Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Week in Comics 2/29/12

More like "Week in Comic" am I right? As always SPOILER FOR THIS WEEK'S COMIC.

Justice League v2 #6
By Geoff Johns and Jim Lee
     Since I only have one comic to review this week, we're going to go a bit more in depth on it. I'm glad it's Justice League that came out. I can really sink my teeth into why I can't stand Geoff Johns comics anymore, and why this comic is just bad.
     Right off the bat, in the very beginning of the issue is something I can't stand about Geoff Johns writing. There is no room for subtlety. Instead of showing people in danger, having them see these new super heroes saving them and letting the art show their realization of hope, we get a over dramatic narration that reads like the dialog to a bad movie trailer. It takes a point and pounds it deep into the ground. It feel like Geoff Johns doesn't trust his readers to understand his brilliant story, or his artist to tell it. And all of that is from one page and a caption box on the second.
     Then after a two page spread and a single page of fighting that isn't very exciting, we get another scene that is all about tell and now show. Darkseid's minions are telling each other things they both should know to establish it to the reader. This is already a pretty lazy device of storytelling, even more so in a format that allows for visuals. And then we get a shocking image of exactly what we were just being told is happening. There is no tension in it. Once again, if there had been less dialog, or dialog that was less blunt, this could have worked.
     This is a trend that continues through the next fight scene, with Wonder Woman actually saying "The world belongs to no one. And everyone." and "We need you. We need Superman." Which is just more bad action movie dialog they only wrote in as a snappy one liner ending to the trailer. Batman says out loud the major conflict to Cyborg's character. Because why allow people to discover it though storytelling when you can just come out and say it?
     And then back to the overwrought narration from a random guy who saw the fight bashing the nail on the head in a scene that would have worked a lot better if there was no narration at all. I do like that all of the heroes are roped into working together because everyone else in the world assumes they are and not because they actually wanted to team up.
     If you can't tell already, my major issue is how the story is executed. When I read this I feel like I'm being talked down to. Like I couldn't possibly understand these stories or pick up on things so they have to be explained to me. This is a theme I feel in every Geoff Johns written comic I've read, and I am pretty tired of it.
     But I have to keep reading this. Not because its the Justice League, and not because Batman is in it. But because of things like the backup story to this issue, which directly addresses some questions left after Flashpoint. Those are questions I'd like to see answered. I just wish someone else would answer them.
 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Week in Comics 2/22/12

It has been a while since I posted an episode. Thankfully, after this week I'll be back home and able to find other reasons to be super late with posting episodes. As always, SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS

All-Star Western v3 #6
By Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Moritat
     As much as I love Gotham and it's history, especially with nods to the court of the owls in this issue, it'll be nice to see Jonah Hex out of the city. He kind of belongs out west. As far as I can remember no one has been called a 'yella bellied cheat' over a game of cards and that's a shame.
     My complaint is the backups, which seems to be a common issue of mine. I am paying an extra dollar for a story I don't care about or want to read. I know this is supposed to be a series for more western characters than Jonah Hex, but so far none of them have interested me. All the back up does is put a $1 barrier on this book. People who can't afford as many comics might skip out on this series because of the extra price, and that's a shame.

Batman: The Dark Knight v2 #6
By David Finch and Paul Jenkins
      Once again, going to react as I read. Nice job making sure dead Martha Wayne was posed so we could see her tits. A gunshot wound would look kinda gross and ruin the whole sexy pose, so way to go on not putting any blood on her.
     Why would the Flash moving around super charge the toxin? If he gets bit by a snake does the poison become more potent the faster he runs? How do you know this? The Speed force is a dick.
     Superman would be able to tell if he almost killed Batman. In fact, that was the cliffhanger to the last issue. So, why is he cool with it now?
     Get it? "Blood in the water"? He's Great White. The shark guy who isn't King Shark. Get it?
     Since when is Jim Gordon a total dick?
     So, Scarecrow is just telling the reader how cool Batman is. I know how cool he is. It's bad writing to have people just say how cool he is. Also, does Scarecrow's mask not filter out his fear toxin anymore? Seems like an oversight.
     "Remember when Bane was actually a frightening enemy in 1992? Lets do that again, but with MORE VENOM" -David Finch
     This comic is just terrible. Greg Hurwitz's run can't come soon enough.

The Flash v4 #6
By Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul
     Since I haven't read too much of the flash before I'm not sure if there has been an instance of Captain Cold using cold to slow down the Flash's atomic vibration or not. Either way, I thought it was a cool idea and worked well for the story.
     One thing I'm unclear on is the treadmill. If the flash moving fast causes a buildup of speed force, why does moving fast on a treadmill dissipate it? Also, now that I think about it, the fact that the Flash circled the world six times in Dark Knight means he should have destroyed the world by this comics rules. More reasons Dark Knight is bad and this book is good.

I, Vampire #6
By Joshua Hale Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino 
     Well, I certainly didn't expect that ending. Besides some very spoilery twists, and I do avoid TOTALLY spoiling things, there isn't much to talk about. Other than the ending, the issue was all fighting and yelling. Batman punching a room full of Vampires and tossing around Batarangs that look like the ones in Batman Begins/Dark Knight. None of these things are bad, but the issue felt kind of light.

Justice League Dark #6
By Peter Milligan and Mikel Janin  
     Another pretty light issue. It seems like both JLD and I Vampire only had half a story to tell before the crossover, so they just chucked some filler in. Obviously, they had to get the team back together, but maybe the crossover could have caused it instead of some nightmares.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Week in Comics 2/15/12

I think I am going to stop pretending that my thoughts on every issue can be contained in one paragraph. Reading through some old reviews, I noticed that some of them really needed breaking up. And, as always, SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.

Batman v2 #6
By Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo
     This comic is too good. It's unfair to the rest of the comics I read this week. I read this first, because I'm dying to know what happens, and then nothing else can compare to it. I have to take a break and let my expectations for the rest of comics drop a bit, so that I'm not unfair to the rest of them. Compared to Detective and Dark Knight, this book looks like the greatest comic in the history of man.
     Batman being beaten down, only to come back at the last minute, is a plot that used fairly often. The difference is that in this comic it's pulled off well. Not only is Batman physically exhausted, he's mentally shot. That makes this issue even better. When the straw finally breaks the camels back, everything hits hard. Batman not only beats the hell out of a Talon, but is just brutally insulting the Court the entire time. And that's one of the things I love about Batman the most. His ability to find a single tiny flaw in the enemy plan and use it to absolutely demolish them.

Catwoman v4 #6
By Judd Winick and Guillem March
     Last issue I said I enjoyed the turn towards fun, and mentioned that I though a Catwoman book would work a lot better if it were fun. Well apparently the turn toward funville leads off a cliff, because this was not a happy issue. lots of drama and lots of violence. I'm really not sure if that's a bad thing. I have a hard time figuring out how I feel about this series. Time will tell I guess.

Nightwing v3 #6
By Kyle Higgins, Eddy Barrows and Geraldo Borges 
     After that detour last issue, here we are back at a plot I care about. Half the issue felt like retelling the story to catch people up. Maybe for people who are jumping on because of Night of the Owls? The second half was actual plot advancement. But because it was only half the book, it felt a little light. I'm not sure if the quickness at the end, or the fact that it's a new character made the reveal kind of weak.

Wonder Woman v4 #6
By Brian Azzarello and Tony Akins
     I am not entirely sure what happened in the middle of this issue. Definitely something happened. Something with that guy who is basically John Constantine, but is now apparently made of stone. Yeah, it's hard to put my thoughts together when I'm not sure what went on.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Week in Comics 2/8/12

If you don't follow me on twitter, you probably don't know that I am out of town and thus unable to record the podcast. I'm not even sure if I will be able to read the comics next week. Everything should return to normal in March, but until then, SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.

Batgirl v4 #6
By Gail Simone and Adrian Syaf
     Another solidly mediocre issue. There is just something off about this series. At times it feels like it's trying way too hard to justify its major retcon, and at other times it seems like it doesn't care what the reader thinks of any retcons. You don't need a reason for Barbara becoming Batgirl again beyond "because we wanted to," but you do need a reason for Barbara Sr. to show up. So give me a "hey mom, boy your face looks a lot better" rather than Bruce saying "you were always meant to be Batgirl." And again, the villain felt weak and very one-off.

Batman and Robin v2 #6
By Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason 
      This is one of the reasons I really like Damian as Robin. There was no way to do a convincing "Robin turns evil" type story with Dick or Tim. Even Jason didn't really get evil until he became a zombie. You always know things are going to go back to normal, but Damien allows different avenues to be explored. This also felt a lot more well explained and detailed retcon than Batgirl. There is no vagueness to what's been changed.

Batwoman #6
By J.H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman and Amy Reeder
     It's strange to see someone other than J.H. Williams drawing Batwoman. I know Jock had a short run back in Detective comics, but when I think about Kate Kane I see J.H.'s art. That made this whole comic feel not quite right. I liked Amy Reeder a lot on Madam Xanadu, and I know she is a good artist, but it was weird. I'm sure it will just take a couple issues of getting used to. Although it looks like Reeder is trying to add in a few little J.H. touches in the panel arrangement and art. The story was kind of hit and miss for me. There is a lot of stuff going on that requires a lot of different information, but this issue felt scattered.

Demon Knights #6
By Paul Cornell and Diogenes Neves
     DINOSAURS. WITH. SWORDS.

Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE #6
By Jeff Lemire and Alberto Ponticelli
      I really hope that Frankenstein killing Hitler is still in continuity. That was one of the best parts of Flashpoint. This issue is also more indication that DC had no idea what it was doing with a reboot. Superman was the first superhero... except Batman... oh and all of Stormwatch... and SHADE... and everyone in Demon Knights... and probably people I am forgetting.

Huntress #5
By Paul Levitz and Marcus To
     Really not much comes to mind on this one. The cliffhanger could be interesting if it goes one way, but since I have no idea if it will, I can't really speculate how that will affect the upcoming World's Finest series. So far this has been a pretty standard story with the Huntress taking down some crime boss. Not much more too it.

Penguin: Pain and Prejudice #5
By Greg Hurwitz and Szymon Kudranski 
     I really liked this miniseres. It's nice to see the penguin as a supervillain instead of just a crime lord. This really feels like a definitive Penguin story. One that has everything about the character all in one nice little series. I'm excited that Greg Hurwitz is taking over Batman: The Dark Knight. I knew David Finch would go eventually, but it's nice to see someone whose work I liked coming onto a series I think is bad.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Week In Comics 2/1/12

This is usually the point where I try to add in a little bit about my experience with comics or make excuses for the podcast. But, I don't really have any excuses. I just can't get myself to work on it for longer than 20 minutes at a time. And when 3 pages takes 20 minutes, I'm not progressing very fast. So, hopefully it will get done before I am out of town for most of February. As always, SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.

Animal Man v2 #6
By Jeff Lemire, John Paul Leon and Travel Foreman
     This issue felt crazy out of place. Doing a story that is 90% just a move Buddy starred in isn't a bad idea, but this isn't between arcs. There's a story I am much more interested in happening, and this just feels like putting it off. They do try to connect it, with 2 pages of the story I care about, but it's too little too late. That aside, I didn't think the 'movie' was that good anyway. It seemed like it was trying to parody Oscar bait type dramas, but maybe that's because I felt it was over dramatic. This is probably the first issue of this series I didn't enjoy, so I can't condemn the whole thing, but this definitely was a misstep in my opinion.

Batwing #6
By Judd Winick and Ben Oliver
     I am excited at the prospect of this series having a big bat-family team-up in the next issue(s). I'm more excited that we may finally get an explanation of what The Kingdom did and why Massacre is hunting them down. I had completely forgotten that one of the members told Batwing that they'd betrayed the people of Africa, so it's nice to get back on that plot and not just have more fights that no one wins.

Detective Comics v2 #6
By Tony Daniel
     My first thought when I opened up this issue was "who are these people and why do I care?" I honestly read the entire issue have no idea what was happening. I went back the last couple of issues and it's still not clear. It's like Tony Daniel got bored of his own story. The Dollmaker's car blows up and reveals that he got away, BUT WAIT LOOK AT THE JOKER CROWD, SCREW THAT THE PENGUIN HAS A CASINO WHERE PEOPLE WE DON'T CARE ABOUT ARE DOING STUFF! Just finish a plot dude. Actually, don't. Quit right now. Let DC relaunch Detective Comics with a new team and sweep this pile of putrid feces under the rug.

Swamp Thing v5 #6
By Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette
     this felt like a really quick read. Really very little happened, but what did was important. Maybe Animal Man needed a filler issue because Swamp Thing is so slowly paced. I really don't have much to say about it. So, I guess I won't say much about it.