Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Quick Comic Reviews - October 18th, 2011

Read a LOT this week.  Sadly, not a LOT of reviews finished.  Just one of those weeks.  But I figured I better get these out before new release day tomorrow.  Hope you enjoy this installment!

amazspider671The Amazing Spider-Man #671 – Written by Dan Slott, Penciled by Humberto Ramos and Inked by Carlos Cuevas & Victor Olazaba.  Spider-Island is roaring towards a grand conclusion and this issue does not disappoint.  So far, the Spider-Island story has been really good and a ton of fun.  This issue has more action and surprises then you can shake a stick at.  It plays out like a good movie should and leaves you cheering on the heroes as they frantically try and stop the Queen of Spiders and Jackal from taking control of New York City.  In fact, it was so good, you would be hard pressed to find a better Spider-Man issue in the past five years.  Slott has really amped this up as we build towards the conclusion.  I would try to describe what happens in this issue, but there’s constant surprises and I don’t want to ruin it for anybody who’s interested in it.  Ramos’ artwork starts off a tad weak but gets better later in the issue.  Spidey seems far too blocky early on, but like I said, later in the issue it irons itself out.  Might have something to do with the two inkers they have working on it, not sure there.  However, I highly recommend this issue as it is absolutely (no pun intended as Mister Fantastic and the Thing are in this) FANTASTIC!

resurrect2Resurrection Man #2 – Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning with Art by Fernando Dagnino.  Ok, so the second issue involves the main character finding out his father is dead, but uncovering some of the past he’s forgotten.  Then there’s two “hot lesbians” armed to the teeth with guns.  Ok, well, that part really just seemed gratuitous for absolutely no reason.  I had high expectations for the second issue since the first one was so good.  However, there seemed to be very little that happened besides the confrontation at the end of the issue.  It just seemed like there wasn’t much here in this issue, you really end up wishing it had been a tad longer so you could figure out a few things.  Part of the fun of the series will be uncovering the mysteries, but this issue just wasn’t up to par.  Maybe it isn’t fair to compare it to the original series, but the original seemed to have a tad more depth there.  But I still think it was ok, Dagnino’s art work was fine, just nothing special.  There were a few clever moments, but just not enough for me to recommend this one.  If you skip this issue, you probably won’t miss a whole heck of a lot.

ff10FF #10 – Written by Jonathan Hickman  and Art by Barry Kitson.  I haven’t been too high on this series lately, but this one really had a decent Fantastic Four-ish feel to it.  Doom is plotting something but we aren’t sure what.  The alternate universe Reed Richards is plotting something too.  We get the FF going to where this door the Inhumans have sends them and we’ve got some stuff tying in from all the recent Inhumans – Kree stuff that was going on.  Ronan is back in charge of the Kree and off he goes with Crystal making an important decision.  A lot of stuff going on here, but easy to understand for once.  Hickman does just enough explanation that a new reader shouldn’t be too confused.  The art by Kitson is great, he helps things not be confusing.  It is clear that what the actions of the characters are and everything is well detailed.  The issue finally just works.  I love Nathaniel Richards’ interaction with his son from another universe.  It ends up being very entertaining.  Overall, a pretty solid issue and it’s about darned time. I really enjoyed this one and it is a good catching up issue that has some heart to it!

punish4Punisher #4 – Written by Greg Rucka and Art by Marco Checchetto.  Punisher hasn’t really changed so much, but he seems to be a bit of a mystery to people in this one.  Norah Winters helps him escape after a severe ass whuppin by the new Vulture.  The whole story seems to center around more the people he’s affected than anything else, which is a refreshing change from the old Punisher stories that just grow old after awhile.  Rucka is more about the essence of the character.  That being said, there wasn’t a whole lot accomplished in this issue.  Norah Winters sure talks a lot about her encounter and that’s pretty much most of the issue.  It wasn’t bad, it was pretty entertaining overall.  Don’t expect a ton of action in this issue though.  Checchetto does a great job of giving us a nice dark ambience to the whole environment that the Punisher lives in.  The blood gives us, at times, the only color in another dreary and drab world.  We still don’t get much from the Punisher himself, he’s barely said anything since the series began.  Like I said, it isn’t as much about Punisher as it is about the people he’s affected and I like that take.  Pretty good issue, don’t go into it expecting a crazy action filled romp and you won’t be disappointed.  I like it, not sure it’s for everybody though.

mistter2Mister Terrific #2 – Written by Eric Wallace, Penciled by Gianluca Gugliotta and Inked by Wayne Faucher.  There’s nothing like following up a boring first issue with an even more boring second issue.  There’s a lot of “blah blah blah” in this issue that I can’t make sense of.  Anyway, the main character Michael Holt has his brain invaded and now he’s after the villain that almost causes a major incident.  I don’t care about this character, we’ve got NO connection with yet ANOTHER Billionaire in the DC Universe.  Maybe in the DC Universe it’s the 2% instead of the 1%.  Maybe we need to set-up an “Occupy Metropolis”?  There’s just so much not to like here.  The art doesn’t match the mood/theme, it feels too hokey, there’s a lot of (apparently) scientific terms that don’t mean shit to your average reader.  I could go on and on about why this comic sucks.  Wallace hasn’t done much for me with any of his recent work.  His Titans comics only got interesting in the last 3 issues after a year of build-up.  You just can’t do that if you’re going to obtain new readers.  They don’t get the premise of basic storytelling, trying to set-up a grand stage for us all, they leave out those little things that are important.  Jim Shooter always told his people that every comic is somebody’s first.  Well, why do I feel like the second issue was designed for somebody who’s only read the first issue?  That’s a mistake.  Just a truly terrible comic that you should pass on.

deathstr2Deathstroke #2 – Written by Kyle Higgins, Pencils by Joe Bennett and Inked by Art Thibert.  To say I was expecting more of this issue would be an understatement.  Last issue it seemed somebody had set-up Deathstroke.  We don’t know what’s in the brief case, but it was supposed to be part of a nuclear device from what I understand.  Nothing is revealed in this issue.  We got a prolonged over-the-top fight sequence and then BAM, the issue is over.  I thought the art was ok, but a tad hard to follow exactly what was happening in spots.  A lot of it was blood for the sake of blood.  I’ve really told you about everything that happens in this issue.  Oh yeah, and there’s some big dumb bad guy called “Road Rage” who is totally laughably stupid at best.  Last issue’s premise devolves this issue and makes for a totally bad follow-up.  I absolutely hate what they did with this issue and wish they had gone a different route.  It started out well enough and then just went all downhill from there.  Not a good issue at all, a total disappointment, and sadly a comic that you should not be wasting your money on.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Quick Comic Reviews - October 11th 2011

New comics are out tomorrow, so I guess I better finish up on some of last weeks!  Yeah, I didn’t review them all, sorry!  I probably won’t ever get to that point, but I figure we’ll just make do!

hunt1Huntress #1 – Written by Paul Levitz, Penciled by Marcus To and Inked by John Dell. Huntress has long been one of my favorite characters to spawn off from Batman.  Paul Levitz has also done some great work with the Legion of Superheroes.  However, I just don’t think the two worked together really well in this one.  I can’t quite figure out who told her to go to Italy.  I can’t quite see her motivation.  All I know is that she beats up people who do bad things.  That’s really all I know about her besides she’s Italian.  Disappointing characterization here, she seems rather two dimensional, all business.  And the art didn’t help either.  First, the changes to the costume didn’t see that huge except to the mask.  I hate the mask.  I liked it much simpler like it was.  Also, Marcus To did a decent job drawing here face, but he just has leaps of logic in how a human can bend and move.  At one point, Huntress must turn her bone in her leg into rubber to somehow do the splits and reach back behind her to kick a thug.  Really, his art was nothing special in this one.  As much as I would love to say this is a book you should consider, it’s probably not worth it.  Pass!

deadpo44Deadpool #44 – Written by Daniel Way, Penciled by Carlo Barberi and Inked by Walden Wong.  In the last several issues, Deadpool has become the object of affection for one Dr. Whitby who served as psychiatrist at a prison.  Now she’s trying to gain his love by killing people like he would.  Except he can’t stand her, so that doesn’t work out too well.  Yes, another dark and twisted and often fantastically hilarious tale.  Dark humor indeed.  Not always high brow humor either if that’s what you’re thinking.  It’s Deadpool though, so you know about what you’re going to get.  Through this run, Way has done a great job of keeping the humor high right along with the gore.  Barberi just draws this great campy style that gets across the point that it isn’t completely serious and is just great storytelling.  Barberi gets that you have to get across the emotions and feelings of a guy with a mask on and does a superb job.  If you like mayhem and non-stop humor (albeit darker in nature) then this comic is pretty damned good.  It has been very interesting since he got back from space, which was ok, but not the greatest.  This is another excellent issue but maybe not the best jumping on point, but next issue should be.  Still, a good comic that shouldn’t be ignored.

static2Static Shock #2 – Written Scott McDaniel & John Rozum, Penciled by Scott McDaniel and Inked by Andy Owens.  The second issue is a bit better than the first.  The recent news that Rozum is leaving the series makes me wonder if he didn’t care for some of the characterizations going on with Scott McDaniel.  There were some things that I found questionable in here.  I liked the memorial to Dwayne McDuffie and the issue was a tad more interesting.  There were just gaps in logic and reasoning and it felt like some things had the shortcut taken on them.  I had no idea Static’s sister was apparently cloned.  I didn’t catch that from last issue for some reason.  Why would you not have explained that?  Talk about absolutely confusing.  I think the artwork in this issue is a bit better, but there are still times in some panels where you question what’s happening.  Even though this issue made some improvements, there isn’t a whole lot of good things happening here.  I really wish there was, but sadly this isn’t happening.

thund164Thunderbolts #164 – Written by Jeff Parker, Penciled by Kev Walker and Inked by Terry Pallot.  So the once again totally evil Thunderbolts are transported accidentally back in time to World War II.  They meet Namor and Captain America who are trying to rescue the Human Torch from Baron Zemo.  Ah yes, and the Thunderbolts volunteer to help.  Oh, the irony is abundant here.  Jeff Parker writes this one expertly and gives a great tale taking place in the past.  Meanwhile, the good half of the Thunderbolts are trying to track down the “fugitives”.  I thought the artwork was decent and it works, but I’m just not a big fan of the style.  But really, the comic overall is very good and has been for a long time.  Parker really keeps making the series fresh and interesting and everything he’s done just works.  I admit, I was skeptical with the Thunderbolts being back in time, but he’s written it very smartly.  Gotta appreciate that!  So go out, check out the Thunderbolts if you haven’t as it’s all a good time!

aveng17Avengers #17 – Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Penciled by John Romita Jr. and Inked by Klaus Janson.  Ok, we go into another “Fear Itself” issue and they keep doing the damned “interviews” to tell the story thing.  Pardon me, but screw that crap.  So we get to see Romita just draw faces for about 50% of the issue.  They’ve been doing this in New Avengers as well and it has gotten stale.  I get what they’re trying to do, but I just don’t think anyone pays to get nothing more than constant headshots of characters.  The story itself was good when they weren’t doing the damned interviews.  The Avengers (Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, Spider Woman and Noh-Varr or whatever they call him) face off with Sin.  So they are way overpowered until the cavalry comes in.  Romita’s artwork is about what you would expect.  I liked his stuff he used to do with Daredevil and X-Men, but his detail anymore just isn’t the same.  I never did like his Spider-Man, just too blocky for such a fluid character.  I didn’t mind his artwork and it’s nice to see a different style like his in a main book, even though some flat-out hate it.  The issue was just mostly “meh” for me and I didn’t care to read most of it.  Can’t wait for this Fear Itself run to be over!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Quick Comic Reviews - October 9th, 2011

Here’s another dose for this week.  Lots of stuff out there and some reviews I might have skipped over just because I didn’t feel like reviewing them, quite honestly.  But here’s what I have.  Let me know if you’re enjoying the reviews!

detect2Detective Comics #2 – Written by Tony S. Daniel and Penciled by Tony S. Daniel, Inked by Ryan Winn & Sandu Florea.  Following up last month’s occurrence with the Joker, we really see some dark and macabre stuff going on towards the end of this issue.  Some of the better parts have to deal with the relationship between James Gordon and Batman.  I’m not sure what to think of Bruce Wayne’s “relationship” with a reporter or the fact that in the first two months we’ve had Bruce Wayne having sex with two different people.  Of course, I doubt the intention is that he’s sleeping around because I doubt they figured in the continuity of it all.  But hey, Bruce Wayne gets around, right?  The Dollmaker looks to be an interesting villian and they give us a shocking ending.  Daniel does a great job with the art in this issue as well, much less confusing than some scenes in the last issue.  MUCH easier to follow what’s going on this time and that’s always good to see.  Overall, a very good issue with plenty to offer any Batman fan.  While not a must buy, it is good enough to deserve your consideration if you like the Bat.

batwing2Batwing #2 – Written by Judd Winick and Art by Ben Oliver.  Here’s the issue in a nutshell.  Massacre goes to take out some old African super hero and Batwing gets told he’s too hurt to keep fighting.  Now repeat that several times in the same issue and there you have it.  It seemed like the issue could have led somewhere, but it really didn’t.  I think they could have parsed the issue down to about 5 pages and then made some forward momentum.  And the art in here seems nice, but like last issue, there were still very little details in the backgrounds.  Its starting to seem to me like maybe the real talent here lies in the colorist.  The question is, if I only saw the inked version, would it stand up?  I’m not so sure.  The coloring makes it look superb.  Last time I gave Ben Oliver credit, but I’m just guessing now that it’s the colorist.  I thought the first issue was solid and then this issue just goes nowhere quick.  Might as well just skip this one folks as there is really nothing you’ll even miss here!

omac2O.M.A.C. #2 – Story and Art by Dan Didio & Keith Giffen and Inked by Scott Koblish.  I’m really starting to dig this series.  It is becoming a fun and exciting series that throws back to the days of yore when comics were all about being fun.  Kevin Kho is OMAC and doesn’t know why he’s being controlled by Brother Eye.  Apparently, the Eye has been an outcast for some reason.  We also meet Checkmate which is secretly running Cadmus and boy do they have a great surprise waiting for us here!  The artwork is good stuff, not quite up to the level of the first issue, but still a pretty good channeling of Kirby here.  OMAC is a tad devoid of being personable, but I think the fact that Kevin is being controlled will eventually want us to see him break free of it and being able to turn on his OMAC side when he wants.  But who knows where this thing will go.  One thing is for sure though, I’m interested in seeing where this ride takes us.  Hang on to your hats and pick this and issue 1 up if they’re still available!

bpanther5231Black Panther: The Most Dangerous Man Alive #523.1 – Written by David Liss and Art by Jefte Palo.  A serial killer is trying to get the Panther’s attention, however, things take a turn when the Black Panther realizes he’s dealing with someone from his past.  The brief description sums up the issue and gives a small mystery that is quickly enough revealed.  This is a point 1 issue, designed to be a great jumping on point for readers.  It does what it is designed to do very well.  It introduces our main characters and gives us a glimpse as to what to expect from the comic.  So if that was the goal, then it was mission accomplished.  The only problem is that some of it felt too “Batman”.  I thought we almost had our own version of Commissioner Gordon and Panther was doing his best brooding Bats act possible.  Once you get past that, it’s a good self-contained issue and soon takes us past what felt like a Batman rip-off into a exposition on the man behind the mask. T’Challa has been written better in recent issues, but this isn’t bad at all.  The artwork is pretty good and does the proper storytelling so that you always feel like you can tell what’s going on.  Nothing confusing at all here.  So really, a solid issue and if you’re curious about Black Panther’s recent move to Hell’s Kitchen, this would be a great time to check it out and hop on board what is turning into an excellent series.

redlant2Red Lanterns #2 – Written by Peter Milligan, Penciled by Ed Benes and Inked by Rob Hunter.  We get a further exploration into Atrocitus and some situations that cause a vast inner rage.  I’m not sure how I feel about Atrocitus having much beyond pure rage, but I guess the other Corps aren’t all abouting before full of pure willpower or such.  I just can’t see why his Corps are held in check so that they don’t have a full “consciousness” as he puts it.  Shouldn’t they have something that keeps them in check as well?  Are the Red Lanterns just there to exact revenge in the universe?  That would seem to be the most logical conclusion.  The story itself revolves around a planet that is being occupied by another race.  It seemed like this part was a reflection of what has happened in Iraq and Afghanistan, especially with the soldiers killing innocents.  I’m not sure how comfortable I am with that being put into this story as it almost seems to cast soldiers in a bad light.  But if he felt the tale is worth being told, then that’s his prerogative and I support that.  The art was just okay, I felt that I’ve seen way better Atrocitus before, so Benes just hasn’t quite sold me yet.  This was better than the first issue, but still a long ways from hitting home.  It had moments that almost pulled you in, but I also think some of the art kept us from really drawing ourselves into the story.  Almost a good issue, but just misses out for me this.

animalman2Animal Man #2 – Written by Jeff Lemire and Art by Travel Foreman.  You want dark and foreboding?  You want a crazy and creepy and almost trippy ride?  Boy is this the comic for you if you said yes.  I don’t even usually like those types of things, but I’m loving this.  Maxine (Animal Man’s daughter) has animated dead animals and feels a connection to “the Red”.  Meanwhile, Buddy (Animal Man) develops some weird blood like vein tattoos or something all over his body.  Maxine is developing insanely powerful abilities and she convinces her daddy that they need to find the source of “the Red” to help it out.  The story has a lot of levels to it and really gets you going.  Foreman creates such an eerie feeling with his drawing that isn’t pretty, but creates a mood.  It’s a different way of storytelling, but it very much works.  If you liked the Swamp Thing stuff, you might just love this.  This might actually be better than the Swamp Thing and wasn’t quite as confusing.  Perhaps, the BEST of the New 52.  If this isn’t on your list, you don’t deserve to have a list.  And you’re fired.  Good day!


Friday, October 7, 2011

Quick Comic Reviews - October 8th, 2011

A fresh set of reviews with 90% more Marvel flavor than I’ve had in awhile.  A good blend this week.  Hope you enjoy my first set of reviews for the week.

mknight6Moon Knight #6 – Written by Brian Michael Bendis and Art by Alex Maleev.  This issue mostly focuses on the aftermath of Moon Knight and Echo’s fight with the Night Shift.  An almost reveal of the new “Kingpin” in LA and the Avengers visit to figure out what the hell is going on with their split personality friend Moon Knight.  The issue is kind of a step back and slow down type issue and largely does the job it needs to.  It’s funny when Moon Knight tries to figure out if the Avengers are real or just his multiple personalities he’s developed.  Spidey kind of freaks out about him dressing up in his costume and having a fight at a strip club.  Maleev’s art is an acquired taste.  In some issues it seems to flow really good, but I have a hard time differentiating who is who sometimes.  In some scenes I don’t know who Marc (Moon Knight) Spektor is, and that makes it harder to figure things out.  His faces seem to be drawn with a lot of inconsistency and that’s really what he needs to work on.  A decent enough issue, but not the strongest of the series by far.  Not too much happens here that anyone will need to pick it up.

stwatch2Stormwatch #2 – Written by Paul Cornell and Art by Miguel Sepulveda & Al Barrioneuvo.  This issue is much improved, we get an interesting perspective on Adam One.  I guess not everyone exactly has profound belief in the leadership skills of Adam.  What I don’t get is how a guy who’s existed since the Big Bang has always acted like a hippy.  If they’re making this a play on Jesus, then it’s a lame on.  But anyway, the Midnighter has a sweet costume.  We learn more about Harry and the issue on the moon.  The art felt a little better in this issue too, not super, but doable.  But there is a tad bit of momentum gained in this one and that has to count for something, right?  The problem is we keeping pinballing back and forth between the moon, Earth and Stormwatch HQ, but more palatable than last time.  We’re only getting glimpses into these characters and haven’t gotten a ton of development yet, but there is some going on here.  Paul Cornell does some great stuff and then he comes back and does mediocre stuff.  I’m hoping that like his Action Comics run, it ends stronger than this is so far.  But we’ll see what happens!  This is an ok issue, definitely better than expected, but just don’t think that it makes it very good.

swthing2Swamp Thing #2 – Written by Scott Snyder and Art by Yanick Paquette.  What a tremendous ride you’re in store for in this issue.  The ancient bad guy is revealed in more detail, you learn why Alec Holland isn’t in the form of Swamp Thing and that he has a big choice.  There’s a fantastic surprise at the end as well.  The artwork is simply gorgeous in it.  The two page spreads were things of sheer beauty.  Snyder is at his best in this one, showing a lot of respect to the character and giving you a dose of horror that hasn’t been seen for awhile in the DC U proper.  A lot of background story here, pretty meaty stuff for sure, you don’t feel like Snyder skimmed things down here, he knew he had a lot to tell and you end up getting a lot of comic in this.  If you haven’t joined aboard the Swamp Thing fan club, you’re going to miss out and that will be a major mistake.  This is absolutely, 100%, a must buy series and a great immersing issue overall!

xschis5X-Men: Schism #5 – Written by Jason Aaron, Penciled by Adam Kubert and Inked by Mark Roslan.  Finally, I fully realize the entire prelude to Schism mini-series didn’t have a damn thing to do with it.  Seriously, wtf!  Anyway, this whole thing seems to be set-up to drive Wolverine and Cyclops apart.  Cyclops is willing to sacrifice anything to save Utopia, Wolverine isn’t.  So they’re fighting at the issue begins and eventually other X-Men come save the day and they split.  Ok, since when does Wolverine has a problem with anybody dying?  I think Marvel just wanted to have Wolverine in charge of some X-Men somehow and they’re doing this.  But he has X-Force, so I just don’t get it.  But those gripes aside, really a pretty good issue.  The last page was awesome, I have to give Jason Aaron that much.  A lot is set-up here, but right now the continuity between the X Titles just sucks.  If they can give us continuity so that what happens here affects the other titles, then great.  Yeah, maybe some of the old X-Men stuff was almost continuity porn, but it also kept things logical and every action had a far reaching effect.  This issue was pretty decent and I liked the digital inks by Mark Roslan, much better than I would have imagined.  Adam Kubert is very solid, so this was pretty good artwork as well.  You could do a whole lot worse than this issue, but you could do a whole lot better.

jli2Justice League International #2 – Written by Dan Jurgens, Penciled by Aaron Lopresti and Inked by Matt Ryan.  So the JLI has to cut and run in this issue, Guy runs in to join up because of the “incompetent” Booster Gold and the Hall of Justice is completely destroyed.  Really, just another fun issue here!  I thought the bickering we see on this team makes sense for a group that’s just thrown together and forced into immediate action.  It’s good to see the heroes having to retreat once in awhile and gather themselves.  Jurgens ably plots another solid issue, which is better than the first issue.  Now, I’m a huge Booster Gold and Guy Gardner fan, so keep that in mind.  But I liked to feel this had to it and the potential for this team to come together and face adversity.  The one gripe is, this issue proves that you just don’t have enough pages in some of these comics to advance the story enough.  Cost cutting measures, sure.  However, they put in a preview of a Batman graphic novel that certainly could have been filled with more meaningful things.  I understand they want that graphic novel to be a success, but sometimes people do like a little more story, rather than a huge advertisement they see in all their issues that month.  Sorry, but most people could probably care less.  In fact, some of their in-house promotions have driven me away, like the Search for Swamp Thing.  If you’re going to use more pages, give us more story!  But anyway, really solid issue that’s a lot of fun.  Dan Jurgens just makes good solid stuff, no secrets here.

hulk42Hulk #42 – Written by Jeff Parker and Art by Patch Zircher.  When Rulk finds out that a former military Colonel he knew is dead, off to war he goes!  I thought this was a pretty good break from what we’ve been seeing lately and giving us a few more personal bits from Thunderbolt Ross.  Parker really seems to find motivation to the character that I suspect others wouldn’t.  That’s why Parker is so good at what he does.  Zircher’s art is also excellent in this issue and he seems to be hitting a peak.  I was really able to follow the story and enjoy this one.  Less cosmic stuff to the Red Hulk is good too.  So now we’re in the midst of the Hulk of Arabia storyline, which promises to be good fun!  And a few guest appearances at the end make for an even bigger issue next month. Overall, this issue is really a good issue and if you haven’t bothered with the Red Hulk yet, here’s a good spot to take a look at least.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Quick Comic Reviews - October 5th, 2011

Better late than never?  Perhaps.  A whole new slew of titles out, but I’m finishing up some stuff I had for last week.  Sadly, Marvel played second fiddle.  I’ll be back with fresh reviews this weekend!

jim628Journey Into Mystery #628 – Written by Kieron Gillen, Art by Whilce Portacio and Inked by Allen Martinez.  Loki and his group of evil fighting to stop the Serpent take center stage in this “Fear Itself” tie-in.  However, the whole thing didn’t make much sense to me and was very hard to follow.  It would be easy to blame Whilce, but this actually seems to be some of his better work, although I still didn’t like it.  Nothing seemed to flow, we’re hopping around in a place I’m not really sure about, but I’m assuming it’s Dark Asgard?  Nothing really confirmed.  Sloppy writing and the art wasn’t very good.  It was utterly confusing.  Allen Martinez did his best to make Portacio’s work palatable, but Whilce’s work does not fit the type of coloring that’s done here.  It just doesn’t work.  There were moments where I felt what Loki was doing was important, but you just weren’t sure if it was going anywhere in the end.  I think the final couple of pages are important, but I’m sure this is will show up in the main Fear Itself title. Overall, a confusing hodge podge with poor storytelling and poor art make this one a MUST skip.  Journey into mystery of what the hell is going on.

venom7Venom #7 – Written by Rick Remender and Art by Tom Fowler.  A lot of this issue has some great moments of irony that act to contrast the situations Venom/Flash Thompson face in different areas of his life with that of what Anti-Venom is preaching to the masses.  Flash can’t forgive his father while Anti-Venom is preaching forgiveness gives us a stark contrast as to the emotional battles he might be facing.  The fight between Venom and Anti-Venom is great, but in the end, I did have difficulty that the symbiote would pass up a chance to kill Brock or at least remedy himself of Anti-Venom.  A leap of faith I guess?  I felt that Tom Fowler’s art really created a good flow to this issue and everything felt very fluid.  I have no real complaints here.  The issue really ties in well with Spider-Island and the events here are meaningful things that I think will have a big impact on what happens.  I really like the Anti-Venom character and they get some good mileage out of him here.  A few moments of missed logic, but overall a very solid issue and shows why the new Venom is a pretty darned good title.

amazspi670The Amazing Spider-Man #670 – Written by Dan Slott, Penciled by Humberto Ramos and Inked by Victor Olazaba.  Spider-Island continues with its fourth installment and this one is a jam packed doozy.  Dan Slott shows so much love for Spider-Man, it’s hard not to get caught up in it.  This particular issue features Spidey teaming up with Jonah Jameson, aka Spider-Stache as he gets called at one point.  Jameson has also gained spider powers and ends up having to fight alongside his rival begrudgingly.  As much as some people hate Humberto Ramos, I think his art is fantastic and I really like it anytime he draws Spider-Man.  I love how all the tie-ins to Spider-Island ACTUALLY tie-in to this issue.  It makes some of those one shots actually feel worthwhile when you see the ramification here.  But if you missed them, it gives you enough info to figure out what’s going on.  That, my friends, is storytelling at it’s finest.  And that’s what Slott and Ramos team-up and do in this issue.  Tons of guest appearances from Mr. Fantastic and the Thing, to the X-Men and Spider Woman.  An absolutely fantastic read that you should check out.  If you haven’t read Spider-Man in awhile, pick up the Spider-Island series or wait for the trade to come out.  Excellent stuff here, a MUST buy!

ff9FF #9 – Written by Jonathan Hickman, Penciled by Steve Epting and Inked by Rick Magyar.  At first, I was all for the FF or Future Foundation or Fantastic Four or whatever the hell this is.  But I’ve always hated the alterna-Reeds floating about.  This issue brings most of that to a conclusion (at least I hope) and is one of the better issues as of late.  Black Bolt is back and decides to take matters with the alterna-Reeds doing whatever the hell it is their doing.  Reed Richards (the main one) doesn’t like it, but Black Bolt basically says, “Suck it Trebek!” without saying that at all or he would blow up everyone in the room.  So, lot of fighting, a pretty solid ending, but it still feels like there just wasn’t enough pay-off here.  I feel like the last three issues were crap and this was the only one worth giving a hoot about.  The art is sub-par and the inks and shadows are just too damned thick and dark and it all just feels blah.  Overall, an okay issue, but mostly meh.  Next issue might be worth checking out, but until then, don’t bother.

annef1Annihilators: Earthfall #1 – Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning, Penciled by Tan Eng Hurt and Inked by Andrew Hennessy.  Dear Lord, the first panel of the Annihilators is awful.  It looks like Gladiators has been off the steroids for the past couple of years and is as old as Arnold (or Ahnuld).  Ronan looks like a dopey happy kid in the background.  I don’t know wtf is wrong with Beta Ray Bill.  Ugh!  The fight they have it the Universal Church of Truth that I think had something to do with Adam Warlock.  Anyway, they fight the church and eventually they find a sect on Earth and fight it.  It gets an interesting twist at the end, but overall the story didn’t feel impactful or important.  It was more like when you’re paying somebody to work, but you don’t really have anything for them to do, so you make them organize stuff.  That’s what this felt like.  You have Ikon, Ronan the Accuser, Quasar, Gladiator, Beta Ray Bill and Cosmo.  The art sucked on this and it wasn’t very entertaining.  I usually expect better of Abnett and Lanning.  Thankfully we get… Rocket Raccoon and Groot.  Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning and Art by Timothy Green II.  This is an entertaining little space bar brawl that had me cracking up.  Loved the art, loved the comedic value of these two.  It made me question why the whole damn comic wasn’t these two!  The only worthwhile part of this is Rocket Raccoon and Groot, the Annihilators themselves, not so much.  Skip it!  Poor Groot!


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Quick Comic Reviews - October 1st 2011

Another day, another set of reviews!  I’m pretty focused on the DC New 52, but I should get some Marvel stuff up by sometime on Tuesday.  We’ll see!  No promises!

flash1Flash #1 – Written by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato and Art by Francis Manapul.  So the Flash history has been rewritten a tad, but nothing earth breaking.  He isn’t with Iris, but she is involved in the story.  There’s plenty of excitement going on in this issue as well and a mystery wrapping into it all.  Is Flash responsible for a murder of his own friend?  And then at the end everything goes crazy, but in a fun way.  The art is well done as is most things done by Manapul.  I was a bit worried when I heard Manapul would be drawing AND writing.  Sometimes that can be a very bad thing.  I’m still worried about how many delays we’ll have on issues if he keeps doing that, but so far the results are darned good.  My only complaint isn’t Manapul’s fault, it’s that Jim Lee redesigned the costume and put some unnecessary kneepads and lines that kind of annoyed me.  It isn’t as bad as Superman’s costume, but that’s another issue altogether.  Overall, very good issue that should lead to more fun in the future.  Definitely worth picking up and checking out!

superm1Superman #1 – Written by George Perez and Art by Jesus Merino.  The Daily Planet has been bought out and now the Globe has taken over.  They’re forming a giant news network type deal.  That makes sense, but I have no idea how they were able to buy the company out AND make a giant new skyscraper.  Apparently, newspapers still sell well in the DC Universe.  I’m guessing EVERYONE in the US is buying them if they’re able to afford all of this stuff, but anyway,  Jesus makes the new version of Superman look palatable, even though I’m not fond of the new design.  Does Superman really need something with built in kneepads?  No, but thanks Jim Lee.  I guess it could have been worse, Liefeld could have redesigned every character to have pouches.  Superman has to witness the old Planet being razed and then has to fight an evil alien fire demon or something like that.  It was all fine stuff, however, here’s more controversy.  We have Lois Lane selling herself out and then celebrating by having sex with some random guy.  For the sake of taking the same old story and spinning it on it’s head, it was one of those moments of “holy crap” as Clark found out.  At that point, you say it’s very different.  Jimmy Olsen, however, is very non-distinguishable and appears to be a television camera man.  Perez does his best to keep this story interesting and different and I appreciate that effort.  It isn’t as good as what Morrison did with his take, but it still seems to be a solid effort and was pretty enjoyable.  Worth checking out and seeing if you like the new Supes, but beware of slightly lame costume!

aquam1Aquaman #1 – Written by Geoff Johns, Penciled by Ivan Reis and Inked by Joe Prado.  With Aquaman comics you never know what you’re going to get.  Really, nobody has had much love for him since Peter David.  However, Flashpoint showed that he could be a real bad ass.  Now he’s got his own series and it looks like Geoff Johns is going to put a lot of energy into this one.  I did like how apparently everyone in the DC Universe views him as kind of a joke.  But he shows off he’s not just a B list character anymore.  Some of the origin story from Flashpoint has carried over into this one.  I liked Reis’ artwork and just thought it was a pretty good first issue.  The diner scene was a great part of the issue and really helped you get to know the character and enjoy him.  I particularly liked the bad guys he’ll be dealing with, they seemed to be an interesting challenge for Aquaman.  Just a really enjoyable first issue in most regards, nothing too outstanding, but very good effort all around!

vood1Voodoo #1 – Written by Ron Marz and Art by Sam Basri.  Right off the bat, I really think this should be a mature title.  At least for the first issue as the entire thing deals with “Voodoo” who is apparently moonlighting as a popular stripper.  Now, DC is getting all sorts of flack for the way they’ve been displaying female characters as little more than cheap sexual objects.  Add on the fact that they’ve got even less female writers than before and it creates a bit of controversy.  Well, I’m sure this issue will have some issues for numerous people.  This is not a title you’ll want any kids or probably even teens to be reading.  As far as the story goes, two people are investigating this “Voodoo” trying to find out more about her for the government and that’s about all we really learn.  But there are some interesting things going on here.  Ron Marz does a good job of making it all seem fairly realistic (as far as conversation goes) and the artwork is excellent.  So we get a bit of a reveal towards the end that was interesting, but we aren’t real sure where this is going.  However, I’m sure that Marz will take us down an interesting path.  I thought that it was a very good first issue, but it certainly will not be for everybody and some will probably downright hate it.

teenti1Teen Titans #1 – Written by Scott Lobdell, Penciled by Brett Booth and Inked by Norm Rapmund.  Oh Scott Lobdell, if only you could write.  Sorry, but I really don’t like any of Lobdell’s work.  I thought his Red Hood and The Outsiders was the most asinine comic of the year and deserves to be listed as top of the crap pile.  So, compared to that issue, this one is amazing.  However, it isn’t good.  We have Red Robin putting together a team of super powered teens (go figure right?).  And there’s somebody else out to get them before he does.  And Kid Flash is a royal mess up.  We meet Wonder Girl as well and she hates being called that.  I really liked Red Robin’s new outfit, I thought that was great.  However, the overall issue just came across as mediocre.  Which is good for Lobdell!  And he made Cassie really sassy, so I’m not sure if I like that yet or not.  The artwork is very good, but Rapmund is one of my favorite inkers and he really adds to the pencils.  Overall, just an average first issue, one that you can definitely skip for this week!

jld1Justice League Dark #1 – Written by Peter Milligan and Art by Mikel Janin.  So we have Madame Xanadu proving she can be in multiple titles at once now, Zatanna who wasn’t that distinguishable without her old magician outfit, Shade the Changing Man, plus tons of guest appearances.  Deadman looks to be a part of this group and that could prove interesting as well.  I was impressed that they went straight to Enchantress as a main villian and they set it up nicely.  They made sure to show us that this was something on a different level than what Superman can deal with since he’s vulnerable to magic.  There’s a brilliant scene where the regular Justice League is attacked by magical teeth that are swirling about.  What a fantastic visual in this!  Mikel really gives us a great deal of beautiful and detailed artwork.  I thought this was a fantastic start to the new series and I hope they keep it up.  This is much better than Milligan’s attempt at Red Lanterns.  A lot of good stuff here that is worth checking out, very highly recommended!