Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Comic Reviews - October 28th 2009

We’ve got quite a lot of comics to review for you all. So to make my job a little easier most of these will be Open Fire! Reviews as I’ll be doing that with all of last weeks comics as well as Blackest Night #4. Why? Well you’ll see in a moment. Though luckily I was able to pick up Green Lantern #47 after hearing such good things about last issue and I must admit I was happy I did so. So lets get to the reviews!

Dark Reign: Young Avengers #5
Written: Paul Cornell
Art: Mark Brooks

Opening Comments: After 4 great issues this mini sadly comes to an end. As one would expect with the upcoming YA mini in 2010 this series more or less ends with leaving some loose threads for that to pick up. But of course not while still being a satisfying and great read as this series has been.

Story Comments: This issue’s plot is basically the fight we where promised at the end of last issue. It plays out. The Young Masters retract at the very end to fight another day and the Dark Avengers run away with their tales between their legs.

First off I loved how badass the Young Avengers where here. Usually when up against a major group like the Dark Avengers one would expect the Young Avengers to get thrown around like ragdolls. It’s usual comic practice to make the young teen group be the weaker and put them at a serious disadvantage.

Here they just kick total ass. Especially Patriot. I loved Patriot’s reaction to Norman and his Iron Patriot outfit. He goes ballistic and it was easily my moment of the week. So badass. One of the few times it feels like Eli actually was the leader and is a strong guy as he really left an impression. Apparently not just on me, Hawkeye (the teen one) was impressed.

Character work was spot on once again as far as Cornell and how he handles each individual voice. They all had their own unique voices as they conversed back and fort hand it worked really well.

My only complaint about the character work was how others like Vision and Stature only got brief moments compared to how Cornell has been really great at making sure everyone gets a good amount of time in (minus Hulkling it seems) here they where rather quiet and only got in a few lines which did disappoint me.

It was also great seeing a mega threat like Sentry be dispatched so easily. I know that writers often have to work around the Sentry since he’s so powerful, but this was a rarity where him being taken out of the game felt like it was actually something that could have happened and it was a smart move.

Though lets talk this most obvious problem with this ending as well as the mini as a whole. Importance. In the long run this series introduced us to our Young Masters but it didn’t definitively put them on either side of the board. They remain divided on if they are good or evil.

This is obviously a thread to be picked up in the Heinberg/Cheung mini-series coming out in Mid-2010 (recently announced as a bi-monthly 8 issue mini that starts in July) and to be honest I don’t mind that much. I expected as much and Cornell works around that without turning this story into filler.

Really this was a very satisfying conclusion to the story. If it had more of a definitive conclusion it would have been much better but it was still a great read no matter what.

Art Comments: Once again Brooks impresses with his gorgeous artwork. Not much I honesty can say more other then this book looked amazing. Every character was great and the art moved beautifully making this one of the best looking comics out there.

Final Comments: While not quite a Must Have since it has threads to be picked up, I still loved this issue and I still loved the hell out of this mini-series. I highly recommend it to all that missed it and if you are collection waiting it, get the TPB as soon as you can. This has been one great mini.

Writing: 4 out of 5
Art: 4 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5
Must Read

Green Lantern #47
Written: Geoff Johns
Art: Doug Mahnke

Opening Comments: Picking this up on a whim, this issue deals much more with the space side of the Blackest Night event rather then earth where the main mini is concerned. Maybe they should switch places since this is a thousand times more exciting and enjoyable then the mini has been so far.

Story Comments: This issue has a lot on it’s plate. Dealing with the Red Lanterns, Larfleeze, Hal along with Sinestro, Indigo and Carol taking on Abin Sur and his sister. It all stitches together nicely as Johns does a great job of balancing all the plot threads and giving them all fair amount of time.

I really liked seeing how the Red Lanterns don’t need their hearts, giving them a huge advantage over the Black Lanterns. It was a really badass scene and shows the Red Lanterns may be the biggest force to help stop the Black Lanterns here.

Of course the best part is Hal along with Sinestro as they take on Abin Sur and we see how cold Sinestro is even when confronted by the body of his dead lover. Johns handles these characters amazingly well.

Action was at it’s high point in this issue as every bit of action scene was incredibly intense and exciting. This is mostly thanks to the gorgeous art by Mahnke but the way it was written by Johns really made it great.

Character work excelled here. Dialogue was solid and it was all really enjoyable. Every line felt important and interesting (which is more then I can say for Blackest Night #4, but more on that in just a moment) and Johns really handled it all well.

Overall this was written incredibly well. If only it weren’t juggling more and could have had more room to breathe and not have so many plot threads it probably would have been a lot easier to read and a little better.

Art Comments: Mahnke gives us some gorgeous artwork here. While he had a couple of not so great moments the art was still gorgeous stuff and it works really well. Seems he was born to draw Green Lantern as he’s really excelling here.

Final Comments: While I wish I could afford to I still won’t be adding GL to the pull list. But I will pick up issues of it when I can and I am really glad I picked up this issue. It was a great read and had some strong art and so far is the best of the Blackest Night tie-ins from what I’ve read.

Writing: 4 out of 5
Art: 4 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5
Must Read

Now it’s time for 5 Open Fire! Reviews for you all, one from this week and 4 from last week.

Blackest Night #4
Written: Geoff Johns
Art: Ivan Reis

UGH. There. That sums up my entire opinion of this issue. UGH.

Okay to be fair this issue had some moments. Seeing Jean (not the read head) come back as a Black Lantern was a cool moment. Even though we all saw it coming. Also the dialogue did have some good moments peppered in through the heavy dialogue.

But when I look at Green Lantern #47, how Johns gives us more concise and important dialogue rather then just rambling on and on, then I see Blackest Night where everyone has to give a 10 page speech about what is going on, it’s a crazy contrast.

This issue was full of NOTHIANG. Nothing happens hat hasn’t happened before. People die, the dead rise, and at the very end Nekron shows up looking like a badass. We get no real revelations or anything major that happens that we didn’t already know about.

Overall Blackest Night is quickly losing all speed it gained from it’s 1st issue. Johns still have another 4 issues to save this event but at this rate I might as well just go throw 16 dollars into the trash and it seems I’d get the same thing I’ve gotten from picking up the first 4 issues of Blackest Night.

Writing: 2 out of 5
Art: 4 out of 5
Overall: 2 out of 5
Pass It

Spawn #195
Written: Todd McFarlane
Art: Whilce Portacio and Todd McFarlane

If this issue had come out on time I think I would have been very favorable of it. This was a huge step up from the snore fest last time as McFarlane did a great job of balancing character work and giving us some great action near the end to get the blood pumping and excite me as a reader.

Really this issue didn’t advance much but it did let us know that Jim can turn into Spawn whenever he wants know which is a surprisingly cool new thing. Also it seems Jim is destined to be a hero just as Al tried to be as he saves a woman from being kidnapped and it was really cool seeing Spawn save someone for a change.

The art was a little on the mixed size. While most of Portacio’s art was good, he still had some moments that looked painfully rushed compared to his other work on the title. It still is a damn shame he’s leaving the book.

McFarlane finally returned to doing some pages for Spawn and it looks great. Not much I can say other then great art on McFarlane’s part.

Overall this was a really good read, but the delay really hurt it from getting a higher score.

Writing: 3 out of 5
Art: 4 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5
Check It

Invincible #67
Written: Robert Kirkman
Art: Cory Walker

This arc has been a short but fun ride as Kirkman does a great job of both setting up the stage for the upcoming Viltrumite war while still making he developing story a fun and great read. This story is undeniably a nice reprieve from the over the top dramatic and intense Conquest arc.

I loved all the moments of Nolan and Allen collecting the weapons and visiting all the planets .Especially when they try to get the creatures that are so powerful they can rip through a Viltrumite. It was all really cool and fun to read.

The art by Walker was absolutely gorgeous, though I give a lot of credit to the colorist Dave McGaig who did an amazing job bringing Walker’s already great art to life and giving it an extra level of greatness.

Overall this was a great read that only suffers from not being able to do even more with these great characters.

Writing: 5 out of 5
Art: 5 out of 5
Overall: 5 out of 5
Must Have

Mighty Avengers #30
Written: Dan Slott and Christos Gage
Art: Sean Chen

This series has been hanging on by a thread to stay on my pull list. Luckily seems Slott reminded me why I wanted to read this series in the first place as we finally get the fun Avenger super hero comic I’ve been wanting to read since I picked this up with Slott’s first issue.

A lot was done right here. Mostly Slott taking Hank Pym and turning him into Scientist Supreme. A really cool moment and it seems like Slott’s job of redeeming Hank Pym is really coming along nicely as this was a great twist for the character.

Chen on art was great. While his style was incredibly simple as far as art and detail it still looked great.

Overall I really did enjoy this issue and it was pushing a Must Read, but looking at it in the context of this week story arc it just wins a Check It. Still a great read.

Writing: 3 out of 5
Art: 4 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5
Check It

Streets of Gotham #5
Written: Christ Yost
Art: Dustin Nguyen

For a filler arc, Chris Yost delivers an enjoyable read. Though still this was not without plenty of faults to take it down from being a great read and turning it into a decent filler story arc.

Huntress has way too much inner monologue. Seriously you could cut out 75% of her useless whining and it would have been much better. Since most of her dialogue is “wah, I wanna kill Manbat but I cant, wah, Batman is such a meanie for not letting me kill Manbat! Waaaaah!” for crying out loud.

One thing that confused me, what the hell was with Manbat? Half the time it seemed he was just wildly flying around attacking people, the other half it seems Yost was hinting at him actually having some hidden purpose. I can tell what the hell was going on, not a good sign of good story telling.

Though I did love the scenes with the young priest as he deals with being a man of faith in Gotham. As a non religious person myself it’s always interesting seeing how comic writers use faith and this was one of the best uses of it in a while. Really compelling seeing this innocent nice guy have to suffer all the insanity of living in Gotham.

Nguyen remains on art despite this being a filler arc and I’m glad he’s still around because this issue looked great. He draws a great Huntress and a really wicked cool looking Manbat.

Overall this was a good read but it’s not at the same level of greatness I’ve come to expect from this series. Still a good read for a filler arc is better then nothing.

Writing: 3 out of 5
Art: 4 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5
Check It 


BrikHed said...

think you missed it on Blackest Night but I agree on several of your other books

Andrenn said...

@Brikhed: I figured people wouldn't like my review of Blackest Night #4. I can see why others enjoyed it but for me it was a bloated mess of "talk talk talk, should we do something? Nah, lets talk some more!" and then Nekron finally shows up at the end looking like a badass.