Comics Reviews 3/16/10

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

So, another week, another stack of comics.  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 Mystic Hands of Doctor Strange #1
Breaking Into Comics the Marvel Way #1
Human Target #2
Justice League: Rise and Fall Special #1
Hulk: Let the Battle Begin #1
Amazing Spider-Man #624
Batman and Robin #10
Batman: The Widening Gyre #5
B.P.R.D.: King of Fear #3
The Unwritten #11
Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers Unleashed #1
Prelude to Deadpool Corps #2

What did I think?  Only time will tell…

Time’s up.

Batman and Robin #10

DC Comics, $2.99

Grant Morrison, Andy Clarke, Scott Hanna

Leading directly from the events of the previous arc and leading directly into the Return of Bruce Wayne, this comic and story arc have fantastic potential.  It seems like all of the “secrets” uncovered by Dick, Damian, and Alfred are a little far-fetched, but could be reasonable.  More interesting, is Damian’s part in the book, which is pretty much shown out of context on the cover.  Grant Morrison, as a writer, is either hit or miss for me, there’s no middle ground.  Much of Final Crisis and Batman R.I.P. were outside of my grasp, and it was probably because I was out of the loop for much of his run and didn’t pick up the Final Crisis tie-ins, but when he chooses to tell a cohesive story, he is peerless.  Andy Clarke’s art is fantastic as well, being similar to some of the other artists to be a natural on the book, but different enough to give this story a different taste and feel.

Volstagg’s Beard 4/5

Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers Unleashed #1

Marvel Comics, $2.99

Chris Eliopoulos, Ig Guara. Chris Sotomayor

Leading directly from the events of the Frog Thor story from Tails of the Pet Avengers #1, the story told in this one kind of answers some questions I had about the Pet Avengers, outside of an anthology setting.  It also works great as a follow up to the first question one would ask when reading about Frog Thor’s choice to leave the frogs of Central Park behind, that question being “What’s Frog Thor doing?”  This series aims to give you an answer, guaranteed, over the next four issues.  I like the team dynamic they have here, and Hairball and Ms. Lion share a great sequence at the beginning.  This is what comics should be, fun!

Volstagg’s Beard 4/5

Hulk: Let the Battle Begin #1

Marvel Comics, $3.99

Jesse Blaze Snider, Steve Kurth, Andrew Hennessy

I kinda got tricked into this one.  Even though it has no Fall of the Hulks or World War Hulks branding on it, I thought it might have something to do with one of those story lines.  Luckily, even though it had nothing to do with either, it still presented a fairly decent story that’s more about the man who takes over when the monster’s done his thing.  While it explores the Banner side of the equation adequately, though, it does feature some predictable story elements, and the Hulk side of the story really doesn’t make too much sense.  He starts off fighting the Wrecking Crew, who you can see on the cover, then, all of a sudden and with no explanation, he’s fighting Thor.  Of course, as in just about all Hulk stories, General Ross shows up, but those events are kind of glossed over.  I will say, for $3.99, you get your money’s worth, as the issue comes with a back-up story as well.  The back-up story may even be better than the main story.  I have no complaints about the art, but I also have nothing really complimentary to say either, it’s mediocre, but it gets the job done.

Ollie’s Beard 3/5

Justice League: Rise and Fall Special #1

DC Comics, $3.99

J.T. Krul, Mike Mayhew, Diogenes Neves, Fabrizio Fiorentino

Speaking of Ollie’s beard, everyone’s favorite Emerald Archer takes center stage in this one.  Just what I’ve always wanted, more Green Arrow related comics.  The problem with this one, though, is that it’s not very good.  Now, that’s not to say it’s a complete waste of ink and paper, the art is really good.  Spectacular, even.  All of the characters look smooth, they look the way they should.  By far, though, the art is the best part of this book.  I get that Ollie is more of a hunter than a superhero, and it always seemed a bit odd that he was one of the only DC characters to use a potentially lethal weapon to less than lethal purpose, but still, Ollie has never shown interest in killing before, so the shot you see on the cover, him killing Prometheus, seems a little out of character for my tastes.  I’m willing to give the Fall of Green Arrow and the Rise of Arsenal storylines the benefit of the doubt, but if they’re anything like this, I’m not going to like them.

Batroc’s Beard 2/5

The Mystic Hands of Doctor Strange #1

Marvel Comics, $3.99

Kieron Gillen, Frazer Irving, Peter Milligan, Ted McKeever, Mike Carey, Marcos Martin

I’m a sucker for Doctor Strange.  I think I’m one of the few people who would pick up a Strange series regularly, which is probably why he doesn’t have one now.  As you can see form the cover, though this issue is presented all in black and white.  I saw that and was immediately disappointed, not because good comics can’t be black and white, but because the world of Doctor Strange benefits greatly from the use of color.  Color can be used to great effect to display the unimaginable realms and magics that the good Doctor visits and uses.  That said, though, this issue was FANTASTIC.  The two former Hellblazer writers certainly know what they’re doing with a magical person, so that comes as no surprise from them, but the other two stories were just as interesting and engaging, and the art on all four stories(even though the art on the 4th one was very limited) makes great use of the black and white coloring.  Altogether, you can’t go wrong with this collection of shorts.

Volstagg’s Beard 4/5

Breaking Into Comics The Marvel Way #1

Marvel Comics, $3.99

Marc Guggenheim, Damion Hendricks, Chris Yost, Paul Davidson, Stewart Moore, Joe Suitor, Mike Benson, Michele Bertilorenzi, Kathryn Immonen, Serena Ficca, Brian Michael Bendis, Christian Nauck, Terry Austin

I enjoy a collection of talented new artists as much as the next guy, and each of the stories in this book were well written and mostly well illustrated, but as much fun as the stories are to read, the title offers fairly little advice for those looking to make a career in the comics industry, beyond a hearty “good luck,” and even then, it’s only intended for artists, and not writers, which I found particularly disappointing.  So, all that said, if you’re looking for real advice on how to get into comics, look elsewhere, but if you’re looking for a fun read featuring artists you haven’t seen before, pick this up.

Ollie’s Beard 3/5

And that’s all for this week.  Come back next week for more reviews!

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