. Also, I must admit I kind of expected the ending, it just seemed to me as too obvious of a solution to go down smoothly. So what should you take from this? Let me offer some perspective to this overly negative review. This is only the second issue and as such means the story is still in its infancy. As a rule of thumb I like to reserve my definitive judgement to the 5th and 10th issues. By then I feel that if Johns has not done a good enough job to impress me as a reader, then I will have obtained abundant evidence to support that conclusion. So here it is, my review of Flashpoint ladies and gentleman, I am going to slap down the 5/10issue stamp on it and keep my head up high for the next round.

Alright Marvel fans, you've been pretty patient and I thank you for that. Let's get to the golden egg of this review, FEAR ITSELF #3! All I have to say about this issue is, wow...Wow....WOW! What an ending. I literally read this issue twice to make sure I did not miss a single page. However, let's take this back to the ground level. Despite the goosebump inducing panels, this issue was much of the same thing in different places. I must hand it to Marvel though, when they said Fear Itself would change everything they were not kidding. I am definitely looking forward to Issue #4 though I really, really, really hate that we have to wait an entire month to get it. I suppose this is the price we pay for getting suckered into another world changing Marvel event. I still like the new Odin though.

Alright then, that's all I got for this review. I hope I did a good job not giving away too much while providing enough info for your inquisitive minds. Not true you say? POST IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I am always open to some discussion, criticism, fancy praises/insults, whatever the Internet deems me worthy of this fine week. Don't forget X-Men First Class hits theatres tomorrow, as well for those interested Heroescon 2011 goes down this weekend as well, SO ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND!

Until next time, Happy Reading!

Luca "Joriko" Baldassarra

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wow! What a day!

Hey guys and gals,

A happy Wednesday to you all. Clearly if you are reading this you have just returned from your local comic shop because as we all know.....It's New Comic Day! HOORAY!

For those of you who may not know, the initial series of FLASHPOINT hit shelves today. The newest DCU event has received mixed reception leading to this day, as some criticize an event that will completely alter the DC Universe, if only temporarily. That and time travel sometimes makes people's head hurt:P. All jokes aside, from the interviews I have read I am interested to see what Johns' has planned for us in this event. I won't be grabbing all the Flashpoint titles BUT I will make sure to review everything I do grab for you all and we can travel this strange and creepy world together.

In more personal news, I have been gaining a lot of momentum in the interweb! I have created a Facebook fanpage and Twitter account for all you that are interested with production of a Youtube channel in the works! Don't worry, your old buddy Joriko has some fun and frolic in store for all of you.

I'm off for now, I will be back tomorrow with my reviews of my pull list! Have a good one, and Happy Reading!

Luca "Joriko" Baldassarra