• September 2019
    S M T W T F S
    « Aug    
    1234567
    891011121314
    15161718192021
    22232425262728
    2930  
  • On Facebook

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Comic Blog Elite

    Comic Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

  • Advertisements

Adventure Comics #0 [Review]

Quick Rating: Decent
Story Title: The Legion of Super-Heroes / Origins & Omens

Superboy meets super-powered teens from the future, and a new Luthor/Brainiac team is introduced.

Writer: (AC247) Otto Binder, (O&O) Geoff Johns
Artist: (AC247) Al Plastino, (O&O) Francis Manapul
Colorist: Brian Buccellato
Letterer: Swands
Associate Editor: Sean Ryan
Editor: Elisabeth V. Gehrlein
Cover: Aaron Lopresti
Publisher: DC Comics

This issue is primarily reprint material, reprinting the story from Adventure Comics #247…a silver-age comic. This was the story that introduced Superboy to a super-hero club–the Legion of Super-Heroes. Encountering several individuals who know that he is Superboy AND Clark Kent, Superboy agrees to go 1,000 years into the future with these super-powered teens, who invite him to join their club as an honorary member if he can pass their initiation.

At the end of the issue is a 6-page sequence–the Origins & Omens story (one of which will be found in each of a number of other DC titles this month). This one continues a thread from the recently-concluded New Krypton story and sets the stage for the earliest issues of this series.

The story and art on the reprint are instantly recognizeable as silver age fare. While I appreciate concepts of the silver-age and greatly enjoyed time spent reading through my grandfather’s collection of comics half a lifetime ago, these days I find such stories in a bit of opposition with my interest. However, this story was decent, and it IS interesting to see the early/original version of the characters that would go on to have so much more depth in the years since this introduction.

The Origins & Omens bit seemed extremely short, but it has me interested in what’s to come. And I couldn’t help but recall Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? as I read this latest version of a Luthor/Brainiac interaction. The writing’s familiar–it’s Johns, after all–and the art is solid.

However, I’m doubtful that the Origins & Omens sequence is itself enough to justify the cover price. If you want the reprint and/or especially enjoy the Lopresti cover, this issue is well worth the $1. And if you’ve never read this story, there are few better ways to get a piece of history added to your “read” pile.

Ratings:

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

Advertisements

Wonder Woman #600 [Review]

This is the third “mega-anniversary” issue from DC in a month’s time (Batman #700 and Superman #700 preceded this) and for me, these are 3-for-3 in terms of being disappointments. Huge numbers, sure…and at least Batman and Superman got to theirs “legitimately.” Last month, Wonder Woman was on issue # 44…so it seems kinda fishy to arbitrarily skip 556 numbers just because issue #45 would be the 600th issue if you strung all the previous series combined in one continuing run.

But that’s a complaint to go into detail on another time.

This issue–even after reading the whole thing–is virtually forgettable. Less than 2 days after initially reading the issue, I couldn’t tell you what the “lead story” even was. I remembered the short with Power Girl’s cat, because it was a cat-story and combined with the Origin of Dex-Starr in Green Lantern #55, they stuck out as significant for hitting me close to the heart, having recently lost a cat I’d had for 18 years. The other story in the issue was setup for when Straczynski takes over the title, and showed a Diana Prince in a costume quite a bit different from the recent “traditional” version (and works extremely well in the story, despite all the buzz in the media..more on that later). There are also a number of “pinup pages” where other artistic teams had a chance to display their take on the character for this anniversary issue.

We open with an “introduction” by Lynda Carter–the actress who portrayed Wonder Woman in the old tv live-action series…I hardly remember the last time I saw a collected edition with an introduction, and now here we have one for a single-issue comic…I understand there’s big-time significance to a female character having so many issues published, but it still seems strange.

Valedictorian
Writer: Gail Simone
Penciller: George Perez
Inker: Scott Koblish
Colorist: Hi-Fi
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Assoc. Editor: Sean Ryan
Editor: Brian Cuningham

The first story then begins, with Wonder Woman leading most of the well-known (and some less-so-well-known) female characters into battle, before rushing to a graduation ceremony where she’s glad to have arrived in time to see a girl graduate. We find out this is a girl who was part of the supporting cast, apparently, back when the Wonder Woman title was relaunched in the late 1980s after Crisis on Infinite Earths. The story here–at least to this male reader–as fairly generic. It’s cool to see the follow up on a character who has since her first appearance grown up, which lends some real history to the Wonder Woman tale as a whole…but it’s still–structurally–not all that interesting. The art by Perez is awesome, though, and I can overlook a boring story for the beautiful art, the detailed portrayal of the various characters. Plus, there’s that little tidbit of info older readers know: it was Perez who relaunched the character back in the 1980s, so seeing his return to contribute to a story all these years later–as the artist, and by indication in the credits, as an “inspiration” for the story.

Fuzzy Logic
Writer & Artist: Amanda Conner
Colorist: Paul Mounts
Letterer: John J. Hill

Next up, Wonder Woman teams up with Power Girl to defeat “Egg Fu,” and then retire to Power Girl’s office, where they discuss the way Power Girl’s cat has been acting, and Power Girl realizes she needs a place away from the office, where she and the cat can be away from the day-to-day business of things. The art is so-so…nothing spectacular; it doesn’t blow me away or make me feel it’d be anough to carry a boring story. But it works for this story, and doesn’t put me off. The cat seems a bit stocky/bulky…but in terms of a fictitious comic-book cat, I really shouldn’t complain…he’s a cute little thing without being overly-cutesy.

Firepower
Writer: Louise Simonson
Penciller: Eduardo Pansica
Inker: Bob Wiacek
Colorist: Pete Pantazis
Letterer: Travis Lanham

The story that follows is a short that basically pit Superman and Wonder Woman against Aegeus, who has stolen lightning bolts from Zeus. The character apparently is Olympian–I’m not familiar with this version of the character, but the name and visuals seem somewhat familiar, suggesting I’m not entirely unfamiliar–whether in DC‘s comics or simply in reading of Greek mythology. As Superman is vulnerable to magic, he’s more the “backup” in this tale, as Wonder Woman takes the lead in bringing the villain down. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of point to this story in and of itself outside this issue…it’s just a tale to show Wonder Woman and Superman teamed up, though giving Wonder Woman the starring role and relegating Superman to an almost second-tier status (as a guest-star, that’s how it goes, though)! The visuals are ok, but again…don’t stand out as significant (whereas the opening story with Perez’ art I recognized it and knew without looking at the credits that it was Perez’ work).

The Sensational Wonder Woman
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Scott Kolins
Coloris: Michael Atiyeh
Letterer: Nick J. Napolitano

The next story reeks largely of being little more than metatextual. Wonder Woman is shown in battle, while narration boxes discuss her journey, and leads to what symbolically indicates the character rushing into an unknown future, from an established past…almost feeling like a vague series or season finale where the makers aren’t sure if they’ll get to do anything else with the story.

Odyssey – Prologue: Couture Shock
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Penciller: Don Kramer
Inker: Michael Babinski
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Travis Lanham

Finally, we have the prologue to Staczynski‘s story, where we find a young Diana Prince in a new, unfamiliar (but with touches of familiarity) costume, seeking an oracle, and referencing a dead mother recently brought back…after having been dead for a few years. We come to see that this new, “current” Wonder Woman is the result of something screwing with the timeline, and she’s going to have to put things back to rights, to exist in the mainstream current DCU again.

We then close with a preview of Action Comics #890 with no cover image to differentiate it from any of the other stories in the issue.

Between stories, we get some “iconic” Wonder Woman pinup pages. While on the one hand they seem a bit like filler material, I am (as I was with Batman #700) very, VERY glad to see these on the INTERIOR of the book, rather than as variant covers!

There’s a two-page spread showing the classic/traditional-costumed Wonder Woman striking a pose in the foreground, with slightly dimmed-out images surrounding as the background, displaying many of the main DC heroes she’s worked with, the villains, and they seem grouped by time-frame, from the different periods of the character’s life, at least post-Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Overall Thoughts on the Issue

These are all decent stories, though the issue as a whole feels more like it should be some sort of Annual rather than a (renumbering aside) regularly-numbered issue in the midst of the ongoing series. If this were a half-half split with an epilogue from the previous writer and a prologue from the incoming writer, with pinup pages to lend to the anniversary feel, it wouldn’t seem so out of sorts. As is, it’s an issue with a whole bunch of stuff crammed in, apparently to give a LOT of people some way to say they “got to work on” this anniversary issue.

If you’re a Wonder Woman fan, this could be a bit iffy. The opening story hardly seems worth a $5 price for its nature just to wrap up Simone‘s run on the book. For newer fans, the final segment is the same way…not worth the $5 just to get such a short prologue to the upcoming run, nor is it worth the price just to get the “debut” of the “new costume” that seems to be THE buzz of late.

This issue seems like it’s more well-suited for the random person who is familiar with the character in American popular culture, but virtually entirely UNaware of current continuity. The stories are so short and lacking in ongoing plot elements that one mostly needn’t know anything of the character or stories…there’s a little more flash than substance here.

Despite the hype…this issue isn’t really worth it unless you specifically want this sort of anthology book. It’s not going to give much to summarize the last several years’ stories, and there’s little more than “previewing the premise” in the prologue to the upcoming arc.

I don’t particularly recommend the issue…but on the whole it’s not something I recommend against, either. Ratings below based on the whole issue and not just any single segment.

Story: 5.5/10
Art: 7/10
Overall: 6/10

Secret Six #18 [Review]

Danse Macabre Part 3

Writers: Gail Simone & John Ostrander
Artist: J. Calafiore
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Colorist: Jason Wright
Editor: Sean Ryan
Cover: Daniel Luvisi
Published by: DC Comics

I’ve not been following this title to any great degree. I read the first 2-3 issues, and may have read one or two other issues prior to this Blackest Night tie-in. Still, I know enough of these characters to enjoy the issue, even lacking the full series’ context.

This issue sees the various members of the Six dealing with Black Lanterns, as well as Amanda Waller’s plan for combatting those same Lanterns. Essentially, the Six have to survive long enough for that plan to be put into motion–to retrieve an old Manhunter body to make use of its stored Green Lantern energy (which, along with another color light/energy is the only thing that can permanently put down the Black Lanterns). The end result of this gamble seems to indicate both change and revelation–at least to the reader, as Waller reveals her ultimate intent regarding the Six.

The story’s not bad, though it’s not terribly engaging, either. I don’t know all the characters well enough to get as much appreciation out of this issue as I’m sure others will get, but they’re not entirely unfamiliar. And though I am unfamiliar, I learned a bit more about a couple of ’em as I read this issue. Digging up an old Manhunter makes perfect sense to me, and a great solution for a bunch of essentially human characters to reasonably fight and have any hope at all of winning against multiple Black lanterns, when the bulk of the super-folks of the DCU aren’t around to intercede in this battle. It also roots the story in long-term history, as–and perhaps I’m wrong on this–the Manhunter is probably left over from Millennium. Waller’s presence seems like an added bonus, coming just after seeing Pam Grier taking the role of this character on Smallville‘s Absolute Justice movie/episode.

The art’s good stuff, too…while some faces seem to take on slightly different appearances here and there depending on their angles, on the whole the art is nicely detailed and the characters recognizable and distinct, and I really had no trouble following the action of the issue.

This issue wraps up what is one of the better tie-in stories to Blackest Night, as we see events unfold that appear to have contributed to the ongoing Secret Six arc, and yet plays well in the Blackest Night sandbox. This doesn’t really add anything to Blackest Night, but Blackest Night adds to this. Well worth picking up if you’ve been following the previous couple issues (this is the third of 3) and/or the main event.

Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10
Overall: 7.5/10

Adventure Comics #7 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

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

Adventure Comics #6 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 3/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 3.5/5

Adventure Comics #4 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Overall: 2.5/5

Doom Patrol #4 [Review]

Dead Reckoning; The Coming of…The Clique!

DOOM PATROL
Writer: Keith Giffen
Penciller: Justiniano
Inker: Livesay
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Colorist: Guy Major
Cover: Justiniano, Andrew Mangum, Guy Major
Associate Editor: Sean Ryan
Editor: Elisabeth V. Gehrlein

METAL MEN
Plot: Keith Giffen
Dialogue: J.M. Dematteis
Art: Kevin Maguire
Colorist: Guy Major
Letterer: Nick J. Napolitano
Associate Editor: Sean Ryan
Editor: Elisabeth V. Gehrlein

It took me 3 attempts to make it all the way through this issue. The first two, I got hung up in the main feature. At the third attempt I managed to get through the main feature, and then all the way through the co-feature with no trouble at all.

I’m not entirely sure what was going on in the main story. To my knowledge all the characters are new to me–none of them rang any bells for me. We’re introduced to a bunch of characters contextually, though to be honest–I’m not sure if those are characters that are part of the current book, or references to the previous incarnation of this title, or what.

But as standard in Blackest Night comics so far, we see dead rise to elicit emotional response from the living, the aim being to ripen a heart with strong emotion before the subject is killed to power up the Black Lanterns.

The art’s quite good, to keep it simple. Though I’m unfamiliar with the characters, there’s no trouble telling them apart nor in following the action. And nothing to the visual style gave me any pause to contemplate quality.

The story itself was not enjoyable for me. I was not interested in the concept of this Doom Patrol before, and I’m not now after reading this issue. That’s not to say the story itself is bad–it’s not–but it doesn’t appeal to me.

This reminds me a bit of my early days in reading X-Men comics: being entirely unfamiliar with the characters and having no real sense of continuity, who characters were, and so on. While the story structure seems good, it just doesn’t interest me. However, for sake of following the entire Blackest Night event, I still intend to pick up the next issue.

If Doom Patrol’s your thing, this’ll be well worthwhile I think. If not…it doesn’t seem like it’s going to–from this issue, at least–add much to the Blackest Night event. Moreso the other way around–the event’s inserting something into this title’s story.

The Metal Men co-feature has nothing to do with Blackest Night, and seems quite timeless. A group of “female” robots have been activated by an arrogant creator seeking to outdo Magnus’ Metal Men. These girlbots proclaim themselves The Clique, and stir up trouble that gets the Metal Men involved (though they were quite happy enough to begin with, shopping with Magnus for a birthday present to give Tina–aka Platinum.)

I’m somewhat familiar with Magnus from 52, as well as the Metal Men from same as well as elsewhere around the DCU. They’re hardly my favorite characters; basically a take ’em or leave ’em situation. However, something about this story kept a sense of fun about things with some goofiness and the fantastic.

I was more engaged by this story than the Doom Patrol, and while I find The Clique to be a stupid/stereotypical element, it still works overall.

As a whole, I’m not entirely satisfied with the purchase as just a comic. In addition to simply being a Blackest Night crossover issue–the first tie-in of the event that’s not a Green Lantern book or mini-series–this issue is the first of several that are part of DC’s “ring promotion,” wherein retailers could order a bag of rings for every X number of copies of this issue they ordered. This issue came with a Yellow Ring. My inner fanboy was almost giddy at receiving the ring at no additonal cost–and for sheer enjoyment of starting a collection of the colored rings, this issue was more than worth its cover price to me.

Doom Patrol
Story: 4/10
Art: 7/10

Metal Men
Story: 6/10
Art: 7/10

Whole: 6/10

%d bloggers like this: