Archive for the ‘Comics/Graphic Novels’ Category

First Impressions: Last Mortal

TITLE: Last Immortal
AUTHOR: John Mahoney
PENCILLER: Filip Sablik
PUBLISHERS: Image Comics, Top Cow Productions, Minotaur Press
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASED: May 18, 2011

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Sometimes, your story’s first line can really make it. “It was a dark, stormy night” and all that. Last Mortal has a pretty good one: “My name is Alec King. I just killed my best friend.” Alec then shoots himself in the head.

From there, we go into the back story. Alec’s best friend Brian draws him into a plot to assassinate a mayoral candidate. They try and go through with it, but Alec makes a very costly mistake, and botches it. Cut back to the present, and we see that Alec’s suicide attempt has failed. For some reason, he cannot die.

Now THERE’s an end-of-issue reveal for ya…

Fittingly enough, Alec spends a bit of this issue pondering how he’ll be remembered, what his legacy will be, etc. At this point, it’s not looking like it will be much, as he and Brian are a pair of small-time criminals. But while Alec is ripping off change machines, Brian is stealing from his drug fixer and getting involved with assassination plots. That’s not to say Alec is the brains of the operation, but he’s definitely the more cautious one. He has a conscience, as evidenced by the fact that he feels guilty about having shot someone in the past.

What’s curious to me about the issue is that way the friendship between Alec and Brian seems to take center stage. An a small essay at the end of the issue, writer John Mahoney even talks about how he’s a longtime friend of penciller Filip Sablik, and ponders how they compare to Alec and Brian. If Brian is dead, why bother? Unless whatever is effecting Alec is somehow effecting Brian as well, in which case the entire dynamic of the story changes.

In any event, this story may be my new indie comic fix (along with Samurai’s Blood) for the next few months. Although we don’t learn much about Alec as an individual, what we’ve seen of him through his interactions with Brian has piqued my curiosity enough to pick up another issue.

Page 1 image from


Mark Millar Comments on Superhero Movies, DC Characters

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Mark Millar, the man widely known for his creator-owned projects like Kick-Ass and Nemesis, recently spoke out on the fan forum for his web site,, about the future of superhero films…

“Any Chicken Littles screeching about Green Lantern being a flop and ruining everything must look at the big picture and remember it’s far rosier than any other genre. Our track record in comic book movies has been incredible since Goyer and Norrington changed the game with Blade, Singer carried it through with X-Men and Sam Raimi slam-dunked with Spidey. In the decade that followed we’ve had monster hits from almost unknown characters. Iron Man sells around 40,000 copies a month, but a combination of a fun script and very clever casting turned it into a $500 million grossing beast. Last year’s sequel hit $650 million and these numbers don’t even include DVD. The X-Men franchise has managed over 2 billion dollars in 5 movies and Spidey and Batman are the biggest of the lot…it’s very heartening to note that superhero and comic book adaptations have an incredible consistency for turning vast profits. There’s the occasional dud like Catwoman and Jonah Hex, but these tend to be the exceptions rather than the norm…”

Millar also made some interesting comments about DC Comics superheroes, and their place in cinema.

“…the non-Batman DC characters just don’t seem to work in modern cinema and TV. I’ve loved these characters as far back as I remember, but whether it’s Wonder Woman or Superman or the Aquaman pilot or Catwoman or Jonah Hex or Birds of Prey or whatever… they just don’t seem to catch on in the modern world. I think it’s hard to compete with the new characters (or even the more recent Marvel characters, created a full generation later). Batman works because he’s more human for the big screen and more empathetic, but I fear The Flash and others would just meet the same fate as Green Lantern. They’re just too outrageous to provide tension in a live action format and I’d love to see them done, Pixar style, as brilliant, theatrical animated movies. Aquaman talking underwater would have us wincing in live action. In a cartoon we wouldn’t even blink. Some stuff just doesn’t suit the format.”

Millar image from


Red Robin: The Hit List – Graphic Novel Review

TITLE: Red Robin: The Hit List
AUTHOR: Fabian Nicieza
COLLECTS: Red Robin #13-17
FORMAT: Softcover
PRICE: $17.99
RELEASE DATE: July 29, 2011

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

After the names of all the titles DC would be relaunching this September came out, I was very disappointed to see Red Robin was not among them. This title isn’t always the best in my pile, but it’s always pretty good. Granted, Tim Drake will still be around in Teen Titans, wearing one of the worst re-designed costumes I’ve ever seen. At least he’s not being retconned out of existence.

I suppose one of the double-edged swords about Red Robin was that the storytelling is very linear. You couldn’t pick up just any issue and start fresh. Even when the series started, you had to have at least a vague knowledge of Final Crisis and Batman: Battle For The Cowl to understand it. On the other hand, if you were on board, you went to some cool places, especially in The Hit List. In this book, Tim takes a more proactive approach to taking on Gotham’s criminal element. He develops a list of names that need to be taken down, which includes villains as notorious as The Joker and as obscure as Scarab. Meanwhile, Vicki Vale has some strong, accurate hunches about how the Wayne family is connected to Batman and his partners, and Tim is taking matters into his own hands.

For my money, the best part of this book is when Tim Drake and Damian Wayne finally come to blows. Something sets Damian off, and he attacks Tim, giving us a rematch of sorts from Batman & Son. The fight isn’t all you’d hope for, but it’s decent. It’s good to see them finally get some of that pent-up anger out. Tim’s solution to the Vicki Vale problem is also very well done. Although, Tim does get a bit of help from outside the Bat-circle, which tarnishes it a bit in my opinion.

Toward the end of the book, there’s a bit of an oddball moment between Tim and the villain Lynx that doesn’t make a lot of sense. The character is on Tim’s list, but he’s conflicted because she tells him she’s actually an undercover cop infiltrating a gang. They appear to be setting her up to be a Catwoman-type character, but I’m not sure it works. I’m also not sure it’ll go anywhere, what with the relaunch.

The close to this book is especially nice, because it wraps up a plot thread from the beginning of the series. I won’t spoil it outright, but I will say it involves two old partners re-uniting…

I’m definitely going to miss this series. Tim will obviously be a major part of Teen Titans, but it won’t be the same. This will be the first time Tim hasn’t had a book to himself since the early ’90s. That kind of longevity obviously means he has a solid fan base. His stories weren’t always the best, but they were consistently good. I certainly hope he gets his own book again down the road. Perhaps after DC drops some of the dud titles they’re going to run with this relaunch…

But at the very least, we’ve got one more collected edition to look forward to.

RATING: 7.5/10

All images from
For more Red Robin, check out
Red Robin: The Grail and Red Robin: Collision.


Legendary Artist Gene Colan Passes Away

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Legendary comic book artist Gene Colan has passed away at the age of 84 due to complications from liver cancer and a broken hip.

Colan had worked in the comic book industry for nearly 70 years. He is famous for his work at Marvel. In 1969, he and Stan Lee created The Falcon, the first African American superhero in mainstream comics. His body of work also includes a seven-year run on Daredevil, as well as Tales of SuspenseDr. Strange and The Tomb of Dracula. Colan also worked for DC on Batman and Detective Comics. His last published work was Captain America #601, for which he and Ed Brubaker won the Eisner Award for Best Single Issue.


Gene Colan photo from, covers from


First Impressions: Rage

AUTHOR: Arvid Nelson
Andrea Mutti
Dark Horse Comics
PRICE: $3.50
June 23, 2011

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Ugh. This is $3.50 I’ll never get back.

This title is based on an upcoming video game of the same name from id Software about a post-apocalyptic future where an astroid slams into the Earth and wipes out 5 billion people. Before the astroid hit, scientists, engineers and various other people of significance were placed in cryogenic arks, which left them in suspended animation to ensure the survival of the human race.

This title opens as Dr. Elizabeth Cadence wakes up in the year 2095. The world is a but a shell of what it used to be, with various mutants wandering the planet as a result of a toxic chemical brought to Earth with the asteroid. Cadence is tasked with coming up with a cure for the mutation. But when her first experiment fails, she’s given a new assignment: Find a way to control the mutants.

For what it’s worth, here’s what the game will look like…

This story comes to us from the guys who wrote Doom 3, which isn’t at all surprising. Let’s shoot at the monsters and drive fast. A pretty easy formula that can obviously be a lot of fun in a game. The problem is, that fun doesn’t always translate into comics very well. Such is the case with this issue of Rage. I have absolutely no desire to buy another issue of this book, or the game for that matter, simply because this issue was so flat and unoriginal.

Obviously, this project is meant to whet the public’s appetite for Rage by getting us into the game’s backstory. The problem is, in 2011 we’ve seen this story done a million times. Something fresh needs to be injected into it to keep us coming back. And there’s nothing fresh or new going on in this issue. It’s not a very fun or interesting read at all. We’ve got a little action in the beginning, but then it’s Cadence talking to people, then we see the experiment go awry, then yet another talking scene.

If I’m Nelson and Mutti, I’d have started the issue off with a look at what players will be doing in the game, and then sent them back to see how it all came to be. At least then we have an idea of what this world is like, so we actually can care about how it came to be. But even then, I imagine Rage wouldn’t offer much.

Comic book tie-in/video game tie-ins have a tendency to suck out loud, and that’s exactly what you get with the first issue of Rage. Not only did it not inspire me to buy another issue, it actually turned me off future issues. Skip this one, folks.

Front page image from


A Noob’s View of Flashpoint

Marvel and DC always want their big event comics to be reader-friendly in order to draw in new buyers. But how accessible are they, really? Can an average Joe really pick up an issue of Fear Itself or Blackest Night, and hit the ground running? To find out, we at Primary Ignition found Vera, a woman who has NEVER read a superhero comic book, and gave her the first issue of DC’s new event comic Flashpoint. Below is her report on the issue, with editor’s note to fill in the gaps in her knowledge of the DC Universe. Obviously, the following contains SPOILERS for Flashpoint #1.

The experiment begins now…

By Vera Abaimova
Contributor, Born Without A Last Name

As introduction and preliminary explanation I must state that I don’t usually read comic books. I have been known to read a web comic here and there, but that’s different. What I’m talking about here is the comic books filled with spandex wearing superheroes that belong to either DC or Marvel. And yes, I have a hard time keeping track of which franchise and character belongs to which company.

Quite honestly, getting into comics is daunting. There are multiple continuities, dimensions, and several different people that serve as the one superhero (i.e. Hal Jordan is Green Lantern, but so are Kyle Rayner, John Stewart and Guy Gardner). Not to mention the fact that characters die right and left only to be resurrected a short time later. The worst part of it is that these comic books have been around so long that they have seen all sorts of civil rights movements and all kinds of major wars. So there is a lot of stuff to catch up on. Not only that, but where do you start? I have yet to find a comprehensive guide or map of some sort to establish where the stories of all the different characters start.

And the costumes….

My understanding is that Flashpoint is an “event” comic series that somehow redefines the world that the DC superheroes know. In this particular event, Barry Allen a.k.a. The Flash, becomes the main focus. The comic opens with several flashback scenes with an unknown narrator that takes you through a brief version of the character’s back story.

So far, so good. I now know that Barry Allen was close with his mother to whom something may have happened, he has a kind heart, some chemicals exploded, making him a superhero, he is married to Iris West, and that he has become a productive member of the superhero community, rubbing elbows with the big names.

One day, Barry wakes up, and it it turns out he has to solve the murder of some woman he has never heard of. This is where I started getting confused. Wasn’t he a scientist that had an experiment explode in his face? This is one of those details that is probably explained in some other comic series that stars The Flash. (Editor’s Note: Barry Allen is a forensic scientist at the Central City Police Department. This is implied, but never actually stated in the issue.)

As the story continues, there is a report of two superheroes and/or villains battling it out in the city, so Barry runs off, but oh no! He notices he isn’t wearing his wedding ring (Editor’s Note: It’s actually the ring he keeps his Flash costume in, which is also never explained in the issue) and so he trips and takes an unfortunate tumble down the stairs. This is where Barry seems to realize that something is off with the world. The missing ring is clue number one, but then there’s his mother, who appears claiming that Barry promised to take her to dinner for her birthday. I’m not alone in my confusion here as Barry asks her if she is really there.

Happy to see his mother, though, Barry seems to accept that the world is all dandy until he discovers that his mother has never heard of the Justice League. Superman, who? But Batman seems to still be around, so Barry heads to the ol’ Wayne mansion to see what’s up.

This alternate reality that Barry has entered serves as a nice entrance into the plot. Barry doesn’t seem to get what is going on, and neither do I. So together we shall go and discover. The only problem is, this has limited benefit for me, seeing as I don’t know what things were like for the character before, so I have little to compare the current goings on to.

I do know, however, that something is off with Batman’s eyes because they are red and glowy and evil looking. The henchman killing is also a tip off that something is not quite right.

The oddities continue as a larger conflict looms in the background with some of the heroes launching wars in Europe.

The concept is interesting and because Barry doesn’t know what is going on either, the story will have to be unraveled for the new reader (myself, that is), who doesn’t know how things are usually done in the DC universe.

There was a large part of this first issue where a lot of heroes stand around discussing things about how they dislike each other for such and such reason, which was difficult to get into because I didn’t know who any of them were. And then there were their costumes, some of which have clearly not been redesigned since their conception in the early 70′s (Editor’s Note: Most of the costumes, or even the characters themselves, were tweaked for the Flashpoint storyline).

It would seem that comic reading is a culture within itself, one that is difficult to unravel. Flashpoint does a decent job of introducing new readers to the world, but it is not exactly a comprehensive guide to who all these brightly colored people are and what their day jobs are. I am however, intrigued, and am looking forward to discovering what cool powers these people have and what tragic events in their pasts have shaped their crime-fighting philosophies.

Front page image from Pages from Flashpoint #1 fom and
For more Flashpoint, check out First Impressions: Flashpoint #1 and First Impressions: Batman: Knight of Vengeance #1.


Spoiler Alert: Death of Spider-Man Ending Revealed

**WARNING: This story contains major spoilers for this week’s Ultimate Spider-Man #160.***

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Various media outlets are reporting on this week’s Ultimate Spider-Man #160, in which Peter Parker dies saving Aunt May from The Green Goblin.

“It occurred to me that if Peter passed away in a meaningful way, he could be the Uncle Ben character to a new Spider-Man, which then continues it to be a real Spider-Man story,” writer Brian Michael Bendis told USA Today. “Then it became more than just, ‘Oh my God, you killed him!’”

Bendis emphasized that unlike most comic book superhero deaths, this one will stick.

“There’s a real point to this and the point doesn’t work if we don’t stick to our guns,” Bendis said to the New  York Post.

A new Ultimate Comics Spider-Man series will launch in September, with Bendis writing and Sara Pichelli pencilling. The identity of the new Spider-Man has yet to be announced.

Images from Ultimate Spider-Man #160 can be seen below, as can the cover to September’s new Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1.

Sources: Newsarama, Marvel



The Walking Dead, Vol. 14: No Way Out – Graphic Novel Review

TITLE: The Walking Dead, Vol. 14: No Way Out
AUTHOR: Robert Kirkman
PENCILLER: Charlie Adlard
COLLECTS: The Walking Dead #79-84
FORMAT: Paperback
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
PRICE: $14.99
RELEASED: June 15, 2011

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Admittedly, I came into No Way Out a bit jaded with Robert Kirkman and the whole Walking Dead experience. Let’s be honest: At this point, the book is essentially the same thing happening over and over again. Rick and the gang find a new place to stay, or get some kind of new hopeful idea, and eventually it all goes to hell, some people die, and they’re back to square one. It’s like a little kid playing with blocks. It doesn’t matter how high that tower gets, eventually it’s coming down. I came into this book knowing I was going to see everything go to hell again, and I wasn’t especially excited at the prospect of the entire process repeating itself again.

But I’d forgotten about the element that, in my opinion, is the key to The Walking Dead’s longevity: The naked humanity Kirkman and the creative team put into the stories.

In No Way Out, the small community that Rick and his band of survivors have become a part of comes under attack by a small army of zombies. The group is overwhelmed. Once again, Rick and the group are forced to make heartbreaking choices. In the end, a certain choice of Rick’s may end up costing him the life of his only son, Karl…

Indeed, this book contains the controversial issue #83, in which something terrible and irreversible happens to Karl. In the latest issue, they printed some of the hate mail the folks at TWD got over it. If you want to put a positive spin on it, it definitely illustrates how passionate the fans can be about the characters who’ve been there since the beginning of the series. Personally, what happened to Karl didn’t surprise me. In The Walking Dead, anybody can go at any time, for better or worse.

I think a few decisions Kirkman made for the worse happened in the way he handled the Morgan character, both in this book and the previous one. Morgan was the first non-zombie Rick came into contact after he woke up from his coma. At that point, Morgan had a young son, but had lost his wife in the zombie apocalypse. Morgan’s son eventually became a zombie, and had to be killed (again). Rick’s group eventually found Morgan, and he became one of them. For my money, TWD made a mistake in killing off Morgan’s son, and certainly made a mistake in reuniting him with Rick. Morgan was a character we got invested in very early. When Rick and the others found him, we all knew his backstory, and were wondering what he’d gone through since we last saw him. We cared about him. Kirkman could have used this to his advantage. In one of the Walking Dead collected books, Kirkman wrote an exclusive short story featuring Morgan and his son around Christmas time. They didn’t endure anything incredible. We just got a look at what they were up to. If I were Kirkman, I’d have kept doing these short stories not only to give us an occasional treat, but to take us to different locations and give us the occasional break from whatever Rick and the other survivors are up to. The scope of the series could have been widened, if only for a short time. Instead, Morgan became just another member of our regular cast.

I sometimes have a problem with our ensemble of characters in TWD, in that it can be hard for me to tell people apart, or remember everybody’s backstory. Rick, Glenn, Andrea, and others who’ve been around since the start aren’t a problem. But newer characters can sometimes be hard to differentiate, especially in the black and white art. “Okay wait, what’s this guy’s deal again? What’s his big trauma/secret?” Things like that. But to an extent, I suppose that’s inevitable when you’re dealing with so many people. I’ve always just pushed through, and it’s gotten me this far.

Any one character in The Walking Dead has had to endure multiple heartaches and traumas, the caliber of which the average real person only has to deal with once or twice over the course of their life. In No Way Out, we see two men torn about whether they should fall for other women after their wives have died, we see a man feel terrible remorse for cheating multiple times on his now-dead wife, and we see a man flat out say that he would sacrifice the life of another child for his own on any given occasion. That’s pretty heavy stuff to say the least, and it’s what truly makes The Walking Dead series about people, not zombies.

RATING: 8/10

Front page image from Morgan image from Page from


The DCU Reboot: Relax, This Has Happened Before

By Seth Miller
Staff Writer, Part-Time Ninja

“Reboot.” That one word can set message boards on fire and inspire soul-crushing depression or white-hot rage (or on the rare occasion it could be a harmless reference to cartoon series from 1990s). With the now infamous DC Comics reboot just a few months away, comic fans everywhere are ranting on message boards, arguing with their comic shop owner, or dreading the day when continuity gets ripped apart again.

I’m sorry, did you miss that last part? I said again; reboots are usually bad things, with very exceptions. Batman Begins rebooting the Batman movie series after Joel Schumacher took his pathological hatred for superheroes out on innocent people is a great example of a reboot done right.

But the reboot for DC is looking pretty bad. Superman’s costume looks like crap, Hawkman is an archaeologist specializing in alien ruins, and Barbara Gordon can walk which I interpreted as DC wanting to fuck with Alan Moore some more. “Hey, we took some of Moore’s celebrated works and made several movies that Moore would rather hang himself with the film used in production than see. What other ways can we fuck with him? I got it will start taking apart pivotal storylines from the comics! That’ll piss him off!”

But just because DC is throwing some of the continuity out the window with this reboot, I say comic book readers should not go crazy. There are plenty of reasons to not get excited positively or negatively for this reboot and here are a few of them…

REASON 1: This Isn’t The First DC Reboot.
DC is rebooting all their comics?! This is unbelievable!! I have never seen anything so horrible!! Unless you count the reboot with the start of the Silver Age comics, the reboot following Crisis on Infinite Earths, the smaller reboots following Zero Hour and Infinite Crisis, or when a creator takes over a title and decides to shake things up (I don’t want to even think about all the retcons). The sad fact is that comics have been continuously rebooted and retconned a hell of a lot times.  This reboot is just the latest in a series of attempts to get new readers and expand market. It is usually a bad thing, but we have been through this many times and have come out stronger. We don’t have to go crazy about this one.

REASON 2: The Reboot Could Lead To Something Good.
When someone thinks of Green Lantern, most people think of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. They probably don’t think of Alan Scott and his magic lantern that doesn’t work against wood. But with the dawn of the Silver Age, the character changed to the version comic fans love and has a major motion picture made about him (and if the dark ritual that I sacrificed a goat during worked then it will be a good movie). Many things that come out of reboots are best left forgotten, but there is always something with every reboot that fans will like, i.e. Tim Drake as Robin or Kyle Rayner as Green Lantern as a result of DC “modernizing” their characters in the ’90s.

REASON 3: Geoff Johns.
He may be considered the architect of the whole reboot, but there is nobody else I would want to reboot the entire DC Universe.  He has successfully brought The Flash, Justice Society of America, Hawkman, and Green Lantern back to life and has turned them all into successful books with great storylines that not only bring in new readers, but pay respect to the continuity they had built up. This reboot will undoubtedly change most of the characters, but with Johns at the helm the core of these characters will remain the same. Which leads to my next point…

REASON 4: The Core of the Characters Will Stay the Same.
Is Batman going to fight crime by mowing down criminals with a machine gun? Is Superman going to be a hipster douchebag? Is Lex Luthor going to be the nicest man in the DC Universe and play with cuddly bunnies? Is Green Lantern going to be a different color Lantern? The answer to all the questions is no. The surface details, the timeline, the stage of people’s relationships, and costumes are they only thing that will change in DC’s biggest characters. The things that drove us to these characters will stay the same and will continue to drive these characters. Now, I’m not going to deny the fact that there are still some pretty big changes to the DC Universe and some of them suck harder than a black hole, but this brings me to my final point…

REASON 5: If It Sucks, They’ll Change It Back
How many times has a company or a creator come up with a concept that is terrible only for it to be retconned? This happened because the fans were upset and wanted it changed. To some this may seem like blind optimism, but think about it. The goal of the reboot is to attract new readers to the comics that might get interested in them after seeing the movies. But this usually doesn’t work as well as they would hope, so what’s the next logical step? They will start redoing the comics to bring back the things we, the fans, loved; you can already see some of this in the fact that Green Lantern isn’t being changed much and that Grant Morrison’s Batman, Incorporated is only delayed a year and not cancelled. They are preparing for the eventuality of this thing failing, cause they know that the driving force of this industry is us and they know to keep pursuing a reboot that is not working the way they wanted is foolish.

If you take away one message from this column, let it be that reboots have happened, they usually suck but sometimes something good happens, we have creators that care about the material, if this reboot starts to blow up in DC’s face they will change things back. But most of all, the things that made us care about the characters will still be the same and they will be things that keep us coming back to read about a world where wrongs can be righted, good wins over evil, and a man can fly.

Front page image from Images from


First Impressions: Legion of Doom, Graveyard of Empires

TITLE: Flashpoint: Legion of Doom #1
AUTHOR: Adam Glass
PENCILLER: Rodney Buchemi
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASED: June 15, 2011

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

You know, this First Impressions feature has prompted me to pick up more of these Flashpoint tie-ins than I ever thought I would. Doesn’t mean I have to stick with them, mind you. But I’ve gotten a few more samples off the platter than I was intending to take.

Flashpoint: Legion of Doom #1 is about Heatwave, normally an adversary of The Flash. In the opening pages, we see him murder Jason Rusch so that he can team with Ronnie Raymond and become Firestorm. He’s caught by Cyborg (who in the Flashpoint universe, is America’s greatest superhero), and hauled off to Queens Row Penitentiary, which from the exterior looks exactly like the “Darth Vader head” hideout the Legion of Doom had on the old Super Friends show. Heatwave is scheduled to be executed for the murder of Jason Rusch. But he has a hidden ally nearby, a man who is considered a hero in the regular DCU…

Based on the solicitations for the remaining two issues, it’s looking like this story will basically be Heatwave vs. Cyborg, with each having a partner at his side, amongst a prison riot. That’s a fairly interesting premise. Also inside Queens Row is Zsasz, the Batman villain who marks his murders by placing tally marks in his skin. Amazo is also there, but he’s a “super guard” robot. I’d like to see both those characters come into play later on.

I wasn’t blown away by Legion of Doom, but I certainly wasn’t bored. I don’t intend to come back to it, simply because we (presumably) won’t be seeing these versions of the characters again any time soon, and I’d rather spend my money elsewhere. But take money out of the equation, and I’d be interested to see where this story goes. It looks like it’ll do some interesting service to the Flashpoint version of Cyborg.


TITLE: Graveyard of Empires #1
AUTHOR: Mark Sable
PENCILLER: Paul Azaceta
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASED: June 15, 2011


Graveyard of Empires tells the story of a group of American soldiers in Afghanistan. As we open the issue, one of the locals slowly and silently approaches some of them, not saying a word. Naturally, this causes alarm and prompts one of the soldiers to shoot him dead. They later find explosives surgically placed in his body. These soldiers have no shortage of problems dealing with the locals, not to mention infighting. Toward the end of the issue, a soldier pulls a gun on his new superior officer, fearing he’ll get them all killed. But he’s interrupted by yet another silent man approaching. He’s shot down, but as his body is being inspected, he suddenly sits up and bites a soldier in the neck.

Little do these unfortunate Americans know that “Z-Day” has arrived, and that Afghanistan is about to be the center of a zombie attack!

Zombies in Afghanistan, huh? That’s…interesting, I guess. A little risque? Maybe. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Graveyard of Empires just needs to watch its taste level. Thankfully, it appears to be doing that. There’s a scene where a local tells one of the soldiers who keeps calling him “Hajji” that the term actually is honorific, and “means one who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca.” So this won’t be a “let’s portray the Afghanis as horrifying zombies” book.

Now that the initial threat and tone have been established, I think Sable and Azaceta need to focus a bit on character development, as it can sometimes be hard to keep track of who is who. The soldier who stands out the most in this issue is Reddick, who has…aggressive tendencies, and doesn’t mind bending, or outright breaking the rules for the greater good. It’s Reddick who wants to kill his superior officer in hopes of saving more lives. One can only wonder how Reddick will handle a zombie attack.

While I’ve grown somewhat apathetic toward zombie stories, The Walking Dead in particular, this one has piqued my interest in the short term because of its setting. I can see myself possibly coming back for seconds on this one.

Front page image from Legion of Doom logo from, partial page 1 from Graveyard of Empires from

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