Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Comic Review For Release Date 29/6/11

After last weeks disappointing batch of comics, I was beginning to question how much longer I’d continue to buy the monthly floppies, and then this weeks batch was really strong, so I guess I got sucked in again. This is what I read this week, in alphabetical order.

American Vampire #16- Consistently one of the best comics on the “racks”, or shelves, if you prefer. Rafael Albuquerque continues to impress with his expressionist art, and Scott Snyder is giving us a great story. I think what I appreciate more about this run on the series rather than the earlier one is that this story is more linear, not so much jumping around with back story. We’re pretty much with Henry and the squad looking for Vampires, and Rose as she tries to come to Henry’s rescue. And it’s unfolding nicely with twists and turns, just what you want to keep you coming back for more month after month.

Batman Detective Comics #878- Another great Scott Snyder written comic, but this time with great Jock art. So we’ve got Dick Grayson as Batman, trying to solve the mystery of the girl in the killer whale inside the bank, and it opens with Batman about to be eaten by a killer whale. It’s good comics. And the story with James Gordon makes obvious that which was only suggested before, and it’s about as bad as we feared and hoped for (assuming you’re reading this as well, I guess).

Batman Incorporated #7- Written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Chris Burnham, this continues to explore the expanded Batman franchise, this time on a native Indian reservation, with a Father/Son team at odds about their mission. A fairly straightforward story this time round from Grant Morrison, with more obvious references to the big bad which seems to be a global threat. Which means all this international Batman franchise stuff is going to pay off big, I suspect. Anyway, while Chris Burnham is no Frank Quietly, he’s doing a great job, and he’ll only get better, I suspect, so looking forward to following along with him on this title.
Also, this issue has one the laws of comics that holds true, that Batman riding a horse = awesome.

Drums #2 – This is shaping up to be a nifty little read, a good palette cleanser from all the superhero stuff. This comic continues to follow the investigation of an apparent massacre or perhaps ritual suicide, having something to do with voodoo. It’s got some pretty creepy things going on with zombies and dreams and that whole black magic thing, so another good read for the week.

Green Arrow Industries One Shot (Flashpoint tie-in) – While I quite enjoyed this, and almost would have bought it just for the cover, I think I would have got more out of it if I was more familiar with the characters from the regular DC continuity, so I could see how they’re different, and enjoy it at that level. But as it is, I know a little bit about Green Arrow, and nothing much about anyone else, and I’m not really sure where this fits into the Flashpoint continuity/storyline, but I enjoyed it anyway. It was an interesting story with pretty decent art, telling basically a bit of a cat and mouse story set on a jungle island. It was good fun, without really tying into anything else.

Marvel Universe vs. Wolverine #1 – I think this might be my pick of the week, or at least surprise of the week. You don’t really expect too much with a title like Marvel Universe Vs. Wolverine, but this delivered. Seemingly to take a leaf from Garth Ennis’ Crossed series, there seems to be some virus going around turning people into super-carnivores, human feasting death machines, and no one seems to be safe. So you can see where this is going. In this first issue, Wolverine runs into the first signs that something’s not right, and by the end has had to kill a lot of his friends. So it’s got two things happening that I wasn’t really expecting. It’s got a cool story with a bit of heart to it, and it’s well told, both narratively, and the art is pretty good too. Also, the level of the violence is fairly high, with limbs being hacked off and babies being eaten, stuff like that, all with the emotional punch of this happening to people Wolvie knows and cares for, it’s a pretty good read. Looking forward to the rest of the series now. I better mention the names of the guys who wrote and drew it I suppose since I’ve just praised them, but I don’t really know much about them. Jonathon Maberry wrote it, and I think I read online that he wrote the Punisher Kills The Marvel Universe story, which if memory serves, was also pretty good. The artist is Laurence Campbell, who I don’t recognise, but seems to come from that Michael Lark/ Alex Maleev school of art. It’s good stuff.

Project Superman #1 – Ok, not quite what I was expecting, but a good story none the less. I was expecting more like on the cover, where Superman’s lifepod crash lands in Metropolis rather than a Kansas cornfield, but that doesn’t happen till the end. What does happen is another one of those government trying to create their own superman type stories. What’s interesting is the story is told from the subjects viewpoint, so we get to see how he kind of proves the old adage true, that power corrupts. As he gets stronger, his grip on his humanity begins to loosen, and it seems to me to be setting things up nicely for a clash of supermen.
And I just realised, this is my third Scott Snyder comic for the week. The guy's a machine.

Ultimate X #5 – I was kind of over this already, without having read it, just because it’s taken so long for this series to finish up. As I flicked through it, it wasn’t really appealing to me, but when I actually got round to reading it, it reminded me that this actually has been a really strong series, well told (by Jeph Loeb) and beautifully drawn by Art Adams. It’s setting up the new status quo for mutants in the Ultimate Universe, and setting up the divide between two groups, and the mission statement which should drive the new series forward. It’s got me interested to catch up with the Ultimate Universe again, so it’s doing a good job.

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