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Adventure Comics #8 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 2.5/5
Art: 3/5
Overall: 2.5/5

World’s Finest (2009) #1 [Review]

World’s Finest Book One: Nightwing & Red Robin

Writer: Sterling Gates
Penciller: Julian Lopez
Inker: Bit
Colorist: Hi-Fi
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Assistant Editor: Harvey Richards
Associate Editor: Sean Ryan
Editors: Elisabeth V. Gehrlein & Michael Siglain
Cover: Phil Noto
Publisher: DC Comics

Granted, Tim Drake/Wayne lives in a world of the fantastic, where men and women with powers and abilities beyond those of Mortal Man abound. But in the half-year of comics (presumably far, far less than 6 months’ in-continuity time), this is AT LEAST the second time he’s up and jetted back home for one crisis (Black Lanterns) or another (helping Chris Kent in this issue). Seems somehow a bit disjointed to me.

This issue sees Red Robin dealing with a motorcycle gang, with a last-minute assist from who he assumes to be Connor (Superboy), but turns out to be Chris (Nightwing). Chris convinces Tim to return with him to Gotham to free Flamebird from Penguin’s captivity. The two have to work together to deal with this foe, who is aided by the Kryptonite Man (I do long for the days when Kryptonite was rare and precious commodity in the DCU!).

This is but the first issue of four, spotlighting interactions between the various characters that make up the “Superman family” and the “Batman family.” It’s a bit early (too soon, really) to know for sure where the overall story is going to go. As-is, I can’t help but wonder if this will read more as a series of one-shots than a single direct narrative.

The writing itself is quite solid, though–Gates seems to have a good feel for the characters of BOTH “families,” within the current status quo (though it’s beginning to seem like Flamebird and Nightwing are spending almost as much time being knocked out and one, the other or both being taken prisoner as Adam West and Burt Ward’s Batman and Robin did in the 60s tv show!)

The art’s good stuff here, and captures much of the feel of the characters involved as I’d tend to expect them based on reading them in their respective series of late. I do like the art, and find it a good fit for these characters in and of itself. Really no complaint there.

Since World’s Finest is here purpoted to be a mini-series–and thus one should be able to assume self-contained to the mini’s run–this would seem to be a good point to jump aboard and get a look at the various characters in the status quo of late, without having to invest in multiple lengthy, over-arching stories. Just four issues, peek in, get a feel, and go from there.

Based on that, this is worth giving a look-see. The creative team is strong, and we are given a glimpse at the potential held in bringin the characters from both “families” together. In some ways, this might just be “Superman/Batman Lite,” teaming the characters up without hijacking the individual titles.r

Story: 6/10
Art: 8.5/10
Whole: 7/10

Oracle: The Cure #3 [Review]

A Matter of Anti-Life or Death!

Writer: Kevin Vanhook
Pencillers: Julian Lopez & Fernando Pasarin
Inkers: Bit, Norm Rapmund, & Fernando Pasarin
Colorist: Hi-Fi
Letterer: Steve Wands
Assistant Editor: Harvey Richards
Editor: Michael Siglain
Cover: Guillem March
Publisher: DC Comics

Oracle and her new friends take on the Calculator on a high-tech, virtual-reality front. Their battle eventually shifts to the real world, as “the cure” stands revealed.

The art for this issue is consistent with the earlier issues. It’s not a style I’m all that thrilled with–there’s something to the art as a whole that doesn’t quite do it for me; that seems just a bit inconsistent from some panels to others (leaving aside obvious changes to represent what characters are seeing as ‘virtual reality’ in the game-world/internet log). The art is not horrible, but is not what I would seek out, and would not sell me on the issue.

The story is a bit of a cop-out; I’m not sure how much of that is that this series is so SHORT after half a decade of being groomed into acceptance of the 6-issue arc as “standard,” and how much is other stuff. The events seem to be within the realm of what I know of the title character, but at the same time, I just don’t feel that there’s any real enormity to stuff going on; I’m not sold on the necessity of this mini’s existence. You can certainly find worse stories, and probably worse depictions of the character.

As far as story arcs go, and mini-series in general, this seems little more than a weak attempt to “test the waters” for some ongoing series, while tying into/capitalizing on the Battle for the Cowl “event.”

Unless you’re a die-hard Barbara Gordon fan interested in any/all starring-role appearances, I don’t think this series has been essential to the character as yet; if you’ve bought the first two issues of the series, and enjoyed it, no real reason to avoid this final issue.

Story: 6/10
Art: 6/10
Whole: 6/10

Oracle: The Cure #1 [Review]

Home Again, Home Again

Writer: Kevin Vanhook
Pencillers: Julian Lopez & Fernando Pasarin
Inkers: Bit & Hi-Fi’s David Bryant
Colorist: Hi-Fi
Letterer: Steve Wands
Assistant Editor: Harvey Richards
Editor: Michael Siglain
Cover: Guillem March
Publisher: DC Comics

We open on a view from outside Barbara Gordon’s new apartment building, as residents all react to flickering availability of power. We then move into seeing Barbara interact with her father, some other allies, hacker contacts, and so on, showing us much of what makes up the life of Oracle as she adjusts to being back in Gotham City after being gone for quite awhile.

The story isn’t bad, though I’m not terribly enthused by it. Nothing really blows me away…in fact, a couple points actually strike me as extremely cliche. There’s a point that’s brought up several times throughout the issue that screams foreshadowing to me (and cliched foreshadowing at that). Additionally, what happens with one of Barbara’s hacker friends seems laughably unrealistic to me, like a plot point jammed in because there was no other way to have such a point occur otherwise.

The art’s not bad. It seems vaguely generic at points, but comes across smoothly for the most part. Aside from some…questionable angles…you could really find a lot of art in comics out there that is far less appealing. What we have in this issue works for the story, and fits.

The way the foreshadowing pays off in the next two issues will really inform how integral this series is to the Battle for the Cowl story as a whole. For now, this seems to be at least a nice tie-in that takes the context of the overall story and is telling a smaller aspect of that story with a particular focus that needn’t include the entire Bat-verse.

Could be much better, but not a bad read if you’re interested in the character or having all the tie-ins and such.

Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10
Whole: 7/10

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