Saturday, January 3, 2009

Comic Reviews for Late December

Only 2 books for you today, blame Batman for costing 20 bucks at my LCS. But expect more reviews soon probably.

Wolverine #70

Written: Mark Millar

Art: Steve McNiven

Opening comments: Old Man Logan has officially become my “Must Read” list of comics as by it’s 5th chapter I am completely sold and loving this storyline. Mark Millar offers the origin of Old Man Logan, in a sense, as to what could make one of the most slash happy heroes in the Marvel Universe put his claws away forever. It’s one of the most twisted and brilliant things I’ve seen since Warren Ellis started playing with a Goblin.

Story Comments: Most of this issue is based around simply what broke Wolverine, which is mostly just him fighting (and by fighting I mean gutting and hacking up) super-villains. Not just X-villains, we get Doc Ock, Bullseye, it gets crazy.

Overall there really isn’t too much to say about this part as it’s basically just Wolverine gutting villains for several pages and then we get a little twist, which I’ll mention in a moment here. I must admit, the overall idea of Wolverine taking on all these villains and killing them with little to no effort was confusing, but at the same time, satisfying. Where else will you see Doc Ock get his throat slashed?

Now the twist is very simple, Mysterio, of all the random villains, has tricked Wolverine into thinking the X-men where all villains attacking the mansion. He masked their scent and everything, sending Wolverine on a killing spree to protect the children, but really he slaughtered all of his friends. Logan’s line about how Wolverine deserved death for that summed it up perfectly as to why Logan has never popped his claws. His little speech about why Wolverine deserved death, similar to his little speech at the end of last issue about how he’s happy being Old Man Logan, is very personal and incredibly well done as far as writing is concerned.

The final moment of them driving down the desert was a nice little scene, but the final page makes it near unbearable to have to wait for March. A Venomasauras stampeding right at our heroes. Yes, that’s right, the Venom Symbiote…on a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Now I don’t want to waste your time with a simple idea, but from what I’m guessing is that Venom has an old score to settle with either Wolverine or Hawkeye and for that when it saw them last issue in the caverns it’s been stalking them and is going to attack. It should make for an incredible issue next time and it’s a great cliff-hanger to leave me wanting more.

Character work continues to be great here and really, by now I think it’s needless to say that Old Man Logan is a must have for any fan of the characters and any Marvel fan in general, it’s just turning out to be a really incredible storyline and this chapter was no different.

Art Comments: Steve McNiven is an amazing artist, that should go without saying, and while I’ve never really been his biggest fan and found some of his part work to be rather poor, I must admit, Old Man Logan is worth the delay for this beautiful art. This is easily the work of his career and the first time I truly love it. But I do have one complaint here, and that’s the blood. By now it’s no shocker to say that Old Man Logan is gore-filled fun. Every chapter has had a good amount of blood hit the ground and cover bodies. But here, the blood looks much different. In prior chapters it was dark and fairly realistic in it’s coloring and it looked great, here it looks much cheesier, it’s simple bright red. I don’t know of this was the colorists decision, the editor or McNiven’s but it really sticks out badly. Especially since this chapter is so bloody with how Wolverine is killing left and right.

Outside of the weird change in the color of blood, the art is spectacular as always and the final page is pure gold.

Final Comments: While a bit of a thin read, Wolverine #70 is a great chapter in the Old Man Logan storyline and continues to boost my enjoyment of it. Maybe not everyone will like it, and I do have to fault it for how little we really got here as far as story development, but it was still a great read.

4 out of 5

Must Read

Savage Dragon #143

Written and Art: Erik Larsen

Opening Comments: Last issue for me was a bit disappointing, but this issue finally solves the problem of “where the hell is Jennifer’s” who is, for those unaware, Dragon’s wife who we all figured was either dead or avoiding him. It’s nice to see Larsen finally answer this question, and for all we get in one single issue, I was incredibly impressed.

Story Comments: The overall story has several points, but before I even speak about that I must ask. What the hell happened to She-Dragon? Did Larsen forget about her or something? She’s still missing, last time we saw her was a few issues ago, no follow up when we got such a big cliff-hanger for her? It’s rather frustrating really.

Now we open where last issue left off, Dragon being confronted by an oddly shape-shifting Helen Black, who shape-shifts into his wife Jennifer. We see her rant and rave about how horrible Dragon is and etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. It does drag on a little bit and it was a bit annoying.

Though after her little rant we see Dragon’s response and it was great, pure greatness. It’s exactly what Dragon should say and what he would say. Larsen had set up for 2 things to happen here, either Dragon could be half brained moron and mumble apologies, or he could use his brain and see that this was an imposter. Luckily the old saying goes strong, no one knows a character as well as their creator.

We then catch up with…our heroes in the Danger Zone, we get a great moment from Chris Robinson when he catches up with Wilde. It’s a sad moment in that we find out his wife and children are dead thanks to Mr. Glum, but at the same time, Larsen writes it without trying to pull too hard at our heart-strings or just get a cheap teary moment.

Returning to Dragon, it’s not too hard to figure that he defeats the Jennifer imposter, overall I found this to be an interesting point in the story but not as interested as what comes near the end of the comic.

We find out that Malcolm has been and his friends are on earth, thanks to Mr. Glum. The moments with Rex where nice but really all the moments are just okay until they build up to everyone meeting thanks to Rex. The reunion of Dragon and his boy Malcolm was great, kind of a calm before the sadness storm almost in that this was an issue of reunions, and sadly, endings.

We find out from the original Angel who is now living with Glum that in a bit of a messy event a while back, she killed Jennifer. As penance she now lives with Glum in Dimension X. It comes at the second to last page, throwing off the happy reunion somewhat but still, for all of what we got, it was good to finally have a resolution as to where Jennifer was and the final page could have been Moment of the Week, had I seen a scan of it somewhere.

The storyline here really was great. Larsen writes one of the most personal and touching issues of Savage Dragon I’ve ever read and I loved every minute of it.

Art Comments: I’m seriously wondering of Larsen somehow saw my comment about my disappointment with his art in #140, and as a way of giving me the middle finger, he returned his art to glory. The artwork here looks great and it’s seriously impressive. There was a moment of awkwardness in a scene of the Jennifer imposter getting punched and how her mouth looked, but outside of that, the art here is great. The art is also great for the back up story featuring Wilde and Budd-Ugly.

Final Comments: If you’re not reading it or not familiar with it, you may not like this issue as much as I did, but at the same time if you have been reading the series, if you’re a fan of the characters, this issue is incredible and I highly recommend it.

5 out of 5

Must Have

So that’s it for the comics of December for now, expect more reviews sooner then later, also expect a resurgence in posting as I have a lot of ideas and things I want to post soon. So check around New Age Comics for more, but for now, adios.


Cat said...

Wolverine was great wasn't it? Worth the delays in my eyes. Haven't read savage dragon in years (collected from #1-60). I talked with Erik Larsen at Baltimore comicon and he said he had good stuff in store for the title. Maybe I should check it out. Plus he drew me a sketch in my Image Comics hardcover (the one with dragons origin).
Great reviews...looking forward to more posts. Hope your Holidays were great!

Andrenn said...

It was indeed worth the delays, I hope Old Man Logan gets the Premiere Hardcover treatment when collected.

I definitely suggest you check out Savage Dragon if interested, but I'd wait until February when Back in Blue comes out. It's a good jumping on point as Larsen says and seeing how we've already gotten a few things tied up nicely I believe him. It's looking to be a good year for the Dragon.