Friday, August 19, 2011

Comic Review For Comics Released A Month Ago

Ok, continuing the theme of lateness from my last entry on comic goodness, I think this is about a month late? Something like that, because the comics I’m writing about here, I just bought the next issues of today. Ok, anyway, lets get on with getting on.

So first up is Batman Retroactive 1970’s, one of the one-shots that DC is putting out trying to cash in on the nostalgia dollars. I wasn’t planning on buying this, but I flicked through it in the shop, and I saw thought balloons, so that made up my mind for me. The current trend in comics is not to do thought balloons, but I grew up on Batman having thought balloons. Well, grew up on is a sleight exaggeration, as I didn’t have regular buying habits, but the ones I did have access to early in my comic reading history had Batman thinking, so this tickled that itch for just fine. Look at this page, the whole page is just thought balloons! Awesome.

The story has a lot more Bruce Wayne than I feel current comics do, and a more personal interaction with other people. And the gizmos Batman has are more crazy than you’ll find in today’s more ‘realistic’ take on the character. For example, Batman drives his Bat-Sub into a boat to prevent some crime, but to stop it from sinking, his Bat-Sub is equipped with some foaming agent to block the hole. And then he tells Commissioner Gordon that he’ll pick it up later. Kind of silly, but good fun. There’s also a back-up story from the 70’s in the back, and it’s got one of my favourite panels of the week in it (see below). So all in all, I was pretty happy with this buy.

Next up we have the re-starting of Daredevil, with Daredevil #1. Just so you know how this is different, allow me to explain. You might remember I told you about Shadowland, and how after that mini-series Matt Murdoch left his regular title, Daredevil The Man Without Fear for a mini-series, and Black Panther stepped into that title, so we now have Black Panther The Man Without Fear. But at the end of the mini-series, Matt Murdoch made it pretty clear he was coming back to pick up the peices of his life, but what comic was he going to go to if Black Panther had his title, and it was selling, so it wasn’t going anywhere? Well that’s why we have the new plain old title of just Daredevil. Matt Murdoch is back, and he’s doing what he said he would, picking up the pieces of his life and getting on with getting on, even though everybody thinks he’s Daredevil. The story is good solid stuff, I like where it’s going and what it’s trying to do. It’s not just ignoring everything that’s gone before, that’s the reality Matt has to live in, but he’s not letting that stop him, he’s just going to have to try harder. You might hear things like it’s a return to the lighter, earlier Daredevil, and I guess it could be seen that way, but I just like to see it as the continuation of the character. Life deals him a giant big pile of crap, and he has to walk through it, but eventually you get to the other side, and clean yourself up, and get on with living. That’s the strength of the character.
Let’s talk about the art by Paolo Rivera. It’s beautiful. It reminded me of a couple former Daredevil artists, John Romita Jr. and Cary Nord. JRJR when he’s using his powers, that thick blocky kind of line, and Cary Nord when it’s the rest, that lighter breezy kind of line. And look at some of these panels, it’s kind of creepy how this guy looks when looked at from Daredevil’s perspective.

And this also kind of creepy, but cool, with Daredevil’s billy clubs sticking out of him like that.

But lets not forget that we’re all here to have fun as well, so we get this moment, which in actual fact was a strategic move to sucker the Spot out, but it’s a fun way of doing it.

The other part of the story focuses more on the Matt Murdoch aspects of his life, particularly the issue of how do you practice law when everyone thinks you’re a costumed vigilante/superhero? There was smaller story included, which gave us a nice insight into Matt’s frame of mind at the moment, but was really just a showcase for Marcos Martin to dazzle us with his excellent art. It’s gives us a great visual insight into the way Matt views the world.

I think this issue was definitely pick of the week for me, and I’m really looking forward to this next chapter in DD’s life.

Ok, now for the surprise hit of last month, or whenever week it came out. Marvel Universe Vs. Wolverine. I didn’t think this was a strong an issue, mainly because it seemed to be fiddling about trying to find a cure, and it seemed kind of sidetracked with a Punisher story, but it was till full of cool panels and story beats, and it left me wanting more, so it succeeded in bring me back, which is kind of what serialised fiction is meant to do. I don’t know if this as true a rule as Batman On A Horse, but Wolverine riding a motorbike was pretty cool.

As was our introduction to Frank Castle, which is typically cool Frank pose. I tend to like anyone holding two pistols.

And like I said, it does have cool beats and moments in it, like this one.

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