Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Quick Comic Book Reviews - Nov 2nd, 2010

A pretty darned good crop from last week and there was more goodness out there as well that I didn't review at all.  Sad, but there's just so much good stuff going on out there.  Just gotta taste it all!   But here's a good selection for you to check out!

Teen Titans #88 - Written by J.T. Krul and Penciled by Nicola Scott.  This issue was promised as a bit of a refresh on the Teen Titans that have suffered much neglect and inconsistent writing, mixed with storylines that they never did anything with.  Krul mixes a story together and gives the characters a driving focus in this issue.  We actually see some team dynamics form for a change and it seems to work very well.  What worked for me in particular?  Well, the interaction with Wonder Girl and Superboy was great and had some excellent moments.  Bart or Kid Flash being written just like he should be, some really great stuff with him.  Feels like how Peter David would have liked him being written.  Even Ravager has some really strong moments in here.  Despite all of this character development we see, what Krul does best is balance in action and an underlying story through it all.  So instead of making it just a character driven issue, we also have some bad stuff going on in the background that in the upcoming issues the characters will try to solve.  The artwork is pretty decent.  I really liked it and I thought it really brought out the characters well.  I particularly like how Nicola draws Kid Flash and Ravager.  Ravager, drawn in the wrong hands, looks very boring.  Not so this issue.  I enjoyed this issue a lot and I definitely recommend you checking it out this week!

Thunderbolts #149 - Written by Jeff Parker and Art by Declan Shalvey.  The Thunderbolts disobey the direct orders of Songbird as she takes Fixer to the hospital.  They view it as a chance to prove themselves so the whole operation doesn't go belly up.  So off they go to find the Undead Hand horde of ninjas.  In this issue we learn a few VERY interesting things about Crossbones, one of which will forever change the character.  Another thing with Crossbones is the "oh no, he didn't just do that, did he?" moment we won't soon forget.  Also worth looking out for is Man-Thing being absolutely sliced and diced into a sad salad.  So there are plenty of excellent moments in this issue.  To categorize it as awesome would be an understatement.  Parker definitely has the pulse of this new team, he's got some great humor and plenty of huge moments that make this an issue that you can't afford to miss.  Plus Declan's art is very well done in here and seems to fit the whole Shadowland storyline very well.  So just in case you missed it, BUY THIS ISSUE!  It is just that amazing and awesome that if you don't, well, that will make you a sad panda.  Bet on it!

Time Masters: Vanishing Point #4 - Written and Layouts by Dan Jurgens and Art by Norm Rapmund.  Why does this series get a bad rap?  I'm just not understanding what people don't like about it.  Sure, they're supposed to be looking for Batman, but that ISN'T what the story is really about.  I don't think that people get what this is all about and I think the story is at the point that they may just finally get it.  Anyway, this issue is about fighting some evil sorcerer who wants to manipulate the time stream and use it for his own good.  More importantly, the gathering of evil with Black Beetle at the Vanishing Point is building as he manipulates the last two of the Linear Men.  So a grand plot is unfolding there as well.  I like that we get a bit more of Supernova, as I think his character still has a lot of life if DC chooses to utilize it.  I like getting the bits and pieces of Rip Hunter's background as well.  I think that is some of the best parts.  What I didn't like it Hal Jordan once again ripping unnecessarily on Booster.  Yes Dan, we know the image that Booster Gold has conveyed, but let's not make it this over the top anymore.  We get it!  But besides that, a pretty solid issue and some great art.  I love issues that Jurgens does any layout or art for.  But is this a must buy?  Not at all, merely a borderline issue that is not nearly as bad a series as people will make it out to be.  You can skip it and not miss a beat, but there's still a good comic underneath it all.

Zatanna #6 - Written by Paul Dini and Art by Jesus Saiz.  Zatanna is about to get married?  Well, not really, but mind control is a hell of a thing.  So it's up to Zach to come running to the rescue?  Yup.  So we have a face-off with a really angry demon in this issue.  But it's all good fun and the final solution will make you think a couple of times about it and the implication thereof.  I like how they really play on Zach's jealousy, but more importantly, his need for approval from Zatanna.  They've fleshed out his character a bit and really made Zatanna interesting relevant.  I actually look forward to reading each issue as I know there will be plenty of clever moments and a truly fun story involved.  So far, Paul Dini has not let me down at all.  And boy, does Jesus Saiz draw a truly grotesque demon of greed.  There were a few off spots, but there were a few panels I mistook Benjamin Raymod for Zach.  But overall he does a good job of storytelling with his art.  Maybe I'll blame it on my bad eye for details some days.  Yep, I'll just blame it on that.  So do you need to buy this issue?  Well, I really like it every month.  But is that enough for you?  On a scale of 1-10, I would rate this as a 7.5, very enjoyable and you might enjoy this title, but it isn't an absolute must.

Fantastic Four #584 - Written by Jonathan Hickman and Art by Steve Epting.  So we're selling simply off the fact that a member of the Fantastic Four is about to die.  I'm just not buying it though.  It's going to be one of the Reed Richards from an alternate timeline or something like that dying.  Blech.  Anyway, this issue focuses on the Thing.  Ben can take a special formula that he can take once per year to spend a week as a normal human again.  So Ben tries it out and we get a somewhat heartwarming, but ultimately fun, issue.  We get to see Ben go out and do things he normally doesn't get to do.  So while that was fun, I'm wondering what the hell any of this has to do with last issue.  Or even the issue before that.  The problem seems to be that Jonathan Hickman only exists to confuse the hell out of us!  Seriously, I don't know what the hell if going on half the time.  I hate all the alternate timeline Reed Richards crap that's been going on.  Now there's an alternate timeline/dimension Galactus?  And our Galactus is mad that he's dead?  I'm sorry, not OUR Galactus, I mean he's really everybody's Galactus.  But seriously, how does any of this make sense?  Hickman, you confound me!  This is a pretty good issue overall, but only if you view it as a one-shot because this series has made sense in ages.  Hickman is wildly inconsistent with what he's doing and there are some more gaps in logic in this issue as well.  Just a borderline issue with some good Ben Grimm stuff if that might interest you any.

The Incredible Hulks #615 - Written by Greg Pak and Penciled by Barry Kitson.  This issue is basically the prep and invasion of planet K'ai.  So we see them prepared and they get ready to fight and then start fighting.  That's the issue in a nutshell.  However, it is pretty well told and the interaction of the characters is decent enough.  Kitson's art is very well done.  So this was just a solid issue as far as the Dark Son storyline goes.  I'm still not totally pulled into this storyline, but hey, I really love A-Bomb as a superhero.  He's just happy when he gets something right, it's just fun to see him.  Nothing too spectacular here, just ok to decent.  Then we get a back-up feature that focuses on Red She-Hulk and the Punisher.  Written by Ben McCool and Penciled by Tom Raney.  This just tries to give us a glimpse into Betty's personality and motivation now that she's the Red She-Hulk.  We get to see how she's viewed by the Punisher and they use him as kind of a way for us to see how much she's changed.  Not a big fan of the artwork and the story was just mediocre.  We know that Bruce isn't going to give up on her, but really, they're wasting paper on this story when we could have just had more of the Dark Son story instead.  So an average issue, nothing terrible, but nothing great.

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