Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Week In Comics 12/28/11

So close to getting back to releasing episodes. I fly back home next weds, and then it's just a matter of not being lazy. As always, SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.

All-Star Western v3 #4
By Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Moritat, and Phil Winslade
     Not much to say about this one. Jonah Hex does his best Batman impression for most the issue. The plot is also similar to an early Batman TAS episode, "The Underdwellers." I am pretty uninterested in the backups for this series so far, and this new story doesn't change that. 

Batman: The Dark Knight v2 #4
By David Finch and Paul Jenkins
     I'm going to write this as I read it. Because, really, there is no way this is going to be good, and I am going to have a lot of questions/comments. Why does Poison Ivy have a lab in a concrete and metal building? Why does Wonder Woman look like a 16 year old? Is Jim Gordon on his man-period? Ok, Batman holding an ice cream cone is kinda funny. How many random cameos and unrelated villains need to show up before this is just a worse version of Hush? Oh, wait, this is already worse than Hush. God this comic is bad. I am caught in this paradox of wishing it was canceled, but paying for it so I can review it. 

The Flash v4 #4
By Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul  
     First, how many editors notes can one book have? I remember what happened last issue. I'm reading a multi-part story, I don't think it's unreasonable to assume I've read the other parts. This isn't new reader friendly, this is treating your audience like morons. Second, this series is good. It does very well in setting things up, and explaining why things happen. Even if it then overexplains them with a editors note. Manapul is still doing an amazing job on art, and I hope he stays on for a long time. The ending was a little Geoff Johns-ey but the rest of the issue makes up for it.

I, Vampire #4
By Joshua Hale Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino
     John Constantine showing up is what I want to happen in almost every comic. So when he shows up in a comic I really like, it's even better. Even if it was a one off that really didn't do anything plot wise. Although, he seemed to be rocking an Irish accent with things like "boyo" and "wee." I'm also glad that this is finally tried into the DCU by more than some city names. I hope that the "dark" titles have some more tie ins and joined continuity. Because everything could use more Constantine. Speaking of which, what the hell is with him not showing up in Swamp Thing yet?

Justice League Dark #4
By Peter Milligan and Mikel Janin 
     Not much to say about this one either. Mostly the same things I have been saying. The plot is getting more interesting as it goes, and I still don't like the art. I have a feeling that the 2nd arc of this book is going to be much better, but that could just be me hoping. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Week In Comics 12/21/11

Since this will be the last post before Christmas, and I have no idea when any of the other holidays start, I would like to take this tiny bit of writing to wish you all a happy whatever you celebrate. Hopefully you have all been good and get lots of comics. As always, SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEKS COMICS.

Batman v2 #4
By Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo 
     Lots of exposition in this issue. I was having flashbacks to Swamp Thing for a minute there. I can see why it was needed and it definitely server a purpose, but it really felt like a shift down. I think if this had a longer more involved flashback of young Bruce looking into the Court of Owls it would have been a lot more compelling. Instead, we got a conversation between Dick and Bruce and some darker art. Just seems like a missed opportunity to me.

Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes #1
By Grant Morrison, Chris Burnham and Cameron Stewart 
     First, what's the deal with this not being on Comixology? Day and Date means every comic, DC. Second, this is like Batman Odyssey levels of crazy. Only it makes more sense in a way that doesn't make any sense. Where Odyssey is pure chaos, Leviathan Strikes is chaos hidden within something familiar. I mean: Lady gaga, Katy Perry, and Rianna are Leviathan agents. Batman is maybe on acid for half the issue. Batwing's name is Desmond and he is a rich playboy. I know this is pre-Flashpoint, which is crazy enough, but that seems like something that would have been discussed. I have no idea how this will work when it comes back next year. Unless the entire thing stays out of DCnU continuity, which would be an odd choice. I really can't put into words how insane this was, especially with the twist ending. There is so many crazy layers of fakeouts and double crosses, and more are revealed with every installment of Morrison's Batman, it's practically impossible to keep straight.

Batman Odyssey v2 #3
By Neal Adams
     I can't even deal with this series anymore. I have no idea what is happening or why it's happening. I completely understand what dyslexia is now. I look at this comic and it just doesn't make sense. Nothing fits. There is elements I recognize, but I can't quite figure out how they go together. It makes my head hurt.

Catwoman v4 #4
By Judd Winick and Guillem March
     It seems like in every Catwoman series they come up with a new history and a new cast of supporting characters. At least this series has the excuse of being post-Flashpoint. I'm glad we are getting to see the new characters though, it's adding a reason for Catwoman's actions beyond wanting to steal stuff. Although, that is still a major motivator. It's also nice to see a little bit more straightforward superhero stuff. Even if the new villain has a really stupid costume. The art did seem a bit rushed at points, but I still really like Guillem March's style, so it's forgivable.

Justice League v2 #4
By Geoff Johns and Jim Lee
     I really didn't think I could dislike anymore than I did before this series. His first line of dialog in the issue pissed me off so hard I had to stop reading for a couple of minutes. This comic is trying so hard it hurts. I almost think Geoff Johns is purposely sabotaging Hal and Barry just to make Aquaman seem cool. Too bad it doesn't work. There is a part where Hal runs through everyone's powers, and then questions what Aquaman can do. And what does he do? Sharks. That is exactly why people think Aquaman is stupid. If they didn't happen to be near an ocean, and the enemies didn't happen to be flying over the water, he would just swing a trident around. Meanwhile super-alien, magic space cop, goddess, and faster-than-light-man would mop up. This is why I hate team books. Besides having someone around to shit on everyone's ideas, they don't really need Batman. And unless there is an ocean crime they don't really need Aquaman. At least all of the Justice League and the main villain FINALLY appear on the same page.

Nightwing v3 #4
By Kyle Higgins and Trevor McCarthy 
     A pretty solid issue overall. Good action with a new villain, team-up with Batgirl, good character work, and progress on an interesting mystery. This is just some good comics. I kind of like the change in art, it's more cartoony and kinetic, which fits with Dick Grayson really well.

Wonder Woman v4 #4
By Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chang
     This was a really good character issue. Not a lot of action, but tons of character development from several people as well as a major push forward in the plot. Last issue, I said I wanted to see someone fight Aries. Well now I don't, because the character is seriously cool and definitely different than I pictured he would be. There are also a few plot points I really hope don't get magically retconned after Azzarello leaves. I like to see major changes like that stick. As long as they're changes from the plot and not from something like Flashpoint.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Week in Comics 12/14/11

First of the updates from Colorado, where I'm visiting some family for the holidays With how slow the internet is, I wasn't even sure I would be able to get comics to load. How am I supposed to drop SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS if they wont load?

Batgirl v4 #4
By Gail Simone and Adrian Syaf 
     There is a lot of strange choices in the issue. From the opening dream, to how Mirror was defeated, to a special Christmas appearance of either a zombie or someone who got over having a ripped off face really fast.  No not the Joker. I'm still not really getting the feel for this book. It doesn't seem important. Even all the drama over Batgirl feeling responsible for the train bombing last issue is dropped. Maybe now that the first arc is over the hand holding introduction to the character will go away and we can just get some good comics. Maybe.

Batman and Robin v2 #4
By Peter J Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
     This series is still getting better by the issue. I don't really know what more I can say about it. The conflict between Damian and Bruce is great, and really shows hard hard it would be to deal with Bruce Wayne as a father. Both sides come off as flawed and no one really feel right. Damian wants to do too much, and is too violent. And Bruce is holding too much back, but has reasons for it. Plus there's a cyborg ninja. And Alfred playing Microsoft Flight Simulator with a Batplane.

Batwoman #4
By J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman
     Oh god, this series is so good. 

Demon Knights #4
By Paul Cornell, Diogenes Neves and Mike Choi
     Hey, plot! Finally, there's the beginnings of a larger story and a reason for the title of the book. Not that I'm complaining. I would be completely fine if this series was more jokes than story, like it has been. But it's nice to see a larger plot evolving and giving the group a reason to stay together. The beginning issues of this really felt like the early stages of a D&D campaign where the only reason the party stays together is because they are in the same town. This whole series feels like a D&D campaign. I know that if I rolled a character like Vandal Savage that I'd want to eat a dinosaur too. 

Frankenstein Agent of SHADE #4
By Jeff Lemire and Alberto Ponticelli
     ROBOT ARMIES AND GIANT SPIKED WHEELS OF DEATH VS MILLIONS OF MONSTERS. What more do I need to say?  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Week in Comics 12/7/11

You may have noticed that there was no Week in Comics post last week. That's because only like two things I read came out and I didn't have money to get them anyway. As always, SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.

Animal Man v2 #4
By Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman
     God damn, this book is creepy. In a good way. In a really good way. This is one of those issues that is hard to put into words for me. It's just well made in every aspect. The hints at a Swamp thing team up are just icing on top of the icing on the cake.

Batwing #4
By Judd Winick and Chriscross 
     This issue has a really great moment of Batwing being an awkward hero. After bringing a dead woman to the police Batwing holds up a finger and says "And every last one of you who claims to be a servant of the people... Should fight to your last breath until you find out who's done this to her." I'm not sure if this is bad dialog or brilliant writing. On one hand, it's some really forced and overly heroic dialog. On the other, Batwing is a relatively new hero, and maybe he isn't used to dealing with the police in that way. I like the idea of a new hero trying to act heroic and coming off as really lame. The rest of the issue dealt mostly with David Zavimbe's past as a child soldier. This is all pretty good, but I feel like they are telegraphing pretty hard that Massacre is actually David's brother. I could be wrong, but there is definitely something up.

Detective Comics v2 #4
By Tony Daniel 
    At this point I can't even be upset by how terrible this series has been. As I read it I just sigh at how absolutely terrible it is. It opens to Batman giving a swirly to a dude, which could be cool, but then a few pages later tries to shock me by having the same guy show up as a villain. There is absolutely no dramatic buildup or payoff. The little girl keeps helping Batman and Gordon, but refuses to leave the Dollmaker. Moments after cold stabbing a dude and being emotionless, she is crying in Gordon's arms. Then, Batman just lets the Dollmaker escape and goes on vacation for one page in a scene that only serves as exposition. And then, there is another last page shocker of the Joker's cut off face. WHICH HASN'T FUCKING MATTERED AT ALL SO FAR. I guess I can still get angry about this atrocity of a series. Detective Comics, and comics in general deserve better than this. Tony Daniel should be ashamed of what he has done to the series that DC comics is named after.

Huntress v3 #3
By Paul Levitz and Marcus To
     I might be a little biased toward this comic due to my love of the Huntress. I am really enjoying it but I can see why other people might not. Really, the plot is nothing special. Mafia running a sexy lady slave trade isn't exactly breaking new ground in comics. But, when Huntress is basically playing out Arkham City in Pompeii I get psyched up. Though, I don't see this building to a really satisfying conclusion. It will probably just end with Huntress punching a dude and going back to the US.

Men of War v2 #4
By Ivan Brandon and Tom Derenick 
Backup by B. Clay Moore and Paul McCaffrey
     I'm always torn on this book. While I love the concept, I really feel like it's being underutilized. What this books needed was a 3-4 issue arc that really introduced us to Sgt. Rock and his crew, not the disconnected collection we're getting. I don't feel invested in anything that's happening because I don't know why it's happening or who it's happening to. For once the backup is good, and actually addresses the fact that modern war would be different in a world where there's spider robots. I'm not sure if I'll continue picking this book up
   
Penguin: Pain and Prejudice #3
By Gregg Hurwitz and Szymon Kudranski
     Having missed reviewing the last one of these: It was good. Now, lets move onto the current issue. It's good. As I've said before, this series is really showing why the penguin is a feared crime lord while showing how twisted emotionally troubled he is. To me, this feels like the story that will define the penguin for a long time. The art is great and I really hope to see Kudranski on more DCU books in the future.

Swamp Thing v5 #4
By Scott Snyder and Marco Rudy 
     It's kind of amazing that this book goes from pondering the nature of memory to dinosaur fights to gory murders. At this point, Scott Snyder can do no wrong in my book. I'm glad to see this story picking up in pace a bit and really getting the ball rolling on the plot, but I do enjoy the exposition as well. I think with weaker art all of the monologues could get old but Marco Rudy, and Yanick Paquette before him, did a great job of keeping things visually interesting, as well as using art to add to the writing.