Because of the Wonder Woman screening I attended on Wednesday (and if you missed my review of the film check it out HERE) this will be a truncated review week and only a few books. Things should get back on track next week.
Valiant Entertainment Writer Matt Kindt, Art Cafu, Colorist Andrew Dalhouse, Letterer Dave Sharpe
I have been enjoying the recent X-O Manowar by Kindt so I figured I would give this new book a spin. While I didn’t feel too lost with the story, I was however a bit bored by it. The biggest problem with the story is that not a lot really happens in the story and by the time you get to the end of the issue you don’t really find a compelling reason to read the next issue. I am a huge fan of Kindt but while the overall story was nice for a new reader it didn’t really explain what the whole point of taking the whole issue for Tama to get to the group and say hey guys this bad thing is going to happen so let’s go do something about it. This has been an ongoing issue with Valiant that while this story maybe great for long time readers of their books, for new readers it ends up feeling like you haven’t been let in to the story because you didn’t know the secret password. On the plus side the artwork by Cafu is really nice looking and at least made reading the story a very pleasant experience. The level of detail that he put into each panel was very nice and he captured both the big and small details with ease.
Is this book worth your time and money. The book was not terrible but for me it was disappointing. If Valiant wants new readers to start reading their books then they are going to have not only make them more accessable to new readers but also have a greater reason to continue to read them. Kindt’s script has some ideas here but to drag things out for a full issue and give little in return is pretty disappointing. So if you’re a regular Valiant reader then your probably going to like it because you will get what the point of the story is, but if you’re a new reader to the Valiant Universe then there is not much here for you.
The Normals #1
Aftershock Comics Writer Adam Glass, Artist Dennis Calero, Colorist Adriano Augusto, Letterer Cory Breen
I’m a fan of Glass’s Rough Riders from Aftershock so I was more than willing to give his new series a spin and was quite glad I did. While the basic premiss and structure of The Normals has been told before what Glass has done here is put a nice little spin on it. What I loved about his script was that the “reveal” at the end of the issue flows very naturally and didn’t come off as a half assed M Night Shyamalan OMG reveal that kills the story. The reveal is actually more intriguing than shocking and that made for a great set up for the series. The other great aspect of the story is that Glass didn’t try to overplay the story and try to make it bigger than its basic premiss. So many writer really overplay or over blow the story and ends up falling flat but not so here. Carlero does a very nice job on the artwork for the book. With the story being exposition and dramatic moments he really needed to convey the subtle emotions of the characters and he really does a great job on it. While there was a noticeable lack of backgrounds in the art that is a pet peeve of mine, it thankfully didn’t distract too much from the book.
Is this book worth your time and money? I really enjoyed this book and Glass and Carlero get the book off to a solid start. They deliver a good story and nice art that made the book a very good read and give you a great reason to come back for the next issue and a solid RECOMMENDATION!
The Archies One Shot
Archie Comics Writers Alex Segura and Matthew Rosenberg, Artist Joe Eisma, Colorist Matt Herms, Letterer Jack Morelli
There has been a lot of one shots coming out of Archie Comics recently with the success of the Riverdale television series and give them props for trying to get those viewers to read the comics. This story is a basic tale of the forming of the Archies band and it’s pretty basic stuff here but that’s OK. Segura and Rosenberg deliver a nice little story here and where is might lack real bite it more than makes up in charm. The script doesn’t offer anything new or surprising and that was a little disappointing but in the end it’s a fun little read that will pass a few minutes nicely. What does work in the story so well is the emotions that are well done here along with a story that doesn’t take itself too seriously and that is what makes this heartwarming story work so nicely here. Eisma artwork on the book perfectly captures the fun, emotions and pure joy spirit of Archie and the gang. He does a lot of very nice visual gags that really adds to the charm of the book. His clean and simple line work really add a lot to this book and pulls everything quite well together here.
Is this book worth your time and money? This is not a deep read comic but what it doesn’t lack is a simply enjoyable reading experience. What I am loving about these Archie one shots are that they a simple well told stories that stand on their own that is a perfect gateway for new readers to not only the Archie world but comics in general. Segura, Rosenberg and Eisma have delivered a simple and fun book that is as sweet as a milkshake at Pop’s. RECOMMENDED!
DC Comics/Dynamite Entertainment Story Scott Snyder & Steve Orlando, Script Steve Orlando, Artist Riley Rossmo, Colorist Ivan Plascencia, Letterer Clem Robins
The first issue of this crossover got off to a great start and while the second issue has a more slow burn to the story but it’s six issue so I’m glad that Snyder and Orlando is taking his time on fleshing out the story and letting it breath that gives the book a solid foundation to build on. There is really a lot going on here in the story and is giving the team up some great turns and twist. What is great about the story is how they are diving in deep into each of the characters mythology and weaving them together is quite ingenuous. This is where Snyder and Orlando really nail this book in that they blend Batman and The Shadow together as if they are in the same universe and that is what is really making this book work so well. So many of these crossovers have so-so reasons on how they come together but this book is one of the few that is getting everything so right. The Noir feel and look of the book is where it really shines and Rossmo come in. Rarely has a crossover book looked this good and Rossmo is really bringing his A game to it. He not only nails the noir aspect of the visuals but brings a great visual layout to the art that gives it a striking and exciting look a pacing that really stands out. The level of detail that he puts into each panel is simply amazing and gives it such a lush look that is simply beautiful.
Is this book worth your time and money? This second issue does a great job on building from the first issue and moving forward very nicely. Most crossover books feel like a cash grab but Snyder, Orlando and Rossmo have proved here that it doesn’t need to be that way. You can deliver a well written and drawn book that delivers a stylish comic that is a real winner and is VERY RECOMMENDED!
Wonder Woman #23
DC Comics Writer Greg Rucka, Artist Liam Sharp, Colorist Hi-Fi, Letterer Jodi Wynne
This issue is the stunning conclusion of the final story arc The Truth for Rucka and Sharp and it ends on a great an emotionally satisfying conclusion that doesn’t end in a big blow out but a very heartfelt and emotional end that you very rarely get in mainstream superhero comics. What I have loved about Rucka writing on the book is that he doesn’t go for the easy spoon fed superhero story here but delivers an exceptionally well thought out story that leaves you much more satisfied with it conclusion that you would expect. He understands what makes Wonder Woman such a great character in the first place with her force of good and spirit that made this a great ending to their final story arc. The term grace and beauty is something that you rarely say about a superhero comic today but Rucka story ended with just that and that is why I have loved this Rebirth title from day one. There have been very few writers that have really nailed what William Moulton Marston created so well in the beginning but Rucka delivered not only great stories but an ending that is one of the most satisfying I have read in a very long time. A great comic always need a great artistic partner and Sharp has delivered on that in ways that very few others could do. What has made this book such a visual feast is the subtle emotions of Rucka’s scripts and gives every single character a heartfelt soul with great emotional impact that you truly feel. The way that he draws the final pages of the story brought a tear to my eyes because he lets you truly feel all of the emotions that they are going through in a way that really touches your heart. You feel what they feel because he brings Rucka’s words with every stroke of the art.
Is this book worth your time and money? I knew that the last few issues of Wonder Woman were going to be tough to read for two reasons. One Rucka and Sharp have been a true dream team on this book and have delivered on the promise to make Wonder Woman one of the best comics out there and they have done it with talent and grace. Two knowing that there are only two more issues of Rucka’s run is heartbreaking because this book has been so great that it’s going to be tough not seeing where they take her next. They have set the bar really high for Wonder Woman and this final story arc wraps all of the story threads up very nicely. I simply can not RECOMMEND THIS BOOK HIGHLY ENOUGH!