Batman Europa #1
DC Comics Story Matteo Casali and Brian Azzarello, Layouts Giuseppe Camuncoli, Pencils and Finishes Jim Lee, Colorist Alex Sinclair, Letterer Pat Brosseau
It only took 11 years for Batman Europa to finally see the light of day and was it worth it? Kind of. The story by Casali and Azzarello does not break any new ground but is none the less a fun read. The plot is pretty basic but it flows rather nicely and having Batman going to Europe is a lot of fun to see. I am not the biggest fan of Lee’s artwork but I have to give him props for this book. It looks really good and I think that the layouts by Camuncoli help with this greatly. Sinclair’s color work give the art a nice “painted” look that helps the artwork from looking to sketchy that is the usual gripe that I have with Lee’s work. Is this book worth your time and money? While the story is pretty basic there is a lot of good ideas set up in this first issue that gets this four issue series off to a solid start. I did really enjoy the book and will stick with the book for the other three issues. It was a nice fun good-looking book that is a nice stand alone story for both new and old readers. RECOMMENDED!
Image Comics Writer Mark Millar, Artist Rafael Albuquerque, Colorist Dave McCaig, Letterer Nate Piekos
This is Millar’s take on Superman but think of it more as if Clark Kent did all of the super heroics and was a simple farm boy. Millar uses all of the familiar Superman concept tropes but keeps the story more sweet and simple. While the first issue was good the question remains where is he going with it? Millar has a bad habit of starting a book off good and then the following issues struggle in the story department. I think that there are some good ideas here but not sure how it’s all going to come together. Albuquerque really delivers some of his best artwork in this book. He really captures the simple innocent of Huck in both his heroic feats and simple dramatic gestures. Is this book worth your time and money? The first issue gets off to a good start with the story and the gorgeous artwork helps the book very well. The only thing I worry about is that will Millar be able to make it more than a Superman clone. The book is a good read but never quite feels original or fresh. It’s worth checking out for sure and we will see with the next issue where it goes.
Star Wars: Vader Down #1
Marvel Comics Writer Jason Aaron, Artist Mike Deodato, Colorist Frank Martin Jr., Letterer Joe Caramagna
This kick off issue to a six part story that will continue in the Darth Vader and Star Wars books is another story that takes place after the original Star Wars film. Aaron gets the story off to a great start and does a good job of capturing the feel of the original Star Wars film and the characters. While the story is original it feels right and is an interesting take on Vader and Skywalker’s story. He also sets up a lot of mystery about the force and how Vader will survive the onslaught of the Rebels attacking him. Deodato does a superb job on the artwork and captures the Star Wars universe very well. I was very impressed with the artwork on the space battle scenes that was very exciting. Is this book worth your time and money? The new Star Wars comics overall has been very good and this one is off to a very good start. RECOMMENDED!
Red Thorn #1
Vertigo Comics Writer David Baillie, Artist Meghan Hetrick, Colorist Steve Oliff, Letter Todd Klein
Vertigo has been on a roll with their new books lately but Red Thorn really misses the target. I will give Baillie that there is a good idea in their but the story is so disjointed and a real lack of characterization that will leave the reader very frustrated. One of the big flaws in the book is that you never quite connect with Isla and what the point of her story is. The script is kind of all over the place and the focus and the point of the story never comes together. On the plus side Hetrick delivers some really good looking artwork that does it’s best to try to make sense of the story but she can only do so much. Is this book worth your time and money? Sadly the story really sinks this book. It’s so convoluted and never really goes anywhere that made it very frustrating read. Even with the great artwork by Hetrick will not be giving this book a repeat visit. SKIP IT!
Ms. Marvel #1
Marvel Comics Writer G.Willow Wilson, Artist Takeshi Miyazawa and Adrian Alphona, Colorist Ian Herring, Joe Caramagna
I am a big fan of Ms. Marvel but was underwhelmed by this post Secret Wars version of the book. The original run was fresh and original with lots of heart and soul but the whole Secret Wars has infected the story and while it’s still a very good book this first issue is not a great jumping on point for new readers. I really hate when a good comic gets ruined by a company wide event that disrupts the flow of a book. While I’m not opposed to change in a book I feel that the changes in Ms. Marvel is taking away the charm that made the previous run so wonderful. Wilson does her best to try to shoehorn the Secret Wars stuff into the story but she still manages to keep a lot of things that I do love about the book. On the art side I wish that Alphona had drawn the entire issue. While Miyazawa’s artwork is very nice I am a great fan of Alphona’s visual take on the book and his style is fresh and visually wonderful. Miyazawa’s art is a bit flat and lacks a bit of detail but overall not terrible but did not overwhelm me. Is this book worth your time and money? I still love this book and once we get farther away from the Secret Wars unnecessary intrusion into this book I believe that it will get back to the book that we all loved. Still very much worth buying but was let down by this first issue.
DC Comics Writer Heath Corson, Artist Gustavo Duarte, Guest Artist Tim Sale & Dave Stewart, Colorist Pete Pantazis, Letterer Tom Napolitano
In the final chapter of this bizarre road trip comes to a close in a very wild ending to the mini series. Corson throws everything from the previous issues including the kitchen sink into the story and everyone they have encountered is back one last time. While there is a lot going on in this last issue I had to slow down and to really let it all sink in because there is a lot going on in this issue and you need to digest it all slowly and enjoy it. Not to say that the simple joy of the book is not there but there is a lot of story that Corson fits in this last issue. Don’t worry the silly stuff is all still there and it was a pure joy to read this issue and the entire mini series. It’s hard to continue to come up with ways to praise Durate’s artwork each issue. Each issue is a visual feast and this issue he really pulls out all of the stops with the final battle and his Superman was one of the best versions I have seen in years. Is this book worth your time and money? I have loved this book from day one and am very satisfied how the story has come to a close. Corson and Duarte crafted a fun and adorable story that should have fallen off the rails many times but they always kept it on track. Hopefully there will be more Bizarro from them in the future but if there are no further adventures in the future this was an extremely satisfying book that was one of the most original series that DC Comics has published in years. VERY RECOMMENDED!