Slew of Comic Book Reviews

15 May

I went to the comic book store today, walked over 35 blocks in stolen dance shoes with flat soles, and got a haircut.
Well, I also had to read those comics… didn’t I!?  I mean, I am being “forced” to put them into storage tomorrow.

I’ll try to keep the reviews short, but some pissed me off and some made me piss with joy.

These are ordered from worst to best… so, scroll down to the bottom if you want to read praise instead of bitching.

I really need to make star graphics…

Battle for the Cowl: The Network

You know, this “new” Batgirl (Cassandra Cain) has always been the slim, sneaky girl… so why does she have boobs the size of inverted craters on mars?  Ragman’s kind of cool.

I didn’t read Birds of Prey… and this seems sort of like a Birds of Prey reunion.  I like the interplay between Huntress and Batgirl, and I’ve always loved how minimal Batgirl’s words are (originally, Cassandra couldn’t speak and now when she can it’s pretty direct).  Misfit and Ragman’s couple panel team up mystified me.

The plot just really pissed me off.  I know the superheroes have to focus on a super villain (Hugo Strange) when they make a move, but they put him (and his plot to put 3 people’s lives at jeopardy with betting up on the line) as priority #1 when there’s a(nother) gang war presumably killing hundreds of people.  Meh.

Overall, I just feel like all of these One-Shots were written on the toilet as advertisements for the Bat-family reboot books on the shelves this summer.  So far, they have not been exciting me.  Thank god they haven’t advertised for Red Robin… that’s the one thing I’m looking forward to.

Ohh… Tim Drake… marry me.

RATING:
1.5/5 for being filled with poop.

 

Sonic The Hedgehog #200 (!)

Okay, I used to be a huge reader of this series as a kid, and then I got back into it when I was about 15… until about a year ago when I decided to stop buying the damn comic out of habit because it had become shit.

Nevertheless, I had to pick up #200 because it’s a big deal!  This is the longest running comic book based on a videogame character and the second longest running licensed product falling behind Conan the Barbarian, I believe.

Okay, I’ll explain the reasons why I left the book…
I re-fell in love with the Sonic Comic when I picked up Sonic #122 or 123 or something around there at my local Fred Meyer’s because I had played Sonic Adventure 2 a couple years back and was interested in the Shadow character.  I picked it up at just the right time for #125 that set off a storyline where sonic was trapped in space for what seemed like to him a month and to the characters back on his homeworld a year.  This storyline lasted about a year and a half and was really amazing.  It featured a great plot and story development… and something strange: character development.  The artwork had matured past the campy stuff and was obviously influenced by anime.  The funny thing was… the only main character from the rest of the series featured was… well, Sonic.  Gone was Knuckles and Tails and Espio (my favorite character), but I still enjoyed it… then, something terrible happened.

Gone were the various, grown-up artists, and the ever-dependent Karl Bollers to deliver a compelling story.  The writing duties were tossed around awhile to finally settle on Ian Flynn.  Tracy Yardly came over from Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and I was devastated.  The campy stories came back, and when there was an actual real threat on a global scale, the power was diminished by the no-risks pencil work.

So, I got pissed off and stopped buying it.

Which leads me to now.  I got the comic, and it’s basically a conversation between Eggman (who I shall always think of as Dr. Robotnik) and Sonic about the past 15 years while Sonic destroys his spiderbot thing.  It’s really stupid… really stupid.  Eggman finally snaps and has a mental breakdown (seen as childish and funny).  Snively, his nephew, decides to take over his Uncle’s reins.  Sonic’s sad that he has not Eggman, but everyone rejoices.

Buy this comic for the issue number if you’re at all interested.  Otherwise, it’s not worth your time.

RATING:
2/5 stars.

 

Oracle: The Cure #3

There are those goddamn gigantic breasts again.  Seriously, how did she fit those into the original Batgirl suit?  Does being a paraplegic grant you enormous breasts?

Okay, all bullshitting aside.  This issue was an incy bit better than the last.  When I say incy bit, I truly mean it.  The bat symbol on the USB plug is cute isn’t it?

So, when this miniseries was announced people went batshit (haha, pun) over crazy ass theories about Babs getting the ability to walk again or taking over the Calculator’s daughter’s body… basically, they just wanted Babs to reclaim her Cowl of Batgirl.  Well, suck it weird, horny comic nerds… she’s still in the wheelchair and you’re going to have to put up with it.  Not that many people have been taking advantage of her disability lately in terms of compelling stories, and this just adds to the pile of shit.  Don’t buy it unless you’re an obsessive compulsive freak like me.

RATING:
2/5 stars for being a stupid miniseries that wasted my time and $9.

 

Azrael: Death’s Dark Knight #3

It cannot be denied that that is by far one of the funniest faces ever on Ra’s Al Ghul ever.  The cover’s pretty sweet.  It’s too bad that the fight on the inside is only about 3 pages long.

So, here we are again talking about how the Suit of Sorrow corrupts whomever’s wearing it (boo hoo) for the whole issue.  Nightwing acts respectable towards the new Azrael, but it’s weird.

I feel like they’re forcing the side story about the new guy’s other life too much.  Like… oh, he likes to fuck his brother’s widow… great.  It just seems like one big, giant advertisement for the new Azrael series coming out.  Sure, I might check it out… but only after it gets Trade Paperbacked and I’ve read a gazillion reviews.

The art looks beautiful in close up and mid shots, but fucking hillariously stupid in distanced shots.  Some characters look completely different than they have before (i.e. how many different Harvey Bullocks have I ever seen… a lot) which is good and bad.

Overall, this issue just left me more confused than excited.

RATING:
2.5/5 stars.  I guess DC milked me a bit.  Damn, another $9… shit, plus tax.

 

The Unwritten #1

Wow, I really branched outside of my DC & Mirage world this week… Comics from 4 publishers.
So, I read a really good review of this comic from CBR and decided to pick it up today… Plus, the $1 price tag helped.

Here’s this guy and his author-father disappeared awhile back.  The books his author wrote resemble Harry Potter (which they even mention within the book) and his father has based the main character off of his son.  Tom has been riding his father’s success and didn’t even get the part to basically play himself in the screen adaptation of his father’s book.  Now, he’s riding the circuit train to get by because his father left a doozy of a partial will where he doesn’t necessarily have access to his father’s fortune.

During a panel, he gets asked by an audience member who seems to become a returning character, if he really who he sais he is.  Alleging that he’s not really Tommy and his father faked him as his son.  This starts a media uproar, and Tom goes on a drinking binge.

Then, someone possibly dressed up as the antagonist of his father’s book captures him and plans to stream his execution online.  Then, the girl from the convention comes in and saves him.

I find it interesting how the stuff from his father’s books is beginning to blur reality.  Is he Tommy or Tom?

I thought this was going to be better than it was, but it still didn’t leave me disappointed.  Reserved artwork is just okay, and the script is above normal.  The issue overall is worth the $1 price tag, and it’s a type of story that’s not just for fans of comics.  It truly is accessible to anyone.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

 

The Life and Times of Savior 28 #1

Please see http://www.majorspoilers.com/archives/12224.htm/ for an alternative rating and a better synopsis of the plot then I could give you.

This issue was beautiful.
This comic is a masterpiece.
This is what comics should become.
This is what amazing writing should be.
This is what I will buy every issue of.

Savior 28 is something fresh for comics.  It still fits into the Superhero genre with a hero who has a main nemesis and a complex (if diverse set) of origin stories.  Except, we don’t know which one’s the right one… and he eventually kills his archenemy who… in some ways had become his one true constant and equal… something he could depend on even if it was bad.  And, well, our hero dies from multiple angles (brilliant) one and only one time in his first issue.

The issue explores what makes a hero heroic when he’s battling for peace while being a wash up or on the top of his game using extreme violence.  It also examines the effect of the media on people and how we don’t realize its power.

September 11th is featured as a backdrop of guilt, but the powerful line in the comic is about September the 12th being the worst day for America not just because it was the day we all mourned… but it was the day the media showed the same clip over and over engraving the plane hitting the building and coming out the other side into our brains.  It’s the day when the media took an event, sensationalized it, crammed it down our throats, and was proud that they had the best story of the year.  It was the day the media took advantage of thousands of dead bodies to make ratings.

This story isn’t always that grim, but it’s not joyful, either.  The writing has an extraordinary pace while remaining clear, focused, and self-examining.

Honestly, I believe that this comic should be read by everyone.  Sure, it helps to know some background in superhero comics to understand what they’re making reference to (primarily Captain America), but it’s not necessary to appreciate this book.  It could really stand alone by itself.  I decided to pick it up when I read the review off of www.majorspoilers.com for the second issue, and after reading this issue, I don’t know how they can follow it up… but it was a good review.  I’m excited for something new and fresh…

Sure, I liked the art but I wasn’t wowed by it, but the art doesn’t detract from the amazing script.  The layouts are also easy to follow for you new-to-comics readers so don’t be wary.  Sure, it sports a $4 price tag, but the pages are thick and heavy with great inks on them and it has more pages than your standard comic.  Please, check this out if you want something fresh to read… no matter the material, no matter the genre.

RATING: 5/5 stars.

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