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General Mills Presents: Justice League #4 [Review]

Breakout!

Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Bruno Redondo
Colors by: Tony Avina
Letters by: Wes Abbott
Cover by: Dan Jurgens, Sandra Hope, Carrie Strachan
Associate Editor: Kristy Quinn
Group Editor: Ben Abernathy
Senior Art Director: Larry Berry

So…Atlanteans are just like normal humans, except they live underwater. That’s ‘interesting.’ And Batman’s determined that no other family will ever be destroyed by crime. Penguin instigates a prison breakout to keep Aquaman busy, but the rest of the Justice League show up to help Aquaman and Batman. And we get several of the common “nicknames” such as “Big Blue” (Superman) and “Caped Crusader” (Batman).

This issue continues the trend of feeling rather generic, as well as having some stuff that feels a bit ‘forced’ in the course of dialogue or story.

The art’s not bad…also as with the other issues of this “mini-series” I’m not familiar with the artist…but, the art overall isn’t anything I actively dislike, which makes it good in my book.

The story is pretty basic, but it DOES have simple stuff worked in that would help inform someone on aspects of the characters–namely, that Batman’s all about not seeing another family destroyed as his was. This issue’s nothing special in the grand scheme…but as a comic that’s likely to be read by someone much younger than me…this isn’t a bad starting point to get someone interested in pursuing more about these characters.

And as a whole, this issue–and the whole “mini-series”–serves as a very basic introduction to the Justice League and several of the individual characters that doesn’t really contradict what I’m aware of about the characters, but this also makes the “real” comics look that much better.

Best of all, these comics are 24 pages of story–making them 4 pages (20%?) longer than current $3-$4 comics. And while totally separate from actual continuity…these even work a lot of “standard” elements in that give a “physical structure” like that of any contemporary comics–varied panel sizes, and even double-page spreads.

If these issues were to be collected as a full size 96-page one-shot in the $5 realm, I’d probably buy it for the novelty–and it’d be interesting to see if it would attract younger readers.

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

General Mills Presents: Justice League #3 [Review]

Sinister Imitation

Written by: Doug Wagner
Art by: Steve Scott & Livesay
Colors by: Tony Avina
Letters by: Wes Abbott
Cover by: Dan Jurgens, Sandra Hope, Carrie Strachan
Associate Editor: Kristy Quinn
Group Editor: Ben Abernathy
Senior Art Director: Larry Berry

This issue is the classic, cliche robot-duplicates story. I’m not all that thrilled with the art…again, not familiar with this artist. By the end of the issue, though, I wasn’t noticing the negatives of the art, though, which I find likely to be that it’s just not art I actively enjoy…but it’s nothing for me to actively dislike, either. The characters are all quite clearly recognizable, and other than being in their “classic” costumes, nothing really looks all that “off” about them.

The writing is a bit more “off” than the art. There’s something that doesn’t really ring true about this league, and while they claim to be friends, it seems more like a surface detail than anything that’s really FELT. It is cool to see that the villain is a familiar one…though there doesn’t truly seem to be any motivation for him, and it seems odd that he’d actually give the whole league this kind of trouble, when typically he’s been a Superman villain.

However, as with the other two issues so far, this is rooted quite strongly in the realm of being for kids, who most likely aren’t going to care for the stuff I look for in my comics at age 30–deeper character moments, stronger stories, etc.

In connection with the first two issues, this adds a little more to the Justice League as we find out Flash is “Barry,” and that he’s friends with “Hal” (Green Lantern), and so on.

All in all…maybe my least favorite of the three, but for (again) something out of a cereal box, not horrible.

Story: 5/10
Art: 5/10
Overall: 5.5/10

Batman #700 [Review]

Full review posted to cxPulp.com.

Story: 3/5
Art: 4.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5

Final Crisis #7 [Review]

New Heaven, New Earth

Script: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Doug Mahnke
Inks: Tom Nguyen, Drew Geraci, Christian Alamy, Norm Rapmund, Rodney Ramos, Doug Mahnke & Walden Wong
Colors: Alex Sinclair w/Tony Avina & Pete Pantazis
Lettering: Travis Lanham
Associate Editor: Adam Schlagman
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Cover: JG Jones (sliver cover by Marco Rudy & Sinclair)
Publisher: DC Comics

So, this is it. This is the issue it’s all been building toward–the final chapter of this “final crisis” the characters are facing, this “event” capping off years of story…

Much like Marvel’s Secret Invasion final issue, this issue jumps ahead, and instead of us experiencing the story as it progresses, with the characters–instead we’re treated to a look-back from the present to a conclusion that’s already happened. We see characters rise against their Fifth-World gods and the intrusion of Mandrakk, and a multiverse’s army of Supermen, and…stuff happens.

The art in the issue isn’t all that bad. In fact, in and of itself it’s actually pretty good. Though there’s a whole bunch of inkers, the final result is a decent presentation. I went in with very low expectations, and what I got managed to stay a bit above my expectations–though I also found myself not really focusing terribly much on the art (didn’t expect to be impressed, so didn’t care to look for something to be impressed BY).

The story fits with the rest of the series in tone and feeling like it’s trying to come from somewhere above my reading level, and successfully makes me feel lost, whatever else it accomplishes there. While elements of this core series could be found in the tie-ins, on the whole, the entirety of the Final Crisis was told in 7 issues, this one mini-series. While that made it easier on the wallet, I feel like it did a large injustice to the scope of the story. Had it crossed into a large number of the DC books as Infinite Crisis did, this would have felt like a bigger deal. As it is, it felt like some apocalyptic (no pun intended) story with these characters with no real basis in ongoing continuity. That books are to make the “jump” to reflect what happened in Final Crisis later doesn’t really do much for me (but at least the story will be acknowledged).

I’m sure there’s “deep” stuff going on here with loads of potential for future exploration…but the feel just wasn’t there for me. I did not enjoy this issue, and the series as a whole has been bittersweet–I can’t see having skipped on it, but nor have I particularly enjoyed any of the issues. (The tie-in minis’ issues are another story).

Story: 5/10
Art: 7/10
Whole: 6/10

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