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New Comic Book Reviews Week Of 8/21/19

New Comic Book Reviews Week Of 8/21/19

Batman #75, 76 & 77

DC Comics Writer Tom King, Artists Tony S. Daniel, Mitch Gerads, Sandu Florea, & Norm rapmund, Mikel Janín, Colorists Tomeu Morey, Mitch Gerads, & Jordie Bellaire, Letterer Clayton Cowles

This final story arc from King in the regular Batman titles comes a surprising City of Bane storyline that has Bane running the city with the villains and a new Batman and Gotham Girl are trying to stop them all but this is not the Batman that we all know. King has taken a page from the Elseworld playbook and infused it into this storyline that is not a fake story but one that is going very far outside the normal sandbox of typical Batman storytelling and that is what is making this story so intriguing. These first three chapters do a lot of set up but keeps the momentum of the story going nicely in each chapter. The big news of course in the “shocking” death of a main character in the story and it actually works quite well and it will be interesting to see the repercussions of that continue throughout the rest of the storyline. There are many other solid moments in the story and so far King has definitely gotten my attention to see where he takes it all. There are multiple artists on each issue but the one thing that is very impressive is that their styles flow together very nicely. Daniel and Janín are the lead artists and they really have their work cut out for them with the scale of the story but also the dramatic moments of each beat of the story and they all handle it with such ease that it really bring so much depth to King’s scripts that makes it such a wonderful read. 

Is this book worth you’re time and money? King has really taken great chances with his run on Batman and the City of Bane story is one that is starting off to be one of his best. King is unafraid to take this title and characters to places that most writers wouldn’t dare but he never changes the core elements that have made them stand the test of time. With solid artwork to bring this story to life it’s getting off to a really great start. VERY RECOMMENDED!

Strayed #1

Dark Horse Comics Writer Carlos Giffoni, Artist & Colorist Juan Doe, Letterer Matt Krotzer

I have mixed feelings about this book because I like a lot of the ideas that Giffoni sets up here in the first issue but it was a bit too disjointed for a first issue. The concept of the story it good but it almost as if there is no story thread in this first issue that is connecting those ideas. I like the idea that Kiara and Lou have a connection and are able to communicate with each other but it’s the story of the mission that is very convoluted in this first outing. On the plus side having Doe as the artist is a huge help and does his best to help make sense of the story. There is a lot of wild moments in the story especially with Lou’s nightmare and Doe does great job of visualizing it. 

Is this book worth you’re time and money? This is a tough one because there is a really good idea here but this first issue gets off to a very rocky start. The key is going to be the second issue and if Giffoni can focus the story and better connect it. I can’t really recommend it but it shows promise but I will have to see if the second issue can turn this one around.

Bad Reception #1

Aftershock Comics Writer/Artist/Colorist/Letterer Juan Doe

I was a little skeptical of this book at first glance because the first ten pages have very little artwork but that is very intentional once you start reading the story. Doe more known for his artwork has come up with a really intriguing concept here of how social media has taken over our lives and how it affects us on many different levels. What I really enjoyed about the story is the subtle undertones in the script that are laying a great foundation for the story as it unfolds. This is a book that creeps up on you and by the end of this first issue your hooked to see where he takes it. As I was saying with the first ten pages that were visually very sparse, once you read the story that is there you totally get why he started both the story and the artwork that way and it has great impact visually. Most of the story in this first issue is drama and he does a great job of capturing the characters both in dialogue and facial expressions that deliver the goods here. Visually the book is very subtle here and does a great job of making sure that all of the little moment are perfectly captured. 

Is this book worth you’re time and money? I really enjoyed this first issue and there is a lot of great set up here to go forward. The concept is great and is a great blending of both story and artwork that is very satisfying. RECOMMENDED!

Pretty Violent #1

Image Comics Writers Derek Hunter & Jason Young, Artist & Letterer Derek Hunter, Colorist Spencer Holt

I had high hopes for this book at first glance but man was a huge disappointment it ended up being. The problem is not the concept but the execution because the story is basically a short story at best that is terribly dragged out to 24 pages of one joke that gets stale after the first few pages. On top of that throwing in swear words and a blood bath didn’t do it any favors ether. The story (what little is there) is a gag at best and the dialogue just drones on and what little story is there is very disjointed and plodding. The only thing that was likable about this mess was Hunter’s artwork that was good but the times where he to it to the extreme came off poorly and over exaggerated and that did not help things at all. 

Is this book worth you’re time and money? I’m all for trying new ideas but to try and take a gag and turn it into a story that has zero plot and page after page of the same thing is not the way to make a comic book. SKIP IT!!!!

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #2

DC Comics Writer Matt Fraction, Artist Steve Lieber, Colorist Nathan Fairbairn, Letterer Clayton Cowles

One of the most refreshing comics to come out of DC Comics in quite a while continues to be as silly and fun comic that you can get. One of the best assets of the book is that the way that he has different storylines going in each chapter and yet they are all connected perfectly but stand on their own. This is a very tricky way of telling a mainstream comic but Fraction somehow makes it all flow together so well that makes for a wonderful read. He also builds nicely from the first issue and moves the stories along nicely here. One of my favorite things that he has done in each issue is the weird situation that Jimmy has been in the past as single panel gags to remind the reader how outrageous the stories were over the years and that Fraction is going to use every ounce of it here in this new series. It’s one thing to have a great script like this but the way that Lieber is able to capture it all visually is where this comic really shines. How he is able to visualize all of the subtle details in the script is really impressive here but he is also able to deliver the emotional core of the story that is really sweet and smart and that is one of the big reasons why this book is working so well.

Is this book worth you’re time and money? Every once in awhile the big two will take a chance on an oddball comic and this is where the reader who always complains that there is no originality, well here is a book that oozes with fun and charm and I doubt that very few readers will give it a try. This is a must read comic and is a big winner. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Blade Runner 2019 #2

Titan Comics Writers Michael Green & Mike Johnson, Artist Andres Guinaldo, Colorist Marco Lesko, Letterer Jim Campbell

Most comics based on another medium usually don’t end up being that great most of the time but on rare occasions they turn out to be surprisingly good. This is one of those rare cases with this Blade Runner series. The smartest move by Grey and Johnson was not to use the characters from the films but use the films world to deliver the story and that is why this one is working so well. They keep the story simple but make sure that they include the flavor of the future/noir look and feel of the films. The story is unfolding nicely here and this second issue does a nice job of moving the story along and revealing more of the mystery of why Isobel and Cleo are on the run but still keeping things under wraps that makes you want to find out what is going on with them. The parallels of Ash and Isobel’s history is a nice touch and adds greatly to the story. The big win for this comic is the gorgeous artwork by Guinaldo that has such great detail and makes this comic come alive. He brings the mood and look of noir and really captures the Blade Runner films perfectly. The most impressive thing is the way he is able to capture the emotions of the characters here and that really draws you into the story.

Is this book worth you’re time and money? I have shocked how good this story is so far and they really give you good reasons to keep coming back for more. The pacing and the artwork is where this comic shines and is great for fans of the film but does stand on it’s own quite well. VERY RECOMMENDED!

Superman: Year One #2

DC Comics Writer Frank Miller, Penciller John Romita Jr., Inker Danny Miki, Colorist Alex Sinclair, Letter John Workman 

While the first issue tread familiar ground of Superman’s origin in Smallville, Miller takes a very different turn with this second issue and it was quite impressive. Miller doesn’t try and reinvent the wheel here but tell the same story but filling in the in-between parts that were never quite told. Having Clark join the Navy is a great story angle that shows that Clark has to be very careful with his powers as not to both show off and hurt someone. Miller also keep him for actually taking lives and keeps the core values of what Superman is. He also does a great new take on Lori Lemaris and Atlantis that really blew me away with his interpretation of it and how he waved it into the Navy story that was quite genus. I’m really impressed with Romita Jr. work here because he is really bringing his A game to this book. I’ll be the first to admit that I am no the hugest fan of his artwork but Miki does a great job of inking him here and has a much more toned down sketchy look that I don’t care for. He is able to capture both the scope of the story but it’s the subtle emotions of the characters that is where his artwork really shines here. 

Is this book worth you’re time and money? I like the first issue but it didn’t stray from the original origin as much but with this second issue Miller and Romita Jr. are showing that there is a lot more to this story than I first anticipated. I was very impressed with this second outing and can’t wait to see where they take the story next. VERY RECOMMENDED!