Sunday, November 28, 2010

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Conan The Cimmerian #25

BAD THING: This is a great issue of a great comic. But in the end it is, as advertised, the last issue of Conan the Cimmerian.

GOOD THING: The good news is that this is not the last we shall see of everyone's favorite barbarian hero from Dark Horse Comics. The current team will return next year to do a King Conan mini-series. And then there's the big announcement that Roy Thomas - the man who brought Conan to comics nearly 40 years ago - is returning to the comics industry to write a new monthly Conan book: Conan: The Road Of Kings!

Here's one of the covers for Issue #1!

The Final Verdict: An era comes to an end with a bright new dawn on the horizon for Dark Horse Comics and Conan. I'm sad to see the current team go but I can't wait to see what Roy Thomas has in store for us in the upcoming Road of Kings series.

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Kull: The Hate Witch #1

GOOD THING: A solid set-up for a story involving Robert E. Howard's lesser-known original barbarian king. Kull gets a lot of flack for being a Conan rip-off but the truth is that Kull was created first and indeed the first Conan story was a reworking of a Kull story that Howard wasn't particularly happy with. This one is a real treat for fans familiar with the original Kull stories and yet a subtle introduction to all the original characters for newbies.

BAD THING: Kull himself is "off-model" throughout the book, appearing to be a relatively handsome if rugged man in some pages and a pug-nosed neanderthal in others. Thankfully, the look is usually consistent from panel to panel, even if the individual pages are not as consistent.

The Final Verdict: A promising start, despite some inconsistent character design in the artwork.

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Red Sonja #53

BAD THING: For no readily apparent reason, Sonja is now in a longer - and much more practical - leather skirt as opposed to the chainmail breechcloth she usually wears.

Why is this a bad thing? Because this scene seems to follow immediately after the end of last issue (Sonja and company are still standing in the same room where Sonja found the heads of her men laid out) and no reason is given for the wardrobe change. Which is odd because Sonja is wearing her usual costume on the first page...

EDIT NOTE: On rereading the issue, I noticed - in the scan above - that the caption does note that this scene takes place two days later, though the dialogue is much the same as the lines that closed out the last issue. Also, couldn't/wouldn't they have buried the heads by now?!

GOOD THING: Ignoring that, there is absolutely nothing else about this issue I can complain about. The artwork is great, the story engaging and the dialogue manages the unique humor and pacing that the sword and sorcery genre requires.

The Final Verdict: Another solid issue, though one wonders why Sonja changed skirts and how she changed so quickly and without comment from her men between issues. ;) In all seriousness, the sudden costume change is jarring but it is a minor distraction from what is a perfect comic all-around.

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Green Arrow #6

GOOD THING: There's relatively little Brightest Day nonsense in this issue. After a brief page of Galahad musing upon duty and public service, we are treated to a picture-perfect fight scene with Ollie storming the Queen Enterprises building and fighting an army of mooks in close quarters.

BAD THING: Storywise, everything falls apart once Ollie confronts The Queen and we finally get her backstory. While it's not hard to believe that a naive, attractive young woman from a backwater berg might be easily wooed by some sweet nothings from a millionaire playboy out for a quick fling and come to believe he was the handsome prince come to save her from a life of toil and misery, it is rather hard to believe that Ollie would take her at her word about his father's apparent plans to abandon his family to bring home a Russian trophy bride, before his untimely death.

What is worse is that Ollie's justification for believing the story in the first place is that he knows what lying about an affair sounds like. "So does Dinah." There are two problems with this...

1. Lying about having slept with someone is quite different than denying having slept with them. Granted that lying is lying, The Queen wouldn't be "lying about an affair" in the same sense that Ollie means in this sentence.

2. As I've pointed out numerous times in the past, the rumors of Oliver Queen's cheating on Dinah have been greatly exaggerated to put it mildly, briefly and politely.

(On a side note, It's surreal going back and rereading an article I wrote about how Oliver Queen didn't ever cheat on Dinah Lance mere months before Judd Winick wrote the infamous story where Green Arrow slept with Black Lightning's niece.)

And this is ignoring the fact that the dialogue used (and the artwork with Ollie and Dinah in their modern costumes) seems to suggest that Ollie lied about an affair to Dinah recently, when - as we all know if you've been reading my rants - that Ollie has only ever cheated on Dinah once. And the way the lines are written suggest that it was an affair that drove Oliver and Dinah apart recently- not Ollie's attempts to conceal his killing of Prometheus and getting caught before he could tell Dinah everything.

Lying did end the relationship, yes. But not lying about an affair.

The Final Verdict: Good action sequences and artwork are betrayed by a massive plot hole that serves to make the title character look bad over a subject that is already a sore point with most devout Arrowheads. Sadly, I suspect only I and a few others will care at this point given that this is the best treatment Oliver Queen has had in years. Which is really sad, the more I think about it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

DC Superhero Glasses Among Those Recalled Over Lead Levels

I found out about this after a royally bad Monday ($450 in unexpected car repairs - goodbye Holiday Bonus) JUST after I hit up two comic shops so I could get a matched set of Green Arrow pint mugs.

On the bright side, I hadn't had a chance to use them and still had the receipts.

SOURCE: Feds Probe Lead-Tainted Comic Character Drinking Glasses

Not just DC Comics glasses, mind you, but just about ANY collector glass made in the last few years. Warner Brothers is just the first to do a formal recall. Turns out the Shrek glasses scare at McDonald's this past summer? Tip of the iceberg...

Friday, November 19, 2010

For everyone seeing Harry Potter tonight who is dressing up...

... know that some of us think you are amateurs.

My Eternal Thanks to of Deranged Comics for drawing out my idea!

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Knight and Squire #2

BAD THING: Despite a glossary in the back that tries to explain away some of the more obscure in-jokes that American audiences are likely to miss (i.e. the nod to The Avengers and I don't mean the ones led by Tony Stark), there's quite a bit that can still be missed by your average American.

I had to explain to a friend, for instance, that Morris Dancing has a number of traditions behind it - among them the belief that the ritual of the dance causes certain things to happen, like the start of summer or the end of winter. So the idea of a group of men doing a magical dance in order to turn back time or open a portal to another reality is just an application of the ritual magic performed by cults in your average H.P. Lovecraft story being applied to what most see as a harmless folk tradition that is only practiced "seriously" in a few remote English villages.

This is also why the presence of a woman disrupts the magic. Because even if you don't believe that the presence of a woman can foul-up the masculine energy being drawn upon, the fact that the Morris Men believe that is enough to shake their faith in the spell. You see?

GOOD THING: Another fascinating plot, though one perhaps more worth of Hellblazer than Batman and Robin as The Knight and Squire investigate a cult of Morris Dancers.

The Final Verdict: Still an enjoyable series for an Anglophile like myself. I can't help but think that this is a bit much for the average American comic book reader, even with the glossary at the end.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Brightest Day #14

GOOD THING: Some good character stuff here for Deadman, as we get a more in-depth look at his mast and motivations than I think we've ever gotten in anything written in the modern age.

BAD THING: The ending is a tad predictable, with this romance between Deadman and Dove (or at least, the potential for one) having been telegraphed pretty heavily before now. At least the revelation that contact with the White Ring somehow restored Bruce's memory of Maxwell Lord is a surprise... but that's mostly because Maxwell Lord hasn't shown up in this book since the early issues!

The Final Verdict: Some good character stuff but the ending is anti-climactic and the surprise revelation might mean something to those following the Maxwell Lord story-line in the other books connected to this one... but not this book itself.

One More Thought On Green Lantern #59

Special thanks to for pointing this out in our weekly comics talk.

One thing from the new issue I didn't mention in my original review. Namely, the revelation that the Indigo Light of Compassion seems to seek out and redeem those who don't have any. In this opening scene, we see the Indigo Tribe come for a paramedic who gives preference to the insured over the more severely injured. And of course we know that The Tribe claimed Black Hand as a member at the end of Blackest Night.

Why do I mention this? Because in the wake of this revelation, suddenly the disconnect between the Ray Palmer of Blackest Night (i.e. the man who was judged most capable of everyone on Earth for feeling great compassion even for those who wronged him) and the Ray Palmer of Cry for Justice (i.e. the man who was jumping around in the sinus cavities of his enemies trying to get information out of them ) has disappeared completely.

Now... if only we had an explanation for how a pretentious, nit-picking dick like Barry Allen got a Hope ring...

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Green Lantern #59

BAD THING: Is it just me or is Barry Allen a dick? I mean, a colossal, pretentious, uptight, needs to get laid and/or get his ass-kicked dick? I ask this because for all the complaints Johns gets about fetishism regarding the Silver Age Flash... I just don't see how ANYBODY can believe that Barry is being the reasonable party here, which I think is Johns' intent with the writing.

Really, Barry's rant about how he doesn't like what Ollie turned Hal into makes him sound less like a concerned friend/teammate and more like a whiny little schoolgirl who is upset that she's now only the second-best friend of the girl she spent all of her time with up until yesterday. And the subtext seems to be Johns slamming the Bronze Age and all of the stories where Hal Jordan was portrayed as being less than perfect.

Granting that I'd be concerned if Hal "I Was Manipulated Into Trying To Reboot The Universe To Make It Good For Everybody" Jordan were traveling around with a group of known villains, including several of his greatest enemies, I find it ironic that this worrying is coming from a guy who - a scant few issues ago - was being held up as an avatar of optimism and the most Hopeful person on Earth, to the point that he got to become a back-up Blue Lantern.

And - oh yes - lest we forget, Barry Allen killed his arch-enemy for reasons that were just as personal as Ollie's reasons for going after Prometheus and in much less urgent circumstances. So not only is Barry Allen a dick, possessive and jealous - he's also The Fastest Hypocrite Alive.

GOOD THING: Thankfully, Barry gets the piss taken out of him when he is pick-pocketed - in mid rant - by Larfleeze, proving that the glowing orange klepto isn't really all that bad.

The Final Verdict: After this issue, I really want Barry Allen to die. Again. Slower this time. Much more painfully, if possible. Ideally through the use of some kind of Enema Arrow that proves necessary to cleanse him of the massive stick that is shoved up his...

Ah-ha-ha. But apart from that this is a very nice comic that furthers the whole plot with the Energy Avatars and reveals some cool stuff about the Indigo Tribe. So... yeah.

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Green Lantern Corps #54

BAD THING: Based on the cover art, my worries regarding last issue and Soranik becoming a girl-hostage for the sake of the story appear to have been well-founded.

GOOD THING: Thankfully, Soranik isn't in kept in bondage for any part of the issue. Indeed, the whole issue is a real treat and does explore one aspect of the Green Lantern mythos that somehow went ignored during The Sinestero Corps War. Namely, how the Qwardians of the Anti-Matter universe were not willing partners with The Sinestero Corps but slaves to the will of Sinestero. This explains a lot of what we saw in the earlier series but was never stated outright.

The Final Verdict: A solid issue with a worrisome cover, that ads some insight into The Sinestro Corps War and some extra background to a group of villains that have been curiously absent from the Green Lantern mythos ever since Rebirth.

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Warlord of Mars #2

BAD THING: As with last issue, the covers don't match the content of the book.

GOOD THING: Again, as with last issue, the interior of the book is awesome. More western action as Jon Carter makes his way to Mars through astral-projection and we get a look at green Martian politics as Tars Tarkas earns his new name.

The Final Verdict: Another solid issue of a promising series that is ill-served by its' cheesecake covers. Thankfully, it seems like this will be less of an issue as our hero will be reaching Mars shortly.

Let's Cheer Up A Geek-Girl In Training.

SOURCE:Anti-Bullying Starts in First Grade

A first-grade Star Wars fangirl got made fun of by some boys because "only boys can like Star Wars".

While I'm sure cosmic irony will ensure that this girl is fighting those same boys off with a Tusken Raider staff in ten years when she's attending her first Con, she needs some comforting now. Particularly from geekish ladies.

So if you can spare a moment to write something encouraging, follow the link above.

Young Justice Preview Up - 1 Hour Movie Out Next Week

Naturally, it's coming out when I'll be staying with my folks and there's no way I'll have access to a TV to watch Cartoon Network. :P

Preview is looking good. Very high quality animation that looks somewhat Anime-esque without being the Chibi-nightmare that was Teen Titans Go!. I wonder why Speedy doesn't seem to be on the misson with the other three sidekicks. Maybe somebody remembered Roy was the oldest of the First Five and/or Ollie trusted him enough to take him on a League mission?

Either way... this is looking good.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Birds Of Prey #6

BAD THING: I fear that this moment - in which Dinah mentions her best friend and then the love of her life in the same breath before going into a certain-death situation and just what exactly that implies about the Babara Gordon/Dinah Lance relationship (two words - lesbee friends) - may result in a large number of conservative comic-reader heart attacks.

And this would be bad because I don't want Gail Simone to have any deaths on her conscience. She's far too sweet for that.

GOOD THING: I do not think Huntress, who challenges Lady Shiva to a duel to the death in order to stop Dinah from doing the same, has ever been written this awesomely.

The Final Verdict: Apart from the fact that Chuck Dixon and his fans probably need to be placed on a suicide watch following this issue, I can't think of a single bad thing about this comic.

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #4

GOOD THING: Behold the sheer awesome that is Guy Gardner!

BAD THING: Apparently Sodam Yat has been brought back... only to be made a villain and a cult leader. Seems like kind of a waste to me. Ten to one his new power source is The Starheart.

The Final Verdict: A great issue, though I'm afraid Sodam Yat has fallen into the land of the well-intentioned extremist hero. Still, lots of good character stuff here. And the art is excellent. A must-read, all around.

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Knight and Squire #1

Okay . I finally got it!

BAD THING: There's really not much action here and not much of a plot to this issue. What little there is involves a setting (i.e. A magical bar that is enchanted to allow enemies to meet peacefully) that is just an excuse for a lot of jokes about superheroes and British culture.

GOOD THING: Thankfully, the jokes are very funny. It's a bit like Callahan's Crosstime Saloon meets Hero Happy Hour. That's meant to be a complement to all involved, for the record.

The Final Verdict: There's not much of a story beyond "The British Batman and Robin (who is a girl) go to a magical pub and have a few with their fellow heroes and a few villains." Thankfully, that's all the story it needs and all the set-up we need for a riotously funny comic. You have to appreciate anything which turns the Benny Hill song Ernie (He Drove The Fastest Milkcart In The West) into the basis for a superhero and a super-villain.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Good News! JMS Off Superman and Wonder Woman. Bad News! His storylineswill continue.

SOURCE:You'll Believe a Man Can Take a Sabbatical: J. Michael Straczynski Leaves Monthly Comics

Cheers to Chris Roberson (who deserved a high profile gig after his amazing Fables: Cinderella mini-series) and Phil Hester, who are going to be in charge of Superman and Wonder Woman respectively after this. They both deserve the high profile gigs.

Shame they won't be getting to write their own stories, but hey... wake me when we have the real Wonder Woman back, okay?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Awkward Embraces - A Funny Web Video Series

I just stumbled across this series on YouTube recently. I've only watched two episodes so far, but it is easily the funniest thing in the geek-humor genre since The Guild.

Watch the trailer. Then drag yourself forth to to see more.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Brightest Day #13

GOOD THING: I'd never been a big fan of Hawkman but I loved Geoff Johns' writing enough that back in the day, when he was writing Hawkman's solo book, I gave it a shot. It became a consistent favorite and this issue, in which Johns focuses almost entirely upon the Hawkman/Hawkwoman storyline reminded me of just why his run on Hawkman was so awesome... even for someone who didn't really like Hawkman.

BAD THING: Speak of late, lamented titles from back in the day... am I the only one disappointed that Mitch Shelley (aka The Resurrection Man) only had a brief cameo in this book and that was rendered totally anti-climactic by the no-surprise announcement of just who the White Lantern is meant to be?

The Final Verdict: A good read for us nostalgia buffs and fans of Hawkman, despite an anti-climactic ending. And in case you haven't seen the many adverts yet.... Bruce Wayne is supposed to be the next White Lantern.

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Queen Sonja #11

GOOD THING: There's a very good flashback story here, detailing Red Sonja's background in a way we've never seen before. Specifically, the period immediately after the loss of her family in which she made her living as a thief before becoming a mercenary. While this has been discussed before, precious few stories have mentioned this period of her life and none - as far as I can remember - have depicted it. It does a very good job of making Sonja out to be a typical teenage girl, albeit it an unusually gifted and overly confident one.

BAD THING: Remember the excellent Emma Frost mini-series published by Marvel Comics a few years ago? The one which had a very good coming-of-age story that many young teen ladies might enjoy reading had they not been scared off by the porn-tastic artwork of Greg Horn? Think about that... and then look at the cover of this issue.

Makes you weep, doesn't it?

The Final Verdict: A typical Red Sonja cover conceals a most atypical Red Sonja story, which adds new insight into her character and her past like nothing we've seen in recent memory. A must read!

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Secret Six #27

BAD THING: At this point, fans of The Warlord series are bound to have some questions. Why is Travis Morgan's armor on display in the home of his old friend and fellow king Machiste? Isn't Tinder aka Joshua Morgan wearing his father's old armor and fulfilling his old role as Warlord of Shamballa anymore? Why isn't Shamballa doing anything to help Machiste repel the invaders being led by Bane? Is sending Shakira the extent of the help they are offering? If so, why is Shakira - who knows better than anyone about the evils of the wizard Deimos - encouraging Machiste to use an artifact to bring him back from the dead? If not, what is Shakira doing in Machiste's kingdom since she seemed to be hanging around Tinder and keeping an eye on him following Travis Morgan's death?

GOOD THING: All questions of continuity aside, it IS still a hoot to see most of the members of both Teams of Six winding up in a jungle/fantasy outfit... and to see Catman riding a giant white tiger in the Warlord armor.

The Final Verdict: An enjoyable read, though it raises a lot of questions for fans of The Warlord regarding a lot of things that don't seem to jibe with the characters or the ending of Mike Grell's recent series.

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Darkwing Duck #5

GOOD THING: The series' second main plot is a goody one, with Duck Tales villainess Magica DeSpell teaming with NegaDuck to cause chaos in St. Canard by flooding the city with the confused Darkwing Ducks of other realities.

BAD THING: The subplot with Morgana McCawber having gone a bit loopy after Darkwing's retirement is tidied up just a little too quickly and neatly. Mind you, I get the feeling Darkwing is going to need all the help he can get next issue. Still...

The Final Verdict: A wonderful read for all-ages!

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Green Arrow #5

BAD THING: The heart of the conflict of this book - Ollie's fight to save the city that abandoned him - is put on hold for the sake of the Brightest Day crossover. Despite being full of action, this issue still seems kind of flat. The Blackest Night zombie battles are old hat at this point (though Ollie's solution for fighting them is ingenious) and there's little emotional attachment to the early battle with the master-of-disguise/ninja assassin Nix when we're given no motivation or identity to latch on to.

GOOD THING: If J.T. Krul has managed nothing else with this series, he has helped to shed a new light on Ollie's character by drawing a parallel between existing stories. The flashback here where Ollie confronts the Black Lantern version of his own father draws upon stories by Scott McCullar and Mike Grell, using both to justify Ollie's seemingly out of character actions in Cry For Justice.

In brief, a young Ollie saw his parents die before him at a point when he thought he could have saved them... if only he could kill. This led to him breaking his rule about taking life in Longbow Hunters when he wound up in a similar situation with Dinah Lance - seemingly about to die - and the only thing that could save her was his killing someone. This establishes a weakness for Ollie - an inability to sit idle when those he loves are endangered, which explains why - apart from plain heroism - he went out of his way to go after Prometheus following the crippling of his adopted son and the death of his spiritual granddaughter.

The Final Verdict: A collection of mindless action sequences hides some very deep characterization, drawing upon some long-neglected stories to add clarity to the character of Oliver Queen. It's a small thing but it's enough to make a long-time Arrowhead happy despite most of the issue being devoted to yet ANOTHER zombie fight.

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Green Lantern Corps #53

GOOD THING: It's been a while since we've gotten a story that focused on Kyle Rayner to the degree that this one does and it's been even longer since we've seen him being depicted as the badass he should be.

BAD THING: I'm not too crazy about Soranik Natu - Kyle's girlfriend and fellow Green Lantern - being reduced to the role of the hostage and bargaining chip. Granting that The Weaponeer (who is a great new villain idea, incidentally) is powerful enough to hold an experienced Lantern like Kyle at bay, it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Hopefully she'll prove herself to be a little less easily dealt with in the next issue.

The Final Verdict: One of the best Kyle Rayner stories in recent memory even before a memorable last page. The only downside is that it looks like Soranik has been marginalized, being turned into the typical hostage girlfriend for the sake of the plot.

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Doctor Who #16

BAD THING: The art is still the weakest part of this book. At times it looks as if the rip in Emily Winter's garments caused by an energy blast has resulted in a hole being blown through her chest and the overall look is very crude.

GOOD THING: As bad as the art is, the story is amazing and a fitting conclusion to The Tenth Doctor's time in the comic world. They even end the issue with a fitting quote - albeit not one from the Tenth Doctor's tenure.

The Final Verdict: Good story. Bad art. Hopefully things will improve when the book continues with the adventures of the Eleventh Doctor in a few months.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Conan The Cimmerian #24

BAD THING: The is some inconsistency to the artwork. Specifically, the length of Conan's garments (which alternate between being a thong loincloth and a microskirt) and those of his lady friend. Let's just say there are several panels where it looks like she's wearing a shiny belt rather than a skirt.

GOOD THING: Ignoring all that... this is probably the closest thing to a perfect book you'll find on the market. Good action. Good dialogue. And the art - from panel to panel - is good.

The Final Verdict: Some months I have to struggle to find one bad thing to say about a book. I have that problem with Conan every month.

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Red Sonja #52

GOOD THING: Remember how much I liked the first issue with the new team? If not, go read my review of their first issue. Everything I said about that issue applies to this one.

BAD THING: After doing such a fine job to establish an interesting supporting cast for Sonja in the last issue and the early part of this issue, the most memorable of Sonja's company - the smartass Rogatino - is killed off at the end of the issue for no purpose other than to make the war personal for Sonja.

Admittedly, I may be a bit biased on this point since I love charming rogue characters (it's what I play most in D&D), but this still smacks of someone being Stuffed Into The Fridge.

The Final Verdict: A good solid read, in the vein of Roy Thomas's work with Red Sonja. I'm a bit disappointed that they killed off my favorite of the new supporting cast, seemingly for no purpose other than to add shock value to a story that doesn't need it... but that only detracts slightly from my enjoyment of the issue and does nothing to stop me from recommending it to all comic readers. Not all fans of sword and sorcery, mind you. ALL comic readers.

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #3

GOOD THING: Tomasi is telling a great story here, doing a great job of building up the new villain and raising the stakes for our heroes.

BAD THING: There's almost a bit too much going on. And readers who jumped onto this series without having read Tomasi's Green Lantern Corps may well be lost as to whom Sodam Yat (the former Ion-bearer of the Green Lantern Corps) is and why his return to his home world is so significant.

The Final Verdict: While it isn't all that friendly to Green Lantern newbies, this is still a solid read.

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Warlord of Mars #1

BAD THING: The cover is a bit of false advertising. Those hoping for a classic tale of Jon Carter fighting weird monsters with a busty Martian princess by his side will be disappointed once they get past the admittedly beautiful cover...

GOOD THING: ... and read two solid stories dealing with the origins of two of Edgar Rice Burroughs' protagonists - John Carter before he came to Mars and the Martian warrior Tars Tarkas, long before they met in the first story ERB wrote involving the two warriors of two worlds.

The Final Verdict: I was expecting a classic sword and sorcery tale after I looked at the cover. Imagine my surprise when instead I got a scene from a western and a scene from a science-fiction story. I wasn't disappointed by this. I don't think you will be either. This could quickly become the equal of Dark Horse's Conan Series.