Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Reviews - Jack Cross #1, JLA: Classified #10 & #11

The latest comics from the mind of Warren Ellis.

Jack Cross #1

Artist: Gary Erskine
Writer: Warren Ellis
Colorist: Brian Reber
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor: Rachel Gluckstern
Editor: Joey Cavalieri

Jack Cross created by Warren Ellis

Summary – Introducing Jack Cross. A counter-terrorism expert who does whatever it takes to get the job done.

Review:

The Good –

Essentially from this first issue, it seems like Jack Cross is Jack Bauer in the DCU. He seems haunted by his past and looks to have isolated himself from civilization. Which means, very soon someone is going to make him an offer to come in from the cold and get back in the game.

The first thing that is obvious about Jack is that he knows what’s going on. He’s all instinct and his hunches seem to serve him well. He is also the kind of character who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty (as shown in the torture/interrogation scene in this issue).

This isn’t a book built on pure shock and awe though; this is a book that makes you use your noggin. I particularly like it because the first issue tied into my Criminal Justice classes I am taking as far as the Office of Homeland Security goes.

Gary Erskine and Brian Reber do an excellent job on the art. They are making a comic book exciting that has zero capes, masks or monsters. Very cool stuff.



The Bad –

This being a non-superhero book set in the DCU, makes it very likely that most people won’t give this a shot. That’s a big mistake because let me tell you this: I read a lot of comics and Jack Cross #1 is one of the best I’ve read this year. This has all the makings of a great series. Hopefully Warren Ellis’ upcoming ENGINE Forum, which is dedicated to discussion of the non-super hero genres, will help this title among others get more exposure.



The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It

JLA: Classified #10

Artist: Butch Guice
Writer: Warren Ellis
Colorist: David Baron
Letterer: Phil Balsman
Assistant Editor: Michael Siglain
Editor: Mike Carlin
Cover Art: Michael Stribling

Summary – A string of suicides at Lex Corp peaks the curiosity of Clark Kent and Lois Lane. Meanwhile in Gotham City, Batman is hunting down a perp with some heavy artillery.

Review:

The Good –

Oh man do I miss these characters. I am willing to bet a lot of my fellow comics readers do as well. If you miss Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman pre-Identity Crisis, be sure to pick up this arc. It takes place during the time where Luthor is President of the U.S.A. and these heroes are in a more pure form.

The Batman pages alone are worth the price of admission if you ask me. The way Guice lays out Batman getting into the suit is just awesome. Almost like a movie trailer.

David Baron does an excellent job on the colors. This is my first experience with his work and I’ll be looking for his name in the future.

Michael Stribling pitches in with one of the coolest Batman covers I’ve seen in recent years.


The Bad –

As an issue that stands on its own this book falls just short of being an excellent issue overall. That shouldn’t be a problem though since #11 is in stores now and these make a fantastic back to back read. This issue was all about setting the major players up and introducing the elements of the story, so naturally we will have less action than the rest of the issues.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It


JLA Classified #11

Artist: Butch Guice
Writer: Warren Ellis
Colorist: David Baron
Letterer: Phil Balsman
Assistant Editor: Michael Siglain
Editor: Mike Carlin
Cover Art: Michael Stribling

Summary – Explosions rock Themyscira, Central City, Gotham City, New York City and the Space Station is coming down! This is definitely a job for the Justice League.

Review:

The Good –

The action really picks up here. Beginning where the book ended in the last issue, we witness a chain of explosions that rock the main cities of the DCU. At the site of each explosion is a mysterious glyph with origins unknown.

I love this kind of story, once again Batman has a great moment which I have mad the money shot. I also like how this mystery is being paced and the way its unraveling before our eyes.

Once again Guice and Baron kick all types of asses on the interiors. The cover by Stribling isn’t quite up to par with his Batman one, but I still think he compliments the Amazon very well.


The Bad –

All of the stuff involving Lex Corp might take a second read through. Lots of information and whatnot is being exchanged between Clark and Lois and we kind of have to find our way.


The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It

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