Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cosmic Review #9! ASM #666 and X-Men Schism #2 -DOUBLE MARVEL-

Hey there fellow comic readers,

    I hope everyone is having an awesome week and is comfortable. This week marks a historic day for the Cosmic Comic Review. Today I will actually be reviewing not one, but TWO Marvel titles. Who would have thought this day would come? It was quite a shock to me as well, but when I was going through my pull I realized I just needed to take the opportunity that has conveniently presented itself before me. This week I shall be reviewing X-Men Schism #2 and The Amazing Spiderman #666. Before we get started, let us take a look at this week’s PULL LIST.

Pull List July/27/11


The Traveler #9


Batman: The Dark Knight #4
Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for the Swamp Thing #2
Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #2
Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost #2
Flashpoint: Project Superman #2
Green Lantern Corps #62
Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #12


The Amazing Spider-Man #666
Fear Itself: The Worthy (One-Shot)
FF #7
Venom #5
X-Men Schism #2

    That sums up the pull list for the week of July/27/11. This week was quite disappointing DC wise. Other than Kid Flash and Project Superman I was overwhelmingly bored throughout the reads. Could it be a sign of the wind down before this September? Let us hope not. Marvel on the other hand had a spectacular week in my eyes, with non-stop enjoyment across the board. Which is why I am pleased to bring about my first ever double-Marvel review, let’s get into it.

The Amazing Spiderman #666

    Now if you have not heard already, this issue is the prelude to the next big story arc known as “Spider Island”. Written by Dan Slott with art by Stefano Caselli, my personal opinion will not differ from the majority of readers who already sing from the roof tops. Slott and Caselli, simply put, make this work. From both writing and visuals this story is interesting from start to end. It has everything a seasoned spidey fan could want, and is also something a newbie wall crawler can easily get a hold of. Caselli bring the eye candy on every page easily allowing one to immerse themselves within the story, and having me increasingly excited for Spider Island! Overall I feel this issue is yet another notch on the belt of Mr. Slott as he has been quickly building a solid reputation during his run on Amazing Spiderman that has had many disheartened Spidey fans flocking back and begging for more. Don’t miss out on this event!

Cosmic Rating: 5/5

X-Men Schism #2

    Here we have the second issue of the five issue Schism story line. Written by Jason Aaron with art by Frank Cho. I must say I am definitely enjoying this story arc. Schism, in my opinion, has been quite an enjoyable read. Aaron has definitely started something worth checking out, as the conflicts arising within the book definitely show underlying tensions within the X-Team. The art of Frank Cho is something that has not really grown on me too much, but definitely fits for the story. My only real criticism in that respect is the faces of the characters as I feel that Cho’s art does not express age very well. Other than that, I would definitely advise Schism critics to reconsider picking up this story arc as it definitely establishes a very interesting beginning to the next era of the X-Men title.

Cosmic Rating: 4/5

    That about wraps up this weeks review. At some point this weekend I shall be posting my review of Captain America: The First Avenger movie which I saw earlier this week, which will also include a mini-review of the Avengers trailer featured after the credits. Hoping you all have an awesome and safe weekend and I shall be back next week with another Cosmic Comic Review! Until then, happy reading and take care.

Luca “Joriko” Baldassarra

Follow me on Twitter @Lucacosmic for news on comics, video games, and everything in between AND Check out my fan-page on Facebook at!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Cosmic Review #8! Marksmen #1 and War of the Green Lanterns Aftermath#1! Jul/20/11

Hello to all my fellow comic addicts,

    It has been quite a week with this heat wave that has made working outdoors pretty ridiculous. It would definitely a good option to stay indoors and catch up on some comics. Hopefully the weather becomes more pleasurable in the near future but until then we have plenty of air-conditioned activities that can tide us over, including the release of Captain America: The First Avenger or catching up on the latest comic related news from SDCC’11. Should be an action-packed weekend no doubt, but for now let us get to this weeks Cosmic Comic Review. We start things off as always with a look at my Pull List for the week of July 20th 2011.

BOOM! Studios

Soldier Zero #10

Dark Horse

Criminal Macabre The Goon One-Shot


Batman #712
DC Universe Online Legends #12
Flashpoint: Wonder Woman and the Furies #2
War of the Green Lanterns Aftermath #1


Marksmen #1


Fear Itself: Invincible Iron Man #506
Fear Itself: Hulk #37
Fear Itself: FF One-Shot

    That is all for my pulls this week. I am pretty pleased with myself for not having an overwhelming amount of DC on my reading list. I grabbed the image comic since it looked pretty interesting, and I think I will continue to do so. On that note this week I shall be reviewing Marksmen #1 and War of the Green Lanterns Aftermath #1. So sit back, relax, and get ready for some Cosmic Comic Review goodness. Let us begin.

Marksmen #1

    Marksmen #1 was definitely a refreshing change from the usual reads I indulge in. It was nice to explore some new territory as currently the only Image comics I own are Walking Dead trades. Marksmen #1 is written by David Baxter with art by Javier Aranda, Garry Leach, and Jessica Kholinne. The story itself takes place in a post-apocalyptic United States, more specifically sixty-years after an event referred to as the “Big Collapse”. Out of this harsh new era comes the Marksmen, the highly-trained and equipped descendants of the U.S Military. In this first issue we get a glimpse into the state of the world and it’s inhabitants and as expected life is harsh, bleak, and violent. Baxter introduces us to a world of survivors that are armed to the teeth and not very trusting. Add to the mix some cannibals, religious fanatics, and highly advanced tech and you got yourself a recipe for an interesting read. The art of Aranda definitely fit’s the mood of the story and I would say is well founded in the pages of this story. All in all, I am definitely going to keep an eye on this titles and look forward to the next issue of the six scheduled to hit shelves in the future. 

Cosmic Rating: 4/5

War of the Green Lanterns Aftermath #1

    With the conclusion of the latest Green Lantern story arc, we see the subsequent War of the Green Lanterns Aftermath two issue story. Written by Tony Bedard, with art by Miguel Sepulveda and Tyler Kirkham this is definitely a story that is not to be missed by GL fans. War of the Green Lanterns has definitely brought to us some pretty dramatic changes to the GL history. This issue follows the impact of those changes as they reverberate through not only the Lanterns of Sector 2814, but the entire GLC. From the Guardians to the newest GL recruits this issue was definitely a great read. Bedard does a great job setting the mood within the GLC with Sepulveda and Kirkham not missing a beat when it comes to bringing that dark atmosphere to life. No doubt in my mind that I look forward to issue 2, and how these events play out in the upcoming September revamp of GL and GLC. Overall I have to give this issue a perfect score and highly suggest any GL fan not hesitate to pick this up as it is definitely Corps history in the making.

Cosmic Rating: 5/5

    That concludes the CCR for the week of July 20th 2011. In regards to my decision to pick up Marksmen #1, let me state for the record that I very much encourage you the reader to step out of your comfort zone every once in a while and explore the wide variety of comics both mainstream and independent that are available both in store and online, to support the hard working writers, artists, and publishers out there who deserve recognition. This week I was introduced to new publishers that I have never heard of previously, Primal Paper ( and Big Sexy Comics ( and to which I am happy to report that I plan to order some initial issues from to check out. The comic universe is not limited to Marvel and DC fellow readers, but sometimes we need to be informed or nudged in other directions before making the first steps into new territory. Enough of my rant, until next week have a good weekend and happy reading!

Luca “Joriko” Baldassarra

Follow me on Twitter @Lucacosmic for news on comics, video games, and everything in between. Check out my fan-page on Facebook at!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cosmic Movie Review - Transformers: Dark of the Moon

     It must be said that this review is quite delayed as Transformers: Dark of the Moon has been released now for quite a while, however with recent events I just could not find the time to attend a viewing of the movie. Excuses aside I am going to give a review regardless. Let it be said first and foremost that this film is arguably the best film of the trilogy. The amount of action and fantastically produced fight scenes in this film put it above the previous two without a doubt in my mind. More on that point it must also be known that in my opinion, the second film was bad, with the first film being placed above it simply because I recognize that as an introductory film it is limited in certain respects that the sequel and third film are not. Now that I have established my ranking of the three films let us go into the review of the third.

    When the film begins we catch up with Sam Witwicki who is now a fresh graduate looking to begin his adult life. I really don’t understand why this portion of the film was dragged out as long as it was, it very much becomes completely irrelevant later in the film and I felt that it could have been much more brief to allow more scenes involving the military organization and their intelligence gathering missions. It just seemed like a good thirty minutes of the film was full of pointless time filling scenes, more so in the beginning,  that did not contribute to the overall plot of the film. My friend and I sat in our seats attentively anticipating the next scene only to be bored for longer and longer periods whispering back and forth to one another, “Where is Optimus?” I understand that the writers wanted to highlight more of the human heroes in the film, but I very much think they wasted a lot of time doing so on Sam that could have been used
on other characters. In essence, connections between the opening scenes and the later scenes involving the “life of Sam” can be made but I am sure many would agree it could be trimmed down significantly. When the CGI driven Autobot/Decepticon scenes arrive, for the they are excellent. I can honestly say I was not disappointed with any fight sequence in the film. The camera angles utilized in this film, familiar and new, very much create the feeling that you are alongside the action. My hat is off to the cinematography of the action scenes as it was great to experience on the big screen.

    Going back to this film in the overall story of the three films combined. I do not know why the writing was delivered in this way, but I would say that it does not take an exceptional Transformers enthusiast to realize that the continuity between the films has been somewhat tampered with. First contact is not clearly established, originally from the great-grandfather of Sam during his artic expeditions, but in this film they seem to claim first contact was in 1969 during the lunar landing mission. The mortality of the Autobot/Decepticon is a question that will forever remain unanswered for me. In the first two films we see the death and resurrection of both Megatron and Optimus, yet in this film we see that the resurrection of a transformer redefined yet again. Assuming one would take the time to notice the differences between the films you will see what I mean. One point my friend made was how he did not understand how Autobots and Decepticons felt pain considering they were robots. I suppose it brings more humanity to their characters if they are given weaknesses and vulnerabilities however in some scenes we see the transformers being shot repeatedly with no negative impact while in others a vulnerable area is struck and the character becomes completely exposed to their attacker.

    I could go into more detailed examples of the inconsistencies between the films, however I don’t wish to spoil the movie for you and in the long run it did not have a significant effect on my final opinion of the film. As said by my friend, the last hour of the film completely validates the arguably terrible initial half of the movie. Hands down, it is pumped full of action and not the cheesy explosion driven fight scenes you would expect from Bay. The explosions are tasteful and the final city battle is a great piece of work. Hopefully rumors of the fourth film being considered are valid and we can expect to see another equally epic final showdown. So to conclude, I will say that the first hour of the film could have been better and the film is dragged down by many scenes that overall were pointless to the plot. Excluding that however, the special effects and cinematography are by far the best of the three films and worth the price of a movie ticket. I hope this review will help you in deciding whether to pay the $10-$14 or wait out on the Blu-Ray. This has been my second Cosmic Movie Review, thanks for reading!

 Cosmic Rating: 6/10
- Some useless time filling scenes (roughly 30-45min)
- Great CGI and Cinematography
- The last hour has the best action sequence of the trilogy
- Arguably the best film of the trilogy, look forward to a fourth!

    Like what you see? Follow me on Twitter @Lucacosmic, and/or send a like to my Facebook fan page Luca “Joriko” Baldassarra!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cosmic Review #7! X-Men Schism #1 & Green Lantern #67! Jul/13/11

Hey there fellow comic readers!

    I hope you are all having a fantastic week and nice and pumped for the weekend. Personally where I live the weather has been quite awesome for the past week and hoping it will continue to be great throughout the weekend. Late last week my transmission once again needed to be repaired, but to balance out that bit of bad luck I got a FULL-TIME job for the summer! Fantastic bit of luck indeed. Even though I am fortunate to be working full days once again, the comic review must be more punctual than this week I am afraid. I apologize for those awaiting my review, I have resolved to make sure that my reviews are posted every THURSDAY so as to give my followers insight into anything they may wish to pick up over the weekend that they did not the previous Wednesday. So that is my reasoning behind it, among other things, so let us remember to yell and scream at me should it be late in the future. Excellent. As for this week (July13/2011), I received a massive amount of books on my pull. I can not remember the last time I had so much to read in one sitting. Despite the seemingly impossible task, read them I did, and a good read it was. Let us get this review started by first looking over my PULL LIST for this week:

Pull List July/13/11

Batman: The Dark Knight #3
Flashpoint: Booster Gold #46
Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #2
Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #2
Green Lantern #67
Green Lantern Corps #61


The Amazing Spider Man #665
FF #6
Fear Itself: Journey Into Mystery # 625
Fear Itself: The New Avengers # 14
X-Men Schism #1

BOOM! Studios

Starborn #8

As I said earlier, this week’s pull was quite the haul. Despite the treasure trove of comic panel goodness, I must regrettably select only two titles off the available selection. For the review this week I shall be covering X-MEN SCHISM #1 and GREEN LANTERN #67.

X-Men Schism #1

    I have been highly anticipating this issue to hit the shelves. As you may or may not know, this “Schism” event has been referred to as the next phase of X-Men history. As the word suggests, this story line will end with the X-men team divided into two separate teams one led by Wolverine, and the other by Cyclops. Knowing this going in, the first issue was quite confusing in my opinion. This issue is written by Jason Aaron with art from Carlos Pacheco, Cam Smith, and Frank D’Armata. The first issue seemed to be somewhat slower than I would have liked. Though by the end of the issue we definitely are left with the ominous feeling expected of this story arc, I am also left with quite a bit of questions regarding how exactly the team or teams will react to it. I am very much anticipating how Schism will showcase the relationship between Wolverine and Cyclops, along with their respective influence over the mutants of Utopia. Page for page I really enjoy the art from Pacheco, and I look forward to some massive battle art from him in the future of this story. As stated, the direction Aaron is taking with issue #1 left me somewhat confused and quite curious, but given the introduction I feel that Schism will definitely offer something intriguing to even the most resolute skeptic. The X-Men are no strangers to “hate” but I think it is interesting to see how the resolve of a team is tested in moments of high tension and life or death decisions. I think “Schism” will have plenty of that to offer it’s readers and I look forward to seeing it play out.

Cosmic Rating: 4/5

Green Lantern #67

    This issue was the conclusion to the “War of the Green Lanterns” story arc, and I think the best way to explain my reaction to this issue is through sequence: Excitement -> Confusion -> Disappointment -> Excitement -> Stunned. Written by none other than Geoff Johns, with art by Doug Mahnke, along with a large host of others. When we left issue #66 we see Krona along with the Entity possessed Guardians engaging in an “end it all” brawl with Hal, Guy, Kyle, John and the rest of the Green Lantern Corps. You can see why I was pumped to get started on this issue. As anticipated, Mahnke’s art brings this Technicolor filled battle for the universe to life in a way that is nothing short of spectacular. Page for page I was treated to some fantastic images. As for the writing, I feel like this fight could have been stretched across another issue. Call me selfish if you wish, but I feel that the confrontation of this issue was rushed. But as the sequence suggest my confusion and disappointed quickly melted away with the page turning stunner that hit me head on. The last few pages of the issue was quite the shocker, and definitely leaves me wondering  what direction Johns will decide to take not only in issue #68, but into the last issues before the DCU revamp this September. All in all, I must say that this issue is a definite pick up for GL fans who have not yet. This is not an issue you will want to leave sitting on the shelf for long.

Cosmic Rating: 5/5

    That concludes the reviews for this week. All in all, good week and good reads. I could not be more satisfied, though I do hope next week will be just as spectacular. Here is hoping that everyone reading has a similar attitude and until next week, take care and happy reading!

Luca “Joriko” Baldassarra

Follow me on Twitter @Lucacosmic for news on comics, video games, and just some old fashioned E-banter!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cosmic Review #6! Batman&Robin#25 + Fear Itself#4 Jul/6/11

Hey there fellow comic junkies,

    Hope everyone is having a good week. It has been full of some fantastic weather and I think everyone will agree (at least up in Southern Ontario) that days like this should not be wasted. For those who wish to take a short break from the fun in the sun, we have some weekly reading to do!

Let us begin by going over my Pull List for this week:


Batman Beyond #7
Batman and Robin #25
Flashpoint #3
Flashpoint: Batman Knight of Vengeance #2
Flashpoint: Abin Sur the Green Lantern #2
World of Flashpoint #2
DC Universe Online: Legends #11


Fear Itself: Book Four

    As you can see not a big haul this week, though it did have some good reads at least to my taste. This week I will be reviewing “Batman & Robin #25” and “Fear Itself: Book Four”. Alright then, here we go.

Batman & Robin #25

    This newest issue of Batman & Robin is the conclusion of the three-issue story arc involving everyone’s favourite Bat-Family black sheep, Jason Todd. Written by Judd Winick with art by Greg Tocchini and Andy Smith. Firstly let us cover the writing. Winick is one who I find has not been one to disappoint me since I began following his work, and Batman & Robin is no exception. Winick does a great job of keeping Jason’s character apart from Dick and Damian without compromising his appeal. With great humour and a dark rationale Jason Todd was enjoyable throughout this entire run and I for one look forward to his title coming later this year. Moving on to the art, I was not enjoying the work of one Greg Tocchini. It just seemed ill-placed considering Andy Smith had started on this run, and at the very end of the issue ended it as well. Not to say that Tocchini is bad by any stretch, I just preferred Smith’s art. My overall impression of the issue was it felt very rushed. Many things are left uncovered at the end of it all. Jason’s captors are very briefly touched upon and their motives are left unclear. I took this as quite a surprise considering the ending as well as it felt as if it was leading to something that just never arrived. I would say that this read is for those who enjoy Jason Todd, and it delivers in that aspect, hopefully it will continue to do so in the future.

Cosmic Rating: 3/5

Fear Itself: Book Four

    Book four of the Fear Itself event, and the impact of the previous issues are being felt throughout the Marvel Universe. With their greatest icon dead, the big players come together to figure out their next move. We see much more Asgardian influence in this issue, as Thor arrives to shed light on some questions surrounding the “Serpent” threat. With Earth being the new war zone for a clash between the Asgardian factions, we see carnage around the globe. What I liked most about this issue is I finally received some answers to the many questions I had surrounding the “Serpent”. Considering we had to wait until Book Four to get them I was starting to lose my patience. I hope that the final three books doesn’t see this sure to be epic conflict summed up into 3-4 pages. The ending is sure to be a pleaser to many as we are given a glimpse is what is sure to be a great fight. As always the art of Immonen and Grawbadger is nothing short of spectacular, with the colouring by Laura Martin taking it to the next level. Given what Fraction is setting up here I have high hopes for the rest of the series, but am worried like other events this summer that it will close quickly and leave me wanting more. Reservations aside, my overall impressions of this book is a great read. It provides many answers that I felt were left unanswered in the previous books, and alongside fantastic visuals delivers to the reader. If you have not started Fear Itself yet, I support anyone who wishes to track down the issues in the bins at your local shop, I would say it is worth the search.

Cosmic Rating: 4/5

    That is everything for this week. I hope these reviews have helped to satisfy any lingering curiosity you may have about the selection available for sale this week. I would like to ask for any of my readers to suggest titles or series that they would like to see reviewed in the future that I could add to my pull. I find myself limited to many DC titles and would like to break out of that habit and explore new territory. If you have any suggestions you can reach me via Facebook on my fanpage at Luca “Joriko” Baldassarra,  Twitter @Lucacosmic, and my email Until then my fellow readers, take care and happy reading!

Luca “Joriko” Baldassarra

Follow me on Twitter @Lucacosmic for news on comics, video games, and just some old fashioned E-banter!