American Gods #2
Dark Horse Comics Writer Neil Gaiman, Script and Layouts P.Craig Russell, Artist Scott Hampton, Letterer Rick Parker
There were a lot of mixed reviews for the first issue of this adaptation due to the popularity of the original novel. As I stated in the first issue review, I have not read the novel so I’m coming in fresh to this story. While I understood that the first issue was pure exposition and was going to be a little on the slow side because there was obviously a lot to set up in the story. The second issue moves things along nicely and while your still not sure whats totally going on that is kind of the point. You as a reader are like Shadow Moon and discovering at the same time he is and that is what is most interesting about the story. Russell does a nice job of balancing adapting the book but making sure that it translated well to the comic medium. He keeps things moving along nicely in this second issue and I am liking the pacing of how the story is unfolding. While some will complain that the story is unfolding too slowly, I disagree and Russell script is on point with other Gaiman stories. He never takes the traditional story approach to his comics so why should Russell do any different with this adaptation. Hampton continues to be the perfect artist for this book. He brings a near photo realistic approach to the art but keeps it very much in the comic book art realm. I have been a big fan of his for years and this is some of his best work to date. He is able to bring the dialog alive with the artwork and it makes for a great visual experience.
Is this book worth your time and money? This is a slow burn book and for some waiting a whole month for the next chapter is going to be tough. For me I actually like the pace that the comic is taking and while I would like to read it all at once, I’m content to ride this book out. Great story with amazing artwork make this book a great addition to other Gaiman comics.
Image Comics Writer Meredith Finch, Artist IG Guara, Colorist Triona Farrell, Letterer Cardinal Rae
I’ll be really honest here I nearly didn’t pick this book up because of Finch’s disastrous writing on Wonder Woman a while back and really debated giving this book a try. I will giver her that this is a huge improvement over her Wonder Woman work but while the book was a decent read it felt all too familiar. It does get off to a fairly good start with setting up the story but it falls into the all too familiar territory pretty quickly and turns into a by the numbers affair. The main problem is that you can see all of the plot lines coming and there is nothing that will surprise or impress with the story.On the plus side the artwork by Guara is very nice and has a lush style that is very pleasant and does it’s best to help the story along. But with most comics good artwork will only take the book so far.
Is this book worth your time and money? The book was a nice read but in the end there wasn’t anything compelling me to come back for a second issue. Guara’s artwork was very nice and made the book better than the script delivered. It was not a terrible comic just so-so in the end.
Boom! Studios Writer Simon Spurrier, Artist Jonas Goonface, Letterer Colin Bell
Godshaper was an interesting first issue. Spurrier throws out a lot of great ideas here but there were some structure and pacing issues that made the story stumble a little but thankfully it didn’t kill it. There is a lot to like here and the world that he sets up in unique and interesting. The problem with the story is in the middle it kind of strays and loses focus with the story but does get back on track by the end of the issue. The world that he creates here is quite intriguing and has a lot of interesting possibilities and directions to go in. Even with the slight misstep in the story there is a lot to like here and overall was a good read. What really pulls the book together is Goonface’s artwork that really makes this book pop! Not only is his visual style great, it sets a great tone and look for the world. The other thing that is impressive about his art is the great color work that gives the world a great look and vision. This comic really shines.
Is this book worth your time and money? While there was the story pacing issues overall I really enjoyed the book and it sets up a good story with a great reason to come back for a second issue. When you add in the gorgeous artwork by Goonface this is a book that is well worth checking out and gets a RECOMMENDATION as a buy.
Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie #2
Dynamite Entertainment Writer Anthony Del Col, Artist Werther Dell’Edera, Colorist Stefano Simeone, Letterer Simon Bowland
With the first issue of the book off to a good start, I have to say that Del Col really hits the ground running on the second issue. As with most first issues there is a lot of exposition that you have to throw in and you have to find a way to keep things rolling along. But the key is that the second issue you have to give the readers a bit more to chew on and Del Col really delivers on that in this second outing. He really ramps up the story and we start to get a great feel for Nancy, Joe, and Frank. I like that he is using Nancy to guide the story and it has a great and natural feel to it. That doesn’t mean that Joe and Frank are second bananas to her, it just allows them to grow naturally along with the story. The other thing that I loved about this issue was how he weaved both the present story along with revealing the past and how it all connects together in the mystery. The pacing of the story is really on point and that is a challenge on a book like this. Dell’Edera’s artwork is really good here and looks better than even the first issue that looked nice. He is really giving the book a nice gritty mystery look that is working very well here. The book is really looking good and does a great job of bringing the script to life.
Is this book worth your time and money? I’ll be honest that a lot of Dynamite’s licensed book have been pretty disappointing but I have to hand it to Del Col and Dell’Edera for delivering a new version of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys to a new generation but making sure that they are faithful to the original source material and do not try to fix what is not broken. This second issue was a great leap forward for the book and I’m excited to see where they are going to take it. VERY RECOMMENDED!
Wonder Woman #20
DC Comics Writer Greg Rucka, Artist Bilquis Evely, Colorist Romulo Fajardo Jr., Letterer Jodi Wynne
With the recent announcement that Rucka is leaving Wonder Woman after the 25th issue makes it all more sad that this wonderful run on the book is coming to a close. But as with every single issue of the book this issue shows why it’s not only that good but it’s really going to be a tough act to follow for any creative team. This issue is the proof of why I love this book so much. Rucka doesn’t try to overdo or oversell the story in the book. This issue has so much going on and yet isn’t weighed down by any extraneous plot threads or dialog. One of the strongest things about the Godwatch storyline is that this issue has very little of Wonder Woman in it and that is OK. Rucka knows how to layout a story that makes the other characters just as important to the story as she is. It takes a great writer to pull a story like this off and Rucka always seems to do it with ease each and every issue. Evely artwork on this issue might be her best yet and she has impressed every issue. What I love about her art is perfectly summed up in this issue. There is a lot of low-key and dramatic moments in this issue and she hits each one of them perfectly. She has such a great clean style that reminds me of old school comic book artists like Jose Garcia Lopez and Jim Aparo and I’m truly saying this as a huge complement because she understands that the art needs to work perfectly with the script and blend together perfectly and that used to be the norm back in the day.
Is this book worth your time and money? It’s rare for a mainstream superhero comic to impress me anymore but time and time again Rucka not only delivers but makes it fresh and exciting every single issue. But a great comic also needs a strong artist to bring that vision to the page and Evely does it so effortlessly that makes it a book to not only to enjoy but to savor. This continues to be THE must buy book in the DC Rebirth line. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!
Grass Kings #2
Boom! Studios Writer Matt Kindt, Artist Tyler Jenkins, Letterer Jim Campbell
Matt Kindt is on a roll with his creator owned books and the second issue of Grass Kings continues his winning streak. This is a book that is pure character study and the story washes over you. I love the slow burn approach of the story that gives you just a bit to chew on in each issue and yet keeps a lot of the mystery surrounding the pieces of the puzzle close to the vest. Things start to come into focus with the main characters this issue and layers are slowly peeled back to reveal both the past and the present. Kindt has me hooked on the book and while the slow burn approach of the story might not be to everyone’s liking, I find it to be a breath of fresh air that you rarely see in comics today. Kindt challenges the reader to be a part of the story and getting to know the story and characters is very refreshing. What really makes this book impressive is Jenkins lush and beautiful artwork that really brings Grass Kingdom to life with both his line art and the amazing color work that really draws you into the story. What I love is the way that he delivers the subtle dramatic elements that Kindt delivers with the script and Jenkins brings it home.
Is this book worth your time and money? I’m really loving this book and while it’s really going to work when it all comes together, I actually enjoy the monthly read because after I read the issue I let it all soak in and then go back and read it again to make sure that I didn’t miss anything because I was excited about the story. Kindt and Jenkins are delivering a solid and impressive comic book here and there is a lot to take in and I love every moment of it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Motor Crush #5
Image Comics Creators Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr, Artist Babs Tarr, Colorist Heather Danforth, Letterer Aditya Bidikar
As we come to the end of the first story arc for Motor Girl and there is quite a great twist in the story that explains Domino’s origin but also leaves a lot of great questions for the next story arc. This issue has some great twist and turns that will really have your head spinning and wondering where they are going to go with it. What was most impressive is the bold direction that the story is heading after the events of this issue. The story is a really trippy ride and really pulled the story elements from the first four issue together quite nicely. Fletcher, Stewart and Tarr deliver a nice snappy script that is one of the books best to date. What make this issue so good is the emotions between Domino and her father and the danger that they are put in really made this a nice heartfelt story. Tarr continues to deliver some of her best artwork to date and there is a lot of wild visual story elements that she really beings to the book this issue. Another win for this book is Danforth’s color work on this book. She is not afraid of pushing the colors to the edge and adds a lot to Tarr’s line work.
Is this book worth your time and money? I have been enjoying this book from day one and I have to give props to the team for delivering a solid and satisfying ending to the first story arc and with the direction at the end of the issue there is a lot to look forward to in the next story arc. Solid story and wonderful art make this book a great read and well worth buying.
Silver Surfer #10
Marvel Comics Writers Dan Slott & Michael Allred, Artist Michael Allred, Colorist Laura Allred, Letterer Joe Sabino
Marvel has been a real tough sell for me lately but even with the Silver Surfers somewhat erratic schedule, it’s always a welcome comic when it does arrive. This issue is one that takes a simple story and delivers it with charm and heart that makes this book so much fun. Slott and Allred always hit the ground running with each story and this issue was not only epic but quite touching. To see Norrin and Dawn willing to sacrifice themselves to save the universe was a stroke of genius. But where this book really shines is in the beautiful Allred artwork that is always complemented nicely by Laura’s great coloring. He really went with some bold and exciting layouts for this issue and you will be amazed what you can do with white as a color and plot point. While the book was a bit of a short read there was a lot to take in with the story and scope of it. I hope that Slott and Allred keep the book going because it’s really a shining light of creativity in the Marvel line that is really missing in most of their books today.
Is this book worth your time and money? What I love about this book is that Slott and Allred are not afraid of simply having fun with the book and it seem so simple but very few books deliver that promise. As long as they stay on the book I will continue to buy and savor it. RECOMMENDED!