Friday, September 26, 2008

Captain America #42 Review

"The Man Who Bough America"
Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Steve Epting and Luke Ross

When I heard that this would be the finale to Ed Brubaker's tale involving the Red Skull and such I was a bit skeptical. There is a lot to wrap up and 42 seemed like it was too soon to tie up all the loose ends. In all honestly there wasn't a lot resolved in this issue and for the most part the story is still ongoing. This issue does have the overall series along but has reset some pieces. The Red Skull is now trapped in a robot body while the Grand Director is out on the loose. Brubaker's strength as a writer is the ability to craft this ongoing tales but also sometimes you want things to end so you can truly start in a new direction. I liked the fact that Lukin was killed but I worry that part of him might be alive in Sharon since the machine worked a bit but I don't Brubaker would do a cop out like that. The panel of Grand Director taking out Dr. Zola was amazing to look out. Epting and Ross draw a beautiful book. I was a fan of Ross on Green Lantern Corps and him Epting combine their skill so well. One of the greatest strengths of this issue is that it really puts over Bucky as Captain America. Brubaker didn't half ass and he took his time to make sure Bucky grew into his new role rather than just force the suit on him and force him to run with it. By taking his time to develope the character Brubaker has really sold Bucky as Captain America. The issue did a great job of wrapping Bucky's transitional period from Winter Soldier to Cap and there is a sense a closure that comes across during the book. I was disappointed to see Lukin go because I would have liked him to be Buckys other big enemy since they probably have a closer connection than Bucky and the Skull. The way I see it, the Skull and Steve Rodgers are the ones who are destined to go out at it forever, not him and Bucky. This was a great a issue but anyone expecting a giant finale where everything comes together will be disappointed. Fatus and the Skull are still roaming somewhere and I would consider this a reset but you do get to see Bucky fully grow into his new role and that is enjoyable in itself. If you are new to Captain America, only buy the omnibuses because trades don't tell the whole story but jump on if you can.

Art: PHENOM
Overall: GET IT

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Superman/Batman #52 Review

Lil Leaugers Part 2
Written by Michael Green and Mike Johnson
Art by Rafael Albuquerque


The big twist when you read this comic is how dark it gets. It started off as simply enough but there is a transition which is handled well but it seems to come out of no where. I really did enjoy the first part but it just seemed like there was no need to make the story that dark. You start off smiling reading this enjoying all the little moments then you start to see where this is going and it just really ruins the mood that the first issue created. I enjoyed the shout out to Tiny Titans. It was a funny moment seeing the Lil Leaugers watch Tiny Titans and understand how the other heroes personify them. the heroes see them the same way they see Tiny Titans. Another little moment was about how the soapy water stings your eyes when Lil Batman was talking about the Joker acid. After that the scene where Lil Blue died was the moment where the comic got all dark. I don't think that was a good move due to the fact that a big appeal of this comic happened to be the nice wholesome feel to it but that goes out the window. Due to the dark turn of the comic I am very scared of what would happen if Lil Joker and Joker did get together. I imagine if they do pick this up it will be after Batman RIP so you got holocaust big Joker and Lil Joker out basically destroying everything. That sort of does interest me but I don't think it could be pulled off by Green and Johnson so it wouldn't work. This is a disappointing ending to what could have been a very fun if it didn't get all serious in the end. It does continue a majority of the mood found in the previous issue and the transition isn't isnt extremely jarring so it manages to work.

Art: BALLIN
Overall: GET IT

Thursday, September 18, 2008

All Star Superman #12 Review

Episode 12
Written by Grant Morrison

Art by Frank Quitely and Jamie Grant

Grant Morrison has often said that nobody wants to read about a weak Superman. Superman is meant to be strong and as such he always be written as a strong man instead of as a weak individual and he really follows through in All Star Superman. It is very beautifully written. When you read some comics you can feel the structure and how robotic it is but this one flows very nicely. The art is also a compliment to the writing. One of my favorite scenes in the book was when Luthor started crying after understanding how Superman sees things. Being the ultimate human, Luthor never bothered to look into how others see things or even considered the thought of it. Superman paying it forward to Luthor was also sweet street justice by repaying the whole turning him into radiation by forcing his metabolism to speed up with shortened his life. Like I said, street justice. It seems a bit dense that they still can't figure out Clark is Superman or if they did I must have missed it but the supporting cast did galavanize around him which is nice because it isn't that often the supporting cast of Superman gets involved. The strongest part of the book is definitely the ending. Superman gets his power from the sun and ends up using that power to save the sun. Everything came full circle that the sun which poisoned him gets poisoned and he has to save it. You also get the beautiful ending of Superman actually managing to inspire the people to become better. They are working on a project to create a better person which is what Superman is all about. The ideal that you can be, will be, and should be better. I enjoy this title more than Johns' Action Comics because this story has a purpose and a goal, by making it a limited series you are allowed to do stuff that you wouldn't see in the mainstream continuation series and I enjoyed watching Morrison flex that freedom. The abscense of other superheroes made Lex's hatred make more sense in the sense that he becomes more compelling since he isn't surrounded in a world with a bunch of metahumans where it doesn't make sense to be xenophobic but rather stands for the all the people who are scared to let one person with power like Superman have all that power. While I'm not sure it is the Superman defining story of our era, it sure is a damn good one.

ART: PHENOM
Overall: OWN IT

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Invincible Iron Man #5 Review

Writer: Matt Fraction
Art: Salvador Larroca

I totally trust Matt Fraction with this book. In the first 5 issues, I feel like we have received a well-thought out story that seems like a big deal. I was worried that Iron Man, as a franchise, would suffer in the long term after the Knaufs left the book. While these 2 titles are very different, Fraction's book does seem like a big deal, and I am looking forward to what the man has in store for us. Fraction's Stark is all over the place. It feels like he totally has a grasp on what is happening around him, and he comes off as a James Bond like character in this book. It is totally different from the complex and cool Tony in the DOS title. For better or worse, its something to work with. What is really nice about this book is a villain who is smart and has logical character motivation to go after Tony. Stane is a jealous man that wants to be Tony, but he feels like there can't be 2 Tony's, so he has to get rid of the original. What we get is a nice rendition of a copycat character, and the fight with Tony at the end legitimized him as a threat. He did take out a lot of people, but not Tony. A lot of villains can do that, but they eventually falter against he babyface superhero who romps them in the end in search of revenge. Not this time. Fraction puts Stane over, and the reader is left to wonder the fate of Tony going into issue 6. I think this is a nice opening arc for Fraction, and I look for this title to be near the Captain America level in a year or so. I am not a huge fan of the realistic art style, but I guess it is ok for this book.

ART: BALLIN
OVERALL: GET IT

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Green Lantern #34 Review

"Secret Origin"
Written by Geoff Johns

Art by Ivan Reis and Oclair Albert


Geoff Johns has been slowly building up towards the next great Green Lantern war story and I stress slowly. I have a bit of Secret Origin fatigue and I just want to start Rage of the Red Lanterns already ironically enough at the point where Secret Origin starts to pick up. That aside, this issue reads very well. You can see Johns introducing elements such as Sinestro not believing that Hal affected yellow. You also get William Hand getting the device that may or may not turn him into Black Hand. Johns is such a technically sound writer that continues to put out good issue after good issue. I thought the pocket dimension was a bit of a cop out to how they would win the fight. If they can do that then why didn't they do it during the war? Ivan Reis continues to put out some great art and makes Green Lantern on of the most visually pleasing comics on the market. This is a great comic and Johns just spoils the reader because you know it only gets better so it makes hard to stay in the present day.

Art: BALLIN
Overall: GET IT