This is going to be a short review week because I’m heading off to WonderCon in Anaheim this weekend so make sure you follow us on instagram and twitter for up to the minute happenings at the show.
Detective Comics #1000
DC Comics Writers Scott Snyder/Kevin Smith/Paul Dini/Warren Ellis/Denny O’Neil/Christopher Priest/Brian Michael Bendis/Geoff Johns/James Tynion IV/Tom King/Peter J. Tomasi, Artists Greg Capullo & Johnathan Glapion/Jim Lee & Scott Williams/Dustin Nguyen/Becky Cloonan/Steve Epting/Neal Adams/Alex Maleev/Kelley Jones/Alvaro Martinez & Raul Fernandez/Tony S. Daniel & Joëlle Jones/Doug Mahnke & Jaime Mendoza
As with last years Action Comics #1000 DC has gathered an all star line up of talent to celebrate 80 years of Batman. As with any anniversary comic with multiple creators there are going to be some story that you love and some that are just OK, but overall the book is worth the $10 cover price. I will cover some of my favorites from the book but thankfully there are no clunkers in the bunch. One of the strongest is actually the first by Snyder and Capullo who weave a great detective story that certainly fits the title. It’s one of those stories that keeps you riveted to the mystery and the payoff is quite impressive. One of the funniest ones is the Dini and Nguyen story that captures the humor of the worst henchman ever and is also one of the smartest story to boot. What makes this one work so well is the way that Nguyen captures the subtle humor of Dini script and never overplays it for cheap laughs. Bendis and Maleev team up again to do a devilish smart Batman’s secret identity story that has some wonderful twist and turns and a spot on ending. Maleev art style really adds greatly to the drama of the story because of the very subtle facial expressions that really sell this one. Of course how could I not love the Jones story being that his is one of the greatest Batman artist currently. Johns story gives Jones some great moments in this short but very sweet story that tells the darker side of his Birthday.
I this comic worth your time and money? While I did enjoy the book I did feel that it didn’t seem quite as special as last years Action #1000. It could be that there have simply been too many good Batman stories lately? I think that some of the stories simply didn’t feel that special in the sense that they felt like they could have been a backup story in a regular Batman comic. While there were some standouts, I felt that a number of the writers didn’t go outside of the box compared to say Batman Black & White comics. I guess that I just expected more exciting out of this book. There were some solid stories here and overall the artwork was really top notch so I have mixed feelings about the book in the end. It just didn’t feel like a true celebration that Action #1000 did and maybe thats why it was somewhat disappointing. Is it worth buying, in a word yes but you might just want to set your expectation on this one a bit lower.
Sabrina The Teenage Witch #1
Archie Comics Writer Kelly Thompson, Artist Veronica Fish and Andy Fish, Letterer Jack Morelli
This comic is a companion book to the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina television series that was inspired by the short lived horror version from a few years back that sadly the story was never finished. While this first issue won’t blow you away but does a very nice job of setting things up. I give props to Thompson who handles the exposition well because there is a lot of ground to cover for new readers and those who may have not seen the television series. She wisely spends time getting to set up the cast of characters that is always tough in a first issue. Where this book really shines is with Fish’s wonderful and charming artwork that helps move things along he with the set up. She adds nice little visual touches such as facial expressions and captures the humor parts of Thompson’s script spot on here. I loved her work on the regular Archie title from a while back but she is simply perfect for this book and is a perfect artist for Thompson’s script.
Is this book worth your time and money? What I loved about this book is that it really captures the charm of the television show but Thompson and Fish really make their own at the same time. There are story elements that work really well in comics that allows for different things than a visual medium like television. Thompson also gives a good reason to come back for the next issue with a nice cliffhanger so that is a big plus for the book. Overall I had a really fun time with this book and can’t wait to see where they take it from here. RECOMMENDED!
Dail H For Hero #1
DC/Wonder Comics Writer Sam Humphries, Artist Joe Quinones, Letterer Dave Sharpe
There have been many iterations of this book and now it fits quite nicely into the Wonder Comics line being that it the fifth time around for the concept. This one gets back to the original series with a bit younger boy this time around. Because of the wild and deep concept Humphries had his work cut out for him in this first issue and there is a ton of exposition so it’s a bit on the dry side but he does his best to keep it moving along. The one thing that I like that he did was give nods to the previous incarnations of the book and made it fit into the DC Universe quite nicely. The other win was the spot on humor in both the story and the artwork to a very infamous 1990’s artist that draws small feet (you will spot this one right away) and that was impressive and showed that he is wiling to go outside the box with this book. Quinones is a very nice addition to the book and has a very pleasing style that captures the youthful aspect of the book. Where he really impressed me was that he was able to draw small feet perfectly and yes it’s as outrageous as you can imagine.
Is this book worth your time and money? Humphries and Quinones nails the charm factor here and while its a bit slow on the takeoff because of the set up it will win you over by the end of this first issue. The next few issue are going to be the key to this book working or not. The cliffhanger was good and there is some nice mystery to the Dial Hero concept going forward. This is another winner for the Wonder Comics line.
Black Hammer: Age of Doom #9
Dark Horse Comics Writer Jeff Lemire, Artist Dean Ormston, Colorist Dave Stewart, Letterer Todd Klein
The mystery of the missing heroes and the change in the timeline is still unfolding and this issue will keep you on the edge of your set and has some really shocking story elements. Lemire continues to push the boundaries of what a superhero comic can and should be. One of the best things that I love about this book has been adding Lucy to the story. She has given this book a fresh take and keeps readers on their toes with the twist and turns. Just when you think that you have figured out things, Lemire throws things in that are both shocking and exciting at the same time. The other thing that anchors this book is Ormston’s artwork that is able to capture both the big and small story elements that Lemire throws at him and delivers it with ease that adds greatly to the experience of reading this comic. What he brings to this book is the heart and soul of the characters and how he captures the emotions of is all is a great pleasure.
Is this book worth your time and money? If it not enough to be reading this great comic you had better start picking this up because there is a big crossover with DC Comics Justice League this summer and you can jump on to this great book and get ready for it. But the other reason to buy this comic is simply it’s that damn good. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!
Martian Manhunter #4
DC Comics Writer Steve Orlando, Artist Riley Rossmo, Colorist Ivan Plascencia, Letter Andworld Design
One of the biggest surprise comics this year has been this little gem and each issue continue to build and impress as it goes along. We are now starting to see where Orlando is blending Jonn’s story from his past on Mars to the present story. This comic really shines when Orlando takes it so far out of the box that your not sure if its really happening or a wild drug trip but he always grounds the story in its strong characters that keeps it from spinning out of control. The big win for this book is the deep emotions that he gives Jonn in this story and it gives you a fresh take on a character that we’ve know so well and yet it feels fresh and new at the same time. There is simply no other artist that would be able to capture all of this insanity than Rossmo. His artwork gives this book a great etherial look and feel that you rarely see in a mainstream comic like this but that is why it works so well. As wild as the artwork can get sometimes he never looses site of the visual heart of the book is and that is the strong characters and he captures their emotions perfectly.
Is this book worth your time and money? In just four issues Orlando and Rossmo has created some great magic here and each issue just gets better and better. Do yourself a favor and jump onto this book as soon as possible because it’s one hell of a ride that will blow you away! VERY RECOMMENDED!