Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Comic Reviews for April 22nd 2009

I almost wasn’t able to get comics today, which worried me, but luckily I got to the shop and the reviews are here.

Detective Comics #853

Written: Neil “who I am now a fan of” Gaiman

Art: Andy “totally worth the wait” Kubert

Opening Comments: Over the years Batman has become one of my favorite heroes, just like with many other readers. But how can you possibly hope to close the era of the greatest hero of all time? Expecting any writer to do so is crazy but somehow, I’m not even sure how, Neil Gaiman did it and the result is an absolutely incredible story.

Story Comments: I will not be spoiling this, no, not one bit. I will discuss the opening pages, but I won’t spoil who the mysterious woman from the end of last issue turned out to be. All I will spoil is one aspect of the final few pages as it needs commentary.

We see heroes and villains telling the tale of Batman, of how powerful he was, at his own funeral. It’s some powerful stuff and Gaiman is not only writing this as a fan of Batman but as a book for anyone who enjoys Batman to enjoy this.

At first I was confused as to where this was all going, but when we see the real Batman and how he has deduced all of what happens it fits brilliantly well and I loved the twist Gaiman used here.

We see this was all done to remind Batman what he is, why he does it and just how incredible he really is. We are treated with glorious imagery that follows and great recollections and possible deaths for Batman and it’s really great stuff.

Overall the plot here was great, though I must admit a little confusing for those who don’t catch on quick like myself I was scratching my head until the reveal of what this all really was.

We get a moment where Batman says “goodbye” to the world as if it where in a storybook his mother was reading him and it was a touching moment really. To see Batman look back one last time (must, resist, spoiling…)

Then we have the final pages, where the Batsymbol turns into hands that lift up the newly born Bruce Wayne. Oh…damn…it was simply a brilliant way to end this story. I really can’t praise this storyline enough but in trying not to spoil it really I have to be careful. So let us put it this way, readers of the New Age, every panel and every page is pure greatness and I loved it.

Art Comments: Kubert is often ah it or miss artist with me. While I like his work, at the same time it’s not always worth large delays. But then we have this, his most incredible work yet. Gaiman pushes the limits of what one artist can do in having Kubert do Batman artist impressions from Bob Kane to Jim Lee and it all looks great.

He adds an incredible flare and power to every panel and page that is perfect to accompany the incredible writing. His images are incredible his layouts are insanely good and just everything about the art is perfect here.

Final Comments: How good is “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader” well before I wrote this review, I got online and pre-ordered the HC due out this July. This is not merely Gaiman’s love letter to Batman, this is Gaiman and Kubert showing that the fans know what they love and this is a Batman fan’s perfect story.

Writing: 5 out of 5

Art: 5 out of 5

Overall: 5 out of 5

Must Have

Invincible #61

Written: Robert Kirkman

Art: Ryan Ottley

Opening Comments: After Kirkman wowed me last month I was curious as to where he would go here with the world in ruin thanks to the evil Invincibles. As a fan of the series I had high hopes, and Kirkman very well delivered.

Story Comments: Picking up in the aftermath of the Invincible War, Eve is in the hospital but Invincible soon goes out to help with cleaning up the world. Powerplex shows up and is taken care of quickly thanks to Badrock (the only good character from Youngblood gets a nice spotlight here) and he shouts how this is all Invincible’s fault. This was actually a cool moment and made Powerplex actually feel like a worthwhile villain, shocker I know (puns!).

Invincible heads back to the hospital to see Eve and runs into her parents. It was a great moment, though I’d expected a little more friction between them. Still a good moment and I hope they interact more in future issues. Also before this we saw a good moment of Invincible dealing with his guilt, which was very nice.

We then get my favorite moment in the entire issue. It’s just one page and it shows Immortal is alive and so is Dupli-Kate (I could have sworn that was a 1 on the Kate that got killed) and Immortal says he’s retiring to start a family with Kate. That was just a really great moment for me as I completely forgot who they where back in #58 but now I remember who they are and why their great.

Another great moment following this is Cecil getting some heroes together, Invincible with them, wanting to make a new team right away to keep things in check. He offers leadership to Invincible but he turns it down, much to my surprise. I would figure that since he feels so bad that maybe he’d still be up for trying to lead the team. But he has good reasons for not so I can’t blame him.

Then we find out who Conquest is. He’s a Viltrumite sent to assimilate earth. He’s big, strong, and has a badass glove and a scar. Excuse me as I fall in love with my new favorite villain. Seriously this should be an epic and great fight, Invincible doesn’t back down and it’s all looking to be epic and insane for next issue leaving me pawing for more, but satisfied with what I got as this was a great issue once more.

Art Comments: I usually write of Ryan Ottley as “good as always” but I must admit that once again he impresses me but also he does a really great job on the emotional level here with Invincible’s guilt and the awkward moment between him and Eve’s parents. And Conquest…he looks so great, a perfect beefy big handed nemesis for Invincible.

Final Comments: My love for this series is renewed once more as Kirkman has shot Invincible to the top of the best comics out there list (or at least near the top) as this was another incredible read and it has me excited for more. If you’ve never read Invincible this is a nice place to jump on, just know that the world went to hell. And if you left prior, again, just know that the world went to Hell and it’s turning into a must have storyline.

Writing: 5 out of 5

Art: 5 out of 5

Overall: 5 out of 5

Must Have

Mighty Avengers #24

Written: Dan Slot

Art: Rafa Sandoval

Opening Comments: While Slott didn’t really wing me over with his debut arc of Mighty Avengers I am still hopeful for the new team and their adventures as Slott is Grade A talent. While this issue didn’t really wow me, it was at least a fun, but off, read.

Story Comments: We open with the Cabal meeting in the world of their minds meeting thanks to Emma. We see them squabble a bit and they also bring up the Mighty Avengers, much to Loki’s content. We see Loki is doing this to ‘crack Osborn’s armor’ by having her Avengers show up his in everywhere but America.

Wee see the Young Avengers for all of one page where Vision and Cassie try to tell them how they are on a new team but they get pulled to the Mighty Avengers headquarters and it doesn’t work out. This could have been a really great moment that I know Slott would have handled well, but oh well, perhaps another day. I do like how Cassie and Vision stick out compared to the others as it’s more realistic that they would.

We see Quicksilver then hunting down the MA in search for his sister. Slott writes the typical “I’m a jackass” Quicksilver which was at least nice. The MA then take on Swarm, which quicksilver interrupts and endangers the fight but it was still a nice quick fight. I can tell Slott is doing a good job of establishing them as the typical “fight the bad guys now!” team.

We see Osborn and H.A.M.M.E.R. trying to find the Mighty Avengers to no avail, then Hank Pym is on the news talking to a reporter really quick and Osborn’s reaction at the end of it is priceless.

We then see the Mighty Avengers fighting some big baddie named Titan. It’s a fairly boring fight really that Quicksilver solves and for that gets a spot on the team. We also see Jarvis and Jocasta fleeing H.A.M.M.E.R. which was at least interesting.

After the team meets up, we see the Cabal again and it’s all going to Hell and their storming off and cursing each other out. I’m not sure why Loki wants to destroy the Cabal, maybe she’s just doing it for fun but man this is really weird.

Overall and all right issue but I’m not seeing the importance or really anything special about this series so far.

Art Comments: Sandoval is an artist who I actually enjoy. His stuff has been fairly impressive, but his style here is really weird and different compared to his prior work. Characters look like their made out of pain that’s come to life in how smooth they all look. The art never gets bad, but it’s just weird I guess.

Final Comments: Overall it was an improvement but I’m still not sure. I will stick with it as the upcoming arc with the new villain sounds cool and this will probably lead up to that. This issue was just all right but lacking still in real character greatness and importance.

Writing: 3 out of 5

Art: 3 out of 5

Overall: 3 out of 5

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