Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Week in Comics 6/27/12

Despite some internet troubles, I managed to actually read comics this week. A herculean effort to be sure. Anyway, SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.

All-Star Western v3 #10
By Justin Gray Jimmy Palmiotti and Moritat
Backup by Justin Gray Jimmy Palmiotti and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez
     Interesting to see this series keeping the Court of the Owls going. I expected it from Batman and maybe Nightwing, but with how the actual tie-in wen't I figured this would move on pretty quickly. It'll be interesting to see where that goes.

Batman Incorporated v2 #2
By Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham
     Interesting to see a massive recap of Talia and Damian's origins. The events of the last issue were barely mentioned, and only at the end, and yet I still really enjoyed this. As a standalone issue, it's nice to get some info on Talia and Ra's, especially since their place has been pretty unclear in the New 52. And in true Morrison fashion there is a lot of elements pulled from old comics and re-purposed to fit the current story. It'll be interesting to see if anything from this issue directly affects the upcoming events, or if it was just a way to catch up readers on the history that led to Damian.

Batman: The Dark Knight v2 #10
By Gregg Hurwitz and David Finch
     I've heard the idea that Detective Comics was the more crime oriented Batman book, and Batman was more Superhero-ey. I'm not totally against Dark Knight being a Horror focused series, like it seemed to be in this issue, but it's hard to draw the line between dark and scary and XTREME GRIMDARK. What's strange is that I felt Gregg Hurwitz pulled off a dark toned book extremely well in Penguin: Pain and Prejudice, so I'm not sure what happened here. Sure the writing was better, but it still felt like it was trying too hard. Maybe it was the fact that Finch is still on art, so everything has that crosshatched 90's look. I wish I could see another artist tackle this same script, because I'm really not sure which part of it I didn't like. Somewhere along the line it started to feel like it was trying too hard to be dark. It might've been the bleeding-sewn-mouth cover.

The Flash v4 #10
By Francis Manapul, Brian Buccellato and Marcus To 
     Being someone who hadn't read much Flash before the relaunch I am pretty glad they are going though his rogues and reintroducing them. Once again with this series, it didn't totally blow me away. It's consistently good comics, and I enjoy reading it every week, but there is nothing that really jumps out at me. It's just 100% solid in every area.

I, Vampire #10
By Joshua Hale Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino 
     Ok seriously. If you aren't reading this I don't know what to say to you. I really want to yell the plot of this issue at you and ask why you aren't reading it, but I don't want to spoil everything that happened. Just go read this. Even if you've never read this series before, pick up issue #10 and read it.

Justice League Dark #10
By Jeff Lemire and Mikel Janin
     Similar to the Flash, I'm glad that all these people are showing up and being explained. The magic characters of the DCU don't show up too often so it's nice to have someone like Doctor Mist shout out his powers. It's also smart to have Deadman and Black Orchid not know a lot about things so Constantine and Zatanna can explain what the House of Mystery and Books of Magic are. It's almost like Lemire is a really good writer or something.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Detective Comics #51

Cover: Bob Kane

The Case of the Mystery Carnival 

Writing: Bill Finger
Pencils: Bob Kane
Inks: Jerry Robinson and George Roussos
Letters: George Roussos
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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Week in Comics 6/20/12

Because I'm super cool, I didn't notice that last week's post was the 1 year anniversary of this blog. So, for this special occasion, I encourage all of you to eat week old cake that's been in the fridge too long. You earned it. Anyway, SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.

Batwoman #10
By J.H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman and Trevor McCarthy 
     Finally getting enough parts of the puzzle to really know what's going on. I just wish this story wasn't a puzzle. Maybe I just want a painting of unicorns standing on an ocean while a spectral wizard floats behind them next to a castle. You know, instead of that same image, but in 1000 pieces.
     I am basically waiting for this book to be awesome again. Rocking back and forth on my rocking chair whittling analogies while I watch over the comic fields, waiting for a good crop. I need to stop now. I have no idea why I'm writing any of this.

Birds of Prey v3 #10
By Duane Swierczynski and ravel Foreman
     So Travel Foreman leaves Animal Man just in time for the arc in Birds of Prey where monsters that look really freaky show up. Which, works. What doesn't work for me is anything that isn't a crazy monster. The style just doesn't fit what's happening. The stuff with Black Canary in the helicopter looked totally flat and static. I was distracted through the whole issue by how warped everything was. This style worked wonders on Animal Man, but it's too off for something like this.
     The story was a bit light. Mainly setting up for the next arc and reminding me that the last arc ended strangely. Maybe the upcoming #0 issue will spread some light on things, but I can't help but feel like I was missing a few issues of that story and had to move on anyway.

Catwoman v4 #10
By Judd Winick and Guillem March
     Nice to have Guillem March back on pencils, even with Catwoman's crazy-straw spine. It's also nice to see someone trying to do some good with the Dollmaker after Tony Daniel's first Detective Comics arc. Already the idea of taking junkies off the streets to cleanse them and then harvest their organs is a way better idea than just a creepy house with joker puppets. At least I assume it's the Dollmaker. With all the talk of THE DOLLHOUSE and the dude having dreads. It could be a fakeout for another doll-based villain, which would be pretty amazing.

Nightwing v3 #10
By Kyle Higgins, Eddy Barrows and Geraldo Borges
     I really enjoyed this issue. Finally back onto the plot that was set up in the first issue, and back to Dick trying to reconcile his past with his present. I love the idea of fixing up amusement mile, not only because I like to see Gotham's history be used, but also because I can't wait for every villain ever to use it in a plan. I really feel like modern comics are lacking roller coaster fights.

Wonder Woman v4 #10
By Brian Azzarello, Kano and Tony Akins
     You don't need money, don't take fame
     Don't need no credit card to ride this train
     It's strong and it's sudden and it's cruel sometimes
     But it might just save your life
     That's the power of love
     That's the power of love

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Week in Comics 6/13/12

I'm mostly moved into the new place. Still no bed, but sleeping on the floor is better than having my ears punched by whatever my old roommate happened to be watching. One of the things I have yet to move is my microphone, so it's a little hard to podcast at the moment. As always SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS

Batgirl v4 #10
By Gail Simone and Alitha Martinez 
     I think I am done with this series. I tried a lot longer than I should've. I'll probably forget next month and review it anyway, but I just don't care. It's brutally mediocre with a light dusting of bad.

Batman v2 #10
By Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo
Backup by Scott Snyder, James Tynion III and Rafael Albuquerque
      Well, I have to say, I was a bit underwhelmed by this issue. Snyder had been tweeting hype and retweeting people who got advanced copies, and I probably let my expectations get a bit too high. The contents of this issue are still petty spoilerific, so this is your double warning. SPOILERS.
     So the idea of Thomas Wayne Jr isn't a new one, and I can't really fault Snyder for bringing back obscure continuity to make new stories. With all the court of owls stuff, I made jokes about their being an Earth 3 court of bats, so it kind of felt obvious to introduce Owlman. And that was my major problem with it. The idea of the long lost brother who was in an asylum the whole time is an idea that feels like a really cliche reveal.
     There's always the chance that this is a Doctor Hurt type of situation, where a villain is just messing with Bruce, and the reader is supposed to be unsure who the person really is. Even if that happens, I feel like the reveal in this issue was just not great. Immediately I thought of Snyder's run on Detective Comics where a long lost son of Commissioner Gordon who we haven't seen in comics in a long time turns out to be crazy and no one in the family talked about it. It just felt too familiar and that made it lose impact for me.
     With the exception of that reveal coloring my opinion of the whole issue, it was a good comic up to that point. As always, I think Snyder is a good writer who knows how to build tension. The scene in the opening that dealt with the Powers family was pure angry Batman goodness. The art was as solid as ever throughout, and so was the backup. What happens in the next few issues will be interesting to see.

Batman and Robin v2 #10
By Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
     I really liked this issue and it makes me wish there was at least a mini about all the Robins having adventures. Damian wanting to beat each of the other Robins at what they're best at and then take a trophy is amazing, and I really hope that story actually plays out.
     The other story setting up what I assume will be the next arc's villain was pretty dark. I like the idea of people who have been injured directly or indirectly by Batman grouping up and seeking revenge. The dude with the Batarang in his head makes me laugh, so I guess it's not all dark.

Demon Knights #10
By Paul Cornell and Diogenes Neves 
     Vandal Savage uppercuts a giant sea serpent.

Frankenstein Agent of SHADE #10
By Jeff Lemire (interior says Matt Kindt, so I don't know who wrote it) and Alberto Ponticelli
     I am not totally sure what happened in this issue. I think somewhere Between Batman and Robin and Demon Knights my brain was fried. This book is crazy. I'm going to go unfry my brain.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Week in Comics 6/6/12

Tomorrow I will be moving most of my stuff and probably myself into a new place. This is a potential plus for podcasting because, so far, I haven't had any indication that the new people are noisy dicks. If only I had planned to move today I could have called it Operation Overlord. WWII jokes aside, you may notice that   as always I will be dropping some SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.

Animal Man v2 #10
By Jeff Lemire and Steve Pugh
     I've been sitting here staring at this blank space for a while, having  a hard time coming up with things to say about this comic. It's one of those situations where I enjoyed it, but lack the capacity to put into words why I enjoyed it. There was a lot more humor than I remember there being in previous issues. Not only with part of the Justice League Dark showing up, but even with the more dramatic stuff that takes place within the red. I think parts of this story would have been better suited to the Annual. Just a one shot story about Buddy getting his body back that ties into the main plot, but isn't totally required to enjoy the series.

Batwing #10
By Judd Winick and Marcus To
     Batwing seems to be becoming quite the international man of action. I guess I expected the Batman of Tinasha to at least hang around Congo and do Batman stuff there. Maybe there isn't enough supercrime to go around so he has to fly out to China. And team up with Nightwing for some reason. Although it was worth it for that line about serious dudes in Bat costumes. It does seem like the plot is being Batwing back to his roots, which will be nice since he hasn't had too much time to develop a supporting cast.

Earth 2 #2
By James Robinson and Nicola Scott
     Anything I was going to say about this book was immediately overwritten by what happened at the end. So first let me drop a couple of those things. The dialog is awkwardly written and the costume designs are horrible.
     Now, this part is for real spoilers so you've been warned. HOLY SHIT DC COULDN'T GO A FULL ISSUE WITH A GAY COUPLE BEFORE ONE OF THEM DIES. What the hell, man? All this publicity over a character being gay and a few pages later the boyfriend dies. I can't even believe that. It's like DC said "OK, we can have a gay character as long as he doesn't actually have a gay relationship or act gay at all. Basically you can have one kiss and that's it." Partway through this comic I had to stop and think to myself, "Wait a minute. They aren't gonna kill everyone on that train right?" Because they hinted so hard at it. Alan Scott's old origin was surviving a train wreck in china, and Alan says that the trip sounds "MAGICAL" in bold font. I literally burst out laughing when that last panel hit. Jesus Christ. I have to stop typing now. I can't get my head around this. I am completely blown away by how fucking stupid that was. Every part of it from the actual events for the story to the publicity storm that proceeded it was utterly fucking stupid. I need to take a break.

Swamp Thing v5 #10
By Scott Snyder and Francesco Francavilla 
     I think Scott Snyder's superpower is that he always gets amazing artists no matter what he's working on. I really enjoyed Francavilla in the James Jr stuff, and was excited to hear he'd be on Swamp Thing. He did not disappoint. This issue looks great. Definitely a departure from the Paquette stuff in terms of layouts, but it still has that really dark but alive look.
     The story seemed a little light. Not in terms of content, but I blew though it. Maybe I was hungry for a story that didn't require me to take a 30 minute break. This is another part of Swamp Thing lore I'm not well versed in so I'm looking forward to seeing what happens over the net few issues and why this dude is  a major threat.

Worlds' Finest #2
By Paul Levitz, George Perez and Kevin McGuire
    God the credits on this book are confusing. There's Writer, Penciller, Inker, Colorist, and then artist. Anyway, the art in this still looks crazy dated in the present day sequences. The plot is eh at best. I don't know if I'll be picking this up past this issue. It's not bad, it's just mediocre. Which is a shame since I love PG and Huntress.