Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Comic Reviews for March 4th 2009 -to be updated tomorrow-

Bit of a change in plans, I got down ot the LCS today only to find that Jersey Gods isn’t supposed to come in for another week, since they didn’t get to ordering it until a week ago. I’m a little annoyed, but they said that they are for sure getting it so…I’ll be patient. But now comes the annoying part, I’ve got an extra comic to review and I thought of an easer way to get these reviews out. I have a special post planned for tomorrow so I’m going to do update reviews, I’ll get a few done tonight then finish them tomorrow and edit them into the post. So tonight you get reviews of Secret Warriors, Spawn, Savage Dragon and tomorrow I’ll edit in reviews of Mighty Avengers, Ultimate Spider-man and Batman. So now that you’re caught up, check out tonight’s reviews and check back tomorrow for the other half.

Secret Warriors #2

Written: Bendis and Jonathan Hickman

Art: Stefano Caselli

Opening Comments: After a weak first issue I wasn’t sure about this series anymore, but fairness says to give it a chance so I am and I must admit. While it’s not quite there yet, the second issue does improve upon where the 1st issue lacked.

Story Comments: This issue picks up on the ends of Hydra during Secret Invasion, Strucker makes a call to destroy Hydra, all of it from what I understand, and to rebuild it. I’ve always liked Hydra so for me this was a real cool moment. Though at the same time…I’ve gotten my fair share of seeing Skrulls so I hope this is about all there is left of them to see.

We then pick up where last issue left of with Daisy and Nick discussing the shocking reveal of last issue. It was a short ending to this moment from last month and I’m glad. This could have easily dragged on for half the damn comic.

The moment when Strucker is being debriefed was 2 pages of bore for me. The main point was to show how far Hydra reaches and that’s nice but we didn’t need 2 pages of back and forth for it. Though I guess it could have been a lot worse, it was just boring for me.

The scene where the team are at a Chinese restaurant talking was the best part and the whole reason I’m buying the book for them. It was nice to see Hickman finally give them, as a team, some screen time for this issue.

After some nice discussion, a little tedious here and there but still nicely done, we find out our little God of Fear can see into the future…sort of. He wasn’t clear as to how it all works. He tells each member of the team what’s in store for them, and while the revelation that Yo-Yo and Jerry will have ‘something special’ at the same time it felt kind of annoying that we get all these peeks into the future rather then getting to just see them first hand.

We then see Hydra assembling its top forces, leading to a resurrection of some villain I’ve never even heard of. Everything seems to be nicely set up for the next issue and things to go down so all in all, despite being flawed, this was a good read. Hickman gave us a nice balance of team moments and villain moments so for what it all is, I really dug this issue.

Art Comments: Caselli finally has more room to breathe with this issue and for that it was great. His style is still one I really like and seeing him not so confined to dark spaces like last issue really helps things go along smoothly.

Final Comments: Despite not opening well I’m starting to change my attitude on this book. But this issue didn’t make me a complete believer so I leave it to issue #3 to sell me on it. But if your interested then I’m sure you’ll dig it.

Writing: 4 out of 5

Art: 4 out of 5

Overall: 4 out of 5

Must Read

Spawn #189

Written: Brian Holguin and Todd McFarlane

Art: Whilce Portacio

Opening Comments: Endgame started out very strong but quickly lost my attention after a while. After a long 4 months of waiting Endgame has it’s first Must Have since it’s first chapter.

Story Comments: This issue is divided up and tells 2 stories at the same time, Clown reveals his master plans while discussing with a new possible ally, a demon who had long forgotten his time in Hell and left it to a normal life alongside the story of Jim’s first outing as Spawn.

It’s mostly narration over images as Clown’s discussion is mostly left to word panels and Jim’s story has zero words to it, though the two tales do sync up a little with a few funny moments like Clown describing a hole where Jim fell and made a giant one.

This issue’s success is mostly thanks to Brian Holguin’s masterful dialogue. If it where any other writer the dialogue just wouldn’t have this same amazing life to it and jump out at me as his does. This is Clown at his best and Holguin at his best, which is why I’m sad to see him leaving as the main script writer for the book.

The story as a whole doesn’t have too much to it really, we see Jim as Spawn, he roughs up some gangsters and it all goes well. There where some nice touches like him smiling when jumping form roof to roof. Though really I must admit the story isn’t amazing, for what we got, we got a real great read with top notch story telling.

Art Comments: Portacio is a great artist but his art has yet to do anything over the top and great as we get in this issue. While I don’t’ like how Spawn so far is just a black figure with green eyes and spikes, I know it’s an evolving look but it’s still a tad disappointing when you look at how cool Spawn has always looked in the past. Though overall it’s great art in general and it really gets to shine here.

Final Comments: Endgame is finally heating up and looking great, if you left last issue like I would have then do yourself a favor, come back as it’s looking to get real good from there. The old saying, things can only look up? Well things can only look as high as the sky can go from here.

Writing: 5 out of 5

Art: 5 out of 5

Overall: 5 out of 5

Must Have

Savage Dragon #145

Written and Art: Erik Larsen

Opening Comments: This issue is a perfect example of how to reboot a series without starting from scratch (like Spawn and Spider-man) or just spelling it out for the newbie’s like their idiots (Witchblade and Invincible). Though as much as I enjoyed this issue, some of the charm that this series has had isn’t quite there.

Story Comments: This issue is mainly narrated by Frank, longtime father figure to Dragon and the guy who gets him back on the force. Frank does a nice job of summing up Dragon’s life while the story itself still progresses which was nice, as often this technique of summing up the history is given it’s own set amount of pages and panel time rather then being incorporated alongside the story.

After some back and forth during a bar brawl that the Dragon is involved with, he discusses it with his kids, which was a nice scene. We see that Malcolm got his hand on Street Fighter 4 (lucky kid) which was a funny moment. It’s stuff like that which makes this comic so great and I wanted to see more of that. Unfortunately we could not be so lucky.

Things move quickly to a great speech from Frank as to Dragon’s return to the force, one of the main driving points being a gang in town taking back power. From there a great re-introduction for Dragon and the rest of the officers we see him at an Obama event as the new President returns home to Chicago.

The scene between Dragon and Obama was a nice scene, well done and it avoided any cheesy moments like….other appearances for him have had. But things go to hell pretty fast and Dragon goes in to kick ass. It was a cheap action scene and not as amusing as the one this issue opened with.

This issue ends with Dragon getting back at the department, a little party going on to celebrate his return. It was a nice way to end this issue, though Alex acted really out of character and Dragon seemed suddenly obsessed over her. It was weird. Though it was the only fault I could find about character work.

The ending was nice, I don’t want to spoil it for those who are interested in this book but, it looks to be pretty major.

Overall it was a great read, though lacking a lot of the charm this series has usually had I still loved the hell out of it. It was a great way to present it to new readers and for longtime readers to still enjoy it. If you where interested and have ever read this series before you’ll probably dig it, newbie’s also should get a kick out of the story.

Art Comments: Larsen continues a great streak of artwork for his series as always it looks great. There really isn’t much more to say, but I must admit, the insanity of the last page was the best done in all this issue.

Final Comments: A great issue that’s both accessible and enjoyable. If you had even a small consideration for it, pick up Savage Dragon as things are looking to get wild and great.

Writing: 4 out of 5

Art: 4 out of 5

Overall: 4 out of 5

Batman #686

Written: Neil Gaiman

Art: Andy Kubert

This issue is cool moment after cool moment that I could go in depth about but never do justice to without you actually reading the book. It’s a bit of a weird tale as we see multiple versions of the Dark Knight which is always cool. Gaiman is clearly a fan by how affectionately he writes the 2 main deaths of Batman as seen here.

Kubert’s art is always a treat and if he could keep a good schedule like so many great artist fail at, he would be golden like the rest of them could be. He has a cool sketch book added into this issue and usually I don’t care about that stuff but I really did love getting to see his drawings of the original batman costume by Bob Kane.

Not much more I can say that I haven’t already said, it was an incredible read that has me counting down the days for more.

Writing: 5 out of 5

Art: 5 out of 5

Overall: 5 out of 5

Must Have

Change in plans, the 2 last reviews will be edited in tomorrow. Check back for them then. Sorry!

1 comment:

BrikHed said...

Secret Warriors left me with an empty feeling to the point that I do not think I will be continuing with the series. I love Jonathan Hickman's work but I feel like my lack of knowledge of the current Marvel U makes the book a hard read. I am dropping it.

Spawn was on the money... best issue so far of ENDGAME