Saturday, November 26, 2011

Week in Review 11/26/11

Astonishing X-Men #44
Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Mike McKone
Company: Marvel Comics
First off, the cover to this one is definitely one that has an immediate grab factor. That sounds stranger than I meant for it to, but I still stand by my statement. The comic inside, written by Greg (Hulk) Pak is quite good too. It's standard fare, but not run of the mill or boring, as it deals with Storm requiring a favor and some help from Cyclops. The focus on
Cyclops and allowing him to essentially stretch his legs while at the same time blasting some Sentinels is refreshing, but with Pak, you have to expect some cool factor and a bit of the unexpected. McKone's artwork is yet another plus with this issue. It's clean, has fantastic storytelling, and there's an innate fun to the action that has been missing in Astonishing X-Men. Quite a fun beginning.

Flash #3
Writers: Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato
Artist: Francis Manapul
Company: DC Comics
First and foremost, Manapul may be one of the best designers and artist currently employed by DC Comics. This book, in every facet, is beautiful. The layouts are jaw dropping and have an innate simplicity and readability to them that many other experimental artists don't have. The story of Mob Rule, the character that Flash has been battling since the relaunch, continues with this issue. While I am enjoying it and the further exploration of the many different uses for the Speed Force, the tale being told borders on the merely okay line and occasionally teeters into some very bland areas. The Flash should be filled with excitement and though much of this story is devoted to Barry doing cool things, the excitement level of the main story never rises past a certain point. That said, Manapul and Buccellato are able to imbue life into the bones of Barry Allen, more so than any other creative team has been able to lately. And really, Manapul's art is so gorgeous that it's worth the price of admission all on its own.

Justice League Dark #3
Writer: Peter Milligan
Artist: Mikel Janin
Company: DC Comics
Another case of there being some good ideas but the execution of said ideas falls a bit flat. The interaction between Constantine and Zatanna is the highlight of the issue, a relationship that makes sense and needs to be explored more, but the June Moon/Enchantress debacle continues to deviate into Dullsville. It's dragging on for way too long and even the possibility that Madame Xanadu has some hand in causing the insanity doesn't elevate the story. I swear, if Mikel Janin's artwork wasn't as pretty and hardcore and nicely detailed as it is, this book would probably get relegated into the latter half of my read pile, the section of stuff that isn't looked forward to. As it is, it's on the edge, teetering in a not so friendly direction.

Mighty Thor #8
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Pasqual Ferry
Company: Marvel Comics
Picking up the pieces from the Fear Itself #7.3 book that focused on all things Thor, Fraction seems to have found his footing once again with this book. It seems that the fallout of Fear Itself is much more interesting than the main story ever was. What this particular issue does is "introduce" Tanarus, a character who has been written into existence and replaced Thor in every single way imaginable. That means Tanarus was a founding member of the Avengers and all of that. It's an interesting idea and Fraction sells the well, especially the payoff. Ferry, who has always been a favorite of mine since his run on the Adam Strange Planet Heist book, does a keen job with this one. The larger than life vibe that he's able to achieve with his slightly irregular pencils is great, but he does that while at the same time really making this Fantasy story feel very Fantasy. So yes, Fraction and Co. have me interested with this very solid start to a new story.

Voodoo #3
Writer: Ron Marz
Artists: Sami Basri & Hendry Prasetya
Company: DC Comics
It seems that with only three issues in the can, many people have simply written Voodoo off as being one of the least compelling stories being told in The New 52. To some extent I can agree with that, as the book has had, and continues to have, problems. However, each issue of this book sees an elevation in the story. We're getting more and more information about our lead character, her motivations for doing what she's doing, and with this issue, get to see how she reacts to meeting face to face with a Green Lantern. This kind of melding between the two Universes (Wildstorm & DC) are the kinds of things that we should see more of, as it does work, and helps ingratiate the character a bit more. The art for Voodoo continues to be about the same. It's clean and easy to read and knows how to make an action scene pop. All in all, Voodoo was the surprise of the week.

Wolverine & the X-Men #2
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Chris Bachalo
Company: Marvel Comics
While this second issue does contain some of the lightheartedness that the first issue contained, there are several problems that, like the pesky weeds that contaminate your lawn, need to be dealt with swiftly. The main problem is the focus for the book. Aaron seems a bit in love with his new, all homicidal children composed, Hellfire Club, and the notion of Wolverine and what constitutes as this new team fighting kids simply doesn't sit well with me. They're too quipping and flippant and feel like Warren Ellis cookie cutter characters. That said, the exploration of Iceman's powers and expanding on them is extremely cool. That's the kind of stuff that should be done with these characters, and I like that Aaron thinks outside the box with them. Bachalo, like always, goes a little crazy at times. The experimental and outlandish styling typically works in favor of the book, but it never fails that there are instances where its extremely difficult to read as to what exactly is happening on the page. There needs to be a bit more consistency overall, but Wolverine & the X-Men is a fun book. 

1 comment:

  1. Shame about Voodoo, it has been shaping up to a compelling read I thought, but I now hear that Mars is off the book and DC is heading in a new direction with it. Oh well, so much for giving the story a change to develop.