Friday, May 27, 2005

Comic Reviews - May 25, 2005 Part II

Marvel

Ultimates 2 #6

Penciller: Bryan Hitch
Inker: Bryan Hitch & Paul Neary
Writer: Mark Millar
Colorist: Laura Martin
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Production: Tom Valente
Assistant Editors: Nicole Wiley & John Barber
Editor: Ralph Macchio

Captain America created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby

Summary – With the Ultimates turning their back on him, Hank Pym joins another super team. Unfortunately this would be the equivalent of him joining a group made up of us.

Review:

The Good –

Hitch’s artwork is something that the entire industry aspires too. He really shows off his storytelling skills in this issue where there isn’t much action, but drama and comedy. It’s also interested to see him ink much of his own stuff on this issue.

Millar’s a funny guy and this story brings it out. The Defenders would be like us comic fans who have no powers starting up our own team. From Nighthawk (who is later mistakenly called Dark Hawk by the papers) is a hilarious analogue of Batman. The Valkyrie is definitely fan service for the guys. She’s a barely legal Thor wannabe who sleeps with Hank Pym, but at the end of the issue there is a hilarious condition for it.

Underneath all this comedy is a genuine tale of a man who has completely fallen from grace. As funny as it is, you do feel sorry for Pym.

The Bad –

Nothing really, this is one of the Top 5 books this week. No complaints here.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy it

DC

JLA #114

Penciller: Ron Garney
Inker: Dan Green
Writer: Kurt Busiek
Colorist: David Baron
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Assistant Editor: Michael Siglain
Editor: Mike Carlin

Summary – JLA Vs CSA comes to a conclusion as both teams unite to defend the Anti-Matter Earth from the Qwardian Void - Hound.

Review:

The Good –

The art team of Garney, Green and Baron have been great since they took over with Austen’s “Pain of the Gods” storyline. To be honest I think this was there best issue yet. Drawing stuff on such an epic level and making it look good is a real strong point of this crew.

Busiek really likes the trick of having the teams swap uniforms, but it leads to something. In this instance it shows that the Wayne Brothers are more alike than they care to admit. It was also cool to see Superman ripping the S Shield off Ultraman at the end.

The Bad –

I didn’t like how we were teased with the Cosmic Egg from JLA/Avengers. Sure we know that Metron is watching over it (something we knew from the JLA/Avengers mini) but I was wanting some more hints on what could hatch from it.

I guess we’ll have to wait for JLA/Avengers 2…

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It


Legion of Super-Heroes #6

Penciller: Barry Kitson
Inker: Art Thibert
Writer: Mark Waid
Colorist: Chris Blythe
Guest Artist: Scott Iwahashi
Guest Colorist: Dave McCaig
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Assistant Editor: Harvey Richards
Editor: Stephen Wacker

Summary –Star Boy is introduced to the person who funds the Legion of Super-Heroes. While Brainiac 5 encounters the mastermind behind the attacks.

Review:

The Good –

This issue is divided up into two stories, but they connect together seamlessly.

The art is very good in both parts. Kitson and Thibert keep the title looking consistently good. Wildstorm apprentice Scott Iwahashi is doing a bang up job on special projects such as this and the Wildstorm Winter Special. I see a bright future for this guy.

As always Waid does an excellent job at keeping the story flowing. He also answers some question that people were wondering about since the first issue.

I love how he is putting ancient (for the LOSH anyway) super hero comics into the story. I noticed some Mystery in Space and Superman comics on many occasions.

The sparring session between Karate Kid and Ultra Boy was great. I heard that Karate Kid was tough, but I had no idea he was this cool.

The mailbag segment at the end is hilarious too. Especially when Kevin O asks about the readers picking who the leader should be and Cosmic Boy has to cut out.

The Bad –

No complaints here really. This book always delivers what you expect from it. Chances are if you are still reading this, it’s your kind of book and you’re digging it. For those who aren’t and dropped it during the first three issues consider flipping through it at your LCS sometime. The pace has quickened a bit.


The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It


The OMAC Project #2

Artist: Jesus Saiz
Writer: Greg Rucka
Colorist: HIFI Design
Letterer: Phil Balsman
Assistant Editor: Rachel Gluckstern
Editor: Joan Hilty

OMAC created by Jack Kirby

Summary – Maxwell Lord, Batman and Sasha Bordeaux are the main players in this issue. Lord attempts to wipe out the competition and Batman and Sasha attempt to reunite with each other.

Review:

The Good –

Love the artwork on this book. I really missed Saiz on Manhunter, but was thrilled when I found out he would be penciling this series.

The storyline for this issue basically is a build up for next where Batman and Sasha have to take on multiple OMAC units. Still this issue holds up on its own because we see an OMAC take on a B-Lister and make mince meat out of it. This is the third time we’ve seen one in action. The first was when one took out Blue Beetle, then earlier this month in Superman one roughed up the Man of Steel.

The way Rucka is writing Brother Eye is kind of unique. He writes it in programming code, pretty original I think.

The Bad –

What the heck is Batman lip locking with Sasha for? I know he’s a player but he has been having something developing with Catwoman for a while. I guess it’s alright cause he’s a ladies man, but that was kind of a shocker.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It

Outsiders #24

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

Summary – Part 2 of the Insiders crossover with Teen Titans picks up where Teen Titans #24 left off.

Review:

The Good –

Loved the twist of who the traitor really is. It seems like the traitor revealed in the last issue was just one giant red herring.

D’Anda’s artwork on this issue was nothing short of spectacular. These all out action issues is where he really shines because he just gets to cut loose and let the carnage rain down.

I loved how each of the Outsiders took turns taking on the traitor and all got seriously owned.

As you can see by the money shot, the Outsiders and Teen Titans are really going to have their hands full in Teen Titans #25

The Bad –

My only complaint is that they didn’t address Shift. They should have at least apologized to the guy.


The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It

Sleeper Season Two #12

Artist: Sean Phillips
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Colorist: Strachan
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Editors: Quinn and Dunbier

Special Thanks to Jim Lee

Summary – The series ends with the style and unexpectedness we come to love from this title.

Review:

The Good –

As always Sean Phillips and Strachan do an excellent job on art duties. There are very few if any comics on the stands that have the look of this book. There are no other people better suited for a super hero spy noir story than them. I’ll miss their artwork on this title so much.

Ed Brubaker ends the series with a bit of irony, but it’s very satisfying and justifiable. I couldn’t think for a better way for this series to end.

The Bad –

Unfortunately this is the final issue for the series.

Thanks to the entire team for an extremely enjoyable 24 issue run.


The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Comic Reviews - May 25, 2005 Part I

Batgirl #64

Penciller Ale Garza
Inkers: Jesse Delperdang & Andrew Pepoy
Writer: Andersen Gabrych
Colorist: Wildstorm FX
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Editor: Michael Wright

Batman created by Bob Kane

Summary – Last issue Batgirl fought Deathstroke, but it was all a trap to lure her out into the open. Now Deathstroke’s daughter, the Ravager takes her turn trying to kill Batgirl.

Review:

The Good –

Garza’s artwork is very pleasant to look at, no doubts there. The finishing touches by Delperdang and Pepoy also add to the slickness of the series. The coloring crew at Wildstorm FX are really using some nice colors on this book.

I have to give credit to Gabrych for comparing the Ravager and Batgirl.

The Bad –

This whole issue was pretty much a giant fight scenes with some flashbacks. In order for this issue to work for me I would need a good fight scene and some relevant flashbacks.

The fight scene wasn’t up to par with the one in the last issue at all. I don’t like how Batgirl is starting to use blades, when she is the best empty hand fighter on the planet. More than likely for this fight to be fair it had to be with swords though, so I can see why they chose to use them. I guess I am just too critical and am used to the old Damion Scott fight scenes in the Lady Shiva storyline which were damn near perfect.

While the flashbacks were relevant, I think the whole comparison thing was poorly executed. I mean Rose and Cass didn’t even talk to each other while they were fighting. The flashbacks with Cass as a child are getting repetitive as well, and I wish they’d just stop it. Yeah her dad made her a killing machine and did crazy shit with her, we get it.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Borrow It


Batman #640

Penciller: Paul Lee
Inker: Cam Smith
Writer: Judd Winick
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Phil Balsman
Associate Editor: Michael Wright
Editor: Bob Schreck

Batman created by Bob Kane

Summary – Batman goes to Metropolis to talk with Superman about him dying. Onyx and the Red Hood bust up the meeting from last issue.

Review:

The Good –

I really liked how Batman and Superman differ in their views about death. Superman prefers to think that he was in a state of suspended animation, while Batman believes that he was dead and everyone just made that up so it would make sense.

The Bad –

Well this issue had a lot of flaws. First off the regular art team didn’t do it. Therefore the quality we expect in this issue in the art department wasn’t up to par. I’m sure these guys are still developing, but I would rather have Mahnke anyway.

It seems like Winick phoned this one in. It is so decompressed it’s ridiculous. The whole scene with Onyx and the Red Hood fighting the perps was too drawn out. Plus the twist at the end was way too sudden.

I’m hoping better things for next issue.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Pass On It


Day of Vengeance #2

Penciller: Justiano
Inker: Walden Wong
Guest Inker: John Livesay
Writer: Bill Willingham
Colorist: Chris Chuckay
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Assistant Editor: Rachel Gluckstern
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Cover Artist: Walter Simonson with Mike Atiyeh on colors.

Summary – The team of C-List magic users puts plans in motion to take out the Spectre.

Review:

The Good –

This is the biggest surprise as far as the Infinite Crisis stuff goes. The artwork is excellent and the storyline screams of Vertigo.

Not surprisingly Bill Willingham is the author/creator of the smash hit, Fables for the Vertigo imprint, so he fits in with the magic side of the DCU quite nicely.

I was also glad to see Captain Marvel show up and fight the Spectre.

The Bad –

I wasn’t really sure what the Enchantress was doing at the start of this issue. At first I thought it was Eclipso narrating, but then I remember that Willingham said each issue will be done by a different member of the team. So I assumed it was the Enchantress. I have been informed she was just doing a ritual of some kind and that’s how she knew all that stuff.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It


DC Special: The Return of Donna Troy #1

Penciller: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez
Inker: George Perez
Writer: Phil Jimenez
Colorists: Martin Breccia, Nestor Pereya & Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Editors: Eddie Berganza & Joan Hilty-Gomez

Summary – We learn what Donna Troy has been up to as of late.

Review:

The Good –

The artwork on this title is very distinct, nothing on the stands like it. Perez on anything is always a positive even when he is just on inking duties.

The Bad –

The storyline isn’t terrible in this book, but new readers will really be put off by it. Heck I like to think I know my fair share about the DCU and I was confused as hell. Luckily most of it was explained later, but I was really worried for a while.

A lot of the pages are done in the so called, “wide screen” style, something I’m not a real fan of unless it is done by Hitch.


The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Borrow It


The Flash #222

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

Summary – Rogue War continues as the Top shows up and starts turning the reformed Rogues back to there old ways.

Review:

The Good –

Howard Porter and John Livesay are one of the great pennciler/inker teams in comics these days. With the help of colorist extraordinaire James Sinclair they are straight up tearing this arc up.

Geoff Johns is doing a great job writing this book so that you don’t have to follow the Flash all your life to know what is going on. Some references are made to people being related, but that’s mostly decipherable with a nice google search. Which usually turns up interesting facts relating to the history of the Flash.

Captain Cold shows why he’s the leader of the Rogues.


The Bad –

The identity of Owens mother is something we’ve been wondering about since Identity Crisis. In this issue the corpse of Digger spills it to Mrs. Zolomon, but we aren’t privy to the name of said mother. With Johns departing after Rogue War, I am assuming he will fill us in during the next few issues.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It


Green Lantern #1

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

Summary – Hal Jordan returns to the skies and Coast City. He’s not the only one who has come to Earth though..

Review:

The Good –

Whether it is Ethan Van Sciver or Carlos Pacheco, this book is going to have a really kicking art team. They are going to do alternating arcs on this and I look forward to seeing what this duo can come up with.

In this issue EVS does the first four pages which retell how Hal got the ring. Then Carlos Pacheco picks up in the present.

Both do a great job and it’s no surprise that the two of them are some of my favorite artists. Each has a very distinct look, but they go so well together. Moose Baumann did a great job keeping the look of the book consistent.

I like how there is talk of all the Green Lanterns in the first issue tying in with what is going on throughout the DCU. The talk about reforming the GLC will happen this summer. Dave Gibbons will be writing Green Lantern Corp: Recharged, or something to that effect. So look to that if you are a GL fantatic.

The Bad –

The $3.50 cover price was a little steep..I am guessing this was an extra sized issue. Oh well if it is one time only I can deal with it.

I would have loved to see the whole body shot of the villain, but the time will come for that.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It

Monday, May 23, 2005

DC Picks for June

It’s a great time to jump in on these ongoing titles. I highly recommend everyone looking for a good story or storyline to give these a chance. With all the Infinite Crisis mini’s and tie-ins going on, some great tales might be overlooked.

Superman/Batman #20


From DC

Written by Jeph Loeb; Art and cover by Ed McGuinness and Dexter Vines

The original superstar team of Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness return for what's sure to be the most talked-about story of the year! This issue kicks off the stunning 6-part "With a Vengeance," as Superman and Batman confront The Maximums!

Can the World's Finest pair take on a squad of revenge-seeking Super-Heroes who are on the hunt for the murderer of one of their teammates? Things are sure to heat up fast, because the two people at the top of their suspect list are Batman and Superman!


DC Universe 32pg. Color $2.99 US


This issue begins Jeph Loeb’s final arc on this title. Joining him is past collaborators Ed McGuiness and Dexter Vines who have been tearing it up lately with work on DC Comics Presents: The Flash and JLA: Classified.

In my opinion when it comes down to big, fun super hero action you can go wrong with Loeb, McGuiness and Vines. Their first run on this book was great and it’s going to be fun to see Superman and Batman take on the Maximums.

This storylines roots lay in good intercompany pot shots. Marvel has been imitating the DC Universe a lot lately to say the least.

JMS’s Supreme Power takes a look at JLA analogues from a different angle.

The Sentry (Marvel’s version of Superman) has been appearing in the New Avengers (AKA Marvel’s answer to the JLA).

What really got the ball rolling on this though was Brian Bendis having the Green Goblin kill a Lois Lane analogue in the Pulse. The name of the reporter was Teri Kidder (Terri Hatcher and Margaret Kidder both played Lois Lane) and she was told she wouldn’t make it for a real paper in a real city or something to that effect.

So Jeph Loeb decided to write this story with Superman and Batman fight analogues of the Ultimates. It fits in with the overall theme of this book though with Superman and Batman fighting everyone else.

In the first story arc they fought just about ever super villain Ed McGuiness and Dexter Vines could draw, along with some allies who were recruited to bring them in.

In the Supergirl storyline they fought Doomsday’s, Apokolips warriors and DarkSeid.

In Absolute Power they fought through a variety of alternate worlds. They had to take on Wonder Woman, Uncle Sam, the Human Bomb and many other heroes.

If you want to pick up one Superman/Batman arc I would highly recommend this. The buzz on it is very good and this is a creative team I have never been disappointed with. Even with Loeb after his stint on Batman: HUSH.


JLA #115


From DC

Written by Geoff Johns and Allan Heinberg; Art by Chris Batista and Mark Farmer; Cover by Rags Morales and Farmer

A star-studded creative team starts a 5-issue tale that has the JLA confronting the fallout from IDENTITY CRISIS! Fan-favorite writer Geoff Johns (JSA, TEEN TITANS, THE FLASH) is joined by The O.C. writer/producer Allan Heinberg (Young Avengers) for the first installment of this gripping adventure featuring visuals by Chris Batista (LEGION) and Mark Farmer (JLA: THE NAIL) and a cover by IDENTITY CRISIS artist Rags Morales and Farmer!

Before they can discuss the actions and repercussions of the League within the League, the JLA first must battle some old foes. The Secret Society of Super Villains has returned — and somehow they have more information on the heroes' lives than ever before!


DC Universe 32pg. Color $2.25 US


For everyone out there who is wondering when Batman is going to make his move against the JLA members who wiped his mind here is your answer.

It is being penned by Geoff Johns who should be a familiar name for those who read DC Comics on a consistent basis. His co-author is Allan Heinberg who is also writing Young Avengers over at Marvel Comics, and is doing a great job on it. I have to confess that I’m not familiar with the art team, but from the pages I have seen I don’t have any complaints.

This is a highly anticipated storyline and the fact that it is taking place in the once flagship title for the DC Universe indicates that major changes are about to happen in the DCU.

Gotham Central #32

From DC

Written by Written by Greg Rucka; Art by Steve Lieber; Cover by Chris Brunner

Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber , the team that brought you the critically acclaimed comic, WHITEOUT , reunite for a turn on the mean streets of Gotham City.

For nearly three years, Gotham Central has told the p.o.v. story of living in Gotham from a detective's perspective. Now the focus shifts for an issue as a corrupt Gotham cop takes center stage. But when his illicit activities gain the attention of Gotham's crime lord, the Black Mask, this dirty cop finds he's in way over his head.

Batman 32pg. Color $2.50 US


This is kind of odd because #32 was said to be the start of Ed Brubaker’s and Greg Rucka’s final collaboration on this book. It is also supposed to be the debut of KANO who will be taking over penciling duties. I am guessing things are running a bit late on that and they had this issue ready to go in case of deadline problems. I can’t even find an image of the cover, so that might be able to tell you how last minute this is.

It sounds pretty interesting, I’m not familiar with Steve Lieber’s artwork, but I have heard great things about Whiteout.

I’m looking forward to seeing a Gotham cop in this book that isn’t quite as clean as the rest of them that we’ve seen.

If you have always wanted to try out Gotham Central, now is the time.

The Legion of Super-Heroes #7


From DC

Written by Mark Waid; Art by Barry Kitson and Art Thibert; Cover by Kitson

The Legion is one big happy team, right? Guess again! As divisions begin to take root over who's really in charge, the team learns another chilling secret about the United Planets — a secret that may remove a key Legionnaire from the playing field!

DC Universe 40pg. Color $2.99 US

Every month this book is just a real treat to read. It is structured so that a new reader can jump in at pretty much at anytime and enjoy the book.

In this issue it seems that the conflict within the Legion is coming to a head, something that has been brewing since the first issue.

The artwork on this book by Kitson and Thibert is great and Waid is always good for a great story.


Robin #139


From DC

Written by Bill Willingham; Art and cover by Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens

Hot off the stellar "Nightwing: Year One," artists Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens begin a run as the new art team of ROBIN! Yet another assassin has come to Blüdhaven answering the call of the Penguin. His name is The Catcher, and he's got orders to take out the Boy Wonder with his army of canine killers! Meanwhile, an old face visits the abandoned Louis E. Grieve Memorial High School — a terrifying old face!

Batman 32pg. Color $2.25 US

This is a new art team that basically everyone has been looking forward to. The work of Damion Scott on this title was very ill received to say the least, even when Sandra Hope put her finishes over the pencils. Since his departure we have been treated to a book that lacks consistency.

McDaniel and Owens are known for their work on Batman, Nightwing, Richard Dragon and now Robin. They are very action oriented artists and with the debut of this new character called the Veteran, I’m sure they will be able to flex their muscles.

Throughout the mess of art on this title, the story has always stayed consistently intriguing. Even the shitty crossover that was Wargames was brightened up by the Robin issues. So I have no doubt that Willingham will continue this quality indefinitely.


Solo #5


From DC

Written by Darwyn Cooke; Art and cover by Cooke

Fan-favorite writer/artist Darwyn Cooke (DC: THE NEW FRONTIER, CATWOMAN) takes the reins in SOLO #5, telling a series of enthralling stories in his unique style! Saddle up to the bar and grab a stool next to Slam Bradley, as the down-on-his-luck P.I. guides you through some of the craziest tales he's ever heard. Thrill to the adventures of King Faraday in Cuba, dig the Question's Middle Eastern math lesson, and attempt to understand a geek's growing passion for his vacuum cleaner. And Slam's stories end with a bang, as he spins a revenge yarn featuring Batman!

DC Universe 48pg. Color $4.99 US


This is the issue that fans have been waiting for ever since the Solo series was announced. One of the most critically acclaimed creators in comics steps up to the plate and he’s sure to deliver some great stories.

I really enjoyed his work on DC Comics Presents: Superman, Green Lantern Secret Files 2005 and of course DC: The New Frontier.

As far as picks go, this has to be the pick of the month when it comes to DC Comics. Sure all the Infinite Crisis stuff and headliners like Superman/Batman and Green Lantern will sell well, but the quality over quantity rule will definitely apply to this issue.

Snatch this up at your comic shop quick. If they are anything like mine, orders on the Solo issues are quite small.

I really hope you give all of these books a look when you travel to the comic shop this June. These personal favorites of mine from month to month and now is a great time to jump in.

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

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Comic Reviews - May 18, 2005 Part I

Marvel

Cable/Deadpool #15

Penciller: Patrick Zircher
Inker: UDON’s M3TH
Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Colorist: Gotham
Letterer: Cory Petit
Assistant Editor: John Barber
Editor: Nicole Wiley

Cable created by Rob Liefeld and Louise Simonson
Deadpool created by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza

Summary – Deadpool does his part to hold up to his promise with Cable. Either get his mind fixed or Cable will fix it for him. He meets a guy named Black Box who tries to program his mind to his own advantage. All what he gets in return are Deadpool’s comatose dreams of killing clowns and an amnesiatic failure in regards to his attempted programming.

Deadpool goes to track down Cable and continuity wise we are now at the point after the events in X-Force #6. In #6 Cable sacrificed himself to defeat the Skornn. Long story short, Deadpool, Siryn and Cannonball track him down, but to an alternate reality.

Review:

The Good –

Patrick Zircher’s artwork continues to impress me on so many levels. When it comes to drawing technology and fight scenes there are not too many artists at Marvel who can do it as well as he can. M3TH also renders over his pencils very well. I liked Zircher’s work on Detective Comics and Nightwing at DC, but M3TH makes him look even better.

Nicieza writes Deadpool so perfectly. No surprise there since he co-created him along with Rob Liefeld. Deadpool cracks some pretty good jokes like always in this issue and the part with the clowns is damn funny.


The Bad –

Not another Age of Apocalypse type story..

I know this is technically an X-Book, but a reason like this is why I don’t buy that many X-titles anymore. All the alternate reality, possible futures, etc.. get kind of old in my opinion.

The Money Shot –



Cable as War

Recommendation: Borrow It

Daredevil #73

Artist: Alex Maleev
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Production: Jared Osborn
Editor: Jennifer Lee
Executive Editor: Axel Alonso

Summary – The Daredevil support group continues discussing how he has impacted their lives. This time a wife of a super villain speaks out, which enrages a past victim of the villain who is coincidentally in the same group. An even further connection is established with another woman who is there because her daughter recently committed suicide.

Review:

The Good –

Maleev possesses one of the most unique styles on the racks today. He draws people especially well and his Daredevil is just amazing.

Bendis proves why he is one of the hottest writers in comics. Anyone can make super heroes interesting, but to do it with normal people is quite an accomplishment.

I also like how Daredevil appears for a handful of pages in this issue, in costume no less.

The Bad –

I have no idea what the deal is with this baby, is it an established Marvel villain?

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It

Wolverine #28

Penciller: John Romita Jr.
Inker: Klaus Janson
Writer: Mark Millar
Colorist: Paul Mounts
Letterer: VC’s Randy Gentile
Cover: Greg Land & Richard Isanove
Production: James Taveras
Editor: Jennifer Lee
Executive Editor: Axel Alonso

Special Thanks to Walter N. Crosby Jr.

Summary – The Dawn of the White Light is first on Wolverine’s hit list. He’s out to kill everyone who messed with his mind and causes the death of Ichiro’s son.

Review:

The Good –

Believe it or not this title was my first exposure to JRJR’s artwork. Needless to say that I am very impressed and look forward to his future work a great deal. He has a knack for cramming so much detail and action into every panel and not making it look cluttered at all. I am sure he has Klaus Janson to thank for this as well. Janson really came alive on Frank Miller’s run on Daredevil inking over Miller’s pencils and finishing out the run on pencils.

Paul Mounts uses a different palette here than he did in past issues. This one is darker settings, bars, Alaska oil refineries, etc.. so it’s suitable.

Mark Millar is one of my favorite writes working in comics today and he is writing quite the revenge tale. This is Part 3 of the 6 Part Agent of SHIELD storyline. I can see how he is structuring this run and I couldn’t be happier. It’s like a Sergio Leone movie put to paper with Wolverine painting his masterpiece of destruction.

The Bad –

I can’t find anything wrong with this issue to nitpick about. I’m not a diehard Wolverine or X-Men fan, I’m more of a Millar fan and that’s why I picked this run up. As a Millar fan I have no complaints, some of this best work to date is on this title.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It

DC Teen Heroes

Robin #138

Penciller: Damion Scott
Inker: Sandra Hope
Writer: Bill Willingham
Colorist: Guy Major
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Editor: Michael Wright

Summary – Robin snatches up the Penguin for a friendly outing of interrogation and humiliation. Also his mysterious benefactor, The Veteran finally reveals himself. And his Uncle Eddie isn’t who he appears to be.

Review:

The Good –

The different plot twists in this issue alone proves that Willingham can write multiple genres including super heroes. I loved the twist involving Tim’s uncle as well as Bruce’s special visit to him. This new character called the Veteran is also a nice addition to our cast. The return of Darla last issue was something that soured me a bit, but it looks like she is going to be a great villainess.

The fight scene between Robin and the Veteran was very well executed. Damion Scott’s strength lies in his fight scenes.

The Bad –

While the artwork on this title has been better, it’s also been worse. Damion Scott laid down the pencils on this issue with Sandra Hope inking over them. That helped a little bit. I could actually follow what was going on, something I couldn’t do in this teams last issue, which was months ago.

The Money Shot –



Robin Vs the Veteran

Recommendation: Borrow It

Teen Titans #24

Penciller: Mathew Clark
Inker: Art Thibert
Writer: Geoff Johns
Colorist: Jeromy Cox
Letterer: Comicraft
Associate Editor: Tom Palmer Jr.
Editor: Eddie Berganza

Summary – Part 1 of the Teen Titans/Outsiders crossover, the Insiders. It is the moment long time Teen Titans readers have been waiting for. Superboy goes nuts and takes on his friends in what can only be described as the Beatdown of the Week. Also a traitor is revealed in the companion title, Outsiders. It’s not who you think..

Review:

The Good –

Mathew Clark is an artist I am not very familiar with, but I like what I see judging by this first issue. As usual Art Thiberts does his job and renders some wonderful scenes. I especially liked the action scenes which there are plenty of this issue.

Geoff Johns as always crafts a very good story centered on the team dynamics and interpersonal relationships.

It was cool to see him write the Outsiders at the end, if only for a few pages.

The Bad –

I feel kind of jaded…by Outsiders #23 now after reading this issue. I have to give it up to Winick and Johns for a nice double fake out though.

I have to give a huge “what the hell?” to Buzzscope for posting the solicit of Outsiders #24 without proper spoiler warnings. It ruined the twist in this issue of Titans for me. Bad judgment call there.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It