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Wrapping Wednesday: Micro Reviews for the Week of 7/20/16

By | July 25th, 2016
Posted in Reviews | % Comments

There is a lot to cover on Wednesdays. We should know, as collectively, we read an insane amount of comics. Even with a large review staff, it’s hard to get to everything. With that in mind, we’re back with Wrapping Wednesday, where we look at some of the books we missed in what was another great week of comics.

Let’s get this party started.

All-New Wolverine #10
Written by Tom Taylor
Illustrated by Ig Guara
Reviewed by Liam Budd

“Civil War II” is currently raging through the Marvel U and we’ve gotten to the stage where pretty much every title is being affected by the conflict in some way. “All-New Wolverine” #10 sees Ulysses’ future gaze fall on Laura, young Gabby and their real life Wolverine, Jonathan. This couldn’t come at a worst time as the trio are finally reunited with Laura’s dad from an alternative future, Old Man Logan. This is the first time we’ve seen Laura really interact with Logan since his return post-Secret Wars and writer Tom Taylor presents us with a very touching yet typically rage-filled reunion befitting of a pack of Wolverines. The highlight of the issue is Old Man Logan’s admission that his greatest achievement was Laura, though him being from another dimension does muddy the waters a little. In fact, the whole issue suffers as Taylor tries to establish where exactly these characters fall in each of their own timelines. There’s a whole lot of going back and forth with unnecessary dialogue about events that have no bearing to the Civil War and there is far too much foreshadowing when the plot needs more attention.

It’s clear that Taylor has a story that ties into the events of Civil War and Ulysses but because of the problems with the plot it is hard to find interest. Ulysses’ vision about Wolverine and Logan is too vague, even at this point, and Maria Hill is once again is unwritten. I have lost count to the number of times I‘ve seen Hill sat at some computer, sighing heavily into her hands and ordering a task force to capture some hero. Her inclusion here feels totally redundant and boring. It is such a shame because I know how well Tylor can craft characters. There are some really wonderful moments of characterisation that shine through the poor dialogue and bad plotting.

Ig Guara’s art is just as underdeveloped as he struggles to really impress. Amongst all the exposition and establish conversations we do get one fight scene, which to be fair, is where Guara shines. Though during the more subdued moments his character designs fall apart, facial expressions become very inconsistent and distorted. During a moment where the various Wolverines are supposed to be in hysterics their faces tell a different story and Guara commits one of the worst sins for an artist, a several points during dialogue characters have closed mouths. This always rings alarm bells for me. Ultimately, this isn’t bad issue, but its lack of invention and craft makes it rather forgettable.

Final Verdict: 6.0 – Wolverines being just okay at what they do.

Faith #1
Written by Jody Hauser
Illustrated by Pere Perez
Reviewed by Brian Salvatore

Last year, “Faith” started as a miniseries, was a resounding success, and launched a new ongoing series that seems poised to be Valiant’s breakout series of the year. The reason I bring up the miniseries is that, in many ways, this is a very clear continuation of that series, and the first 8 pages or so of this issue are a very clear attempt to recap the mini for those who skipped it.

The problem is that, that means that half of this issue is filler for those who did read the prior series. This is a delicate balance that many relaunched books have to face in this era of constant reboots, and “Faith,” unfortunately, doesn’t fair so well in this regard. A lot of information is thrown at the reader, and not in the most artful way, about what has been going on in Faith’s life before the series picks up. Some of that is useful, some of that would have been better served by an editor’s note, and some of that is just plain superfluous. When reading this issue, I was reminded of lots of details of the old series that I had forgotten (good!), but also felt like the story of this particular new book was a bit rushed and obscured by the need to fill in those details (bad!).

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Luckily, Pere Perez’s art was along to make the pill go down a bit smoother. Perez manages to make Faith’s life seem hectic, but fun at the same time. Sure, she’s stressed, but she’s stressed because of the amazing things she gets to do. The book has a fair amount of Faith’s daydreaming/fantasy in it as well, and Perez does a nice job of adjusting his tone to her thoughts in a way where there is a discernible difference between the two worlds, but both fit into his style and the tone of the book.

Final Verdict: 6.4 – Overall, the book looks like a fun place to spend some time, and hopefully, future issues will rely less on the character’s backstory, and instead, tell new ones.

Justice League #1
Written by Bryan Hitch
Illustrated by Tony S. Daniel
Reviewed by Stephenson Ardern-Sodje

SDCC has spoken, and DC’s cinematic offering has been pretty darn impressive. But with all the big-screen shenanigans going on, you’d be forgiven for letting their recent reboot slip onto the backburner for a while.

Bryan Hitch follows up his first foray into the post-Rebirth DCVerse with a truly gargantuan threat level foe in “Justice League” #1. We join the team in spots across the globe, spread thin as they try to combat a seemingly inexplicable series of natural disasters that are tearing the planet apart. Hitch definitely knows what constitutes a JL size threat, and manages to work out situations that test the limits of each member’s powers nicely. His script doesn’t really have much breathing room, picking up pretty much immediately with action and powering through to the final page, but he manages to slip in characterisation through the action, with our heroes communicating with one another thanks to tech support from Cyborg. Some of these interactions work better than others (I’m still finding the characterisation of our two new Green Lanterns more than a little YA at times) but overall the script clips along nicely, with a satisfying twist towards the end that sets up a much more intriguing bad guy than a simple series of disasters.

Daniel got me right on board early doors, with a slick, stylish Wonder Woman combat sequence that seems ripped from the latest SDCC trailer in terms of costume and fighting style. His smooth pencilling style feels at times like a toned down version of Chris Bachalo’s work, especially in the more debris-heavy moments of this issue, and he definitely captures a sense of the chaos and mayhem that you’d expect from a full blown disaster movie, elevating this issue beyond the normal levels of superhero damage control. He even manages to show off the different powers of the team well, playing with the differing rescue styles of the lithe Diana, the cerebral GL constructs, and the powerhouse Victor. In terms of visuals, this issue is a good lot of fun.

My only criticism of this issue would probably be that it spends so much Tim flitting between individual members of the team fighting and rescuing that it doesn’t have that much time to build an actual story arc. There’s the initial outbreak of disaster, followed by a simultaneous discovery by most of the members, but beyond that we’re not left with much more than unanswered questions and piles of debris. Still, the scale and size of this first issue really help distinguish the JL from their solo book counterparts, and Hitch’s veiled villain seems suitably terrifying for a team of demi gods and geniuses, so it’s definitely a step in the right direction early on for this franchise.

Final Verdict: 7.4 – destruction on an Emmerichian scale and a well balanced intro to the team dynamic. This is the kind of Justice I can really get in league with. (Sorry.)

//TAGS | Wrapping Wednesday

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