Tag Archives: Kelly Thompson

Fables #100: Review!

9 Dec

It’s been a long-time coming, and now, finally, the 100th issue of Fables has come out.  Boy, does it not pull any punches!

First off, your main story is 60+ pages long and features one of the largest battles to ever grace the series.  The final confrontation between Mister Dark (Duladan) and Bellflower (Frau Totenkinder) carries the large brunt of the story.  And, for the most part, it’s very inventive.  Unfortunately, for me, I feel like Buckingham’s pencils are more convincing during the quieter moments of the series rather than the action parts.  Nevertheless, he still delivers a very inventive fight scene.  My favorite part was watching Mister Dark’s body become more and more primal and shapeshift as he became weaker and weaker.  Plus, the losing of the teeth was nothing short of classic and a great nod to Frau’s past.

There are a couple of stops throughout the issue as we occasionally take a glance back at the Farm where Beauty begins going into labor early while Beast freaks out (naturally, of course). By the end, you’re set up with a new status quo and a very interesting direction.  It seems like with issue #101, new readers will find it not too difficult to jump on.

My two primary concerns with the main story both rely on the representation of women.  First off, Mrs. Spratt, the balloon-shaped nurse who has a chip on her shoulder comes off as rather flat.  Yet, by the end of the comic, she seems to suddenly don a gigantic role in the future of the Fabletown folk (for good or bad).  Her characterization is just flawed throughout, and Snow’s reasoning with her isn’t very believable and kind of generally insulting.  Snow admits to being a bitch in the past… as she’s being a bitch.  That just doesn’t make sense.

Secondly, I know Kelly Thompson (here’s her latest post that has absolutely nothing to do with Fables) has had issue with the representation of Frau Totenkinder.  The character began as an old lady who knit a lot and just happened to be secretly the strongest and most powerful character in the entire series.  However, in order for her to become even more powerful, she had to shed her exterior and return to her true form… which just happened to be a young, beautiful woman.  Now, in this issue, she continues to mention her plans to move away to never return to the Fable heroes because, well, because she has FOUND THE BLISS OF MARRIAGE.  It’s the typical move in which a character becomes satisfied by simply being married off.  On one hand, you can argue that this happened to Snow (although, I still believe that she’s just as powerful of a character but the focus has shifted).  However, it’s still a disappointing turn.  Now, for that to actually happen or be seen, you have to read the actual comic.

So, that was the main part of the story.  However, this comic cost $10 and is large enough to earn a place on my bookshelf, and that’s because of all of the extra content.  You have a prose story written by Mark Buckingham (the usual artist of the series) and drawn by Bill Willingham (the writer of the series) that’s kind of a nice departure.  Then some short stories.  And then a “Burning Questions” section that’s been seen in the series before.  However, these burning questions come from celebrities and they’re not particularly interesting.  I would have preferred for them to come from actual fans.  Nevertheless, they get some big talent (Adam Hughes and J.H. Williams III) to illustrate some of them.

Overall, you get paper doll cut out figures, a board game, some short stories, and a gigantic lead story all for $10.  For that price, it’s definitely worth it even with my little qualms.


Batwoman #0: Review!

2 Dec

As has been clearly stated on this blog, I love me some Batwoman.  So, of course, I was very excited at the prospects of picking up this introductory issue.  Atomic Comic’s Ashley also shared my exuberance.

First off, I was a little disappointed for a $2.99 price tag for something rather brief.  $1.99 would have made this a much more lucrative deal to bring in new leadership.  Sure, it’s a teaser.  So, let it tease – at a small price.

Nevertheless, the most important part of the issue is the art and it delivers.  I mean seriously, how can art from J.H. Williams III not deliver?  Hell, I just read the entire Promethea series!  I know this guy can draw the hell out of things.  The issue is basically split in half with (normally) the top devoted to Batwoman and the bottom to Kate Kane as Batman (Bruce Wayne) tries to figure out if they are related/the same person through various surveillance techniques.  As opposed to Kelly Thompson, I found that the split narrative was quite complimentary to each other and not that confusing to pan out.  Yes, I did just read Promethea, once again, so, basically, anything like 2 page spreads split horizontally seems like child’s play when compared.  So, I may have just been prepped for the game.

J.H. Williams art is gorgeous, but, I have to admit, I hold him to a higher standard.  And, to me, he could have done a bit more.  On the other hand, Amy Reeder’s art seemed pretty darn good.  I’m really excited to see how she draws Batwoman rather than just Kate Kane.  Overall, I like her clean and slick lines with the pixie-esque features.  J3’s art is lifelike while Reeder’s screams life’s vibrancy but it also matches well with the grimmer moments.

Unlike Kelly Thompson’s belief that the costumes of Bruce Wayne are silly, I really liked them.  This guy does have to do surveillance and his costumes, to me, make sense.  However, I do agree with her that Batman – Bruce Wayne – just kind of seemed out of character the whole time.  Also, I just realized that there are absolutely no spoken words or sound effects in the comic.  That’s kind of interesting even though I never read sound effects unless they’re integrated into the art.

Overall, though, the writing was a bit stiff.  And, you can’t look out this comic without thinking about Greg Rucka.  Kate just doesn’t seem as strong in the issue as she was during Rucka’s tenure.  So, we’ll see, I guess.  Nevertheless, it was decent.  Sure, I hate the idea of Bette Kane because I want it to be just about Kate… so, hopefully that won’t be a big part of the series.

Anyway, this was a good introductory course in Batwoman with a little bit of experimental technique.  It’s definitely worth a read and a good buffer into the series.

A whole new slew of comic reevus

9 Jun

Well, I didn’t get comics for a month or so… There was a lot waiting for me.

Unfortunately, I forgot to pick up Grizzly Shark and Sea Bear, Return of Bruce Wayne #2, and my LCS still hasn’t received Tales of the TMNT #69.

Overall, I was fairly pleased with my pulls, and I even went out on a limb and bought some Marvel which was, surprisingly, really good.

So, let’s start it off with the bad and move towards the awesome:

Green Lantern #54:

It’s really unfortunate that most of these scenes in this book were sort of seen in others (mostly Brightest Day), and I’m a little tired of Green Lantern.  Honestly, this book is testing my patience.  It looks pretty and Doug Mahnke does his best with trying to make the Star Sapphire costume look not so slutty, but I feel like Geoff Johns is just trying to outdo himself with the next big, cosmic event.  Therefore, character studies are shot down for a rather boring plot.  And Lobo, seriously?  I’m giving this comic three more tries.  If it fails twice in those three times, then it’s out.

The best part of this comic, though, was Dex-Star (the Red Lantern Cat) kicking some ass.

Batgirl #11:

I’ll begin this by mentioning that there isn’t anything inherently wrong with this issue.  I feel like Bryan Q. Miller is doing a knockout job developing a voice for Stephanie.  Sure, Lee Garbett & Pere Perez’s pencils sort of make Stephanie’s boobs fluctuate size on a nearly frame by frame basis, but the art’s overall good.  Everyone’s doing a good job.  My problem is that the comic is doing things that have been done before.  Sure, these are all sort of training exercises for Stephanie, but the stakes are obvious and I don’t feel like there’s any real big threat.  The Calculator is nice, but that’s more so Barbara’s villain.  Is Stephanie going to get any of her own.

As far as dream sequences go, this was one of the more interesting ones out of the thousands out there in comic land.

Girl Comics #2:

I feel like this comic should be longer than it is.  I feel like there should be more stories in it.  Hell, I’m being charged $5 goddamn dollars for it, I might as well get some more stories.  Plus, what’s up with the shipping delay?

Alright, refocus on what’s actually here in the comic.  Unfortunately, it was hit and miss.  I enjoyed the intro again even if it felt like I was rereading the intro from before (I really liked the variation of She-Hulk’s costume).  The Inhumans was kinda bleh.  However, I really liked the hairdressing story because it didn’t really feel like it was shoving the issue of “hey, girls like to get their hair done!” but more so a thing that they do that shows a different aspect of their lives.  I liked the art and coloring on the “Do You Ever?” story even if the script was a bit lacking.  The two page spread of MJ searching for another superhero boyfriend was delightfully taking stabs at the machismo behind many male superheroes which made me pretty giddy.  The Dr. Strange story was a major disappointment.  I just did not understand what was going on.

So, overall, okay, but nothing major.

Batman #700(!):

Alright, I had to dish out the $5 on this landmark issue.  I figured it would probably not be that great, but, strangely, I found it to be pretty gosh darn good.  Now, let me preface it with me walking home 3 and a half miles in the rain worrying about my comics getting wet.  Then, it began pouring – like Puget Sound every day in February pouring – and I sought refuge.  Enter coffee shop and a warm chai.

I opened it up, and found this time-spanning narrative not confusing but, despite being defined by time periods, timeless.  Grant Morrison hit the mark on portraying that, no matter what, there will always be a need for a Batman in comics/the comic world.  Naturally, Frank Quitely’s frenetic energy in his section made a major impression.  It was unfortunate that he couldn’t finish the whole “Today” section.  I feel like they could have simply put a “Tonight” label after the switch to slightly differentiate between the artists and acknowledge the change up.

Now, I’m not a fan of Damien becoming Batman in the future.  Particularly because I think the transition would be too easy for the character… and I don’t like his batsuit.  So, that part was kinda “hmm meh” for me.  However, 2-Face-2 was hilarious as was the final joke.

The “And Tomorrow” section was genius showing off all the different Batmen that have come, gone, or will pass.  I really like the Full masked, silver-emblazoned one.

Overall, this is a pretty good story for a Batman fan with a little bit for everyone.  Sometimes, it didn’t hit the mark.  When it did, though, it was lovely.

Heralds #s 1 & 2:

After reading Kelly Thompson’s review of Her-alds, I decided to give it a try.  And, honestly, I am so glad I did.

Some Superheroes who just all happen to be women get together through an interesting means, and then, all of a sudden, a clones (of scientists and historical figures creating some funny moments with Einstein and later Hitler), Dinosaur, chaotic thing happens.  They bond together over fighting and then come together in the second issue over Frankie Raye and how she plays in the overall importance of recent events.

The art on these issues is amazing.  Some commentators (anonymous comments on other people’s reviews) have said that the art style is too indie or doesn’t differentiate between the women.  I would have to counter this by stating that I am not familiar in any depth with the majority of these characters, and I could tell them apart through facial differences.  Plus, I really like the slim, short-haired She-Hulk.  I mean, she’s lean but with lots of muscle.  Who’s to say the Gamma radiation has to make her bulky just to give her immense strength?

At times, the plot can be a little overwhelming and the dialogue quick, but another read through brings along more enjoyment.  Trust me, the first read is still just as good as you’re briskly trying to read what’s next.  This got me to chuckle aloud, which, as said numerous times before, is a hard thing to do.  Check out the Thompson review to see some pages from the actual book to see the interior art.

Red Robin #13:

Tim Drake-Wayne.  Marriage fake.  Identity.  New duds.  Checklists.  Hard Decisions.  Worth it?

I know that this comic is worth it.  You barely have to be knowledgeable about Tim Drake or this series to still really enjoy it, and the twist is wonderful.  God, I love this comic (and the writer switch – Fabian Nicieza who’s written Tim Drake before – hardly altered anything; a nice transition).

Invincible #72:

Within the Invincible Universe, I feel like Kirkman is at his best with writing violence.  I believe this also probably gives Ryan Ottley much more to play around with.  Anyone noticed the similar attacks Conquest utilizes?  Come on, the frames are nearly the same.

This issue completely surprised me in a good way.  The melodrama’s out of the way, and now it’s just super hard hitting and awesome.  I never knew breathing could be so great!

The Walking Dead #72:

God, does Kirkman know how to nail that final page for every issue.  I mean, it also works really fluidly during the trades, too.  Still, I just love it.

This issue focuses pretty heavy on the adjustment process with emphasis on Michonne, Andrea, and Glenn.  Um, yeah… mostly my favorite characters.  It’s nice to not see any zombies for a bit; although, I’m sure that will change next issue.  This is just such a consistently great comic.

Feminism and Comic-stuff

12 Mar

Well, I’m not really posting any of my own opinions about it, I’ve just read some very thoughtful articles this week, and I thought I’d share.

For a very refreshing take on Wonder Woman and how she functions within the Blackest Night crossover as well as criticizing Geoff Johns (granted, I am one of those fan boys the author calls out) check out this article.

For a feminist criticism of the film version of Kick-Ass that is later coming out this month, peruse this.

And, of course, the ever-wonderful Kelly Thompson on Girl Comics.

I suppose I’ll include all of the other Girl Comics reviews that I’ve read so I’m not so Comics Should Be Good heavy.  The reviews have been varied but generally on the upper scale.  My review will be coming out some time this week.

This was one of the better reviews coming out of Major Spoilers from the last couple weeks (they tend to be mostly summary rather than review).

And a negative review coming courtesy of Doug Zawisza of Comic book Resources.