Comic Capsule Reviews 7/22/2009

Wednesday Comics week #3 (Various/DC Comics/$3.99): More pure newsprint textured joy from DC.

Batman: More intrigue as the story unfolds. Great art. 9 out of 10.

Kamandi: I love the art. Sook is amazing. I love Gibbon’s narration. The pace is great and I love how everything unfolds.  It’s a fun ride. 10 out of 10

Superman: Another great strip. 9 out of 10

Hawkman: Interesting developments. 8 out of 10

Deadman: Great art and fun as heck. Boston didn’t expect to go on this ride. 8.5 out of 10

Green Lantern: Retro super fun. The art its pitch perfect. 9 out of 10

Metamorpho: My favorite. Gaiman and Allred have struck gold. The dialogue is so bizarre it’s wonderful. It’s a take on the character(s) I am really enjoying. Love the Metamorfans strip at the bottom…including the bit about synthesizing your own element. How hilarious is that? 10 out of 10

Teen Titans: Fun, Cheeks is an amazing artist. 8 out of 10

Strange Adventure: Really digging this strip. Love the dialogue and names of things. Wonder where Strange went? 9.5 out of 10

Supergirl: Cute fun comic goodness. 9 out of 10

Wonder Woman: Not really enjoying it. Too chaotic. And Too much on the page. 4 out of 10

Metal Men: I can’t believe how much I love what Didio, Lopez and Nowlan are doing. Great fun and dialogue. 9.5 out of 10

Sgt. Rock: WWII goodness by the father and son Kuberts. 8 out of 10

the Flash: Eeally enjoyable. Neat story, great art. 9.5 out of 10

The Demon and Catwoman: Expected more. But certainly an interesting turn. Love Stelfreeze. Nice angels. 8 out of 10

I am really enjoying this format. Quick, accessible, easy to read and the line up of talent is amazing. I want more strips. 9 out of 10

Tales of the Corps #2 (Johns, Mahnke, Tomasi, Ha, Barrows, Mandrake/DC Comics/$3.99): I like these character vignettes a lot. The origin of Bleez was fun, but I wish Johns would have pushed the rage angle a little more. I can certainly see why the Reds have a serious hate for the Sinestros. Barrows is really an amazing artist. He shines on this story. Capturing beautiful anatomy, backgrounds and action. He needs to be placed on the JLA. Johns gives a nice tempting of Carol Ferris and her induction into the Star Sapphires. You get some history and a look at the future. Great art by Gene Ha. Interesting to see what happens as the confrontation of forces between the Violets and Sinestros heats up. Tomasi’s Blume story was the most fun of the three stories. I love how the greedy god goes from planet to planet demanding what’s precious to the inhabitants and is SoL when he gets to Okaara and is absorbed into the Orange Corps by Larfreeze. I am not a big fan of Mandrake’s art, but it works very well on this story. Some great pin-ups of the various Corps by Mahnke. I love the Agent Orange one the best. Also nice how he had the Star Sapphires choreographed into a heart. Nice touch. 8 out of 10

Green Lantern #44 (Johns, Mahnke,Alamy/DC Comics/$2.99): Johns and Mahnke bring it. Black Lantern Martian Manhunter faces off and pretty much kicks the proverbial crap out of Hal and Barry. I guess Martian Manhunter was right…how did he put it “I am as powerful as Superman…Why does everyone forget that?”. Flash and Green Lantern won’t. Johns delivers on the script, high octane action, the eeriness of undead super hero horror and really doing a tremendous job with characters and moving the story along. The interaction between Hal and Barry seems so natural. You can see all the characters have history. 3 founding members of the JLA. Johns throws so much in there including a quick interlude back to the Guardians where Skar looks across the galaxy as the various Corps are engaged in the War of Light and we get the hint that the Black Rings are sucking up life force so the real BIG BAD behind the Black Lanterns can rise (got $5 on Nekron). By the end of the issue Hal and Barry are defeated and John Stewart is on what’s left of Xanshi where a mass of Black Rings have swarmed. Not a good sign at all. If you have seen the cover there is nothing I can do praise the art high enough. Front to back this is the most beautiful book I have picked up this week. This is a super battle done right. With great power, kineticism, and drama. You get unprecedented super hero action with a nice tinge of horror thrown in, love the effect of MM using his mind powers on the heroes . And if you take time to really look at the pages there’s all this great stylistic detail. Loved the opening sequence of the Black Ring finding Martian Manhunter and the bit with the “Oreo”. I don’t think you could get a better artist for an event like Blackest Night if all the planets and stars were aligned. Slick inks by Alamy and fantastic color and tones by Nguyen. This is a great art team. It is literal comic book perfection. 10 out of 10.

Amazing Spider-man #600 (Slott/Romita/Jansen/Various, Marvel Comics, $4.99): Now that is everything I want from an anniversary issue. A great involved character driven Spidey story. The BND haters can jump in a lake. This is what Spidey is about. Family, super hero action, New York, and fun. And it really is all in here. Slott does wonderful work with the script. And really gives a tour of the Spiderverse while throwing in an old villain with a new vision. Octavius (Doc Ock) is going give the city a gift..of course it doesn’t work out and leads him head on into a confrontation with Spider-man. So you get that and some great use of guest stars like Daredevil and the Human Torch which leads to some fun and funny moments and excellent banter by Slott. I particularly like the Spidey jokes surrounding plays on Otto. You also get some nice characterization, and emotion from the supporting cast. I really have to say I am really really glad J. Jonah JR came through in the end and presiding over the wedding of Aunt May and his dad. Its character stuff like that that make me love comics. And the ending was great. Didn’t see that coming until the bouquet was thrown. Possibly the most interesting part to me was Daredevil discussing his perception or senses not being able to break through Spider-man’s Mephistian glamour. Should be interesting as that becomes more and more of an issue as things continue. The art by JRjr is amazing. The cover is possibly the best Spidey cover in ages, destined to be a Spider-man classic. Nothing really needs to be said other then John Romita Jr is the Spider-artist of his generation. I really loved the additional content and fun parody covers. Making the issue easily worth the $5 price tag. I particularly loved seeing Derec Donovan on a Marvel book and the Madame Web short. Interesting. Great work. 9 out of 10

Incredible Hulk #600 (Loeb,McGuinness,Farmer, Various/Marvel Comics/$4.99): Fun fun fun. Exactly what I expected. Nice pace by Loeb and excellent job pulling Ben Urich in to be the man uncovering a conspiracy. The developments are pure capes. Heroes turning to villains, a big super fight where even guest stars in this case Spider-man gets to slug it out with Rulk while joking. I love it. I also love how Loeb incorporated M.O.D.O.K. There’s a character I have always liked. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Rulk absorbs Banner’s radiation and now he can’t turn all Hulky, and A-Bomb (Rick Jones) gets to return the favor to Banner that kicked off Hulk’s adventures years ago by saving Jones from a nuke. I really enjoyed the dialogue and turn of events and really just love the ride. I really hope we get to a reveal on RULK and the Savage Hulk puts us out of his misery soon, I am tired of seeing one of my favorite characters roughed up so much. The art by McGuinness is nothing short of powerful and dynamic. Really no one except maybe Keown draws the Hulk(s) so well. Great storytelling and action spreads. Farmer on inks was a little odd. I love Farmer, but he may not work as well on artists like McGuinness as they do on let’s say Alan Davis. Still it was nice to see him inking. Any one poopooing Loeb should just stop and enjoy the fun. The back ups filling up the pages weren’t very interesting. I could care less about the NEW She-Hulk. I would prefer Thundra…did they ever explain the derivative costume. The art was very nice. But I don’t think they can do anything to make me care about the character. Same with reprint pages of Hulk:Grey. Still I enjoyed Loeb and McGuinness’ work so much I hardly noticed I paid the extra $2. 8.5 out of 10

Invincible #64 (Kirkman, Ottley, Rathburn, Plascencia/Image/$2.99): Another balls out visceral super battle. Visceral may be an understatement for any one who actually read the issue. I mean we are talking broken bones, gore and down right vicious melee. With the Death of Atom Eve sending invincible into a furious rage Conquest ends up taking a beating. And still has fight left in him. Until Atom Eve revived by her molecular powers blasts him and leaves weakened enough for Invincible to head butt him to death. Gruesome but very well written and certainly emotionally charged. I love after they defeat Conquest the two battered and beaten love birds lay there spend expressing their love. And of course the cavalry arrives too late..but right on time to find Eve naked. Love the expressions on the faces of the male characters. Priceless. Great job by Kirkman as always and an outstanding job by Ottely for delivering and unprecedented vicious two issue fight. The entire art team is amazing. Invincible is consistently a wild ride. A unique capes experience. I wanted to add there is a brilliant pin-up of Conquest by Huerta, if you are on the net enough you may know his art work as he posts at a few forums. It’s an amazing pin-up. Wouldn’t mind seeing him draw a book in that style. Very energetic and powerful. DC and Marvel should get in touch with the kid. 8.5 out of 10

Guardians of the Galaxy #16 (Abnett&Lanning, Craig,Fairbarn/Marvel Comics/$2.99): I owe Jim O’Hara a meal. This book is brilliant. I dropped Mighty Avengers (because it’s horrible) and decided to pick this title up instead after his praise of the book on Millarworld. I am so glad I did. That last few issues have been great. But this one has been the best so far. Abnett and Lanning hi-jack half of the Guardians of the Galaxy to the end of time to meet the other Guardians of the Galaxy and are told events in the War of Kings will cause an error in the space/time continuum and irreparably cause a fault in the universe. One where the Badoon rule a small pocket of space they have anchored to existence by harnessing the Celestials power by chaining them to the sun. Brilliant. All hell breaks loose as the teams get it together breach the Celestial wall while fighting endless hordes of Badoon and send a message back to their team…at the same time unraveling the Celestial fence and destroying the universe. BOOM! How awesome is that? Pretty awesome. All done at break neck speed with fun colorful dialogue, characterization and action. The art is off the chain. Very stylized, but wonderfully dynamic and powerful. It’s a tad cartoony but in a good way. And you don’t lose one iota of story in Craig’s stylization. Coupled with Fairbairn’s painterly coloring style there is something unique and magical here. I really love it. I am really impressed. Fun as hell. The Pascal Ferry cover of the classic Guardians aint bad either. A great comic and really recommend people pick it up. 9 out of 10

Captain Britain and MI13 #15 (Cornell,Kirk/Marvel Comics/$2.99): This book ended waaaaaaay too soon. But Cornell sure has hell went out with a bang and a great conclusion to “Vampire State”.  Really great use of the characters, equal parts action and drama. I love all the guests showing up to take out the vampires. Cornell leaves all the characters in a great place full of possibilities. Better then they were before. I like that. I really enjoyed Blade putting a stake to “Baron Blood” and was very glad we got the reunion of Captain Britain and Meggan. Only one part left me a little under whelmed. Maybe it was a personal victory for Faiza, but even armed with Excalibur she is not capable of going toe to toe with one of the greatest warriors in history and monsters of fiction. But I can let it go because of the emotional resonance. Heh. One day I really hope Drac gets revenge on Doom. The art was amazing. Kirk is really great at putting it all on a page. Easy readable pages and great action. The entire issue rocked. I am sad to see this title go. 9 out of 10

Supergirl #43 (Gates, Igle,Sibal/DC Comics/$2.99): Nice pause from the heavy action and drama of the last arc. Supergirl takes her place on New Krypton. And thanks to a gift (she calls punishment) from her mother is allowed to do what know other Kryptonian is allowed to do, explore and choose her Guild. I didn’t see the Science Guild coming, I was certain she was an artist. But it was a pleasant, nice character driven issue. I loved the bit with her mother, searching for clues of the whole Superwoman affair, her brief talk with Kal, and some insights into her personal soul searching and remembering her father. Gates covers a lot of ground and I really enjoy these types of issues that give us more character. The art was also very good. Igle is a great master of storytelling and general comic art craftsmanship. He draws great people of varying shapes and sizes and really moves the camera around. He draws wonderfully expressive faces and great natural poses. A job well done. I thought the inking was a little weak. I think Sibal shows flashes of brilliance in some of the line detail, but often has very little variance in line weights and it some times weakens the pop of some of the panels. Nice colors by Pantazis. 8 out of 10

Incredible Hercules #131 (Pak, Van Lente,Stegman,Pallot/Marvel Comics/$2.99):  Another fun, dramatic issue from Pak and Van Lente. Fun and funny. I wonder whose idea it was to play with sound EFX during the Herakles face off? “sisy-poof!” “bichslapp”..hilairious. Really great job by the writing team. Great emotional drama leading up to Zeus sacrificing himself for his son. Who broke the mythic chain of children replacing their fathers. This whole story plays out very nicely through the dialogue. I also like the developments with Cho, and really love the ending of the young Zeus now under the custody of Herc. This is fun. My only problem is “Heracles”. Again. I want to remind every one there is no “C” in Greek. Seems odd that Greek gods would use it when speaking to each other or shouting out their Hellenic names. HERAKLES. Get it right! The art was very appropriate. Great storytelling and action. Fun facial expression and all around well done layouts and fight scenes. Still loving this book big time. Can’t wait for Thorcules next issue. 9 out of 10

Superman: World of New Krypton #5 (Rucka,Woods/DC Comics/$2.99): I hope no one is over-looking this book. It has been top notch since it started. I am not sure what Robinson is doing or what Rucka is doing to guide this title but it is extraordinary. What I mean by that is that it is better then I can probably put into words. The best way I can explain it is Super hero Sci-fi. Basically you have Superman among his newly freed brethren on the newly establish Krypton exploring its society, cultural nuance and lots of political intrigue. And in this advanced society of Supermen you get great elements from the pure capes DCU. Last issue the GL’s show up. It is my favorite super title. And no one is in costume. Which is different if you know me. I love capes and the thing where villains speak in all bolded caps while monologuing fists clenched at the heroes. But this book is really a great exploration of Kal-El and who the Kryptonians are. In this issue you get some great character moments from the entire cast as Kal is on trial for treason, which normally would get you thrown for all eternity into the Phantom Zone. But with the Zone no more..it means DEATH. Fortunately it’s holiday time for the Aliens and Superman is given a pass and New Krypton rejoices as they lift their atmospheric dome and christen the their newly minted world while all praise Zod..for a page. Then some one pulls a blaster and assassinates him. Obviously he’s not dead. But I am sure interested to see where this goes. Kal is finding Krypton isn’t the utopia we were all lead to believe it was and it’s smart he be there to make sure Zod and others aren’t up to no good. Great character stuff between Kal and Zod. The art is second to none. Let it be known Pete Woods is possibly the best story teller in comics right now. Easy to follow, clean lines. Beautiful architecture, props and costumes. The best anatomy and expression. I have never seen any one handle so many flying people so fluidly. The art is great. He really cements Krypton as a society with its own fashion, tech and style. Every issue blows my mind. This is a great comic. I recommend every one read it. 9 out of 10

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #5 (Johns,Perez/DC Comics/$3.99): Thus ends the final thread of Final Crisis. Equal parts Legion story and Superboy Prime’s. I have to say I really enjoyed the last issue. Did not end anything like I pictured it. So really great moments. Conner and Bart are back. Dawny and Wildfire are together. Poor Blok. I wonder what stories of the Black Witch are to come. A great moment as the Legions of all worlds descend and help Supes take on Time trapper and buy them the time they need to see Brainy’s plan through. Great way to end it. Prime could have fought the combined Legions, Supes, Conner and Bart Forever I suppose. Brilliant play to have him put himself out of commission. I am very happy with the Legion we are left with, This is the Legion I know. And I am very glad we got Bouncing Boy and DD back too. Hopefully Tenzil won’t be too far behind and we don’t have to wait too long for the Legion of Super Heroes franchise to get it’s own title. The final fate of Prime. We will see. I just feel for his parents and what he did to Lori. He is absolutely irredeemable. A great story by Johns who really understood the history and relationships of the classic Legion. This old fan thanks him. Especially for the first page. He got it right with all those moments behind the characters. So we long time fans know our Legion’s history is in tact. Bravo Johns. The art of course is unprecedented Perez. He is THE Crisis artist. Front to back he made this me believe artists can handle these kind of big epic stories and not skimp one iota on the drama and action that they entail. 10 out of 10 LONG LIVE THE LEGION!