Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Week in Review 8/2/11

FF #7
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Greg Toccini
Company: Marvel Comics
It's obvious that Hickman is setting things up with this and the previous issue of FF.  Still, that doesn't make a book that looks at the Supreme Intelligence and the Inhumans any less dull.  This issue is a bit better than the last, though only by a small degree.  While the last one was a focus on the Kree, this one makes Black Bolt its central character.  There are a few bright moments, one where the Inhuman Emperor takes on a Cthulian monster all by his lonesome specifically.  Still, the big moments are few and far between and don't feel "big", as they should.  Part of that is due to Toccini's inconsistent art duties.  His style is a
bit like a
yo-yo.  One moment you get something on par with Stuart Immonen and then the next is a bit of a jumbled, off-kilter experience that you'd rather forget.  And that's really where this issue ends up.  A bit bland and ultimately forgettable.

Gotham City Sirens #25
Writer: Peter Calloway
Artist: Andres Guinaldo
Company: DC Comics
There's one issue left in the ol' Siren song.  Hopefully, it's better than this issue happened to be.  Not to say that this outing was completely uninspired or boring, but the writing merely plodded along and told a breakout from Arkham story from Pamela Isley's point of view that we've seen before and have ultimately been done better.  Also, she spoke in plant speak so often that it quickly became annoying and tiring to the point where you stop caring about what the character is saying.  That is never a good thing.  Guinaldo's art is fine.  His decision to wrap the panels of the entire book in Ivy's ivy is clever, though there are also times where it distracts from what else is happening.  Really though, for the close of this book, I was hoping that Dini would come back and really give this the ending that it deserved.  Alas, what we have is a fun book that is limping towards its inevitable finale with a mere spark of fun and murder in its heart.

Green Lanter: Emerald Warriors #12
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artist: Chris Batista
Company: DC Comics
The second in a series of one shots that seem to be devoted completely to Guy Gardner and his ability to beat things to a bloody pulp, no matter how hard or impossible the job may seem.  They're simple and fulfilling, especially since Tomasi gets Guy Gardner so well.  However, the constant villains and threats that keep coming from the Guardians' past has become a tad boring, if not expected at this point.  They keep going back to that well too often when there has to be a few better ideas floating around.  Batista's art works.  His design work for the bad guy evokes a nice reaction and the details that he's able to cram into the panels is always appreciated.  Occasionally his characters have a smooshed appearance, but it only happens a few times and really isn't that big of a deal.  Altogether, this is one of those issues that reminds me of the books of yore, a done in one tale that has action, suspense, and great characters.

Mighty Thor #4
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Olivier Coipel
Company: Marvel Comics
A slightly uneven issue, but Fraction is able to punch up the fun factor with Mighty Thor is ways that he somehow can't with Fear Itself.  A battle of minds in the depths of space between Odin and Galactus whilst Thor and co take on astral demons and the Silver Surfer.  That's comic gold.  There are a few missteps though, most of them having to deal with vacating the action to delve more into the side stories of Volstagg, Loki and Galan (a character from the writer's previous run on Thor).  Most of the side stories are less interesting and don't provide as much in the way of entertainment, though it's obvious that they will prove to be important.  Coipel's artwork, all around, is beautiful.  His lines are crips, Laura Martin's color as a bounty of goodness, and the way that Coipel seems to channel a bit of Kirby during the space fights, which feels right.  The choppiness is a bit of a deterrent, but Fraction and Co. really do bring it with Mighty Thor.

New Mutants #28
Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Artist: Michael Ryan
Company: Marvel Comics
A comic in the same vein as when Doc Samson visits with the individual members of the X-Factor team back in the day.  It's quiet, character centric, and quite good.  There isn't any action to sink your teeth into here however.  Still, DnA weave a captivating tale of a friend of Dani Moonstar's who comes to help the members of the New Mutants deal with what has happened to them over the course of the last few events.  Getting into each of these character's headspaces proves to be quite telling of who they are and makes the book memorable.  They also throw in some great one off ideas and moments that really tie what is going on in this one book with the Marvel Universe at large.  It's something that these writers do on a regular basis and I love that they are able to do it with such clarity.  Michael (Runaways) Ryan's art isn't as polished as it's been over the years.  There a few backgrounds that feel a bit lackluster and some of his linework is a little on the thin side.  Still, the story stems the tide and really showcases the dynamic of this team.

Venom #5
Writer: Rick Remender
Artists: Tony Moore & Tom Fowler
Company: Marvel Comics
Venom, despite my boredom with the character with the same name that is Spider-Man's nemesis, has quickly become one of those books that I eagerly await every month.  Much of that has to do with Remender's writing.  In Uncanny X-Force, he's proven time and time again that to make a good story, you need good characters.  The same can be said about Venom.  He's making Flash Thompson a well rounded, flawed, and very human character that the reader can connect with on an emotional level.  This issue specifically did more in that regard than we've seen so far.  Flash's dealings with his folks, the way that he and Peter interact, and his strained relationship with Betty Brant make for good stories.  All of that is dealt with, with the added bonus of gross/over the top action.  The art duties, split between Moore and Folwer, are both nice.  I think it would have been better to have some consistency, but each artist has their highs and lows.  Fowler is the stronger one here though.  The way he uses shadow, specifically to heighten the emotion on the page, is effective.  Really, a damn fine issue.

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