Andy Campbell's Reviews



BATMAN #651:
Company: DC Comics
Writer: James Robinson
Artist: Don Kramer (w/ Keith Champagne & John Kalisz)

“Face the Face” continues from Detective Comics, and I continue to love the “new” direction of Batman. I say “new” because it’s basically returned to the status quo of about 4 or 5 years ago. One noticeable change that I especially like is the Batman/Robin dynamic; they work as a team, and Batman isn’t an asshole! I’m enjoying Robinson’s writing, and the art as well. I loved Kramer & Champagne on JSA, and their work here is just as good. Kalisz also does a great job on the coloring, capturing the dark moodiness of Gotham perfectly, while still making the colors bold. I’m in it for the remainder of this story… check it out!

One final note, and this contains **SPOILERS** RIP Magpie. The first Batman comic I ever bought was a Magpie story, so no matter the fact that she’s a Z-grade villain, she’ll always hold a special place in my heart. That is all. **END SPOILERS**

Score: B


ROBIN #148:
Company: DC Comics
Writer: Roam Beechen
Artist: Karl Kerschl (w/ Wayne Faucher, Prentis Rollins, & Guy Major)

I haven’t read Robin in a looooong time, but I was intrigued enough by the preview of this “One Year Later” book to check it out. And I’m hooked, right off the bat. Great characterization, great art, great mystery… I can’t wait for the next issue. Seriously, I don’t remember the last time Tim has been written this well, so props to Beechen. I also really like Kerschl’s art style. This was my favorite book this week, and I strongly recommend that you check it out, even if you haven’t enjoyed Robin in a long time (like me).

Score: A


MANHUNTER #20:
Company: DC Comics
Writer: Marc Andreyko
Artist: Javier Pina (w/ Fernando Blanco & Steve Buccellato)

One Year Later, and there are some interesting changes in the Manhunter mythos. Strong character interactions by Andreyko are the highlight of this book, with established relationships being more fleshed out (pun intended, as you’ll see) and new relationships introduced. The art was pretty good, though it seemed slightly muddier than usual. Anyway, add together the intrigue in what happened during the missing year, the strong cliffhanger, and the fact that Manhunter has never disappointed, and I’ll be back for more! Give this book a try!

Score: B


JSA: CLASSIFIED #10:
Company: DC Comics
Writer: Stuart Moore
Artist: Paul Gulacy (w/ Jimmy Palmiotti & I.L.L.)

It’s One Year Later, and we’ve got a JSA book sans the JSA. This is an issue about Vandal Savage, and a good one at that, as he returns to Earth in a comet, only to discover… well, that would be telling. The writing is pretty cool, as we go back and forth from the present (well, the present… one year later) to various points in Vandal Savage’s long and storied history. Anyway, Savage has a vendetta, and methinks it will be an interesting showdown. Then again, I’ve always had a soft spot for Savage, so that could be my bias speaking. The art is pretty standard fare, with one notable exception: the rendering of Savage himself is better than I’ve seen it in a long time, as he actually looks like the primitive man that he is. Nice work, Gulacy! Check this book out if you like Vandal Savage or the JSA (I’m sure they’ll show up at SOME point!).

Score: B

X-FACTOR
#5

Company: Marvel
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Dennis Calero (w/ Jose Villarrubia)

I’m digging this book so far, as Peter David has me hooked with his fabulous characterizations. It’s a testament to his writing that he can throw a “one-off” story like this into the mix only five issues in, and not have it be jarring at all. This is a story of a former mutant, and how his life went to hell after Decimation. Really good stuff. Calero’s art is ok, but not my favorite. I preferred Ryan Sook’s work to his. However, Jose Villarrubia does a great job on the coloring, giving this issue a really gritty feel to it. I don’t read much from Marvel these days, so when I do, it’s a big deal. Props to the folks at X-Factor for a big deal!

Score: B

SHE-HULK
#6

Company: Marvel
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Will Conrad (w/ Avalon’s Dave Kemp)

Another big deal here, with one of the other few Marvel books on my pull list. Dan Slott has an uncanny ability to write a story that is insanely humorous at the same time that it’s just plain really good. This is no more evident on She-Hulk. In this issue, Eros of Titan, the Avenger known as Starfox, is sued for sexual assault, for using his emotion powers to get a woman to sleep with him. Naturally, this is just the tip of the iceberg, and more hijinx ensue with She-Hulk and quite possibly the best supporting cast in comics today, including Awesome Andy and the Two-Gun Kid. Great work all around, and you can bet I’ll be around to see what happens next issue!

Score: B