Friday, March 20, 2009

Comic reviews for March 20th 2009

Ladies and gentlemen we have Gods! Well in my comic shop at least, this week they finally got Jersey Gods and are now to get it on a regular schedule. So with that I throw in Jersey Gods #2 into this mix of reviews, though Dark Avengers is left waiting in my pullbox for another day.

Invincible #60

Written: Robert Kirkman

Art: Ryan Ottley

Opening Comments: On a first read through I was rather disappointed with this issue. It was jarring and at times clumsy and really didn’t meet it’s goal of giving any of it’s guest stars a meaningful moment, outside of a few characters here and there. But where this issue shined, after a second reading, was in that it has great character moments for the Invincible universe and overall does a far better job of telling an event in one issue, then either Marvel or DC did last year with their events.

Story Comments: This issue opens with an explanation as to Angstrom’s survival when he got his head beaten to a bloody pulp. Then things soon kick off and war breaks out in a matter of seconds.

We get a quick Invincible/Atom Eve talk before the shit hits the fan for them. But soon everyone is being attacked from Spawn to Firebreather all over the world heroes are getting smacked around by Invincible. Though here in lies my biggest problem with this issue: It feels nothing like a crossover event. These characters might all as well be a bunch of cardboard cut outs that say “Spawn” or “Savage Dragon” on them. They get hardly to no lines and all their good for here is punching, they don’t have one single worthwhile moment…well minus a moment for Pitt but that was it. I love a lot of these characters so for me to see them as so hollow and unimportant bugged the hell out of me and really hurt my enjoyment of this issue.

Invincible soon joins the fray, everything is going to hell and Cecil calls in every hero he can to take down the Invinci-army. It was a nice little moment at least and kind of funny even.

We see one Invincible taking out the Guardians of the Globe. This worries me. The only 2 of them I liked seem to be dead, Immortal gets his head thrown through Dupli-Kate’s body. Now I’m also pretty sure it’s the first original one seeing as she’s got the 1 on her suit. If they are dead, then color me disappointed.

The best moment of this issue came in Rex Plode’s sacrifice so that his friends could escape the evil Invincible trying to kill them. He uses his skeleton as a bomb to kill him. It was a great touching moment that hit the right emotional strings and left my mouth wide open in a gasp.

On another note, I’m happy to say I was wrong about Eve’s death…so far at least. She’s badly hurt and hospitalized. I was glad to see Kirkman not take the obvious route with this event and kill her off.

With only 8 Invincibles left, Angstrom betrays them and stands them in another dimension which was kind of funny, but he’s too late, Invincible comes back to kill him and from here is the best moment of the issue. When Invincible has Angstrom in his grip, Kid-Omni-Man pushes him to kill Angstrom and just before he can, Angstrom escapes, one arm less villainous and is left to being slaves of the super surgeons who fixed him.

The issue ends with the world in ruin, a huge landscape destroyed is all we see and it’s a very powerful way to end the issue.

While the writing is a tad jarring, it makes more sense for the fact that this is war, it’s crazy, it’s chaotic and for that it fits perfectly. Overall I really did love this issue, but it had it’s faults, it didn’t deliver all it promised and for what we got I was both disappointed and satisfied. Odd, I know. Still for what it was, another great issue of Invincible and things are looking up for us readers, even if down for Invincible.

Art Comments: I was worried if Ottley would deliver as far as making all the Image crew appealing. How dumb of me to worry as while most of these characters have zero lines, they still look badass as all hell. Despite how erratic the layout gets the art still conveys a story well enough and some shots, such as the final page, are incredibly well done.

Final Comments: Invincible War was a great issue despite it’s flaws, the art was the best it’s ever been and really for anyone who likes big epic events this is the comic for you. An Incredible issue even with it’s problems.

Writing: 4 out of 5

Art: 5 out of 5

Overall: 4 out of 5

Must Read

Witchblade #125

Written: Ron Marz

Art: Stjepan Sejic

Opening Comments: After months of waiting…war is here! Sort of…I’m sad to say that despite the title, there is no warring of the Witchblades within these pages. Still, despite it’s lack of action the first chapter in War of the Witchblades continues the trend of Witchblade being an excellent must read comic.

Story Comments: A quick opening has Sara going Witchblade in the moonlight as Hope stares at her mother. A weird opening as it leads quickly to the next day with the two at the prison visiting Sara’s younger sister. This was a great scene that doesn’t last too long as it’s a simple discussion and catches up nicely on everything between Sara and Dani. Though overall this was the slowest moment of the comic.

When we pick up with Dani and Finch settling in, this moment was far more interesting. Finch clearly wants to be intimate with Dani but she’s just not sure. Marz really handles the discussion nicely and has built a nice relationship with these two. Where it goes though is up in the air.

Then we get to the best moment in this issue, Sara chasing down a wannabe fake vampire. She knocks the fake fangs off him fast and he admits he was…oh hell who cares he was just spying on his girlfriend or something. It was funny as all hell and had me in stitches. Perhaps a poke at a certain young series about vampires?

This issue ends with the mystery man at the end of #123 meeting with one of the high ranking Angelus soldiers and it was an okay scene. Though overall it was just more set up and feels like it should have been at the end of last issue really.

Overall the content here was a little lacking. Discussions continue to excel as Marz always has been able to do with these characters but the lack of anything deeply important happening really hurt it for me and knocked it down a grade.

There’s also a backups story but it’s just more guess work which I’m getting tired of from this series.

Art Comments: Stjepan Sejic is always able to make even the more quiet personal moments done extremely well and look good. Though he has one problem and that seems to be this weird shading with Sara when she was in the prison talking to her sister. Sara looked almost…3D. It had to have been the shading as she looked normal again when chasing Vampire Wannabe. Still despite one flaw, the art is amazing as always.

Final Comments: Despite little really happening it was still another great read. Marz could have given us a little more War but for an opening chapter it was still really good and if you’re interested in the series, I highly suggest it.

Writing: 4 out of 5

Art: 5 out of 5

Overall: 4 out of 5

Must Read

Wolverine #71

Written: Mark Millar

Art: Steve McNiven

Opening Comments: Despite delays Old Man Logan continues to be a great read. Though from this chapter I’m getting a feeling that perhaps Millar wanted this to be a Graphic Novel but he decided to release it as a comic, as it’s certainly reading like a graphic novel instead of a comic.

Story Comments: Picking up where last issue left off, Venom took over a T-rex and is after our heroes. Why? I have no clue. But he is and it’s awesome. I think Hawkeye said something about Venom’s alien mother though and it got cut out of the prologue in last issue. Anyway it is resolved pretty fast when an old Blackbolt is sent down by Emma Frost to take care of it.

From there Emma helps the two and we get a rather odd back and forth conversation. I hate it when all characters do is hint at something important, but don’t directly say what it was and that really filled this conversation. Still the ending with Emma congratulating Logan on finding happiness with his family was a nice way to end it at least.

After a few epic shots we find our heroes at the destination, New Babylon, giving some rogue heroes Super Soldier Formula. Hawkeye wants to help them use it to take back the world, it goes to hell as their really government agents.

Things go to hell real fast and it was a great twist…though left me with a “so that was all for nothing?” feeling as Logan’s family is either dead meat or going to have to be on the run.

Then there is the cliff-hanger, Hawkeye getting his brains blown out. Can’t see how he’d survive that so he’s either dead or got himself a wicked healing factor.

Overall this felt really rushed from one point to the other just to get things all in a row for the final 2 chapters and Logan’s revenge. So for what it was, it was another absolutely incredible read….but at the same time it felt a little unbalanced.

Art Comments: Steve McNiven gets plenty of shots to shine. Most notably a shot of Giant-Man’s giant skeleton across the land (new desktop background!) and it all looks amazing. He’s one of the few artist where every delays is well worth it as this comic looks absolutely incredible in every way.

Final Comments: Old Man Logan swiveled a little here and told a somewhat erratic, but cool as all hell and still incredibly well done, story. If you’re not reading then it’s a little too late but it’s still a Must Have!

Writing: 5 out of 5

Art: 5 out of 5

Overall: 5 out of 5

Jersey Gods #2

Writer: Glen Brunswick

Art: Dan McDaid

Opening Comments: After a cool opener Jersey Gods continues to impress and is now on the pull list to stay. Though while this issue impressed me, I must admit I am a tad disappointed at the lack of what was promised, funny and wick cool romantic comedy along with intense action.

Story Comments: Picking up where last issue left off Barock and Zoe are seconds away from Minog dishing out the death. Barock reflects on his regrets before death, a nice touch by Brunswick. We see “the Great War” and it’s affects on Barock and just before he is ready to die, Zoe gives him a kiss and he soon kicks ass. It’s a tad cliché but exactly what I’m reading the series for, these two’s dynamic, and it’s incredibly well done.

From there they have a funny moment before Barock and Helius have to head home. It was a great moment and again, proves that Brunswick loves writing these characters and has an important tale to tell with them.

The worst and only real weak moment in this issue was when Zoe is with her ass-kissing boss at a fashion show. It’s kind of funny and it’s light hearted fun, but really Zoe and Barock are best when they interact from what I’ve seen and on their own they are just okay. Also, I fail to see the relevance of it all in the end.

When we get back to Neborn (a whole planet of gods) we find out a civil war is about to break out. It’s all good and kind of interesting but really this isn’t want I signed up for. It’s nowhere near as entertaining as what we’ve been promised and even feels a little cliché in some aspects. Though we get a nice moment with Barock wanting to call Zoe after it’s been 3 days, but Helius says he can’t. It’s stuff like that I’m more enjoying rather then some civil war.

It all goes to hell real easy and the cliff-hanger has our heroes at the clutches of Lurella, daughter of the person their going in to capture. It was an all right cliff-hanger but still I hope that by issue #3 we get things going more with Barock and Zoe’s relationship as the God War should be more of an important sub-plot seeing as how this series has been marketed as more about Barock and Zoe in Jersey.

Despite this I really loved this issue, dialogue was top notch and there where some really cool moments. It just leaves me wanting a little more is all, but I still loved it.

Art Comments: McDaid is a first time artist and in some cases it shows painfully as he doesn’t always complete a page and it’s annoying. Still outside of that Brunswick made a bold move choosing him and while his style still doesn’t fully appeal to me, I like that he made it. For what it is the art does look good most of the time. McDaid does a great job of capturing big moments like a recap of the Great War and the final page looks great. It’s more small personal panels he needs to work on.

Final Comments: Jersey Gods still has a little bit to go until it reaches it’s high point but for now it’s still a great read with some rough, but good, artwork. If you’re looking for something fresh and interesting this is certainly it.

Writing: 4 out of 5

Art: 3 out of 5

Overall: 4 out of 5

Must Read

All great reads even if some better then others. I know there was only one Marvel comic and most of the readers here don’t read a lot of Image, so my apologies, but hey, maybe these reviews have convinced you to check some of the Image comics out. I recommend them, as you can see.

No comments: