Thursday, January 26, 2012

I'm reading comics again! // Reviews: Daredevil, Batman, Wonder Woman

Operation Catch-up on Comics has officially begun, since I FINALLY finished reading A Clash of Kings yesterday. This morning on the way to work, I read three comics.

Daredevil #8
Written by Mark Waid; art by Kano; colours by Javier Rodriguez; Marvel

This is part 2 of a two-part crossover with Amazing Spider-Man. Waid wrote the ASM issues as well, so the two really flow together as one two-part story, despite the different art team on the books. I've been enjoying Daredevil since this volume began, due as much to Waid's dialogue as to the great art by his collaborators. Here, the art by Kano is nowhere near the level of either Paolo Rivera or Marcus Martin, but Javier Rodriguez's colours help give it a similar feel.

I was pretty turned off by a few awful examples of stupid-looking sexualized poses for Black Cat, though. That's the kind of shit that takes me right out of a story, unfortunately. To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of the way the character is written either. (SPOILERS:) She's being very flirty with Daredevil throughout this issue, and at the end you find out that she was paid to seduce him in order to steal something from him. Hmm. A female character in a comic book having to resort to her sexuality in order to achieve something. Where have I seen that before? (Um, maybe in a million other sexist comics out there?)

It's kind of sad, really, because up to this point there wasn't really anything I didn't like about this series. Even the fact that this was a crossover didn't bother me, in part because I happen to be reading both series, but also because it's a crossover that makes sense. I love the way the two characters interact and Mark Waid's Spider-Man is even funnier than Dan Slott's. (Not to knock Dan Slott's writing. I'm enjoying ASM a lot, in spite of the mostly terrible art.)

So, yeah, that was kind of a bummer, but I enjoyed the story otherwise.

Batman #5
Written by Scott Snyder; pencils by Greg Capullo; inks by Jonathan Glapion; colours by FCO; DC

I loved Scott Snyder's run on Detective Comics just before the relaunch, but so far his run on Batman hasn't grabbed me to the same level. Is it because of the art? Maybe. Greg Capullo is a fine artist, but he's no Francesco Fancavilla. But mostly I think it's the story. And maybe also the fact that I'm kind of over Bruce Wayne as a character.

This issue's doing the whole Batman being drugged up and people screwing with his mind thing. It's not the first time we've seen something like this. It ends with a moment that might have been kinda shocking if it weren't on the freaking cover. There's also a neat trick with the layouts changing direction halfway through the book, forcing you to physically turn the book upside down as Batman spirals deeper into the labyrinth. It's kinda neat.

I'm not hating this. It's a solid Batman comic. I just think I'm at a point where "solid Batman comic" doesn't really cut it anymore. Or maybe it's just a phase. Or maybe the story's about to get really good and blow my mind. We'll see.

Wonder Woman #5
Written by Brian Azzarello; art by Tony Akins; colours by Matthew Wilson; DC

This was definitely the most underwhelming issue of Wonder Woman since the relaunch. And I don't think it's just because Cliff Chiang didn't draw it, though that certainly has a huge impact. Tony Akins' art is actually quite nice, but Cliff Chiang's been absolutely killing it for the past four issues, so it's a tough sell. I'm also getting really tired of Brian Azzarello's dialogue, I think. I don't know, it just sounds too scripted or something, like it's simultaneously trying too hard and not hard enough. It's hard to put my finger on it, but it's bugging me.

On the other hand, I kinda like the way this book is turning into a soap opera involving Greek gods. I have no idea why they described this as a horror book. It's totally a soap.


Mike Muller January 26, 2012 at 9:24 PM  

My thoughts exactly in regards to Daredevil. What struck me about Black Cat's appearance in part one was how sexy Emma Rios made her seem, and I think that had a lot to do with her avoidance of typical excessive cheesecake like Kano, and so many, many other artists tend to do. As a result it was just too hard to ignore in part two. Another flaw with Kano's art was the constant dotted line work, it's an odd stylistic decision that ended up giving the art the appearance of being run through a poor quality scanner.

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