Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Comic reviews for August 13th 2008

Hey, three weeks of reviews! Again, I know I said that this won’t be a regular thing, but a buddy who owed me 25 bucks paid 3 weeks earlier then I thought he would, so I’ve got enough cash left over for next weeks comics too!

I got a lot of comics this week, Ultimate FF #56, just because I’m curious about Reed and Sue (Damn you Mike Carey!) and Broken Trinity: The Darkness. I won’t be reviewing either, UFF for how old it is (the latest issue comes out next week I think) and BT Darkness for how boring it was. So enough talk, time to get to the review, and boy, is there a lot of them.

Secret Invasion #5

Written: Brian Bendis

Art: Lienel Yu

Opening comments: Vision is alive! Hallelujah! What? You want to know about the rest of the issue? Oh…sure.

Story comments: The key aspect to this issue, and one of the big turning points, is “Embrace change”. The Skrulls have revealed that they don’t want to wipe out humanity, oh no, their willing to let them live as long as they obey the Skrull empire.

Wait…this…sound familiar. Where have I heard this before-oh…Shadow the Hedgehog. Yep. The game Shadow the Hedgehog, Black Doom had the exact same plot. Word per word.

He didn’t want to eradicate the humans; he wanted to save them from themselves by enslaving them under his empire. Now the Skrulls want to do the same. I’m sure this is an oversight by Bendis, I doubt he even knows of that video game, but the comparisons…are a little strange.

All joking aside, this was another solid great issue, with an incredible opening. Norman Osborn may be a great villain, but as a character in general, he has one of his best moments ever. The fact that he solved a fight without even flinging a pumpkin bomb stuns me. Bendis definitely handles this quick, but great, scene.

After the opening we jump back and forth, first we see the Young Avengers in Fury’s hideout, then we see Agent Brand free Reed Richards. Oh, while I’m on that, Richards has some great badass moments, better than anything he’s ever done in Fantastic Four, that’s fore sure.

Anyway, last and kind of least, the Savage Land. Since issue 1 this has been the rather boring aspect to the Invasion, it’s much more isolated, so the overall effect that Invasion gives doesn’t carry. Luckily it looks like Bendis finally is wrapping up the Savage Land aspect to the Invasion, and moving some of the major players into New York

My biggest complaint is the final page. Clint Barton is upset that Mockingbird was a Skrull and says he wants to kill all the Skrulls. It makes for a week TBC page and I was expecting better. Like, maybe a segue into #6 with the Avengers Trio showing up at the end? I Cap saw Thor at the end of #4, why no follow up to that?

Art comments: I honestly had no idea that Yu would do such an amazing job here. He’s really hitting it out of the park and doing some amazing things, but that’s of course thanks to Morales and Martin cleaning up his art. I saw the rough pages for #3, ugh…as always Yu overdid it on the line work, but Morales and Martin are doing a great job of cleaning his art up and making it look great.

Final comments: While #4 was a better issue, #5 is a strong one and seems to tie up a major aspect to this event. I’m glad, as everything seems to be coming together as the final 3 issues show us the Heroes big battle for earth.

3 out of 5

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Spawn #181

Written: David Hine

Art: Brian Haberlin

Opening comments: I was really excited for this issue of Spawn, seriously, I don’t usually get this excited about Spawn nowadays but I was just way too excited to see how things would turn out. Now that I’ve read it though, I can’t help but feel that this issue only does the bare essentials of what it set out to do. David Hine tells the story we where wanting, but he doesn’t do much beyond that.

Story comments: Spawn goes after Wanda, but…it’s not as simple as that. First we see Cyan having a dream about it, then we think he’s attacking Wanda, then it turns out to be just her having sex with Terry, then when things really are happening, I don’t know if it’s a dream or not. Frustrating is one word to describe it.

That aside, this is a solid issue, the story is all right, it’s really just moving along simply, one moment to the next, nothing interesting in between. Though when Spawn and Wanda finally have a heart to heart talk…it’s only one quick moment, but it’s an incredible scene and really makes up for the simplistic storytelling.

Come end of the issue, Al Simmons is back to normal and walks over to Nyx and Cyan carrying Wanda’s body (she’s either dead, or unconscious, I’m guessing unconscious). Then we get our weekly “Oh Snap!” moment when the symbiote attacks Nyx.

Hmm…the cover for #183 has a female Spawn on it…Nyx has worn the suit before, the costume is attacking Nyx-nah…it couldn’t be. Of course not. No way. That’s crazy. So crazy that it just may be true!

Art comments: Haberlin delivers another solid job on art. Once again, his Spawn really shines here and he does a great job. He’s really fit the book well, all the characters, for the most part, look like they should, and he does a great job here. I can’t honestly think of anything to nitpick, he does a solid great job.

Final comments: While I was hoping for more, we’ll have to wait an issue or 2 for the real meat of this storyline. That’s fine, because this is still a solid and enjoyable issue.

3 out of 5.

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Batman #679

Written: Grant Morrison

Art: Tony Daniel

Opening comments: After dropping RIP after 2 unappealing chapters, and laughing at chapter 3 via Internet Spoilers, curiosity got the better of me to check out the 4th chapter of RIP.

Final comments: I have one, count that, ONE question for Mr. Morrison. Where in the hell was the Robin/Damian team up? The solicit promised us that Robin and Damian would team up to find Batman this issue. Was that idea dropped or something? Damnit, I was looking forward to seeing Damian. He’s probably the only interesting thing to happen to Batman in years.

That one gripe aside, this was actually a good issue. But not much beyond that, I enjoyed it, even if it was strange, but I’ll tell you right now that it’s not a Must Read.

Here we see Crazy Batman, talking in Purple (I know if I ever went insane that my words would come out in a purple bubble) and being nuts. It’s kind of fun to watch as Batman plunges more into insanity, but it’s more of a guilty pleasure than anything.

I think the best comic I can compare RIP to is Rulk. Yes, that’s right, Rulk and RIP are generally similar, to their core. Rulk is a rather insane story where things you never thought possible in the MU happen, and RIP is an insane story where characters jump in and out of character, it’s crazy.

That being said, RIP moves the story forward but not quite to that appealing standard I was hoping for. We don’t get many great moments here, Doctor Hurt gets in a weird moment and Jim Gordon is now on the chess board, but really, the only reason I enjoyed this was for crazy Batman and his purple words.

Art comments: Tony Daniel is a strong artist, even if he follows the DC tone of art he’s got great detail, character work and solid art direction. In the past he’s had his fairly weak moments (Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul) but here he keeps up the great work the whole time. Of course the best work and moments he draws are with Batman, even in that crazy costume Batman always looks great.

Final comments: chapter 4 is the best part to RIP so far, and if it’s any indication, this rather poor storyline is starting to look up. While I don’t necessarily recommend it, if last issue made you leave RIP, come back, you may like what you see.

3 out of 5

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Secret Invasion: Runways/Young Avengers

Written: Chris Yost

Art: Takeshi Miyazawa

Opening comments: I don’t know why the title as Young Avengers in it. Sure, we see Hulking Wiccan and Speed, but as for the YA as a whole, it’s still missing them. Which is a huge disappointment to me, as a big fan of the Young Avengers, I was really looking forward to reading more Young Avengers goodness, and from one of my favorite writers, but this is more of a Runaways comic than anything. That’s not necessarily bad, though.

Story comments: We open with some background on Xavin and when he was home in the Skrull worlds. It’s a nice moment that he has with this other Skrull, but it doesn’t add much to the overall plot.

Cut to Xavin trying to protect Hulkling from 2 Super Skrulls, who are set out to kill him since he’s a prince and all. It is nice to see more follow up to the Hulkling is half a Skrull aspect, but last issue focused on it more, and I enjoyed it for that.

We get some great character moments, and that’s where this comic shines, it’s character moments. Yost obviously gets these characters, who they are, what they do and why they do it, and that shows in shining colors in this issue. The overall plot isn’t too interesting compared to the great character moments.

On the Runaways side of things, we see the gang fighting of Skrull after Skrull, again, some great moments, and finally Karolina comes out looking for Xavin. This is, again, a really great moment both for Karolina and Nico, as their arguments are exactly what you’d expect these characters to say. Me personally, I think Nico acted foolishly in forcing Xavin away, but hey, I’m not a Runaway.

After their bickering, they watch Vision get his head shot open and more Super Skrulls come down after them.

All right, here’s my main problem, the Young Avengers in Secret Invasion #5, I’m glad that Vision is alive and all that, but it’s hard to call this a crossover/team up if only 3 members of the team are involved in the comic. Now, hopefully the rest of them show up to kick some ass come series end next month, but the lack of YA is still disappointing, great as this issue is, and takes it down a notch.

Art comments: I don’t see why people aren’t loving Miyazawa’s art here, he does a great job. I’ll admit that the cute fluffy look on the characters is a little weird, but I can look past that and see what a great job he does in this issue, the characters all look like they should, the Skrulls, odd as they look, are still a plausible threat, and Miyazawa does a really great job here.

Final comments: It’s a 3 issue mini, it’s only 9 bucks to your wallet. I suggest you go pick up the last issue, this issue, then add #3 to your pull list. It’s a great read with some cute, but strong and enjoyable art. Definitely a Must Read for fans of Runaways, and even Marvel fans alike.

4 out of 5

Must Read

So that’s it for this weeks reviews, expect more weekly reviews next week. Collection Spotlight on Friday, see you all then.

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