Last week I ended up traveling for work and prepping for a meeting when my daughter deleted my reviews, I couldn’t get the gumption to redo them. But I will do some mini-capsules before I get to this week’s batch.
As always thanks for reading, I can’t spell. But I love comics.
Mini Reviews from 6/3/2009
Mighty Avengers #25: Definitely the worst book I have read in a long time. First of all there is nothing “mighty” about it. The scripting is horrible, the banter is annoying and much of it out of character. The worst being when Pym loses it while arguing via video conference with Reed Richards he exclaims “it’s on b!%@#!”. That is horrible dialogue, we understand the character is nut, but Pym is trying to assert himself as a leader, and one of the pre-eminent heroes on the planet and respect the memory of his wife who was killed in Secret Invasion..and that is how he is portrayed? I usually like Slott but there is no excusing Mighty Avengers being this bad. And the art is worse. Messy, cluttered, style without substance. Made worse by muddy washed coloring. This comic is supposed to be about big mind numbing super action, instead it’s a mess. 2 out of 10
Guardians of the Galaxy #14: Picked it up on a whim and loved it. Great space super hero action. You get a wonderful fight scene between Vulcan and Warlock. Great character and dialogue. I love the scene in the Inhuman’s thrown room as Starlord can do nothing as Martyr degenerates to violence and hostage taking. Excellent work. Abnett and Lanning are working wonders in Marvel’s cosmic playground. The art is also excellent. Great detail and power. Nice storytelling and expression. Walker gives us great action and a stunning double page cliffhanger splash. Buy this comic. 8 out of 10
War of Kings #4: Abnett and Lanning give us another hit. Making an interesting and action packed space epic. Leadership of the Shi’ar is up for grabs as the war throws the empire into turmoil. Gladiator is portrayed with depth he hasn’t for some time. Wonderful character work with Ronan and Crystal who is taking her role as royalty over the Kree seriously. And finally Vulcan gets some unexpected allies. The art is wondrous and powerful. Easy to follow story telling and dynamic layouts. 8 out of 10
Amazing Spiderman #596: American Son is shaping up great. Wonderful dialogue and fun brought to you by Joe Kelly. He really nails Spidey. The Dark Avengers are jerks. Interesting developments as Harry moves in and joins Norman on the “dark” Avengers. And Spidey infiltrates the team as…Venom. My favorite bit was Pete in the meeting room as Venom “DIEBULLSEYEDIE!” That was hilarious. Great guest appearance by Sue Richards. The art was off the chain, This Siqueira guy is amazing. Great expressive characters, flawless action and storytelling. This guy should stick around. I will say it again, those of you complaining about BND, get over it and come read some good Spiderman comics. You know you want to. 8 of 10
Batman and Robin #1: Originally I wasn’t going to buy this. I still don’t like the idea of Dick as Batman and I hate Damien. But some how it works. It’s a different dynamic yet familiar at the same time. Morrison nails the first issue establishing the tone, Damien thinks he is heir to the cowl, Dick as Batman understands he has big boots to fill, and will find a way to reach Damien despite his attitude. You get that and a new villain, which should end up very interesting. The art is stellar, open and kinetic. A little looser then Quitely’s norm. Very appropriate. You get some nice big superhero shots and eerie foreboding evil. It’s a great first issue and am glad I gave it a shot. You should too. 8.5 out of 10
Secret Six #10: So glad to have Nicola Scott back. She just nails this book. It’s perfect. The storytelling and delivery of Simone’s script makes you think she must be channeling it directly via telepathy. She highlights the characters expression and action and Simone blends it up with terrible dark humor, violence and horror to bring a unique comic vision that is fun and disturbing. This issue introduces us to a new story and evil characters as the “heroes” are hired to transport a sarcophagus to Devil’s Island. I am sure there is going to be a big fight when it all goes wrong. Simone gives so great character moments between Bane (who I love now!) and Scandal. There’s a perverse tenderness between them. This is a great book. Month after month it delivers the goods, disturbing unique fun. 8 out of 10
And now for this week’s (6/10/2009) capsule reviews
the Last Days of Animal Man #1: I was excited about this book from the giddy-up. I am a big fan of Gerry Conway (he wrote my favorite comic JLA #200) and Chris Batista is an old friend of mine and I love Animal Man and when the comic book shop was sold out last week I was bummed. But today they had a copy waiting for me. It’s a solid first issue. Basically it’s 10 years in the future and Buddy’s powers haven’t been working like they used and despite his wife’s concern he’s not going to let that stop him from being a superhero. Unfortunately he should probably have reconsidered when Bloodrage came to town. What I like about the issue is that it’s the right amount of dialogue and narration, giving you opportunity to get to know Animal Man. You also get some strong set up and introduction to a new villain. I am interested to see if Bloodrage is vital to the story in a bigger way then a minor obstacle in the story about Animal Man’s powers and confidence as they decline with age. You also so get some good solid action. The art is very nice and clean, and possibly Batista’s best work. Great expression and gesture. Straight forward story telling. Nice backgrounds and establishing shots. Chris even did a great job on the Bloodrage design. And the action is fantastic. The inking compliments Chris’ art nicely and the clean simple coloring is perfect. 8 out of 10
Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers #2: I am making a prediction. This may be my favorite comic of 2009. Its a great fun idea beautifully executed and produced. Chris Eliopoulos takes the team to the Savage Land in search of another Infinity Gem, where Zabu joins the team as they travel back through time and face off with Devil Dinosaur and barely escape intact. The characters are great and funny. I can’t believe how much I love Ms. Lion and Hairball, they need their own ongoing..it’s almost Sienfeildian. Each animal has its own voice, and it’s a shame, but reading this I kept thinking…wow…this is what the Teen Titans should be like. I can’t believe how much fun this is, the jokes and humor art spot on and funny. The art is nothing short of beautiful. The quality and craftsmanship is second to none. The animals are expressive and dynamic. The story telling crystal clear. Terrific backgrounds. The action powerful and kinetic. This Guara guy can draw his a$$ off. The only problem I had..was Devil Dinosaur. He looked too much like a real dinosaur. I think a deliberate attempt to keep the design close to the Kirby style would have been a great touch. But that’s minor. The colors are beautiful and the light ethereal style of it really gives the book an illustrative children’s book quality that really delivers the story. Great job. 9 out of 10.
Action Comics #878: Rucka is really doing a good job, unfortunately I am not sure I will continue to buy this book. Too much violence for a “Superman” book. No reason a capes book has to open with catching the Kryptonian bad guys in bed and dismemberment of the police that busted in on them. Seems like a bit much. I get it the guys are bats#!# crazy alien bad guy serial-killers. But this is still a Superman book. Putting that out there Rucka does a wonderful job with the pacing and development and moving the Sleepers story forward. I like Thara and Kris and think they can remain interesting character in the Superverse, but think the story has gone stale already, especially the way the Kryptonian bad guys are written. What I did like that we get a cliffhanger ending of sorts as General Lane throws Code Name: Assassin at the team, that’s going to keep me reading at least one more issue. I think the main problem I have is that the art that started out very promising, even great has disintegrated over time. And although Olmos is decent, he isn’t the right artist to convey this story with the power it deserves. His style is utilitarian and straight forward, almost understated and fails to delivers the story when it counts. 6 out of 10
Flash: Rebirth #3: This gets better every issue. The heroes converge and try to heal Barry who seems to be sucking up the Speed Force from the world and people around him. And killing speedsters in the process. The narration by Johns is great and the little moments of characterization and dialogue from Barry are great. I love that Johns establishes a great connection Between Barry and Green lantern without missing a beat. The race with Supes was a nice touch. And of course as Flash enters the Speed Force we all knew who the inevitable big bad was going to be. Some nice touches were having Max and Johnny Quick in there and Bart(kid Flash). I am curious to see how this turns out, and if ZOOM will also make an appearance (Zoom is Wally’s Professor Zoom). The art was great. Van Scriver really did a great job with the speed. When Barry starts moving he’s moving. And the drama is off the scale. I really love how Scriver portrayed Bart (Kid-Flash) like a kid, and with the right boots! And the last Splash of Professor Zoom was amazing, like Sinestro, Prof. Zoom is a childhood favorite of mine, and I expect to see Johns revitalize him like he did the Green Lantern villain. Surprised to say this is shaping up nicely considering I still think Barry should have been left dead. 8 out of 10
R.E.B.E.L.S. #5: Another good read. I really like how they have added a dimension to Starro. With his advancing army and General class powered slaves. I really Have to say what Bedard is doing is fun and interesting. I like how he is exploring the DC universe, the Dominators are interesting and much braver in the face of annihilation then I ever thought, and the Psions are looking for help from the Omega Men to assassinate Starro. Meanwhile Vril and his team are under siege by one of Starro’s super powered agents. Who I really hope sticks around the DCU. The writing is fun and accessible. The characters all have a voice and the story is really cool. The art…I have to be honest has flashes of brilliance and then sometimes seems amateurish. Maybe it’s rushed. The character stuff and story telling is great, but some of the space action seems oddly static and incomplete. It’s a hard crit, but I think the book still works. Especially since St. Aubin is really great with expression and gesture. I really hope this books makes it, there is plenty of space to explore, Bedard’s vision is one I would like to see continue with the expanding cast of characters. 7.5 out of 10
Amazing Spiderman #567: American Son will put all BND hate to bed. If you don’t like this you really are just being contrarian. To tell the truth this is up there with the best Spidey I have read. Great story about the Osborne’s dysfunctional family and Peter not willing to lose his best friend. So Spiderman infiltrates the “dark” Avengers dressed in a Venom-flesh suit to save his buddy. And after some great scenes and insights into Osborne’s plan to use make Harry his symbol and heart of the team as American Son the jig is up and Spidey faces off against Wolvie’s son. Eventually Spidey and Harry cross paths, and ends with Spidey getting shot in the face by Norman. It’s a great story and wonderfully written. Spidey is funny and clever, the use of characters who I hate like those in “dark” Avengers is great. The fight with Wolverine’s kid is amazing, and interesting. Great stuff. Really this is best Spidey in 20 years. No lie. Joe Kelly needs to be a permanent fixture on this book. Brilliant. The art is tremendous. I never heard of this Chechhetto character before but he is amazing, where is Marvel finding these guys, and why if they have these guys lined up here did they let that crap in Mighty Avengers see print? Seriously this guy brings it. Expressive faces, wonderful human gesture and poses. Great seamless storytelling and movement. Dynamic action and superhero melee. Really intense and dramatic. But not overly stylized. To the point and clean. Really this book seems to keep impressing me with artists I never heard of. Wow. There is nothing negative any one could say about this book. You need and should be reading it. It is great. 9.5 out of 10, I am going to give Joe Kelly a kiss when I see him.
Fantastic Four #567: I have been waiting for Doom’s Masters ever since he mentioned them on Millarworld. It was worth the wait. Millar does a great job painting the world of Doom’s dreams and suffering at the hands of the Marquis of Death as he takes it away, humiliates the tyrant and dump him in prehistoric times as an after thought while he and his new apprentice set forth to do what Doom has never done. Destroy the Fantastic Four. Millar presented the entire issue with great drama, voice, character and eventually dread. Doom will come back of that we can be sure to exact vengeance on his “master”. But certainly he will have to live knowing he lost greatly. I mean he witnessed the destruction of Latveria. That will be a burden on him for years to come. And Hitch made a movie out of the script. Beautiful, huge dramatic panels. Wonderfully delicious backgrounds and eventually the devastation and humiliation of Doom. I couldn’t imagine anyone else drawing this so perfectly. This has really developed well. Great job. I can’t wait for the next issue. 8.5 out of 10
Superman: World of Krypton #4: R&R. Rucka and Robinson are a great team. This book rocks. This has turned into a great epic. Superman without the “S” emblem and cape, among his people on New Krypton. I have the feeling it’s not going to end well at all. This issue the Lanterns show up to see what is going on and help Kal and his men track down a criminal from the Phantom Zone. Zod attempts to manipulate things, but Kal’s cool head and experience prevail. Hal Jordan doesn’t like what he sees but the Guardians have a treaty with the Kryptonians and any interference would be an act of war. Great stuff. Love that they hint that Sodam-Yat and Mon-el know each other. Also loved the ending Kal and his lieutenant in restraints for treason. A great issue and further exploration of New Krypton. The art is on a whole other level. Pete Woods is out of this world. Clean, deliberate lines. Storyboarding through the pages with a natural fluidity that makes his storytelling second to none. He has a great way with facial expressions and making characters unique. And really he can move the camera around better then most. Woods really adds movement to the action. And the best thing of all is how New Krypton has been designed. It is beautiful. The guy is untouchable. The colors compliment the line art perfectly. Smooth and clean. Not flashy, with all sorts of digital efx and tricks. 8.5 out of 10
Green Lantern Corps #37: Month over month this is my favorite title. Tomasi and Gleason never disappoint. This is high octane space action pushed past expectations. Mongul and the Sinestro’s hold over Daxam may be at an end when Sodam-Yat seemingly sacrifices himself turning the star yellow. Now Mongul has to deal with a planet full of Supermen. Meanwhile two Lanterns connect in a mission to find the Anti-monitor and descend towards a planet and the unknown. On Oa all hell as broken loose as prisoners have rioted and just when the Alpha Lanterns show up and take control it slips away as something mysterious and potentially deadly comes to the surface on Oa. The beginning of Blackest Night. It’s amazing how well Tomasi handles the pace, characters and tone of the book. It’s wonderful. Tomasi has made Mongul a more interesting villain then he has been in ages and really mastered pacing story elements so they converge and reveal plot to great effect. Next months conclusion to Emerald Eclipse should be amazing. Gleason is really incredible. He catches angles and plays with shadow you would never expect. And his ability to draw violence and life or death visceral super battles on a planetary scale is breath taking. What really makes this issue are some wonderful, powerful, double page spreads. Dramatic and dynamic, I find myself reviewing the page finding interesting expressions, aliens and details. It is amazing, floating teeth..there are floating teeth. The color compliment perfectly, adding to the tone of the book which is eerie and wondrous at the same time. 9 out of 10
I just finished watching HULK vs Thor/Wolverine. Great stuff you should give it a shot. Really great action and twists on classic stories.
Until the next post..enjoy. Your comments are appreciated.
Tags: Avengers, Batman, Flash (Barry Allen), JLA, Spider-Man, Superman