Friday, July 01, 2005

Comic Reviews - June 29, 2005 Part II

DC

Batgirl #65

Penciller: Pop Mhan
Inker: Cam Smith
Writer: Andersen Gabrych
Colorist: Guy Major
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Editor: Michael Wright

Batman created by Bob Kane

Summary – Father’s day brings out Cassandra’s curiosity of her parentage. She knows that she’s David Cain’s daughter, but who is her mother? She begins her quest to find out the truth.

Review:

The Good –

The fill-in and soon to be regular art team of Pop Mhan and Cam Smith do an extraordinary job on this issue. They drop Batgirl very well, both in and out of costume. The fight scenes and dramatic moments in the issue were told very well.

Andersen Gabrych really picks up the pace with the storyline in this issue. He reveals some stuff that was so obvious, such as how Cassandra’s first name could tell us something about her mother; I can’t believe I never picked up on it. He’s also playing up on her body language skills, which is good.

The Bad –

I have to admit that I miss Garza’s pencils on this title. True, Mhan is very similar in style to him so it isn’t that bad of a change.

Looking at the future solicits, we probably won’t find out who Cass’ mother is until September or October.. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is up to you.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It


Batman #641

Penciller: Doug Mahnke
Inker: Tom Nguyen
Writer: Judd Winick
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Nick J. Napp
Assistant Editor: Brandon Montclare
Editor: Bob Schreck

Summary – Family Reunion concludes. We finally get to the point in time that started the Under the Hood storyline earlier this summer. Batman finds out the identity of the Red Hood and it isn’t pretty.

Review:

The Good –

After a summer’s wait, Batman finally comes face to face with the person who is under the hood. Yes, the new Red Hood was revealed to be Jason Todd and now Batman has to deal with it. Jason has become a Punisher-like vigilante, who has no qualms against killing the perps. It should make for a very interesting storyline in future issues if they handle it right.

The Bad –

The first part of Under the Hood was excellent in both terms of artwork and writing. The conclusion of this isn’t really up to par with that first issue.

Mahnke’s pencils were so great on that first issue, as was Winick’s pacing. They are sadly lost on this issue.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Borrow It


Batman Allies Secret Files & Origins 2005

A Friend in Need
Script: Russel Lissau
Pencils: Brad Walker
Inks: Jimmy Palmiotti
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Colors: Giulia Brusco

Street Crime
Script: Will Pfeifer
Art: Ron Randall
Letters: Phil Balsman
Colors: Brad Anderson

Taking Sides
Script: Andersen Gabrych
Pencils: Tom Derenick
Inks: Ray Snyder
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Colors: Greg Wright

Profile pages written by Andersen Gabrych

Pinups –

Batgirl by Sean Murphy and Lee Loughridge
Robin by Al Barrionuevo, Bit and Brad Andersen
Nightwing by Phil Hester, Ande Parks and Greg Wright
Onyx by Brad Walker, Jimmy Palmiotti and Lee Loughridge
Catwoman by Pete Woods and Brad Andersen
Batman by Al Barrionuevo, Bit and Brad Andersen

Cover Art by Al Barrionuevo and Bit, colors by Guy Major

Batman created by Bob Kane


Summary – A compilation of stories featuring Batman, Detective Renee Montoya, Chief Atkins and Batgirl & Robin.

Review:

The Good –

The highlights of this issue include seeing Brad Walker and Jimmy Palmiotti telling a tale of Montoya and Batman. I have been very impressed with Walker’s work since he did LODK during Wargames, as well as his Richard Dragon issues. He is usually inked by Andy Owens, but Palmiotti brings a whole different look to his pencils.

Taking Sides, was a nice surprise. It’s actually a lead in to this summer’s crossover event between Detective Comics & Batman called Warcrimes.

The pinups are all pretty damn good. My two favorites are probably Nightwing by Hester and Parks and Onyx by Walker and Palmiotti.

The Bad –

The Chief Atkins short story didn’t really hold up to the other two. The bios in this really didn’t tell you anything that wasn’t known already.. Then again they are aimed more towards new readers.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Borrow It


The Flash #223

Penciller: Howard Porter
Inker: John LIVESAY
Writer: Geoff Johns
Colorist: James Sinclair
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Assistant Editor: Rachel Gluckstern
Editor: Joey Cavalieri

Summary – Part 5 of Rogue War comes at us fast with Professor Zoom and Kid Flash going into the fray.

Review:

The Good –

I just continue to be so impressed with the artwork that Howard Porter and John Livesay put out every month. I think they are easily one of the best and most underrated art teams in comics. James Sinclair also does an excellent job every month. Even with the bright color palette he has to work with, due to the colorful rogue gallery, he still brings the dark moments when they’re needed.

Also, Geoff Johns really keeps these twists coming. Bart Allen, AKA Kid Flash is one of my favorite characters, but I really only get to see him in Teen Titans. Luckily Johns brought him into play in this issue. If you read the ending, you know that all Flashes appear to be accounted for. Whether they be Reverse Flash’s or not…

The Bad –

Overall this isn’t the most approachable book to new readers. The rogues have a real history with each other and the Flash, which you really have to research to fully get it.

If you’re like me, you have to know what’s going on to truly enjoy the story. If you just read comics to be entertained for a few minutes though and could care less about the previous canon, then by all means have fun. I admire you for that.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It


Green Lantern #2

Penciller: Carlos Pacheco
Inker: Jesus Merino
Writer: Geoff Johns
Colorist: Moose Baumann
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor: Harvey Richards
Editor: Peter Tomasi

Summary – Hal Jordan’s return to the land of the living includes getting the skeletons out of his closet. In his personal life he wishes to rejoin the Air Force, but first he has to apologize to an old instructor. As Green Lantern he also has to deal with the past in the form of a rival intergalactic policeman.

Review:

The Good –

Since being introduced to Carlos Pacheco on Superman/Batman, I have fallen in love with his work. He has a very Silver Age style that is very clean and pleasant to look at. Jesus Merino’s inking over his work is also very impressive.

I usually don’t like issues that are paced like this, but Johns really keeps my interest through the crawling pace.

The Bad –

I am a little hesitant on this villain. I think that a better one from the Green Lantern rogues gallery could have been chosen for the first arc, but I trust in John’s wisdom on this..

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It

The OMAC Project #3

Penciller: Jesus Saiz
Assists: Cliff Richards & Bob Wiacek
Writer: Greg Rucka
Colorist: HIFI Design
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Assistant Editor: Rachel Gluckstern
Editor: Joan Hilty

Summary – Batman and Sasha’s rendezvous is interrupted by a trio of OMAC’s. Meanwhile Wonder Woman and Booster Gold continue to investigate Brother I.

Review:

The Good –

The Bad –

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Borrow It


Outsiders #25

Artist: Carlons D’Anda
Writer: Judd Winick
Colorist: Guy Major
Letterer: Phil Balsman
Assistant Editor: Jeanine Schaefer
Associate Editor: Tom Palmer Jr.
Editor: Eddie Berganza

Summary – The conclusion of the Insiders story arc that has been running through Teen Titans and Outsiders for the past two months. The events of this issue will change both teams forever.

Review:

The Good –

Carlos D’Anda returns to the title and he brings his unique style with him. Having him as an artist on this title, really gives it a distinct look. He seems to be at his best when big fights are happening and he can just cut loose with the action.

The execution of the turning of the tide in the battle is also well done. I liked how Superboy got his wits about him and stood up to his “dad” in a heroic manner.

The Bad –

I really didn’t like Nightwing’s sudden “I’m out” attitude. He’s been doing this since he was ten and now he suddenly has a problem with attachment and people risking their lives? Kind of lame, but perhaps they are kind of putting him in a position for Infinite Crisis. Some have theorized he will lead all of the teen heroes (Outsiders, Teen Titans, and all past members) during the upcoming Crisis.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It


Wonder Woman #217

Penciller: Rags Morales
Inker: Michael Bair & Mark Propst
Writer: Greg Rucka
Colorist: Richard & Tonya Horie
Letterer: Todd Klein
Editor: Ivan Cohen

Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston

Special Thanks to Robin Riggs

Summary – The Bronze Doors storyline concludes with a revelation involving the identity of Wonder Girl’s father.

Review:

The Good –

Morales, Bair and Propst really brought their A-game this issue. The quality of their work is right up there with the art in Identity Crisis.

I also liked how the reveal of Cassandra Sandmark’s father was handled.

The Bad –

Even though it was foreshadowed in the previous two issues, I really didn’t like how the ending of the issue played out. It wasn’t terrible by any means, but it felt kind of abrupt and we got what we wanted in the end anyway. So Diana didn’t really sacrifice anything.

Overall this book really isn’t doing it for me. I’m going to stick around for the Sacrifice crossover, but that’s probably it.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Borrow It

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