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    Wrapping Wednesday: Micro Reviews for the Week of 5/7/14

    By | May 9th, 2014
    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.

    Detective Comics #31
    Written by Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul
    Illustrated by Francis Manapul
    Reviewed by Brian Salvatore

    Manapul and Buccellato bring such a distinct look to this book, that the feel of the title seems completely detached from what came before it. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially when the story is as strong as this one is. The book is living up to its title – this is a story about Batman solving a crime. I loved the interaction between Bruce and Bullock – both characters were written pitch perfectly, and their exchange was so perfectly not the exchange Batman and Bullock would have.

    Visually, Manapul continues to stun with his layouts and character work, and Buccellato’s colors bring the book to a completely distinct place, that it is hard to remember that this takes place in the same universe as, say, “Batman Eternal.” But this book references the events in that book, just as “Eternal” #3 referenced ‘Icarus.’ This is the book in the Bat-line that most appeals to me a a reader, and I’m glad there is a book like this in the line right now.

    Final Verdict: 8.0 – Buy

    Green Arrow #31
    Written by Jeff Lemire
    Illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino
    Reviewed by Brandon Burpee

    This issue brings us the conclusion of the Outsiders War. The Green Arrow storyline that has reshaped the character and it’s mythos for the New 52. The issue leaves Ollie with new familial connections and potential enemies or allies laying in wait. All of them multi-faceted characters with believable and relatable motivations. Ollie and as a result Green Arrow, as a title, come away from this issue and this arc in a much stronger and interesting place than either has been in some years, including pre New 52. After this arc it could easily be argued that both character and title have gained the most from the relaunch of the DCU. Writer Jeff Lemire has done for Green Arrow what Geoff Johns did for Green Lantern in that he has established a cohesive self-sustaining environment for the character to live and develop in. The title is full of ideas and directions that could be mined for some time and this is always at the benefit of the reader. The last reinforces this as earlier developed connections move to the forefront and leave the reader wishing there wasn’t a month long wait until the next issue.

    The issue’s art, as has become standard for the book, is off the chain with kinetic energy. Colorist Marcelo Maiolo brings Sorrentino’s art off the page with an incredible usage of muted colors that grounds the action and helps to provide the gritty action vibe that really makes this book shine. The double page spread that accompanies the credits is a masterpiece to behold with minute details that are interesting on their own and develop a larger image that grabs your attention immediately. The artist and colorist combo of this book is one of the best in the industry and can’t be touched by anything else DC is producing at this time.

    If you aren’t reading this title because you were turned off when the book launched you really need to circle back the wagons and check out what Lemire, Sorrentino and Maiolo are doing on this book. It’s a beautiful masterpiece of action and intrigue that stands out amongst DC’s other offerings for its depth and uniqueness.

    Final Verdict: 8.5 Buy it!!!!

    Loki: Agent of Asgard #4
    Written by Al Ewing
    Illustrated by Lee Garbett
    Reviewed by James Johnston

    “Loki: Agent of Asgard” continues to be one of Marvel’s funniest titles with references to The Princess Bride and pretentious ladykillers aplenty. Of major note, however, seems to be the rapidly building plot being built against our title hero by… uh… our title hero. Long story. Even though “Agent of Asgard” may seem like it’s getting too cute, and Odin knows it’s definitely one of the cutest titles with Lee Garbett on art, that cuteness is grounded in a plot that’s building even further on the Loki mythology that started with Kid Loki all those years ago.

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    Final Verdict: 7.7 – Buy!

    Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #1
    Written by Brian Michael Bendis
    Illustrated by David Marquez
    Reviewed by David Harper

    The funny thing about this comic is that everything people are talking about it for is what it did wrong (and not how you think it did), and everything people ignored is what makes the book special.

    Let me explain. The reveal at the end, while Earth shattering in theory, is handled in such a way that Miles reacts in a beyond casual fashion, taking any power away from the scene completely. If, in theory, this is all on the level, this was an epic reveal, but between the reaction and how the moment was hinted at relentlessly both within the issue and before, I don’t think I’ve ever had less of a reaction to the return of a prominent character than this.

    Meanwhile, the rest of the issue is dynamite, as we continue to remember why Miles really is the ultimate Spider-Man. As a character, he’s one of the most relatable, real feeling people you can find, and as he struggles with what’s going on with his father and his secret identity, you can understand the weight even if you don’t know the feeling of the specifics. Bendis is often accused of using the same voice for everyone, but the restraint he shows with Miles is often what makes him so special. He knows how and when to lean on his artistic partners, and David Marquez continues to blow me away with his work. Whether you’re talking action set pieces or small character moments, Marquez excels at immersing us in those moments, elevating them through his delivery of the story. This partnership is one that is strong already, but is building progressively as the story does.

    All in all though, this is a solid issue that is strangely deflated by the moment that was set up as the biggest one it had. Looking forward to where it goes from here, but mostly because Miles is my guy, and I hope he stays that way.

    Final Verdict: 8.0 – coulda been a contender

    Revival #20
    Written by Tim Seeley
    Illustrated by Mike Norton
    Reviewed by David Harper

    Revival is a book that in its first year made our Best Ongoing Series list, but since has gotten better and better in my mind (and didn’t make our list last year, strangely). As the book progresses, the world within the story feels increasingly lived in, the identities of the characters get sharper and more in focus, and the book is enhanced by its longevity. Tim Seeley and Mike Norton have undoubtedly built an ongoing mystery that was more fascinating because of the people that exist within it, and how they muck up that mystery with their own issues and mysteries.

    Lately, the series has struggled a little bit – struggle being a relative term in this case, as it was good not great – in that it felt a little bit like it was spinning its wheels, as any book designed round a central mystery can often feel like. However, this issue gets things back on the great side as Dana goes on a vacation (of sorts), has to deal with some family drama, Wayne has one hell of a reveal, we learn a little bit more about one of the antagonists of the story, and Em meets a kindred spirit. As with everything that makes this book great, all of these moments are built from the characters out, with the catharsis Em reaches through her new friend being particularly satisfying. Seeley and Norton work so well together that this book is one of those ones where the writing and art is completely inextricable, and when Em and her new friend share a laugh, it’s one of those moments that resonates on the level it does strictly because of the power of this collaboration.

    This book is just fantastic, and when you add on things like Jenny Frison’s infinitely amusing and beautifully illustrated cover, it’s hard not to just completely love this book, even as it tears at the lives of the people within it. Keep on keepin’ on Revival. I know you will.

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    Final Verdict: 9.0 – back on track, not that it was really ever off

    Teen Titans Annual #3
    Written by Scott Lobdell
    Illustrated by Kenneth Rocafort, R.B. Silva, and Tom Derenick
    Reviewed by Brian Salvatore

    One of my first reviews for Multiverstiy was for “Teen Titans” #1 – it is only fitting that I review the final incarnation of this run. This issue, more or less, brings this incarnation of the team to a complete conclusion – the run’s big bad was dispatched, each team member was given a little send off, and there was a little hope for the future as well.

    Scott Lobdell tries his best to put some positivity into what has been an utterly dark and miserable series, and it all screams too little too late. He tries, in vain, to redeem Harvest, which seems to undo everything that he did for three years with that character. As usual with Lobdell’s Titans, the best part of the issue is Bunker, a character he gave a truly distinctive voice and skill set to – I’m glad to see he will still be a part of Pfeifer’s Titans run.

    The art is nicely done, but the seams show between artists, creating a bit of a disjointed final issue. Rocafort and Silva, in particular, do nice work, but the costume designs for these characters have always been so poor that no matter who was illustrating them, they always look like cheap 90s knockoffs.

    Ultimately, no matter how you shake it, this will go down as one of the worst Titans runs of all time; wrongheaded from the start, tone-deaf in execution, and shackled to a long-dismissed artistic aesthetic. Good riddance!

    Final Verdict: 4.6 – Avoid

    //TAGS | Wrapping Wednesday

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