All Nighter #1 (of 5)
Created, written and drawn by David Hahn; Image.
This is the first thing I've ever read by David Hahn. It was completely off my radar until I saw a link to the free PDF download of the first issue of this mini-series on Hahn's website. I downloaded it and only read a few pages before I knew this was something I wanted to get. The best comparison I can think of is Love and Rockets, or at least what I imagine Love and Rockets to be, since I've never actually read it. Instead of reading this review, you should probably just go download it and check it out yourself.
Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost #1 (of 3)
Written by Sterling Gates; pencils by Oliver Nome; inks by Trevor Scott; colours by Brian Buccellato; DC.
Kid Flash wakes up in a Matrix-style virtual reality prison in a nightmare futuristic version of Metropolis. He's lost his access to the speed force and needs to figure out what's going on and how to get back to the right timeline. There's not a whole lot to this, but it's enjoyable because Bart Allen is a character that I like and Sterling Gates writes him really well. Oliver Nome's style is functional more than it is impressive, but I really like the way he draws Bart's face (and especially his cute little button nose). I'm going to keep reading this, even if I'm not all that interested in Flashpoint anymore.
Flashpoint: The Outsider #1 (of 3)
Written by James Robinson; art by Javi Fernandez; colours by The Hories; DC.
As far as I can tell, The Outsider is one of the few totally new characters in Flashpoint. His name suggests a connection to the team formerly known as the Outsiders, but I really don't know enough about them to see any connection beyond that. Like with the Kid Flash issue, there's not a lot to go on in this issue. It mostly just establishes the character and his origin within the Flashpoint universe, then there's a fight that goes on for several pages. But it works because I like the character and want to find out more about him. James Robinson seems to have found the right voice for him and I can see how, outside the confines of a major comic book event tie-in, he could take him to some really interesting places. I hope this character will survive Flashpoint and that there's an ongoing by Robinson that has yet to be announced post-relaunch, as some have been speculating, because it's something that I would definitely read (in trades, probably).
Batman: Gates of Gotham #2 (of 5)
Story by Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgins; written by Kyle Higgins; art by Trevor McCarthy; colours by Guy Major; DC.
I liked this more than the first issue. Either the art has improved or I'm starting to warm up to McCarthy's style. But what really won me over was the way Kyle Higgins writes the scenes between the different bat kids. He nailed the interaction between Cassandra Cain and Damian Wayne. Damian tries to prove his superiority while pretending not to be impressed by Cass, but really it's clear that he's a little bit in awe of her or he wouldn't be so desperate for her approval. It's basically the same dynamic he had with Dick before they became BFFs, except that Cass is even more unfazed by him than Dick was. But while these two were my favourite, I just love the way Higgins has them all working together as a team. He writes these characters so well that it makes me wish he was working on a Bat Family title instead of Nightwing solo book in September. Although, based on this interview, it sounds like there'll be lots of guest appearances by the other kids in that book, so I'm hopeful. It's a shame that everyone's going to have super-ugly 90s retro costumes, though. Blargh.
Silver Surfer #5 (of 5)
Written by Greg Pak; pencils by Harvey Tolibao; inks by Sandu Florea; colours by Wil Quintana; Marvel.
This was a good, satisfying conclusion to a story that I've enjoyed tremendously, in spite of what I consider to be very ugly art. It's not technically incompetent art. It's just a style that I personally really dislike - way too busy for my tastes - and part of that might come from the colouring as well. Still worth reading for the story, though.
AWESOME (script) / POOR (art)
Thursday, June 23, 2011
All Nighter #1 (of 5)
Friday, May 20, 2011
(No spoilers unless otherwise indicated.)
Batman: Gates of Gotham #1 (of 5)
Written by Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgins; art by Trevor McCarthy; DC
My expectations for this mini-series were insanely high. Partly because Scott Snyder's recent work on Detective Comics resulted in one of the best Batman stories I've ever read and I was looking forward to more of the same. And partly because Cassandra Cain, former Batgirl, is set to play an important role in it. Cass has a very passionate fanbase and she's a character I've read a lot about but haven't had much first-hand exposure to. While this first issue doesn't quite live up to the hype I built up for it, it's still pretty good. I'm not the biggest fan of the art style. It has a cartoony feel that doesn't appeal to me and I really dislike the character designs for all the bat characters when they're out of costume. But these are mostly due to aesthetic preferences, not a lack of skill on the artist's part. The important thing is it's good storytelling. Kyle Higgins' dialogues don't pack the same kind punch that Synder delivers with surgical precision in Detective, but it does the job. Cass only makes a brief appearance in the end, but it looks like she's going to play an integral part in the story going forward. We only get hints of what is really going on in this first issue, but it sets up an interesting mystery. Looking forward to the next issue.
Booster Gold #44
Written by Dan Jurgens; art by Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund; DC
This is the first issue of Booster Gold that I've ever read, although I've previously enjoyed him as one of the main characters in 52. I was thankful for the in-story recap, which make this a very easy jump-on point for readers like me who are mostly picking this up because it ties into Flashpoint. This issue is mostly set-up, as Booster finds himself stranded in the Flashpoint timeline and realizes that something is very wrong. Booster and Barry Allen (who's not in this) seem to be the only two people so far who remember the old timeline. Jurgens' dialogues have a very old-school feel, which I don't mind at all. Considering how exasperating the ongoing Doomsday crossover in the Super titles has been, I wasn't too thrilled to find that he's going to be an antagonist in this series as well, albeit as a transformed, Flashpointified version of the character. I guess Jurgens did create him, so it shouldn't be too surprising. In any case, I'll keep reading, as I want to know how Booster pulls through this mess and what part he's going to play in restoring the timeline.
Silver Surfer #4 (of 5)
Written by Greg Pak; art by Harvey Talibao, Iban Coello and Sandu Florea; Marvel
I don't have a lot to say about this issue. I think the art continues to be pretty weak, while the story continues to be pretty good. This concludes next month. Maybe I'll have more to say then.
Teen Titans #95
Written by JT Krul; art by Nicola Scott and Doug Hazlewood; DC
Nicola Scott is one hell of an artist. I suspect this title is going to end with #100 in August, but you can be sure that I'll follow Nicola to whatever book she'll be drawing next. In the meantime, she and inker Doug Hazlewood are drawing the shit out these characters and the story could be the most inane, boring crap and you would hardly notice. Thankfully, though, this story is actually pretty good. The combination of decent story and stellar art makes this one of the best books DC currently puts out, which is remarkable when you consider that before this creative team took over it had long been considered awful by fans. (I wasn't reading it, so I can't confirm that.) The one thing that has me feeling a little uncomfortable is the way this story turns Hindu mythology into supervillany. Obviously, a lot of comic book stories and characters are inspired by myth or religion, but int he case of Greek or Norse mythology, these are religions that are largely "extinct" (although some people still believe in them) and in the case of Christianity, it's usually the writer's own culture that is being mined for inspiration. Here, JT Krul steps dangerously close to cultural appropriation and exoticism. Solstice, the Indian girl who will apparently join the Teen Titans, brings some much needed diversity to the team, but did her first adventure have to be one against comic book versions of her culture's religion? From what I understand, Rankor, the god/demon/villain in this story, is a made-up character not based on any actual Hindu deity, so I don't want to overplay this. It's not that I disapprove of this story or anything. All I'm saying is that these questions remain in the back of my head while I'm reading (and enjoying) this.
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