Originally published September 13, 2013
*Reviews may contain spoilers. We just can’t help it. Proceed with caution*
Mighty Avengers #1
Marvel. Written by Al Ewing. Art and Cover by Greg Land.
I really enjoyed this issue. It was a strong start to a new series and given that I’m not a Marvel girl and thus don’t know the decades long back stories of everyone and the world itself, I understood a lot and still liked it. I love Al Ewing’s writing which balances spectacle with character development just like Luke Cage balances making the world a better place for his daughter but also spending more time with his family. The cast of characters is interesting. I know nothing about Spectrum or Power Man and my knowledge of Spider-Man is challenged because 1) he’s now the “Superior Spider-Man” and 2) he’s Otto Octavius who I thought was a bad guy. Looks like I need to brush up on my Marvel a bit.
Generally speaking for this issue, the art was good but there was a panel or two where I found issues. Greg Land is pretty controversial due to his use of tracing real life images and not really adding his own flare to them (or using them appropriately). The first picture above of Spectrum is one of those odd panels where her face looks weird and her shoulder and thighs look disproportional or off. The second image stretches her body too far to look normal and last time I checked she isn’t Mr. Fantastic. Otherwise, great issue in regards to both art and writing.
4 out of 5
Batman #23.2 – Riddler
DC Comics. Written by Scott Snyder and Ray Fawkes. Art by Jeremy Haun. Cover by Guillem March.
This was nice. I’m not a big Riddler fan and I really didn’t learn anything knew about him. He’s the same Riddler I saw on television and through the eyes of Batman. The story wasn’t particularly a stand out. The art? It was ok. The panels were a bit mundane and very much like the story: uninteresting. Erm…that’s it.
2 out of 5
Batman and Robin #23.2 – Court of Owls
DC Comics. Written by James T Tynion IV. Art by Jorge Lucas. Cover by Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray.
Not sure what’s up with week 2 of Villains Month but this was another yawn fest. The Court of Owls was fun as a story arc for Batman but they don’t deserve their own “villains” comic in my opinion. This issue was basically a summary of the Court of Owls if you hadn’t read the crossover Bat-family event and they didn’t appear more menacing or disclosed anything new. Also [SPOILER] “the first Talon” isn’t cliffhanger worthy, my friends. Not one bit.
Art felt appropriate for the title. It had a dark Gothic flare [above image] and there was a lot of shadowing specifically the “spray can” approach [below image](we all know what I’m talking about. Microsoft Paint, anyone?). It wasn’t a stand out issue at all. NEXT!
2 out of 5
Detective Comics #23.3 – Harley Quinn
DC Comics. Written by Matt Kindt. Art by Neil Googe.
I almost liked this comic. Or to be more specific I liked the bones of this story. But though I liked the idea of the story I found its execution a little lacking. Harleen transformed into Harley in absolutely no time. It was so fast, you could have blinked and missed it. It was just too big a story for such a short issue. Maybe it would have been a bit better if there wasn’t so much wasted time having her go around and pick up all the pieces of her outfit, just to justify her barely there New 52 costume.
I think Harley is a really interesting character (if not a little repetitive – brilliant mind gone mad isn’t really unique for a Batman villain). And by the end I felt both sorry for her and disturbed by her. And the art was extremely well done. I love an artist that can actually communicate emotions. And if nothing else this issue got me really curious about Suicide Squad – which was possibly the goal all along.
3 out of 5
Justice League #23.2 – Lobo
DC Comics. Written by Marguerite Bennett. Art by Ben Oliver.
I knew nothing about Lobo before I picked up this comic. But I really liked Bennett’s Batman Annual earlier this year and wanted to read more of her work.
And I am so happy I did because this is the best villains month one-shot I have read yet. Right away were introduced to a different Lobo then the one on the cover. He’s strong and independent and looking out for #1. He’s sort of like a murderous Hans Solo meets Mal from Firefly. This wasn’t really an origin story, more of a set up of things to come. I have a few questions but none that are overly distracting. The story was easy to follow, it was entertaining and it makes you want to know more. What else could you ask for?
4 out of 5
Superman #23.2 – Brainiac
DC Comics. Written by Antony Bedard. Art by Pascal Alixe.
After reading Cyborg Superman last week I was really intrigued by Brainiac. Who was he? And what made him the way he was?
This issue sort of answers those questions but not really. Braniac was actually a brilliant scientist trying to save his own planet, particularly by using his son. Sound familiar? I get that they were trying to show him as an Jor-El gone bad but beyond that I found the logic of this comic very hard to follow. It seemed like they was a lot of telling me how evil he was without having him do that many truly evil things. Yes he destroyed planets BUT there was this Borg-like entity coming to destroy them and he was doing the only thing he could think of to save them. And all the scenes with Victoria Viceroy were filled with convenient plot devices that didn’t really work – in particular her robot with a built in lie detector. Great concept, except that what Brainiac is saying is true to him so why would the lie detector think he’s lying?
The artwork in this book was fantastic. Great colour. Great detail. It’s just too bad it was paired with such a weak story.
Also enough already with the brilliant minds gone mad DC! (see: Harley Quinn review above)
2 out of 5
Red Sonja #3
Dynamite. Written by Gail Simone. Art by Walter Geovani
Everyone gets an origin story this month! In this issue we learn what turned Sonja from ordinary village girl into the red Devil and it is an intense read. We don’t get as much of Sonja’s wit – which I’ve grown to love in only a few issues. This issue is much more emotional than action packed, but it worked. You really feel for Sonja and if you weren’t already cheering for her (for some reason) you will be now.
The art continues to be breathtaking. Dark but very lively. These look like real people. They move like real people and they don’t look posed on top of action scenes. This book continues to impress me and even if you don’t think you’ll like Red Sonja you should give it a shot. It won me over.
5 out of 5
Smallville Season 11 #17 [Print Issue]
DC Comics. Written by Bryan Q. Miller. Art by Jorge Jimenez. Cover by Cat Staggs.
I haven’t read all of the issues in this series because keeping up is hard due it’s weekly schedule. I got back into it because of the first appearance of Wonder Woman in the Smallville universe. Issue 16 marked her first introduction which was ADORABLE (Diana & Trevor forever!) and a must read for everyone. In this issue, Diana meet Superman/Clark Kent finally as well as the older Steve Trevor. We see Felix Faust in the flesh who looks very different from his other versions. You also find out what happened to Diana’s mother and get a sneak peek into the Wonder Woman costume that may or may not be tweaked later. The writing was superb and I love this version of Wonder Woman who is the right balance of warrior, foreigner, and social advocate. Great job BQM.
Enjoyed Jorge Jimenez’s approach to Diana whether it’s in street clothes or action sequences. She commands respect, oozes power and still has a youthfulness (and cockiness) to her.
4 out of 5
Marvel Comics. Written by Brian Wood. Art by David Lopez
It’s Battle of the Atom part 3! Overall this isn’t a bad storyline. Time travel is tricky but overall I think the various X-Men teams are handling it well. I don’t read any other X-Men titles so at times I was a little confused over which group was which, but overall it wasn’t bad. Rachel and Storm are still locked in a power struggle of sorts and have chosen different positions regarding young Jean and Scott and I am very intrigued to see how that plays out.
This issue however really made me miss Olivier Coipel’s artwork. Lopez’s work just doesn’t grab me. It’s not that the art is bad – the majority of it is quite good. I just think he has a hard time with faces, particularly jawlines. And It can be very distracting to see some of your favourite characters looking a little off. I also don’t get the no faces in some panels. This is perhaps a stylistic choice but comes off looking a little lazy.
3 out of 5