Comic Capsule Reviews 02-24-2010

Sorry guys no pics this week!!!

Avengers: The Initiative #33 (Gage and Molina/Marvel Comics/$2.99): Sadly this issues suffers from poor art. I won’t beat up this book too much, ever since it’s inception the art for the post part has been amazing. But every few issues an artist is thrown in who really isn’t ready for prime time. Close. But no cigar. It is almost a parody or previous artists. With flawed anatomy and posing, panels that are very similar, no attempt to create varying body types or faces. It takes the entire wind out of the story. It is easy to follow. Something that bothered me a lot was the Flashback. I am quite sure that wasn’t Diamondback’s costume back when she was hanging out with Cap. Form fitting armor with air holes wasn’t a costume fashion stable back then.Gage’s writing is strong. As it always is. You get into the head of Taskmaster who seems to see the writing on the wall with Osborn. You also get some further developmentswith other characters. And some good action. I liked that Gage jumps around from scene to seen…you get the feeling that events are moving very fast and out of every one’s control. Which is fitting for a plan of Osborn’s making.

5 out of 10

Batm and Robin #9 (Morrison and Stewart/DC Comics/$2.99): A solid ending. This was a rather creepy and emotional story. Dick (Batman)and his love for Bruce lead him to a very interesting place and a gambit that put every one at risk. But reading Morrison’s story you can see why he had to do it. Love. Very nice character stuff as you get to see Damien’s and Alfred respond to the threat of a revived mad Apokoliptan Batclone. I really enjoyed the ride and the developments and Batwoman. She really is dedicated. I wonder if this will tie back to her title. She has now been revived by the Lazarus Pit..what does that mean to her and the Religion of Crime. I really love Morrison he seems to be able to balance the brilliant and the absurd and weave them into great stories. The art is great. Cameron Stewart is a solid, well crafted comic artist. All the essentials are there, bordering at times with cartoony it managed to capture the tone Quitely set for the book, yet remain unique. I really enjoyed the splash page and big central images. This arc was a lot of fun.

8 out of 10

Flash: Rebirth #6 (Johns and Van Sciver/DC Comics/$2.99): Wow didn’t realize this series was only $2.99 each. Wow. That is pretty awesome. So is the ending to this Rebirth. Johns does what he does best getting to the essence of the characters or title. Prof. Zoom is defeated by the combined efforts of the Flash family working together. And of course putting Iris in danger. Which gives Barry the fuel he needs to overtake Zoom and stick him in a bottle. I really enjoyed the scripting. And how Johns sets up the future. The Flash family is in play, Kid Flash has the right boots, foreboding prophecy by the Apes of Gorilla City, new threats on the horizon, the JLA, and of course Iris…there’s always Iris. I really want to know whats next for the Zooms more then the Flashes. Johns really has a knack for developing compelling villains. The art compliments the story well. Sometimes you get lost in the speed effects which blaze off the page and add to the frantic pace of the action. But you are never overwhelmed by the details. The storytelling by Van Sciver is excellent. This is a great package and leaves the Flashes in a very good place. I can’t wait for All-Flash.

8.5 out of 10

New Avengers #62 (Bendis, Acuna and Immonen/Marvel Comics/$2.99); Another Avengers title diminished by art. I am certain that Acuna being involed keeps the book coming out on time, but it certainly is a distraction to me. He has an unfinished quality to me, I just don’t like it here. Especially next to Immonen’s pages. Immonen coming on board had been amazing. The quality is top notch. Great actions, details, backgrounds, figures and expression. As disappointed as I am with the jarring art changes as the scenes jump Bendis script still shines through. You get his signature wit in the Spidey/Spider-woman scenes and great story development in the Cap(s) scenes. The story fits nicely as a look into whats going on in-between the pages of the Siege series without giving anything away and not feel like a waste of time. I particularly loved the scene when Cap gets introduced to the Avengers and whispers into Carol’s ear. I wonder what he said? And I loved the last panel of Steve(Cap) and Clint(Hawkeye/Ronin) with the whole Avengers Assemble thing.

8 out of 10

Inhumans:Realm of Kings #4 (Abnett and Lanning with Raimondi/Marvel Comics/$3.99): I really like the writing and developing character relationships. I even like what may be going on with Medusa..who I think may be losing it after the loss of Black Bolt in War of Kings. I thought it real interesting that anyone would think keeping news about the status of her late husband a away from her would be a good idea. Its a nice development. It adds a dynamic to the historically one dimensional Inhuman Royal Family that’s for sure. I kind of like Gorgon’s wilder almost Hercules like attitude and gregarious role as protector of the empire. And really enjoy the relationship between Ronan and Crystal. My problem with the series is I am not sure how this ties to the whole “realm of kings” story. We will see. I am content to read a well written Inhumans story. I just wish Ronan would be shown to be the omega class powerhouse he is. The guy can single handedly go toe to toe with Heralds. Big robots and Alpha Primitives are a joke. The art is very good. Solid and straightforward in a no-frills sort of way. Which is great. I hate when untried artists attempt style of substance or are derivative of their influences to the point its just an unprofessional copy of a really good artist.

7 out of 10

X-Men Second Coming Preview Book (Misc/Marvel Comics/Free): Outside of teaser pages by the great Immonen it’s garbage. Seems like another X-men revamp that is simply a place holder to the next uninspired X-event. The art and costumes are equally uninspired. I know I have seen all of this before and not in a good way. I will wait out the X-men until they Mephist the last 15 years away. BND the X-books ASAP!

0 out of 10

Superman #697 (Robinson and Chang/DC Comics/$2.99) I have to say the reveal of the Legion Espionage Squad completely shut me down and turned me off to this issue. First off I have hated Mon-El being in this DCU era, it’s not where he belongs and is as bad as the idea of Valor ever was, then that horrible costume, and now more and more Legionnaires running around the DCU. I guess it’s cool if your not a Legion fan. I hate it. I guess there’s a big meta-plot that will be revealed eventually. Whatever. What I did like is the interaction between Mon-El and Conner. That is an interesting relationship. Another thing that bothered me is Steel taking on a Composite-Superman? Huh? What ever. The art by Bernard Chang is great. I love his fill in work but really wish DC would stick this guy in a permanent position somewhere. He would be great for the Outsiders.

3 out of 10

Thor #607 (Gillen and Tan/Marvel Comics/$2.99): I knew dropping this title after JMS and Coipel was the right thing to do. The last issue was terrible but this is absolute garbage. That is harsh. But it has to be said. This is a complete and thorough departure from the quality that made Thor a standout title month after month. I understand. How do you follow JMS and Coipel? Gotcha. Well this isn’t even an attempt. It is completely without soul and blatantly a tie in to the Siege event. I don’t mind that part…if it’s well done. This was downright silly. So Heimdal is sidelined by Loki and the Seer who’s visions never come true is laughed out of the mead hall and murdered in the night. Whatever. And then you have the buffoonery of the Volstagg story. The art was good enough. But seemed more unfinished and rushed then the usually loose style of Tan. Particularly the pages on Asgard.

1 out of 10

Fantastic Four #576 (Hickman and Eaglesham/Marvel Comics/$2.99): I picked this up like I Thor and Superman this week. Because I had some extra cash. I certainly like what Hickman is doing. The FF are primarily a family of explorer adventures and those kind of stories work well especially since it gives you the opportunity to build over time. The writing is solid. Fun simple scripting. I like the interaction of the characters. The reveal of the lost Atlanteans was cool. This will somehow get Namor into the book, should be the obvious next step now that Sue “speaks for man” as far as the Atlantean council is concerned. The entire tone of the book reminded me of the Bryne FF issues where they explored the Negative Zone (must have been th early #230’s). That is a good thing. The only issue was the Hickman story didn’t feel as dynamic or dangerous. And it could be the art. Eaglsham is damn good. But it did not have the abstract exoticness (is that a word) that I would have liked. Byrne had it in spades back in the day. I am not sure what the cover was about. Especially considering the fact the Johnny is running around bare chested in red biker shorts and red cowboy boots in the interior.

6.5 out of 10

Blackest Night #7 (Johns and Reis/DC Comics/$3.99): We learn the great secret of the Oans and reason why Nekron is on Earth. And really why the Earth remains the most important place in the DCU. Johns is amazing. As silly and cliche a premise as it is, as Black is Bad White is Good is. It allĀ  makes wonderful sense and works so well that you just run with it. Great reveals and character moments as Black Hand gets into the actions and Nekron unearths the White Power Entity and proceeds to attempt to destroy Life. All this amid the chaos of Lantern infighting and powerful action. And really the ending was a great surprise. Sinestro takes charge. The art is as flawless as it gets. I don’t know how Reis does it. Every page is full of powerful kineticism and almost mind bending amount of character and detail and yet you never ever lose one piece of storytelling or quality of the art. My favorite bits were the panels and pieces with Nekron and Black Hand in action. This is flawless execution of a brilliantly conceived event. and the wonderful thing about it is I have the feeling it will even get better after Blackest Night.

9.5 out of 10

Amazing Spider-Man #622 (Van Lente, Weissman, Ross/Marvel Comics/$3.99): It is good to see Morbius again. Van Lante gives a fun little story following up on the Devil’s Breath issue from the previous arc. And it plays out very nicely. I like the art. Fun. It is great that post BND the Spidey team fills in the arcs with good done in one stories that are fun and clever. I love that Peter has a real soft spot. Great work. The Flash Thompson story by Weissman is really touching and really gives insight to the character and heroism of Flash Thompson as he struggles with the loss of his legs and what he can do about it. Following him in a very short story from desperation to courage. Great story with powerful art by Luke Ross.

8 out of 10

Wonder Woman #41 (Simone with Batista and Fernandez): This was a good issue. I love the developments with Achilles. Patrick Cleese. Clever. Simone might make an interesting character out of him yet. in the first few pages she gives him a lot of depth. I hope and expect to see more of Achilles. Might be nice to see him and DC’s Herakles interact. I also loved the main part of the issue and insights into Diana’s and Power Girl’s thoughts about each other. It plays out nicely as they slug it out over DC and finally end the chaos of Ares bastard brood. Good stuff I think amplified by Chris Batista’s crisp storytelling. He is a great fit for this book. To be honest I was a little let down that he didn’t do the entire thing…The other art is very derivative of Hughes without the quality. Batista is pure capes. And really works well when most of the issue is two super powered ladies are slugging it over the city. Great issue. I want more of this.

8 out of 10

A week of highs and lows for me. The highs were a lot of fun. I still can’t get over the quality of books this event season. Blackest Night and Siege are impressive well done events.

I got a chance to watch Justice League: Crisis on 2 Earths. I loved it. Really great characterizations and action. Many people had problems with Batman “killing”. I didn’t it works in the story. Batman was the stand out character along with a brilliantly written/scripted Owlman and Super Woman. It took me a while to figure out theMade Men. It was fun to see Vibe too. I highly recommend it.

Which leads be to this.
Dan Didio get McDuffie on JLA: Earth One. Unfettered by continuity he writes the best JLA. And get Pete Woods to draw it. The guys is amazing and can handle a big cast.

See you next week. I would love to hear what you have to say about the books I review or whatever you want to chime in about and remember…Go buy some comics!!