You may have noticed that last week I had intended to review new comic books from 12/16 along with 12/23 releases. Well between family coming into town, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and a last-minute surge of work at my 9 to 5 job led to not being able to get to the 12/16 books and them I was out-of-town visiting family over the Christmas Holiday things didn’t go as planned. So we are going to play a little catch up both today and tomorrow with the last two weeks of books to get back on track. So let’s get started .
Batman ’66 #30
DC Comics Writer Lee Allred, Artist Michael Allred, Colorist Laura Allred, Letterer Wes Abbott
Sadly all good things must come to an end and with issue #30 being the last issue of this ongoing title that celebrated and created all new stories based on the 1966 Batman television series and it really goes out with a bang. Series cover artist Michael Allred joined by his brother Lee Allred have created one of the best issues and a very fitting ending to the series. If you are a fan of the television series then you are going to get the biggest kick out of this book. The story revolves around the opening animated title sequence and Lee has created the “story” that fills in all of the gaps that make up the opening. There is nearly every villain from the shows runs. Lee and Michael have simply crafted a wonderful story of the opening but have in a single issue created one of the best single Batman stories in years. Not only is it a love letter to the show but packed it with both nostalgia and love from fans of the series. Lee’s script captures all of the fun camp of the show and weaves a story that is both solid and very well told. It’s no secret of Michael’s love of the television series and has drawn every cover of this series and is only fitting that he deliver the full artwork on the final issue. His art style is so perfectly suited for this book and you can see the extra time that he put into this issues detail to get the book simply perfect. There is number of DC Universe easter eggs in the story that really make this issue that much more special. Is this book worth your time and money? Not only has this series been a real joy to read rarely does a comic from the big two go out in such wonderful style as this one does. Not only is the issue a labor of love from Lee and Michael but it a great love letter to the fans of this comic. From the beautiful cover to the last panel I had a smile on my face the whole time I was reading this book. If ever a book gave you the warm fuzzies this is the one. This book is simply perfect This is one of the finest books of the year and gets my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!
Batman ’66 Meets The Man From U.N.C.L.E. #1
DC Comics Writer Jeff Parker, Penciller David Hahn, Inker Karl Kesel, Colorist Madpencil, Letterer Wes Abbott
With the ending of the regular Batman ’66 book and the huge success of Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet DC has taken another Warner Bros. property from the 1960’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E. in this new mini series. Veteran Batman ’66 writer Parker get the series off to a good start but the first issue is nearly all exposition. I can really blame him because there are so few comic book reader (let alone the general public) that are familiar with The Man From U.N.C.L.E. original television series and thankfully forgets the recent embarrassment theatrical remake of the great show. He sets up the Batman side of the story very quickly and wisely spends a little more time setting up Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin side of the story to get the reader up to speed and sets up the story for the series. Hahn and Kesel do a nice job on capturing the actor from their respective shows in the artwork but there are a number of times where the backgrounds are pretty sparse leave the colorist to try to cover it up. Not a fatal flaw in the art just a little disappointing on that end. They do however handle the action scenes very nicely and are able to separate the two shows styles but blend them together well at the same time. Is this book worth your time and money. The good news is that if you are not familiar with The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Parker has done a nice job of getting readers up to speed on the characters and sets up a fun little story for this mini series. While I enjoyed the first issue the key is going to be the second issue of the book. With all of the exposition out-of-the-way the book should hit the ground running with the next issue. The art has a few minor issue but nothing fatal and is nice looking overall. If you’re a fan of Batman ’66 then you are going to get a kick out of this book just be prepared that this issue is a set up issue and you will be fine.
Boom! Studios Writer Grant Morrison, Artist & Colorist Dan Mora, Letterer Ed Dukeshire
Klaus got off to a solid start with the first issue of the book and Morrison has crafted a nice new angle on the Santa mythology. The second issue does a great job of building on the story from the first issue and does a great job of moving the story forward. Morrison has a great knack for taking established stories and myths and giving them a fresh spin and yet never tries to reinvent them just tell a fresh story with all of the things that made the character great. In the case of Klaus it’s the back story of the village that sets the stage for Klaus to become the spirit of the holiday that we all know and love. I love all of the little easter eggs that are spread throughout the story by Morrison that really add a great touch while you are reading the book. Mora’s artwork is simply beautiful and brings this book to life. Very few artist could capture all of the story elements of both subtle dramatic moments to the action scenes that keep the flow of the story visually rich. Is this book worth your time and money? Morrison has done it again with a fresh take on the Santa origin but keeps what makes the key elements of the mythology and all that we love in-tacked. This is a wonderful series and I can not wait to see where they take the story. VERY RECOMMENDED!
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #2
Marvel Comics Writers Brandon Montclare & Amy Reeder, Artist Natacha Bustos, Colorist Tamra Bonvillain, Letterer Travis Lanham
I like the first issue of this book I wasn’t entirely sold on it but thankfully the second issue does a nice job of building on the first issue and continues to set up the first story arc. Montclare and Reeder do a nice job of mixing story elements of the original Jack Kirby series but bring it into the modern world. Where the book really shines is Lunella and the charm of her character. That is the element that I find is working well in the series favor. While I still have a few reservations on the book that are mostly centered around the pacing of the story but so far they are building up thing fairly well. The story is a slow burn one and that could end up either good or bad. They had some trouble with this in their creator owned book Rocket Girl. This book is working out a bit better so far. Bustos’s has a simple and clean style that fits the charm of the book. Where she really excels with the art is the scene toward the end of the issue where Lunella tells Devil to stay and he tries to hide himself and it’s done with nearly no dialog and she really nails the feel of the book with her artwork. Is this book worth your time and money? The first story arc is a slow burn but is heading in the right direction. The thing that I do like about this book is that it’s a good all ages book that is sadly few and far between in the big two today. With a good story and nice art this book is shaping up to be a solid book for Marvel.
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #2
DC Comics Story Frank Miller & Brian Azzarello, Penciller Andy Kubert, Inker Klaus Janson, Colorist Brad Anderson, Letterer Clem Robins, Wonder Woman mini comic Writers Miller and Azzarello, Artist Eduardo Risso, Colorist Trish Mulvhill, Letter Robbins
The second issue of this third act in the Miller Dark Knight Universe is starting to take focus and is becoming a Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman story. From a writing standpoint it’s becoming clear that Azzarello is handling the scripting from plots from Miller. While some might dismiss this book as not a real Miller Dark Knight I am enjoying other talent playing in the universe with the toys that Miller created. Another element that is nice is that they are venturing out from just the Batman elements and giving the book a more “holy trinity” feel that I am liking. While the story has not fully come into focus and is taking a more slow burn approach to the story may throw some impatient reader off. When you have an eight issue story you want to not show all of your cards too early. Kubert and Janson’s artwork is the real win here. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t love to see Miller drawing the book but they are making this book their own but keeping the overall feel of Miller’s universe. Kubert is a great draftsman and brings a great freshness to the story here. He handles both the dramatic and the action with such ease and a great visual flair. The mini comic continues to tell story elements that give back story to the main story without interrupting the focus and the flow of the main story but hints at elements that affect the main story. Risso handles the artwork on this one and is a mix of his own and paying homage to Miller’s influence. It’s a nice side story that might reveal some big plot elements. Is this book worth your time and money? With a huge book based on seminal work is always going to be judged by the past but in this case I am finding that so far the book is finding its own voice and setting up an interesting story. While there is still ways to go this second issue is setting up some very interesting ideas that hopefully lead to a great story. So far so good.
Vertigo Comics Writer Holly Black, Artist Lee Garbett, Colorist Antonio Fabela, Letter Todd Klein
This new series that gets a head start on the television adaptation based on the same character (unlike DC that dropped the ball on having a Supergirl comic) is sadly off to a rocky start. The story by Black has two main issues, the first being that you feel as if you were dropped into the middle of an ongoing story. The second being that the story is really unfocused and disjointed and is a real slog to read. Holly does not seem to grasp the subtle textures when Neil Gaiman created him and she tries to turn him into a bit of a superhero that is a real head scratcher. The other gripe that I have with the book is that she doesn’t do a very good job of introducing the character to a whole new audience. Fans who know Lucifer are not going to like what she has done to him and new readers are going to be lost in a story that really goes nowhere fast. On the plus side of the book Garbett’s artwork is nice and while it’s not flashy it does a nice job of trying to visualize the lackluster script. Is this book worth your time and money? While not the worst book I have read recently it’s more sadly disappointing. Lucifer is a great character that this book is nowhere near what it could and should be. The problem is that it seems that Black has no idea where she is going with the book and with a mess of a first issue I doubt most readers will stick around for more, I sure won’t. SKIP IT!
Aftershock Comics, Writers Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti, Artist Rafael De Latorre, Colorist Marcelo Maiolo, Letterer John J. Hill
While I love a lot of the books that Conner and Palmiotti have done Superzero doesn’t quite gel in this first issue. The good news is that there are some good elements that they have laid out but the big problem is the tone of the book. Your never quite sure what to thing while you are reading it. At times it’s a straight superhero story and at times there it’s a nice humor book. The other problem is that it never quite takes off and has some all too familiar story tropes. While the book is not a mess but I never really quite cared about Dru. As a reader you need to be invested in the story and the characters and sadly this is where the book fails. While I liked Latorre’s artwork I’m not quite sure his style worked on the humorous parts of the story well. When it came to the straight superhero stuff he really nailed it but the more subtle parts were just so-so. Is this book worth your time and money? I’m willing to give the book a second issue in the hopes that they tone of the book can find itself otherwise if it can’t then that will be it for me. Not bad just disappointing.