New Comic Book Reviews Week Of 9/16/15 New Comic Book Reviews Week Of 9/16/15
Tokyo Ghost #1 Image Comics Writer Rick Remender, Artist Sean Murphy, Colorist Matt Hollingsworth, Letterer Rus Wooton Tokyo Ghost is one of those titles... New Comic Book Reviews Week Of 9/16/15

Tokyo Ghost #1

tokyo-ghost-#1

Image Comics Writer Rick Remender, Artist Sean Murphy, Colorist Matt Hollingsworth, Letterer Rus Wooton

Tokyo Ghost is one of those titles that I like a lot of the ideas but the book is a little uneven. Remender is a writer that tends to overload a lot of dialog and exposition and it can really bog the story down. The problem I had is that the book gets off to a rough start with a weak set up to the story but he gets it back on track after the first few pages. I will give Remender that there is a lot to like about the book but I find that he tends to over explain things sometimes that really kills the momentum of the story. The big reason for me to pick up the book is Murphy’s artwork that once again is perfect and really elevates the book to another level. He is one of the reasons that the book worked a lot better at some points because he helped the story along with visuals. Is the book worth your time and money? I liked the concept of the book and if Remender can keep the story on track then it might work out. Murphy’s art is the big winner in the book and really saved it for me. I do look forward to the second issue and hopefully Remender can keep the book focused.

Bizarro #4

bizarro-#4

DC Comics Writer Heath Corson, Artist Gustavo Duarte, Guest Artist Darwyn Cooke, Colorist Pete Pantazis and Lee Loughridge, Letterer Tom Napolitano

One of the funniest and freshest books that DC has published in quite a while continues to impress with the continuing adventures of Jimmy Olsen and Bizarro road trip story. Corson really throws everything and the kitchen sink in this issues story. The thing that I like about the book is that each issue has pretty much been a self-contained story but has an overall arc for the six issues. He brings Zatanna to the party this issue and adding magic to the high-jinxs makes this issue one of my favorites so far. And if that was not enough Corson throws in a little Freaky Friday twist by switching Olsen and Bizarro that added an over the top element to the story that you never see coming. Duarte’s art really brings this story to life with his wonderful style that is one of the signatures of the book. He really had a ball bringing the different worlds that Bizarro travels though the portals that Zatanna transports him through. I really love to look at this book every month. Is this book worth your time and money. It’s been a long time since I have had this much fun with a comic and this book continues to impress me. Corson keeps a nice pace with the story and keeps the focus simple and add in Duarte’s artwork and you have a very enjoyable read each month. VERY RECOMMENDED!

Awake #1

awake-#1

Action Lab Writer Susan Beneville, Artist Ben Hess, Letterer Jaymes Reed

I am a sucker for all ages books and this week Action Lab’s Awake looked promising when I flipped through it. Beneville story has some promise but there were a few issues that I had with it. First there was a lot of familiar tropes in the story and while that is not a bad thing I did feel as if I had read this story before. There were parts that could have maybe used a bit more of an original spin on it. The other thing was that I never felt a strong connection to the cast. The overall story is not bad but I never felt that it quite excelled at anything either. There are glimpses of potential in the story and the second issue could improve on the story elements from this first issue. Hess does a very nice job on the artwork and while on the surface it’s a cartoony look, he really puts a lot of detail into the artwork that give the story a boost that made it work a little better. Is this book worth your time and money? It’s a shame that the book was not a bit stronger. I liked it but didn’t love it. The book does have potential but I just don’t know if there is enough to get me back for the second issue. I had wished that the story was a little more compelling.

Will Eisner’s The Spirit #3

spirit-#3

Dynamite Writer Matt Wagner, Artist Dan Schkade, Colorist Brennan Wagner, Letterer A Larger World Studio

I have to give Wagner props for this book because it keeps getting better each issue. I was underwhelmed with the first issue of the book but I like the direction it was going. The second issue was stronger but after reading this third issue the story really comes together in this third issue. We finally get to see the Spirit but Wagner wisely keep the mystery of the disappearance of him under wraps for now. I am loving how he is introducing new reader to the world of The Spirit and for readers that are familiar with the characters you never feel like he is retreading the story. Wagner is telling a nice longterm story that is unfolding quite nicely now and can’t wait to see where he is going with it. Schkade is really improving on the art with each issue and this issue is a big leap forward for him. This issue looks really good and I can see he is becoming more confident each issue. There are still a few rough patches but they are becoming less frequent each issue. Is this book worth your time and money? This issue really sealed the deal for me on this book. Wagner is bringing the story along quite nicely and I can now see why he chose the direction of the first few issues of the book. With Schkade’s art getting better each issue this book is hitting a very nice stride and is becoming a book that I am looking forward to each month now. RECOMMENDED!

Paybacks #1

paybacks-#1

Dark Horse Comics Writers Donny Cates and Eliot Rahal, Artist Geoff Shaw, Colorist Lauren Affe, Letterer Michael Heisler

This book was on sale this week at my local comic shop and I flipped through it and it looked OK but nearly didn’t pick it up. I must say after reading it I am so glad that I did. Cates and Rahal have crafted a really impressive concept and have done a nice job of executing it in this first issue. Their concept of having superheroes that have to pay off their debt by having to pay it back by becoming a member of the team is quite ingenious. They have a very nice balance of drama, humor and super heroics and blending them together quite nicely. While there is a lot of exposition in this first issue, it never drags the story down and they do a nice job of keeping they mystery of things close to their vest. Shaw’s artwork on the surface while flipping thought it didn’t grab me but when I read the book his artwork on the book is very good. I now get why it had a certain look, it was to imitate a standard superhero “style” of art that you see in a mainstream book. This fits very well into the story but he gives is a lot more once you start to read the story. Is this book worth your time and money? This book really caught me off guard but in a really great way. Cates and Rahal give a fresh new spin on the superhero genre and have crafted a really fun and interesting story for this book. Shaw then brings that story to life very well with his artwork that makes the whole book come together very nicely. It’s well worth checking out. RECOMMENDED!

Beauty #2

beauty-#2

Image Comics Writers Jeremy Haun and Jason A. Hurley, Artist Jeremy Haun, Colorist John Rauch, Letterer Fonografiks

The first issue of Beauty got off to a nice start and Haun and Hurley keep the story going very nicely in the second issue. This is a nice twist on the mystery/crime drama that has been done to death but they have found a good idea and give it a nice spin that is making it a solid book. While there are familiar tropes in the story such as a government cover up and the detectives discovering the mystery, it is moving along at a nice pace. I will say that the next issue is going to be a key to the longterm future of the story. While the story is good so far, I think that they are going to need to give the concept a unique spin and separate it from the norm. Haun’s artwork does a nice job of capturing the drama and the emotions of the characters in the story. It’s hard to make a simple story visually interesting but Haun does pull it off quite well. Is this book worth your time and money. I am still liking the book but I do worry after reading this issue that the book could fall into an average detective drama with an all too familiar feel. The next issue is really going to make or break it. I hope that they can pull it off.

Prez #4

Prez-#4

DC Comics Writer Mark Russell, Penciller Dominke Stanton, Inkers Mark Morales & Sean Parsons, Colorist Jeremy Lawson, Letterer Marilyn Patrizio

Prez continues to be one of the freshest books that DC is putting out now and this fourth issue a real turning point for this first story arc. While some might find this issue not as exciting or moving the story forward I would have to disagree. This issues story has lots of very subtle details that are giving a lot to the overall bigger picture. Russell continues to lay a lot of ground work into each issue and this one is no exception. I am loving that the book is a slow burn type story that thankfully more writers are embracing in comics today. There are way too many disposable comics that have no weight to them. Russell it looking at the long-term of this story and there are so many both small and big elements that can throw some readers off. His spot on satire continues to impress and amuse me each issue. I was initially disappointed that Caldwell did not do the artwork this issue but Stanton has done a solid job on the artwork on this issue. He keeps the artistic tone that Caldwell has set for the series but makes the art his own and does not try to imitate Caldwell. Is this book worth your time and money? I love that Russell continues to build the story in each issue and there is a lot of story elements that he is juggling but he keep the flow going very naturally. A nice fill in artwork from Stanton keep the book looking good. Still a must read book every month. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Captain America White #1

captain-america-white-#1

Marvel Comics  Writer Jeff Loeb, Artist Time Sale, Colorist Dave Stewart, Letterer Richard Starkings

Well it only took eight years for issue #1 to come out after issue #0 came out in 2008. This is one of those legendary phantom books that I honestly thought would never see the light of day. I must first say that Marvel made a major mistake in this first issue. They did include the story from issue #0 but put it after the story for issue #1. This makes no sense because the story in issue #0 leads into the first issue. When you read it the way it’s printed it ends up not working very well and the flow of the story is way off. Let’s be honest most people don’t even remember that the #0 issue came out eight years ago let alone that anyone including myself even remember what the story was. Ok now that is out-of-the-way I do suggest if you have not read the book yet go to the back of the book and read #0 first then read the story for issue #1. With that being said is the book worth the wait and so far it seems so. The book gets off to a solid start and just like the other Loeb and Sale Marvel Color books (Hulk Grey, Spider-Man Blue and Daredevil Yellow) they tell the story of Captain America that well know and give it more room to breath and give well-known story lines new elements that add to the story. Lobe doesn’t try to re-invent the wheel here and that is why the story works so well. It’s as if this is a story that you think that you know but it has never really been told. Sale’s artwork is as good as ever but it could be that this artwork is from eight years ago. He really gives the book a great visual energy that is both dramatic and subtle at the same time. Stewart’s color work really complements Sales art without overwhelming it. Is this book worth your time and money. If you take away Marvel’s awful presentation of printing the stories out-of-order this is a book that may have taken eight years to finish but it was well worth the wait in the end. With a really fun and great story by Loeb and beautiful artwork by Sale this is a no brainer to buy. VERY RECOMMENDED! 

 

Steven Howearth

Steven Howearth

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