Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Flashpoint Wednesdays 7/13/11

If the rumors are true, it seems that the mini series called Flashpoint will have some major repercussions on the DC Universe proper.  What exactly those repercussions are going to be though, it's anyones guess at this point.  What Top 5 Comics aims to do with this series of articles is take a gander at all of the Flashpoint issues and their tie-ins, giving the rundown on them, telling you which ones to check out and which ones aren't exactly up to muster.  It's obviously a big event, but will it be a good one?  Only time will tell.

This week we will cover: Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #2, Flashpoint: Deathstroke and the Curse of the Ravager #2, Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #2, Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #2, and Booster Gold #46.

Booster Gold #46
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Dan Jugens & Ig Guara
Company: DC Comics
More of the same, to be honest.  Jurgen's story of Booster Gold finding himself in the new Flashpoint Universe with all ties to his previous existence cut, isn't doing fantastic things.  It isn't revolutionary, nor is it doing things that set it apart from everything else.  What it is doing is telling a simple superhero story about a hero fighting a villain that is way out of his league.  In this case, a Doomsday that has fallen out from under the control of the United States Government.  Jurgen's writes action well and his and Ig Guara's team up on the art, while evoking a more traditional take on superheroes, is good at what it does.   And that's pretty much where this issue of Booster Gold.  It's not too steeped into the Flashpoint stuff, but it's just good ol' fashioned comics.  If that's something that interests you, I suggest seeking it out.

Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #2
Writer: Scott Kolins
Artist: Scott Kolins
Company: DC Comics
Like with a lot of the Flashpoint tie-ins, the second issues have consistently been an improvement over the first issues.  Of course there have been exceptions, but Citizen Cold is not.  The first issue was good, this one however, is a better package.  We get more of the story as to why Cold is the "hero" and we get to see him scramble in order to keep face as his past comes back to bite him in the proverbial keyster.  Kolins' writing is very effective.  He writes Cold like the bad ass that he should be, and the ingenuity that he uses during fights, shown very well in the script and the art, reminded me of the kind of things that Dixon did during his tenure on the Bat-books.  That in conjunction with Kolins' artwork, which is stronger here than we've seen in quite some time, which I think is in part with Kolins being paired with colorist Mike Atiyeh who just gets his style, makes for a great chunk of story.  I can't wait to see how this one plays out.

Flashpoint: Deathstroke and the Curse of the Ravager #2
Writer: Jimmy Palmiotti
Artist: Joe Bennett
Company: DC Comics
Ruthless and bloody, Deathstroke and the Curse of the Ravager does what it sets out to do, and does it well. Palmiotti, best know for his work on Power Girl and Jonah Hex, realizes the idea of Slade Wilson as a Pirate so well that I would love to see this iteration continue on.  This issue, which continues right where the last one left off, with Slade bleeding on the deck of his ship, is jam-packed with goodies of all sorts:  Action, great usage of the DCU with the various crew members, action that portrays a ruthless Orm and Aquaman, and fun story notions implemented well.  Bennett's art isn't knock it out of the park fantastic, but it works well with the story.  There's a Kevin McGuire type look to his characters, which works well to evoke the proper emotions, and overall, he's able to really sell the setting and action of the piece.  One of the best of the Flashpoint minis, no doubt about it.

Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #2
Writer: Tony Bedard
Artist: Vicente Cifuentes
Company: DC Comics
With this second issue of Emperor Aquaman, we are given a, "Knowing is Half the Battle," tale as the ins and outs of Arthur Curry's existence are revealed.  It's an origin issue, which are typically kind of boring and stuffy.  Bedard though writes an interesting one, one that has action and story hooks that result in some interesting places for this version of Aquaman to swim in.  One of the more notable, and snazzy, things to happen is a raid on New Themyscira by Aquaman and his troops.  Cifuentes really gets to show off his skills with the action piece.  He has a lot in common, style wise, with another DC artist Kenneth Rocafort.  Both are detailed and fluid and very clean, though Cifuentes really shines here with his backgrounds and underwater scenes, which are scenes that can prove to be difficult.  Overall, the quality of this series is very high and the story that is being told is memorable and enjoyable.  I call that a win, not only for Aquaman, but the reader as well.

Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #2
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Ibraim Roberson & Alex Massacci
Company: DC Comics
After the first issue was so-so for me, I was slightly unsure whether or not Frankenstein would be able to keep my attention.  Part of that is the fact that something about Lemire's writing doesn't connect with me personally, but this second issue really sold the story and made me go back and re-read the first one.  There's a much clearer picture with this one and the characters seemed to be more defined.  It was as if there was more room in the issue for them all to breathe and in some cases, really spread their wings.  There's also some great character bits of dialogue and explorations of certain members pasts that helped endear the cast to the reader.  The art here is handled by two artists, both of which are talented draftsmen.  The styles work together without the change up feeling jarring, which is sometimes a difficulty.  They also know how to draw exciting action in spooky and fun locales.  The only problem the book had was that the colors detracted from the artist's linework, giving it all a washed out look that was unfortunate.  Other than that, Lemire and Co. punched people out with Monster sized entertainment.

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