Comics Reviews 11/24/09

Posted on November 24, 2009. Filed under: Reviews |

Alright, I know it’s been a while since my last post. Christmas time is a busy time of year for everyone, so I know you can appreciate that. A couple of things before we get into it, though. If you’re wondering where I get my comics, I get them from the fine people at Comics and Paperbacks Plus in Palmyra, PA. Also, if you want to know what I thought about any of the comics I don’t have reviewed in full here, be sure to follow me on Twitter, where you can get mini reviews of EVERYTHING I bought and get my first impressions on the books I review here! And now, without further ado, let’s get to the comics! Here’s what I bought:

Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter #1-3
Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #8
Dr. Horrible #1
The Unwritten #7
Flash Rebirth #5
Batman and Robin #6
Hellblazer #261
Amazing Spider-Man #611-612
B.P.R.D. 1947 #5
Dark Avengers #11
Beasts of Burden #1-2
Dark Reign: The List: Amazing Spider-Man #1
JSA vs. Kobra #6
Incredible Hulk #604
The Great Ten #1
Strange #1
Green Arrow/Black Canary #26
Adventure Comics #4

See what I thought after the jump.

The Flash: Rebirth #5

DC Comics, $2.99
Geoff Johns, Ethan Van Sciver

Let me just start by saying that Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver are a match made in heaven. There’s no better writer, in my opinion, to tackle just about any job in comics today, and in fact, I’d love to see Johns get his hands on any of my favorite Marvel characters. Johns is also very good at reboots and resurrections, and one thing that I like a lot about both this book and Green Lantern: Rebirth is that he puts thought into each of the characters in his book and realizes that no two characters would use the same power the same exact way. Ethan Van Sciver’s pencils go great with just about any story that Johns writes, and Flash: Rebirth is no exception. He pays such attention to detail and has a distinct style for past sequences that I love so much.

I’ve always liked the Flash, but since I’m a fairly recent comic fan, I haven’t gotten to read a lot of storied with Barry Allen, unless he was time traveling from some time before he died. I did have a chance, early on, to read Crisis on Infinite Earths, so I fully understand and appreciate the sacrifice he made and the importance of it, but it is nice to see the character return to the overall universe. And with Barry Allen as an established time-traveling hero, the time travel aspect of this book is very interesting, and handled in a unique way.

Overall, this book is a fun read, and will prove to be a good lead in to the conclusion.

Volstagg’s Beard 4/5

Strange #1

Marvel Comics, $3.99
Mark Waid, Emma Rios, Christina Strain

Wow, where to start on this one? There’s so much to say. Well, first, I guess, is the art style. Giving Doctor Strange an updated look is perfectly fine with me, but if I wanted to read a manga, I would read a manga. When I pick up a story with the former Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel universe, I’m expecting something kind of psychedelic with its feet planted in reality, much like the stories of Strange’s past. And while we’re talking about Strange’s past, it seems kind of odd to take a guy who is capable of saving the entire universe single-handedly and have him fight a demon using baseball. There’s so much that could be done with this character that this seems like a missed opportunity. Send him to the Dark Dimension, have him fight Mindless Ones. Put him up against the Dread Dormammu with almost nothing but his wits to get by on. Explore his relationship with Wong and the other characters that supported him in his ongoing series. Have him do almost anything, except playing baseball!

What mystifies me about this book is that Mark Waid is usually a great storyteller. Even with my preexisting bias towards him, though, he’s going to have to work very hard to pull this one out of the hole he’s put it in. Just one piece of advice though: please, no more contrived sports stories!

Superman’s Beard 1/5

The Great Ten #1

DC Comics, $2.99
Tony Bedard, Scott McDaniel, Andy Owens

I got this title on the strength of internet buzz I had heard about it. As with all the other reviews I’ve read, I only have a couple problems with it. First, and largest, is that this seems a bit late. The Great Ten were first introduced in 52, a series published YEARS ago. It just seems to me like this would have been more relevant if pit out in conjunction with that, or at least directly after. The second problem that I have with it is that, with it being set in China, it feels more like an Elseworlds title, and not a core DC universe title. Lastly, I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, but the cover art of this title leads you to expect a certain art style, and the interiors, while not bad by any stretch of the imagination, are just not what I expected.

With all of that said, the story is good enough to get a new reader hooked, and it does a great job of whetting your appetite for more backstory on all of these interesting characters. As a style choice, the use of the side panels to denote the flashback sections of the book are a nice, and fresh, touch to the storytelling. I feel that the Great Ten, as a team, have a very interesting dynamic as well, and one can almost draw parallels to classic Avengers characters. Accomplished Perfect Physician brings a Hawkeye dynamic to oppose August General in Iron’s Captain America figure, and Socialist Red Guardsmen is an Iron Man-like character in the power he brings. Man, each one of these guys has a heck of a name, huh?

This book, specifically with the last page reveal, is a solid setup to what could be a very engaging and entertaining story, which proves to be rich with characterization opportunities for all of the Ten.

Ollie’s Beard 3/5

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