I would just like to inform you that I do not actually use ridiculous internet abbreviations or smiley faces while typing. I try to remain as proper as ever… Nevertheless, I couldn’t resist the urge in the title.
Overall, I grabbed some decent comics this previous week. I was trying to use my webcam to kind of do a supplement to this typing part, but it wasn’t working out too well. I’ll try to work out the bugs and hopefully do it in the future. Anyway, best to worst:
Detective Comics #854:
DC made a big risk allowing Greg Rucka and JH Williams take over Detective Comics with Batwoman. The series is one of the longest running comic books in the business, and it has primarily featured Batman as the lead character. Now, we’re introduced to Kate Kane’s world of crimefighting, love, and possible gun-toting.
By far, the most talked about thing for this issue is the art; it is highly decorated, beautifully rendered, watercolor-esque, stylized art that really goes over and above almost every other comic’s artwork combined. It’s surprising that only one guy did the pencils and one guy did the colors.
The comic takes possibly some previous knowledge of 52 and a couple other books to round off a bit of Batwoman’s character, but, really, newcomers should not shy away from this comic. I instantly gave it to my sister after I was done reading, and she really enjoyed it too.
This is the stylized, noir-ish, detective, art-zine like book that I’ve been looking for. This almost seems too good to be true. Therefore, I’m not going to talk too much more about the writing and art because you should discover it all for yourself (or just read another review).
On another note, I like how Batwoman has a bullet bra for her costume because it actually makes her look like more of a real woman with a real body. It looks more natural as far as costumed vigilantes go.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars!
Tales of the TMNT #59:
It was actually really hard to find a cover photo for this comic that was large enough. So, I hope this suffices!
Tristan Jones is bringing back the grit to the TMNT Universe. For a long time the Turtles stories in Tales have off and on lost some of their original essence of down and dirty stories that seemed much more likely (as far as anamorphic turtles go!). Now, Tristan Jones has reintroduced that into the series by bringing in new characters like Hun, Lin Takahashi, and King Cobra during the era of the City at War story arc from Vol. 1.
So, you may be afraid that if you were to pick up this comic that you’d have absolutely no idea what’s going on which is a fair assumption. However, the comic brings you up to date quickly while following a new character as a female journalistic protagonist. The whole story’s seen through her viewpoint with the TMNT only briefly making a couple of experiences. I really enjoy how we’re treated to a different side of the City at War.
The art is by far some of the most incredible stuff I’ve seen since #56. Paul Harmon continues his remarkable marker shading technique. The effect of the inking and the narrow, ragged lines really adds a lot of raw beauty to the comic. It seems like the drawings were done fairly quickly, but it’s obvious that a lot of love and effort went into each stroke of the pen. B x W comics aren’t for everyone, but this one truly exceeds most color comics I read.
Also, I really would like more people to buy this comic. Diamond Distribution has changed their requirements for what comics they’ll distribute, and they sort of have a monopoly over the comic distribution process. Now, comics that aren’t selling too well just won’t be distributed through them. Tales of the TMNT is on that verge so I really implore you who are even interested in this comic to pick it up, and it will be really worth your time. Plus, many of the comics are available digitally on www.ninjaturtles.com for free!
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars!
Green Lantern #42:
So, I was really excited at the end of #41 with the prospect of Hal getting his arm chopped off by Larfleeze. I was only a little bit (a lot) confused when Hal had both his arms back at the beginning of this issue. Sure, it’s explained away later, but it kind of threw me for a loop.
Despite some art problems (it was pencilled by two folks which worked well most of the time), I was pleased with this issue. The pace is quickening as we’re about to hit The Blackest Night event, and I’m glad that there’s been so much build up. The only problem is that that sort of eliminates possible new readers because they have to go back and read what’s happened before to make more sense of what’s happening now.
Nevertheless, this issue delivers with dirty deals, badass fights, Hal getting some power from yet another color from the spectrum, and betrayal. What else do you want in an outerspace, galaxy opera of a comic?
Rating: 4/5 Stars
TMNT vol. 4 #30:
Yeah… You see that $10 price tag on the front!? I totally paid that! Now, mind you, I’m one of a thousand people who has a copy of this magazine (if a 1000 people actually do pay for the magazine), and I got a sweet-ass sketch of Leonardo by Jim Lawson included on the back page (yeah, he actually drew it for me!)… Oh, and also, my letter to Peter Laird was printed for the second time in Vol. 4… in a row! Awesome!
This comic takes place right after from #29 (granted, this issue has come out a year after that one did) with Casey waking up at Karai’s place with a massive hangover. For the first half, the story follows Casey and the second half follows Mikey.
I really enjoy how Mr.Laird is hinting at something between Karai and Casey since April’s off doing some soul-searching. Inevitably, they’ll end up together to take care of Shadow some more (I really want to see some future stories of Shadow, actually), but I like how Karai’s playing them.
I have to say, Lawson’s work really looks great in this issue. I love Lawson and I enjoy how his style is so recognizeable and has become very bare but highly stylized, but occasionally I have problems with how he draws his people. Well, Casey and Karai are drawn better than ever before by Lawson, and the Triceratons and Mikey look great. Laird’s digital inking/graphic stylizations really add a lot by being old school used in new ways through the computer.
Vol. 4 is definitely epic. I hate that the series may end in as little as 6 issues (which, mind you, might take 10 years to come out in, haha) because it truly unearths grandiose, moral topics while remaining a thrilling read. If this comic could begin again on a frequent schedule and last 100 issues, then I would buy every one of them even if the rest of them did cost $12.20 plus shipping. Seriously, the series is just that good.
Rating: 4/5 Stars.
Tales of the TMNT #53:
Yeah, so what that I somehow managed to miss getting this one and had to pick up the back issue! What’s it to ya?
This comic is a witty little Christmas time comic that’s heartfelt and nice. Nothing exceptional, but it does what TMNT does best by giving windows into the very little things of life that we should appreciate. Unlike Marvel or DC where the idea is that a gigantic, universe-spanning event puts people’s lives into perspective, Mirage and the TMNT just handle it through the little moments.
Lawson’s young little boy looks a little weird, but overall the art works. The TMNT dress up and play a practical joke and it really is quite funny.
In the back, some students tackle the TMNT franchise with two stories. I’m really happy that Mirage provided students the opportunity to work with their characters which really shows off how warm, receptive, and encouraging those guys are. The first story was really beautiful. It was completely indie’d out with the drawings and the story by being refreshing and focusing on the silences in the spaces. I almost had tears in my eyes because of this comic especially when Donatello wonders how long he’s going to live since a tortoise just died and his species of Turtle only lives to be 20+ years not taking into account the mutation. During this, we’re cut to a fight that Raph is having as the even more mutated turtle who sort of looks like a snapping turtle. He’s getting out his loneliness with agression and fighting.
The other story focuses on events from the one shot of Leonardo way back at the beginning of Vol. 1 around issue #10 it came out. He’s a couple years away on Christmas from when he was savagely attacked by a multitude of foot clan, and he’s reliving the even wishing he was stronger. These student’s stories really bring a gigantic emotional package to the Turtles that expands their characters.
Plus, it was nice to have the Stan Sakai (creator of the Samuri Rabbit series Usagi Yojimbo) pin up page in the back with Usagi and Leonardo fighting some beast because….. well, because I saw the inked version at the Cartoon History Museum in San Francisco… so, it was super neat!