Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Only a couple books this week so I will dive right in. The first is Justice League United 0. This book is very much a set up issue. It's an interesting line up. It's introducing Adam Strange to the New 52 and follows Animal Man and Stargirl as they meet him and explore a disappearance of Strange's partner. Literally. His partner disappeared in front of his eyes. As they investigate, Martian Manhunter and Green Arrow show up. The aliens release some dangerous fiery being who attacks. The issue starts with an invasion of an alien science lab and then flashes back in a fairly cliched moment. At the end of this book I was left with a few questions which I'm sure will be answered in the first six or so issues. How does Strange get his armor? Who are these aliens and what are they up to? Why should I care about half these characters? Why are Green Arrow and Animal Man bantering so much? I'm mildly intrigued, but it's going to be a fairly cosmic story which I usually don't like so I will keep my expectations low. I do like Jeff Lemire so I will give it a few more issues. As far as art goes, I'm not a fan. Mike McKone is a solid artist, but the style feels inconsistent throughout the issue. Not sure if it's a pencils or coloring issue but it just doesn't feel right. Some panels are rather crisp and vibrant but others are muted and blurry. Some choices were made in that department that are not very clear yet. Middle of the line for me. 2.5 of 5.
My other book this week is Lazarus 8. More of the plot is revealed and we get introduced more to Forever's past and a few more of the caravan heading towards the Lift in Denver. Now, we still don't know what the Lift is, but I was instantly more attached to the people we get to explore. Forever gets yelled at to stop the imminent bombing at the Lift. Sweet middle part of the story. Not much to complain about other than it would work much better in a full story. If this book sounds interesting, I would definitely pick it up in trade paperback form. Art in this book is incredible as usual. It's a very gritty feeling book which matches the grim future world. Excellent book apart from being a mid-arc book. Still an incredibly fun read. 4 out of 5.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Another light week this week. Although I'm apparently more of a Marvel person than I thought. I picked up two books this week. Two Marvel Books written by Jason Aaron. I'll start with Amazing X-Men 6. Now that Nightcrawler is back from the dead, it's only right to have a party at a bar to commemorate. Kurt's enjoying the celebration when Mystique shows up to find out where Azazel is being taken as a prisoner. I was initially very intrigued by the pirate Nightcrawler from issue one. I wish that we had seen some more of that than we did. Now he's back and has to deal with being alive again. It's a nice touch to see them celebrating for once. Wolverine actually mentions that in his toast. I've not read anything focusing on Nightcrawler and his family before and in that respect it's a fun story. Mystique and Azazel have a ton of animosity towards each other and we see the beginning of an intriguing showdown between them and Nightcrawler which we don't get to see because Nightcrawler gets knocked out I guess? Mystique offers Azazel a job and Kurt is drunk. The end. Okay book, I would have enjoyed seeing more of the fight between the three but since it's part one, I'm hoping we will see more in a few issues.. The art has a very basic and juvenile feel to it. It feels like a kids book and I think it could use a more serious take on the character designs. 2.5 out of 5. Looking forward to seeing more of them.
The other book I got is Thor God of Thunder 21. King Thor's battle with Galactus rages on. Thor the Avenger heads back to Asgard near Broxton, Oklahoma only to find Roxxon has moved in with several floating machine cities polluting the area. In a rage Thor goes to destroy some of the equipment and machines. Only to be handed a note. That's right, Thor is getting sued for damages. As always, an excellent book It's awesome seeing two almighty beings beating the crap out of each other. Thor being sued? Now that's original. Incredibly intrigued as to how that's going to go. Ribic is still doing incredibly beautiful artwork. If either the writing OR the art were as good as it is, I would be buying this book. Since it's both, I feel that the book is twice the value of a normal book. 5 out of 5.
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Big spender this week as this post will serve as a slightly more in-depth review than normal as I picked up only one book. Nightcrawler #1. Written by Chris Claremont and art by Todd Nauck. Spinning straight out of Aaron's Amazing X-Men story, Nightcrawler is back from the dead and doing his best to teleport back into the swing of day to day life. It starts with a sweet scene between Nightcrawler and Wolverine (recently sans healing factor) fighting in the Danger Room as a training exercise to test their limits, as they are both experiencing major life changes of sorts. Nauck does amazing work with this scene. Some very dynamic and iconic poses that suck you into the story. My favorite panel is Storm and Kurt talking in the rain. Nightcrawler is perched on a box and Storm is kneeling in front of him. It's a gorgeous silhouette of the two of them.
The next third of the book involves Kurt getting reacquainted with life and the now Jean Grey School for Mutants. He has a very loving and brotherly scene with Marvel Girl who he knew from Excalibur and then visits his love, Amanda. There's a hilarious panel of Kurt in the classic Burt Reynolds "Sexy" pose, surrounded by his little Bamf friends.
The final act is a fight with a robot who breaks into Amanda's apartment. This introduces the first story arc of the series. As they demolish the apartment during the battle the ceiling collapses, taking out the intruder. Kurt and Amanda vow to hunt down whoever sent the robot. Amanda's magical powers mixed with Kurt's teleportation promise to be a great combination and I look forward to seeing where this goes.
Overall this is a very solid start to the series. The art is great and there are several amazing panels that are beautifully set up and take the art to the next level. 4 out of 5.
Saturday, April 5, 2014
It's been a few weeks due to family visiting and general busy-ness so I have quite a few books to catch up on. We'll start with Superman Unchained 6. All the Nuclear Missiles are launched. Superman tries to stop them all with the help of Wonder Woman and Batman. Wraith is still a villain version of Superman. The story is fairly lame and feels familiar and I'm pretty over it. It's got one more issue to hook me or I'm out. The art is beautiful, but I'm just bored with it. 2 out of 5.
Sixth Gun 39 is another great issue. Death, visions, flames of perdition. All this and more are brought together for a very action packed issue that keeps you reading and waiting for number 40. While this issue doesn't matter a ton in the grand scheme of things, it's a very suspenseful episode. There's still one or two issues of this arc so I'm interested in seeing where they're taking it since this feels like the end of it already. Great stuff as usual. 4 of 5.
Next up: Thor God of Thunder 20. King Thor is fighting Galactus to prevent him from eating the Earth while Thor the Avenger is trying to prevent Roxxon corporation from damaging the world to make a profit. Another great issue. Loads of fun. Seeing King Thor taking on the Devourer of worlds is great. The only problem I have with this issue is I just read a Mighty Thor trade where they fight Galactus from only a few years ago. Apart from the redundancy of that aspect of the story, it's nice to see a hero trying to save the world from humans instead of an evil villain. Ribic's art is as incredible as ever. The faces are a lot more detailed than a lot of books out there, which in itself is a great touch. When everything looks great, the book feels top notch. 4 of 5.
Lazarus 7. Forever visits her sister Johanna and has her interrogate the hostage to get info of the "terrorsist cell" while the nomads head to lift. Solid filler issue. Most interesting part was Johanna interrogating Emma, though it was more of a bribery situation. Great intrigue and mystery. Keeps me interested in the next issue which is the goal of comics really. Not much else to say. Don't know what lift is apart from there's a lot of people trying to get to it. It's fun and original. 3.5 out of 5.
Onto week 2. Amazing X-Men 5. Another super interesting story. Nightcrawler and friends are fighting Azazel and his crew in an action packed issue that brings Nightcrawler back to life! (What? I know I am shocked.) Story-wise it's alright. Art and lasting impact-wise it's an excellent issue. Looking forward to see where the next plot is going to take us and who will be joining the cast. 4 out of 5.
Serenity number 3 came out and it was great. River dreams about the academy and what they did to her and she wants to go rescue the other children, Zoey gets transferred to a remote prison camp, and our old friend tries to take over the ship. The first two are interesting developments and promise to lead to good things. The last plot was super abrupt and not as believable or interesting. There's a few good moments, but not super great. The art is growing on me this issue, so that's definitely a plus. The characterization and dialogue feels like a continuation of the show. I love this book and can't wait for the next one. 4.5 out of 5.
This week was pretty villain-centric. I'll start with Pretty Deadly 5 which wraps up the first arc of the series. I read it and was thoroughly lost and confused. I then reread all 5 and the series is very dark and interesting. The narrative function of a dead bunny and a butterfly telling each other the story of death's daughter and the heart of the world. It's got a lot of complex legends and tales all interwoven masterfully. The art is excellently dark and dirty, very fitting for the darkness of the story. Wonderful work all around, but I will wait for the trade on the second story methinks. Much more enjoyable that way. 4.5 out of 5.
Let's head back over to the mind of Cullen Bunn with Magneto 2. While hunting down his lead on the Omega Sentinel Erik remembers his time in the holocaust and how he witnessed the death and betrayal of a couple of friends. Naturally, he sets up a trap and manages to take out several of the people who work for those who created those sentinels. Vigilante Magneto is a sweet take on the character. And flashbacks to World War 2 are always fun. The design for Magneto has already grown on me so that's no longer an issue. This issue was structured quite well and flowed nicely. Great story with excellent history and art that will blow you away. 5 out of 5.
Now for the follow-up to Loki speed dating in Loki Agent of Asgard 3. I don't know what it is about this issue, but I had a hard time reading this one. It has old Loki go back in time and manipulate a young Odin into owing him a favor and giving him a sword that is special for some reason. Just didn't excite me at all. The art was pretty cool but I paid for a Loki story and there was too much Odin that didn't seem to matter. I hope it pays off in the future, but right now it's just a meh story with pretty good art. 3 of 5
Green Arrow 30. Another incredibly beautiful issue by Andrea Sorrentino. Interesting build up to the so called "Outsiders War." Turns out the supposedly dead body of Green Arrow last issue was just Magus pulling a trick. it's a nice issue, just a little odd that it undoes everything we thought we knew at the end of last issue. It's good stuff. Just another middle of the story issue. Good stuff. It's a good suspense builder. Waiting for the powder keg to blow. 4 out of 5.