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New Comic Book Reviews Week Of 1/14/15

New Comic Book Reviews Week Of 1/14/15

While it was a small release week because of the landing of Marvels new Star Wars comic that had most other publishers releasing a fewer books this week it seems like but there are still some good and not so good.

Fables: The Wolf Among Us #1


Vertigo Comics Writers Matthew Sturges & Dave Justus, Artists Steve Sadowaki, Shawn McManus, & Travis Moore Colorist Lee Loughridge, Letterer Sal Cipriano

Based on the Telltale Game that is based off the long running Vertigo Comic comes the print version of this digital first comic. The plot from Vertigo is, Even before the first issue of FABLES, there were stories to be told, shadowy avenues to explore, and lives hanging in the balance! Bigby Wolf has seen plenty in his time as Sheriff of Fabletown…but nothing can prepare him for this. It all starts with a simple domestic disturbance. But when Bigby learns that his old nemesis, the Woodsman who has an axe to grind, is part of the scene, things go downhill fast. And how will Bigby and Snow White keep their heads long enough to crack the case when they get caught up in a grisly murder mystery? While I have not played the game I have read the Fables comics for years. The really good news is that if you have been living under a rock and have never read Fables then this is a nice introduction to the Fables Universe. Sturges is no stranger to the Fables books having co-written the Jack of Fables series and some of the Fairest stories. While it’s based on the game storyline there is a fair amount of new elements to the comic in recent interviews. The story itself is a good old fashion detective story that does a nice job of getting new readers up to speed on the back story of the comic but thankfully it does not bog down the story for the readers that are more familiar with the comic. The first issue has the first three chapters of the digital comic so there are three separate artists in this issue. They all do a really great job on the book but I am a huge McManus fan and wish that he had been able to do the entire book. I was very impressed with Sadowski and Moore’s artwork on their respective chapters. While the styles are different they are not too far apart that is jarring to the flow of the story.

Is this book worth your time and money? If you are a fan of Fables and are looking for new comic stories then I think that you will enjoy this new book. If you are a fan of the game I am not sure how that it will work for you. I have not played the game so I can not judge that for you. The story is solid and gives you a story that has not been told before in comics and is a nice addition to the Fables mythology. The artwork is good in all three parts and has me wanting to read the next chapters. It was well worth the $3.99 cover price. RECOMMENDED!

S.H.I.E.L.D. #2


Marvel Comics Writer Mark Waid, Penciler Humberto Ramos, Inker Victor Olazaba, Colorist Edgar Delgado, Letterer Joe Caramagna

While I like the done in one idea of this book the first issue left me a bit cold, so I was hoping that the second issue would be more satisfying. The plot from Marvel is, Why has SHIELD agent Jemma Simmons gone undercover at the Coles Academic High School in Jersey City? Maybe it has something to do with the all-new Ms Marvel, and the most dangerous lunch meal ever served. I am a fan of most of Waid’s writing but this book is just not coming together for me. The problem that I have with this issue is that he really misses the mark on his portrayal of the new Ms. Marvel. I am a huge fan of that book now and while I will give Waid that he tried to capture here it just misses the mark. I will give him that the last act of the issue really hits a stride the lead up just sits there and plods along. The story in the end just is average after reading it. The real bright spot of the issue is Ramos & Delgado’s artwork that outside regular Ms. marvel artist Adrian Alphona they really capture her very well. Their take on the pizza dough monster is a real sight to behold.

Is this book worth your time and money? With two issues in I can’t say that I would come back for more at this point. While it’s not a terrible book it is really rather pedestrian at a certain point. If I do it will be because of the artist on the issue in the future. There are too many good books out there to read average books today. I’m cutting this one loose.

Batgirl #38


DC Comics Writers Cameron Stewart & Brenden Fletcher, Artist Babs Tarr, Colorist Maris Wicks, Letterer Jared K. Fletcher

The new creative team is still setting up the building blocks of their story. The plot from DC is, Things are going surprisingly well in Batgirl’s new life! But nothing good ever lasts long in Gotham City – and the other yellow boot is about to drop…hard! This book seems to run hot or cold with readers. I am still a fan of the new direction and was very fond of this issue. Stewart and Fletcher are giving Barbra a lot of development as a character and while a lot of people would see the whole selfie and pop culture references as too trendy I like the way that they are using it. Barbra is getting caught up in the whole in the moment of the trending topic instead of what makes a superhero. This issue she is finally starting to find out the price of fame and not everyone thinks that she is a hero. They are working the young and naive angle very well and the build is starting to pay off. I have been a fan of Tarr from day one and she continues to bring a style that has really been lacking in the New 52. The art is really outside the box way of telling superhero books at DC and gives the book a nice indy feel with the art.

Is this book worth your time and money? I like the direction that the book is going and not following the same old superhero path that has been worn out lately. While the book is not perfect I like the foundation that the creative team is laying. Every action has a reaction and they are showing that Barbra is still a child and needs to learn lessons to become the hero that she needs to be. RECOMMENDED!

Star Wars #1


Marvel Comics Writer Jason Aaron, Artist John Cassaday, Colorist Laura Martin, Letterer Chris Eliopoulos

There is a lot riding on this book now that Marvel has taken control of the Star Wars Universe. The plot from Marvel is, Luke Skywalker and the ragtag band of rebels fighting against the Galactic Empire are fresh off their biggest victory yet-the destruction of the massive battle station known as the Death Star. But the Empire’s not toppled yet! Join Luke along with Princess Leia, smugglers Han Solo and Chewbacca, droids C-3PO and R2-D2 and the rest of the Rebel Alliance as they strike out for freedom against the evil forces of Darth Vader and his master, the Emperor. Lets get the elephant out of the room first. I am a fan of the original Star Wars. I was 7 years old when I saw the first film in theaters and it truly changed my life. I hate the three prequel movies and the revised editions of the original three films were completely unnecessary and the changes are hideous. While Dark Horse comics had its ups and downs throughout the years they only hit it out of the park a few times. This first issue really impressed me a lot. First kudos to Aaron because to take on this book is a chance to have Star Wars fans burn effigies with your name all over it. The key to the story working so well is that he gets it. The book feels like the original Star Wars and that is what has been missing from the Star Wars Universe for a while now. Is the story the greatest Star Wars comic ever? No, but considering that I haven’t cared about Star Wars in quite some time this new comic brought me back to the time where I loved how the original films made me feel before Lucas went off the deep end and F*%KED up everything. I liked the idea of setting the story after the events of Star Wars and while we know the events that will take place after this story it was still a very good start to an original storyline. Aaron hits all of the beats perfectly and the dialog feels very natural and you can hear the actors voices in your head while you are reading it. Usually on these types of books the artwork is given to a new talent and is not of the highest standards most of the time. Well Marvel really pulled this one-off by having Cassaday do the honors. Cassaday does a nice balance of his own style but making the characters look like the actors. While it’s not the best work he has ever done considering the task of the book the artwork is really impressive. He really nails the actors and making them look from the period that the story takes place in. This is one of the best looking licensed books I have seen it quite a while. Future Star Wars book are going to have a tough time looking this good.

Is this book worth your time and money? I’m not a Star Wars fanboy but have very fond memories of the original films while growing up. This is the first time in a long time that I have actually enjoyed Star Wars. While the book is not groundbreaking it has a solid story and great artwork. I have to praise both Aaron and Cassaday for making me remember what I loved about Star Wars A Long Time Ago…..HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

As a bonus here is one of the many variant covers for issue #1 Do you recognize the rabbit?