Catwoman Election Night #1
DC Comics Catwoman;Writer Meredith Finch, Penciller Shane Davis, Inker Michelle Delecki, Artist Igor Vitorino, Colorist Gabe Eltaeb, Letterer Pat Brosseau Prez; Writer Mark Russell, Penciler Ben Caldwell, Inker Mark Morales Colorist Jeremy Lawson, Letterer Travis Lanham
Lets be realistic about why you would buy this book. It certainly is not for the main Catwoman story that I will get to in a moment. Your buying this book for the 12 page Prez story that is so worth the $5 bucks that you will shell out for it. Prez was the highlight of the ill-fated DC You initiative and sadly the promised 12 issues was cut to 6 and this back up story. All of the magic that Russell and Caldwell did in the series is back and stronger than ever in this timely political satire. While this is not the resolving of the series but merely a side story to it. After reading Russell’s spot on us vs them and pitting gun control against birth control made for a story that is not only funny but sadly true at the same time. Russell nails the absurdity of todays political process and failure and delivers more in 12 pages that make me miss Prez that much more. Caldwell and Morales bring Russell’s script in all its insane glory. They capture all of the subtile details that the story has and brings a great visual warmth to the satire. DC simply needs to have Prez join the DC’s Young Animal line where it would have a better chance of flourishing and gain a bigger audience than it did the first time around.
Now to the sad and pointless main Catwoman story. After the disastrous Wonder Woman run someone at DC felt letting Finch write another book was a good idea. Well it wasn’t because this story is not only full of plot holes, unresolved story elements and hammer over the head current political metaphors that make for a pretty bland and pointless read. I really want to know who read this script at DC and approved it. The whole point of the story is the Gotham Mayoral race that is ultimately never resolved in the story, but instead we get a pointless murder mystery from years ago that comes back to haunt one of the candidates. Sound familiar well there in lies the problems with this story. It’s a Hodge-Podge of ripped from the headlines ideas that are mixed together badly and end up being a disjointed mess. The only thing that made it a bit more palatable was Davis/Delecki and Vitorino’s art that tries it’s best to infuse something into the mess of the story but even decent artwork can’t save this.
Is this book worth your time and money? For the handful of Prez fans out there, it’s disappointing that we have to spend $5 bucks on a 12 page story to marginally soften the loss of Prez but it’s so worth it for a taste of what could have been. So if you’re not a Prez fan then this book is one of the most mediocre books that DC has put out in quite a while. Poorly executed story that is timed to the current election that is simply not very good. SKIP IT IF YOUR NOT BUYING IT FOR PREZ!
Motor Girl #1
Abstract Studio Writer and Artist Terry Moore
Moore is best known for his Strangers in Paradise book and while both Rachel Rising and Echo were solid books they received mix notices. With his new book Motor Girl he has simply created a fun little book that is really charming. He keeps the script simple and fun but also seeds a lot of upcoming story points that sets the stage for some interesting ideas. While at first the story is a bit odd and you are dropped into the middle of things by the end of the issue your still left in the dark but intrigued by the set up. I liked that he kept things simple here because while he does a great job with epic stories doing a more accessible story might get more people to sample the book. One of it’s best assets is that it’s unique and original story that you don’t see often enough in comics today. I loved how he mixed the artwork up on the book from the dramatic to the cartoony it all blends together seamlessly and is a real visual treat. He makes it perfectly believable that a girl and gorilla run a junk yard in the desert.
Is this book worth your time and money? While I would have like a tad more set up in the issue, there is certainly a lot to like here. I like the slow burn approach that Moore takes here and it’s simply a fun little story. There is enough here to come back for more and I’m excited to see where he is going to take it.
Marvel Comics Writer Max Bemis, Penciller Dalibor Talajic, Inker Jose Marzan Jr., Colorist Mirolav Mrva, Letterer Travis Lanham
I was a big fan of Bemis’s last book Worst X-Man Ever and he brings his quirky storytelling to a real obscure Marvel villain. While on the surface many will compare this book to Deadpool but I don’t really see that here. Bemis has a great take of what if a super villain went straight but wasn’t totally ready to do that. He sets a lot of ideas up here and while there are a couple of minor flow issues with the story, he gets the series off to a good start. The best thing that he does is not take it too seriously with a lot of subversive ideas. Talajic and Marzan’s artwork fit the tone of the story quite well here and they give it a slight cartoony look but make sure to play it straight when needed. It’s a simple yet detailed style that really makes the story pop.
Is this book worth your time and money? While I liked the first issue, it wasn’t quite out of the gate like his Worst X-Man book. But there is a lot deeper ideas here so there is a bit of a trade-off on that. The book runs a fine line between normal and very out there but Bemis keeps things in check and keeps it just to the edge of flying out of control. There is a lot to like here and will give it a few issue to see where he takes it. Worth checking out.
Aftershock Comics Writer Marguerite Bennett, Artist Rafael De Latorre, Colorist Rob Schwager, Letterer Marshall Dillon
One of the best comics of the year just keeps getting better and better. Bennett has really set up a great idea with this book and continues to impress and surprise with each issue. What I’m loving about the book is that you never quite know where she is going to take the story but she always grounds it with Jesse and Sandor. She is taking a basic story trope here but giving it an original spin that makes it feel fresh and new. She could just do the standard humans vs animals and have a bunch of action in the book but where the book shines is that she spends time digging deeper into the characters and they are dealing with the changes. Latorre continues to do a great job with the artwork because he is able to capture both the human and animals emotions that is not an easy task for an artist.
Is this book worth your time and money? This is probably my favorite issue so far because there is such great character development and the love between Jesse and Sandor is such a great and well though out relationship that is really making this such a strong comic. With great pacing and a fantastic cliffhanger Bennett and Latorre continue to give readers a great reason to come back ever issue. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
CBLDF Presents Liberty Annual 2016
Image Comics Stories and Art by Paul Guinan, Anina Bennett, Mary M. Talbot, Bryan Talbot, Don Schkade, Larry Marder, Shannon Wheeler, Paul Pope, Ronald Wimberly, Joe Keatinge, Ken Niimura, MK Reed, Lisa Rosalie Eisenberg, Andrew Aydin, Tim Fielder, Joe Keatinge, Brandon Graham
I am a huge supporter of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and one of the things to look forward to each year is the special book that they put together to tell stories about free speech. This years focus is still about free speech but takes a look at people throughout history that have changed the world with their commitments to raising their voices with actions. Each story delivers a powerful message that not only teach but hopefully will inspire the reader to take action. This is alway a great book but I was very impressed with the historical take on free speech. We tend to forget history and this book helps to remind us that we need to look back at history so that we can avoid making the same mistakes again. This years line up of talent is as always top-notch and always great to see they donate their time and talent to a great organization.
Is this book worth your time and money? This book is a must buy for two reasons. First and foremost it brings much-needed funds to help pay legal fees to protect the comic industry from free speech lawsuits. Secondly it delivers great stories and art that entertain as well as enlighten. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!
Shade the Changing Girl #2
DC’s Young Animal Writer Cecil Castellucci, Artist Marley Zarcone with Inks by Ande Parks, Colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick, Letterer Saida Temofonte
Shade is one of those books that I can’t be sure of if I like it or want to like it. Castellucci script has a lot of good ideas here but I’m just not sure that it’s all gelling together 100%. It could be the slow burn approach to the story but I do have a feeling that it should come together with the elements that she is laying the groundwork for. This sometimes happens when writers of novels writes comics they tend to not write a monthly book and do more of a long form story that works well for a novel but can make a monthly comic struggle. I do think that she is on the right track with the book and I did like the second issue over the first one. Zarcone’s art style really suits this book and the look that she gives the book is both simple and detailed and very unique. What impresses me with the art is the way that she can go from the dialog scenes to the out there aspects of the story with such ease that it makes for a great visual experience.
Is this book worth your time and money? While I’m not totally sold on the book quite yet Castellucci and Zarcone are certainly bringing a fresh take on Shade and making it their own. The key is going to be the next couple of issues to see if it starts to come together. I like it, just not in love with it quite yet. Still worth checking out though.
Oni Press Writers Ulises Farinas with Erick Freitas, Artist & Letterer Ulises Farinas, Colorist Ryan Hill
Morto is an odd comic that is more of an experience than a typical comic. It’s a book that uses feelings and images to tell its story that at times is more of a stream of conscious than linear narrative. For some this can be a difficult book to read. It’s also a book that I imagine will read a lot better in one sitting than in a monthly book knowing that it’s going to be a 10 issue series. The book has a very european feel and style to the story and art that makes it fresh and different from most. It’s also a lot to take in at once and yet at the same time you’re not quite sure what just happened in the book. Farinas artwork really drives his story and there are many times where the artwork is the story. This is a great looking book that really drives this book.
Is this book worth your time and money? This is not going to be a book for everyone and I’m not even sure what to make of it but I liked the fact that Farinas is blurring the lines between story and art that makes a very unique reading experience. While I’m not quite sure what and where the book is going to go I think it’s going to be a wild ride. If you’re looking for something truly different then you should give this book a try.
Josie and the Pussycats #2
Archie Comics Writers Marguerite Bennett and Cameron Deordio, Artist Audrey Mok, Colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick, Letterer Jack Morelli
I was disappointed in the first issue of this book and it got off to a really rough start. The good news is that this second issue really gets the book back and on a better footing for the story to go forward. Bennett has wisely turned the book into a road trip story and not only is that a good idea she is really having fun with it. I’m thinking that the addition of Deordio to the writing team might be helping the book get back on track. While the stories are not quite Archie or Jughead level, this issue was a lot more fun. While I’m not sure of the longterm aspect of this concept at least for the next few issue it could be good. I just hope that there is a solid long-term plan for the book. Mok’s artwork really shines this issue and enjoyed that she was willing to go wild with the layouts that really added a lot to the story. It gave the story a great visual punch that it needed to get going.
Is this book worth your time and money? This issue was a huge improvement and hopefully Bennett and Deordio can build on this. They thankfully made the book light and fun and while it’s not the greatest comic you will ever read it was very enjoyable and sometimes that is perfect.
The Flintstones #5
DC Comics Writer Mark Russell, Artist Steve Pugh, Colorist Chris Chuckry, Letterer Dave Sharpe
Simply put The Flintstones has quietly became the winner of the Hanna-Barbera line. While I’m still a fan of the other titles, Russell has really given this book a unique twist without changing what The Flintstones are. He mixes sitcom humor, social commentary and great characters into a must read book every month. Russell does something with the book that rarely works and that he makes each issue self-contained but there are continuing story threads that is building the world of Bedrock very well. What makes these stories so great are the heart that he infuses into the characters so that you are really invested in the stories. The other key to the book working so well is Pugh’s lavish artwork that is pure joy to devour each issue. The level of detail that he put into this book is simply breathtaking and captures the emotions of the script perfectly.
Is this book worth your time and money? If you’re not reading this book then your truly missing one of the best comics of the year. Russell and Pugh are delivering both nostalgia and freshness that is a rare combination for a beloved property. It’s The Flintstones that you know and love and yet it’s telling new and unique stories that give so much more depth to the characters. This is truly a must read comic. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!