• January 2009
    S M T W T F S
    « Dec   Feb »
     123
    45678910
    11121314151617
    18192021222324
    25262728293031
  • On Facebook

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Comic Blog Elite

    Comic Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Final Crisis #6 [Review]

How to Murder the Earth

Script: Grant Morrison
Art: JG Jones, Carlos Pacheco, Doug Mahnke, Marco Rudy, Christian Alamy, Jesus Merino
Colors: Alex Sinclair & Pete Pantazis
Lettering: Rob Clark Jr.
Assoc. Editor: Adam Schlagman
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Cover: JG Jones (sliver cover by Pacheco, Merino & Sinclair)
Publisher: DC Comics

This sixth issue opens with a scene featuring Superman and Brainiac 5…presumably our Legion of 3 Worlds link. Brainiac has something he needs Superman to see, and Superman’s concerned because he’s been beyond reality and has to get home (no mention of Lois). We then cut back to a gathering of heroes doing what they do, and the Supergirl/”Black Mary” battle (we find out who’s pulling Mary’s strings). Heroes find themselves facing friends and loved ones now under Darkseid’s thumb; the Flashes hatch a plan, and Batman breaks one of his personal rules in order to face Darseid. Finally, Superman enters the battle on Earth, bringing with him anger not often displayed.

The art jumped out at me for this issue–unfortunately, though, not a good thing. Rather than the fairly distinct JG Jones art alone, we have a number of other artists brought on to get this done, and so there is quite a bit of variance in the visuals throughout the issue–this looks like just another comic instead of a singular, special event/series. The art in and of itself isn’t all that bad–characters familiar to casual readers are familiar and recognizeable. The Tawky Tawny battle, though, was a bit hard to follow, and took me a bit beyond the battle itself before I even realized who won the fight. While I’m sure intended for dramatic effect, a key double-page shot toward the end looks almost comical (in a “ha, ha” sort of way) and seems almost out of place in this title given other events that have ocurred off-panel and been referred back to almost as an afterthought.

The story is far from wonderful, but it is serviceable, at least on the surface. We get a number of scene-jumps without much flow, just jumping from one scene to the next. One has to keep track visually of what and who is where as the Supergirl/Mary battle is cut with the Tawny battle, for example. The main Batman scene comes across like it’s supposed to be reminiscent of a certain speedster in a prior Crisis, and for this reader felt forced and overly predictable.

On the whole, due to one character’s fate apparently shown here, this issue is pretty important to DC continuity, at least for the moment. However, this is an issue I read more to seek a conclusion to Batman: RIP and in the hopes of staying somewhat current with the most major goings-on of the DCU than out of enjoyment. This is one of those comics that is probably going to wind up being pretty “essential” to the bigger picture in the DCU…though it lacks the feel I’d expect for something of its supposed enormity.

Recommended for its necessity in the DCU-to-come, but not for the story and art.

Story: 5/10
Art: 3/10
Whole: 4/10

Action Comics #873 [Review]

New Krypton part ten: Birth of a Nation

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Pete Woods, Renato Guedes & Wilson Magalhaes
Colorist: Brad Anderson & David Curiel
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Asst. Editor: Wil Moss
Editor: Matt Idelson
Cover: Ladronn
Publisher: DC Comics

New Krypton the crossover/mega-arc concludes here, but the story is far from over.

The issue opens with the world reacting to Supergirl’s punch at Superman in the previous chapter, with General Lane and Luthor politicking over Doomsday’s for-now dead body. Some Kandorians are fighting the Justice Society and Green Lanterns (with a few other heroes), before a Superman Returns style solution is implemented that then takes on a Counter-Earth feel. We’re then treated to several prologue scenes to close out the issue.

The art on this issue isn’t bad, but for the most part is not all that appealing to me. It gets across what’s going on visually, but leaves me missing Gary Frank’s art, particularly at the way Superman himself looks.

The story is a definite let-down. While this is supposedly the “conclusion” to this epic, I’m left at the end feeling like we’ve had a whole bunch of filler leading to this issue, just to kick off some outside mini-series. There’s been a lot of potential built up that doesn’t get resolved and seems to fizzle out, and just results in a hearty disappointment. As a Faces of Evil issue, supposedly we get a story from Luthor’s point of view. However, Luthor is really only on the first two pages as a pawn to General Lane. This isn’t the writer’s fault–this issue has no business being included in the Faces of Evil stunt.

All in all, what began as a very interesting premise with loads of potential comes down to this issue and a completely anti-climactic conclusion. Recommended only if you’ve been following the story thus far; otherwise, you’ll be just as well served finding spoilers online and spending your money elsewhere. If you want a story from Luthor’s point of view and how he interacts with Superman, I’ll recommend the Lex Luthor: Man of Steel mini-series from several years back.

Story: 7/10
Art: 6/10
Whole: 6.5/10

Detective Comics #852 [Review]

Reconstruction

Writer: Paul Dini
Penciller: Dustin Nguyen
Inker: Derek Fridolfs
Colors: John Kalisz
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Asst. Editor: Janelle Siegel
Editor: Mike Marts
Cover: Andrew Robinson
Publisher: DC Comics

As far as I can tell, this issue opens shortly after Heart of Hush (and handily spoils said story, which I have not yet read). Thomas Elliot has gone from top of the world to having nothing, thanks to miscalculations in his last attack on Batman/Bruce/Catwoman. This issue follows him from being defeated and suicidal on to several incidents where he is able to successfully impersonate Bruce Wayne. By doing so he begins to reconstruct his power and wealth while regaining confidence in his ability to get revenge. The issue’s end plays a bit in the metatextual realm–I for one was put in mind of Iron Man and how amusing this could be to play on that character–and ends on a nice little moment that I’m sure would mean so much more if I’d read Heart of Hush.

The art on this issue is pretty good. I recall Nguyen’s art from a stint he had on Batman back in ’04 or so; I think I like this current work better than that, though. Nguyen’s art seems to work well with this story, and I have nothing worthwhile to complain about with it.

The story itself works well despite the cliched rags-to-riches bit. Even so, it builds on established continuity and continues to build on the Thomas Elliot character in a believeable way, keeping the character’s story moving forward. The character is being developed in a way that–to make a comparison–feels much more organic and reasonable than what’s been done with Jason Todd. For that I certainly have to give Dini points.

It’s been a couple months now since Batman: RIP wrapped up, and I wish I’d had a clearer map/checklist of what the Bat titles were going to do for these last few months as they’ve been all over the place with fill in stories and whatnot. This is another story that looks to be the same creative team with the story appearing in both Detective and Batman. With a story like this, though…I could handle reading Dini’s stuff in both Bat-books and be quite satisfied.

Story: 8.5/10
Art: 7/10
Whole: 8/10

Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade #2 [Review]

Writer: Landry Q. Walker
Artist: Eric Jones
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Coloring: Joey Mason
Associate Editor: Adam Schlagman
Editor: Jann Jones
Cover: Eric Jones
Publisher: Johnny DC/DC Comics

This issue follows Supergirl (Linda Lee) as she deals with the introduction of a new rival who makes life quite frustrating for the young Girl of Steel.

The art is nice and consistent with a stylized cartooney appearance that really fits the story perfectly. This looks like it could be a storyboard for a rather entertaining cartoon complete with some of the classic visual trappings and exaggerations I’d expect out of a cartoon.

The story itself–with the introduction/origin/initial status quo set up for Supergirl out of the way last issue–is able to function very well as a slice of life/done-in-one adventure-in-the-8th-grade for the character, while introducing a couple characters that will likely be part of the recurring cast.

I liked this issue quite a bit–I liked it more than the previous issue, and that’s a trend I certainly enjoy with comics. There are some nice nods to mainstream DC continuity that older fans can get, while those same elements build on the character as found in these pages. A main point in this story is this anti-/opposite Supergirl character; something that is pulled off and makes much more sense as done here than it did in the main Supergirl book several years back.

If you’re looking for something to give to a younger comic fan–or someone you’re looking to turn into a comic fan–this is a great place to start.

As only the 2nd issue, if you haven’t already grabbed the first, it’d also be well worth picking up both in one go.

Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10
Whole: 8/10

Green Lantern Corps #32 [Review]

Sins of the Star Sapphire part four: Hearts and Minds

Story and Words: Peter J. Tomasi
Penciller: Patrick Gleason
Inker: Rebecca Buchman
Color: Randy Mayor
Letterer: Steve Wands
Editor: Adam Schlagman
Cover: Gleason, Buchman, Nei Rufino
Publisher: DC Comics

While a Lantern gives birth, fellow Green Lanterns fight Kryb in order to keep the Sinestro Corps member away from the baby. During the battle, the latest revision to the Book of Oa is made known to all GLs, prompting yet another decision to be made–one that is echoed throughout the Corps. with significant implications for down the road.

I think I’m finally getting used to the art on this book. It’s probably never gonna rank in my tops list of fvorite art, but it works with the GL Corps concept with the various aliens and all that. Kryb comes across as both creepy (presumably intended so) and rather stupid looking…almost like some sort of “emo alien” type.

The story continues to move forward as the GLs (with some help from a Star Sapphire) attend to Kryb who has been kidnapping children of GLs for awhile now. We have several good moments in this issue…between the parents and their new child; Kyle and Soranik; and between Kyle, Soranik, and one of the Star Sapphires. However, I’m still not clear on who Star Sapphire is or was, and thus far can’t tell any of the new Star Sapphires apart…they just don’t come across as distinct to me, nor do they come off as all that interesting–certainly not enough for me to bother researching them online.

Right now, this feels like a filler story even though it’s introducing us to one of the numerous Lantern Corps. I haven’t cared about Kryb, and being a relatively young, single adult with no children and no spouse of my own, I’m not really all that engaged with the story of the GLs’ children being put in danger…especially not when it follows on the earlier story of the GLs PARENTS being in danger.

You could do worse than this issue, but unless you’re intent on following the GL franchise in general, this is nothing special to seek out (though I hope that that’ll change soon as we head into Blackest Night later this year).

Story: 5/10
Art: 6/10
Whole: 5.5/10

Faces of Evil: Solomon Grundy #1 [Review]

The Curse!

Writer: Geoff Johns & Scott Kolins
Artist: Scott Kolins
Colorist: Hi-FI
Letterer: John J. Hill
Editors: Adam Schlagman & Eddie Berganza
Cover: Shane Davis, Sandra Hope & Alex Sinclair
Publisher: DC Comics

This one shot focuses on the longtime DC character Solomon Grundy. After a bit of a flashback to the character’s in-continuity history, we come to the present where Grundy’s awoken once more after his latest death, but with a change. We follow him through a week of death and rebirth (and a fight with Killer Croc) until he’s confronted finally by a couple of faces familiar to him (and to us as readers) who propose fighting this curse he’s under while in a small window of opportunity to do so.

This is another well done one-shot worthy of the Faces of Evil “hype” and “event.” This is all about Grundy, offering us a look at the world from the character’s point of view while acknowledging the fact that he’s had a number of different incarnations in the last couple of decades at least, and building on that. As this is essentially set-up for a mini-series, one might be able to look at this as the tv-movie pilot for a special series coming soon.

The art fits the character and the story both quite well, and I enjoyed it. Kolins’ art seems to fit well with villain-centric stories, assuming I’m correct in recalling him as the artist on the Rogues’ Revenge mini from several months back.

This is a fairly decent one-shot; though as it is largely set-up for the upcoming mini-series, doesn’t feel complete: it feels more like a proglogue than a self-standing story.

If you’re interested in or curious about the character, it’s worthwhile–just be aware that it has a cliffhanger going toward the mini series.

Story: 8/10
Art: 9/10
Whole: 8.5/10

Booster Gold #16 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

%d bloggers like this: