Comic Capsule Reviews 7/1/2009

Chew #1: I missed the first issue when it first came out last month. It sold out quick. To be honest I read this long before it hit the stands. But I promised I would buy it. So when the second print hit I picked it up. And guess what?..mine was the last one the stand. And by all accounts the reprint of issue #1 along with the second issue sold out. Great. Because everyone should be reading this. It’s a solid establishing issue that throws you right into the Chewiverse.  Tony Chu is cop who has been cursed with the ability to taste the history of anything he eats. And while on stakeout to bust up what in this world is an illegal eating establishment (the FDA has outlawed the selling and preparation of land and water fowl) Chu takes a sip of soup and discovers a serial killer in the kitchen. He cracks the case and solves several murders. Wonderful. What makes the issue amazing is the pace and writing. John Layman gives you the lay of the land and tone effortlessly through nice explanations, dialogue and narration. All the time moving the story forward with great wit and dark humor. You get into Tony’s head, his power isn’t a gift, and a feel for where the story is going to go. It pulls you in effortlessly. You get an added level of entertainment from the surprises. I mean Tony’s partner gets it..very suddenly and then you have Chu chomping on the perp to get information on his victims. Gruesome. The art is amazing. Normally i’m not a fan of overly cartoony styles. But what Rob Guillory brings to Chew is nothing sort of genius. Really incredible storytelling, wonderful characters, and pitch perfect tone for this off center, slightly gross cop story. Guillory brings it to life and really blows your mind with great graphic images and displays of color that add great dramatic effect. This book is tremendous. I highly recommend it, and I read all the scripts so I know where it’s going. It’s a wild ride you don’t want to miss. Everyone says they want interesting well produced independent comics..where here it is. It’s Chew, waiting for you to eat it up. 9.5 out of 10

Wonder Woman #33: I am certainly glad Rise of the Olympian is over. The entire arc was a mess. This issue is more of the same. I don’t care about any of it. I was not drawn in and although I think Simone certainly did a decent job telling her story it lacked the epic impact I was expecting. Sure nice fight with sea creatures…great. But what was that with Ares? He’s the GOD of WAR. I think it was more then a little anti-climactic to have Wonder Woman end him with one shot braining him with her wonder axe. It should have been the fight to end all fights. Instead it was well, the opposite of that. Worse I am not sure I like where we are left with the Amazons, the Olympians, and Genocide. Diana punched her god and walked away from Zeus, denying her heritage. But she was made by the gods, she actually believes in them, how can she walk away from her people even if she thinks them wrong? Something’s not right about it. And Achilles has yet to be made interesting. Hopefully the book will get better now that a new status quo is established and this event is behind us. I will give the book a few more issues. I can’t complain about the art, Lopresti does a great job start to finish. 5 out of 10

Captain American: Reborn #1: Hitch blows the doors off this. I mean really there is no matching Hitch when his game is on and it’s ON. Just amazing widescreen action and drama. Use of the camera like he’s a master. Shots from all angles, wide, extra-wide, birds eye, close ups its all there and great page layouts. Not to mention amazing action shots, backgrounds, and expressive emotive characters. I am blown away by Hitch here. Everything I loved about the art in Ultimates done better. I also so love the Guice pages. They really have a great tone and he never fails to deliver solid work. I love the story. Bru is really amazing bringing it all together and getting everyone caught up quickly and efficiently on the death of Cap and the current status quo and then dumping in the middle of a great story. I love the use of Pym, and glad it seems like Brubaker isn’t reading Mighty Avengers, or ignoring Pym’s representation there completely, which is great. I love the cliffhanger. Cap and Widow stuck on Osborn ship facing down Ares and Venom, Falcon, Pym? Sharon and Vision unraveling the possibility of Cap’s survival and finally Cap himself stuck out of time? Amazing stuff. I have to admit, I thought this was gonna be a gimmicky crap fest to sell some comics by launching a mini to tell a story that should be taking place in the Cap comic. But you know what, I was wrong. This is the real deal. 9 out of 10.

Fantastic Four #568: I am really enjoying this Master(s) of Doom story line. Millar has crafted a very fun story of Doom’s multiverse traveling mentor who has come to the Marvel U to soak up the suffering and extinguishing the hope of this Earth to make up for his former apprentice’s failure to defeat the Fantastic Four. I love the characters, we get treated to the origin of the Marquis as he tries to strike a Faustian deal with Richards. When that fails he drops him back in the Baxter Building and into a crisis of infinite FF’s. We get this after witnessing the FF defeated and humbled before the Master and his new Apprentice. All done with great dramatic flair. I mean they killed Aunt Petunia just because. The art was great, I can see they had co-creators on this issue. This diminished the impact some what. Especially in the scene with the Marquis and Richards. But over all Hitch’s part was flawless. I have to say I am not liking the fact that it seems Millar and Hitch just gave up and ditched this title, was there ever an explanation for it? 8 out of 10

War of Kings #5: Another fantastic issue in the sleeper event of the year. Abnett and Lanning found their home in the cosmic Marvel Universe. I like their vision and hope they stick around to straighten out Silver
Surfer and Thanos. Nice stuff all the way through. Liked the bit with Raptors and Vulcan, and I loved the discussion between the Inhumans, I really hope we don’t lose Black Bolt. My only problem was the fight with Gladiator and Blackcloak. But ill eat it, because this series is so damn good. The art by Pelletier is stunning and he really does amazing work with the story, character and action. Some nice panels, and I love the last page splash. He also does a great Gladiator. 8.5 out of 10

Batman and Robin #2: Morrison is doing what I though could not be done. He is making me love Dick Grayson as Batman and the brat Damien as Robin. Morrison is writing a pitch perfect Batman comic. It has it all. Wonderful characterizations of Dick questioning his role as the Bat, the Commissioner and his cops wondering there is something new, different and somewhat familiar about the Dynamic Duo, wonderful examination of the relationship between the new Batman and Robin and how the perform in the field. Great use of language and pacing in the script. And finally an eerie odd set of villains to focus the action on, carnie folk, and Robin falling to pack of dolls while a guy in a pg mask monologues. Its wonderful in every way.  I actually think this is to become my favorite comic. Unlike Morrison’s previous Batman run full of mystery and ethereal exploration, this is pure character and action. Building a new Dynamic Duo and status quo from the ground up. Beautifully executed and drawn to perfection. Yes perfection. Quitely handles every emotion masterfully and the action, fluid, dynamic without equal. I sit in awe of his ability to move from scene to scene and move the story. And there is a beautifully illustrated splash page of the duo descending into the police station. I can’t believe the angle. Quitely captures every character nuance and facial expression perfectly. I really cannot say this enough this comic is incredible. I am telling you now, call it sacrilege , I don’t care if Bruce doesn’t come back. Give me more of this. Also a great job with the classic cover design. 10 out of 10

Secret Six #11: Month after month this book continues to entertain. Simone us writing engaging flawed, even sick characters. And doing it very very well. Simone also sets up a sick premise for the arc, slavers  enslaving(heh, that’s what they do right?) and building a prison in the form of a monument to house the world’s criminals. And making the philosophical argument for it through the characters. And although some of the team is disgusted, its a job. So when the s#!% hits the fan as Jeanette frees a prisoner the team splits and has a proverbial civil war of conscious. Before there are any casualties Wonder Woman shows up. Hell of a cliffhanger. Nicola Scott’s best issue yet, the opening splash is a beautiful team shot, great anatomy, great gesture and expression. She really is doing amazing work on this title. All the characters have unique personalities and nuance. I mean the dinner scene is amazing. Just looking at the plates. Catman gorging on raw meats while Ragdoll’s crumbs are all over the place. Its that attention to detail in the art and writing that make this book a must read every issue. Nicola does a great job with the action too and finally gets to draw some serious Wonder Woman. Next issue should be the best one yet.  I have one complaint about the issue, the cover, its a horrible painted illustration, I would much rather have had a Nicola Scott cover. 9 out of 10

Green Lantern Corps #38: I bow at the alter of Tomasi and Gleason. The Lanterns executing prisoners, the Guardians have really lost it. The road to Blackest Night ends here, and I am certain based on what’s going on there is going to definitely be a new order once its all said and done. Great job by Tomasi on moving the story, showing through Guy and Kyle what length the Guardians are descending to to maintain the appearance of control. At the same time Mongul has to vacate Daxam in the face of resistance in the form of a planet of Supermen (and women!).  And of course finally the Black Rings…exploding into the universe searching for “flesh!”. Gleason cannot get enough praise from me. Beautifully handled drama and balls out action. I mean amazing stuff. Graphically put together in such a way it always seems darkly fresh..even the violence is captivating. I love Gleason’s expressive faces and powerful figure work and add that to his dramatic use of shadow and you get dramatic comic storytelling of the highest level.  Next issue we are full blown into Blackest Night. Get yourself strapped in, if the last few issues of GLC and Lantern are any indication its gonna be a hell of a ride. 9 out of 10

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