This weeks reviews are going to be on the light side because it was a smaller number of books this week, and the regular gig has been very busy this week. So sorry in advance.
Harley Quinn #9
DC Comics Writers Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti, Artist John Timms, Colorist Paul Mounts, Letterer John J. Hill
Harley Quinn is one of the sole New 52 that is really delivering the goods each and every issue. The plot from DC is, When Harley fills in as a burlesque dancer, she kills it on the main stage – literally! But what happens when she gets caught by the cops and finds herself face to face with her most devoted stalker?! The thing that I am really enjoying about this book is that while each issue continues the overall storyline, each issue is pretty easy for new readers to pick up and still enjoy. While if done by another team other than Conner and Palmiotti the stripper/cosplay story could have gone south rather quickly. They have always kept the tone of the book on the light side that keeps it out of poor taste territory. Who else could write a kidnapping story where Harley actually helps the guy out and will go back and visit him again. Timms does a nice job with keeping the tone of the story. He does the sexy parts very nicely but also handles the comedy very well also.
Is this book worth your time and money? This book has been the strongest book lately in the New 52 DC line and continues to be the most consistently fun books that bucks the dark and brooding trend that has infected most of the books at DC now. Conner and Palmiotti continue to bring fun stories each issue while still creating an overall arc with the book. Solid artwork by Timms is keeping this book really snappy. At $2.99 you really can’t go wrong with this book.
Marvel Comics Writer Chris Claremont, Artist Todd Nauck, Colorist Rachelle Rosenberg, Lettering Joe Sabino
Nightcrawler continues to be a haven for old school readers to have a classic X-Men book that we have been missing for far too long. The plot from Marvel is,Who knew the life of a high school teacher isn’t as glamorous as it’s made out to be? Struggling to adjust to everyday life back at the Jean Grey School, Nightcrawler turns to his fellow X-Men for inspiration. But when it comes to life with the X-Men, inspiration may just come from the unlikeliest of places! This issue is a bit of a breather after the first four issue story arc and is a good jumping on point for new readers that may have missed the first issues. Claremont continues to mine nostalgia with the book but the book is very much set in current continuity with the characters and how they look today. But by having the book be outside all of the other X-Men books is what is making it so enjoyable. Readers are not bogged down by having to read a bunch of other titles. Claremont still stumbles a few time with having a little too much dialog in some scenes but it’s not as bad as the first issue was. Nauck continues to be the perfect artist on the book. The way he draws the book is like the heyday of the X-Men (Bryne, Cockrum and Smith) but makes it all his own. He is really making this book visually one of the best looking X-Men book in a long while. He is able to go from dialog scenes to action scenes with ease and keeps the story flowing very naturally.
Is this book worth your time and money? Claremont and Nauck are doing a very nice job on this book. It’s the type of book that is hitting a solid flow each issue. While it may not be the flashiest book in the X-Men universe it’s certainly is a hell of a lot more consistent and enjoyable than just about all of the other X books combined (with the exception of Peter Davids X-Factor). The only complaint that I have with the book is that while I am enjoying the book so far Claremont could be steering the book into somewhat too familiar territory that can happen with his writing. I think that the next story arc is going to see where it lands.
Dynamite Writer Joshua Hale Fialkov, Artist Matt Triano, Colorist Mark Roberts, Letterer Simon Bowland
I was not bowled over by the first issue, I went into the second issue hoping that it would kick in. The plot from Dynamite is, Picking up where the last issue left off, our heroes must venture through hellfire and demons in order to face the devil himself. But, the secrets they all hold may be their undoing. I am a huge fan of Fialkov writing and while I enjoyed the second issue a bit better than the first it still is not totally gelling for me. I can see the scope that the story is developing it’s just that the focus in the first two issues are not quite there. I like the premiss that he has set up it just seems to be a little on the slow side of coming together. It could be that the characters are not super interesting or you are not quite caring about them. Triano’s artwork is good but is a tad inconsistent during a few parts of the book.
Is this book worth your time and money? The concept of the book is interesting but the story is on shaky ground now. While not an awful book it’s just not coming together a much as I would like it to. The idea is really good but the pacing is just not there yet. I will give it about two more issues for it to work for me. So the jury is still out on this one.
Batman 66 Meets the Green Hornet #3
DC Comics/Dynamite Writers Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman, Artsist Ty Templeton, Colorist Tony Avina, Letterer Wes Abbott
This book came out last week but apparently Diamond shipped it out late to West Coast retailers. I am a big fan of the 1966 Batman TV show and have been loving this book so far. The plot from DC is, Robin and Kato…hostages of The Joker and General Gumm?! Even worse, the kidnapped crime fighters are forced into a battle to the death by the Dastardly Duo. With their purloined partners in peril, Batman and the Green Hornet have no choice but to work together. Will they be able to track down the hidden location of the captives’ cage match before either of their partners goes down for the count? Smith and Garman have really captured the feel for the show and have really expanded on the idea of the teaming up of the two characters. They have done a really amazing job at telling a story that is continuing to play out quite nicely. While you would think that the story idea would feel dragged out by now is really not. The idea of having two rivals have to work together for a common goal is intriguing. The cliffhanger that they have in this third issue I sure didn’t see coming. They are perfectly capturing the wonderful humor of the show and you can hear all of the actors voices as you are reading the book. That is really saying a lot for this book. Templeton was born to draw this book. He is perfectly capturing the feel of the original show but making the art his own. He is one of the big reasons why this book is working so well is the way he is perfectly capturing the feel of the show in the art with the great layouts and the camera angles that made the show pop. Very few artist would get the very small and subtle details that Templeton art delivers. I also must point out Avina’s wonderful coloring on the book that captures the coloring of the show but still making it work in the comic form.
Is this book worth your time and money? With the book at the halfway point it continues to be a must buy book every month. For $2.99 you are getting a lot of bang for your buck on this book. A really solid story with beautiful artwork that captures the feel of the original show but making is work on a much bigger canvas than the budget constraints of the original show could never allow. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!