Still playing a game of catch-up! But I’m getting there! This batch we have some hits and two major league misses.
The New Avengers #3 – Written by Brian Michael Bendis and Penciled by Stuart Immonen. Well, we finally get a clue as to what we’re dealing with here and the story continues to be interesting. But we join this issue with Power Fist in possession of the Eye of Agamotto. We have ghosts/demon-ish things flooding out of the sky and… Ghostbusters references. So right away, that scores some high points with me. The Thing and Spiderman exchange quite the witty banter and just go well together. I really like this line-up of the Avengers and they continue to make it interesting. I really like Ms. Hand in this one, she has some of the highlights of this issue for sure. Just some really great stuff from Bendis in this one. Check it out!
Justice League: Generation Lost #8 – Written by Judd Winick and Penciled by Aaron Lopresti. Here’s another great issue full of solid comedic moments and some serious stuff going on in the meantime. The plot doesn’t move forward a ton, but it sure makes the little bit we get interesting nonetheless. Winick knows how to execute comedic timing and write these characters to be interesting. I’m really loving this comic as it seems to really get better as it goes. But the premise of this issue is simply that our group is caught invading Checkmate while trying to find Max Lord. Oh, and they’re all dressed up in Rocket Red suits. So a lot of wacky stuff, mostly solid art through-out and just a damn good time. Last issue was a tiny letdown, but this issue gives me some moments that I really enjoyed. Worth looking into because it’s just a fun comic and maintains serious implications on the DC Universe.
Brightest Day #9 – Written by Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi with Artwork by Patrick Gleason, Ivan Reis and Joe Prado. So, we’ve got some weird guy that Aquaman had a vision about, Deadman having to track down everyone and then some damned story about the forest in Star City. Sound like fun? And what the hell happened to Hawkman? Lord, talk about a whole lot of to-do about nothing. Uneven artwork, boring and listless storytelling. This isn’t epic anything besides fail. The series really is needing to get somewhere and quick, because it sure doesn’t hold any of my interest. I could care less about what goes on with Mars. And the whole stuff in the forest is ok, but Martian Manhunter’s stuff was just confusing and annoying. I didn’t feel like there was much value in any of this. So my basic thought is, if you want to waste $2.99, you might as well just send it to me. Seriously, send it this way. I’m broke.
Hawkeye & Mockingbird #4 – Written by Jim McCann and Penciled by David Lopez. So we’re off and running trying to backtrack to what happened at the end of last issue. So you can just guess that the explosion we saw actually took a good 10 minutes before it went off. I hate that trick, they used to do it in the old serials of the 30’s and 40’s. You see what happened at the end of last episode and then you rewind and show what happened “in-between” frames basically. Cheap gimmick and this one was especially not well crafted. But we’re setting up for the final showdown with Phantom Rider and Crossfire versus Hawkeye and Mockingbird. Don’t get me wrong, there is still plenty of very good story going on here, but I’m less impressed with David Lopez as we go. It also seems like McCann has a good first act and then follows it up with a weak second act. So I pray our third and final act (or our Climax) brings us a great close to this. A pretty good first four issues, but it’s starting to slip a little already. I hope McCann can right his ship a little as it’s listing to the side. I wanted to like this issue more than I did. It’s just okay.
Batman & Robin #13 – Written by Grant Morrison and Art by Frazier Irving. I’m a bit behind on my Batman reading so I’m trying to catch up. Grant Morrison’s run on Batman and Robin has been kind of weird. I like his portrayal of Damien, but that’s really been about it. However, the road he’s been going down is starting to make some sort of sense. We start this issue with the return of Thomas Wayne. WTF you say? Yes, Thomas Wayne. And we get a huge shock I’m not going to spoil, but it’s crazy. Then we flashback to 3 days prior and we have Batman and Robin talking to the Joker who has turned over a “new leaf”. Batman finally starts piecing things together about what’s been going on for the past year. Meanwhile, we get a nice stark visual moment that reminds me of the Joker being in the opposite position he was in during "The Killing Joke”. Good stuff there. The artwork has a very noir feel. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I hate it. Just depends on the page. Batman is very realistically rendered, but I don’t buy comics for that bit of realism. So, to me, the artwork is good, but it detracts from the comic medium. Especially something like Batman, I just appreciate your “normal” comic art better. Although it’s still better than Mark Bagley’s SpiderBatman. Hey, Mark Bagley, Batman is NOT Peter Parker under that suit. Anyway, the story is heavy but solid stuff. This might be a really good point to jump on, but the artwork could detract from this for some.
Franken-Castle #20 – Written by Rick Remender and Art by Tony Moore, Paco Diaz and John Lucas. All the reviews I had been reading about Franken-Castle had cast it in such a spectacular light I had to see what was going on here. Boy was I disappointed. In this issue Franken-Castle continues to square off with the man who killed him, Daken. We have Wolverine in on this too and we have an epic battle of epic epicness. Need I say more? The whole thing is over the top, the artwork is over the top, it just doesn’t work for me. The way things ended up was gross, bizarre, and twisted. I don’t always mind that, but it just wasn’t what I was looking for with this series. I expected weird, sure, but not this. The artwork just looks cheap and downright awful in spots. I can’t stand the way it all comes together. However, the preview for next issue has me excited as I’m a big Dan Brereton fan. I’m not sure if he’s doing the artwork and story for the next issue, but if so, boy will it be fantastic. And the way thinks are going with Frank Castle, I’m thinking this is right up Brereton’s alley. Avoid this issue like the plague and let’s see what next issue brings!