Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Comics from 2 Weeks Ago Reviewed

Apologies for these 2 reviews being so late (can’t seem to muster up for Ultimate Spider-man so we’re doing an Open Fire!) this is the last week of school before Christmas Break so I’ve been rater tied up with the season and shopping and all that. I got my comics today, hopefully shooting for reviews tomorrow, if not then, Friday. Now onto the 2 reviews!

Haunt #3
Written: Robert Kirkman
Art: Ryan Ottley

Opening Comments: Haunt #3 was a good example of just because a comic doesn’t do a lot doesn’t mean it doesn’t accomplish something and still prove to be a great read. Here we don’t get any major event but the moments within still are important and interesting enough to satisfy even more then some big flashy 10 page fight would have.

Story Comments:
Now the high point of the issue is what Kirkman does with Daniel and how he really flips the perspective of how we view his relationship with Kurt. We finally see that Daniel, for all his bad nasty attitude had someone he cared about once and that was Amanda, Kurt’s widow.

At first I suspected as much that Kurt stole Amanda from Daniel but I didn’t expect the actual reveal of this moment to be so powerful or well done. A random side comment about it alone would have sufficed to let the reader know but Kirkman takes what is a simple moment and really milks it for a really important and interesting moment for Daniel.

Seeing Daniel get so upset really was not what I was expecting. I half figured he’d shrug off that and wouldn’t care about it. He seemed to hate Amanda at this point (and I guess for good reason) so him finding out that Kurt cheated on her didn’t seem like something he’d cared about.

But Kirkman gave Daniel a new emotional layer, showing he’s not so cold hearted and uncaring as we believe. We see that deep down he still cared enough about Amanda to be furious at the mere idea of Kurt cheating on her. And his line about how Kurt could have any woman in the world but he had to take Daniel’s love really hits home and makes us feel his pain as we see him recollect his suffering and it all hits home nicely for us readers.

Kirkman is a talented writer and he’s always done a good job of building up his heroes even if some times he’s just setting them up to fall. Here I really liked that he’s making these characters more developed then their 10 second descriptions of “mean priest and nice CIA killing machine” and he’s showing us they are more interesting then just those 2 ideas and that’s a key element to making any character really.

We’re finally seeing that Daniel isn’t this perverse low life like we thought he was and Kurt isn’t some golden hearted nice guy who’s never done a mean thing in his life. I mean seriously, taking your brother’s girlfriend? That’s pretty low and I can’t really blame Daniel for hating Kurt and Amanda over this.

Kirkman has shown there’s a new depth to Daniel. A reason for his hatred and anger and it was nice to finally see that all come out, even if just for a couple of pages and it leaves a real emotional impact on the reader when you can establish a connection with the hero in some way through his own losses.

Though of course there was more to Haunt then just that one moment.

While we didn’t get much action I did appreciate seeing Haunt be all badass as he smacked around Kurt’s torturer. It was a short bit of action but just about every comic needs a little action at least to satisfy that action craving and this comic did a good job at that.

Of course the big reveal was that Kurt’s murder was an inside job. Honestly I can’t say I really pondered much over Kurt’s murder. I figured he got killed simply because he was tied to that doctor after saving those people, and since he didn’t have answers about the doctor’s notebook (which we saw someone steal in issue #1) so he got killed.I knew there was obviously a bigger mystery but at the same time no use over thinking it when all will be revealed eventually.

Still this was a really good twist and a great lead as to what’s going on for Kurt’s murder. We knew he was tied to that doctor as a reason for his murder but seeing this was really cool and a nice twist to leave us curious as to what will happen next. Also this was the first time this larger mystery actually got my attention really.

As to who our mystery man is and what the doctor was doing with those experiments is of course still up in the air. But at least the pieces are starting to fall into place, like Haunt knowing how the 2 brothers are connected and that’s why they can form Haunt so while things aren’t all revealed we are on our way.

It seems Haunt is getting it’s cast extended more. I’m not sure if Beth will be a reoccurring character or not but she obviously had some intimate connection to Kurt and I really hope to find out more about her and that she could return often to the series, maybe as Haunt’s back up or someone who keeps him in the loop of things.

Haunt doesn’t have a real cast outside of the 2 brothers and Amanda right now so it’s imperative that Kirkman add some extra characters for Haunt to interact with and to build upon fast since we’re already 3 issues in.

We did get some little hints dropped at a possible future character when the scientists here talking about Daniel and that was nice. Kirkman hasn’t been one to shy away from foreshadowing so I honesty was expecting some hints to be dropped by now and I’m sure it will lead somewhere sooner or later.

Haunt is 3 issues in and as I said we don’t have much of a supporting cast. I know this is the debut arc to set everything up and while it seems Beth may be a main character I just can’t help but wish we had more depth to the characters around Daniel and Kurt.

Overall Haunt #3 is the best issue of the young series and it continues to get better and better.

Art Comments: I really am loving Ottley’s work here on Haunt, but what adds to it even more is Capullo’s lay outs. Little details like Haunt reflecting on his would be killer’s knife. Some of the perspectives get really creative and it all looks cool and adds to the already gorgeous artwork.

The art did have a few little moments. Nothing major that ruined it but still it had some weird little moments.

Final Comments: If you dropped Haunt after issue #1 and wrote it off as 90’s Image crap then I highly recommend you check again as this series is easily shaping up to be another winner from Kirkman. Sure it’s had some kinks to work out but as time goes on this is looking to be one of the best new comics out there and I give it a high recommendation to all.

Story Rating: 5 out of 5
Art Rating: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
Must Have

Now I can’t seem to write up much about Ultimate Comics Spider-man, so we’ll do a quick Open Fire! Review for it.

Ultimate Comics Spider-man #5
Written: Brian Bendis
Art: David Lafuente

A solid and enjoyable read but mostly held back by some of the lack of major character development. I was really disappointed to see Bendis not follow up on his reveal last month that MJ regrets dumping Peter. A really interesting plot point I wanted to see more.

The fight with Mysterio was great, very well handled and very well choreographed by Lafuente. It flowed nicely and it was great seeing the Hooded stranger thrown into the mix.

Lafuente’s art was good but not his best. He had some little issues here and there where I could tell he rushed it a bit but it was still solid stuff.

Overall this was an enjoyable read though it does develop things more I was disappointed at no follow up from past month’s moments and that Mysterio got his ass handed. Hopefully Bendis can end this arc right next month.

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

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