Saturday, January 9, 2010

Comic reviews - January 9th 2009

2 more comics to review and I am home free! Whoo! Well all right folks time to wrap up this 3 part comic reviews reviewing all the comics I’ve missed over the last 3 weeks. We’ve got 2 from Image and both are usually the best comics I read each month, lets see how they stacked up from December.

Invincible #69
Written: Robert Kirkman
Art: Ryan Ottley

Opening Comments: Invincible takes a step back from it’s usual greatness this time to give us the middle part of a 3 part story. Sadly as one would expect this issue’s big flaw is that it’s sandwiched between the beginning and end, meaning it can’t do too much. Still Kirkman does his best to give us a good read, but not much else.

Story Comments: what youse on the cover is what you get. Universa is attacking and Invincible and Atom Eve fight her. Not much else really to it sadly since Kirkman also uses any spare time to develop the impending Sequid fight for next issue.

One major problem that just bugs the hell out of me is Universa’s design. She boasts about being some chosen hero from the stars that her gods picked and she has all this respect, but then she dresses like a stripper. Seriously, the G-string and tiny top just screams “respected warrior of the gods” to me.

I know it’s comics and 98% of women in comics are legally bound to wear skin tight skimpy outfits but that doesn’t make this any less annoying. It’s just such an unoriginal and boring design and while I like the Asgardian type motif they where going with, would it have killed Ottley to draw a bit more clothing on her? Maybe give her some pants? Pants are not something only humans know how to wear, trust me.

Despite her bad design I like Universa as a villain. Sadly she’s your typical Kirkman villain where she’s about as useful as the 22 page limit allows. She smacks our hero around for a few pages and then gets knocked out.

I really do wish Kirkman would make less of these one-shot villains that rarely contribute anything to the main story or do anything worthwhile. Part of the reason I loved the Conquest arc was that Conquest was an actual threat who actually was a real major villain, but we have so many villains that barely last half the comic and it seems Universa is just another one of them.

I was disappointed at there being no real follow up to Eve’s pregnancy reveal. Only real hint at it was her holding her stomach for a brief moment when she brought up her powers and that’s it. Still though she did contribute a lot to the Universa fight so I’m not complaining much, I figure Kirkman will do something with this twist in due time.

It was nice seeing Eve’s powers are still on the fritz. Clearly she’s got to be really careful so I don’t think her going into this battle was a great idea on her part. Also I am rather worried as to where will this plot point go, if it could affect her pregnancy badly.

Then there’s the building Sequid plotline. This was very simple at how it built up through the issue in the back drop of having the Guardians of the Globe fight the Sequids and then get their asses kicked at the end. Really it was just setting thins up for Invincible to take them on next time even though it was an enjoyable read still in between the Universa fight.

Really this was a good issue. Great action, some fun dialogue, but nothing really pushed it into Must Read territory. It suffers from having to set up the real epic fight next time and not being able to do anything too exciting for now like most 3 part arcs suffer.

Kirkman does a good job with what he can but still this was a good read and nothing else. It was short, simple and while good it doesn’t really have anything pushing it into something you should definitely read or that really entertained on all fronts. It definitely left me wanting more but in the bad way.

Art Comments: Ottley does his usual solid work but I’ll be honest, this was not his best. Mostly thanks to the fact that the coloring is hit and miss. For some reason there are a few moments where the coloring lacks it’s usual definition and ability to add a new depth to the already strong art. Leaving this as simply good art, but not Ottley’s best.

Final Comments: Fans of Invincible will get a usual enjoyable read but sadly this issue lacked some of the recent excitement and great character work we’ve seen over recent issues. It was still a fun read but not much else.

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

Witchblade #133
Written: Ron Marz
Art: Stjepan Sejic

Opening Comments: The Bridge was a fairly simple but enjoyable arc. Now Marz closes it on a strong note while also leaving me really excited for next time. Doing a good job of giving me a solid read and excited for more.

Story Comments: Most of the story is simple, Sara finds out the truth about the troll and the missing kids and then she stops the man who’d been terrorizing the kids. It was a solid fun read and normally would have just made this worth a Check It but what really pushes it into a Must Read is the final few pages.

We get a preview of the next issue where Aphrodite shows up again and we now know it’s got something to do with one of her creators going rogue and is on the run. As to how this involves Sara I’m not yet sure but it really gets the blood pumping and leaves me eagerly anticipating what happens next.

The issue itself was a simple read beyond that though. Nothing major really happens and it’s pretty much the definition of fun filler. Sara gets a little bit of action by fighting the troll and that’s really it.

I did love seeing the fantastical world through the troll’s recap of the how the world used to be. Marz has a real eye for fantasy and showing a really fun classical world so the way he writes the troll and his description was a lot of fun to read and I like how he’s really been building up a mystical world around Witchblade. I’m hopeful that we’ll see more of it in future issues since he’s really excelling with it.

I did like the characterization of the troll as an ancient being who wants to preserve what’s left of the magic in the world and how he was really nice to the kids. It was nice to see Marz take a step away from the cliché with trolls and actually make a somewhat compelling and likable character out of the troll. I hope we see him again in a future storyline.

Then there was the explanation as to why the kids where staying with a troll under his magic bridge. I found that to be a really creepy twist with it being them hiding from a pedophile school janitor. Marz knows how to make a creepy situation and he really creeped me out with that.

I did love how Sara takes care of the Janitor though. Rather then just rough him up, punch him in the face or something she throws him to the troll and that was really cool and it was great seeing the troll avenge the kids he was protecting by doing god knows what to the jackass janitor.

But while I really did enjoy this read, if not for the final few pages it wouldn’t have been anything special. It was a fun read but it doesn’t really go above and beyond to make it something you should definitely read. It was just a fun read and didn’t really impress me too much even though I did still enjoy it.

Marz’ usual character work was a lot of fun but at the same time it wasn’t quite as compelling as it usually has been. I think that’s because we didn’t get a real interesting quiet moment. We got some great dialogue but nothing that really left a lasting impression on me or seemed to really stand out from his usual strong dialogue.

Still I enjoyed a lot of this issue and thanks to that final few pages it really pumped me up and got me excited while I was already satisfied with the fun conclusion to the Bridge. Making a really fun read with an excellent ending that pushed it a bit up.

Art Comments: Sejic once again impresses me here. Mostly thanks to the gorgeous images of the fantastic world through the troll’s recap. Sejic really shines here when it comes to drawing the fantastic and wild parts of this world and it all looked gorgeous.

Final Comments: The Bridge itself was a fun arc but it really did a great job hyping up the next arc as well. All around making for something you should definitely read and give a shot since it was tons of fun and looking to get even better with the next arc.

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

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