Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cosmic Comic Review #20! Green Lantern New Guardians and a Happy New Year!

Hey there comic readers!

    Some of you may be thinking that this comic review is a bit late, but I’m here to set the record straight. I was informed last week by my LCS that the comic pulls would be a day behind. My thoughts? Apparently being a resident of the Great White North means that I don’t like to stay current with comics. Whether it was the dog sleds behind schedule or the mountains of ice and snow, the comic gods felt it necessary to keep me in anticipation of this weeks releases and for that I apologize. The moral of the story is, on the week where I found myself with a lot of free time (on account of being home for the holidays) I was forced to wait a day. It sucked. However, life moves forward, and as always I am here to present to you yet another thrilling Cosmic Comic Review! Let’s take a look at my pull list for the week of Dec28/11, the last pull of 2011!


Aquaman #4
Batman: The Dark Knight #4
DC Universe Online Legends #20
The Flash #4
Green Lantern New Guardians #4
Teen Titans #4


Uncanny X-Men #3

    Not a big haul of comics for the last week of the year, but with the holiday sales abound I took the time to grab a bunch of graphics on titles such as Walking Dead, Annihilation, and Ultimate Spider-Man. I am sure for those intrepid enough to master their internet, they too can track down the many comic shops around the world who are offering their customers great deals and fair prices and will be more than happy to answer any and all questions curious readers may have that websites like Indigo, Amazon, Chapters and other big retailers would just simply lack the knowledge to assist. So get out there readers, track down back issues and get caught up, now is the perfect time. Enough of my rant about supporting local comic shops, let’s get to the review shall we? This week I shall be talking about GREEN LANTERN NEW GUARDIANS #4!

Green Lantern New Guardians #4
Writer: Tony Bedard
Pencils: Tyler Kirkham
Colours: Nei Ruffino

    This weeks GL: New Guardians brings us a massive confrontation of the Seven Corps on Oa . This title follows the adventures of Kyle Rayner and his group of companions representing each of the seven Lantern Corps, which from the last issue led them into a heated confrontation between them and the Guardians. Bedard starts this issue off with a  bang, sending Larfleeze against the Guardians. In this issue we get a glimpse of the team working together and what they are able to accomplish when they are not fighting amongst themselves. More importantly we get to step back and get a view of the big picture, the overarching threat that this team will face in the coming issues. The art on this issue really keeps the pace moving, with lots going on in this story Kirkham’s art kept me in the action. Ruffino must have had a rough time colouring this one, considering we basically have a war of light from page to page. GL fans should definitely give Ruffino some respect on this issue, as the colouring was fantastic. From hidden allies to hidden enemies, with a sprinkle of hidden abilities as well, this issue is definitely a great pick up for anyone who wants to get more of Kyle Rayner and the other corps. I really hope Bedard keeps the ball rolling on this one, as I have stated in the past I see a lot of potential in this title and would love to see it cross over into the main GL title as soon as possible.

Cosmic Rating: 4.5/5


- Lots of action, a mini War of light!
- First time we see the New Guardians team working together
- First glimpse at the new threat the team will face, and I love the “leadership” for the team
- Great art by Kirkham and Ruffino


- The other lanterns did not have much speaking lines, wish they had more input in the dialogue.

    That shall be it for the Cosmic Comic Review for this week, and evidently for the year of 2011. It has been a great 2011 for me this, I published my own comic book, finished school, and have high hopes and aspirations moving into 2012. I hope those of you who have found me on the internet have enjoyed my reviews as much as I have enjoyed writing them. I shall continue to review comics weekly in 2012 and my wish is to see more interaction between myself and my readers. So please, feel free to comment on the blogs themselves and contact me through my Facebook fanpage or Twitter. Both can be found on the post below, don’t be shy. To everyone who reads this, I wish you and your loved ones a very Happy New Year. I’ll see you in 2012, until then take care and happy reading!

Luca “Joriko” Baldassarra
Follow me on Twitter @Lucacosmic AND Check out my fan-page on Facebook at!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cosmic Review #19! Red Hood and The Outlaws #4 and words of wisdom from Dan Slott!

Hey there comic readers!

    I am back with another week of comic reviewing. I apologize for being a day late as my Wednesday evening was spent distributing Xmas gifts and going over some very important information related to the coming weeks. The holidays can be hectic, but the reviews must go on! This week was such a great pick up for me, I had tons of titles to read through and it was such a huge task that I actually fell asleep trying to read them all. If any of you have not been aware, I have written and produced my own comic book. Yesterday while at work I thought it would be fun to tweet a variety of comic writers asking them an interesting question (that they probably get all the time) which was, “Any advice you could offer an aspiring comic book writer who just self-published his own book?”. I sent this tweet to Francis Manapul,  Rick Remender, Gail Simone, Brian Michael Bendis, and Dan Slott. While I did not receive replies from Manapul, Remender, Simone, or Bendis, Mr. Slott responded to me almost instantly with an answer that got me thinking quite a bit.

    “Look both ways before crossing the street. Drink lots of fluids. And always swim with a buddy.”
-Dan Slott

Now it could just be me trying to be positive or looking into this way too much, but this response really got me thinking about my experience over the past year while writing the comic. So humour me for a bit while I go over an interpretation or just skip down to the review, whichever you prefer. For me the words of wisdom given to me by Dan Slott really hit home with me in a lot of ways. So let’s break down this response into its three parts and my thoughts on them:  

“Look both ways before crossing the street” seemed to me that he was telling me “Don’t rush”, work things out with your story, and don’t be content with a first or even second draft. Try to get perspective on your story and look at it from the point of the reader. As an independent comic book, my story will always be viewed in the shadow of the big publishers and therefore it requires an extreme amount of care to get readers to take the chance and pick up something that may be out of their comfort zone. If you rush, your only setting yourself up for a big hit.

“Drink lots of fluids” reminded me of the many late nights I spent pouring over drafts before submitting them to the artists, coffee was a powerful ally.

“Always swim with a buddy” to me means never feel that you have to work alone. It is only fair to admit that your work, no matter how long you spend on it or how well received past work has been, is always subject to the criticisms and judgement of the reader you are writing for. Some will love it, some may hate it, it is an undeniable truth that all writers must learn to accept. In the end the obstacles you’ll overcome by accepting this will far outweigh the criticisms you will likely endure along the way. Friends, family, and fans all have something to offer in terms of insight, perspective, and praises but in the end the pen is controlled by you, the writer. My comic is just another story in an infinite sea of literary works and it will be the feedback I receive, and more importantly how I use that feedback that will determine my success or failure in the future. It’s sink or swim out there, and I intend to swim for as long as I am able.

     I just want to thank Dan Slott for his time for responding to my question and I hope that my interpretation of your tweet is not too far off from the message you were trying to express. Since we are on the subject of Dan Slott, for any of you who have not read ASM #676 this week I definitely recommend picking it up. The issue featured some awesome conflict that will definitely give people a glimpse of what to expect from ASM in 2012. I know that I am really excited for the new story arc and I can’t wait to pick up the next issue! Now that we have spent a sizeable portion of this week’s post on my personal thoughts let’s move on to what you all came here to see, Cosmic Comic Review #19! This week I shall be taking a look at Red Hood and the Outlaws #4, but first a quick look at my pull list for the week of Dec 21/11:


Batman #4
Batman Incorporated (One-Shot)
Captain Atom #4
Catwoman #4
DC Universe Online Legends #19
Green Lantern Corps #4
Justice League #4
Nightwing #4
Red Hood and the Outlaws #4


Bionic Man #5


The Amazing Spider-Man #676
The Incredible Hulk #3
Venom #11
Wolverine and the X-Men #3

    A big pull indeed, great Christmas present to myself. Now without anymore delay let’s review Red Hood and the Outlaws #4!

Red Hood and the Outlaws #4
Written by Scott Lobdell
Art by Kenneth Rocafort

    Once again this week I am reminded why Red Hood and The Outlaws is my favourite book of the New 52. The issue is full of action, dialogue, and gives another slice of info on the Outlaws that keeps me interested and excited to keep following. Lobdell has discussed in various interviews how he intends to give glimpses into the each members past and reasons for staying on with the Outlaws. If you have stayed away from this title because of the negative press it received after its launch I urge you to reconsider and catch up now while there is still only four issues, this book is definitely something I see myself staying on board with indefinitely going into 2012. In this issue we see Jason moving forward in his quest to avenge the All-Caste with Starfire and Arsenal alongside him. This issue brings two threats to the team, one in the form of an ancient and powerful being, the other an alien hunter driven by revenge. I thoroughly enjoyed the read and loved the action in this issue. The art by Rocafort is something I have really grown to love. Since issue one I really felt that his style fit perfectly with the story, his pencils have a sort of crispness that I can’t really explain. For me, it really sets the mood that the story is portraying, and defines it from the other Batman with a darkness and edge that is all it’s own. Between the opening bar scene, and the various confrontations and fight panels throughout the issue, I was fully immersed from cover to cover. The ending has us ready for some major action next issue and I can not wait to get my hands on it. Seriously, read this comic and see for yourself!

Cosmic Rating: 5/5

- More spotlight on Arsenal and Starfire
- Tons of action, and the first look at “The Untitled”
- Not one but TWO villains, with great action scenes.

- I wish I had issue 5 now.

    This is without question the longest post I have written to date. Thank you for staying with me all the way to the end. As it happens, this weekend shall be filled with all sorts of festivities, relaxation, and time spent with family and friends. To all of you out there who see this I wish you a very Happy and Safe Holidays. Take some of the free time to catch up on some back issues, track down some holes in your collection, and enjoy your free time! Until next time, take care and happy reading!

Luca “Joriko” Baldassarra

Follow me on Twitter @Lucacosmic AND Check out my fan-page on Facebook at!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cosmic Review #18! Carnage U.S.A and Deathstroke don't ever change!

Hey there comic readers,

    This has been a HUGE week for me. A project I have been working on for over a year is very near complete. Today I got to hold the finished product in my hand and the experience was nothing short of amazing. Right now I am working on the final steps before revealing it, and I could not be more excited for 2012. Aside from the personal news, we have a some other stuff too…..the Cosmic Comic Review. This week was not a huge pull list for me, however it was definitely not lacking content wise. Let us take a look at my pull list for the week of Dec/14/11:


Batman and Robin #4
Deathstroke #4
Green Lantern #4
The Ray #1
Superboy #4


Carnage U.S.A 1 of 5

    This week was the beginning of the new Carnage mini-series, Carnage U.S.A. I don’t know what it is with the Spider-Man or Spider-Man related titles, but Marvel has definitely taken a big interest in the hero and his rogues. It seems to me that some of the most enjoyable titles that I currently read from Marvel are all somehow related to Spidey in some way. On that note this week’s review will be on Carnage U.S.A, so let us get started.

Carnage U.S.A

Written by Zeb Wells
Art by Clayton Crain

    I really enjoyed the first Carnage mini that came out earlier this year that was also written by Zeb Wells. It is nice to see that many others enjoyed it as well, as Carnage U.S.A picks up right where the other mini left off. In this first issue we see Carnage invading a small unsuspecting town in the U.S. As one would expect of a character like Cletus Kasady the results are far from pretty. Zeb Wells definitely has something big in store for us in this mini-series. If you followed the first mini, then you know that Cletus has come back and is as insane as ever. Now imagine what happens when the Avengers arrive to stop him, trust me on this one it will not be what you expected. The biggest tease in this issue definitely the final page where “Project Liquid” is revealed. As a first issue I say this one sets up a big start to the series, lets hope that issue two can keep the momentum going. I have nothing but respect for Clayton Crain and his art on this issue. I really think his style fits for Carnage and I love how he draws the symbiote suit. The colours Crain uses I think are my favourite aspect of the book, it feels like I am looking at a painting of each scene. It is a very enjoyable visual experience that is paired well with the story. In the end it all comes together to create a great first issue to what is hopefully a fantastic series, I have high hopes for this one.

Cosmic Rating: 4/5
- Great visuals, highlights the symbiote suit
- Really enjoyed what Wells did with the first Carnage mini, this mini seems to be taking that same path

- Wish the fights would have been a tad longer
- Big ending, I don’t know how this can be done in five issues.

    That concludes this week’s comic review. I am hoping that next week can bring more for me to read through, as much as I liked this week’s selection I do enjoy a large pull more often than not. I am almost done the fourth book of the Game of Thrones Series and with the recent release of the Season two trailer, I am very eager to get started on book five. I will be writing a short story over the next few weeks to investigate on some writing methods I have thought up. I will be posting the short story on the blog of course, I hope that my readers can take the time to read and critique it as the feedback would help me immensely. Until then, take care and happy reading!

Luca “Joriko” Baldassarra

Follow me on Twitter @Lucacosmic AND Check out my fan-page on Facebook at!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cosmic Review #17! Red Lanterns #4 and Action Comics revelations!

Cosmic Comic Review #17

Hey there comic readers,

    It has been a busy week for me so far. I have acquired a second job to help alleviate some of my financial stress, hence the day late comic review. Luckily the comic gods have looked upon me and smiled by providing me with a bunch of great reads this week, let us have a look at my pull list for December 8th:


Action Comics #4
Batman Detective Comics #4
Red Lanterns #4
Stormwatch #4
Swamp Thing #4


Avenging Spider-Man #2
Amazing Spider-Man #675
Venom #10

    An awesome selection of comics definitely puts a smile in an otherwise uneventful day. I really enjoyed a lot of these titles. It occurs to me after 4 issues of Action comics that I am just not a big Superman fan. I picked up the title hoping that Grant Morrison would help me stay with it, but to be honest his take on a young Superman has done nothing to keep me hooked. Take that as you will, but I do enjoy Grant Morrison’s style. Maybe it is just the idea that with Superman the threat does not seem so dire considering who he is. Oh Kryptonian biology, why you so uninteresting? (my attempt at a troll) With that said, let us move onto the review portion of this post. Considering how awesome Avenging Spider-Man was, and that I did a Marvel title last week I decided to review…..RED LANTERNS #4! I understand your confusion, those have nothing to do with one another. I just feel that this comic did not get enough attention on the comic sites I normally frequent and it is a great issue that needs some review love from yours truly. Shall we?

Red Lanterns #4
Written by Peter Milligan
Pencils by Ed Benes and Diego Bernard
Inks by Rob Hunter
Colors by Nathan Euring

    In this issue of Red Lanterns we see Atrocitus on a mission to uncover the truth behind Bleez’s plans. This search for information gives the reader an opportunity to explore more members of the Red Lantern Corps. I really like what Milligan has done in this issue. It is always nice to see more insight onto the other corps of the Emotional Spectrum, especially when it comes to the history of the characters. We also see him setting up some future events in the title, like the prospect of new Red Lanterns yet to come. The fact that other Red Lanterns will be gaining sentience is very intriguing to me, I mean I love the whole “RAGE!!!!” angle, but after a while it becomes kind of dull knowing that when  Red Lantern shows up they are pretty much expected to blow stuff up. To know that the future of the Red Lantern core may involve more complex characters, fills me with excitement. Moving to the art on this issue, we see some more great work. From the landscapes of Ysmault to the flashback pages, we see some awesome work from Benes and Bernard. My favourite page comes right after the first flashback, with a  great shot of Atrocitus. Overall, I am really excited to learn more of the Red Lantern Corps and hope that these events will tie into the main GL titles, as well as New Guardians (which in my opinion is the weakest of the four currently). Do not miss this opportunity to learn more about the Red Lantern Corps, you won’t be disappointed!

Cosmic Rating: 4.5/5

- Learn more about the Red Lantern Corps members!
- Conflicts arising within the corps, makes for an interesting read
- Surprise ending
- Benes and Bernard help drive it all home

- In the end not much is really done in this issue, mostly reflection
- If you are looking for action, this is not your issue

    That will wrap up this week’s Cosmic Comic Review. Feel free to shoot me an email or make suggestions about what you would like to see next week, I am always up for discussion or looking into new series to read, so feel free. Until next week, take care and happy reading!

Luca “Joriko” Baldassarra

Follow me on Twitter @Lucacosmic AND Check out my fan-page on Facebook at !!!