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New Comic Book Reviews Week Of 7/13/16

New Comic Book Reviews Week Of 7/13/16

I’m finally back online with the big house move behind me I will be getting things back on track with more consistent updates on the site. I’m heading down to San Diego Comic Con next week so I will try to post as much as I can but make sure that you follow us on Twitter for the most up to date news and happenings from the show. To help speed things along to fit more in I am sadly skipping the cover art for this weeks books, so let’s get back to the comic book reviews shall we.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Rebirth #1

DC Comics Writer Robert Venditti, Artist Ethan Van Sciver, Colorist Jason Wright, Letterer Dave Sharpe

I have been out of the loop on Green Lantern for years so as with many of the DC Rebirth books I am a new reader to at least the current continuity. I have always been a fan of Hal Jordan as Green Lantern and while the others that have come and gone have been both good and bad Hal is the original and the best. This new book is a primer type story that gives new readers most of the information about Hal and what and how his current state is. Venditti does a good job of getting new readers up to speed with the character but the story seems to be missing any real punch to it. The story goes through the motions but never really is very compelling. There is little explanation of what happened to OA and why Sinestro is in a Death Star ship that is a bit confusing to new readers and is a slight fail on the script end of the book. Sciver’s art delivers a great visual punch to the book and does help the book move along at least on the visual end of it. He delivers some really great artwork to the book and does a really solid version of Hal that is very nice to see.

Is this book worth your time and money? While the book is not bad by any means it didn’t really compel me to want to read the second issue either. The script was a bit by the numbers for my taste and not explaining some of the previous continuity elements was a mistake that could be very confusing to new readers. Overall the book is so-so and not a great out of the gate start.

Powerpuff Girls #1

IDW Writers Haley Mancini & Jake Goldman, Artist Derek Charm, Letterer Andworld Productions

With the new reboot of the Powerpuff Girls on Cartoon Network it make sense that IDW would bring back a new comic series for them and I’m glad to say that this new book does a great job of capturing the spirit of the either the old or new series. Mancini & Goldman deliver a fun little story with everyone’s favorite villain MoJo JoJo that made for a very short but sweet reading experience. The story hits all of the right beats and is a solid all ages book that are always a great thing to see in comics today. Charm captures the style and feel of the series with his artwork. He does a great job of capturing the subtle expressions and emotions while still keeping the broad animation style.

Is this book worth your time and money? Yes and No. The biggest problem is that for an average older reader the book is a very quick read and at $3.99 it’s a tough price for a book that is aimed at the younger set. In that case you might want to wait for the trade collection that most of the times ends up cheaper than the individual issues. Now if your buying this for your kids and decide to read it after they are done with it then that is a win for both of you.

Nightwing Rebirth #1

DC Comics Writer Tom Seeley, Artist Yanick Paquette, Colorist Nathan Fairbairn, Letterer Carlos Mangual

After the Greyson series that left me a little cold that was also written by Seeley having Dick Greyson go back to being Nightwing is a good idea. I have to hand it to Seeley whose script does a great job of shoveling the exposition of the past storylines while keeping the book on track from suffering from the weight of it. He also explains things so that you never feel lost or left out of story elements that you may have not read and that really helped this book. While I wasn’t blown away by the story, it was a good start to the series. Where the book really shines is with Paquette’s nice artwork. He delivers a nice clean style that really suits Seeley’s script perfectly. Where he really shines is the more subtle dramatic story elements that he perfectly captures with his artistic talent.

Is this book worth your time and money? While not a home run the book does get off to a solid start with wrapping up the old Greyson story lines and building  a new a direction for the character makes it worth checking out. I will give the second issue a chance to see where Seeley takes the story elements going forward.

New Super-Man Rebirth #1

DC Comics Writer Gene Luen Yang, Penciller Viktor Bogdanovic, Inker Richard Friend, Colorist Hi-Fi, Letterer Dave Sharp

This is one of the DC Rebirth titles that I was looking forward to because of Yang writing the book and as an acclaimed graphic novel work and I hoped that he would be able to give the Superman mythology a new spin. The bigger question was could he bring that independent voice to a mainstream superhero book and he thankfully gets the book off to a solid start. While the first issue is pure exposition Yang does his best to soften the blow of slowness that this can bring to a book by making sure that you get to know Kenan before he becomes Superman and builds the character story elements that ultimately drive the narrative. The one element that he really nails is the pacing of the story that never made me feel board or wonder while I was reading it and that is a very difficult task for a first issue. While the story trope of the asshole turned hero is a familiar one Yang gives it enough of a new spin here that makes it work and not feel too forced. To have a comic work well you need both a good story and good art and this is where the book really shines and comes together with Bogdanovic and Friends artwork. They give the book a fresh style that while there are some noticeable influences they make it all their own. The most impressive thing about their artwork is the very subtle detail that they infuse the character emotions into the art and that is where the book really shines and comes together.

Is this book worth your time and money? This is so far the best Superman title for the Rebirth books and what is more impressive is that Yang and Bogdanovic are more underdog creators than the other Superman titles and yet they deliver a much more satisfying and refreshing approach to the man of steel that the more seasoned professionals. While there is certainly comparisons to the post Death of Superman from the 1990’s where the book were based on who would take over after Superman but they take that idea and give it a great new spin. This is a Superman book that is well worth buying. RECOMMENDED!

Wonder Woman #2

DC Comics Writer Greg Rucka, Artist Nicola Scott, Colorist Romulo Fajardo Jr., Letterer Jodi Wynne

While the whole DC Rebirth twice a month shipping will eventually doom a number of books Rucka makes the wisest decision to do it as two separate storylines running concurrently. The first issue is the current storyline and now the second issue starts the Year One story bringing Scott on to the story so that both artist are doing a regular monthly book in the hopes of not having fill in issues. You have to look at this issue as really a second first issue and this story is a much more deep story than the other storyline and it makes for a great opposite reading experience. Rucka story goes much deeper into the Wonder Woman mythology and while it’s very similar to the other origin book The Legend of Wonder Woman his take on the story is very similar and yet different at the same time. The key here is that her origin has been told over and over at this point but the key has always been to make sure that you add enough spice of your own to it to make it feel fresh and somewhat different and he does. His script here is a lot more dense that the current storyline and makes for a very different reading experience. While he does change some story elements to her origin, he wisely doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel here. Getting Scott to do the artwork on this story is simply perfect. She brings an amazing visual scope and depth to the story and gives it an epic quality that you rarely see in mainstream comics today. She is not afraid to play with the page layouts to give the story the visuals that it needs to come to life on the page. I can imagine a more perfect artist for this story.

Is this book worth your time and money? This by far has been the best Rebirth book so far and doing separate stories in the twice a month schedule is a brilliant idea that is really giving a much more satisfying and consistent experience on the book. Rucka, Scott and Sharp are really nailing this take on Wonder Woman and is bringing her back to the rightful place in the DC Universe. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Horizon #1

Image Comics Writer Brandon Thomas, Artist Juan Gedeon, Colorist Frank Martin, Letterer Rus Wooton

Horizon is one of those books that has a really good idea but doesn’t quite take off like it should. Thomas script has a slow burn approach to the story and while I usually tend to like books that can do it, in this case the first issue stumbles from it. I will give the book that there are some good ideas presented here but the problem is that there is not much in the script to make readers care about Zhia as a character and by the time you figure out why she has come to earth at the end of the issue it comes off as not very shocking. Gedeon’s artwork is good but there are too many times where the are simply no backgrounds and tends to make the overall look of the book bleak and flat. That is a real shame because I liked the tone and feel of his art but it just doesn’t work like it should.

Is this book worth you time and money? I think that this book could have really worked but this first issue comes off pretty boring and never quite recovers from it. Thomas has a good idea here but without a reason to care it’s unlikely that readers will come back for the second issue on this one. SKIP IT.

Wacky Raceland #2

DC Comics Writer Ken Pontac, Artist Leonardo Manco, Colorist Mariana Sanzone, Letterer Sal Cipriano

The first issue of Wacky Raceland was an odd first outing and while the main story was good it never quite geled 100% but the backup story was simply on the mark. Thankfully Pontac melds the two together in the second issue and now it really is firing on all cylinders. While the racing aspect of the book really delivers some fantastic action for a book to work you need to care about the characters and Pontac really get it going in this second issue. The balanced of the two work perfectly this issue and really sets the tone for where this book is going. The depth and mystery of this book is quite intriguing and while some would say it’s just a take on Mad Max should really take a look at this issue. While Dick Dastardly is viewed as the “villain” Pontac takes that and gives him a back story that you do not see coming but really gives him so much more than the two dimensional feel of the original animated series. I was also impressed with the story element of while they are enemies on the race track they still have to work together to make it through the challenges of the post apocalyptic world to survive and that was a huge plus for the story. Manco continues to deliver some simply stunning artwork on the book and while he really excelled at the big action sequences I was taken a back by the subtle dramatic elements of Dick Dastardly’s back story that were very touching and he really delivered some beautiful art in those sequences.

Is this book worth your time and money? While there has been a lot of scepticism on the reimagined Hanna-Barbera comics from DC they are really delivering a fresh and intriguing approach to the material and yet with Wacky Raceland Pontac and Manco are delivering a different and exciting spin on the original animated series but yet they still keep the essence of what made us love the series too. This book is shooting to the top of the must read list and is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Here are two catch up books from last week that I really wanted to review this week too.

The Flintstones #1

DC Comics Writer Mark Russell, Artist Steve Pugh, Colorist Chris Chuckry, Letterer Dave Sharp

Not only was I excited when DC announced the reimagined Hanna-Barbera comics but The Flintstones announcement was met with some hostile reactions especially for Amanda Conners designs for the book. But I had faith in the book because Prez writer extraordinar Russell was spearheading the book and was thrilled. Now that the book is in hand I have to say that this book simply nails it on every level. Russell gets that the original series was a sitcom based in the 1950/1960 times and based on the Honeymooners. He gives the book a more modern edge with current references but never loses sight of what the original show did so well. The biggest thing about the book is that he infuses it with great social commentary from both the stone age and the modern age. The one thing that this book does better than the original animated series is the depth that the characters have here. The original show was a simple sitcom where this version allows Russell to go deeper into the stone age world and give the characters much more depth and emotional core. For the script to really work you need an artist that can not only bring the story to life but breath emotion into it and I can’t imagine anyone but Pugh doing it any better than he does. He really captures all of the elements but never forgets to make the art fun and goofy to capture the spirit of fun that the animated series had. This is simply a great looking book and he gives Bedrock a simply stunning look and feel that is familiar yet different and very satisfying. I have to point out Chuckry’s beautiful color work on this book that really complements Pugh’s artwork and really elevates the look of the book to a whole new level. You simply don’t see good color work like this very often in comics today and uses a wide color palate to great use in this book.

Is this book worth your time and money? This is probably the deepest of the Hanna-Barbera books and really delivers a fantastic update to the animated series but never strays from what made everyone love it in the first place. Russell delivers a smart, funny and emotional story that sets up a world that you are not only glad that you visited but he makes sure that you want to come back again. Pugh gives the book a visual feast for the eyes and delivers above and beyond anything that I could or hoped that the book could be. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!

Future Quest #2

DC Comics Writer Jeff Parker, Artists Evan “Doc” Shaner, Ron Randall, & Jonathan Case, Colorist Jordie Bellaire, Letterer Dave Lanphear

This is still the best of the Hanna-Barbera comics (with no disrespect to the others) but when you have a comic with all of the Hanna-Barbera superhero series it’s truly a cause for celebration. Parker continues to build not only an epic story but an epic world that will house all of these great characters and that is quite a tall order. He wisely slowly brings in other characters so that the story does not become over stuffed with characters that could bring the story to a grinding halt but wisely goes the slow burn route that is very satisfying. Honestly this book is like being a kid in a candy store because I grew up on the original shows and Parker really gets this. All of the characters are perfect already and he wisely doesn’t change any of them. He just has created a great story that brings them all together in one place. This second issue continues to unfold nicely and build on the story from issue one very well. While it’s normally a bad sign for a second issue to have three artist do the book and while Shaner’s art is great I have to hand it to Randall and Case for not only keeping his tone on their parts but still making it their own. While you can see each artist style while your reading it never becomes distracting or noticeable, and ends up looking quite good in the end.

Is this book worth your time and money? I love this book and as long and Parker and Shaner keep delivering the goods, this is a must read for not only fans of the original animated series but for new readers get to discover what older fans love about them. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!