Sunday, June 21, 2009

Comic Book Reviews - 6/17/2009

Another hefty week for the comic enthusiast, and quite a few of my books featured female lead characters. It’s good to see decent creative teams being assigned to female projects like Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner on Power Girl and Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle on Supergirl.

So what happened? Here’s what happened in a nutshell : Chuckles gets his cover blown big time, Ultra-Humanite has a sex life...ewwwwww, Firefly steps up to a new level in Gotham, Bomb Queen was bad and not in that usual good way, Nightwing and Flamebird find each other, Supergirl runs back to mommy…again, and Executive Assistant Iris truly kicked all kinds of ass. Want more? Click below :

Pick of the Week :

G.I. Joe : Cobra #4
Story by Mike Costa & Christos N. Gage
Art by Antonio Fuso

I wasn’t aware that this was going to be that last issue and I want more! This mini-series was one of the better reads this year and IDW’s GI Joe re-launch has been dead on so far.

For those that didn’t read the Cobra mini, this follows a GI Joe deep cover operative named Chuckles who has to do some pretty reprehensible things all in the name of taking down Cobra…or at least trying to.

This issue shows his world falling apart, as he is outed and realizes that some of the more horrible things he has done were for nothing. Some old favorites show up like Tomax and Xamot, and we get to see how Xamot gets his trademark scar. Basically as Chuckles begins to realize that his work was all for not, he also realizes that he hasn’t even scratched the surface of this new and terrifying organization called Cobra.

Fantastic writing and art in the whole series really pull it together. I know that there is a special issue coming out around September, but I wish this was an ongoing, documenting the Cobra side of things and the inner workings of the organization. Oh well, this was a great mini-series and I highly recommend it to any child of the 80s. Now you know…and knowing is half the battle.

Disappointment of the Week :

Bomb Queen presents All Girl Comics #1
Story by Kat Cahill
Art by Seth Damoose

So, during this week of comics featuring female leads I was happy to see Bomb Queen on the pull list to balance out the whiny Supergirl, the sleek Executive Assistant Iris, and the super-tough Power Girl. Awesome, right? Wrong. I don’t recall the last time a comic made me angry, simply because it was so bad. Oh, wait…Oracle : The Cure.

This book was such a disappointment that I still have not picked it back up to finish the story. First of all, the only involvement that Bomb Queen creator Jimmie Robinson has is the cover art (which is the best part of this book by the way). There is absolutely none of his witty commentary on superhero (and villain) comics or delightfully disturbing dialog or imagery in this book, just feeble attempts at mimicking his unique style.

Second, the interior art is horrible. I mean, I actually looked in my personal collection to see if I had anything else by this artist, and thankfully I do not. Then, as I’m looking at the intro page, it talks about pinups at the end, with one by Jim Lee. I’m thinking “Wow, what would a Jim Lee Bomb Queen look like?” Flip to the back after being bored stiff by the story, and there are pinups of something titled Incredible Journey. I’m not sure what it is but the pinups are extraordinarily dull and uninteresting.

Let’s just say that I’m excited about Bomb Queen vol. 6 being announced and I hope that Jimmie Robinson is back in full force with the evil comic that we’ve grown to love. This issue can be completely avoided and if you were going to check this out to judge whether or not you could get into BQ, please just go straight to the BQ trades.

The Rest :

Supergirl #42
Story by Sterling Gates
Art by Jamal Igle

Not much happens in this issue. It basically involves lots of people moving around and it feels as if they’re all getting into position for something to happen. I’m not sure what that is but I’m sure it will kick off the next story arc. Not a bad issue by any means, and Supergirl has definitely been better under Gates and Igle than it has ever been.

Executive Assistant Iris #1
Story by David Wohl & Brad Foxhoven
Art by Eduardo Francisco

This is just a fun comic. Sexy personal assistant doubles as vicious bodyguard for powerful businessman. Great stuff. Iris serves her boss, a Chinese international tycoon, as assistant, spy, assassin and….lover? When one of his employees crosses the line, that employee gets a visit from Iris and it does not end well for the employee. But when Iris’ boss crosses some of his associates, Iris must protect him at all costs. Excellent story and dynamic art really carry this title to the top of my read list. I’m on board for the foreseeable future on this one.

Batman : Streets of Gotham #1
Story by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

The first of two post-Battle for the Cowl spin-offs written by Paul Dini, both of which I was very excited about. Streets of Gotham did not disappoint. It begins with an encounter between the police and Harley Quinn, then an amusing encounter between Quinn and the new Batman and Robin. Robin has a great line during their conversation, and I enjoy seeing Damian portrayed this way. He says : “She’s annoying. May I cut out her tongue?” The rest of the story involves Firefly stepping up to claim a spot as one of the big bads in Gotham’s new crime regime with an act of terrorism that is truly, well….terrifying.

The art by Dustin Nguyen is fantastic. Nguyen is one of the artists that has really grown on me in the past few years and his style is perfect for this grim and gritty look at Gotham’s underbelly. I’m definitely keeping this on my pull list for now.

Power Girl #2
Story by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Art by Amanda Conner

The second issue of this new monthly series does not disappoint. The story by Palmiotti and Gray continues to move quickly and the art by Amanda Conner is stellar. Her rendition of the Justice Society is well done and refreshing. The dynamic quality of the encounter between Power Girl and the Ultra-Humanite is brutal and you can feel every slam and jolt.

The backstory for Ultra-Humanite is handled well and told in an economic and efficient manner. I don’t know much about this character and if it sticks to his original rots, but I like it. Although the part where his hench-woman is propositioning him for sex (after he’s a giant ape) is kind of disturbing. The only problem I had in this issue was a scene about halfway through where, after all of the straight action, there is two pages of office people standing around and talking about things that have little to no bearing on the actual book. Anyway, besides that one immensely small nitpick, this continues to be a good start for this monthly.

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