Saturday, November 21, 2009

Comic Reviews - November 21st 2009

2 comics other then Invincible came out for me this week, I didn’t forget about them. I was just busy. But now I’ve got plenty of times so lets review these suckers!

Streets of Gotham #6
Written: Chris Yost
Art: Dustin Nguyen

Opening Comments: For a filler arc, this was actually good. Not great by any means but still for filler it was a good read with lots of solid moments and character work. Only really held down by the fact that this story easily could have been a one-shot and the narration from Huntress is half the time the same boring stuff.

Story Comments: This should have been a one shot deal issue. Huntress and Man-Bat fight it out for a little bit, crash into the church, then we’d pick up where this issue did and it would have been much better. Last issue was practically useless as it was just Huntress and Man-bat getting from point A to point B. This is where all the real interesting story is.

Now this issue was for the most part a good read. Yost’s handling of the characters was mostly well done. I liked his reference to Robin having experience with Man-Bat before and I did like seeing Man-Bat used properly.

We get a nice explanation as to why Man-Bat was going berserk, that he was after an invisible man powered by Black Mask and trying to stop him from killing people. Yost luckily didn’t ruin the great character that Man-Bat has become and I’m glad for it.

Also it was nice seeing Man-Bat acknowledge that the beast is getting stronger and how he’s been struggling with that.

Huntress half the time had good interesting dialogue, like when she admitted she was wrong to try and kill Man-Bat, and the other half is still annoying. Her first line is about her wanting to kill Man-Bat. UGH. I get it, Yost, she’s more violent then other heroes.

You don’t have to bombard me with useless narration about how she hates this or likes that. It’s not interesting. It’s boring.

Another thing that confused me was Batman in this issue. He was very hostile about Huntress but in the Batman ongoing series, they’ve developed a bit of a love triangle. Here though he was really rude about her, calling her a threat and it just really confused me.

Now for the most part the plot was actually pretty good here. I did like how Yost tied this in to Black Mask and his tirades on Gotham. Black Mask isn’t a character I’m fond of but I do appreciate all these writers at the very least utilizing him as a good explanation behind all these rising threats in Gotham.

It was nice to see Huntress apologize to Man-Bat and admit she was wrong. Usually one would think she’d be too stubborn to admit she was.

Despite the annoying dialogue, Yost does usually handle Huntress well enough and he never makes her as annoying as she was last issue. Last issue I could have sworn Huntress was swapped with a bratty 12 year old girl who couldn’t see the latest Twilight movie so she was whining to her father about it.

Here she’s much more like the smart and interesting heroine that sets her apart nicely from other bat-characters like Batgirl or Catwoman. She’s used better here and fans of the character will probably enjoy this issue more for it.

I absolutely loved that ending though, with the priest. A really well developed and interesting character. I hope he’s not a one time character. I’m calling for a spin off of some kind, maybe Gotham Priests?

Anyway he was awesome with our little twist ending. I didn’t see that coming really and it was a nice way for Yost to wrap up the issue and also tie it all into the theme of faith and one holding his faith even in a place like Gotham city which nicely tied into the larger theme of Streets of Gotham, which is about the city and its inhabitants then just Batman and his adventures.

I haven’t mentioned the Manhunter back ups but I figure I should mention this one as it really used the developments well and I especially like the scene between Dick and Kate. I’m really interested in seeing more from this back up now.

Overall this story wasn’t perfect, it is still a filler arc that doesn’t really accomplish much. But for the most part Yost did a decent job entertaining and if this story was just one issue it would have been much better.

Art Comments: Dustin Nguyen turns in some great stuff here, but not his best. I do like his Man-Bat a lot and his Huntress is pretty good. For the most part this was a great looking issue.

Final Comments: Fans of Huntress should definitely pick up this issue. Skip last issue as it’s pretty much useless except for the Preist’s little story. Fans of Batman who where disappointed by Batman and Robin #6 should pick up this series to get your Batman fill.

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

Mighty Avengers #31
Written: Dan Slott and Christos Gage
Art: Sean Chen

Opening Comments: Up until now the Unspoken arc has been a dud. But with a more enjoyable read last month and this awesome ending I’d say this arc was not in vein as Slott ended up giving us some classic Avengers style fun and awesome action with great character work.

Story Comments: This issue is pretty much just the Mighty Avengers fighting Unspoken as well as the de-evolved heroes. Though Slott and Gage interject so much fun dialogue and great character work that it feels like so much more.

For one I have to mention the development of Hank Pym. This arc has really done a great job of redeeming him in my eyes. While his taking down Cthon was pretty good, I think this new enemy of the Unspoken was a much more major threat at the time as he was literally going to turn every human into mindless monsters.

Also the Unspoken is an absolutely awesome villain. His development has come a long way but was really cool here at just how monstrous and powerful he was. Driven by his despair and it was cool seeing Hank knock him down for how pathetic he’s been to hold onto his sorrow all this time.

Of course what I liked most about this issue was the use of all the Avengers. This wasn’t just Hank Pym saving the world, this was the Mighty Avengers saving the world. As it should be. Each Avenger gets in lots of great moments and little bits that make them essential to taking the Unspoken down.

One thing that did bug me was the Hank Pym love we got from Hawkeye. Some people on forums have defended this by saying they have a brotherly relationship, and I haven’t read a lot of classic Avengers stories so I wouldn’t know but here it just felt like Dan Slott getting in more “I love Hank Pym” moments with things like “We go a founding Avenger on deck”

I get that Hank Pym is an essential character both to this team and to the Marvel Universe but I don’t think we need to lay on the Hank Pym love this much. I can take him being Scientist Supreme but this is just getting annoying.

It was great seeing use of other characters  that weren’t Avengers. Especially Radioactive Man who was handled brilliantly here. Other characters where all given good moments and little character moments that worked for their characters. Like Clint not wanting to explain how he knew that there was a Scarlet Witch impersonator or Captain America’s reaction to Hank telling him he’s an honor to Steve Rogers.

All of these moments really built up this issue from being just a simple fight story into being a fairly intricate and interesting story that utilized it’s characters extremely well all through the entire issue.

Also the way they defeat Unspoken was more along the lines of that clever fun Avengers way they used to do it back in the old days of Avengers. Not simply punching him down until he falls, but actually defeating him through wit and the situation which was really cool.

Also it seems Unspoken is out of the equation for now. If he could somehow return I think that would be awesome.

I did like the ending with the Mighty Avengers returning the crystals to the Inhumans finally. Making peace with them and earth. Though it was sad to see Pietro now on bad terms with his daughter. Still it gives us a really good emotional moment for Pietro and it was a great way to end this arc.

Overall the story wasn’t exactly perfect, in the long run this was pretty much just a fight issue but it’s character work really elevated it to a great read for me.

Art Comments: Chen’s art was very simple and clean stuff. No real complaints and I must say it even looked reminiscent of Pham’s cleaner artwork. Maybe Chen could be a regular fill in for Pham? Just saying, he does a great job here.

Final Comments: While not an absolute must have, it was still a really fun read with lots of great moments and an absolutely awesome way to end what was, for the most part, a weak story arc. Definitely check this out if you’re craving some classic fun Avengers goodness.

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

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