So this will catch up with the last two weeks of new comic books and will get us back on track for this weeks new comics that will hit local comic shops tomorrow.
Batman Europa #2
DC Comics Writer Matteo Casali and Brian Azzarello, Artist & Colorist Giuseppe Camuncoli, Letterer Pat Brosseau
Well to no ones surprise Jim Lee has dropped off the book after only one issue, so now we know why the book sat on the shelf for so long. The story picks up from last issue and now is completely set in Europe. Casali and Azzarello script keeps the momentum and the mystery of the poisoning of Batman and Joker going. The story is pretty basic and while not the most stunning Batman story it does add a few tricks to the basic story elements that keeps it fun. There is no reinventing the wheel here but I have read a lot worse and I like the European elements in the story. Camuncoli handles the artwork fully in this issue and for me losing Lee is not a big loss. The book has a better overall look that now fits the story better. He brings a nice European flavor to the artwork that was missing fully in the first issue. Is this book worth your time and money? Honestly this is a pretty average Batman story but to its credit uses the European location and feel to its advantage. Casali and Azzarello move the story along nicely and with wonderful artwork from Camuncoli it’s a pleasant but not terribly memorable mini series. At this point it might be worth waiting for the trade to read it all at once.
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #1
Marvel Comics Writer Kate Leth, Artist Brittney L. Williams, Colorist Megan Wilson, Letterer Joe Sabino & Clayton Cowles
Another oddball character that gets their own title in the vein of the recent She-Hulk and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl comes Hellcat. Last seen in the She-Hulk series Leth does a great job so setting things up for new readers and a good reminder for previous readers to get everyone up to speed. Leth’s script is nice a breezy and does a great job on the pacing of the story and mixes the real life drama with the superhero action quite nicely. The big win is the fact that she just makes the book so much fun. While a lot of comic readers look for the tried and true superhero beat em ups each month, I am always on the lookout for books like this one. Not only an enjoyable read but has me wanting more. Williams art is a bit on the basic side and there were a few inconsistent areas but she does nail the style of artwork that is needed for the story. She keeps it light and fresh and while I would have liked to see more backgrounds these are minor issues and she should improve as the books goes along. Is this book worth your time and money? I really have to give Marvel credit for publishing these all ages books that is trying to target outside the standard comic reader with books like this. This is a fun little book that if you are looking for a fun outside the box comic then this is one to check out. RECOMMENDED!
Judge Dredd #1
IDW Writers Ulises Farinas & Erick Freitas, Artist Dan McDaid, Colorist Ryan Hill, Letterer Chris Mowry
So now that IDW has the license for new Judge Dredd stories they this is a new series that tries to go outside the box and create a different Judge Dredd. While I will give the team props for trying to do something new and different with Dredd, I felt that the tried and true fish out of water story seemed a bit to basic and very forced. Farinas and Freitas script is just not that interesting and sadly quite boring. There are just to many basic story tropes that have been sadly overused here. The other problem that I had was it just didn’t seem like Dredd. I had this nagging feeling while I was reading it that something was just off. I can’t quite place it but it just didn’t feel right. McDaid’s artwork was overall pretty good and he seemed to get the right feel for the Dredd universe. He did help the story along but he could only do so much. Is this book worth your time and money? I was not won over by this new reimagined Dredd book. The thing that made Dredd was the social and political satire of the book and there is none of that here. I was willing to try to give the book a chance but just never warmed up to it. SKIP IT!
Superman: American Alien #2
DC Comics Writer Max Landis, Artist & Colorist Tommy Lee Edwards, Letterer John Workman
The nice done in one Superman stories continues and I must say that this book is a really good idea. It’s not only great for regular comic readers but a great book for non comic book readers. Landis is smart in not trying to reinvent the wheel here and just delivers a solid Superman story of when he was younger. It’s also allowing him to play in a time that has rarely been covered in the Superman mythology until Loeb and Sale’s Superman: A Man For All Seasons. Sure the stories have a bit of Smallville television series vibe but they are more grounded in the comics continuity. Landis really empresses me with this story because he shows that Clark has not fully matured his powers and is somewhat vulnerable. It shows the hero that he will become and made for a really good read. Edwards was a nice choice for this story and give it a nice gritty visual style that complements the story very nicely. Edwards really handles the range of emotions in the story very well and added to the impact of the story immensely. Is this book worth your time and money? Landis is really bringing a different voice to the Superman mythology and not being a regular comic writer and the done in one aspect of the book is working very well here. Superman is a tough character to write but Landis seems to have found a way to make it work for this book. RECOMMENDED!
Image Comics Writer Mark Millar, Artist Rafael Albuquerque, Colorist Dave McCaig, Letterer Nate Piekos
The second issue of Millar’s take on Superman is interesting. The first issue got off to a good start and with this issue we are starting to uncover some of the mystery of Huck and what he means to the world. I do like Millar’s child like quality to Huck and hopefully that won’t wear on too much as we go on. The story doesn’t go forward too much this issue and hopefully he will not drag things out too much. I liked this issue but didn’t quite love it as much as the first issue. Albuquerque’s art continues to impress and handles all of the story beats with ease. This is a great looking book and he give the story the visual impact it needs. Is this book worth your time and money? While I still like the book I just hope that Millar keeps it on point. He does has a habit of dragging things on to long and the book could lose focus if he is not careful. I think that the third issue is going to be a key issue to the long-term of the book. Still good but keeping an eye on it.
Art Ops #3
Vertigo Comics Writer Shaun Simon, Artists Michael Allred & Matt Brundage, Colorist Laura Allred, Letterer Todd Klein
I have enjoyed the idea of Art Ops but I getting worried with it. The script by Simon seems to be treading a bit of water in this issue. I like the ideas but the story is just not propelling forward as much as I would like at this stage. The story seems to have stalled and we are just not learning enough Reginald at this point and there seems to be telling the same stories from the last two issues. I still think the concept of the book is great I just feel that the story is not living up to its potential. I love Allred’s art but the mixing of Brundage’s art is really not blending well together. It seems like Allred is doing the key poses and face shots and Brundage is doing the rest and it’s just not working for me. I would rather have a fill in issue than tow styles that are clashing into each other. Is this book worth your time and money? I will give this book one more issue and hopefully they will get it back on track. It’s an intriguing story but if Simon can’t keep it focused then it doesn’t make any difference how great the idea is.
Marvel Comics Writer Sam Humphries, Artist Mike Del Mundo, Colorists Del Mundo with Marco D’Alfonso, Letterer Cory Petit
I enjoyed the Weirdworld mini series recently and was hoping that this new spinoff series would be as much fun. While there are some good ideas it seemed like a bad road trip story of Thelma and Louise meets Fear and Loathing Las Vegas. While one would think that might work it’s sadly didn’t in this case. Humphries script never really goes anywhere and he tries to have the big impact moments they just become flat and boring. The story seems to be thrown together and is a bit chaotic. It tries to be hip and fun but just ends up being boring and confusing. The only good thing about the book is Mundo’s gorgeous artwork that tries it’s best to save the lackluster story but there is sadly no hope in that. While Mundo bring the Weirdworld to life exceptionally well I just wish there was a better script for him to work with. Is this book worth your time and money? This book is a sad mess with the story and has none of the charm of the recent mini series. This is a very disappointing book. SKIP IT!
Vertigo Comics Writer Eric Kripke, Artist & Colorist John Higgins, Letterer Clem Robins
I am really loving this book. Kripke has taken a familiar story trope and fashioned a fresh and exciting spin on the sad sack given a new lease on life concept. The story is by no means original but Kripke has found a way to make it a very enjoyable read. The thing that he does very well is the balance of humor and drama that is making the book work so well and that is difficult for some writers but he handles it with ease. A comic script will only work as well as their artist and Kripke is very fortunate to have teamed up with Higgins. He has really brought this book to visual life and really captures the emotions of the characters and their very subtle facial expressions. This is truly a perfect paring of story and art. Is this book worth your time and money? This book is a really fun ride and is the type of story that could go south fast in the wrong hands but Kripke and Higgins have blended all of the elements so well that is making a very enjoyable reading experience. VERY RECOMMENDED!
The Rocketeer At War #1
IDW Writer Marc Guggenheim, Artist Dave Bullock, Colorist Ronda Pattison, Letterer Gilberto Lazcano, Prose Story Lisa Morton
While there will never be another Dave Stevens before he passed he entrusted IDW to continue the legacy of his character The Rocketeer and they have had some of the greatest creators to bring new stories to readers. The previous mini series were both collections of short stories and some full stories series. Guggenheim has set this story in the WWII era of 1942 and has Cliff joining the fight against the Nazis. The first issue gets off to a decent start but his script is a little on the disjointed side. I did like the set up Guggenheim has for the series but the shifting of the story lines might have not been the best choice but by the end of the issue is does start to come together well and is a nice set up to the series. He does get the feel for the characters and he doesn’t change them to fit the story. The big win for the book is Bullock’s artwork for the series. He brings a great visual style to The Rocketeer that is very unique and reminds me of classic animation artwork from the 1940’s that is bold and refreshing. I love his pop art style and brings the story in line with the period it’s set in. As an added bonus there is a nine page prose story by Morton that is a neat story that will continue throughout the series. Is this book worth your time and money? While not off to a perfect start the book does get more right than wrong but nothing more than a few bumps in the road. The set up to the series is good and I’m excited to see where it goes. Visually the Bullock artwork gives this series a bold and vibrant look that is what The Rocketeer is all about. Still worth reading!
Last Gang In Town #1
Vertigo Comics Writer Simon Oliver, Artist Rufus Dayglo, Colorist Giulia Brusco, Letterer Steve Wands
Vertigo has really been trying out a lot of books lately and have been both hits and misses. I really wanted to like the Last Gang In Town but unfortunately Oliver’s script is a bit of a mess. The story has time jumps and it really throws the reader off because your never quite sure what is going on and ends up being very disjointed and in the end a very frustrating reading experience. Sadly there are some really great ideas in the concept of the book and some of the scenes work quite well and just wished that Oliver had pulled it together better. I really loved Daylglo’s artwork so much that I’m willing to give the book another try for that reason alone. The artwork is visually stunning and brings the world to life and he really attempts to bring the book together. It reminds me of classic MAD Magazine comic artists of the 1950’s that you rarely see today. This is one of the best looking comics being published, I just wish that the script was as good as the artwork. Is this book worth your time and money? Oliver has written some good comics like Collider and FBP: FEDERAL BUREAU OF PHYSICS but he really missed the mark on this book in the first issue. It’s a real shame because there are good ideas and the script in not terrible just didn’t connect with me. I will say that if this series fails Vertigo needs to give Dayglo more work because he is a visual force that more people need to see.