Sunday, August 26, 2012

Week in Comics 8/22/12

I think the fact that I almost forgot to read these comics this week tells you all you need to know about this week's comics. There just aren't many to be excited about. Sure, I think the ones I read are good, but there is nothing that really blows my mind. Anyway, onto SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.

All-Star Western v3 #12
By Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Moritat
Backup by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Scott Kolins
     I feel like this comic has ideas and then just abandons them. With the reboot and being alone in it's time period I expect a lot more out of the plots. Nothing that happens seems important. There is mentions of history here and there, but none of it actually happens. Why don't we see a story that ties into the building of Arkham Asylum more then "oh, now that we are done with this plot I want to build an asylum." I've complained about other series taking too long to tell a story, but this one isn't taking long enough. Nothing is built up enough to matter. At least with the other series I feel like something has been accomplished in a year.

The Flash v4 #12
By Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato
     It really seems like all these issue #0s are coming at a time where there wasn't supposed to be a break in the story. Basically nothing I have seen as "NEXT MONTH IN ISSUE #0" has been exciting or interesting at all. I want to see the stories I've been following, and not some retcon retelling of an origin people have already been told about in issue #1. I would actually like to see where this story is going, so that is a plus for the series, but skipping a month to do something else isn't helping anyone.

I, Vampire #12
By Joshua Hale Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino
     I was really expecting this issue to be worse, with the Stormwatch team-up and all. It was surprisingly alright. Once again, I'm interested to see what happens next, but have to wait for #0 month to pass by. At least this time I don't really know the origin of the characters involved already. Even though it was explained a bit in early issues.

Justice League Dark #12
By Jeff Lemire and Mikel Janin
     I really hope issue #0 of this series is that one issue of Hellblazer where Constantine has a party where he and Zatanna end up smoking weed that Swamp Thing grew. But, I seem to be talking a lot about #0 issues this week, so let's talk about the actual comic. It was alright. Nothing totally mindblowing, but still a solid series I enjoy reading. I definitely think it's been better since Lemire came on, which is kind of a shame since I love Milligan on Hellblazer. Even Mikel Janin's art has grown on me. Only a bit though.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Week in Comics 8/15/12

Lately there has been a heatwave here in Portland. If there is anything that makes me not want to do anything, it's heat. Now that I woke up this morning to clouds and rain, as the one true bat-god intended, I feel like reading and dropping some SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.

Batwoman #12 
By J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman 
    I'm kind of bummed out that this story is picking up right where the last arc left off, but at least this arc seems to be chronological. I'm interested in seeing a Batwoman/Wonder Woman team-up, so I'm already a bit more on board for this story already. And J.H. Williams art doesn't hurt either. But then, it's getting broken up by #0 month, which makes Batwoman pretty confusing considering it had a #0 come out in 2010. Maybe it's been secretly volume 2 all along.

Birds of Prey v3 #12 
By Duane Swierczynski and Cliff Richards
     As much as I liked Poison Ivy on this team, it makes sense for her to go all super-villain at her first chance. I knew it had to happen eventually, but I was really hoping for Ivy to not flip out and always be the one on the team who bent the rules a bit. But then, we've seen Katana and Starling are more than willing to get their hands dirty. This team feels kinda doomed from the start. I really don't see a good way for them to stay together that isn't just, "OK GUYS SERIOUSLY, LET'S TRY TO NOT MURDER" every issue.

Catwoman v4 #12
By Judd Winick and Adriana Melo
     Oh look, another series where the child of a villain is the real villain. What is up with that? Do writers really think this is a super sweet and shocking thing to do? Because I don't. I think it's pretty dumb. Maybe it would work if a bunch of different villains didn't all have kids who are also evil.
       On another note, Catwoman calling Batman in to take care of her problem is stupid. Catwoman is supposed to be strong and independent, and calling in a man to do it for you is not that. I would've rather seen something like a team-up where both sides were using the other for info and eventually converged at the same time. Maybe it's a bit cliche for a Catwoman story, but at least that way she doesn't come off as only good for calling for help.

Nightwing v3 #12
By Kyle Higgins and Andres Guinaldo 
     So, what is the point of framing Nightwing for murders if the villain then just reveals to the police that it wasn't Nightwing at all? It seems like this really elaborate plan added up to getting Nightwing into a sewer so they could have a fight with electro-whips. The same goes for this whole secret society thing. They are just a gang who dress up because they can, and the leader is messing with Nightwing over some petty crap instead of grand plans. It feels like the plot of this arc is trying to be way grander than the action inside it.

Wonder Woman v4 #12
By Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chang
     With the exception of some cheesy dialog, I really enjoyed this issue. This is another one of those series that has been running the same arc for a year now, but it doesn't feel the same as any of the others do. It seems to have gotten a lot more done. At least, it did a lot more stuff. Where things like Batman and Animal Man have been building toward one event, this felt like it had smaller arcs that served a greater arc. It reminds me of the pacing in Vertigo books. The main plot of the series is slowly marching forward with every  issue, but it's paced with smaller events to give a sense of accomplishment and an overall sense of a story with an end. I don't think this is a pace we see a lot in cape books, and with these massive stories happening all over, it's a pace that would serve a lot of them.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Detective Comics #52

Cover: Bob Kane

The Secret of the Jade Box
Writing: Bill Finger
Pencils: Bob Kane
Inks: Jerry Robinson and George Roussos
Letters: George Roussos
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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Week in Comics 8/8/12

I got nothin' for this section. I won't bore all of you with my life so have some SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS

Batman v2 #12
By Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Becky Cloonan and Andy Clarke
     It was pretty interesting to see a Batman comic deal with homophobia. Not a subject that comes up all too often in superhero books. I liked that it was different though. I really wish there was more stories about regular people in a superhero world. Stuff like Gotham Central and Batman: Gotham Nights I-II did this with varying levels of success, but they were always super interesting to me. So, this was a nice change of pace. It's also pretty nice to see a more one-shot style story out of this series.
     I also really enjoyed the art. I've liked Becky Cloonan a lot since I read Demo and I think her style fit the story great. The shift to Andy Clarke's art was a bit jarring since the story flowed right though the writer/artist change. It seems like with a one-shot type story that was going to be a different artist all along could've been done all by one person to keep it consistent, but what do I know about making comics.

Batman and Robin v2 #12
By Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
     Once again I felt the villain and that plot was stupid, and now seemingly pointless. It went nowhere, the villain wasn't impactful and the side villains didn't fit with the rest of it. Maybe if Terminus was someone we actually knew, or even someone set up in another arc with a reason to hate Batman, it would've been better. Instead we get a couple issues where nothing matters and then the dude just drops dead. Even his final plan is taken care of in almost no time.
    The part I was interested in was all the Robins interacting. This part just proves exactly how much of a cool bro Dick Grayson is.

Demon Knights #12
By Paul Cornell and Diogenes Neves 
     Every once in a while this series has an issue that is serious. I know some of that needs to happen for the plot to move along, but I always look forward to this book as a kind of palate cleanser. Sadly, this was one of those serious issues. I am looking forward to seeing what happens next, but i get to wait a month for all the zero issues.

Frankenstein Agent of SHADE #12
Matt Kindt and Alberto Ponticelli 
     I feel like I just read a novel. I'm not sure why this issue is constant exposition over related images when it seems like it would've worked well as a straightforward comic. It felt unnecessary and like overkill. I have been enjoying this series a bit less since Lemire left, so we'll have to see in the next coupe if I will keep reading it.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Week in Comics 8/1/12

Similar to last week's comics, I wasn't really feeling like reading them on Wednesday, and then there was several days of different reasons I didn't get around to it. But now it's time to drop some SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.
Animal Man v2 #12 
By Jeff Lemire, Scott Snyder and Steve Pugh
    FINALLY this crossover has started. Being the first issue of Rotworld this was mostly recap of plot and character to introduce anyone who is coming over for the event. Not a bad thing, but not too much happened. Things were put into motion that I'm sure will be expanded upon in Swamp thing, and the rest of this event. It'll be interesting to see if non-related series will mention the fact that there is a massive rot invasion, or totally ignore it like all the vampires running around.

Batwing #12
By Judd Winick and Marcus To 
     Hey, I have an idea! Let's have a last minute crossover with a series that's being cancelled, which includes a character from a book that's already cancelled! EVERYONE WILL LOVE IT!
     So far, it really doesn't seem like Batwing can do anything. Every time there is a major villain he has to team up with someone to defeat them. This story is set up like Batwing is returning home, and one of his supporting cast needs help so he has to save them. But, apparently he is incapable of doing that and needs the JLI, OMAC, Nightwing, and Batman. I can't wait to see who takes care of Batwing's problems next story arc!

Earth 2 #4
By James Robinson, Nicola Scott and Eduardo Pansica 
     Maybe my brain was trying to protect me, but I didn't really notice how terrible the dialog was in this series. I mentioned it in the first issue, but since then I've been distracted by other, more stupid, things. Now, I can see dialog balloons that contain things like, "How's the hell this happening? Hawkgirl? Are you causing this?" in their full glory. I'm not even sure if "How's the hell this happening?" is English. The dialog says everything that needs to be said about the quality of this series, so here's some more. Keep in mind that these are all ONE dialog balloon, and I kept the punctuation intact. Nothing breaks these quotes up to make them seem less awkward.
     "Here I am, monster! Come on, face me! Who--What are you?"
     "--We ask is this the beginning of a new era of wonders?"
     I don't know if I can read this series anymore. I really wanted it to be interesting. Instead we get terrible dialog, fetish-Grundy, and a bad imitation of the Rotworld stuff.

Swamp Thing v5 #12
By Scott Snyder, Jeff Lemire and Marco Rudy
     Still a lot of setup, in this issue, but there was a lot more progression as well. Other than that, not a whole lot jumps out. I'm excited to read the next issues, but nothing really struck me. I think that's an issue with these massive stories we've been getting. Each issue contains a small part of something, and it takes so long to build to the full thing that I don't really know what to think until we get there. Each part is good, but until I see it all together I wont know if it was built well. Unlike comics where the parts are very obviously bad.