Comic Reviews 2/2/10

Posted on February 2, 2010. Filed under: Reviews |

So, here we are again. As you know, I purchase my comics from Comics and Paperbacks Plus, in Palmyra. You can find them on Facebook here or here. You can also follow me on Twitter, just to see what I think of my books as I read them! Here’s what I got:

Siege #1
The Unwritten #9
Beasts of Burden #3 – 4
Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #2
The Boys #38
The Great Ten #3
The Amazing Spider-Man #617
X-Factor: Nation X #1
Green Arrow/Black Canary #28
The Power of Shazam! #48
The Marvels Project #5
B.P.R.D.: King of Fear #1
Doom Patrol #4
Outsiders #24
Batman: The Widening Gyre #4
New Avengers Annual #3

Check out what I thought of them, after the jump!

Siege #1

Marvel Comics, $3.99

Brian Michael Bendis, Olivier Coipel, Mark Morales, Laura Martin

I’ve been looking forward to Siege since it was announce, mostly because I’m looking forward to a return to a classic team of Avengers, one which features the three characters that are on the cover of this book.  I was also looking forward to a Marvel book where Tony Stark wasn’t being a massive jerk.  All that said, I went into Siege being a little event-weary.  The creative team on this has made at least the first issue a whole lot of fun.

The setup for the entire premise is a little derivative of Civil War, but that’s actually addressed in the issue itself, and as a plan made by some of the most devious characters in the Marvel Universe, it works.  The book deals with all of the characters you’d expect.  As it takes place in Asgard, Oklahoma, the book is Thor heavy, but checks in with Tony Stark, and even covers Steve Rogers.  I find it a little hard to believe that Steve just hangs out watching the news in his costume, though.  Even that, though has it’s purpose, and serves as a kind of commentary about our society and how every news outlet would respond in this kind of situation.

For the art, I have no complaints.  Coipel makes great use of dramatic moments to give us dramatic panels or full page spreads, and the whole thing is laid out fantastically.

Volstagg’s Beard 4/5

Beasts of Burden #4

Dark Horse, $2.99

Evan Dorkin, Jill Thompson

Dorkin and Thompson’s Beasts of Burden has a wide appeal.  There was a time when I wouldn’t have given a book about talking animal paranormal investigators a second look.  I think this book owes my initial investment to Jill Thompson’s Lil’ Endless stories and drawings.  Those were full of charm and nailed the characters in a simpler fashion.  Though that may have gotten me to pickup the book, it was Dorkin’s fantastic characters and development, not to mention excellent story that got me to keep getting the book.

All that said, this is issue 4 of a 4 issue miniseries, and it falls a little flat at the end.  The ending leaves you waiting for 4 more issues at least, and not in a “I want to read more way,” more in a “this story isn’t finished and it’s the last issue” kind of way.  As a miniseries, you expect some amount of closure on the last page, and this book doesn’t do that.

Ollie’s Beard 3/5

Amazing Spider-Man #617

Marvel Comics, $3.99

Joe Kelly, Max Fiumara, Fabio D’Auria

This book is great.  Just plain great.  I didn’t think I’d enjoy Spider-Man as much as I did when I was a kid, new to comics and new to the character, but this book brings those days back.  From the classic bait-and-switch that it pulls off, to great moments between Spider-Man and Aleksei, to moments in Peter Parker’s personal life, and it even manages to squeeze in a decent love story.  Joe Kelly has so many plates spinning during this book, and spinning seamlessly, that it’s hard to believe I only paid $3.99 for this book.

The only thing I can say even remotely negative about this book is that the art style is not what I usually go for.  That’s not to say it’s bad or anything, it’s just not what I usually like in a book, but in most ways it works for a book.

Volstagg’s Beard 4/5

The Power of Shazam! #48

DC Comics, $2.99

Eric Wallace, Don Kramer, Michael Babinski

The Power of Shazam! #48 is an extension of some things that occur in 52.  Some people might have loved what happend in that series, and bringing back Osiris may work quite well as a Blackest Night tie-in, but for me the issue fell a little flat.  It just seemed like too little, too late.  The story seems like an unnecessary rehashing of a short-lived character.  It also doesn’t seem like there’s any cohesion between the creators of the Blackest Night series as to how Black Lanterns are supposed to act.

The art in this book is nothing really special.  Nothing to complain about, but nothing to marvel at either.

Batroc’s Beard 2/5

The Marvels Project #5

Marvel Comics, $3.99

Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting, Dave Stewart

This is the first issue of The Marvels Project to feature Captain America from start to finish.  While it’s nice to see the old Marvel characters in a new book, this title is lacking something at this point.  It may be because I’m more used to reading Brubaker in bigger chunks and not issue by issue, but there’s no real conflict, no looming threat, other than Nazi Germany and World War II.  Maybe it’s supposed to be like that, but at this point it kind of feels like I’m buying it out of a sense of obligation than that I’m thoroughly enjoying my read.  Hopefully the last 3 issues will deliver something more.

As for the art, it’s about as close to perfect as anything else I’ve read in this particular batch of comics.  Color and shadow are used to great effect, and though the layouts may not be breaking the mold at all, they’re serviceable, and that’s all that I could ask.

Batroc’s Beard 2/5

Batman: The Widening Gyre #4

DC Comics, $2.99

Kevin Smith, Walter Flanagan, Art Thibert

Kevin Smith writes a pretty entertaining Batman story, all things considered.  The Joker on the cover is a little disappointing, as the Joker doesn’t make an appearance, but the story of Baphomet and Batman’s relationship as crime fighters is interesting to follow.  Smith also does something very few other Batman writers attempt: he tries to balance the story between Bruce Wayne’s private life and his night life as the Caped Crusader.  Yes, he may throw some things in that seem to come more from his life than from Batman’s(a Twitter reference, talking about how awesome Batman is as a writer, etc.) but altogether, Smith writes a good story that I want to read.  As with the previous books, it’s nice to see the various other characters from the Batman universe, including in this issue a visit from the Outsiders.

Walt Flanagan’s art is decent in my mind, even if he has taken an internet beating for 1 panel in the entire issue.  Let’s think about that for a second: the man drew 1 panel that any of the internet has anything bad to say about, but there’s an average of 4.5 panels per page.  If only 1 of them is arguably bad that’s not a bad percentage at all!  So I say to Walt: Keep up the good work!  Don’t listen to the internet, we’re at least half degenerates who don’t know what they’re talking about.  You could probably include me in that comment, too.

Ollie’s Beard 3/5

There you go!  Got something to say about anything here?  Got any ideas for books I should pick up, good or bad?  Any graphic novels I should read?  Really, anything to say at all?  Please, leave me a comment below!

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