Saturday, May 22, 2010

Comic Reviews 5/19/2010

A few really good books and some very mediocre books this week along with 3 new series beginning at DC.

What happened? Tony Stark gets some gifts shipped to him from Steve Rogers, The Carpenter gets a new contract, Martian Manhunter gets an addendum added to his origin story, some old school DC heroes kick some prohibition-era ass, Sodom Yat sheds a tear, Zatanna drops in on an underworld crimelord, the Joes have an interrupted training exercise, and Zod heads for Metropolis.

Want more? Keep reading….

Zatanna #1
Story by Paul Dini
Art by Stephane Roux

I was planning on picking up this first issue on Wednesday but then something mysterious and magical made it impossible not to. I’m not sure if it was the lure of Paul Dini finally writing a Zatanna series, or the interior art of Stephane Roux but something…..

Anyway, clever marketing aside, I have been looking forward to this book for quite a while and I was not disappointed in the least. The story drops you right in the middle of Zatanna’s world, and she hasn’t really had her own world in quite a while. Z has been more of a bit player in other people’s stories here and there for a long time but now we get to see where she works, where she lives (and where she has sexy bath time….thanks Stephane!). The treatment is very similar to the beginning of the successful and wildly entertaining Power Girl series, as it drops you right in and sort of fills in some blanks along the way.

It looks like Dini is already on his way to creating a rogue’s gallery specifically for Ms. Zatara beginning with Brother Night. I’m not very familiar with Zatanna’s past so I’m not sure if Brother Night has been around or not but it’s a good introduction (or re-introduction as it might be).

The art side of things is handled beautifully by Stephane Roux and captures the playfulness of Zatanna along with the fact that, although she is in show business, she is a hardcore super hero in her own right.

This most definitely warrants a second issue purchase and was the most enjoyable book this week. Worth the wait.

Batman : Streets of Gotham #12
Story by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

I’m a sucker for a spunky villainess and The Carpenter does not disappoint. She’s shown up in small roles in Gotham City Sirens as the architect of the Sirens’ new hideout and in other Bat-books as a part of the Wonderland Gang. Basically she’s the general contractor for villains in the DC Universe.

Her newest contract proves to be more than she anticipated as she creates a theater full of deathtraps for a crazed film director looking to create superhero snuff films. His ambitious plan is to take down the Bat first and then go after Superman. Good luck on that pal.

Streets of Gotham continues to be a more quirky look at the city we all know and love and focuses on more of the underworld characters that don’t get a lot of play in the main books.

Then, as a bonus, Carpenter meets The Broker who acts as the Real Estate agent for villains in the DCU. This can only lead to good things.

Brightest Day #2
Story by Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Ivan Reis, Patrick Gleason, Ardian Syaf, Scott Clark & Joe Prado

While not nearly as good as the first issue, this book keeps the story moving at a steady clip. Lots of focus on Martian Manhunter and Firestorm but J’onn J’onnz gets some story added to his origin, which goes along with explaining the gruesome murder scene of an entire family. I know that Johns said that Brightest Day will not exactly be all bright and shiny for everyone, but two gruesome murder scenes in the first two issues….wow.

DC Universe Legacies #1
Story by Len Wein
Art by Andy Kubert & JG Jones

This book stepped up a notch from “Blah” to “Meh” after my second read. I can’t pinpoint if there was anything wrong with the book per se, but it just couldn’t hold my attention. I guess it just didn’t make me care about the characters at all. Usually I’ll blow through a good story in one quick sitting but I had to keep picking this book back up to continue. The JG Jones art in the second story about the Spectre and Dr Fate is hauntingly beautiful though. If this doesn’t impress me in two more issues it’s off the list. This may be a good candidate to pick up in trade later as it might read better in one collection.

Justice League of America #45
Story by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

Wow. How bad has this title become? Pretty bad. Sooooooo…..Jade comes back and brings the Star Heart with her and that changes Alan Scott into Kingdom Come Alan Scott? I was reading other people’s copies of Justice League just to keep up with the characters but it’s honestly not worth it anymore. Poor dialog from Robinson and Bagley’s art doesn’t fit this title at all (again, loved him on Ultimate Spidey, not working for me here). Although that double page splash of Power Girl ripping through the JSA’s plane was pretty sweet.  Oh, and humor does not help when you are trying to bill something as devastating or catastrophic :

Jade : If the Star Heart isn't re-contained, it's the end of everything.'s...

Bad dialog can just slaughter the build-up of a big threat.  My interest in Justice League officially

....and since I'm out of time for now I'll continue these tomorrow :-)

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