Saturday, July 09, 2005

Comic Reviews - July 07, 2005

Marvel

Daredevil Vs Punisher #1

Penciller: David Lapham
Inker: David Lapham
Writer: David Lapham
Colorist: Studio F
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Editor: Warren Simons

Summary – The Punisher has Hammerhead in his sights, but Daredevil’s patience for him has pushed passed its limits. He wants the Punisher out of his city and he wants him out now. Two of the best street level heroes in comics face off in a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Review:

The Good –

Needless to say, calling David Lapham a very talented creator is an understatement. His writing skills are only eclipsed by his wonderful layouts on this book and that’s really saying something considering how good of a writer he is.

He tells the story from the Punisher’s perspective this issue and it works very well. I haven’t read a Punisher comic in ages and this got be digging the character again. Since I’ve been reading Batman titles for the last three years, seeing a vigilante just go into a bar and gun down everyone is something very new to me. I hate to say it, but it was a nice change of pace from what I’m used to.

I also like the way Frank Castle acknowledged the fighting skills of Daredevil. He said that DD’s boxing alone could put down the champ and his eastern martial arts were very deadly. Still Frank is one tough s.o.b. to say the least and he stands there and takes it. It was a nice contrast between the two of them and their respective fighting and crime fighting styles.

The coloring and overall production values on this book are very high, even for a Marvel title. It’s a great read that you can’t help, but go through twice to see all the little things you missed the first time.

As a non-Punisher fan I have to say I like this version the best, and I am flat out digging this Daredevil approach a lot more than the monthly title. It’s just great to see him toss around that stick and seeing him actually go toe to toe with someone using his fighting skills.


The Bad –

Not really a negative, but as of right now the characters in this title don’t exactly match up with the ones currently in the ongoing series of The Punisher MAX and MK Daredevil. We can assume that this series takes place sometime before the other two books, but many have commented on how the Punisher is written different here.

The only other semi-bad thing is that this will probably read better in TPB form. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not decompressed or anything like that, but since it’s a six part story that’s what usually happens.

This is one of the top two books this week, so give it a try if you’re into street level heroes or just good comics in general.


The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It

Image

Hunter- Killer #3

Penciller: Marc Silvestri
Inker: Joe B. & Weems V
Writer: Mark Waid
Colorist: Steve Firchow & John Starr
Graphic Design: Chaz Riggs
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Special Thanks to Eric Basaldua

Summary – Ellis is taken to Hunter-Killer headquarters for questioning and we are let in on a secret dating back to the Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba.

Review:

The Good –

This title has to be the best mutant book on the stands. Silvestri and Waid are a dream team and they are creating characters that play to each of their individual strengths. One character is called Cloaker, a telepath who can alter what people are seeing. He uses this ability to disguise his teammates and luckily for the reader he’s kind of a pervert as you can see in the Argent picture below.

While Silvestri’s storytelling abilities aren’t the greatest in the world, you have to admit that he draws some great looking characters. Wolf’s character design is one of the best in recent years and Argent is just pure cheese-cake goodness. Ellis on the other hand reminds me of Clark Kent and I think that his background was intentionally done that way to do so.

I also like the new Morningstar character and the way his deal with John F. Kennedy was handled and the repercussions of it when the deal was supposedly broken. Waid spins the historical fact with historical fiction pretty well.

The Bad –

It seems like we’ve gone months without a new issue of this. I understand that Silvestri as President of Top Cow and his other responsibilities in Image really doesn’t have the time to draw the book, but I figured they would have enough content in the can first. After all it has Mark Waid and Marc Silvestri, how could it not sell?

My only other complain is that we didn’t find out more on Ellis’ training on Sunday’s like we were promised. Oh well maybe next issue.

This is a pretty solid, but if you are a fan of 90’s comics (like me) pick this up immediately. You’ll love it.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It

DC

DC Special: The Return of Donna Troy #2

Penciller: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez
Inker: George Perez
Writer: Phil Jimenez
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor: Jeanine Schaefer
Editors: Eddie Berganza & Joan Hilty

Summary – Teen Titans and Outsiders confront their lost friend who many thought dead.

Review:

The Good –

If you like the Teen Titans and Outsiders, some members from each team are here to help Donna.


The Bad –

From the artwork to the story, I just can’t get into this book. Even one of my personal favorites George Perez can’t make this book look good to me. I am not sure if it is Garcia-Lopez or the dark coloring scheme Lee Loughridge is using, but it just isn’t doing it for me.

The same can be said for the storyline, I for one could care less if Donna Troy came back. Her death was a great way to clear up her confusing origin because we didn’t have to worry about it ever again. Now they bring her back because she can supposedly save the universe or something like that.

For now I have to give this a slightly negative review, but I’ll see how the last two issues are because the Titans and Outsiders are in it.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Borrow It

Gotham Central #33

Penciller: Kano
Inker: Stefano Gaudiano
Writer: Rucka
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Clem Robins
Associate Editor: Nachie Castro
Editor: Matt Idelson

Summary – A boy is found in an alley with a broken neck. While this itself is a serious crime, to top it off he’s dressed in a Robin outfit. Is this the Boy Wonder?

Review:

The Good –

This storyline’s roots are embedded in a Newsarama interview that Rucka and Brubaker did last year regarding the series. It seems like they came up with it on the fly and it wasn’t a staged thing, but who knows. No matter how it went down it’s a really good idea that has taken on a life of its own.

The police procedural surrounding the death of a boy who could be Robin is very well done as always. I especially liked the hilarious scenes in Arkham Asylum.

The new artist, Kano does a great job on the book. This is his first issue and I couldn’t really tell we had a new artist. I heard he was tailoring his style for this book, pair that with the inks of long time inker Gaudiano and Gotham Central is one of the most consistent looking books in comics.

The Bad –

This was one of the better issues for Gotham Central and that’s really saying something. Hence, my complete lack of negative feedback.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It

JSA #75

Pencillers: Don Kramer, Leonard Kirk and Stephen Sadowski
Inkers: Keith Champagne and Michael Bair
Writer: Geoff Johns
Colorist: John Kalisz
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor: Harvey Richards
Editor: Peter Tomasi

Summary – Black Vengeance concludes in an emotional rollercoaster of a finale.

Review:

The Good –

This is the comic of the week as far as I am concerned and the most underrated book on the market. Johns’ Flash, Teen Titans and Green Lantern get plenty of attention, but the JSA could very well be his best work ever. The emotional situations in this issue were so well done by both Johns and his all-star team of artists.

I was especially impressed with the new use of SHAZAM lightning that they found this issue. As well as how they depicted how Black Adam gets to his current state that we see him in the Countdown stuff.

The Bad –

There was some confusion on message boards regarding whether or not the character at the end died or not. I’m not going to tell you the outcome or who it was since it would ruin the issue.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It

Superman #219

Penciller: Ed Benes
Inker: Mariah Benes, Rob Lea and Ale Lei
Writer: Mark Verheiden
Colorist: Rob Reis
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Associate Editor: Tom Palmer Jr.
Editor: Eddie Berganza

Superman created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster

Summary – Spinning out of events from the OMAC Project #3, Superman is disoriented and in the DCU that isn’t a good thing.

Review:

The Good –

I have to admit as good as Ed Benes draws the cheese-cake; he draws the male super heroes just as good. His Superman back in Birds of Prey #82 was ripped and looked like the Man of Steel should. Since joining this title on pencil duties he has carried that over. The shot of the JLA on the last page is very good, his Hawkman and Flash look especially well done. Not to mention his Black Canary that we grew to love in Birds of Prey.

The storyline is a little confusing, especially if you haven’t picked up a Superman comic in a while. It spins out of the events of the Omac Project #3 where at the end; Maxwell Lord puts Superman under some sort of weird mind control. This causes him to hallucinate things, so he’s attacking stuff that isn’t there or something that’s there and just not what he thinks it is. It’s pretty confusing, but it looks like it will pay off in the end.

The Bad –

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It

Villains United

Penciller: Val Semeiks
Inker: Prentis Rollins
Writer: Gail Simone
Colorist: Sno-Cone
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Assistant Editor: Harvey Richards
Editor: Stephen Wacker

Summary – The Secret Six are tortured by the Crime Doctor in order to set an example on what happens when you don’t fall in line with the Society.

Review:

The Good –

Semeiks is an artist I have liked ever since I first got back into comics a few years back. He drew a great Legends of the Dark Knight storyline entitled, “Don’t Blink” and it was just awesome. I was thrilled to see that he was the guest artist on Villains United. It looks like he modified his style to be more Eaglesham’s and I’m sure Rollins gave it the finishing touches to keep the book looking consistent.

The story was just as good if not better than the art this issue. While torture sequences are frowned upon in the media, this issue depicted them very well with a few comical moments.

I love how Parademon just waltzes his way through them thanks to his past on Apokolips with Granny. It was also nice to see Scandal and Ragdoll get some screen time as well. The three of these guys have previously taken a back seat to Catman, Deadshot and Cheshire so it was nice to see them get there moments in the spotlight.

I also like how Black Adam is being manipulated by the Society. The reason I’m keen on this is because when he finds out he’s going to tear them apart.


The Bad –

I really don’t have a lot to complain about for this issue. It would have been nice to see Eaglesham on this, but I heard he came down with some kind of fever around the time he was going to draw this. So that’s a reasonable excuse in my book.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It

Wildstorm

Twilight Experiment #6

Artist: Juan Santacruz
Writers: Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti
Colorist: Carrie Strachan
Letterer: Phil Balsman
Editors: Bob Harras & Kristy Quinn

Created by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti & Juan Santacruz

Summary – The conclusion to the Twilight Experiment mini series. With two worlds in jeopardy, will our young heroes sacrifice everything to save them?

Review:

The Good –

As with every issue of the mini I was impressed with Santacruz’s artwork and his storytelling abilities. I’m going to have to check out some of his future work on the shelves.

Gray and Palmiotti ended the series in a good way. It wasn’t an abrupt finale because you still get the sense that Twilight and Serenity are still carrying out their duties even if you aren’t reading about them. I think they did a nice job on this book. It wasn’t Watchmen or anything, but a nice little super hero title that had some nice twists and fantastic artwork.

The Bad –

The way the Righteous went out was very weird. According to everyone in the book he’s dead, but he clearly wasn’t. I guess they have to leave this open for a possible sequel series down the line, but judging from the sales that’s not going to happen.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It

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