Friday, June 10, 2011

Week in Review 6/10/11

Batman and Robin #24
Writer: Judd Winick
Artist: Greg Tocchini
Company: DC Comics
Another great cover by Guillem March, one that the internet meme personality that inevitably lives inside my brain says, "Nom nom nom."  Beyond the cover though, action is again the name of the game as we see the aftermath of Jason Todd getting sprung from prison last issue.  The thing about the action here is that it's very smart action.  Winick makes you feel as if you're riding along with Todd in the driver's seat of his own mind as you see him fight tooth and nail to survive.  It makes the experience much more unique and enjoyable, something that sets it apart from other action pieces,
which I thought was rather swanky.  Tocchini's art is a tad underwhelming.  There's a Daniel Acuna feel to it, but where Acuna's work is a little more finished, there's a roughness here that isn't as striking as it could be.  What is happening on the page is very clear though, and with a book that focuses on action so heavily, that in and of itself is quite nice.  This one still has my interest.

Batman Arkham City #2
Writer: Paul Dini
Artist: Carlos D'Anda
Company: DC Comics

Solid issue.  Not great.  Not bad either.  Dini is really doing some fine setup work, building up the plotline for the new game that sees Batman square off against Hugo Strange.  I do find it cool that you really get a sense that Batman not only kicks butt with his hands and feet, but he is a guy solving a complicated mystery too.  That was something that the game really did touch on and it seems that they aren't going to forget about it either.  D'Anda's artwork is much like the story in Arkham City.  Not bad but nothing that wanders out of that realm.  The panels are smooth and easy to read, but I wish the action was a bit more dynamic.  The level of control he has over expressing emotions of the characters and the detail in his backgrounds however do make up for it.  His Arkham City, and Gotham for that matter, does look grimy and gloomy and the kind of place you want to jump around on and investigate.  For a video game tie-in, it's a solid A.

Red Robin #24
Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Artist: Marcus To
Company: DC Comics
Marked for assassination, Tim Drake is up to his eyeballs in all kinds of trouble.  Nicieza does a heck of a job making that trouble, in the many shapes and sizes that it comes in, an enjoyable thing for the reader.  With this issue specifically, we see Red Robin go toe to toe with about 50 assassins who really would like to see him kick the bucket.  It's something that could be a slog, but slick writing (that doesn't forget that Drake is one of the best detectives in the Bat-Universe) and having an artist who's panel layouts are as interesting as To's are, make it something much more playful and fun.  Really, To's work here, while not as detailed, reminds me a lot of what Frank Miller was doing on Daredevil.  All in all, Nicieza grabbed the reigns of this book and has taken it in really unexpected directions.  It has a lot in common with what Dixon did when he was writing this character, which is truly a great thing.  Can't wait to see what he can do with the last couple of issues.   

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #159
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mark Bagley
Company: Marvel Comics
The death of our main hero, the wall crawler extraordinaire of the Ultimate Universe, draws ever closer, and with these last remaining issues Bendis is really reminding me just how well done this book has been over the years.  Sure, there have been some flops among the many stories (Clone Saga!), but what book doesn't have those?  This issue specifically is pretty much action from front cover to back cover, and not the boring, overly talkative action that Bendis sometimes devolves into either.  We're talking fun, fairly smart action.  Spider-Man gets to use his brain and then punch things!  Things being the members of the Sinister Six, as they try to kill him and burn down his house.  Mark Bagley, as always, does solidly with what's given him.  Andy Lanning's inks help a bit with the movement of the issue.  All in all, I feel myself getting sucked back into Ultimate Spider-Man.  Sure, it's just in time for him to die, but that's what I have all of those trades sitting on the shelf for.

Wolverine #10
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Renato Guedes
Company: Marvel Comics
"I'm gonna have to kill ya, bub!"  That's pretty much the sentiment that Wolverine has in his heart since he's come back from Hell.  This issues sees him use the info that he got from Mystique last issue and take the fight to the "homebase" of the Red Right Hand (and no, Nick Cave does not reside there).  Once there we get a tribute to Enter the Dragon as Wolverine fights several different emissaries of said group.  Overall, Aaron's story tends to feel lackluster and uninteresting, despite the bloody violence.  Which leads me to Guedes' art, which again, didn't do much to excite me.  His anatomy is a little off, and though his style is indeed a bit more outside the lines, his character's faces look strange and oblong.  Also his action feels stifled and flat, two things that really make an issue of Wolverine forgettable.

X-Men Legacy #250
Writer: Mike Carey
Artists: Khoi Pham & Steve Kurth
Company: Marvel Comics
An anniversary issue that sees its pages divided into two different stories.  The first one focuses on a new team led by Rogue and the second one focuses back on Rachel Summers.  Honestly, Mike (Lucifer) Carey has fast become one of my favorite X-Men writers.  He tends to get these characters and really shows them working as a team instead of focusing on a single character.  The first story is one that  sees this new team go after the several personas of Legion that seem to have become corporeal beings.  One of the biggest draws is that Xavier is one of the members and seeing him as a field agent is so damn cool.  The second story is a little colder, but it's nice that Carey isn't ignoring Havok and the Starjammers, who have been stuck in space for quite some time now.  The art is a bit hit and miss.  Pham's work is great, as always, but Kurth's just didn't do much for me.  Like always though, X-Men Legacy proves to be very interesting and ranks right up there with Uncanny X-Force for me.  

1 comment:

  1. I have to say, I had *no idea* this site existed. I checked out of "Pants" once the reviews essentially stopped, and never looked back in to see the final curtain call, as well as the introduction of "Top 5." It's a pleasure to read reviews of the mainstream superhero books, as well as the ones that still fly below the radar ("Empowered"). Thanks for the time and effort involved...I'll certainly be following from here on out.