Andy Campbell's Reviews



FELL #4:
Company: Image
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Ben Templesmith

I think that Fell is my favorite new series. It has a lot going for it: for a little less money than a “normal” comic, you get a full, self-contained story that is equal parts intriguing, gripping, and creepy. Warren Ellis has
created in Snowtown a town creepier than Gotham, Innsmouth, and Eerie, Indiana, mashed together. Detective Fell is new to town, having come from a respectable police force from the big city “across the bridge.” Things work differently in Snowtown, though, as Fell has learned in these 4 issues. In this issue, he gets his first “floater”… a dead body floating in the water. These normally go unsolved in Snowtown, but Fell makes it his mission to solve this one. Templesmith’s art for this book is just perfect, and there’s not much more I can say about it than that. The price is definitely right for what you get in this book. Give it a shot if you haven’t yet.

Score: A


FABLES #47:
Company: Vertigo
Writer: Bill Willingham
Artist: Jim Fern (w/ Jimmy Palmiotti & Daniel Vozzo)

Fables is one of my absolute favorite books every month. It’s just such a fun world that Willingham has created. I’ve enjoyed this 2-part story, wherein two wooden soldiers (well, one wooden soldier and one wooden nurse, I suppose) fall in love and want to be made human, as much as any other. What dragged it down a bit for me, though, was the art. I’m so used to Mark Buckingham’s work that it’s really striking when he’s not present. Actually, it might be Palmiotti’s inking that’s rubbing me the wrong way. There’s no depth… it’s just (thin) lines, and for whatever reason, that bugs me here. The art aside, though, I liked this story, and look forward to more, just like every month. If you’re not reading Fables, you ought to.

Score: B


TEEN TITANS #33:
Company: DC Comics
Writers: Marv Wolfman & Geoff Johns
Artist: Todd Nauck (w/ Sean Parsons, Norm Rapmund, Marlo Alquiza, Richard &
Tanya Horie)

This issue bridges the gap, Teen Titans-wise, from Infinite Crisis #5 and #6 (although it seems to also draw a little bit from the late-shipping Teen Titans Annual). It mainly focuses on the mission of Nightwing and Superboy. There’s a lot of great characterization between the two of them, which is cool to see, because these aren’t two characters that hang out that often. For me, this was another enjoyable chapter in the Infinite Crisis story. It was also a pleasure to have Todd Nauck on art duties. I almost always love his art, and this was no exception. His stylization to me is just top-notch. Anyway, if you’re reading Infinite Crisis, you’ll probably want to pick this up. If not, don’t bother.

Score: B


AMERICAN VIRGIN #1:
Company: Vertigo
Writer: Steven T. Seagle
Artist: Becky Cloonan (w/ Brian Miller)

I was intrigued by this book’s preview that I read in another Vertigo title, and I have to say… I wasn’t let down. Seagle crafts an interesting story of a 21-year-old preacher/motivational speaker, who speaks on the subject of his virginity, and waiting until marriage to have sex. I thought the story was well-crafted, introducing several very interesting (and dysfunctional) characters, and dropping a hell of a cliffhanger at the end. Becky Cloonan’s art was also a high point. It seemed to fit the story perfectly, and her depictions of facial expressions are some of the best I’ve seen… right up there with Kevin Maguire and Tony Harris. I’m definitely intrigued enough to buy the next couple of issues. If you’re looking for something a little different, give this title a shot.

Score: B

SEVEN
SOLDIERS: MISTER MIRACLE #4

Company: DC Comics
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Freddie E. Williams II (w/ Dave McCaig)

As a whole, I have enjoyed Seven Soldiers thus far. This has been my least favorite of the 7 minis, but it is by no means bad. Just a bit confusing. I read enough by Grant Morrison to expect to have to think when I’m reading, but this book really made me stretch. It might be because I don’t know a whole lot about the New Gods (and never really cared, to be honest). I liked the art, though, especially the coloring, so that helped my experience a bit. A recommendation here is useless, however; if you’re reading Seven Soldiers already, you’re getting this book. If you’re not reading Seven Soldiers already, you’re certainly not going to start now. I’ll just close by saying that, as a whole, this book was kind of “meh” for me.
Score: C

SEVEN
SOLDIERS: FRANKENSTEIN #3

Company: DC Comics
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Doug Mahnke (w/ John Kalisz)

On the other hand, I’m thoroughly enjoying Frankenstein, even if it, also, isn’t my favorite of the Seven Soldiers minis. In this issue, more than the previous two, we get to see just how perfect of a choice Doug Mahnke was for artist. The horror genre is obviously a comfortable one for him, and his depictions of the scores of crazed, killer animals are just awesome. The story is alright, with the highlight being the appearance of The Bride. I’m interested to see how this one concluded next issue, that’s for sure. As far as this book goes as a whole: come for the writing, stay for the art. Well done, Mr. Mahnke!

Score: B