Friday, April 26, 2013

Comic Book Weekly Reflection: 4/26/13


Sorry about no weekly reflection or any reaction last week, my laptop has been acting up (for example, with actual smoke coming off of it).  As such, I lost my ability to type anything up.  The problem extends into this week as well, but I managed to work around the problem slightly.  However, I only had two reactions for comics this week.  So not much this time around, but let’s try to enjoy what was available regardless.
 
Be warned, there will be spoilers below!
 
FF #6: In this issue, Darla Deering gets into trouble with the Yancy Street Gang.  The gang really looks up to Thing (or just likes to screw with him) and takes real offense to Darla taking on his role while he’s gone, so they resolve to make her life completely suck.  However, with Scott Lang, the two of them turn the tables on the gang and properly deal with them.  Meanwhile, Medusa and Bentley are missing in action for some reason.
 
I had a lot of fun with this comic as always, with its fun characters and enjoyable dialogue.  What really stood out to me the most though was the art.  For a good chunk of the comic, I did not even notice there was an artist change and honestly, I like that sort of thing.  It helps give the comic a consistent feel throughout it, especially when you read it all at once.
 
My only problem with this comic is that it is taking its time getting anywhere.  I’m not sure when this kill Doctor Doom storyline is going to kick in or if we are going to deal with Medusa issue soon.  It’s kind of annoying in that regard.  Despite all of that, it is still a really enjoyable comic and worth checking out.
 
Justice League Dark #19: This issue was reviewed over on Adventures in Poor Taste, so you can head over there and check it out:
 
 
Talon #7: Continuing from last issue, Casey discovers that Sebastian Clark was the former Grandmaster of the Court of Owls and who had originally picked Calvin for becoming Talon.  She’s nearly caught by the old man, but she and her daughter manage to escape.  With Calvin, he manages to destroy all of the data the court has in their main computer system and escape the current Grandmaster.  However, when he reaches Clark, he is attacked and has his neck snapped by Bane, who is working with Clark for some reason.
 
This was a very good ending to the first arc of the comic and what amazes me the most about it is how the writing evolved over time.  While it could have been described as Scott Snyder lite during the first two issues (not including #0), it has become its own thing, placing more emphasis on the characters and less dialogue in some scenes.
 
I really have no complaints about this comic in particular.  I had a great time and I’m thoroughly excited to see where this goes, especially with the writer flying solo without Snyder and with an artist change too.  This is my pick of the week and I’m hoping you guys check it out as well.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Green Arrow #19 (2013)


Cover:
 
Stabby stabby.
 
Plot:
 
Green Arrow has a confrontation with Komodo and gets some more new information about what happened in the past.
 
Our Hero:
 
With all of those arrows, he is the archer equivalent of a boy scout: always prepared.
 
Our Villain:
 
The man sports a badass mask and a badass daughter.
 
Our Side Characters:
 
Cool enough, he’s taking all of this really well.
 
Action:
 
Boom!  Headshot with an arrow!
 
Dialogue:
 
When you say you killed him, the world went white and red.
 
Art:
 
Speaking of color schemes, ever notice how the world goes white during some violent moments?
 
Most Memorable Moment:
 
And down goes the helicopter.
 
Final Page:
 
Thud?  Did he just fall over or did someone hit him?
 
What We Should Take from This Comic:
 
Green Arrow needs to find out what all of this means and how exactly Komodo ties into his past soon.
 
What We Do Take From This Comic:
 
Man, the little girl moved fast to get from one place to another so quickly.
 
Yay or Nay?
 
Yay

FF #6 (2013)


Cover:
 
Ever get the feeling you are being watched?  Ah, probably nothing.
 
Plot:
 
Medusa and Bentley-23 are missing in action, but meanwhile Darla Deering is having some trouble of her own.  The Yancy Street Gang is starting to harass her for taking Thing’s spot and is determined to make her life hell.
 
Our Heroes:
 
Darla is so good at the guitar, you can litterlly see the notes coming off of it.
 
Our Villains:
 
The truest of evil villains: Overweight, hooded computer hacker dorks!
 
Our Side Characters:
 
… What’s going on with the Moloids?
 
Action:
 
Okay, where is security?
 
Dialogue:
 
So the Inhumans communicate through telepathy and head-butting each other?
 
Art:
 
*Half way through the comic * Hey wait a minute!  This isn’t Mike Allerd’s work!
 
Most Memorable Moment:
 
Justice served.  Ant-Man Style.
 
Final Page:
 
They’ve been teleported into a pink dimension?
 
What We Should Take from This Comic:
 
While Darla’s problem has been resolved for now, Medusa and Bentley are still missing.  Where did they go and what is Medusa’s deal?
 
What We Do Take From This Comic:
 
So there is no such thing as security for concerts in the Marvel Universe?
 
Yay or Nay?
 
yay

Talon #7 (2013)


Cover:
 
So did he break him?
 
Plot:
 
Casey discovers that Sebastian Clark was the original Grandmaster of the Court of Owls before being discovered by him.  Meanwhile, Calvin Rose is held captive by the current Grandmaster and even if he manages to escape, Batman is still out there.
 
Our Hero:
 
Good thing Calvin’s arms didn’t get yank out of their sockets when he hooked that flying rocket.
 
Our Villain:
 
Well who didn’t see the obviously evil looking man being evil.
 
Our Side Characters:
 
Batman didn’t expect this, did he?
 
Action:
 
Yes, punch that old guy out!
 
Dialogue:
 
Well it’s not like Gotham really has an fresh air anywhere you go.
 
Art:
 
Eww, their inners are made of black goo.
 
Most Memorable Moment:
 
Heh, he just punked Batman.
 
Final Page:
 
Yep, he broke him alright.
 
What We Should Take from This Comic:
 
Casey and her daughter managed to get away, but Calvin wasn’t so lucky himself.  After that brutal beat down by Bane, what now?
 
What We Do Take From This Comic:
 
Bane needs a new mask; it’s not nearly as threatening as he thinks it is.
 
Yay or Nay?
 
Yay

Friday, April 12, 2013

Comic Book Weekly Reflection 4/12/13


I’ve been feeling lucky this week!  I’ve gotten a couple of A’s in my homework, books I ordered came in, I have done shockingly well playing Marvel: Avenger Alliance, and most importantly; every book I read this week (besides one) was very good.  No mehs or nays to be found!  As such, let’s dive in.
 
Be warned, there will be spoilers below!
 
Avengers #9: Okay, this is the one book I mentioned that I thought wasn’t good.  It continued Hickman’s tradition of slow pace story telling that’ll end up putting you to sleep while you wait.  However, this was one of the comics I reviewed for Adventures in Poor Taste, so go check out my full thoughts of there on this one:
 
 
Batman #19: The comic starts off with a bank robbery committed by none other than Bruce Wayne himself!  It ends with him running over Jim Gordon with a motorcycle at the end.  Flashback six days and we find Batman investigating the unexplained suicide of a friend of his.  Through his research into the case, he discovers that Clayface is responsible and has been impersonating his friend, even managing to match his DNA!  The issue ends with Clayface attacking Bruce Wayne, preparing to steal his identity.
 
Now this issue was very different than usual in comparison to the rest of Snyder’s Batman run so far, with it being rather small in focus and focusing more on Batman’s detective skills.  Also, the comic isn’t has overwritten has it usually is for once, focusing more on letting the images tell the story or normal dialogue scenes between the characters.  Sure, there are some of parts that tend to get over-wordy, but those moments are less and some of them are very interesting (like the stuff about Clayface for instance).
 
All of this change is actually rather refreshing and highly welcomed by me.  Sure, I have enjoyed the longer and bigger stories this comic has offered, but this smaller scale tale was really good.  Snyder really shines when his Batman stuff is like this, harking back to his Black Mirror tale.  Add in some great looking artwork and you have easily the best issue of Batman this year.  I have little compliants towards this and I’m proud to give this comic the pick of the week for me.
 
Constantine #2: Like Avengers, I covered this comic over on APT, so you can check it out over there.  I will say though that this comic was an improvement over the last one:
 
 
Saucer Country #14: And so the series closes out for now in this issue as the election night has been finally reached and the votes start to be tallied.  Like before, I’m going to keep quite on this, but I will say the final outcome was surprisingly to me.
 
I have really enjoyed this series while it lasted.  All the mystery, the characters, the interactions and dialogue, and world building in this series has been completely topnotch from start to finish in my book.  This issue continued this trend, though I do admit the ending still leaves a lot on the table and many questions left unanswered, which can be disappointing.
 
Still, the writer Paul Cornell promises us that the series will return in the future when he gets the rights back from Vertigo.  As such, this is not a real true ending, but a conclusion to one part of the series.  When this series returns, I’ll there and ready to return to its world.  I highly recommend this comic and hope you guys enjoy it as well.
 
Team 7 #7: Team 7 heads to a small island nation to put a stop to its leader and his growing metahuman weapons.  The team is backed by their new pilot, Steve Trevor, and their newest weapon, Majestic.  All seems to be going well until the team learns just how dangerous their mission is and ends up being in the way of Majestic ultimate plan to defeat the enemy, by wiping out the island with a giant tidal wave.
 
With one issue left after this, a glaring problem can be seen.  This comic feels extremely rushed as it tries to squeeze in every last bit of plotline and answers it can before it is cancelled.  It succeeds, but it’s kind of clunky.  There’s no time for character development, emotion, or other building of any kind as this story.  Heck, it ends feels a bit disjointed between this and the last issue, like we jumped ahead at least three issues.
 
Not to say this is an awful comic by any stretch, it’s just stretched far too thin.  I enjoyed the dialogue bits, the action, and how this is all coming together.  It’s just not completely firing on cylinders liked I hope it would.  Still, if you are still with this comic, I say stick it out to the end to see how it all finishes out.
 
The Fearless Defenders #3: Last issue we had Hela, Queen of the Dead, resurrecting the former leader of the Amazons, Hippolyta, to help aid Valkyrie’s mission of creating a new set of Valkyries and to now fend off the threat from the Doom Maidens.  Reluctant, Valkyrie and the others agree to letting her join them and track down where the Doom Maidens are being resurrected.  When arriving on the scene, they are a bit too late and the evil warriors have been resurrected, though they do manage to rescue Moonstar.  During their fight with the baddies, Valkyrie is shocked when they refer to her as their long lost sister, another Doom Maiden.
 
This issue was not as good as the last one, but was still enjoyable in my book.  The characters are all memorable and work great together, their interactions and dialogue scenes being a true highlight.  The action is good and the evil Valkyries all do have a nice and interesting look to them.  I do admit though that the true villain that resurrected them, Caroline, isn’t all that deep of a character, and that the facial expressions are extremely limited in the art.  All I kept thinking was: Dull Surprise!
 
Still, I would be lying if I was not enjoying this comic.  It’s quickly become one of my favorites that Marvel is producing and one that I really hope everyone is checking out.  It’s probably the best all female team book out there right now.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Fearless Defenders #3 (2013)


Cover:

Now that’s an odd tattoo.

Plot:

With the threat of the Doom Maidens returning, Valkyrie must really get going on creating her own team.  Hela, Queen of the Dead, shows up and offers a potential new ally called Hippolyta.  However, will this help or complicate things for everyone?

Our Heroes:

Oh Misty, how we love you.

Our Villain:

Plays with her food?!  DESPICABLE!!

Our Side Characters:

Zip.  Nadda.

Action:

Hippolyta knows how to throw down with the best of them.

Dialogue:

Every time Caroline opens her mouth, I think classic clich├ęd evil.

Art:

Dead, evil unstoppable villains arise from the dead?  Who needs a surprised  expression on one’s face anyways?

Most Memorable Moment:

Aldvi here has her helmet on backwards.  Also, Arnlief is going for an old school Scarlet Witch look.

Final Page:

“That’s not true!  That’s impossible!”  “Search your feelings, you know it to be true!”

What We Should Take from This Comic:

Valkyrie and buddies are too late and the Doom Maidens have awaken!  However, there is a bigger and more shocking surprise for our heroines than that.

What We Do Take From This Comic:

Every facial expression says to me: Dull Surprise!

Yay or Nay?

Yay

Team 7 #7


Cover:

But she’s like only in one panel!

Plot:

Team 7 heads to the island of Gamorra, who has been trying to create metahuman weapons, to fight a battle against its leader with their newest weapon, Majestic.  However, unknown to them at the time, this would be Team 7’s last mission.

Our Heroes:

These guys are taking this Majestic thing rather easier considering everything.

Our Villain:

Are those giant golden eyebrows extending off the mask really necessary?

Our Side Characters:

Oh sure, now Steve Trevor finally appears in this comic!

Action:

So how did Dinah not break everyone’s bones if her canary cry wrecked all of the enemy soliders?

Dialogue:

Great, now the drinks are on someone else!

Art:

Now where the hell is the inker for this comic?

Most Memorable Moment:

Majestic sure knows how to make a splash [rim shot].

Final Page:

Well that certainly is one way to deal with an island nation.

What We Should Take from This Comic:

Majestic has doomed everyone on the island in an attempt to defeat the enemy.  However, how will our heroes get out of this?  Also, what will become of the golden skull?

What We Do Take From This Comic:

Anyone feel like we skipped a few issues between the last issue and this one?

Yay or Nay?

yay

Saucer Country #14


Cover:
 
So long Arcadia, it’s been fun.
 
Plot:
 
The polls are closed and all that’s left is figured out who won the presidential election.  Meanwhile, Professor Kidd finally learns who the mysterious magical helpers exactly and what they’ve been doing to him all this time.
 
Our Heroes:
 
Arcadia while remain awesome to the end.
 
Our Side Characters:
 
Thank god the Major got some incredibly willing people to do this strange s**t.
 
Dialogue:
 
And now, an exposition drop!
 
Art:
 
Hey, her skin got lighter when she walked on stage!
 
Most Memorable Moment:
 
Well I wasn’t expecting the election to end like that.
 
Final Page:
 
Goodbye!  I’ll see you all something in the future!
 
What We Should Take from This Comic:
 
Arcadia has won the election in the most unusual of ways, but won it none the less.  Lots of questions have been answered, but we still do not know what happened that night many months ago.  Whatever the answers may be, she and her cabinet will surely find out in the future.
 
What We Do Take From This Comic:
 
Hopefully, it doesn’t take Paul Cornell too long to get the rights back so he can get back to work on this comic soon.
 
Yay or Nay?
 
Yay

Batman #19 (2013)


Cover:
 
Technically, it was a shotgun, not a pistol.
 
Plot:
 
Six days ago, Batman was investigating the odd and unexplained suicide of a friend of his.  A couple of days later, he is then robbing a bank and running people over with a motorcycle.  What the hell just happened?
 
Our Hero:
 
He’s acting like a detective!  I thought I only see that in Detective Comics now.
 
Our Villain:
 
Eww…
 
Our Side Characters:
 
Hopefully, Jim Gordon has some good health insurance.
 
Action:
 
Man, Batman has great aim when throwing a Batarang at a target he isn’t even looking at.
 
Dialogue:
 
Holy crap!  Less words than usual!
 
Art:
 
Reaper knows how to dress for action.
 
Most Memorable Moment:
 
Huh, I saw a similar scene like this in The Stuff.
 
Final Page:
 
I think a dentist needs to see that mouth of yours.
 
What We Should Take from This Comic:
 
The true villain makes his appearance and Bruce Wayne is in trouble.  How will he get out of this?
 
What We Do Take From This Comic:
 
It’s a miracle!  Snyder’s tone down the narration!
 
Yay or Nay?
 
Yay!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Comic Book Weekly Reflection 4/5/13



With me writing for Adventures in Poor Taste now and as my college semester is coming to a close, I am sad to report that I’ll be doing less and less reaction shots each week for a while.  I still promise to hit up the big and important comics for each week, but I’ll only be doing that on Thursdays now.  Anyhow, enough about that, here’s what I read this week.
 
Be warned, there will be spoilers below!
 
Action Comics #19: I actually went over that comic on Adventures in Poor Taste, so click the link below to check it out.
 
 
Animal Man #19: This issue felt more like a true epilogue to the Rotworld then the last issue (which in turn felt more like an ending than the issue before it), dealing with the fallout after Cliff’s death.  Buddy hits an all-time low as his family cuts themselves off from him and the Avatars of the Red kick him out of their kingdom (he still works for them, but he can’t visit or talk with them unless they say so).  The whole issue is a downer if there ever was one.
 
There really isn’t much to say about the issue other than that.  The writing is fine, the characters and emotions are fine, and the art is fine.  However, there’s no real current direction for this comic to go now that Rotworld is over and with the family broken up.  I’m sure something will present itself, but not at this moment.  Still good, but not as last month’s issue.
 
Detective Comics #19: Or in reality, Detective Comics #900 if DC was still continuing with the old numbering.  Regardless, this is a meaty and packed issue with a bunch of stories written by the current writer, John Layman, and a bonus story by James Tynion IV that connects to the Talon issue this month.  The stories written by Layman all connect to a Man-Bat outbreak on the 900 Block in Gotham City in some fashion, whether seeing how Batman is dealing with or how Emperor Penguin is using the event to his advantage.  There’s too much for me to go over, but they are all pretty fun and enjoyable reads, even with a new version of the Man-Bat himself.
 
Every story here has a different artist drawing it and they are all pretty good looking, with maybe the exception of Jason Masters’ art for the last story, which does not fit with the tone from the rest of the book.  There’s also a couple of pin-ups from various different artists that draw Batman, which are nice and all.
 
While I liked this issue, it honestly does not feel like an anniversary issue to me, celebrating how long this comic has been going on for.  It feels more like a big annual, where the writer gets more room to continue his story than usual.  Also, the ending of the main story with how the Man-Bat plague is stopped is kind of anti-climatic honestly.  It does open the door for some interesting stories in the future on the flipside (honestly, a lot of the stories in the comic left groundwork for future storylines, which I do appreciate).
 
Not the best way to celebrate 900 issues, but still a fun and enjoyable read none the less.  I’m going to give this comic my pick of the week (a week that was honestly not as good as usual for me).
 
Indestructible Hulk #6: This is the start of a new arc where Bruce Banner and his scientist team heads to Jotunheim to find some rare metal that could be beneficial for their little science projects.  However, the trip takes a rather unexpected turn when Thor shows up and it’s revealed when the team traveled to the world, they also went back in time and now Thor doesn’t recognize any of them.  The issue ends with everyone getting attacked by Frost Giants, the Norse God getting knocked a couple miles away, and the Hulk picking up Thor’s hammer to fight off the monsters.
 
This issue was rather… average.  There’s nothing particularly bad about it, it’s not doing anything particularly special either.  The story is fine but rather slow moving, the dialogue is average (with one occasional good line), there’s not much in the way of character development outside of a very brief bit at the beginning, and the action was nothing memorable.
 
One thing I noticed when checking the reviews on this comic was that everyone loved the artwork, done by a comic veteran named Walter Simonson.  Honestly, I’m not seeing what the big deal is here.  His art looks rather dated with the line work and flat coloring.  It’s not all that visually appealing and makes this comic feel like a relic from the past in a way.  He’s not a bad artist, it’s just this art is just so jarring after coming off the last artist from the book, giving the book a weird inconsistent tone in a way.
 
I had high hopes for this comic when I first heard about and especially after reading some of Mark Waid’s Daredevil stuff.  However, this comic never seems to really ever get off the ground or truly impress me in anyway.  It’s never bad, but never amazing; especially highlighted by this issue.
 
Miss Fury #1: Another review done for Adventures in Poor Taste, so check out the link below to see what I had to say on this piece of crap.
 
 
Swamp Thing #19: After the event of Rotworld, Alec Holland as Swamp Thing has started doing his duties as the Avatar of the Green.  He’s going around the world protecting plants and trying to correct any problems he’s hearing about.  One particular issue he’s running into is someone called the Seeder, who is messing and exploiting the Green Kingdom for some unknown reasons.
 
Taking a break from his duties, he heads Metropolis to relax a bit.  There he runs into Scarecrow of all people, who is trying to harvest some flowers for his fear toxin.  When confronting him about it, Swampy gets hit by a bad dose of the toxin and starts freaking out, causing gigantic vines to grow out of the ground and cover skyscrapers.  The issue ends with Superman appearing and looking rather unamused by this turn of events.
 
This comic marked the beginning of a new writer and a new change of direction for the series, with the focus more on shorter stories and about Alec now as Swamp Thing.  I find it a nice change of pace and quite different from before, even noticing how new reader friendly it is.  The character stuff here is very good with Alec feeling less and less human as time goes on and starting to worry about what he is doing.  The dialogue and voice of the characters are all very good as well.  The story didn’t really progress much and kind of ends abruptly.
 
The artwork is also very appealing and easy on the eyes.  There’s lots of great detail, use of color, and even some subtle things that you might not notice.  My only nitpick complaint with it is that Swamp Thing at points looks a bit… silly with some of his facial expressions.
 
In general though, a pretty solid and good start here for this comic.  I definitely recommend this comic, especially to people who jumped off during the Rotworld arc because it was too long.  This should be more of what they are looking for now.