Thursday, January 15, 2009

Comic Reviews for January 15th 2009

Revieeewwws! Yes! I am very happy to be back from the LCS as I can hopefully start getting books on a regular basis soon. If not…well 2 weeks could see my box booted. But anyway, onto the reviews!

Final Crisis #6

Written: Grant Morrison

Art: J.G. Jones and Carlos Pacheco and Dough Mahnke

Opening Comments: A bit of a warning for all expecting my more in depth reviews, I’m going to glide over most of this issue as I found it to be rather meh, and talk about the real reason I bought this book. Batman.

Story comments: Let’s see if I can sum up the rest of the story to this issue outside of the final moments/Batman face-off in one paragraph.

This issue read like a jumbled mess, a boggle device of ideas and moments that where poorly skewed together in Morrison’s backwards attempt to make sense of everything. While some of these moments where nice, such as Mary being brought back to normal made me happy and the opening with Superman was cool, most of it was over the top randomness. The pacing is all over the place and it’s pathetic seeing the name Grant Morrison as the writer. Books like Secret Invasion have done this, of course, but the sheer random shift of tones and moments is crazy and it shows that Morrison was no doubt trying to stuff as much as he could all at once. While the writing itself isn’t terrible or anything, it’s random as all hell and jarring even for someone like me who has read the online spoilers/scans of the previous issues.

Now to the reason I bought the book, Batman’s fate. If you really haven’t read yet, I’ll let the next image spoil it for you.

Did you see it? Take a second look if you have to, Batman is now Kentucky Fried Dark Knight.

The moment that is just before Batman’s death is another death, or so we can suppose, in Darksied is shot in the chest with the same bullet that killed Orion. I must admit, as a fan of Batman, seeing that all of the heroes that would take Darksied down for good, I never expected Batman to do it. It was great.

But does that justify the entire issue? Not at all. One great moment must be joined with at least other good moment and a cohesive storyline. Final Crisis has neither.

The ending I must admit was nice, Superman showing up and, as we saw, holding the corpse of his friend and kicking all kinds of ass. It was a great cliff-hanger and it leaves me on the edge of my seat as to where we go now. I may, or may not, pick up #7

But overall it was an all right story with poor storytelling.

Art Comments: As I mentioned the other day in The Week Begins, I’m a big fan of Pacheco’s art. I wasn’t expecting much, if anything good from Jones and I had no idea what to expect from Mahnke. That all being said…wow…what a disaster.

The art here was horrid at best, while it never goes into Rob Leifiled bad, it still gets plenty bad. Jones doesn’t seem to even be trying more as the only scene that looked good with his art was the Batman scene. Pacheco obviously had to rush his usually superb artwork, and Mahnke was…actually a surprisingly well done artist for the final pages. I’m glad he’s taking over for Jones next issue because he did a great job here. But still, mot of the art in this issue was pure awful and it’s sad to see this as “event” quality art.

Final Comments: A jarring experience with only one good moment in it is not something I would recommend, and with awful artwork, I have no problem telling you that Final Crisis #6 is a book you should pass up. You want to have the comic that entails Batman’s fate? Fine. You want a good read with awesome art? Go pick up Witchblade or Invincible.

Writing: 2 out of 5

Art: 1 out of 5

Overall: 2 out of 5

Pass It

Well now speak of the devil, Invincible is our next review!

Invincible #58

Written: Robert Kirkman

Art: Ryan Ottley

Opening Comments: Invincible has been a very consistent book for me, rarely is there much bad to say about the book and it’s been really hitting some high points. This issue however doesn’t really deal with too much that’s all that important, and I’m getting a worry that Invincible may be returning to it’s older and more frustrating pacing.

Story Comments: The opening with Invincible and Kid-Omni-Man was nice. A fun little moment between brothers. But really not much to say on it, a nice opening for the comic and setting the light-hearted easy tone of the rest of this issue.

Another moment that I’m going to talk about as well as it’s solution near the end of the book, is Rudy and Amanda. I won’t go too in depth, but it was just a really good moment that Amanda has found a way to use her powers, and from the looks of it, not get younger. It was a nice moment between these characters as well, and I’m hoping this moment doesn’t backfire later on in the series.

Then we get…I don’t know what this is. Some random couple looking at a house. Do I know them? Should I? I’m confused here. I’ve read a lot of Invincible on and off but I don’t recall these people or who the hell they are. One of them looks like a Vilturumite guy from the past. I hate to sound so stupid in the middle of the review, but seriously, what just happened? Who are these two and why are they important to Invincible?

Then we get a random moment with Lethan, ruler of Atlantis (how many companies have to have an Atlantis as well as a ruler to go with it?) which was random and rather confusing to be thrown in the middle of it. I guess Kirkman’s attempt at humor?

When we get back to Invincible and Eve on their “date” they get interrupted by a villain named Killcannon. Sounds awesome. But he’s not. The moment itself was more set up for Invincible finding out why Eve, earlier, went to prison. Invincible will now be working as a security system for prisons, and I believe she mentioned banks as well.

It’s a great idea by Kirkman, Invincible’s attempts to keep the world save have been rather pathetic as of lately with his leaving Cecil’s organization. This should be an interesting little twist, and it leads into the next thing in which Invincible and Eve plan to get their own place.

I fear Kirkman is now seriously rushing this entire relationship for the sake of making up for so much lost time and people crying out for them to get together. I’m as happy as the next reader, but really, jumping to moving in together already? It’s a little odd.

Now there are other moments such as Invincible’s tailor meeting with one hero and Darkwing speaking with another hero. Both good but quick moments, and really, their not too great, their all right but really their not too great. Just all right, the same could be said for Oliver speaking with his tutor and Invincible finding another spying device.

The final 2 pages sets up what you would already know from an interview Kirkman did a few weeks back. Hamburger Head (I can’t remember his actual name) has gathered several evil version of Invincible, amassing a small army, if you will. It’s a great cliff-hanger and leaves me excited for next month’s issue.

Overall the story was nice, a tad random though. Nowhere near as jarring as Final Crisis, but it feels like Kirkman had several ideas he just had to stuff into one issue. Rather then spreading them throughout the next few issues. I’m not sure if this is good or bad, that we get them all in one issue, since now they can’t really interrupt the next issues.

Art Comments: I doubt there’s anything I can say about Ottley. The art continues to be great, everyone looks as they should and I’m glad to see Ottley finally being reigned in by an editor. Nothing much to comment on, he does a great job as always and it’s always great to look at.

Final Comments: Invincible #58 was a fairly standard well done book. We had lots of good moments and lots of all right moments. The twist of Invincible’s new career and him and Eve planning to move in together was nice at least. Overall though, it’s just an okay issue and I recommend it if you’re interested.

Writing: 3 out of 5

Art: 4 out of 5

Overall: 3 out of 5

Check It

And now a quick Open Fire! Review for…

Ultimate Spider-man #129

Written: Brian Bendis

Art: Stuart Immonen

This issue was nicely done. Though like a lot of comics nowadays, it feels like there was more to do and not enough time to do it. We see Spider-woman return, but it’s rather randomly which disappointed me. Her and Human Torch have a team up, somewhat at least, and take down the Vulture. It was a simple but fun issue.

One thing I have to mention is that it seems Human Torch has a thing for Pete’s Clone…which is wrong on so many levels. But at the same time, a fun twist for the book. If Johnny survives Ultimatum and so does Spider-woman, this could lead somewhere very interesting. The art was all right, I’m not Immonen’s biggest fan but I did like it at least, and Spider-woman looks great.

Overall a good issue, check it out of you’ve been looking for a good place to jump back on.

Writing: 5 out of 5

Art: 3 out of 5

Overall: 4 out of 5

Must Read

Witchblade #123

Written: Ron Marz

Art: Stjepan Sejic

Opening Comments: As mentioned last time, I find this arc to be rather meh in that while there is nothing wrong with it and Marz’ writing continues to be pure greatness, that doesn’t stop that it’s more or less treading things along until War of the Witchblade, which his disappointing. Still, this arc has been a good read nonetheless and this issue shows it may be more important then we figured.

Story Comments: Picking up where last issue left off, Gretch, the reporter, gets her ass saved by Sara from the Marinette, the villain here. An evil conjuring that is after Sara and has been killing to get her attention. This was a good opening moment as it sets the tone of what this issue is, more action oriented then what most of this arc has been.

Following this, Sara confronts a Mambo about Marinette, finding her, killing her, and it’s a nice moment. Marz definitely understands what he’s talking about and doesn’t seem to be pulling things that seem good out of his head and hoping they work.

We then see what holds the attention of most of this issue, Marinette and Sara fighting. It’s a good battle, not overly one-sided and overall I liked it. Marz balances interesting moments with strong action, as well as Gretch doing some narration over the fight which was a nice touch.

Though now we have a problem. Seems Marz has insisted on foreshadowing, something that’s starting to get on my nerves. Someone summoned Marinette, some man with a can who she does not of. It’s…frustrating to do this right before a big storyline/at the end of another one. If it where the start of a storyline involving the man then it would be fine, but it isn’t, it’s something Marz has done to foreshadow a later story no doubt with someone behind the scenes. Which has gotten annoying that so many stories do this nowadays.

The final scene is with Dani as she accompanies her student Finch, threatening her boyfriend and as the final page shows us, several blades at his body from the Witchblade. It was a great cliff-hanger and it leaves me really excited for the next issue.

Art Comments: Stjepan Sejic is pure greatness. The villain Marinette is a cool design and he obviously had fun painting her because he got to go a little crazy with it and it looks great. But I’m always praising his artwork, it’s stunning and pure greatness as always.

Final Comments: While the foreshadowing was annoying, it’s still a good issue. Though nothing overly exciting as far as plot resolution happens. Marinette just goes away like that. It’s an odd way to end the story. Still, another great issue nonetheless.

Writing: 4 out of 5

Art: 5 out of 5

Overall: 4 out of 5

Must Read

So ends the reviews. Nothing to post until the weekend with Week’s End really. I’ll say this to close though, Image Comics is doing incredibly well with some of the best book on the shelves. Do yourself a favor, check out some of these great books.


BrikHed said...

You nailed FINAL CRISIS but I say you missed on INVINCIBLE as it was a great issue. That is just me though

Andrenn said...

Glad you enjoyed the FC review, and no worries about our disagreement. I didn't find Invincible at all to be a bad issue, just not it's best. A standard good issue.