Another big week for DC Comics with two new series and Warren Ellis’s resetting the Wildstorm Universe. So let’s get started.
The Wild Storm #1
DC Comics Writer Warren Ellis, Artist Jon Davis-Hunt, Colorist Ivan Plascencia, Letterer Simon Bowland
There were a lot of books that came from the Wildstorm universe and some have been revived over the past few years after the imprint was bought by DC Comics in 1998 and then shut down in 2010. Some of the characters have been revived in their own comics over the past few years like Voodoo, Grifter and Midnighter along with various characters showing up in some regular DC titles like Teen Titans and Deathstroke. This is the first time that the Wildstorm Universe as a whole has been revived and Ellis was a perfect choice. As with a lot of Ellis’s work he takes a more long-term approach to this book and this first issue is just a small part of the overall story arc that he is creating. While this will leave a few readers wondering what is going on you have to take this first issue as a story that will unfold at a slower pace than most current mainstream comics. Ellis definitely raises more questions than answers in this first issue and for me that made the issue very intriguing. Ellis is a writer that doesn’t take the safe and standard road that most superhero comics tend to flounder in. His style is a more in your face and then hit you from all sides. There is a lot going on here but it’s very subtle and not the action packed adventure that would normally fill a first issue. A big win for this book is Hunt’s wonderful artwork on the book that in lesser hands could have been a huge miss. He really nails the subtle emotions on the characters and is able to jump right to the action without missing a beat. I also loved how he played with the layouts on the book that gave it a kinetic vibe that visually kept it fresh and free.
Is this book worth your time and money? The one thing that you have to know going into this book is that this book is something that you is not just a done in one or the usual superhero fare. Ellis and Hunt are crafting a more long-term story here and it’s the type of story that slowly flows over you. This first issue will leave you with a lot of questions but there is also a lot to digest at the same time. Some will find the book slow-paced and on the surface it might seem that way but I found that there is a really deep story set up in this first issue and I am intrigued to see where Ellis and Hunt take it. RECOMMENDED!
Super Sons Rebirth #1
DC Comics Writer Peter J. Tomasi, Artist Jorge Jimenez, Colorist Alejandro Sanchez, Letterer Rob Leigh
I wasn’t a big fan of Tomasi’s current run on Superman but was willing to see if his take on this book was any better. The good news is that the book is a fun little romp and has some potential. It’s very much in the vein of Gotham Academy and works on both a younger and older reader level. The book is not the most amazing read but what it really nails is that it’s super charming and fun. Tomasi keeps the story on the light side while keeping each of the kids very much in their respective mythology. He also keeps the light and dark elements of the difference between the two just as it is with Batman and Superman. I have to give Tomasi props for putting a lot of nods and winks into the story. The only thing that I worry about this book is the long-term game. It’s going to be fun for a while but I do worry that once the novelty wears off what are you really going to be able to do with the book. What really helps the book is Jimenez’s artwork that fits perfectly into the tone of the story. When the art really excelled was in the more dramatic moments like the school bully elements in the story. Jimenez captures the ups and downs of growing up perfectly. He really pulls the whole book together with the artwork.
Is this book worth your time and money? This book was a pleasant surprise and a lot of fun. While it’s not going to blow you away but that is not what it’s trying to accomplish. Tomasi and Jimenez are keeping the book light and fun and that is the main reason it works so well. They don’t try to make the book bigger than it is. The real win is Jimenez’s artwork that is one of those rare time where it really elevates the comic to a whole other level. It really brings out the best in Tomasi’s snappy and fun script and overall a really nice read and worth checking out.
Batwoman Rebirth #1
DC Comics Writers Marguerite Bennett & James Tynion IV, Artist Steve Epting, Colorist Jeromy Cox, Letterer Deron Bennett
After the missteps of the New 52 mandate of no relationships that had the creative team walk off the book, Tynion has brought her back to the regular Detective Comics series and now along with Bennett gives her another shot at her own book. The book is a decent read but does have a fairly big flaw. While Bennett and Tynion tells her back story the problem is that it never really gives new readers something to latch onto. The recap feels basic and rushed that never really connects with the reader. It felt like reading the cliff notes version of Batwoman. There is simply not much of a story her that connects all of the bullet points of her origin story. If you’re a reader that is familiar with the character then it’s even more disappointing because there is really nothing here that sheds any new light on the characters. Tynion has been doing a better job with her over in Detective Comics and Bennett has done a great job over on her Aftershock series Animosity so it’s a real head scratcher what they were thinking with this first issue. The only thing that the issue has going for it is the really nice artwork of Epting who does his best with the limited story that he had to work with.
Is this book worth your time and money? The shame about this book is not that it’s truly bad but that with the writing team really dropped the ball on this first issue. It sadly doesn’t even work as a zero issue that sets up the series. The only bright spot is the wonderful artwork by Epting that tries it’s best. I will give the book another chance with the second issue that hopefully will actually tell a solid story. Batwoman is a very interesting character but sadly you wouldn’t know it by reading this first issue. Not a total wipeout but pretty close.
Dead Inside #3
Dark Horse Comics Writer John Arcudi, Artist Toni Fejzula, Colorist Andre May, Letterer Joe Sabino
There are very few comic books today that tell really good mystery/crime stories but not only have Arcudi and Fejzula crafted a fresh spin on the genre but continue to build on each issue and really keeping the readers on their toes. Where Arcudi really nails this book is the way that he is methodically unfolding the story. Sure he could just tell a simple run of the mill murder mystery that you see on television that is simply average. What he does here is give the story such a richness and depth that you rarely see in this type of story. The other thing that is working well here is that how the deeper that Caruso goes the more the story is going in directions that I never expected and that is a very good thing. Arcudi is careful to keep the focus on the main story thread but that is also leading the story down many paths off of the main thread. Fejzula continues to impress with his artwork on the book. He gives the book a great mood with his artwork and along with colorist May they bring the script to life. I love that his art has a classic horror comic vibe to it that you rarely see in comic today.
Is this book worth your time and money? I love that Arcudi is taking this book deeper than I imagined that it would go. He revealing a lot of layers to the story that are giving is some great twist and turns. While some might not like the pacing of the book, that is one of the things that I love about it. Arcudi is going for the long haul here and is taking his time to unfold the mystery. Fejzula’s artwork gives the book the visual mood that pull the book together. VERY RECOMMENDED!
Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye #5
DC’s Young Animal Writer Jon Rivera Story by Gerard Way & Rivera, Artist Michael Avon Oeming, Colorist Nick Filardi, Letterer Clem Robins
Cave Carson continues to weave a really great story that is giving each issue a great twist in the story and this issue starts to fill in a lot of the mystery to the story. Rivera does a great job on the script this issue with a good amount of exposition that happens along the way but he tells it in a way that doesn’t bog down the pacing of the book. I love that he is not afraid to tell the story in a way that is not a very traditional comic style. This issue is more story oriented and while there is still the adventure and action elements he makes sure that the character development continues to move along nicely. The other strength of the book is the mythology that the book is telling and there is a lot revealed this issue and is really solidifying this first story arc for the book. It also has a great cliffhanger that is keeping me on the edge of my seat. How do I continue to praise the artwork of Oeming? With each issue he continues to surprise me with his artwork that is a very rare thing in comics today. His layouts are perfectly capturing the scope of the story and yet is able to capture the subtle emotions of the characters and does it with such effortlessness that is simply impressive.
Is this book worth your time and money? I love this modern twist on classic DC adventure comics of the 1960’s but Rivera and Oeming keep the spirit of the original series in both style and look and yet at the same time for new readers that are not familiar with those comics are able to enjoy the book as well. Cave Carson is still the Young Animal book to beat and this issue continues to prove how good a simply well told story can be. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Dark Horse Comics Writer Matt Kindt, Artist and Letterer David Rubin
Rarely do you find a book that in the next to the last issue really knock your socks off but Kindt and Rubin simply do it with this book. Usually by this point in a mini series you would be racing the story towards the finish line and yet Kindt take the story in a very different direction that is out of left field but may be the most satisfying issue yet. By telling the story of Hazel really hits the heart and soul of what is making this one of the best comics of the year. With dropping this story at this point makes the impact of it work so much better because we know what the world of the Ether and the impact of reading Hazel’s story makes it that much stronger. It also sets up the final story in a way that simply perfect and a rare feat in comics. Rubin’s artwork on this particular story was a very delicate balance of many things and he delivers the visual impact with such care and emotions that really drove the story to a whole new level.
Is this book worth your time and money. Rarely do you see a writer and artist in perfect sync on a comic and Ether is one of those few. I have enjoyed this book immensely but this issue simply wowed me and that almost never happens. Kindt and Rubin are telling an amazing story that in lesser hands would have certainly fell off the rails. The only thing that I can say is a problem is that I will have to wait a month to see how it all comes together and it’s going to be a very long month. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!