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Aliens #1 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 3.5/5
Art: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5

Green Lantern #41 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 4/5
Art: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5

Wonder Woman #32 [Review]

Rise of the Olympian part 7: Compound Fracture

Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Aaron Lopresti
Inker: Matt Ryan
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Associate Editor: Sean Ryan
Editor: Elisabeth Gehrlein
Cover: Aaron Lopresti & Hi-Fi (variant by Francis Manapul & Jeremy Roberts)
Publisher: DC Comics

THere’s a lot going on in this issue, even though much if it is essentially just an extended fight sequence. With six prior issues of build, with fights showing both sides discovering the other’s limits, it comes down to this do-or-die battle as Wonder Woman must overcome Genocide or lose all she holds dear. We also see as other elements come together that will cause plenty of trouble down the road, beyond Genocide.

What initially interested me in this story–the thing that prompted me to see it out from the start–was that Genocide was compared to Doomsday, in terms of the role it would play for Diana. And I must say that the comparison’s a fair one, though obviously with much different characters and story beats and all that.

Simone has a great handle on the character–I’m actually interested in this incarnation of Diana/Wonder Woman; I’m interested in the supporting cast (even though I can’t even remember their names yet), and I’m interested in the Bigger Picture–what’s going on with Zeus and his Olympian(s), and in general find that while Genocide brought me to the table, it’s the writing–the story itself–that has me quite willing to stick around.

The art’s pretty, too–visually, this looks like a comic book, but there’s a quality to the thing that is beyond any “generic” art. One definitely gets a sense from the visuals just how brutal this battle is, and how much of a beating Diana’s already taken. A page toward the end of the battle is particularly gruesome, though due at least in part to not being overly graphic and leaving it to the individual to fill in the extra details.

This both feels like a story ending and yet doesn’t. Elements that have been seen throughout the arc are continuing and probably about to come to far more prominence than we’ve had with ’em so far. But the meat of the story–the battle with Genocide–has a definite ending, while keeping the door open to future stories that’ll certainly reference this.

Though I stuck around for a handful of Rucka’s issues a few years ago and enjoyed them at the time–this current arc is the most I’ve been interested in Wonder Woman and the most I’ve really enjoyed the story overall. If you didn’t follow this arc, I’d recommend considering it in collected volume format, and giving the series a chance with the next issue, whatever story officially kicks off.

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

Superman #688 [Review]

The Fall and Rise of Jonathan Kent

Writer: James Robinson
Penciler: Renato Guedes
Inker: Jose Wilson Magalhaes
Colorist: David Curiel
Letterer: John J. Hill
Asst. Editor: Wil Moss
Editor: Matt Idelson
Cover: Andrew Robinson
Publisher: DC Comics

The first thing to note is this issue’s story title, which is a reversal of the “traditional” phrasing, as one would usually expect to read of the Rise and THEN Fall of someone, rather than the fall and then rise. It also puts me in mind of The Death and Life of Superman for the same reason–the title reversing the order. In the case of this issue, the title is quite literal, as we begin with Mon-El sans powers in free-fall. Though he survives, he is not sure what caused his powers to cut out. Joined by the Guardian, answers are sought, and in a typical comics sorta fashion, an answer is found that is not to the liking of the protagonists.

I’m not a fan of the art style in this issue. It’s just not to my liking, so much so that it does actually take me out of the story as I notice panel after panel the visual style I’m not thrilled with. That’s not to say the art’s bad or anything–for one thing, it’s far better than anything I myself could accomplish–but it is such that I don’t engage with the story as I would one with art I enjoyed a good deal more.

The story itself feels rather cliched here. The revelation of what’s affecting Mon-El’s powers goes a good way toward explaining recent events and accounting for his current status quo. But it’s also not all that original, and left me mentally groaning at just how cliche it feels, whatever original elements are yet present.

I have no problem with this book essentially starring a couple of characters who are NOT Superman himself, with stories that show a world that does not have Superman present, but rather others trying to fill the man’s role while he’s off-planet. It’s just that the story itself here just feels rather weak…especially when held against something like Starman, also by this writer.

Aside from simply being one chapter in an ongoing narrative….this is not an issue I’d recommend in general.

Story: 5/10
Art: 4/10
Whole: 4.5/10

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