Reviews 2/16/10

Posted on February 16, 2010. Filed under: Reviews |

So I’m trying to catch up on my reviews, so that I can do one review update a week, so here’s your second batch of reviews for the week.  You’re lucky, huh?  As always, I pick up my comics at Comics and Paperbacks Plus in Palmyra, PA.  You can find them on Facebook here or here, or you can stop in if you find yourself in Central Pennsylvania. 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:

The Torch #5
The Phantom Stranger #42
Catwoman #83
Siege: Embedded #1-2
Weird Western Tales #71
The Mice Templar: Destiny #3-5
The Boys # 39
Siege #2
Suicide Squad #67
The Question #37
The Great Ten #4
Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #3
Starman #81

Check out what I thought after the jump!

Mice Templay: Destiny #5

Image Comics, $2.99

Bryan J.L. Glass, Michael Avon Oeming, Victor Santos, Veronica Gandini

The Mice Templar series was one that I was very pleased with.  I picked up the entire series for 3 dollars at the last comic convention I went to(god bless 50 cent boxes), and was pleasantly surprised.  The characters had a real depth to them, the art was interesting,  the world was rich, and there was a mythology there that was sure of itself.  The second series does not disappoint.  The art is a little different, but it’s still in the same style as the first book.  The story is a continuation of the first book.  I have no problem with that, and in fact the only thing that I can criticize about the book is that one half of the story seems to be time sensitive and dependent on the other half of the story, but that 2nd half of the story seems to move at a snail’s pace, with sections that say “months pass” or “weeks pass.”  Normally this wouldn’t be the problem, but it kind of robs the 1st half of the story of the inherent immediacy that it has.  Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with this book.

Volstagg’s Beard 4/5

Siege #2

Marvel Comics, $3.99

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

Siege #2 features some really cool moments, along with some really big “WTF” moments.  Thor rallying is one of my favorite parts, and I’ve never been a big fan of Maria Hill, but she does what she needs to in this book, and that’s really all I can say about her.  Ares, no doubt, is the biggest shocker of this issue.  Between his actions on behalf of the Asgardians and what happens later in the issue, he manages to cement his place among my new favorites in the Marvel Universe.

Coipel’s art is just fantastic on this issue, and Bendis’ story pleases just fine.  The pacing of the story seems to be okay thus far, if a little slow.  I’m not too sure how they’re going to get through everything they need to in just 2 more issues, and I’ll be interested to see how it goes.

The only problem I have is the way that the Sentry is used in the issue.  If you have read it, or will read it, you’ll see what I mean, but…it’s a little ridiculous.  That character could be put to so much better use.

Volstagg’s Beard 4/5

Now, I’m a little afraid to say what I just said about the Sentry, just because with his little buddy Cloc monitoring the internet and all global happenings, I thought there might be a chance that he could come for some kind of retaliation…Hold on, what was that sound?

*Erik Lewis of Earth*

Whew.  That was kind of scary. Thank God for Black Lantern rings, or else I wouldn’t be able to finish my reviews today.  Moving on…

Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #3

DC Comics, $2.99

Greg Rucka, Nicola Scott, Jonathon Glapion

Well, I’m not really sure what to say about this issue.  The art is nice, and the cover is pretty cool too, but ultimately the story in Blackest Night: Wonder Woman is too dependent on the core Blackest Night title for the story that it tells, and is ultimately forgettable.  I guess it’s kind of cool that Wonder Woman was able to stop being a Black Lantern because of her love for all things, but that’s also kind of lame, and the only thing that this book succeeds in doing is making Mera not quite as angry, functioning as only Atrocitus has as a Red Lantern thus far.  I’d say if you’re a Wonder Woman fan this would be pretty cool to read, and give it a read if it’s a part of some collection in the future, but otherwise, don’t bother.

Zombie Batroc’s Beard 2/5

Suicide Squad #67

DC Comics, $2.99

Gail Simone, John Ostrander, J. Calafiore

This Blackest Night tie-in seems to have as much to do with Blackest Night as last week’s Dark Avengers did.  Maybe that’s unfair, but it seems a bit unfair to me to lure me into buying this comic with the Blackest Night banner and as one of the “dead titles” and then give me 4 pages that have anything to do with the Blackest Night.  Now, that said, what’s in between the 4 pages that have to deal with zombies is pretty good, but still not enough to make me interested enough to buy Secret Six #17.  Quite frankly, the super villain teams in the DC universe just don’t seem as interesting as, say, The Thunderbolts used to be.

The art does manage to make the characters seem a bit more interesting, but not much more, and certainly not enough to save the issue for me.  This issue gets the same recommendation that Wonder Woman just got: read it if it’s part of a trade somewhere.

Zombie Booster’s Beard 0/5

The Question #37

DC Comics, $2.99

Dennis O’Neil, Greg Rucka, Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz

I’ve always enjoyed the question, even though I only really caught him in big event comics.  I’ve never really read a Question comic before this.  He seems to have an interesting relationship with Aristotle, and Renee Montoya worked and continues to work well in the trenchcoat, hat, and featureless mask.  This story is interesting in that Renee and Shiva manage to figure out how the Black Lanterns work in the span of a few pages, but not much else happens beyond that, aside from the entire cast almost dying a few times.

The art relies on over-elaborate crosshatching patterns that doesn’t so much succeed at creating convincing shadows as it does in making the comic look like it takes place in a nursing home where the residents work out with weights.  This issue is a little better than the last too, but, like the last two, is probably better left for the trades, and doesn’t really make me wonder why The Question was canceled to begin with.

Zombie Superman’s Beard 1/5

The Phantom Stranger #42

DC Comics, $2.99

Peter J. Tomasi, Ardian Syaf, Vincente Cifuentes

This book, in contrast to The Question and others, does make me wonder why it was canceled.  I really enjoyed reading every part of this, from where The Phantom Stranger and Blue Devil fight the Black Lantern Spectre, to the part where the Stranger helps Deadman take his body back.  One nice touch from this issue is that it calls back to the opening at the very end of the book, which is a nice touch.  If anyone from DC is reading, I would just like to let you know that I, for one, would definitely buy a Phantom Stranger book, if it were to continue on in a similar fashion as this.

The art in this book is pretty good, and altogether nothing to complain about, and I don’t see how it could get better either.  This is definitely in the top 2 of the Blackest Night tie-ins that I’ve read.

Zombie Volstagg’s Beard 4/5

Catwoman #83

DC Comics, $2.99

Tony Bedard, Marcos Marz, Fabrizio Fiorentino, Ibraim Roberson

I find I’m really enjoying the characterization and story from Bedard’s Great Ten series, and was kind of looking forward to seeing that kind of thing in this issue, and while I guess it’s a little harder to do in a single issue, this one falls especially flat.  Essentially, it continues possible storylines for Gotham City Sirens, and even creates a new villain for Catwoman, ultimately it falls flat.  The art is not bad, and the comic features some fairly cool moments, specifically in the way the Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn deal with Black Lantern Black Mask(bet you can’t say that 5 times fast), ultimately, for me, the issue just kind of falls flat and seems a bit unnecessary.  By this point in my pile, I’m starting to be a little underwhelmed by the Blackest Night tie-ins.

Zombie Ollie’s Beard 3/5

Weird Western Tales #71

DC Comics, $2.99

Dan Didio, Renato Arlem

Weird Western Tales is an appropriate title for this one.  It’s not mind blowing, not groundbreaking, it’s just…weird.  It kind of seems to me that Dan Didio hasn’t read any of the other Blackest Night titles to see how the Black Lanterns are supposed to work.  It seems to me that long dead DC characters like Jonah Hex, Super-Chief, and Bat Lash would hardly evoke the emotional response that other characters could potentially get from people, and after all, emotions are what the Black Lanterns are after.  Altogether, the story is just plain uninteresting and features flat characters(with the notable exception of the Ray) who fail to capture my interest, even for a few pages.  Even the ending feels anti-climactic.  The only redeeming factor for this book is that it manages to look fantastic, but for me that can only carry it so far.

Zombie Ollie’s Beard 3/5

Starman #81

DC Comics, $2.99

James Robinson, Fernando Dagnino, Bill Sienkiewicz

James Robinson manages to save the Blackest Night tie-ins for me.  This book is easily the best of the Blackest Night titles released in January.  The other writers for those other titles could take a little lesson from him.  He tells a good one-shot story about a man trying to redeem himself and save the city he lives in in the process.  He also shows us why we should care about this guy we’re reading about, and even manages to make you care about the characters he kills off in the process of telling the story.  I may need to read more Starman, so I think that might be the next trade or several that I purchase.  While the art suffers from the same problem that The Question book had, it’s easy to overlook, because the story and character interactions demand so much attention.  All told, this book was well worth the price and the gas I used driving to local comic shops to look for it.

Zombie Odin’s Beard 5/5

Whew.  That was a lot of reviews to do.  I wasn’t sure I was going to make it.  As always, if you want to you can leave me a comment below.  Let me know if I missed a good comic, or if there’s something you think I should take into account here.  Until next time, I believe that all will be well!


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