Monday, May 31, 2010

Quick reviews and previews

I haven't been doing a very good job of posting regular reviews of the comics I've read the past few weeks, so here's a catch-all update with quick reviews of a few recent issues. I'm going to save Return of Bruce Wayne #2 for a longer reviews, to be posted later this week.


A good start to the series, if not exactly the mind-blowing first issue I was hoping for. Gail Simone starts putting all the pieces in place for her first story arc and does so competently. The in-story excuse for reuniting the team is refreshingly straightforward. Throwing Hawk and Dove into the mix feels a bit forced to me, and I suspect it was editorially mandated so the book could tie in to all the Brightest Day nonsense. Be that as it may, they only appeared in a few pages in this issue, so it's too early to judge whether they are going to fit in nicely with the rest of the team. The issue ends with a mystery villain, which is always fun. Looking forward to #2.


Still really enjoying Francis Manapul's art and the lighter tone of this book. Let's hope that tone doesn't take a turn for the dark too soon, but with Geoff Johns writing and the connection to the apparently ironically titled Brightest Day, I wouldn't be surprised if it did. I think I remember reading some rather baffling complaints from fans who thought "nothing happened" in this issue. I'll never understand how these people's minds work. I was pretty skeptical about this title when I added it to my pull list, but so far I'm enjoying it more than I expected and have no real complaints.


I've never read any Legion stories before, so being introduced to so many characters and a completely different setting (i.e., the 31st century) all at once is a bit overwhelming. But not to the extent that I was completely lose or unable to follow the story. Again, this is a #1 issue, so I don't have a whole lot to say about it other than it sets things up nicely and now I'm looking forward to seeing where it's going to go.


Hated it even more than the first issue! Wow, that art is ugly. In the first issue, I thought it was awkward in a few places. Here, it's just unpleasant throughout. The writing is just as bad. I'm really sorry that I committed to buying the first three issues before the series started. But thankfully there's only one more to go. I read a lot of comments about how the short black-and-white back-up stories are worth the price of admission alone, but I beg to differ. While I agree the back-up is the best thing about this issue, it's still just a back-up, and it's not strong enough to justify spending 4$ on. Not by a long shot.


I was very much on the fence about this mini-series, which is supposed to tell the history of the DC universe from the Golden Age to the present. I decided to give it a shot mostly because I thought the art was nice. It opens with a lame framing device where some old guy is sitting in a rocking chair, drinking a cup of joe and talking directly at the reader, before we flashback to his childhood and he recounts his encounters with the first super-heroes. I thought this was extremely cheesy and unnecessary. The rest of the book is okay, but since we're getting the story from the perspective of these kids, we don't really get much insight into the "mystery men," who are of course the characters everyone is reading the book to find out more about. The issue ends somewhere around the time of the formation of the Justice Society of America, and by the time I got to the backup story, I had already pretty much lost interest. I don't think I'm going to pick up #2.


Definitely getting Sweet Tooth #10 and Red Robin #13. I enjoyed the last arc of Chris Yost's run on Red Robin. Now Fabian Nicieza is taking over and I'm looking forward to what he's going to do with the title. Tim Drake is still possibly my favourite character in the DC universe. My only complaint is that the Red Robin costume covers up too much of his head and makes him look like a second-rate Batman without the pointy ears. Tim Drake has awesome hair, and they shouldn't cover it up with that ugly cowl.

I may or may not pick up the first issue of Red Hood: The Lost Days. I am interested, but I might just decide to wait for the trade on that one. Same thing with the series of Joker's Asylum one-shots.

Last but not least, there's an original graphic novel called A God Somewhere coming out on Wildstorm that looks really good. There's a short preview here.


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