Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Quick Comic Book Reviews - August 22nd, 2010

This installment, we find a hidden gem and a horrible new title that will make you throw-up in your mouth a little bit.  Brightest Day finally has another solid issue and me and Paul Azateca throw down in a knock down, drag out, battle royale for the ages.

bright10Brightest Day #10 – Written by Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi with Art by Ivan Reis, Scott Clark and Joe Prado.  This issue focuses on Firestorm and Aquaman’s stoylines.  Professor Stein finds out that something big is going on with Firestorm and reveals it to Jason and Ronnie.  Could Firestorm recreate the Big Bang?  Then we are off on a hunt for Aqualad.  Black Manta wants to find his son and he’s racing with Aquaman to get to him.  Manta’s son starts learning the truth about his father from the man he thought was his father.  This issue is smart in that it focuses on two stories and makes sure we understand them.  Unlike last issue’s Martian Manhunter story, this one makes some sort of sense.  I particularly like the Aqualad storyline and him finding out who his father is.  It’ll be interesting to see how much Aquaman trusts Mera from here on out.  The artwork is better than usual and consistent through-out.  Definitely one of the best Brightest Day issues.  This one is actually worth checking out!

daken1Daken: Dark Wolverine #1 – Written by Dan Way & Marjorie Liu and Penciled by Giuseppe Camuncoli.  We start with a flashback that Daken has about his father, good ol’ Wolvie.  Then we’re off to Milan where Daken is attending a fashion show and being a total douchebag like usual.  He has a person there designing his new costume which is a take on the old Wolverine outfit.  We also learn of a mysterious man who is giving Daken orders.  There were times in the Dark Avengers that I really liked Daken and how he manipulated things.  However, he’s really being portrayed as a man with no redeeming qualities and it’s hard for a reader to get into a character like this.  The story wasn’t very interesting and didn’t feel like it actually advanced anything.  We had a brief interlude with a mystery man and the information revealed means nothing if you haven’t read the new issue of Wolverine.  I really liked the artwork here, but that was the only redeeming quality of this issue.  When you think about it, that’s very much like Daken himself.  Oh, you also get a bonus history section about Daken which could be helpful to new readers.  Overall, skip this issue unless you have to have a number one, because this issue is forgettable at best and I hope the writers have some ideas on how to make Daken a character we might be able to identify with.

thanos4Thanos Imperative #4 – Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning with Art by Miguel Sepulveda.  Drax has disintegrated Thanos while in the Cancerverse.  This could have huge ramifications as the Avatar of Death is needed to save our universe.  Lord Mar-Vell traverse our universe looking for an anomaly to make sure our universe doesn’t introduce death into his.  Nova and friends make sure that he doesn’t kill the anomaly that is Namorita.  So the events unfold in epic fashion.  There is a lot going on, but not too much and everything happens at a brisk pace, really engaging the reader.  Some people are probably sick of Thanos, but I still find some enjoyment with him.  Plus any comic with the Guardian of the Galaxy earns bonus points with me.  But Abnett and Lanning really paint a picture of a universe that is nothing but a nightmare and it trying to expand has our whole universe going nuts.  There are some very interesting moments in this issue!  The artwork is pretty good stuff in this issue and I can tell what’s going on here and who everyone is.  I had a complaint about that in past issues as they made it hard to understand what was going on in the story with the artwork.  But a very good issue, if you want to try a “cosmic” storyline, this is definitely one to check-out!

shadpowerm2Shadowland: Power Man #2 – Written by Fred Van Lente and Penciled by Mahmud Asrar.  The new Power Man continues his fight with Luke Cage.  We also get some background into his character this issue and see him and his family and what happened to his father.  A mysterious person sends out their forces to attack the new Power Man.  Suddenly there’s bad 70’s Harlem bad guys flying around.  Names like Cheshire, Cockroach Hamilton and Mr. Fish.  These guys are the Rivals, a group that Luke Cage belonged to long ago.  Wow, what a power packed issue.  No pun intended!  Okay, well, it was intended, but live with it folks.  I like finding out more about the new Power Man’s background.  Boy is this kid powerful!  There is also a great feel of these 1970’s Harlem style bad guys that is just fun and amusing.  I hope to see more of them in the future, but not so much that they should come back often.  I think this comic has the makings of a great series.  Mahmud Asrar’s art continues to improve this issue, even though it was pretty weak out of the gate.  I really liked it much better.  He still has a few rough spots, but it does not detract from the comic.  He just has to get to the point where his artwork ADDS value to the story a little more and he’ll be great.  I’m expecting big things out of this and strongly believe you should all pick-up and support this exciting new comic!

amazspid643The Amazing Spider-Man #643 – Written by Mark Waid and Art by Paul Azaceta.  Spidey rescues the baby from the clutches of the nefarious Doc Ock.  But now what?  Spidey has to figure out what the heck he’s going to do and the choices aren’t as easy as he had hoped.  Especially with Electro and Sandman joining the fray.  The story is fun, a little over-the-top, but yuck on the artwork.  Azaceta needs to be replaced and soon.  I can’t stand his art and he’s ruining what might be a really fun story.  At this point, all he does is show the weakness in this story because now you’re not feeling the story properly.  Then again, maybe this whole story is supposed to border on the ludicrous and the ridiculous artwork is supposed to augment that.  If so, poor choice, because it looks like amateur night.  If a new reader picked up this issue, what would they think?  That’s how Marvel should view one of it’s top line comics.  If nothing else, keep using Paolo Rivera who does a great old school feel style.  I just can’t recommend this due to the awful artwork.

youngallies4Young Allies #4 – Written by Sean McKeever and Penciled by David Baldeon.  Nomad and Arana are being held captive by the Bastards of Evil.  If that wasn’t bad enough, they are about to be executed on live TV.  Now it’s up to Gravity, Toro and Firestar to save the two before things get really messy.  That’s the basic premise of this issue and it’s very well executed.  Some people might frown on a couple of overtones here so far.  First, he blew up Ground Zero with a nuclear character and now he has his heroes with sacks over their heads about to be executed terrorist style.  So it is very possible you could be offended by this.  The Bastards are just rotten people and you really want to see them get their tails whipped permanently.  There is another character at the end that is behind all of this and I’m hoping we get a good explanation for all the damage that is being caused.  I have faith in McKeever, because so far this has been interesting.  The artwork is pretty great as always.  A pretty decent issue and a super-team that is still in its fledgling stages, might be worth checking out.

incredhulks612The Incredible Hulks #612 – Written by Greg Pak and Penciled by Tom Raney.  So the World War Hulks is now over and we see how the “Hulk Family” is handling things.  Betty Banner seems to be having trouble coping with it and Bruce pushes just the wrong buttons to cause some chaos to ensue.  An amusing little story in this one.  It summarizes all the members of the “Hulk Family” pretty well.  But it comes off a tad lame at times.  The problem I’ve had with Hulk for awhile is you never know if the comic is taking itself seriously or not.  It always plays this half-tongue-in-cheek style that’s hard to get a feel for.  Sometimes I wish they would take it a little more seriously, but all these Hulks, it’s hard to take them very seriously at this point.  So, while I want to like it, it isn’t easy.  Then we have the back-up (or is it the main) story of Dark Son.  Written by Greg Pak and Scott Reed with Pencils by Brian Ching.  We’re further introduced to Hulk’s other son, Hiro-Kala.  Hiro has gotten rid of the Old Power and used the Worldmind of the planet K’ai.  He manipulates it for some unknown reason as they are hurtling to who knows where.  I’m guessing Earth, but I could be wrong.  The whole story is a tad confusing and I feel like I’ve missed something with this story.  Honestly, it just isn’t very interesting.  Maybe I would have to go back and read the Planet Hulk saga to appreciate.  Then again, maybe I’m not missing anything.  Either way, the art here is very good and better than Tom Raney’s in the first half.  I guess the issue is ok, but I’m just not interested and I’m not sure if it would hold anyone else’s interest either.


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