Saturday, July 2, 2011

Week in Review 7/2/11

Avengers Children's Crusade #4
Writer: Allan Heinberg
Artist: Jim Cheung
Company: Marvel Comics
I wish Allan Heinberg was able to hit the target for a monthly book.  I know that Children's Crusade was never meant to be that, as there was no way that such a thing could happen with Heinberg, but he's so talented and has so much respect for these characters.  That kind of writing is an asset that I would love to see more of.  This issue, which sees the return of Scarlet Witch proper and sees her try to make sense of her life, is extremely good.  I love the back and forth between the different characters. The banter is fresh, youthful, and Heinberg just infuses
the entire ordeal, even though it's dealing with history that is better left forgotten in some respects, with a superhero quality that really connects with the reader.  On the other side of the coin, Jim Cheung's artwork is as smart as it always is.  He's one of those guys that when you want exciting looking heroes fleshed out in hyper detail and eye-popping action, there's no one better.  A solid issue to a solid story.  What more can you ask for?

Batman Arkham City #3
Writer: Paul Dini
Artist: Carlos D'Anda
Company: DC Comics
The antics of Arkham City continue, and though the previous two issues of the series were lackluster, this one really knocks it out of the park  There isn't a ton of forward momentum to the Hugo Strange story, which is strange, but Dini instead focuses on the power struggle between Joker and Penguin, giving them and their respective forces a moment in the spotlight to shine.  Seeing how both operators operate makes for a great read and the undercover role Batman takes up, in the vein of Matches Malone, adds so much to the affair.  We can only hope that some aspect of this is available in the game.  As for the art, D'Anda is proving to be quite an asset.  There's a 90's quality to his work that takes some getting used to, but his layouts are clean and easy to read and each panel is packed with a lot for the eye to take in.  Truthfully, this video-game tie-in is shaping up to be the best example of its genre.

FF #5
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Barry Kitson
Company: Marvel Comics
This issue continues what I've said several times before, Jonathan Hickman GETS the FF.  He understands each character and really knows how to spotlight each of them in their own unique way, whether that be with a comedic scene like aiming pop guns at Dr. Doom or an action based sequence that sees a young teen step up and try his best to save the day.  There's also heart to be found here too.  Two scenes in particular exemplify that, one between Ben Grimm and Alicia Masters, the other between Reed and Sue.  Each one is so palpable and unique and amazingly scripted and drawn.  The Reed and Sue one especially, as there are no words in it and the emotion is completely dependent upon the art.  Kitson handles it deftly, and really, he's at the top of his game with his work on FF.  His linework is sharp, the world is so defined and realized, and the whole package that this book has to offer screams, "Fantastic!"

Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #11
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Aritst: Bernard Chang
Company: DC Comics
Die Hard in space, that's what Peter Tomasi brings to the table with this done in one Guy Gardner tale.  Guy has had a tough time lately and really just needs a moment to relax.  War of the Green Lanterns is over and he just wants to go home, have a brew, and watch the sports that he DVR'ed.  Of course that can't happen and he gets roped into a situation that involves a spaceship, a girl, and a squad of goons out to kill him and take his ring.  Tomasi writes a darn good Guy Gardner, one that exemplifies everything about him.  He also writes a fun-natured story that has decent action and a good sense of humor.  Bernard Chang also gets to throw down a bit with his pencils.  The character's ring constructs are right on target and all look cool, as do the designs for the alien ships and the aliens themselves.  Overall, this one may not be a particularly fantastic issue, but it's a fun one that any Guy Gardner fan should seek out.

Venom #4
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Tony Moore
Company: Marvel Comics
It hurts the brain a bit to say that there is a monthly Venom comic that is as enjoyable as this one is.  It's something that I never considered happening.  It's cool though, as Remender has made the character a much more enjoyable, layered, and nuanced character than Eddie Brock ever was.  This issue picks up right where the last one left off, with Flash Thompson quickly losing control of things as the fight between Venom and Spider-Man heats up.  Moore draws the action slickly and it feels larger than life.  The battle is running at full steam the entire time.  Remender also does a great job of showing the fight and the desperate needs that are running rampant from all three sides of the predicament: Flash Thompson, Peter Parker, & Venom.  It's a detail that makes for a more memorable and exciting read instead of a throw away story, one that while it does feed the inner 90's in all of us, there's more to chew on and bring us back.

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