Saturday, November 14, 2009

Comic Reviews - November 14th 2009

Reviews, nothing will stop them! Again sorry for the delay, no real excuses this time, I even had an extra day away from school to get these reviews done but time just flew by. But as they say, better late then being eaten by a giant space worm. So to the reviews!

Batman and Robin #6
Written: Grant Morrison
Art: Phillip Tan

Opening Comments: This series has been slowly losing steam with me. Despite some gorgeous art by Tan this issue just barely keeps me interested in the young series and with only the final page. Other then that, this issue was mediocre.

Story Comments: This issue sees the debut of Flamingo, we got a sneak peak of his awesome last month but now the real show begins. Sort of. Flamingo is the main villain but we also see Batman and Robin nearly unmasked which of course doesn’t work well and we see Jason Todd do what he does best, annoy the hell out of me.

Jason Todd was being used well here for the badass Red Hood persona but Morrison throws away that edgy badass and in turn gives us the oh so whiny Jason that we’re too familiar with. Maybe Jason was better off with the dome on his head and throwing out stupid one-liners.

One plus was of course Flamingo, he’s awesome. He’s just a sickening unstoppable force it seems, and while it seems he may have been killed, I hope he returns. He’s a badass and he creeps the hell out of me. Morrison is definitely good at making creepy villains, even if they wear pink.

Speaking of Flamingo’s look I want to bring up the one point in this entire comic that was just groan inducing at how stupid it was. Robin calling Flamingo “gay”…really, Morrison? Really? You couldn’t come up with ANYTHING better? Where you that strained to create some witty comment you just went with the stupidest and laziest insult you could find.

I know Robin is supposed to be a 10 year old brat, but I’d think even 10 year olds are mature enough to realize what a stupid insult “gay” is. It’s one of the most immature and idiotic and pathetic insults right up there with Buttface and Dummy. It’s just a stupid thing to say and it makes Robin look like a total moron.

Maybe Morrison was trying to go edgy with having a hero say “gay” or something, but it failed miserably. Even if so, calling a villain gay isn’t edgy it’s just childish and lazy. It sticks out like a sore thumb and leaves a sour taste in my mouth at the sheer stupidity I just read.

The rest of the issue was boring as we see Jason Todd whine more about how he’ll come back and bitches out Batman. Flamingo gets buried and it turns out the mysterious figure revealed in issue #4 will tie into a bigger story. I’m figuring this will have something to do with Dr. Hurt since that seems to be the guy who he talked to.

Then there’s the final page, I don’t want to spoil it but I will admit it had me interested in the  next issue. Enough to at least make me consider keeping Batman and Robin on my pull list.

Though for the most part this story was halfway decent. It had some okay moments, like the final Scarlet moment was really nice. Still with some immature writing on Morrison’s end and some boring fight scenes and whiny characters this issue wasn’t too impressive on the story end.

Art Comments: Phillip Tan continues to be the saving grace of this arc as I seriously think his art has carried this entire arc. It’s been absolutely gorgeous stuff and I’ll say this right now, I think his art is much better then Frank Quitely’s art was. He does a great job with some sleek story telling and great character work and he does a great job conveying emotion. This is a great looking comic.

Final Comments: In the end despite all it’s short comings I did, for the most part, enjoy this issue. I’m still considering dropping the title but at least Morrison has given me reason to consider not dropping it.

Story Rating: 3 out of 5
Art Rating: 4 out of 5
Overall Rating: 3 out of 5
Check It

Jersey Gods #9
Written: Glen Brunswick
Art: Dan McDaid

Opening Comments: Always one of the best comics out on the shelves, Jersey Gods was another solid read. Though it suffered some jarring story telling and some poor pacing, this was still another great helping of godliness.

Story Comments: This issue’s biggest problem was the story was all over the place. One minute we’re with Barock and his family, the next we’re back with Helius, then to Rushmore suddenly and then suddenly at the end Rushmore is back on Neboron and he’s…dead? What? I’m confused.

Brunswick has usually been really good at giving us an even pace with each growing plot and moment so it flows very nicely but here it was just very jarring and a bit on the frustrating side.

Another thing that seriously is confusing me, and correct me if I missed something…how the hell did Hecticus find out about Barock and Helius and Neboron? I know we’ve explained that Helius is his father so he’s got God Blood in him but seriously, how the hell does he know all about Neboron and how to use his powers? Did I miss something? I’m seriously confused.

While I’m on the negative side, what was with the final page of Rushmore presumably dead? That came out of nowhere. One minute Rushmore was getting beaten badly on earth by Hecticus’ cronies then all of a sudden he’s on Barock’s doorstep on Neboron and he’s dead? What? Was there something in the middle that I missed?

Also I hate that we have to have a character death so soon in the series. Why do writers think killing off a character is a good idea? Sure it adds some dramatic tension but at the same time it’s just so annoying  that you’re stopping us from getting to have a really interesting development with this character by killing them off.

Well now, that’s it for the negatives of this issue. Despite my problems I still really did enjoy this issue as it continues the trend of having great action and brilliantly fun comedy and it balances these 2 incredibly well.

The comedy especially shines when Zoe tries to tell her boss she’ll be gone for a few days. This scene had me laughing hard and it also did a good job of showing how important Zoe is to her company even if they take her for granted.

Also Barock has a weakness…and it’s feathers! Hilarious. Of all the things to be weak to, feathers, that is so awesome. Now it’s not so much a weakness as much as it is that he’s allergic, which is just as funny in my opinion.

Brunswick writes all these characters, every single one of them, with such great energy and brings them to life so nicely with the dialogue and interactions and as always this series shines for it’s great diverse cast of interesting and fun to read characters and it’s always great to see.

I do like the family dynamic Brunswick has set up with his family. We all have our own messed up family dynamics, there’s no such thing as a perfect family, but think about being a God family! That’s just torture I figure. Brunswick really plays this dynamic well especially between the 2 brothers and their mother.

Barock’s mother is an interesting character. I can’t tell if she’s crazy or not. She seems pretty much off her rocker, but at the same time she seems to want to do good and I really like her eager and happy go lucky attitude to try and mend their broken family. I hope there is a method to her madness because she’s a really interesting and fun character to read.

I did like the flashback about Helius and how he met Hecticus’ mother. It was a really heartwarming story that sadly doesn’t have a happy ending. It was really well done and Brunswick touched the subject of slavery without it seeming cliché or unoriginal as he really uses this time period well.

I am curious if, after hearing this story, Hecticus will be so evil. If he has a chance to redeem himself and stop his cronies as they seemingly have gone rogue from him for the moment. It’s really interesting and this is a cool new dynamic made by Brunswick with this twist.

Overall despite some frustrating faults in the story, I still really enjoyed this issue as I have with Jersey Gods and it continues to be one of the best reads each month.

Art Comments: McDaid has been doing some great stuff with Jersey Gods but this issue had his best art yet. His work here was really impressive as he did a great job with emotion and the action and especially the page layouts it was all really great stuff and I loved it.

Final Comments: If you’re not reading Jersey Gods, what are you doing reading this review? Go out and pick up volume 1 now and then get all the other issues of The Abandoned as it’s been a great arc and this continues to be a great series!

Story Rating: 4 out of 5
Art Rating: 5 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5
Must Read

Witchblade #132
Written: Ron Marz
Art: Stjepan Sejic

Opening Comments: After a rather simple issue last month I was really hoping Marz could win me back with this short story arc, even though I’m not too excited about this troll business. This issue had a major moment that made it great, and while it had a solid ending I must admit it was still too short, but at least closer to form for Witchblade.

Story Comments: As I mentioned this issue had a major moment in it. Sara and Gleason confess their love for each other and it was handled incredibly well by Marz.

I’ve mentioned in the past how frustrating it is when a hero meets a woman and within 1 issue of meeting their deeply in love. Marz has done a great job building up this relationship and up to this point. It was very well handled.

Marz makes this little confession really personal and important and you really feel the characters and the emotion of the moment is conveyed very nicely as Marz uses this moment to really grab the readers and show them how important these 2 are to each other.

Of course it seems like Gleason may be dead now. It was just hinted that he may be hurt and or dead but it would be terribly clichéd that just as he admits to her he loves her, he dies. It would almost feel like a parody at how comics act. And damn it would probably be funny too.

This issue mostly revolves around Sara and Gleason taking a vacation, and just by their hotel is a bridge where some kids have gone missing. It’s a troll…of course. It’s always a troll. There’s never an evil Unicorn or disgruntled Elf, always a damn troll. I hate trolls.

This issue handles the mystery well even if we already know what it is and of course it ends up with Sara and Gleason, late at night, investigating the bridge. Things don’t go well and Sara gets dragged off by the Troll.

Really this issue was an enjoyable read, some great character dialogue and moments but it’s biggest fault was it was just way too short. I feel like there was some extra bit that he wanted to write and couldn’t fit in so we’re saving the real hart and bulk of this story for next month which is rather disappointing.

Usually Witchblade can satisfy even when it’s a fairly short read it’s still handled well and even if it’s just one part of a major story arc it still feels like a full and satisfying read on it’s own but here it wasn’t like that and I really wanted more, and not in the good way, from this issue.

Overall this issue was pretty good but it was just too short. If Marz had more time to write some extra bit before this issue ended I think it would have been a lot better.

Art Comments: Last month I mentioned how Sejic’s art lacked it’s tighter and cleaner look. Luckily that’s not a problem here, the art here is much more up to par with his gorgeous and sharp stuff that impresses me greatly as this issue looked great. I especially liked his design on the scene of Sara and Gleason making love, where we only see glimpses of it in the reflections of the shattered wine glass. Very cool effect.

Final Comments: Witchblade is looking to spring back to being one of my favorite reads each month as Marz gave us a much closer to greatness read that had some seriously great moments and beautiful art. If you’re looking for another point to start reading Witchblade, this is a good spot.

Story Rating: 4 out of 5
Art Rating: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
Must Read 

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