Thursday, October 9, 2008

Comic Reviews for October 9th 2008

A little late, but still here, it’s time for the weekly reviews! Well…semi-weekly, we’ve got 3 comics from this week and 4 from last week. I…may have to divi this up somehow, maybe post the other half on Sunday or something, and make it a little easier on me. I hate to say it, but I’m in a real busy loop here with little to no time for this stuff. Granted…what I’m busy doing is playing the Wii or my DS but still, that counts.

Spawn #184

Written: David Hine and Todd McFarlane

Art: Brian Haberlin

Opening comments: last issue was a bit of a MEH read, while it was fine, it was obviously rushed so that everything would fall into place come the “final” chapter of this storyline. While this issue does do a good job of wrapping it up, there are some undeniable flaws in the wrapping paper.

Story comments: We see old woman Cyan *spoiler? As if you didn’t figure it was her* writing the final chapter of her book. Then to the Legion and Moranna face off. It’s an all right fight and decent enough to keep some action steady for the final showdown, but undeniably one-sided. Cyan spoiled it by saying that their going to lose. Maybe if she hadn’t said anything, and they lose anyway, it would have had more effect.

While the moment where Chris says where the souls have gone was nice, I felt like it was thrown in there to simply answer that question for us. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that we finally know what happened to Legion, but it was such a throwaway comment that one may skip over it easily.

Now we come to the main climax of the battle, Cyan helps Nyx perform an incredible binding spell that traps and binds both Mammon and Moranna. One has to admit…these sounds and feels somewhat like a cheap idea of a gimmick. The “quick fix” if you will. However, I’ll take Cyan the badass over the typical “I have the power!” that we would expect with Spawn.

Also, the fact that Mammon’s fall came from his own arrogance is great. See, this is what I like about annoying characters like him. Annoying and overpowered as he is, ends like this are perfect. You know what I’m talking about, where their so far up their own asses to worry that it’s their downfall. It’s a perfect way to kill a villain of Mammon’s magnitude.

Also, when Nyx is bad mouthing Mammon, going on a bit of a rant as to how he simply had a death wish but that dooming the world wasn’t the right way to do it. Really solid great stuff and the expression on his face, priceless, worth every annoying thing he’s ever done and totally worth the wait.

Then we get one of the more surprising, and better, moments of this comic. Al doesn’t go with Wanda, Nyx and Cyan. He has to stay to “do it” whatever he means by “it” we’ll have to wait and see what it is he has to do.

One thing I have to note is, easily one of the best moments in Spawn history. Rather than Spawn moping about and crying out “I love you, Wanda!” as she goes, when Wanda says “I love you” he says “I know you did.”

I’m not sure what, but something about that line really sticks out to me and shines. I’m still not sure what it is though, but it just was a really great moment.

The comic ends with Spawn walking through what I can presume to be what is left of hell, or some destroyed dimension of dead bodies. The narration is, again, great. I’m not sure who is necessarily writing all of it, but whoever does the narration really blew me away with it.

If anything, despite a somewhat weak opening, this issue is great and has some memorable moments.

Art comments: I was a little worried here, when a book takes a turn for bi-weekly like Spawn was forced to, I was worried that Haberlin’s art may fall apart. We’ve seen it happen to the best of them, but Haberlin turns in the work of his career. His are is a great blend of traditional smooth and his realistic darker art.

If anything, Haberlin does a better job than ever here and I will definitely miss his great art.

Final comments: It’s rare that a change in creators saddens me as much as the leaving of Hine and Haberlin, but either way, they had an amazing run and they will be remembered by Spawn fans young and old. This was truly a legendary run in comic’s history. Both writer and artist will be missed.

Also, that being said, a great issue.

4 out of 5

Must Read

Marvel Zombies 3 #1

Written: Fred Van Lente

Art: Kev Walker

Opening comments: I’ll be honest; when I first heard of this I was pissed. 2, while not to spoil my opinion on the upcoming CS, had a frustrating ending as it is. Now 3 isn’t even a true sequel, but its 1.5?


Let’s get this straight; I hate these kinds of projects. I can understand prequels, but not a damned prequel to a sequel that has a title suggesting it’s the next sequel, rather than a prequel.

Still, I decided to give Marvel Zombies 3 a chance, and it turns out there’s still some flesh to be eaten after all from this corpse.

Story comments: We open with the Florida Initiative team in the Nexus area; they get jumped by zombies, good stuff. Though I didn’t really care about these characters, some of them get ripped and torn apart, which cool, but more is just killing for killing’s sake. It does little to make me care.

Things don’t get interesting until Deadpool shows up. Zombified Merc with a Mouth for the win. While this was a good fight, this was all just some fun gore to try and make an exciting start, to what is a fairly “meh” starter.

One quick moment I have to mention, a zombie tries crawling into the Marvel U through the Nexus and who stops him? Only the greatest Marvel character in the history of ever, Man-Thing. Even if it’s just a quick moment, it was great to see Man-Thing.

Following this is a lengthy, and very boring, explanation as to what the zombies are, what they do, how the virus favors super heroes, etc.

Now as to those guessing why there is regular human zombies, my best guess is that their survivors of when the Necronomicon resurrected the Dead in Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness. That or the virus got desperate to survive so it infected and resurrected corpses, somehow.

While it’s great to see Morbius, another favorite of mine, the whole explanation as to Armor (I’m too lazy to write all those dots out) and Machine Man showing up are things I all saw coming from various interviews and whatnot, so it was like a big rehashing of everything we know by now.

Things get good when Jocasta shows up. While I’ve never cared much for her, I don’t despite the character or anything. Her moments with Machine Man are nothing short of great and I found it hilarious. I’m hoping more funny moments like this will happen through the series.

And finally, we leave with the shocking reveal that Morbius, the living vampire is….a zombie…wait, what? Okay, Maybe I need to brush up on my horror mythology but since when in the hell could a vampire become a zombie? What’s next, ghost Werewolves?

Actually…that could work. I’m copyrighting Ghost Werewolves! No one else make it…

All right, in all seriousness, this was a pretty good cliff-hanger and, despite how boring this issue was, Van Lente has won me over and has me scratching and biting for more.

Art: I wasn’t sure what to think with the announcement of a new artist for the next series. But I have to admit, Walker does an amazing job here. While some moments do look a little flat, that is quickly fixed by the big moments like close ups on the zombies or action moments.

I have to say, I’m pleased with his look of the zombies. Retaining the sharp toothed look Phillips later added and creating a great monstrous look to them. I look forward to seeing more, and hopefully that Van Lente will give his art room to shine.

Final comments: Much as I did enjoy this issue, it suffers badly from first issue-itis and may not be for everyone. However, if you’re missing some good wicked Zombie fun in your diet, like I was, this is just the thing to pick up.

3 out of 5

Check It.

Detective Comics #849

Written: Paul Dini

Art: Dustin Nguyen

Opening comments: with what needed to be done last month out of the way, Detective Comics is ready to count down the epic Heart of Hush. What could be another rush to the finish turns out to be more gold from Dini.

Story comments: We open with Crane being taken back to Arkham, just when he’s about to get thrown into his cell, who should show up but everyone’s favorite neighborhood Batman. This scene has classic greatness written all over it, Batman’s methods of getting Crane to talk, all of it.

I should also note the Joker is…here….now I’m more than willing to let this pass because he’s great here too. We can simply presume this is a brief moment of normality for him. He compliments Batman.

I’ll say that again for all of those who may not be paying attention.

Joker. Complimented. Batman.

Like I said, priceless.

Such a great opener for a great issue. Following this we have a brief update; none of the heroes Batman calls upon can help Selina. I rather liked that, it was nice to see Dini acknowledge that Batman has connections and he’s not too stubborn and proud to use them if he has to.

The overall storyline is Hush and Batman going back and forth trying to get the other, Batman disguises himself as a nurse, Hush sees through his disguise, good stuff. If anything, Dini is making a real credible threat out of Hush and I am really enjoying this story for it.

We get more flashbacks. I really don’t care much about Hush’ origin nowadays. I’m far more interested in the main story then as to how it ties in to Hush’ origin. Still though, it does make for some good and interesting moments.

I want to point out how Hush insists Batman loves Catwoman.

It’s like…Hush is a fanboy or something. But I have to admit, it all does fit nicely. Even if Batman isn’t willing to admit it, maybe there was something deep down he never wanted to acknowledge, in fear of how different they are. It’s the classic “I love her, but I shouldn’t” and Dini doesn’t overplay it.

The reveal as to where be Catwoman’s heart, and that Hush plans to replace Bruce Wayne, both somewhat funny and interesting. I’m not so much worried about Hush replacing Bruce, but I am still worried about Catwoman.

You could say that it has my HEART pounding.

Art comments: Wow. Just…wow. You want amazing art? Check, you want a wicked style that stuns the eyes and shines with imaginative style? Check. Nguyen was born to draw Batman. That’s the only way I can put it. His work here is nothing short of brilliant, amazing, incredible. Makes Tony Daniel look like a rooky, dare I say.

I’m sure a lot of people will disagree with that, but that’s my opinion. Nguyen is amazing, and I really hope he returns to Batman some day soon.

Final Comments: All jokes and cheap puns aside, this is an incredible issue both story and art, and it has left me incredibly excited for the epic finale next month.

5 out of 5

Must Have

Invincible #53

Written: Robert Kirkman

Art: Ryan Ottley

Opening comments: Last month’s issue of Invincible was so good it was the best comic of September. While this issue is great, it is, undeniably, not as good as the previous issue in overall what happens and character moments.

Story comments: We start off strong with a fun moment between Mark and Eve. Glad to see Kirkman touching up on the young couple. But it’s an okay moment at best, though still strong as far as seeing the two characters interacts.

One thing we start to see a lot is how Mark is getting more and angrier and losing his tempter at nearly the drop of a hat it seems. Getting pissed off or frustrated for the smaller reasons that would normally not anger him this much. What I’m trying to get at here, is that he’s angry.

My guess is that this will lead to either an inner conflict with Invincible or a possibly short lived villain career. With Kirkman you never know just what’s going to happen and with Invincible, anything or person is fair game. Which is mainly why I love the series so much?

Then we have a little bit of a scuff with Titan. Now, of all the Invincible villains, Titan is a personal favorite of mine. We see Mark accidentally overdo it with a simple smack to Titan that nearly breaks his jaw, which again, could be warning sides of something in the future.

Whets funny about this short fight is how Mark apologizes a few times. Its funny shit like that which helps Invincible, as a character, stand out so nicely. I found it hilarious that he apologized for ruining Titan’s “easy job.”

Then enter some dragon thing that I, for some reason, don’t seem to know. Maybe I never read issues with these characters, or I just can’t remember, but I was certainly confused by it. Though still, a good fight scene and overall fills the action bill for this issue.

We then return to the young lovers of Mark and Eve. Eve asks if Mark is happy with her, again, a good moment. I can recall questions similar to that in my own past experiences. Mark handles it…oddly. Call me crazy, but insulting a girl when she asked a simple question is weird. Eh, that’s just Mark I can figure though.

This leads in to more possibilities; looks like things could go sour for the young lovers.

We end with a confrontation of Kid Omni-Man and Invincible, Oliver apologizes for how casual he was about killing someone, but it seems to have been a farce. An act no doubt to get back in the costume and continue training to be a hero.

Overall, a great issue though a little back and forth at times as to just what was the main plot of the issue.

Art comments: Okay, someone help me here, is there a new inker or colorist? I’m serious, because I rarely notice that kind of stuff. That can be the only way I can see how more crisp and sharp Invincible #53’s art looks. It’s nothing short of amazing again and I was incredibly impressed. I hope this is the new style Ottley is going for.

Final comments: While not as great as last month’s issue, still a great issue with some awesome moments. Definitely worth a read and had some great art

4 out of 5

Must Read

So that’s it for the reviews. I wanted to get them out either early today or late Yesterday, but things come up. Real things, not just video games.

So tomorrow expect the Collection Spotlight for a Nightmare on Elm Street and a definite Week’s End on Saturday. Until then, you probably won’t see me….to busy trying to beat Chronicles and Smash Bros. Brawl…

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