James Hatton's Reviews

A light week for me… and I’ve come to notice there have been a lot of these lately. It’s not that there aren’t books out there that I enjoy – there are ga-billions, but I will admit I’ve been addicted to DC SHOWCASE Books. I swallowed down Superman, which is the most hysterical thing ever – and I have Superman Family on the way, with Green Arrow, Green Lantern, and Teen Titans in the reserves.

I end up sucking down 10 stories instead of reading the two or three comics that I actually have to do for reviews.

I highly recommend them. Highly.

Now onto what I have read…

52 #1
Writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid
Art Breakdowns: Keith Giffen
Pencils: Joe Bennett
Inks: Ruy Jose
Colors: Alex Sinclair

I’m not a DC guy – it’s well established. I’ve been keeping light tabs on what’s going on in the world of the Distinguished Competition and decided since they are trying to do something very different with 52 – I decided to give it a shot.

The positive – I understand the premise. That’s a good start right off the bat, since I know an average amount of DC information.

The negative – I don’t know a lot about the characters shown here. Booster Gold, I get. Steel’s daughter, not so much.

Now the content of the issue? It’s solid. It really is a very solid book. Where are Batman, Supes, and Wonder Woman? We are learning in the One Year Later story (or at least DC readers are) – right now though, we will see who stand up and take the place of the superheroes who get it done. I’m in, especially since it has a writing pedigree that any fanboy can recognize.


Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Pencils: Reilly Brown
Inker: Jeremy Freeman

It’s been awhile since I vented on art – but here I have to, and it’s for a very strange personalized reason.

Note: The story here is pretty damn good. It gets a bit muddy and murky in the middle, but I blame my short-term frazzled brain over that. The writing of Pool and Domino is fantastic, and the continued growth of Cable continues.

Now the art. I will admit, I know Reilly Brown. He is one of those convention guys I’ve gotten to meet quite a few times, and have had the occasional good time with (in a strictly heterosexual, bar drinkin’ kinda way). He is a helluva nice guy. Because he knows of my love of the ‘Pool – He brought me the pages from this very book just to glimmer through and drool over. (Note: When he gets them back, I will own a few).

So why am I upset about the art in this book? Because whomever took Reilly’s pencils – be it colorist or inker – hurt them badly. The details in Domino’s face that I commented when I saw them are gone, and certain pages come across PERFECT, where others come across much less. It bothered me knowing how wonderful these pages were, to see them muddled down a bit, especially when this is Reilly’s second(ish) work at the big M.

Admittedly, I think there might have been a time constraint issue, so they might have been rushed, but I know Reilly’s work can look better than this. So either he needs to hand them in quicker, or the inker/colorists need to take their time on them.. one of the two.


Writers: Craig Kyle & Chris Yost
Pencils: Paco Medina
Inks: Juan Vlasco

I have been touting for the last two months that there is an amazing amount of potential in this book. Month after month the cast gets smaller and smaller, and the drama and angst gets larger and larger. This is exactly what New Mutants used to be like, and even the X-Men before them. The difference is that Yost and Kyle have a finite amount of characters to play with nowadays, and they have no problem destroying them.

If they keep this up it’s going to be X-23 sitting in a room crying.

I will give that issue an ‘A’ as well. You see, the reason all of these characters are dying is a well formed plotline where Reverend Stryker (Of God Loves, Man Kills fame) and his reactions to M-Day. How wonderful is it to have a fanatical mutant hater see M-Day as an action of the Lord. It’s a great twist on an old character.


Writer: Chris Claremont w/ Roger Cruz w/ Tony Bedard
Inks: Victor Olazaba
Colors: Antonio Fabela

Apparently this book has no penciler.

It also has very little point.

Oh – and it has Uatu watching on and EXPLAINING THE PLOT! You remember that Uatu isn’t supposed to interfere? Doesn’t it seem a bit silly that he has to tell everyone what the plot is of the issue? I do. I find it downright silly!

Anyway, we now have a masculine entity to counter the feminine entity of the Phoenix – and it seems that it’s somehow related to old friends of Jamie Braddock. Convenient, no?

Well Brubaker gets the reins in another issue or so – that’s all I ask.


Writer: Ed Brubaker
Penciler: Trevor Hairsine
Finishes: Scott Hanna
Colorist: Val Staples

What an interesting ending.

Last issue I had walked away going, “Ok, now I know what’s going to happen” – but Brubaker does his best to throw a couple curveballs at us. I’m not going to ruin it all, since it’s going to become quite apparent as his Uncanny run begins in a month or so.

Someone dies – someone doesn’t – someone leaves – everyone else stays. It’s all quite nice and packaged up with an understanding that we have more plots coming to us. Also, we say goodbye to Banshee – one of the first villains of the original team, and one of the first from the All-New-All-Different-Uncanny… he will be missed.

I can’t WAIT until Siryn finds out…

Either way – a fine prologue to Brubaker’s run.


X-MEN: THE 198
Writer: David Hine
Penciler: Jim Muniz
Inker: Don Hillsman II

When 198 started – it had a good premise. There are mutants locked into the Xavier compound and they have no other place to go. Add in some Sentinels, some X-Men, stir to a boil, end. Fantastic.

Then it started to break apart, as a story that involves roughly 150 mutants or so would. Too much loose focus, and not enough coherence. Then slowly we realized that the story was a continuation from District X and the tale of Mr. M.

If you take this as the tale of Mr. M – you get a great story. If you take this as the story of mutants locked into the Xavier compound, you get an OK story. If you try and hope to get a lot out of this book – then you are sadly left wanting. Things change at the end, but not enough for someone who is a fan of David Hine (like myself), to think it holds up to his former work.


So that’s comics this week folks – Fun stuff minus some X-stuff, but that seems to be my ending to most of these reviews.

Books I haven’t read yet: She-Hulk & PS238… I have no doubt I will enjoy them.

‘Til next week.

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