Thursday, July 2, 2009

Comic Reviews for July 2nd 2009

It’s a good/bad day here at New Age Comics with Andrenn. On one hand I got my comics. On the other my pull box is filling more so I had to cut off some of the books I’ve been reading. Utopia is out, Blackest Night is in. Reborn is on the chopping block as are a few other books such as Sinister Spider-man.

But hey let’s forget about the bad and focus on the good. 3 good comics this week. Let’s review them now.

Spawn #193

Written: Todd McFarlane

Art: Greg Capullo

Opening Comments: The issue that all the Spawn fans have been waiting for. Capullo’s long awaited return to the title he helped make famous. While I can’t deny the art is the main attraction for this issue, the story was surprisingly on the same level of greatness.

Story Comments: Picking up right from last issue with a shot of Violator divulging that he knows all about Spawn. Just as Spawn goes over to take out Violator Freak warns him not to do so. This is the first thing that caught my eye, how Freak is warning Spawn and seems to want to help the new Spawn. It could lead into a very interesting change of pace from McFarlane.

After Violator plays a game of furthering lies, he pretends that Clown beats him up and Clown shows up asking if Spawn is all right. From here the two talk and it’s a very interesting conversation. Much to my surprise Spawn isn’t going to be enemies with Clown but rather it seems Clown is looking to make an alliance with our new Spawn.

The dialogue all through this scene is very well done. McFarlane is finally giving Jim a more active and interesting voice and making him stand out more as a character more and more. Clown is great, a character who’s had his up’s and downs is finally excelling and is really great here.

We switch over to Sam and Twitch where they take on the case of a murder that happened back in issue #189. They take center stage for most of the issue here and as expected from McFarlane he has a strong grip on these characters. Twitch did sound a little odd at one moment but that was a short moment.

When they nearly hit Clown as he’s walking down the street, Clown takes a piss on Sam’s hood and gets himself arrested.

We return to the detectives in Virginia who have been looking in to the suicide from issue #185. It’s the one moment I was bored with this issue. McFarlane wants this to feel more big and important but really it’s just a blind goose chase for now so it’s not holding my interest much.

The issue ends with Clown thrown into a cell with other guys. He sits down with a young man named Claudio who is vampire. Clown wants his boss to team up with Clown and Spawn to form an unholy trinity. The issue ends there.

I continue to love how McFarlane writes the Clown. He’s such a great villain and really while I know there are other forces at work I just want to see more and more of the Clown. He’s too great to ignore.

I do feel this issue cut out of nowhere, like McFarlane had a little bit more to write but he was out of room so he cut it there with next issue to pick up but that’s my biggest complaint. This was an awesome and stuffed read.

Art Comments: All right, the real reason all of you Spawn fans wanted to read this issue so bad wasn’t even to read it. Capullo’s art and boy is it something.

Though first 2 minor complaints. The coloring doesn’t always fit, it has some good moments but it also has some weird moments. Most of the time it’s just fine though but early on there was a moment with Spawn’s eyes that just looked really weird with the darker green they went with.

Also there was a couple of odd moments, for Capullo at least, that felt a little oddly done. In the end it’s a very minor complaint though.

Capullo is a masterful artist and that shines through here. Every panel, every page, looks great. The opening shot of Violator alone proves that he hasn’t lost any of the greatness that he held during his run on Spawn. To put it simple this is the best Spawn has looked in quite some time.

Final Comments: Endgame continues to increase my enjoyment of Spawn. While this issue wasn’t perfect, it had it’s fair share of issues most of them where minor enough to where I can give this issue a very high recommendation.

Writing: 5 out of 5

Art: 5 out of 5

Overall: 5 out of 5

Must Have

Witchblade #128

Written: Ron Marz

Art: Stjepan Sejic

Opening Comments: War of the Witchblades has been an interesting storyline, just when I though things where finally getting intense last time we have more of a down time issue again that sets up for things to get wild next time. While this was an enjoyable read as the series has been I can’t help but feel disappointed.

Story Comments: Sara’s sister gets out of jail but Sara isn’t there to pick her up. A nice quick scene but at the same time a little pointless in the long run as the most important thing to address happens a page later, with the dead Sara.

We see Sabine the Angelus members all talking when Gleason shows up with Hope threatening to use the baby’s untapped powers to destroy them. Sabine gives Gleason a choice on which of the passed out bearers she’ll take, Gleason chooses Sara. Minutes later Sara gets up.

I must admit I’m actually surprised that Marz didn’t kill off Sara. If it where any other writer or comic I wouldn’t be shocked but with him and Witchblade I was almost sure that Sara was dead. So while I’m relieved, at the same time I’m still very shocked that he didn’t kill her.

The best scene in this issue is Gleason trying to get some sense into Sara. When he isn’t enough he gives her Hope (the baby) but it almost works but Sara insists she has to go. I really love how Marz has been enforcing this darker violent side to Sara. It’s a radical change but it’s flowed so well that Marz has done an excellent job.

Dani wakes up later surrounded by Angelus members. Sabine tries to get her to work with them as she wants an alliance. Dani refuses but their still backing her up. An interesting turn of events and it is giving this War more of an epic feel.

We then see the shop-keeper (whatever his regular nickname is I keep forgetting) and the man who tricked Sara talk. It’s an interesting moment as we find out these two have a deep history but it’s really just more hinting.

Honestly while this issue had lots of good moment and nothing I can really be all that critical on I am rather disappointed with how War of the Witchblades is really lacking on the War. Last issue promised that things would finally get going so I forgave the prior 2 chapters for lack of action but over halfway in it’s time to give us something than simply moving things along.

Art Comments: Sejic is always turning in great stuff on this book. While the one month delay was frustrating as all delays are I can easily forgive it mostly for the awesome art her turns in. It’s, as usual, incredible.

Final Comments: Marz has no more excuses to hold off on the action. All the pawns are in place and it’s about damn time for some action. This was a well written issue at least but no more laying back next time.

Writing: 4 out of 5

Art: 5 out of 5

Overall: 4 out of 5

Must Read

Batman and Robin #2

Written: Grant Morrison

Art: Frank Quitely

Opening Comments: After a strong debut issue I can’t deny that my excitement for this series has dwindled a bit as this issue was a bit weaker than what I was hoping for.

Story comments: Batman and Robin show up at the police station as Gordon called for them. Some police comment on how they look different. I admit I hope Morrison doesn’t make too many obvious statements that they look different, it could get old fast.

After the circus people show up and storm the police station to save Toad Batman and Robin start taking them out. Robin fights a guy with who is 3 men combined and Batman soon takes him out.

Robin goes after a fat lady and Batman soon needs him. Batman gets angry, shouting for Robin as Robin is interrogating the fat lady and he gives her a concussion just as the police get back into the precinct. Batman stops robin and Toad is found to be dead.

This was a nice action scene, the art worked well here mostly as the action was great and Robin’s interrogation scene was great. The argument Batman and Robin have was great, especially how rude and evil Robin is being, Batman himself put it best when he said that he has an evil snide to him.

The best scene is the after-discussion that Dick and Alfred have after Dick removes the mask. Really this is more of what I like seeing from Morrison. As crazy as he can get h never loses the great voices these characters have. The final line “the show must go on” just showed how interesting this change has been.

The final scene shows Robin getting abducted by Pig. A nice way to close the issue for next issue to pick up and conclude this opening story arc.

While I did really enjoy this issue I can’t help but feel that Morrison may be sacrificing great character moments in favor of action. He needs to find a better balance like he almost had in this issue which hopefully he will in the future storylines

Art Comments: I really hate to say this but Quitely’s is a bit lacking in this issue. While the panel lay out for the action is amazing half the time the art just doesn’t look all that good. While some moments he does a really great job and hits some good emotional levels his biggest problem seems to be Robin. His head just keeps growing at times and is often misshapen, it’s odd. Though the art never gets downright bad or poor.

Final Comments: Batman and Robin is a continuously enjoyable read despite it’s flaws and weaknesses. Recommended to those looking for fun action but not much else.

Writing: 4 out of 5

Art: 3 out of 5

Overall: 4 out of 5

Must Read

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