There is a lot going on in both personal and professional so I’m going to keep it very short this week so I’m sorry for not getting in as many comic book reviews as I would like to.
Dick Tracy: Dead or Alive #3
IDW Writers Lee Allred & Michael Allred, Penciller Rich Tommaso, Inker Michael Allred, Colorist Laura Allred
This book continues to be a real treat and each new chapter bring new fun to the party and is giving the book some really great twist and turns. One of the charms of this book is that Lee and Michael deliver some great action this issue and shows what a force that Tracy is. We also find out who is behind the framing of Tracy and it’s who we though it was but the reveal is quite ingenuous. The other nice touch to the story is the new team of crime busters that are going to help Tracy solve the case. The one thing that has really made this book shine is Tommaso’s style that captures both a retro and modern feel to the story but not specific to any time period. He gives the wonderful story a great visual charm that is able to easily capture the great action but also the subtle dramatic moments in the story.
Is this book worth your time and money? Each issue is building nicely on this book and the only complaint that I have is that I have to wait a month to find out what happens in this book and that is the real challenge because it’s such a fun book to read. Team Allred and Tommaso have found a way to not only stay true to the characters but update it with technology but in a way that fits into a retro style that still feels like classic Dick Tracy. What I love most about this book is that it simply has fun and doesn’t try and be more than that and that is why its working so well. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Marvel Comics Presents #1
Marvel Comics Writers Charles Soule/Greg Pak/Ann Nocenti, Artists Paulo Siqueira & Oren Junior/Tomm Coker/Greg Land & Jay Leisten, Colorists Frank D’Armata/Michael Garland, Letterer Joe Caramagna
Marvel brings back a concept that worked well in the 1990’s and is off to a good start here. There are three stories with Wolverine being a first chapter and the Namor and Captain America being self-contained short stories and delivers a pretty good value for five bucks. First is Wolverine by Soule and Siqueira that is nice but hard to tell from this first chapter how its going to pan out. Soule story is interesting and shows promise but the one thing that does work well here is setting it during WWII that gives it a nice twist. Siqueira and Junior’s artwork is quite nice here and adds a great detail to Soule’s script. It’s too early to tell on this one but off to a good start. Next up a very touching Namor story that I was really taken back by. Pat delivers a very emotional story for a character that is not known for deep emotions in a lot of the stories about him. Pak really gets to the core of the character and I only team pages delivers a deeply emotional story that really sticks with you. Coker’s artwork has a great classic old school style that perfectly fits this story and greatly enhances Pak’s script. He really captures the emotions of the story and this is one of the best Marvel stories about Namor that I have nearly ever read. Finally we have Captain America by Nocenti and Land that perfectly captures the spirit of Cap in a story that has no villain but a simple life lesson that hits all of the right beats. Nocenti keeps it from becoming too sappy and gives it the right amount of balance to keep it on course Land and Leisten are perfect artists for this story and they give is a great visual charm that captures all of the warm and fuzzy moments that makes this a very sweet story.
Is this book worth your time and money? The only minor complaint is that it’s too early to call the Wolverine story but the Namor and Captain America stories are well worth the price of admission here. The question for this title is the real long-term quality that the book can sustain. The previous run had both hits and misses that seem to alway plague anthology books. It will be more interesting to see this book after a year to see if they kept up the quality. At least for this first outing its well worth buying.
Image Comics Writer Scottie Young, Artist Jorge Corona, Colorist Jean-Francois Beaulieu, Letterer Nate Piekos
I have loved this book so far but this third issue might just be the best one yet. The second issue was still setting things up but here Young really starts to catch the road trip adventure aspect to the story and continues to deliver both a very strong story that has a great charm to it. We also start to see a bit more of Dale and is still a bit of a mystery of how both him and Able have powers but Young starts to peel back the layers of this mystery and there is a nice foundation that is set up here. The one thing that I love about this book is the fantasy elements and we get to see more of that here with Able’s encounter with a Troll that is quite impressive. A good comic book story is only as good as it’s artist and Young is very lucky to have Corona’s artwork that really brings this story to life. There are a lot of different influences in his style but they all come together to give the book a fairy tale/storybook quality but firmly grounded in comic book feel that is simply perfect for this comic. Corona is able to capture both the big action moments but the small subtle emotional dramatic moment with ease that makes this book such a joy to read.
Is this book worth your time and money? This issue really seals the deal for this wonderful comic. Its one of those rare comics that just works well and doesn’t try to be more than it sets out to be. It delivers a great story with gorgeous artwork and it gives you a great reason to come back for the next issue. This is a really great book that just gets better each issue. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
The Batman Who Laughs #2
DC Comics Writer Scott Snyder, Artist Jock, Colorist David Baron, Letterer Sal Cipriano
I was taken a bit by surprise by the first issue of this book and it continues to intrigue with its second outing. What is interesting about this book is that it takes a more psychological look at Batman an himself from the Dark Universe. We also find out that the Dark Metal Batman is not alone and has brought other Bruce Wayne’s from other universes and that has thrown quite a monkey wrench into the story. There are some nice twist and turns that Snyder puts into the script that makes for a fun read. While the story does lean towards the grim and gritty aspect of the Dark Knight it does however offer hope and there is a nice little cliffhanger at the end of this issue that was a pleasant surprise. As always Jock turns in an amazing job on the artwork for this story and brings a real grit to the art that captures the mood of Snyder’s script. He also does a great job of capturing the emotions of the story and that is where this book really impresses.
Is this book worth your time and money? While in some ways this book doesn’t break a lot of new ground but that’s ok because it’s an entertaining read and that is what matters in the end. One of its best assets is Snyder snappy script and Jock’s great artwork that make this a solid read even if you weren’t a fan of the whole Dark Metal crossover like I was. Well worth checking out.
Marvel Comics Writer Chip Zdarsky, Artists Carlos Magno with Butch Guice, Colorist Alex Guimaraes, Letterer Travis Lanham
Having grown up on the Invaders in the 1970’s I was interested to see what Zdarsky’s take on the book was and sadly it really was disappointing. It’s not that the story is bad but he spend the entire issue setting things up that really don’t add up to much. The story plods along and introducing the characters but never really pays off with anything. There were like three prequel titles before this first issue (that I didn’t read BTW) and you would think that you would get things moving along here. I know that you still have to give new readers a chance to get up to speed but even with that nothing really happens here. The artwork by Magno who handles the present day sequences and Guice who does the WWII artwork do their best to help move things along and they do deliver some nice artwork but there is little that they are able to do to save this boring story.
Is this book worth your time and money? It’s not that Zdarsky’s script is unreadable but it really doesn’t go anywhere and there is very little incentive to bother wanting to read the second issue. Nice art will only get you in the door here but the lack of story is what kills this one in the end. SKIP IT!
Gideon Falls #10
Image Comics Writer Jeff Lemire, Artist Andrea Sorrentino, Colorist Dave Stewart, Letterer Steve Wands
If you’re not reading this comic then your missing out on one of the creepiest and brilliant mystery/horror comics to come along in quite a while. Lemire and Sorrentino have been delighting readers greatly so far and this issue really will really blow your mind because a lot of the set ups in the story really lead to this issue. There are so many things that I would love today about this issues story but don’t want to give any of the surprises away but rest assured that this issues story will blow your mind. Lemire has methodically paced this book so well and that really pays off with this issue. Sorrentino really outdoes himself here and there are some truly stunning layouts to the artwork that will have you studying it to look for subtle visual clues that will simply boggle your mind when your done reading this issue.
Is this book worth your time and money? What are you waiting for, go out and at the very least by the trade of the first story arc then buy the read because trust me you wont be disappointed in this book because it’s one of the best horror comic book that I have read and the twist and turns to the mystery will keep you coming back for more. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!