Reviews 5/25: The Heroic Age is here!

Posted on May 25, 2010. Filed under: Reviews |

Well, got a little delayed today, but I’m still here, ready to talk about comics, so let’s get right down to the reviews!  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:

Age of Heroes #1
Avengers #1
Enter the Heroic Age #1
Girl Comics #2
Rescue #1
Azrael #8
Brightest Day #2
DC Universe Legacies #1
The Spirit #2
Zatanna #1
Hellblazer #267

And check out what I thought after the jump:

DC Universe Legacies #1

DC Comics, $3.99

Len Wein, Andy Kubert, Joe Kubert, J.G. Jones, Scott Kolins

DC Universe Legacies has a similar premise to The Marvels Project(at least in the first issue), in that it looks back on the DC Universe continuity from the beginning, starting with The Sandman, The Crimson Avenger, and the Atom Smasher.  The main story is different than The Marvels Project, in that it’s told from the perspective of an outsider and I think that’s a better take on it as it gives you the sense of what it would be like to be living in an era where masked heroes are just starting to come into prominence.  That it’s told from a young point of view also lends an innocence to it, and that’s also refreshing.  This is all without even mentioning the backup story featuring Doctor Fate and The Spectre, which was also a lot of fun to read, especially with the skepticism the main character brings as a reporter.  As for the art, it’s always nice to see the Kuberts working on a project, and J.G. Jones is one of my personal favorite artists, so I have nothing bad to say about the art.  This is a good purchase for any fans of the JSA or the golden age of comics in general.

Volstagg’s Beard 4/5

The Spirit #2

DC Comics, $3.99

Mark Schultz, Moritat

Mark Schultz is doing a great job here with bringing the Spirit to life.  The story is filled with intrigue, moments where you root for the Spirit, and moments where you just want to tell him exactly what he’s doing wrong.  The moments where he does screw up, though, go to show that he’s far from perfect and his vulnerabilities make it much easier to sympathize with his character, not to mention making you cheer when he pulls off an impossible escape or manages to turn the tables on whoever he’s dealing with.  Unlike the last issue, the black and white backup story is much easier to follow, with clearly depicted action, and may even be a better story than the main feature.  As what’s effectively a new imprint, this is definitely my favorite of the First Wave series of books that I’ve read.

Ollie’s Beard 3/5

Atomic Robo v.4 #3

Red 5 Comics, $3.50

Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener, Ronda Pattison, Jeff Powell

I think I’ve talked about just about every issue of Atomic Robo that’s come out since I started this blog.  Look, it’s plain and simple, this is one of the best books you can find in your comic store these days.  In this particular issue, Robo has a run in with his arch-nemesis, Dr. Dinosaur, who was first introduced in the hilarious Free Comic Book Day issue from last year.  This year’s appearance of the good Doctor is no less hilarious, with Robo trying, to no avail, to explain why his plans will not work, only to be met with even more ludicrous explanations.  The back and forth is something I can’t even begin to get behind from a creator’s standpoint, but somehow Clevinger manages to do it without making it feel forced or contrived.  The entire issue isn’t just talking, oh no.  In fact, it closes as only a Robo comic can, with some truly cartoonish action that’s as ridiculous as it is a joy to read.  As always, Wegener’s art is perfectly suited to the task of telling this insane story, and he manages, somehow, to pull off making you understand exactly where a talking Velociraptor is coming from with hand gestures and a fully emotive face.  To shorten all this a little bit, I’m going to stop praising Robo when it stops being fantastic, which I hope never happens.

Odin’s Beard 5/5

Age of Heroes #1

Marvel Comics, $3.99

Kurt Busiek, Marko Djurdjevic, Jelena Djurdjevic, Rick Remender, Chris Samnee, Matthew Wilson, Paul Cornell, Leonard Kirk, Paul Mounts, Dan Slott, Ty Templeton, Jorge Maese

I read a few anthologies this week, but this was probably my favorite, based solely on the strength of Busiek’s Jameson story, and Slott’s Spider-Man story.  Now that’s not to say the Doctor Voodoo or Captain Britain stories are bad, because they aren’t, it’s just that I don’t really have enough of an attachment to those characters to really get involved in those stories.  Busiek’s Jameson story, to start out with, shows how JJJ is a competent mayor, which is something that Amazing Spider-Man never really touches on, and is kind of a shame.  At the same time, it shows that JJJ is a ruthless politician who will attempt to use anything to his advantage, much like we’ve come to expect from JJJ.  Top all of that off with amazing art, and you have a story that can’t miss, no matter your feelings on Jameson.  Slott’s Spider-Man story, while incredibly short, is still noteworthy as a common occurrence in Spidey’s life, only used kind of as a punchline.  In short, it just works.  I can’t wait to see what other creators and characters are in the next issue of this.

Volstagg’s Beard 4/5

Rescue #1

Marvel Comics, $3.99

Kelly Sue DeConnick, Andrea Mutti, Jose Villarrubia

Pepper Potts and the Rescue armor were one of the parts I found most interesting about the first few arcs of the latest instance of the ongoing Iron Man title.  That said, it was nice to see Pepper back in the armor, even if it was only for a one-shot.  Now, without getting too deep into it, I have to say that I’m a little confused about when this story takes place in Marvel continuity, as Pepper is racing towards Broxton, but I thought that she had given up the Rescue armor long before Siege occured.  Enough about that, though.  The story is a pretty good one for Pepper, who rarely gets the spotlight, and for someone like me who knows Iron Man and his supporting characters, featured some surprises.  The art is fitting, if not the best I’ve seen this week.  I’d say if you read the first few story arcs of Invincible Iron, or if you want to read a story with a strong female protagonist, I would highly recommend this book.

Ollie’s Beard, 3/5

Avengers #1

Marvel Comics, #3.99

Brian Michael Bendis, John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson, Dean White

Ahh, Avengers #1.  I’ve been looking forward to this book since Marvel first announced Siege.  Let me start of by saying that Bendis does some good things, some things that I really like in this book.  The 2 page spread early on showing the various heroes’ reactions to Steve’s request to join the Avengers?  Fantastic!  The use of Kang as the initial threat?  Classic!  Heck, even the roster of the core Avengers team is something you can’t go wrong with, except Spider-Woman and maybe Wolverine.  All of that said, I have to get to the things I don’t like.  First off, the fact that the plot seems lifted pretty much directly from Back to the Future 2.  I’m willing to forgive that as a coincidence, honestly I am.  Next, I know Bendis is known for his dialogue, but I think the amount is this book is a little too much.  There are sections of exposition for the sole purpose of explaining things that happened earlier in this comic, and a lot of parts that are just plain too wordy.  Less is more, sometimes.  My last two complaints with the book are the use of the Next Avengers team, specifically with no explanation of who they are, and Romita’s art.  I’m probably not going to earn any fans with that last one, as I know lots of people love John Romita Jr., but I’m not one of them.  It’s something about the way that he draws faces that gets to me, and also something about his people in general.  I have a hard time telling them apart for the most part.  This book gets a lot of goodwill from me for the name alone, though, or else I might call it the worst of the week.  I’m really hoping issue 2 is much better than this.

Batroc’s Beard 2/5

And that’ll do it for this week!  Check back again next week, when I’ll have another group of books to review.  In the meantime, drop a note in the comments if you have anything to say about these books, or if you want to recommend something you think I should be reading!

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One Response to “Reviews 5/25: The Heroic Age is here!”

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Really great read! Truely.

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