Another big week of new comics and I am going to try and catch up with some more this time too so lets get going.
Black Cat #1
Marvel Comics Writer Jed Mackay, Artist Travel Foreman, Colorist Brian Reber, Letterer Ferran Delgado, Back Up Stories Writer/Artist Nao Fuji, Writer Mackay, Artist Mike Dowling, Colorist Reber, Letterer Delgado
After quite a dry spell Black Cat is back in her own series that gets off to a fair start. The main story by Mackay does all the the checklist thing to accomplish with a first issue and that is where so of the issues arise. He does set up things and gives new readers a quick recap within the story to who Felicia Hardy is and her skills and while that is all fine and good it ends up making for a pretty boring first outing. It’s not to say that it’s terrible but it never really grabs or impresses you either. The other thing is that Mackay doesn’t give you a huge reason to come back for a second issue. While the heist and chase is good the cliffhanger is only going to work if you know who he is and fro new readers they are not going to have a clue of who he is. Foreman’s artwork is good and while there are a few minor inconsistencies here and there overall he does a nice job and filled in the backgrounds quite nicely. I will be nice to see him grow as an artist. There are two back up stories with the two page by Fuji being the big winner. Sure its a simple joke but played very well in both the story and the artwork has Dracula and Bloodstone and it’s a nice little story but again for new readers the story may work but they are not going to have a clue of who these characters are. Dowling’s artwork is good and gets the job done.
Is this book worth your time and money? If your going to start a new series with a second stringer character then you had better come up with a good reason why they should have a regular series and sadly Mackay doesn’t fulfill that here. The book is fine but overall pedestrian and there is not much here to justify the $4.99 cover price. SKIP IT!
Humanoids Writers Mark Waid and Kwanza Osajyefo, Artist Phil Briones, Colorist Andrew Crossley with Leonardo Paciarotti, Letterer A Larger World Studios
In yet another in a long line of a comic book company trying to start a new superhero universe and the question is always, do we really need another one? With this kickoff of the H1 Universe with Ignited Waid and Osajyefo mix superheroes with current reality based events with mixed results. The story can be seen both ways in that does it need or not need current events in the mix and that is a bit tricky here. The question is how is each reader going to react to the main part of the story is a school shooting. I will say that the story does deal with these issues well but while it makes for a compelling read with those elements I’m not totally sold on the story as a superhero universe. Once you remove the reality based elements your left with a pretty basic superhero origin story that is not very impressive or different and that is where the book doesn’t work that well. On the plus side Briones artwork is very nice here and really captures the emotions of the tragedy and that is why that part of the story is really compelling and adds greatly to the overall feel of the book. It’s just a shame that the underlying superhero elements fall apart here.
Is this book worth your time and money. This one is a really tough call because the reality based elements are really good here but once it get to the superhero parts of the story it turns into just another average superhero origin story. It could get better as it goes along and I would be willing to give the book another chance because overall it’s not bad just disappointing at least with that first outing. It’s still worth a look even with it’s flaws.
Image Comics Writer Sean Lewis, Artist Hayden Sherman
On the surface when I first started to read this comic I wasn’t quite sure of what to make of it and even after finishing this first issue, I’m still not totally sold but I did like what I read. There is a lot that Lewis is setting up here and there is a ton of exposition but, what he does is rearranges how the story is told from a linear storytelling structure and moves things around and that really pays off at the end of this first issue. There is also the elements of keeping story elements hidden for now that catches you off guard and has you wondering what the hell is going on but in a good way. Lewis does a great job of both setting the story up and keeping the mystery of it hidden but gives you enough to want to come back to find out what it’s all about. Sherman does a wonderful job of bringing this story visually to life and is able to visually guide the reader through the story and that is a big plus when you start to feel that it’s a bit too confusing but he keeps the story on track perfectly. He also uses color to highlight elements of the story that adds greatly to the look and feel of the story.
Is this book worth your time and money? Lewis and Sherman have set up a really intriguing story here that will have you both wondering what the hell is going on but at the same time want to continue to see where they are going to take it. There is a lot to like here with this book and cant wait to see where it lands. RECOMMENDED!
Incredible Hulk: Last Call #1
Marvel Comics Writer Peter David Penciller Dale Keown, Inkers Mark Farmer, Marc Deering, Walden Wong, & Scott Hanna, Colorists Peter Steigerwald with John Starr, Letterer Cory Petit
While I love Al Ewings take with the current Hulk series, I still feel that David’s run on the book (12 years in fact) was truly seminal comic book work and to this day is my favorite run on a comic. So to have the band back together so to speak can be a really great thing or ruin your wonderful memories of it. Luckily in this case this book perfectly transports you back to that time and shows that David and Keown still have the magic touch. Being that the story is a one shot David wisely keeps the story simple but makes sure that it runs really deep and in this case dealing with Bruce Banner trying to commit suicide is a very tough story to pull off but David handles it with care and understanding that shows what a strong writer he is. While the subject matter is difficult to read David instead focuses on the positive aspects of Banner life and why he should not try and kill both him and the Hulk. It was nice to see Keown back also and with four different inkers the book looks really great and consistent. He handles both the action and the drama with ease and captures the emotions of the story perfectly.
Is this book worth your time and money? For me this is a trip down memory lane but for new readers it’s a glimpse of what a great impact that David had on the Hulk and the ramifications are still being felt today. David is a writer that simply knows how to tell a great story and this is one of his best. It captures all of the facets of what makes both Banner and the Hulk such great characters. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!
Green Lantern #7 & 8
DC Comics Writer Grant Morrison, Artist Liam Sharp, Colorist Liam Sharp (#7), Steve Oliff (#8), Letterer Tom Orzechowski
After the first six issues that was the first story arc issue seven comes along and simply blows you out of the water with both the story and the artwork. At first your not quite sure what is going on because Morrison story is thick and deep but Sharp is able to perfectly frame it so that it flows exceptionally well. At first you think its a dark story with Hal trying to save the girl and that is what it’s about but when you learn the deeper part of the story (that I dare not spoil because its freaking brilliant) you are simply blown away and are left an emotional wreck but in a really good way. Sharp delivers the best artwork he has done to date here and that is saying a lot because he is really hitting his stride on this book. With so much dialog he is very conscious of how to frame it visually and that is one of the reasons that this story works so well emotionally because of how he lays out each page and every panel is carefully matched to the story makes you forget that your reading a superhero comic.
In issue eight we get to see Green Lantern and Green Arrow back together again with a nice homage to Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams with a story that capture the present and the past perfectly and Sharp kicks it off with spot on homage cover to classic Speedy drug cover to issue #76. Morrison captures the feel of that original run but it very much fits into his current storyline because he captures the struggles and the friendship of these two characters. He keeps the story simple here but why it works so well is the emotional core of the story. Sharp not only infuses Adams art style into this story but you still see his own style shine though and that is a testament to his talent as an artist.
Is this book worth your time and money? Simply put Morrison and Sharp continue to put the boundaries of what a mainstream superhero comic can and should be and in fact it’s one of the best comics being published currently. What is fractionating is how mainstream the book is and at the same time defies those tropes. Morrison and Sharp are really hitting their stride on this book and with ever passing issue it just gets better and better and issue seven is one of the best single stories I have read this year and is going to be very difficult to top. This is a comic that you simply must be reading. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!
Beasts of Burden: The Presence of Others #1 & #2
Dark Horse Comics Writer Evan Dorkin, Artists Jill Thompson (#1), Benjamin Dewey (#2), Letterer Nate Piekos
Anytime there is a new Beast of Burden mini series is a cause for celebration and this two part story is another winner. Dorkin does something a bit different here in that he add humans to the mix that are able to understand the animals and it gives this story a very nice twist. While I wont say that this is the best story in this ongoing tale but what it does have is that It’s short, sweet and to the point and as always a charmer. What Dorkin has alway down well in these books is just when you think you have things figured out he take it in a whole different direction that is even more satisfying than you had expected and that is the case here. The one thing that I really loved about this story is the interactions with the humans and animals made for some very interesting social commentary that works very well here. Thompson does the artwork for the first issue and Dewey does the second and while their styles are very different they both bring the perfect visuals to the story. While I love Thompson’s artwork and it’s been quite a while for her to come back, she delivers a nice job here and I love the way that she draws the animals. I have really been impressed with Dewey’s artwork on the past series and he is a really great choice for this book. He does a great job of really capturing all of the big and little details that really makes this second issue work so well. He captures both the humans and animals perfectly and makes the book super creepy.
Is this book worth your time and money. I’ve been a huge fan of these books from day one and while I would love them to come out on a more frequent basis, I will always take what I can get. I really enjoyed this shorter story and loved both of the artists on it. This one is a winner. RECOMMENDED!
Dceased #1 & #2
DC Comics Writer Tom Taylor, Artist Trevor Hairsine (#1 & #2), Stefano Gaudiano & James Harren (#1), Colorist Rain Berdeo, Letterer Saida Temofonte
Lets be honest here that this is basically DC Universe meets Dawn of the Dead. This is one of those mini series that is simply an Elseworlds story that is not very deep but a lot of fun if done well. Taylor doesn’t try and make the story more than it is and that is one of the reasons why it works. He keeps things simple here with heroes verses zombies and you get what you pay for here. The set up is good with Darkseid trying to take over the earth but this time it really backfires and he unleashes death and then all hell breaks loose. That is the basic story and while it’s simple Taylor does a nice job of moving things along in these first two issues. While there are elements that are made to be shocking they are simply horror cliches but they work well here because that is the structure of this story. Hairsine is the main artist but in the first issue Gaudiano and Harren do some pages but I have to say that Harren’s seven pages are really not very good artwork and nearly kills the momentum of the story but thankfully it appears that he only is doing the first issue. Hairsine is the main artist and does a really great job on the horror aspect of the book and second issue looks good.
Is this book worth your time and money? You know what your getting here and if you like the idea of the DC Universe as a horror movie then you have come to the right place. While it’s not mind blowing by any means, it’s one hell of a fun ride and on that level it a total win. It’s a guilty pleasure and on that level it’s worth buying.