Thursday, July 2, 2009

Comic Book Reviews - 7/1/2009

A slow week for releases brought me 6 books in total, and only one was “blah”. This made the pick of the week a rather tough choice because the rest were pretty damned good.

What happened? I’m not telling….ok, fine : The new and improved Human Flame tries to take the bosses girl, the slavers in Secret Six get even creepier, some heroes “cry for justice” (and that’s about it) although Ray Palmer plays bad cop, the Radioactive Man creators stick it to the fans, the Guardians of the Universe hold impromptu executions and Damian goes off on his own (big surprise). Want to hear more? Click below :

A quick side note. I'm not including the review of Simpsons Super Spectacular #9 because I will review the entire Radioactive Man Event in a seperate post coming shortly. What happened in the event? Well, let's just say it was very funny and I didn't see it coming.

Pick of the Week :

Secret Six #11
Story by Gail Simone
Art by Nicola Scott

Behind the Green Lantern titles, Secret Six has been the most consistently enjoyable book being published by DC. When I says enjoyable, I don’t mean the “happy happy joy joy” type of enjoyable, I mean the “damn I need a shower but that was good” kind of enjoyable.

Still a little unsure about their new contract to work for slave traders, the gang runs into some conscience issues (not Deadshot, his lack of conscience makes him likeable), and the newest team member Jeanette has a talk with Artemis before freeing her from her bonds.

We get to see the plans of the slavers, and the truly disturbing and troubling view of the future that they possess. Simone’s story telling is dead on and her development of these characters has been extraordinarily well done. Nicola Scott’s art is perfectly dark and brooding for this title and her depictions of these characters is always dynamic.

This issue wraps up with the arrival of Wonder Woman, who angrily spouts the line “Which one of you miserable swine killed my sister?” Uh oh….she seems rightly pissed. Best to stay out of her way.

Pick of the Week Runner-Up :

Green Lantern Corps #38
Story by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleason

Kyle Rayner poses the question to the Guardians that has been on the minds of readers for months now : “Why the hell are you taking the Corps down this path? It doesn’t make sense!” Unfortunately for the Lanterns, we can look on this event with a godlike perspective and we know what is coming. The Black Rings that are shown screaming through the galaxy on the last page are on their way.

This was my runner up strictly because Secret Six was a little better. This issue continues the amazing run that GL Corps has had since the Sinestro Corps War at least. Tomasi and Gleason put out a stellar book and tie it in beautifully with what is going on in the main GL title. N It is tied in so well, in fact, that I have trouble determining what happened in GL and what happened in GL Corps when I’m discussing the story.

The solicits mentioned a new law, which was never officially announced as the last few were but I’m assuming it’s the new “Eye For An Eye” style of justice that lead to the execution of many of the rioters. Kyle and Guy obviously fight against this but get dispatched quickly back to Earth so they don’t get in the way.

Blackest Night starts next week so we’ll see if all of the hype and lead-in was worth it.

The Rest :

Justice League : Cry for Justice #1
Story by James Robinson
Art by Mauro Cascioli

Let me begin this review like this : This issue is beautifully illustrated in a lush painted style that just screams epic, recalling Alex Ross’ fan favorite Kingdom Come in it’s depth and scenery. With that said, I’ll continue.

Storywise, the first six pages are the best part of the book, and these were previewed online in the past few weeks. With the exception of Ray Palmer’s “bad cop” to Ryan Choi’s good cop in the Atoms scene, the rest of the issue falls off story-wise. I understand that some comics are meant to build slowly and develop a coherent story that pays off in the end, but this first issue just failed to draw me in. I’ll probably wait for the trade to finish it, unless I hear that something amazing has happened within it’s pages.

Final Crisis Aftermath : Run! #3
Story by Matthew Sturges
Art by Freddie Williams II

The psychotic adventures of Mike Miller aka The Human Flame continue as he goes out to use his “new and improved” abilities, runs into Clayface, narrowly avoids a confrontation with John Stewart and Firestorm and then attempts to steal the boss’ girl.

Out of the four Final Crisis Aftermath titles, this is by far my favorite. We get page after page of over the top violence, language and villainy each issue. This is one thing that I miss in comics, complete over the top action that is typically ridiculous but always fun to read. Keep it up guys, and I hope that Sturges brings some of this fun with him when he picks up the reigns along with Bill Willingham on JSA this summer.

Batman & Robin #2
Story by Grant Morrison
Art by Frank Quitely

The second issue of this much anticipated series has come and gone and I’m enjoying it. This issue dives straight into Dick Grayson’s insecurity at taking over for Bruce. He complains that he’s not used to the costume : “…and I hate the cape, Alfred…the cape was the first thing I ditched when I got out on my own. I’m way off balance.” And has troubles with his Napoleonic little partner Damian.

By the end of the issue, Damian is storming out on his own and as you can easily guess…gets in over his little head. Dick has to step up again to head out after his annoying little Robin.

Morrison’s writing is up to par, but Quitely’s art is creeping back to the annoying status it had with me before. Not horrible, but the characters are looking squiggly and stumpy again. I’m keeping with it for now because Quitely is only on, I think, the first three issues. Although after the last issue of Green Lantern I’m not as excited about Philip Tan as I was before.

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