Monday, July 18, 2011

Comic Reviews For Release Date 6/7/11

This is a little late, because the shipment got held up at customs, so didn't actually come into till about a week later. That was a hard week for me. But anyway, shall we see what I read this week?

One of the problems with reading serialised fiction, like a monthly comic, is that you have to remember what happened in the previous issue. I knew that this had something to do with Jason Todd as the Rd Hood teaming up with Dick Grayson Batman and Damian Wayne Robin, but I couldn’t remember why. Well I picked it up as I went along, something about a girl being kidnapped or something, but he problem was, by the end of the issue, I didn’t care. Red Hood got away, and felt really nonplussed. I quite like the cover, and the interior art was pretty nice. I’m not quite sure how to describe it, so it’s lucky I can post a picture of it instead.

I like how the Red Hood has red pistols, a nice little stylistic touch. And the rendition of Damien looks age appropriate, so I liked that as well. (Side note, I’m mainly referring to Greg Tochini, who was the penciller for the majority of the issue, though the last few pages were done by Andy Smith, and I don’t think were quite as good). But in the end, the story let me down, or rather my lack of interest in a wider Batman continuity let me down. Oh well, it’s all ending soon anyway, so why worry too much about it?

I wasn’t going to buy any of the Fear Itself event books, but I heard this was a good issue, and I’d been buying and enjoying Uncanny X-Force, so thought I’d give it a go. And it was pretty good, I think. Simone Bianchi was on art chores, and I like his stuff, it’s just I wonder if he’s really suited to American comics. His art is beautiful, I just think I prefer his covers to his storytelling. It’s almost like his work is too busy for a fluid reading, or he needs the pages to be wider, or something. Anyway, the story was good, with the team trying to track down the usual bad guys who don’t like mutants, and it had a nice scene with Deadpool being interviewed by a couple of stuffed toys, and a pretty harsh cliff-hanger ending, so all in all, despite what I said about Bianchi’s art, I enjoyed it.

Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso are just one of those creative teams who are worth buying, because they always deliver. Continuing the alternate reality storyline of this Flashpoint event, we have Thomas Wayne Batman trying to track down a couple of kidnapped kids, with opportunities to see some familiar faces in some not so familiar roles. One of them should have been more obvious to me, I mean it was practically handed to me on a plate, but still I didn’t see it coming. And I thought the reveal at the end was going to be Bruce, which would have been really clever, if obvious, and make no sense at all since he was clearly shot, but I was wrong, but it was still a cool reveal, even if I think I may have read about it beforehand, And that nasty triack she plays on Jim Gordon when he arrives at the house, that was a good moment. You’ll have to read it for yourself if you want to know what happens, I’m not going to spoil it.

This event makes me wonder, what right does someone have to try alter an alternate timeline back to a supposed original timeline? That’s what Flash is trying to do, and he’s recruiting Flashpoint Batman to help him. But this whole world, it’s the world as these people know it, so what right does this Flash have to say no, you can’t exist in this way, I have to put you back to this other way, the way I know? Anyway, it’s probably for the best, since the whole world is being kid of going down the tubes with the war between the Amazons and the Atlanteans. So in this issue, the fellows try to get the team back together, so go to bust out Superman from where he’s been hidden for the last 30 years or so. Which is pretty cool, since he’s been hidden from the sun, the source of his power, and locked up in a government facility, he’s nothing like the Superman we know, skinny and scared, he bolts for the sky at the first sign of trouble after they bust him out. Also, Grifter makes his first appearance post-Wildstorm appearance. I’m hearing a lot of online murmurings about how people are enjoying the tie-ins more than this actual title, which I think I agree with. It’s not really the strongest story, it’s ok, just not great. But it’s fun to see all the different alternate characters, which leads us to…

I don’t know who this magic teen girl character is who’s the protagonist of this series, so I don’t know how different she is from normal DCU continuity, but she’s travelling around this Flashpoint world a lot trying to rally people to join her in stopping her father from launching nuclear weapons at the Amazons or Atlantis or both, I can’t really remember, but anyway, we get to see a lot of different characters because of that. And that’s the fun of this series and event, so even though I don’t know who she is or maybe half the people she’s visiting, I’m still enjoying it. Things of note, or things I especially liked, Beast Boy making his appearance and answering the question of what happens when someone rapidly changes size from a bee to a chimpanzee inside someone else’s head. Answer, it’s bloody. Also, nice cliffhanger ending reveal.

I’m enjoying this, which is a pleasant surprise, since the last few projects that Bendis and Maleev have worked on have left me cold. But this is ticking along nicely. I don’t love it wholeheartedly, but there’s definitely enough to keep me happy. I like the crazy aspect of his character, and I think Bendis is doing a good job with that. And Maleev’s art doesn’t seem so dependent on his reference material as it has recently, more a return to his Daredevil style, but still better somewhat, maybe. Just not as bad as it has been, so we’ll keep going with this one, but hope it gets better, it could go either way.

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