Nailbiter: vol 1 there will be blood

nailbiter 1

This year I’ve really gotten worn out on the standard superhero comics and I wanted to branch out and see what else there was out there. Nailbiter from Image comics quickly became one of my favorites. Nailbiter is the story of Buckaroo, Oregon, a town responsible for breeding 16 serial killers- the most famous being Edward Charles Warren, the Nailbiter they called him because of how he would chew his victim’s finger’s to the bone before killing them. In a very publicized case, Warren was found not guilty and the legend of the Buckaroo Butchers bloomed. Nicholas Finch, a army interrogator, goes to Buckaroo looking for his missing friend, Eliot Carrol, a investigator trying to connect the mystery of the Butchers together. Finch quickly meets the town’s sheriff, Shannon Crane, once Warren’s childhood girlfriend. In fact, Finch begins to discover many of the towns residents are either descendants of the Butchers or somehow connected to them- it’s a small town they say. Finch and Crane are lead to Warren, living a regular quiet life despite his epic pariah status. When questions start being asked, a new killer arises and it’s not Nailbiter…

Nailbiter is a cool story with some pretty creepy imagery. The lore of the Butchers alone got me hooked. I really couldn’t put it down. The tone feels very reminiscent of a blue collar Silence of the Lambs or Seven if James Gunn directed it in his Slither days. I really can’t wait to see what happens next. If you want to get into comics but superheroes aren’t your thing, give Nailbiter a try; I found the first few volumes super cheap on amazon super cheap. You guys are awesome, and may the gaming gods bring you glory because…

nailbiter “there’s enough to go around.”

Green Lantern: Brightest Day

Brightest Day

So we reached my final Green Lantern entry to my JLA countdown. To my misfortune, I only have one book of this event, but still an epic book at that. After the events of Blackest Night, things may finally be getting back to normal except the White Lantern left behind. Jordan and Carol Ferris are back on speaking terms, even deciding to take a spin for old time’s sake until Sinestro comes to visit. Sinestro tells Jordan and Ferris he needs them to make a connection with the lantern; unbeknownst to them Krona, an ancient Guardian is hatching a plan to control the white light for himself. Jordan, Ferris, and Sinestro must team up again with Atrocitus, Larfleeze, Saint Walker, and Indigo-1 to recapture all of there Corps entities, leading into a epic ass kicking finale by Krona.

It’s a blast to have these characters reunite for another adventure. Personally I like Krona more as a villain than I did Nekron in Blackest Night; he has more of a eerily subdued presence and something about his wide freaky grin and violent mood swings make him dangerous. The fact he is nearly immune to all of the lights and can control all of the entities is mind blowing and bad ass. I like that our heroes totally lose at the end of the book, there wasn’t a deus ex machina to save them at the very end. Also, as a bonus, the book includes a origin story of one of my favorite DC characters Dexx-Starr the Red Lantern (and fuzzy kitty). Definitely pick this up in conjunction with the book Brightest Day. This concludes my Green Lantern reviews for now. If anyone has read any epic lantern stuff or any badass comics in general, let me know in the comments below. You guys are awesome and may the gaming gods be with you.

 

Blackest Night

blackest night

It all starts with a question, ” why can some of us defy death while others can’t escape it’s grasp?” The heroes of the DC Universe are no strangers to the deaths of each other as well of cherished loved ones. Everything has been building up the Blackest Night, when death’s darkness would destroy life’s light throughout the universe and secrets would be unearthed. Many have died: Batman, Aqauaman, Martian Manhunter; others came back: Hal Jordan, The Flash, Superman, Green Arrow…but how, but why? Hal and Flash discuss this very thing at Bruce Wayne’s grave when suddenly they are attacked from an old friend, the rotting blackened corpse of Martian Manhunter. Across the DC Universe Black power rings are bringing the dead back to life, imbuing them near invincibility and restoring there meta abilities, filling them the desire to kill and destroy the light; and in some cases taking back the stubborn ones who beat death. These Black Lanterns are being led by The Black Hand (formerly William Hand) a disturbed villain obsessed with death and there entity Nekron. The Guardians are taken down by one of there own, infected by Nekron’s madness. Ganthet manages to activate the emergency protocol in all of the rings to copy themselves and find temporary deputies which gives us some interesting picks like Red Lantern Mera, Blue Lantern Flash, Violet Lantern Atom, Pink Lantern Wonder Woman, Orange Lantern Lex Luthor, and and Sinestro Corps Scarecrow. Jon Stewart has to band an army of lanterns to defend earth with Flash and the duputies while the Green Lantern Corp fights to keep Oa in one piece from the Black Lantern Battery, The Anti-Monitor. All of this while Jordan, Sinestro, Carol Ferris, Atrocitus, Larfleeze, Saint Walker, and Indigo-1 must put an end to the war of the corps and band them all together for the final attack and try to summon the white light of Life before Nekron murders the universe…

Holy shit this saga was amazing. It’s seven books, which I will list for you at the end, but my recommendation is definitely read the first three to get the massive scope of it all. This series introduced me to Green Lantern and it’s a great take on zombies while also a great character study of many of our lesser known DC heroes and baddies. Also, just gotta say, Parallax and  the Spectre- one of the most epic comic battles ever. The writers are at the top of there game. Definitely check these books out if you love DC or zombies. May the gaming gods be with you and beware Green Lantern’s light…

Blackest Night book list (in order): Blackest night, Blackest Night: Green Lantern, Blackest Night: Green Lantern Corps, Blackest Night: Black Lantern Corps vol1 and vol2, Blackest Night: Rise of the Black Lanterns, and Blackest Night: Tales of the corps.

 

Green Lantern: Agent Orange

agent orange

Agent Orange is our last story before Blackest Night, and it’s introduction to the Gollum of the DC universe in Larfleeze. Larfleeze is the a oddity in the world of Lanterns in that he’s the only flesh and blood lantern in his Corps, the orange light steals the likeness of all Larfleeze kills so he almost has a never ending army at his disposal. At the core of this story is a set up for Blackest Night, leaving off where Rage left off with the Green Lantern Corp still dealing with Sinestro and Atrocitus as Hal Jordan deals with the blue ring bonded to his hand. It may have broken the spell of the red ring but the blue continuously asks him what he hopes for, inhibiting his ability to use his own green ring, although his blue ring is keeping his fimiliar ring charged because a new threat is coming… ancient former accomplices of the Guardians stumble upon a hidden evil bearing an orange lantern. A trap is sprung and the trespassers are slaughtered by Larfleeze. Larfleeze, set upon revenge for a treaty broken, begins hunting the Green Lanterns. Larfleeze easily overpowers them, absorbing there green light, until he becomes transfixed with the new light emulating from Jordan’s other fist. The Guardians are even overpowered by Larfleeze’s hosting greed; consumed by the secret biting them in the ass. Long ago, Larfleeze and a band of thieves uncovered the orange lantern, unleashing it’s horrible power that couldn’t be contained by them, forcing them to comprise with the remaining thieves: they can keep the power but they would be banished to the Vega Sector. Both running on nearly unlimited energy, Jordan and Larfleeze clash until Hal learns the power of the blue ring and is able to subdue him. The Guardians make another deal with Larfleeze; with the blue ring spent off of Jordan, the Guardians reveal the homeworld of the blue lanterns, led by two of there own. And as the story concludes, all the Corps are at war and the Blackest Night begins…

Probably the shortest Green Lantern story I’ve read to date, it is a good character piece on Larfleeze and Hal Jordan. Larfleeze is a creepy, wretched beast that is bad ass; it’s cool to see Jordan’s take on hope. It’s also a good representation of how imperfect the Guardians of the universe are, feeling jealousy over the new power Sayd and Ganthet unlocked and the fear they continue to try to hide while the universe falls to shit around them. Overall it’s a fine, well written story about greed vs hope and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Green Lantern: Rage of the Red Lanterns

redlantern So we’re one step closer to Blackest Night with the first of two preludes to it, introducing us to Atrocitus as the leader of the red lanterns as well as the introduction of Saint Walker and the re-emergence of the Star Sapphires, while giving you a Easter egg of Larfleeze at the end (tune in next time for his crazy ass). To refresh our memories, in Green Lantern: Secret Origins we learn Atrocitus is a infamous murderer with a group called the Five Inversions obsessed with slaughtering the Green Lantern Corps and the Guardians of the Universe for the Manhunter’s galaxy wide massacre that killed Atrocitus’s family. In Secret Origins, Jordan and Sinestro defeated before he could kill William Hand. Well, our story begins right after Sinestro Corps War ends, Sinestro is awaiting execution in a Green Lantern Sciencecell, while the Guardians deal with the consequences of releasing the power rings nonlethal protocol. When Green Lantern Laira searches out a certain member of the Sinestro Corps and murders him in cold blood, the Guardians order the formation of a new subdivision within the Green Lanterns called the Alpha Lanterns, hybrid soldiers of lantern and Manhunter, to keep the regular lanterns in check. Laira flees only to have her ring replaced by a new, sinister that replaces her heart with boiling rage. Forged by blood and hate the red lanterns emerge and strike at the green and yellow light, Atrocitus yearning revenge on the legendary defenders who beat him years ago. So Hal Jordan and Sinestro must band together with the mysterious blue Saint Walker, who teaches them green and yellow are no longer the only lights in the universe, the spectrum has shattered and others are coming…

atrocitus  Again, like with the last book, this Should not be your first step into the world of Green Lantern. If you didn’t read SCW, you are pretty screwed trying to follow. However, once again the writing by Geoff Johns is amazing and the art is violent and colorful. Fans of lantern will love this story centered around fan favorite Atrocitus, who kicks major ass as always. May the gaming gods bring you glory and “With blood and rage of crimson red ripped from a corpse so freshly dead together with our hellish hate WE’LL BURN YOU ALL- THAT IS YOUR FATE!” red lantern oath.

Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War

scw1 Sinestro Corps War plays a major role to Green Lantern’s story because it ends with the shattering of the emotional spectrum and the emergance of other lights, other lanterns, and the last coming before the finality of the prophesied Blackest Night. It takes place after Parallax possessed Hal Jordan and slayed most of the Green Lantern Corps, for which the other Lanterns now fear him. The Corp is rebuilding but so is Sinestro’s with a plan to destroy them all once and for all. Using Parallax again, he uses Kyle Raynor this time, formerly the Green Lanterns last hope and bearer of their entity Ion; and using another lesser known weakness of the green power rings and there inability to use lethal force, he assembles a massive. bloody attack on the remnants of the Green Lanterns. Suddenly the mistakes of the Guardians of the universe start forming a noose around there necks as they begin to argue over the validity of the prophecy of Blackest Night as well as well as the pressure of unlocking the lethal force protocols, opening the pandoras box they had opened with the Manhunters centuries ago. Against the wishes of two of the Guardians, who see the vows they had taken to abandon emotion being used against them, they take the names of Ganthet and Sayd and reach out privately to once greatest Green Lantern Hal Jordan to warn him of the horrible times coming, urging him to pull himself together and get ready to lead the Corps and face his ultimate fears and his ultimate enemy…

This book is they definition of epic with it roster of rich characters both good and evil and it’s massive battlegrounds through worlds and space. Again Geoff Johns writes an an amazing story of fear and revenge. The art is breathtaking and color full. It caneither be read in two volumes or a large combined book. I will say I won’t recommend it for DC comic virgins because the story is very involved in the DC universe with the inclusion of Cyborg-Superman as a main character on Sinestro’s side, the events of Emerald Twilight, and and some deep lantern mythos. It’s not a totally inaccessible story for new comers but I sure as hell don’t recommend it as a first dip into Green Lantern, but recommend it I do.

scw2   “In Brightest Day and Blackest Night, no evil shall escape my sight. For those who worship evil’s might, beware my power: Green Lantern’s Light!” the green lantern oath.

“In Blackest Day and Brighest Night, beware your fears made into light. Let those who try to stop what’s right, burn lie my power: Sinestro’s might!” Sinestro Corps oath.

Green Lantern: Secret Origin

gl2 If you caught my previous review of the live action Green Lantern movie, you’ll realize I sorely don’t recommend it. This book, Secret origin, is a much more cohesive , better told story of Hal Jordan’s coming of age into being one of the most powerful Green Lanterns of all time. The story begins much like the movie with the story of young Hal Jordan; a young boy who dreams of growing up to be a pilot like his father. After he dies in a tragic plane explosion, his life begins a slow, lonely spiral of trouble making, straying further from his living family until he joined the air force at 18 at which point his mom disowns him until the day she dies because of his choice to follow this father’s footsteps. Hal is a natural flyer but his smart mouth and rebellious nature cause him to hang onto his job for dear life…Light years away, the great Abin Sur- greatest of all Green Lanterns- is transporting the savage Atrcitous of the five Aversions across the galaxy to interrogate him. Abin has been uneasy and paranoid unto the clasps of utter madness over a prophecy the Guardians of the universe and creators of the Green Lantern Corps may have been hiding. He fears the coming of the Blackest Night. Atrcitious breaks free and because of Abin’s fear, he’s weak to the attack and becomes mortally wounded, and there ship crashes to earth. Atrcitous escapes. Abin commands his ring to find a suitable replacement- Hal Jordan. The story after stays fairly close plot-wise with the exception of Parallax. Inside a rookie Jordan and now dubbed greatest Green Lantern Sinestro must put there differences aside to defeat Atrcitous, whose armed with a weapon fueled by the power of their rings, before he murders young William Hand who he believes is the key to Blackest Night.

Between the live action movie and Secret Origin, I’d would say the general plot is 65% similar. The difference comes with Geoff Johns’s fantastic writing.  The story is fast paced but were able to get attached and sympathize with Jordan, get to see the beginnings of his stormy but true love for Carol Ferris- his childhood friend, old boss, and future Star Sapphire (pink lantern) and well as his tragic relationship with Thal Sinestro- mentor, partner, and rival that would one day turn his back on willpower’s green light and embrace fear’s golden light as the Corp’s greatest threat. The world is more flushed out and what I enjoy about much of John’s writing is it’s a extremely easy book to follow, even if you never knew anything about Lantern lore or even comics in general.

Final score:  9/ 10

May the gaming gods be with you all and til next time, I’m Torsten V and I’ll be back in a few days with my review for Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War.