Review Time! 12/19/09

19 Dec

Alright, I’ve been a bad little boy lately… well, to tell you the truth, due mostly to circumstances out of my immediate control, I did not go to the comic book shop for three weeks!  And yet, I’m one of those weekly people… Damn.  So, these are fairly recent comics.

They’re ordered from best to worse, once again.

Donatello: The Brain Thief #4 of 4

Wow, that’s all I can really say to sum up this miniseries.  Jim Lawson really fulfilled on his promise in the interview that I did with him (that you can read here: https://mechanisticmoth.wordpress.com/2009/11/21/an-interview-with-jim-lawson/ ) that this miniseries would show a much darker side to Donatello than ever seen before.  Frankly, I haven’t been this surprised with the character since he fell, broke his leg, and then used a gun to save Karai in City at War way back when.

The pacing on this issue is phenomenal with so many quiet, introspective moments that really emphasize the horrible lengths Donatello will go to for some sort of better good.  I read it so quick that I read it again… and then again… then I read all 4 issues again.  Expect to see this miniseries on a list at the end of the year!

I really have to refrain from going into too much detail about this book because it’s just one that you have to read on your own.  And, don’t fear readers, this miniseries is pretty easy to pick up without ever reading any TMNT stories before.

Batgirl #5:

You know what really makes me happy?  The best titles coming out of the Bat-Family right now are ones that feature Strong Female characters.  Batgirl and Detective Comics.  The characters are truly dynamic.  You get Barbara Gordon who is disabled and in a wheelchair but still empowered, sexy, intelligent, and playing the very important role of being Oracle.  Couple that with her working with Stephanie Brown who’s only been vigilante-ing it for a couple years (comic book time) who is sassy yet smart and fierce.  Not only that, out of any of the characters in the Bat-verse, Stephanie actually brings some much needed light to the dark of Gotham.

Plus, what’s this!? The women aren’t drawn with giant T & A in this book!  There’s even a stab by the writer at other books that do this (which was pretty darn good).

Any issue of Batgirl is great for first time readers because the stories are pretty issue inclusive, and they’re very attractive for first time readers because of the stories being fun, thrilling, and fresh.

Plus, there’s an Omen joke in here (connection between the boy in the movie and the son of Bruce Wayne-aka the new Robin) that I’ve been waiting for for quite awhile.

Read this, you won’t be disappointed… unless you get a copy like I did… which is when the colors bleed on a couple pages because the printer was off from the registration marks… which is really frustrating (especially when it happens multiple times a week) because it detracts from the art.

Invincible Iron Man #21:

This is the best comic coming out of Marvel.

Despite the somewhat contrived way of getting Tony’s knowledge back, this comic works really well.  Fraction does a great job of leaving some mystery as to what the hell is happening inside Tony’s subconscious as he tries to make it back too.

The art’s really neat.

There’s some pretty strong female characters in the book despite the occasional large boobs that they’re graced with.

There’s no reason not to read this book, really.

Red Robin #7:

You know, I have to say that I think it’s pretty darn funny that the only good books coming out of the Bat-verse post-(the atrocious)-Battle for the Cowl are pretty unrelated from Batman.

Here we have Tim Drake traveling around the world in search for the missing Bruce Wayne.  ‘Cept, he’s had to hit it up with the League of Assassins to go toe to toe with the Council of Spiders… sure, that sounds a bit confusing, but it makes sense when you read it.

I really love the new artist on the series Marcus To, he’s really showing his talent with this book.

I also enjoy how we experience the weirdness alongside Tam Fox since this is her Introduction to Super Hero-ing and Assassins/Ninjas… it gets pretty funny to read her reactions, but you still feel vested in the interests of the characters.

I have to admit, I was a little surprised by the climax of Ra’s Al Ghul being there the whole time to only be taken out by a touch by poison lady… Ra’s Al Ghul is the most dangerous man on earth, so… how could someone just walk up and put their hand on him?  Oh well.  It was  a good sport.

The Walking Dead #68:

Alright, it’s pretty easy for me to say that The Walking Dead is one of the best comics out on the market.  Hell, it’s really easy.  However, this issue is totally a transitional one, and it shows.  Nevertheless, Robert Kirkman pulls it off and makes it not entirely boring and hints at some other stuff in it.

After the (awesome!) Fear the Hunters storyline the gang has done some pretty terrible things and find out that Eugene who seemed like he had contacts with the government and was leading them to Washington D.C., was actually lying in order for him to survive.  Disgruntled and starving, a man just walks up to the group out of the woods and offers them a spot in the special community he lives in.

Very intriguing.  But, this issue is working in between the short run of Fear the Hunters and the story line once they end up in the community.  So, it’s meet and greet/ Rick’s kind of mean again.

I really enjoyed how in the couple of panels, Kirkman (heavily) suggested that the partners from the town doing the scoping for people to join the community Aaron and Eric are homosexuals.  They both seem very empowered characters and I hope to see more of them in the future of the series.

Green Lantern Corps #43:

You know, it would probably be helpful for me to go and read the reviews I did for the previous issue of a comic that I did before rating the newest one just to make sure there’s some consistency.  Oh well.

Kyle Rayner isn’t dead!  Big surprise since I already knew it with the Origins and Omens from last year.  However, it wasn’t a completely useless tool used by Tomasi because Kyle’s “death” basically gave the impetus for Guy Gardner to become a Red Lantern/aka complete badass.  Since he’s got two rings on his fingers, Guy can just go around “killing” the undead Black Lanterns in droves.  Other than that, though, the issue is kind of sad, in a way.  It had some cool ideas but there was this overall sadness to it that was strange.

Other than that, the issue was neat, but it didn’t completely flow.  This comic just seems to go by way too fast when not much is actually shown but you know there’s a lot going on.  I don’t know, maybe they could pull an Amazing Spider-Man on us and release three issues a month!

Tales of the TMNT #65:

Okay, I had a really hard time with this issue.  The overall premise of delivering a somewhat Holiday-time Tale along with everything else going on in this issue was really good.  I just don’t believe that it was carried out to the best possible degree.  This issue’s all Berger, and I believe that at times his writing can sway between okay and great which is the same for his art.  The Turtles sway between Archie style and Eric Talbot style which are pretty distinct differences.

The best part of this story, however, is the Rat King.  The Rat King is by far one of the best ever characters in the Mirage-Universe who is fairly underutilized (he died during or before City at War depending) because he’s the only person to have ever successfully messed with Splinter.  This issue gives us about 10 frames worth of Rat King, and all of them are classic.  I really wish more of the issue focused on the Rat King than the mystical guy and the snow oni.

I mean, how did the guy even find out about the Turtles?  It seems so arbitrary.

The thing that did it for me to bring this one down from a 3 to a 2.5 was because of the binding issues which have absolutely no connection to Mirage or the story.  It just really pissed me off when the pages of my comic were still perforated and attached together so I had to tear the tops of them apart which, in the process, bent all of my pages.  It was frustrating and a first.

How I view it, is that 3 stars is average, and 2.5 stars is squeeking just below the surface of that.

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