I apologize. Normally I provide a humorous New Comic Book Day image for you to enjoy, but this week I was swamped. So enjoy this thing I got off Google, courtesy of necessarycool.com.
BOOK OF THE WEEK: Blackest Night #4
Matt’s Thoughts: I feel like everyone else will give you long explanations about this issue. I mean, it is book of the week. That means we all picked it because we assumed we’d love it. And guess what? I did. So for my review, I will choose to say one word: NEKRON!
David’s Thoughts: I have two main problems with Blackest Night, regardless of the fact that it’s an excellently told story that features pitch perfect characterization of some of DC’s best and brightest (never have Barry Allen or The Atom ever shined brighter), excitement at every turn, stunning deaths (the death in this issue strangely really hit me), and Ivan Reis bringing some of the best art ever in the history of superhero comics. Those facts are all true even if I do have two big complaints, and it’s still a superb issue.
My main two complaints are simple: no current Green Lantern (not counting Alan Scott) appears within these pages and the big bad villain reveal amounts to a fat load of nothing. While I know Blackest Night is an all DC encompassing event, I miss the structure of Sinestro Corps War, in which the story was kept to just Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps. While the story is excellent, it just seems like this Lantern-centric story doesn’t have a lot of Lanterns in it (besides dead ones). As for the reveal, it features brilliant build up and incredible intensity to reveal…Nekron. It’s like Johns saw this complaint coming, which is why the story ends with “Next: What is Nekron?” as if he knew everyone would be like…that was great…who the hell is that guy?
Even with those two complaints, it’s still just a damn well written and drawn story. This is A+ storytelling by two great creators; it’s just the expectations of the event itself that have led me to be a bit disappointed.
Gil’s Thoughts: We’re officially halfway through the Blackest Night event, and I would be lying if I said I hated it, but I’d also be lying if I said I LOVED it. I like it a lot, but this issue felt liked it dragged, and was VERY heavy on dialogue. Not to say Geoff is a terrible writer, I love him to death, but it almost felt like he doesn’t trust Ivan Reis to tell the story as well, so the book just plods along with the written word telling the story instead of letting Reis help move the story along as well. I counted, and there were a grand total of 6 panels in the whole book that lacked dialogue. I love seeing characters interact, that’s the essence of a book like this, but I feel like I’m being TOLD the story instead of seeing the story unfold. It’s a real shame too, because Reis is absolutely killing it (pun intended).
Aside from that, everything else is stellar, now that Hal is running around trying to band the different Corps’ together to fight the Black Lanterns, Barry Allen stepped up to the plate and is leading the rag tag group of lesser known heroes (including Geoff johns’ admitted new favorite, Mera) in staving off the hordes of dead (Hal & Barry: The Brave & the Bold indeed). And just when the night doesn’t look like it can get any blacker, in one of the best scenes all month, NEKRON RISES. It just got real for Earth; Scary real.
Despite my reservation, singular, the book definitely deserves to be read, and is still the best event since Sinestro Corps War.
Brandon’s Thoughts: I want to start this by saying I am a huge Green Lantern fan. I have the GL logo tattooed on my forearm where all can see. I also am a Geoff Johns whore. If it writes it I’ll read it and then whine like a puppy when he leaves the title (JSA). I also want to say I really enjoyed the first two issues. Yep, that’s right here it comes. But…Continued below
When the hell did Blackest Night become about Earth and the heroes of the DC universe? This is supposed to be a Lantern story. This is supposed to be the culmination of so much of Geoff Johns GL run but instead smacks of 90’s overly spread out to profit nonsense crossover. I mean Sinestro War worked so well because it was so contained. It was easy to pick it all up and not break the bank as well as feel overwhelmed by the sheer margin of comics involved. Now instead of DC following that outline they have blown this thing up.
I saw somewhere someone had written that they felt that Blackest Night felt like a supplemental title to the real thing in GL and GL Corps. I would have to agree whole-heartedly. The only GL we even see in this issue is Alan Scott and he isn’t a GL in the sense that the others are. He’s magical!
We do get to see Azrael though… So I guess there’s that… Oh and Nekron which we already knew because Diamond Comics already spoiled that.
Fantastic Four #572
Once again, Hickman comes in with the latest issue of Fantastic Four and he just kicks ass. In just three issues (not including the Dark Reign mini/segue), Jonathan Hickman has taken what has been a very Reed-centric book (as he calls it) and closed that door. While this arc has been very clearly all about Reed Richards, it does an excellent job of closing the left over doors from the previous arc as well as establishing the way he will be approaching the book in high form. The back of the issue comes with a write-up of how he ended up as the writer and what to expect, and it gives us a very clear explanation of why Hickman is choosing to write as he does, and it helps to illuminate the direction he is taking on the book.
In this week’s issue, we have a battle with Celestials, and it’s epic. What makes it so epic is the artist on this book, Dale Eaglesham (best last name ever?). I’m not used to his work at all previously to this book, but his work in Fantastic Four is absolutely captivating. His pencils and shading are very clear and sharp, and he makes Reed Richards look a lot less like a dorky scientist who stretches and more like a complete badass. I’ve never seen Reed Richards look so… cool. And all of his extra Richards’ all around the universe look great too. It’s quite a sight.
I’m absolutely amazed about how much I’ve grown to love FF with this run (now including the mini) and Millar’s run. It takes great writers to pull me in to a franchise that I’ve never been too hot on and have me truly gain a deep appreciation for it. Millar got me on the book because I follow his work regularly, but Hickman has truly gotten me to highly anticipate each issue with bated breath. His work has been so inventive and creative, while primarily sticking to a more classic set up, that I just can’t wait to see who else he brings back from the Fantastic Four’s elaborate and extensive past. More Celestials! More attacks from the Wizard! And, as much as I never thought I’d say it, hopefully no Doom!
Hickman has great ideas. This is just more proof in case Secret Invasion didn’t convince you of his greatness at Marvel.
P.S. Tune in this coming Monday when we present a very verbose and interesting interview with Hickman! YEAH!
Final Verdict: Buy
Dark Reign: Young Avengers #5
Thanks to this mini (and, I hate to say it, Fallen Son by … ugh… Jeph Loeb), I’ve become quite an avid fan of the Young Avengers. I ran out and purchased the entire series in hardcover as well as a trade of the extra little Presents series they had, and I love it all. I love the writing and the art direction, and outside of the Civil War tie-in, I’ve got it all. However, as much as I love them and want to see more of them, the ending of this issue didn’t really do it for me. The Young Avengers kick ass, and this issue proved it, but when it was all said and done with? Eh.
Here’s the skinny. Norman and Hawkeye and Wolvie show up to bust the party. The Young Avengers show that they aren’t going to take no sass from nobody and proceed to kick the ass of the New Young Avengers as well as the Iron Patriot. Now, outside of this being just a tad bit improbable, when all is said and done, it just kind of… ends. The action sequences are GREAT, and the dialogue continues to be top notch and full of worthwhile slogans, especially when Patriot lectures Norman about stealing names and then bashes him in the face with his shield. But the last page? As funny as it was, can I get a resounding “LOLWUT.” And Norman just leaving? Norman has been essentially killing left and right and dominating the universe with fear, yet after getting his ass kicked by the Young Avengers he decides, “Eff it. Kids, this didn’t happen. I’m out.” Uhm. Ok?
On the other hand, like I said, it helps reinforce the bad-assery and total awesomeness of the Young Avengers. I really hadn’t been greatly exposed to them (except Patriot and Hawkeye), but the first few issues of this made me fall in love with them (I don’t think reading Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers counts), and everything I’ve read afterwards helped me grow even more appreciative of the characters. I firmly believe that the Young Avengers need their own full time (as much as there are enough Avengers titles at the moments), and I hope that in the future they become a bigger part of the Marvel U. And as much as the overall ending of this was pretty meh, it still is another great addition to the Young Avengers storyline.
Final Verdict: Grab the trade, because I’m assuming you haven’t bought it all as it’s been coming out, which is unfortunate
New Mutants #6
I’ll be frank with you: I didn’t read New Mutants before the current volume. New Mutants was “before my X-time” in a manner of speaking, as in it was before I really started reading the X-Books again as I considered it way too crazy and convoluted (and I believe my fellow nerds here at MC will agree (in the comments of the Psylocke article)). Regardless, I’ve been reading the new New Mutants volume and enjoying it a lot. However, this issue? This issue left me floored.
I’ll be honest again – I read this BEFORE I read Necrosha. I knew I had to review this, so I said I’d read it. I’m not that familiar with Doug Ramsey, but I did the quick research on Wikipedia. However, no matter how I prepared, I could never prepare for how AWESOME this issue was. A lot of people feared at first that Necrosha would be Marvel’s Blackest Night, but I believe this alone proves how far it is. While yes, the dead rise, the capacity in which they do is much different. Doug Ramsey’s return is nothing like I would have expected it to be, and the whole book narrated from his perspective was PURE genius. Absolutely, it was one of the best things I read this week. I had been casually enjoying the book up to this point, but I absolutely fell in love with this issue and am so excited to see where the book continues from the end, especially after the last panel. It was very exciting for me.
Suffice it to say, I am gushing over this book a bit. It really caught me off guard. My original interest in the book came from it being a part of Necrosha and me being a big fan of crossovers and tie-ins, but it has definitely surpassed my expectations. I also gotta say that Zeb Wells, an artist I am casually familiar with (the name is familiar but I couldn’t place the book off the top of my head) knocks it out of the park. His action sequences with Ramsey are great, and the inking and lettering by everyone involved is just great. Everything about this book just flows so damn well and makes me very excited for the short, albeit dark and exciting, Necrosha crossover.Continued below
Final Verdict: Buy the crap out of it!
Tackling monumental issues is often a daunting task. What makes it even more difficult is when that monumental issues belongs in a series that absolutely defines greatness in comics today. It is without a doubt in my mind that you can ask an avid reader what the best X title is and he’ll tell you X-Factor. And if he doesn’t? He clearly doesn’t read enough. X-Factor is so much a hidden gem that it actually isn’t a hidden gem at all. It’s passed over due to not being one of the “main” X books, and it in fact isn’t even included in the upcoming X-event “Second Coming,” but even so. X-Factor is by far the best book in the X-Genre.
Here’s the thing though – for a while now, we’ve been steadily building towards a monumental change in equilibrium for the books. In fact, before going into the book myself, I knew something about it that is very important: Layla Miller is “explained.” For 49, a special, and House of M, we’ve been wondering who this girl was. Originally designed as a fail safe to the Scarlet Witches reality altering fiasco, Layla Miller showed up at the X-Factor doorstep one day claiming she “knew” things, and from there we all grew to love the character quite much. Of course, now we know the dark truth to the whole situation. We also see the direct cause and effect of knowing why she knows things and understanding what she really does (in an ironic sort of way). It’s kind of a game changer in that aspect of the book, and I know it has left fans of the book a bit torn. It’s hard to discuss in a review without spoiling too much, but I will say this: it definitely leaves you with an opinion.
This is not to say that the book still isn’t phenomenal. Throughout all the intense actions and events, David manages to make the same great noir references as well as a good Douglas Adams quote, and the art by Valentine De Landro is still, in my humble opinion, some of the most underrated artworks in main stream comic books. The comic looks great, reads great, and all in all, is great, and that is ultimately not a surprise for this title at all. X-Factor is always a champ of a read.
The future is murky for our heroes, however. There is a brief epilogue/preview of the next issue that shows exactly how the book has changed from the end of this issue into the next, and I have to say that it is incredibly intriguing. What amazes me so much about the book is that David will put his characters through great trials and essentially pull an intense black curtain over their lives… and yet his writing never loses his fresh flavor. It reads just as funny and gripping as any other issue. And that’s the best thing about X-Factor. No matter how bleak it is over all, it’s still just one hell of an amazing title.
Final Verdict: Buy it
Green Lantern #47
Now this is a kick ass Lantern story that really sells Blackest Night. You have Sinestro, Carol Ferris, Hal Jordan and Indigo-1 versus Abin Sur and his sister, Atrocitus and a bevy of (Red and Green) Lanterns versus the four other Inversions reborn, Saint Walker and the blue boys versus Larfleeze, Larfleeze running for his life, and John Stewart walking into the world’s most obvious trap. Whew! Now that is a ton of things happening in one comic book, but it never feels rushed because of Johns flawless pacing. Put this story in almost any other writer’s hand and you’d have a far inferior comic that simply couldn’t contain the sheer plot here, but Johns handles it like the ace he is.
The only real complaint is about Doug Mahnke. I’m one of the guys biggest proponents and think he’s one of the most talented and underrated artists in the industry (not to mention perfect for this book), but there are some moments where he obviously begins to falter under the workload that is put upon him. Example, top right panel on page 13, Hal’s face really looks like a rush job seemingly channeling constipation as much as any emotion (what color would that be on the emotional spectrum?). Throw in the fact that spatially speaking, the whole scene plays out in an odd fashion (how did the two Black Lanterns line up in such a nice and easy way for the Lantern firing squad coming their way?), and you have an occasionally awkward issue for a super talented artist.Continued below
It’s okay though, because Johns throws in such a storytelling gem that it’s impossible to deny this book. The showdown at the end between Sinestro and Hal (verbal, not physical) is worth the price of admission, as we once and for all see why Hal has more willpower than anyone else, which is why he’s the greatest Green Lantern (although Kyle Rayner is still the coolest).
Final Verdict: Buy (like you didn’t anyways)
Secret Warriors #9
I just need to stop reviewing this book. It’s so uniformly good and I so rarely find flaws in the story or art or any aspect of the issue that there is essentially no purpose in me reviewing it. Jonathan Hickman (look for our interview with Hickman coming up on Monday) and Alessandro Vitti bring another exceptional issue to us, as we find Eden, Hellfire and Phobos desperately trying to escape the Norman Osborn’s grasp and Fury working further and further into the depths of the greater conspiracy involving Hydra and Zodiac.
Whether setting up an exciting action set piece or giving us a showdown of wits between a corrupt government agent and an ex-SHIELD agent, Hickman perfectly paces the story from the very beginning, allowing the little moments to build to dazzling crescendos. Throw in one liners like “Dad’s not so good at math” and “I think I’m gonna take you home with me” and we’re provided another romp on par with any other issue of the series.
Vitti gives us another issue filled with a slightly grittier and denser version of Stefano Caselli’s pencils from earlier in this series, sacrificing a little in terms of overall draftsmanship but earning it back with raw power. While I do miss some of Caselli’s stunning character work and his superior abilities in terms of laying out an action scene, it’s hard to say anything besides this: Vitti has been a superb find, and an exciting talent that I will follow when he inevitably moves onto other books when Caselli returns in the next arc.
Final Verdict: Buy
Wolverine: Weapon X #6
Okay, so I had no idea what this issue was going to be about. In fact, this issue was unlike anything I could have even expected even if I bought the Adam Kubert cover. Proving once again that Jason Aaron is absolutely willing to do anything he can to tell a compelling story, this issue finds Wolverine locked in an insane asylum and mentally decimated to the point where he no longer has his identity. In incredibly ingenious fashion, Aaron starts the story out with Logan taking an unknown physician named Dr. Rottwell through his entire life story while he sits docile in a padded room wearing a strait jacket. I wouldn’t expect this from anyone else besides Jason Aaron, who effectively questions the absurdity of his convoluted past and deconstructs the character on two incredible pages.
The rest of the story is Logan getting acclimated to his new surroundings as effectively a neutered and childish version of himself, unable to sustain any real grip on sanity and effectively an entirely different person. Aaron sets this new villain up wonderfully, often verging on demented, especially at the end as one of their cured patients returns with a special present for the “doctor.”
Yanick Paquette at first seemed like an interesting choice. The former Young X-Men artist brings cartoonish character work to a very gritty book, but then I realized I had forgotten his work on Uncanny’s Science Team arc, in which he altered his style enough to fit perfectly for the book. He does the same on this, rendering Logan, his companions and the location in an appropriately dirty and demented fashion, upping the horror where necessary.
This is a real trip, and not what anyone would expect from a Wolverine story. Such is the gift that Jason Aaron provides us on this book — the Wolverine stories we never knew we always wanted.
Final Verdict: BuyContinued below
Wolverine: First Class #20
This has been one of the most underrated titles of the past few years, as the very first time I picked this title up and was taken on what effectively is a “Logan and Kitty Pryde: The Golden Years” ride by Fred Van Lente, telling stories we’d never heard before but would have greatly enjoyed to hear if we did. It’s all about Logan teaching Kitty to be the best X-Man she can be and about how Kitty helped lighten Logan up, and the relationship they built throughout their interweaving history. After a while, Peter David took over and it dipped a bit in quality but was still a fun romp.
However, I’d be lying if I didn’t say this arc was a bit of a disappointment. This issue wraps up an arc in which David tries tying Wolverine and Kitty into the Secret Invasion plans (but you know, back in the day), as the two of them have to struggle to escape from Kl’rt (the Super Skrull) with the help of Captain Marvel (Mar-vell classic!). While it’s an entertaining enough story, there really isn’t any of the funny camaraderie bits that perpetually make this series such a joy until the very end (with a particularly funny bit involving the other X-Men trying to figure out what exactly happened to Wolverine and Kitty. David ups the serious quotient here, and comes up short as this is just not a serious book.
Dennis Calero is a very talented artist, but his work just does not fit on this title. While Andrea Di Vito started the work on this title with a run filled with realistic and fun art, Calero’s art is just too serious and winds up being ill fitting to the look and feel that’s been established for this title.
This title is still very underrated and will still be earning my money next month, but I’m looking forward to a step in a more fun and original direction. If David just sticks to what Kitty and Logan do best, he’ll be just fine. Skrulls are not what they do best.
Final Verdict: Pass (for this month)
Superman: Secret Origin #2
Here we go. MY book of the week. It’s a shame this book comes out concurrently with Blackest Night, because any other week I feel like this would get the coveted BotW title. It’s the author of Blackest Night teaming with the best Superman artist in the business to tell the definitive origin of The Man of Steel. I would even say that they’re the best Superman team since the reboot after Crisis. Bold words, I know. I also think they agree, because any of the perceived mistrust I feel in the pages of BN is not there in Secret Origin. Johns lets Frank tell the story without any dialogue in some parts, and it feels like it flows a lot smoother, and a lot more fun.
In many ways, this book is like the antithesis of Blackest Night. While BN is doom and gloom, the origin of Superman is so filled with light and hope, that you almost can’t take it. Johns really knows the characterization of Clark and even Lex, and it shows the schism between the two as early as their teens. Lex is a real bastard, even as a child. That’s evidenced by his actions later in the book, which answers questions raised in the first few pages.
Speaking of, this truly is a companion piece to the Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes arc from some time ago. Anti-Alien sentiment is running wild all over Earth, and The Legion (along with Clark) is trying to right the wrongs of prejudice against extra-terrestrials. It also spills the beans on some killer upcoming storylines. Think of it like this; remember when Johns kept teasing us with regards to the Sinestro Corps War? Think of it like that, but with about five or six upcoming wars. Oh that Geoff, such a tease!Continued below
Finally, and one of my favorite parts was the cameo from everyone’s favorite Super Dog, Krypto. You never actually see him in any of the panels, but it’s a highly enjoyable set up for the beginning of their relationship. I can’t wait.
If you can’t tell, I loved it to pieces. I even bought two versions of the issue just because they were two different covers by Gary Frank. Pick it up. You won’t be sorry.
Final Verdict: Buy
I mean, the action is well done, it’s nicely paced, and the emotional moments really do have quite the punch that you should have when the leader of a team’s life is in jeopardy. It even made Jessica Jones use her powers again, which is understandable, if not expected. I’m just not sold on his life actually being capable of being in jeopardy.
Sure, Luke Cage can get hurt. He’s been hurt in battle before, and I’m not saying he’s invulnerable. But when the Power Drainer powered up, his heart basically went off the rails. Even when it powered down, his heart problem exacerbated, and now he’s in deep doodoo. I just don’t buy it. Shouldn’t his heart have gone away once the power drainer was deactivated? It seems like it should have. And why he’s being operated on in the nude for heart surgery is freaking beyond me.
The cover is also confusing because Parker Robbins is the subplot going on behind the scenes, and he’s on the cover. I realize he’s going to kick some ass sooner rather than later, but should he REALLY be on the cover? I don’t really think so.
That being said, the book is worth it just for Immonen’s art. It’s absolutely stunning. He’s so talented at telling the story that even the dialogue heavy Bendis just lets him go to do his thing; so good. And the things he can do with action. One of the best scenes in the book is (and Burpee will agree with me) when a certain projectile weapon by a certain patriotic themed hero hits Daken-Wolverine square in the nose. It was really well done, and is immensely satisfying because of its execution.
Overall, I feel that unless you’re heavily invested in the characters like I am, it’s not an “omg run out and buy this now!” book. It’s at least worse a perusal at your LCS though.
Final Verdict: Browse
Man, Yost and Kyle know how to tell a story. This book was probably the quickest read of my week so far (I haven’t read anything not on my list yet) and there was solid progression in the story. X-23 is here for two things, to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and she’s all out of bubblegum. Even with one arm, she’s tearing through fools like there’s no tomorrow. She even tears her own claws out of her severed arm to protect them from the evil program that made her. How this makes a difference I’m not sure, and how she’ll get them back in, especially after torching her severed arm. One of the more interesting things this week was the subplot with Warpath and Archangel. They run into Wolfsbane’s paramour who happens to be carrying an unconscious Renee in his arms. She’s clearly in trouble. Do I know where this is going, not really, but I do think that it may tie into Necrosha.
The art is frenetic and well told too. A lot of the book is told mid battle, and it couldn’t go by more swiftly and satisfyingly, in my opinion. And the gore could not be more visceral if it tried. The emotional moments are also really well done, and really convey how the team are reacting to the overwhelming s***storm going on around them. However, there was an Archangel facial expression that had me laughing for all the wrong reasons.Continued below
After all that, the arc finally concludes, only to start up again with the prologue for the Marvel stab and Blackest Night, Necrosha. It’s just a familiar face (if you know New Mutants) seeing he’s back from the dead. It’s not much, but it’s enough to whet your appetite for the upcoming crossover. I’m actually looking forward to it.
This is honestly one of the best X-Books on the market, and it should be read. It’s the only X-Book where Wolverine can be Wolverine, and rip people to shreds (Even if he didn’t do that much in this book). Check it out.
Final Verdict: Buy
Amazing Spider-Man Presents Anti-Venom #2
I think this book might be in trouble. It’s only a 3 issue mini-series, but it feels like there needs to be so much told in the final issue, that it will either have to have a breakneck pace, or there will be a lot of plot holes, or it will be so rushed it won’t be satisfying one bit.
The issue is basically three scenes. Frank shoots Eddie. Eddie can’t die. Eddie and Frank go to Mexico; Frank tries again to kill Eddie. They reach Mexico, short fight with drug dealers, Eddie wins with no help. That’s the entire jist of the book. It really felt like nothing happened. I don’t know what they were thinking when they green-lit this issue, except to bleed money from John Q. Public. Like me.
I think the most entertaining thing in the book is the relationship between Eddie Brock and The Punisher. They’re like a murderous Odd Couple, always at each other’s throats, but will work for a common goal. There are a couple really funny moments involving the two, and it’s damn sure the highlight of the book.
Another highlight is the art. I really like it. I just want to make that clear, but I almost feel like it’s too good for this book. It’s so polished, and pretty to look at, it’s almost jarring to see something so good in a book so mediocre. But at best I can only say leaf through it to see how good it is. That’s the best I can do .
Final Verdict: Browse
X-Force/New Mutants: Necrosha
I’m going to be honest with you. I am really not sure what to think of this title. I think that it is incredibly similar to Blackest Night. I was all about waiting to see the product before I judged it but I gotta say there are far more similarities than differences here. Having said that it does a better job of bringing back the characters that are brought back. It has a little more emotional strain to seeing them alive. Characters like Doug Ramsey, Destiny, Pyro and even the 616 Blink are fun to see again and far more interesting in my opinion than Donna Troy’s dead husband and baby.
It being the first issue means a lot can change and what we have now is surely not going to be what we have come the end. Blackest Night #1 was much better than this though. I know I shouldn’t be comparing this against Blackest Night for review purposes but I mean come on, seriously, this is like Blackest Night X.
So I guess that is what I should have just said all along. My review is that this is Blackest Night without Lanterns and emotional spectrums. This is Blackest Necrosha with phalanx zombie dead mutants and action. Take that for what you will.
Final Verdict: Do you like Blackest Night?
Detective Comics #858
Honestly what can I say about the run of Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III on this title that hasn’t already been said? If you aren’t picking this title up you boggle my mind. This title has by far the most inventive, unique and beautiful art of any comic on the stands monthly. William’s style on this title has been amazing in that at any point an issue might have as many as three distinct styles from him. This is an amazing thing, as many artists in the main stream will spend most of their career only doing one or two styles in their career. Williams is doing that and more in an issue! His inventive panels are something to behold. Where some artists fudge with panels and make a mess Williams is able to turn panels into flying bats and make it work so well as to be scenery in the background panel. The man is an artist who understands the genre of comics and is utilizing it in unique and interesting ways that many should take note of.
Not to say that Rucka’s writing has been anything to sneeze at either. The origin of Batwoman begins in this title and it is a story filled with heartbreak and tragedy that is potentially more horrifying than Bruce Wayne’s to be honest with you. It is an origin that is poignant and relevant to current events in the world today. It is something a reader can see and grasp as it is on the news and in our faces every time we turn on the news. Rucka since 52 has given Batwoman an amazing chance at becoming a staple of the Bat books for a long time.
I’m telling you fanpeeps, pick this title up or you’ll regret it. After this arc Williams moves on and who knows what will happen to this title as Batman takes back over. One can only hope that these two creators are allowed to move her adventures to her own title. Please DC! Please!
Final Verdict: Buy It Now!
Ultimate Comics Avengers #3
Mark Millar is the king of the Ultimate Universe. I know Bendis has done amazing thins with Ultimate Spider-Man (ha) but Millar has brought us Ultimates, the initial run on Ultimate X-Men and now he has brought us the gem that is Ultimate Avengers. It is a return to everything that he had done with Ultimates but in less of a political soldier story and more of a fast paced superhero fashion.
While the focus of the first two issues was on Captain America and his son the Red Skull (yes, for those of you who aren’t reading this title you read that correctly) this issue brings the focus over to a new black ops team being assembled by Nick Fury and Tony Stark’s pompous jerk off of a brother who is highly enjoyable. The team is then set upon Captain America. Or so they think as it turns around and Cap gets the jump on them instead.
The art from Carlos Pacheco has been a great fit and his action sequences have been stellar. While not Bryan Hitch Pacheco’s art fits much more with the more traditional superhero vibe Millar provides with Ultimate Avengers. No one will confuse this title for Ultimates but honestly I don’t think that is a bad thing at all as Millar has created an exciting title out of the disaster of Ultimatum.
Final Verdict: Buy It!
Arkham Reborn #1
One of the shining moments, for me, during Battle for the Cowl was David Hine’s single issue focused on Arkham Asylum and it’s future redesign and new leadership. Once the issue had passed I wondered if Arkham would be dealt with in one of the ongoing titles or somewhere else. Well I was pleased to see it get it’s own 3 part mini!
So now here it is in my hands and it lives up to the one shots promises like I had hoped it would. Sporting easily my favorite cover of the week this issue was pure dark fun and wonder. The first issue does a fantastic job of establishing exactly who has a part in Arkham and how it’s run. From the man running it to the security head with a grudge. Each character’s motives and personality are on display from the get go which is a credit to Hine’s fantastic writing.
Jeremiah Arkham is now in charge and plans to run things in a more rehabilitative way than the grossly outdated form of prison Arkham was in the past. While some don’t believe in it Bruce Wayne is completely sold on the idea. While we all know Bruce Wayne is actually Hush the other characters don’t and that made for a great chuckle or two as Hush/Wayne gets a chance to tour Arkham and see its security features and such. This bit I believe will be fun later down the line if future writers desire to use it.
The inmates of Arkham also get a chance to see some spotlight this issue. As those who have read the one-shot know Arkham has taken on three inmates that her personally cares for and no one else deals with. These characters are interesting and I’m excited to see what is in store for them. Does Arkham have an ulterior motive other than their safety? I’m sure he does and I’ll be there when it’s revealed.Continued below
The redesign of Arkham is something that truly was appreciated by me as a fan. I believe that much like Gotham is it’s own character in the Batman stories Arkham fits this same category. So to see it get a facelift and some personnel that we can associate with it is a great step in reinvigorating a place that had become more of a joke than a serious story piece. I mean how many inmates have escaped after the place has been blown up over the years? They never once tried to rebuild and enhance. Now they have and it’s a great read.
Final Verdict: Buy It!