Wonder Woman ’77 Special #2
DC Comics Writer Marc Andreyko, Artists Drew Johnson, Richard Ortiz, Cat Staggs, Jason Badower, Colorists Romulo Fajardo Jr., Brett Smith, Letterer Wes Abbott
The second volume that collects the digital first stories based on the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman television series from 1977 brings three stories all written by Andreyko. The thing I like about books like this and Batman ’66 is that not only are they great nostalgia trips back to shows that we loved but they are also stand alone stories that are easy for any reader to pick up and enjoy. Andreyko continues his love letter to the series. He does a nice job of keeping the spirit of the show but adding some of the comic book mythos into the stories. The first story has the Cheetah and is a fun romp with the villain. Johnson handles the first half of the story and Ortiz finishes off the story. Johnson does a great job of capturing Carter and gave his part of the story a stronger look. While Ortiz did a good job I just enjoyed Johnson’s artwork better. The second story brings some wonderful artwork by Staggs who does some very nice art for the second story. She really put a lot of work into getting the faces just right for Carter and Waggoner. The story is a nice mix of comic book action with social commentary that was one of the elements of the original series. The last story is a nice short and sweet with Solomon Grundy that was a nice little surprise to end the book on with very nice art by Badower. Is this book worth your time and money? Andreyko keeps the stories flowing very nicely and was impressed with how each story worked very well for its length. He also keep the tone of the series of having a great message in each story and keeping Wonder Woman as a great female role model. All of the artist do a great job of capturing Carter and Waggoner that is a very hard feat to do that and still make it feel like a comic book story. The book is a fun romp of nostalgia but also a great comic for people looking for solid Wonder Woman stories without all of the baggage of the regular monthly book. While the $7.99 price tag is steep I had a lot of fun and enjoyed the book. RECOMMENDED!
Oni Press Writer Marc Guggenheim, Artist Justin Greenwood, Colorist Ryan Hill, Letterer Crank!
The first issue of Stringers I thought had some good ideas but the story seemed unfocused. I hoped the second issue would get the book going. Sadly it’s still missing the mark. Guggenheim’s script seems to be more focused on concepts and ideas instead of characterization and story. The shame is that I think that there is a good idea here but I just don’t have a connection to the main characters. While the action of the story is great there is just no weight to it in the end. I do enjoy Greenwood’s artwork in the book and he really brings very nice visuals to the action and delivers nicely during the dramatic scenes as well. He just can’t save a story that has very little substance to it in the end. Is this book worth your time and money? I want to like this book because the concept is good but the execution of the script is just not there. A good idea will only get you so far and for me the road ends here. Even with Greenwood’s nice artwork there is just not enough here to recommend in the end. SKIP IT!
Captain America: White #2
Marvel Comics Writer Jeph Loeb, Artist Tim Sale, Colorist Dave Stewart, Letterer Richard Starkings
Loeb and Sale continue there lost color book that started seven years ago and is now finally seeing print. I have always loved Captain America stories that take place during WWII and Loeb has given the story a nice classic Simon and Kirby spin on that period. Loeb’s story keep the very nice pacing from the first issue and builds on it in the second issue. The thing that really impressed me with this second issue is the relationship between Cap and Bucky. This is a story that I have rarely seen in the mythology of Captain America and is a refreshing take on it. He mixes the larger than life of being a superhero but keeps the humanity with the struggles with normal emotions that we all have. Sale’s artwork continues to impress but we are still seeing art that was done seven years ago. The visual power that he puts into the airplane crash scene is truly breathtaking. Sale’s artwork has been way too long out of comics and it’s a real shame because this book show how powerful of an artist he is. Stewart does an amazing color work on the book and gives great depth to Sale’s artwork with his color choices. This is a great looking book that really brings the story to life. Is this book worth your time and money? The only complaint with the book is that it simply ends to soon. This is a book that leaves you wanting more and that is a good thing. There are far too many event books that never live up to their hype but this is one that is truly special. One of the best Captain America stories that I have read in years. VERY RECOMMENDED!
From Under The Mountain #1
Image Comics Writer Claire Gibson, Artist and Colorist Sloane Leong, Letterer Ariana Maher
When doing a first issue of a series you really need to give the reader something to hold onto in the story with either a great story hook or characters that you can lead you through the story. Unfortunately this book sadly fails on both counts. The script by Gibson is really unfocused and there is simply not enough explanation of what is going on. There is not enough story to get the reader to get to know or care about any of the characters in the story. The script is made up of events that are simply not strung together well at all. I will give Leong’s art that she does a pretty decent job on the artwork but she does one of my pet peeves of using color as a background far too often in the art. While she does a nice job on the characters the backgrounds are far too sparse nearly all of the time and that sadly makes the artwork kind of sit there a lot of the time. Is this book worth your time and money? I really wish that the story was better because we need more female comic creators to bring new voices to the medium but sadly this book just doesn’t cut it. While there are some decent ideas but with the lack of focus in the story it ended up just leaving me pretty board by the end of the issue. While the book could get better in the next issues for me it gets off to a bad start that I just can’t justify getting the second issue. SKIP IT!
Archie Comics Writer Mark Waid, Artist Fiona Staples, Colorist Andre Szymanowicz with Jen Vaughn, Letterer Jack Morelli
This new take on Archie continues to be a book that just seems to get better each issue. Waid is really giving Riverdale a great new spin but keeping the spirit of what made the characters so great in the first place. This issue I love his new take on Veronica being a spoiled rich girl who is so full of herself that you both hate and love her at the same time. He also is setting up the love triangle between Betty, Veronica and Archie and it’s going to be a bumpy ride. He also is really fleshing out Jughead into more than just a bottomless pit that eats food all of the time. His friendship with Archie is a nice addition to the story and has become great fodder for the story. Betty is probably the most changed but for the better. Waid has really given her character some bite but does a nice job balancing her with brains and a soft heart. In this books case, changes are very good and Waid has done a brilliant job of creating a book that is a really great pleasure to read each month. Staples artwork is what this book needed to make it all come together. Her art expresses such great emotion in the characters that brings Waid’s script a perfect match. This issue really challenged her because there are a number of scenes that are told visually and she pulls them off with such ease that is all that much more impressive. Is this book worth your time and money? I can not recommend this book enough. Archie has always been a great concept and while for years many creators did a good job on the book, this incarnation of the book really builds on the foundation that made the characters good but I dare say that this is the best thing to ever happen to Archie and company. While Waid and Staples have updated the concept of the book they never negate the rich history and build greatly upon it. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!