Friday, May 20, 2005

Comic Reviews - May 18, 2005 Part II

DC

Birds of Prey #82

Penciller: Joe Bennet
Inker: Jack Jadson
Writer: Gail Simone
Colorist: Hi-Fi Design
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Assistant Editor: Rachel Gluckstern
Editor: Joan Hilty


Summary – The Black Canary and Wildcat continue their mission in Singapore. While the Huntress flexes her muscle in Gotham City. Meanwhile Oracle continues to combat the enemy within.

Review:

The Good –

Joe Bennet and Jack Jadson do a great job on art duties. This is only their second issue as the regular art team and they are jumping in feet first. I especially like the fight scenes in this issue. Both the boxing match as well as Black Canary’s fight with Rabbit are extremely well done..

Gail Simone is a very good writer who knows how to balance out plot advancements/drama and action. This issue is no exception as we get three great action scenes as well as continuing plot progression. Especially in regards to the Huntress who is making a move on what she believes is owed to her.

The Bad –

The 12 Brothers were built up as these bad ass guys, but Black Canary puts a hurting on Rabbit easy enough. While Wildcat tears up a few of his brothers. I guess this reviewer was expecting too much out of them.

Then again Gail Simone has made Black Canary somewhat of her personal project and has had her training with the best of the best in the DCU lately. I believe this is all building her up to a big fight with Lady Shiva and I look forward to that encounter in the future.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It


Green Lantern Secret Files & Origins 2005

-Flight
Artist: Darwyn Cooke
Writer: Geoff Johns
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
-The Day Before
Penciller: Ethan Van Sciver
Inker: Prentis Rollins
Writer: Geoff Johns
Colorist: Moose Baumann
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Editor: Peter Tomasi
-Pinups
Hal Jordan – Patrick Gleason, Christian Alamy, Hi-Fi
Kyle Rayner – Patrick Gleason, Hi-Fi
John Stewart – Dale Eaglesham, Wade von Grawbadger, Peter Steigerwald
Guy Gardner – Howard Chaykin, Michelle Madsen
Guardians of the Universe – Jamal Igle, David Moran
Parallax – Jamal Igle, David Moran
Kilowog – Patrick Gleason, Hi-Fi
Manhunters – Patrick Gleason, Prentis Rollins, Steve Buccellato
Sinestro – Simone Bianchi, Nathan Eyring
Mongul – David Gibbons, Peter Steigerwald

Cover Art by Carlos Pacheco and Jesus Merino, colored by Pacheco

Summary – In “Flight”, Hal’s past is spotlighted on as he takes Kyle for a ride in a jet. In “The Day Before” we learn what Kyle Rayner was doing prior to showing up in Green Lantern Rebirth #1.

Review:

The Good –

“Flight” is a short story worthy of an Eisner nomination. It really takes you back to Hal’s early days as a boy who admired his pilot father. You see Hal as a boy, young adult and finally a grown man. In this he shows Kyle what it truly means to fly. Something that is going to piss off the Kyle Rayner fans for sure.

Anyway you look at this Darwyn Cooke is a genius and I look forward to his upcoming Solo issue next month.

Geoff Johns does a great job scripting this short story as well. He really seems to be in love with the entire Green Lantern series.

The pinups and bios accompanying them are also very much worthwhile for Green Lantern newbies (such as myself). The artwork is great and is done by some of the biggest names in comics. At the same time you are getting caught up with the characters.


The Bad –

“The Day Before” is somewhat lacking in emotions compared to “Flight”. In this we see Kyle Rayner patrolling the very outskirts of the universe and his ring talks to him for the first time. You also see Hal Jordan save a pilot as the Spectre and Parralax struggle for control within him. EVS does his usual awesome job on illustrating cosmic stuff, but John’s script for this prelude is lacking in my opinion.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It

Manhunter #10

Penciller: Javier Pina
Inker: Fernando Blanco
Writer: Marc Andreyko
Colorist: Steve Buccellato
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Assistant Editor: Rachel Gluckstern
Editor: Joan Hilty

Summary – Part 1 of Manhunted picks up where #9 left off. Kate is doing her best to keep the B-List villains at bay in the court room while trying to recapture Shadow Thief. Meanwhile the identity of who is slaying Manhunters is revealed.

Review:

The Good –

No matter how I look at the main character, I just can’t help but like her. She’s the coolest bad girl in comics since Catwoman.

Andreyko does a good job bringing her to life and the pacing of this issue is great.

I like how it cuts back and forth between the main storyline and the Manhunted subplot.

The artwork on this title is also very good. I miss Saiz’s art, but the new team is doing a great job filling his shoes.

This is really a book I suggest you pick up if you are interested in a fresh take on super heroes. I also suggest this for fans of Birds of Prey. The same editorial team is in charge of both. I smell a crossover sometime soon..

The Bad –

I’m sorry, but I’m not familiar with the person who is hunting the Manhunters. I plan on doing a google search and pending the results do some back issue bin diving. From what I have been able to follow so far is that he is an old Ostrander character. Which can is a good thing judging by his reputation.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It

Superman #217

Artist: Ed Benes
Writer: Mark Verheiden
Colorist: Rod Reis
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Associate Editor: Tom Palmer Jr.
Editor: Eddie Berganza

Superman created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster

Summary – Opens following the events of “For Tomorrow” where Superman is operating around his new Fortress of Solitude in the Amazon. While things have been going smoothly so far between him and the local tribe, that’s all about to change as they become targets.

Review:

The Good –

I loved Ed Benes’ work on Birds of Prey and was happy to see that he is getting a chance to work on one of DC’s biggest icons. Something tells me he got this gig after drawing an excellent Superman last year in Birds of Prey #71. He continues to draw some great looking women in this title.

I am not familiar with Mark Verheiden, except that he is somehow connected to the Smallville television show. This could even be his first comic work. From what I can tell he does a great job, this is a pretty standard story that is executed fairly well.

The Bad –

This is supposed to be an OMAC tie-in issue, but don’t judge it by the cover. An OMAC shows up and beats on Superman for a few pages then goes away. While it is kind of cool it doesn’t justify buying the issue just for that.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Borrow It

Wildstorm

Authority: Revolution #8

Penciller: Dustin Nguyen
Inker: Richard Friend
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Colorists: Broome & Mayor
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Ben Abernathy

The Authority created by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch

Summary – The newly aged Jenny Quantum rounds up the former members of the Authority after she learns that Henry Bendix has returned.

Review:

The Good –

One of the most beloved characters in recent years is back in the form of Jenny Quantum, the reincarnation of the legendary Jenny Sparks. Previously seen only as an infant and young child, Jenny has aged herself to around the age of 15. She has adopted the same manner of vulgar speech and smoking habits as her predecessor.

While the artwork of Nguyen and Friend doesn’t compare to the levels of Hitch or Quitely on this title, it is still very pleasant to look at.

This issue is more or less the gathering of the guard as the old Authority assembles under the leadership of Jenny Quantum.

The Bad –

I liked the scenes with Jenny, Apollo and Midnighter, but the rest of the gathering scenes left me wanting more. I’m not sure if a whole issue was needed for this kind of thing. I’d rather see more action, which is what this book is best at.


This book continues to carry on as a shadow of its former self. However cliché that may be, it’s the truth.

Brubaker is doing a great job giving the fans what they want with the return of Jenny (in a way) and the revival of Henry Bendix, but it seems too little too late for this franchise.

For this comic fan Revolution is the last shot I am giving the Authority to impress me and come back to its glory days. Unless something huge happens in the final issues I’m not sure if that is a realistic goal.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Borrow It

Dark Horse

Conan #16

Artist: Cary Nord
Cover Artists: Cary Nord and Dave Stewart
Scripter: Kurt Busiek
Color Artist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Designer: Darin Fabrick
Assistant Editor: Matt Dryer
Editor: Scott Allie

Based on the work of Conan creator Robert E. Howard

Summary – After foiling Thoth-Amon’s plans in the previous issues Conan comes to a small town in Corinthia. Here he is used by the local women and they steal his pouche filled with gold coins. He tries to track them down, but loses their buggies trail at a crossroads. He decides to sleep outside, not trusting the local inns anymore. This decision is one that sets up some nice action throughout the issue.

Note: This issue is a great jumping on point for new readers.

Review:

The Good –

As mentioned this is a good jumping on point for new readers. The events of the last story issue are recapped and we are introduced to the narrator of the story.

I love these one shot issues like this. You don’t have to worry about what happened previous to this issue nor get caught up in any kind of back story. This is self contained and at the same time speeds the story on its way to the next arc.

Nord’s artwork continues to impress me. I haven’t read that many fantasy comics, but if they are anything like this the genre deserves a revival.

Busiek continues scripting great comic tales based on Howard’s legendary works. I see a bright future for this series, especially if Busiek stays on board throughout.


The Bad –

My only complaint about this issue is that we didn’t see Conan defeat the monsters on the hill. There were plenty panels of him fighting them, but after he learns there weakness it just ends with him coming down the hill victorious.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It

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