Comic Reviews 6/15/10

Posted on June 15, 2010. Filed under: Reviews |

It’s been a long weekend for me, cons will do that.  Luckily, I’m very devoted to getting my reviews done, so I slaved over my stack of comics all day just to get them read!  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:

Captain America #606
Daredevil #57
Heralds #2
Heroic Age: Prince of Power #2
Millar & McNiven’s Nemesis #2
S.H.I.E.L.D. #2
Spider-Man: Fever #3
The Unwritten #14
Batman #700
Human Target #5
Jonah Hex #56
Outsiders #30

Check out what I thought after the jump!

Batman #700

DC Comics, $4.99

Grant Morrison, Tony Daniel, David Finch, Andy Kubert, Frank Quitely

A milestone Batman comic that I’ve been looking forward to for at least the last 6 months.  Great in that it features 3(or more) distinct stories with art duties split equally.  Though the stories are pretty distinct, they all wrap around to become basically the same story, and the back of the book features call backs to future Batmen from past stories, so that’s cool.  The book also features a pinup gallery, showcasing some great artistic talent.  As pointed out by Marvel’s Tom Brevoort over Twitter recently, there’s a big difference between Marvel and DC milestone issues.  Marvel usually gives you a lot more in the issue, but the problem is unless it’s a key title like Spider-Man what you often get is reprints, or character histories, something that I, as a seasoned comic reader will skip over.  DC may offer a smaller book, but the content is much more what I’m looking for, in that it offers an engaging story that goes from cover to cover.  Also, in the course of reading this issue, I realized what it is about Grant Morrison’s writing that makes him hit or miss for me; the guy either refuses to or just doesn’t know how to use exposition.  The whole first 3rd of the story I had a hard time following because I was thrust into it without any setup, without knowing what was going on, why the characters were where they were, and so on.  Things that could have been corrected with a paragraph or two in a caption box.  Luckily, this particular issue provides enough context clues to catch the reader up on the story, so it’s not really a problem, but it’s definitely something I’ll be looking for in his upcoming books.

Volstagg’s Beard 4/5

S.H.I.E.L.D. #2

Marvel Comics, $2.99

Jonathan Hickman, Dustin Weaver, Christina Strain

S.H.I.E.L.D. is a little bit all over the place.  I can recognize that it’s a good story with good intentions, but it could honestly be executed a little better.  There are parts where the layout is less than stellar, and even bizarre page choices like the page of script that appears in this issue.  If I was supposed to be able to pick up on why that was important from story cues, I must have missed it.  Hickman manages to bring in some awesome elements, like da Vinci and Nostradamus, even promising cool things like Galactus and the Eternals, as well as The Brood.  It’s kind of a secret history of the Marvel Universe, which is good, but the book itself seems to be complex for the sake of complexity, which is not so good.  Still, that aside, I’m enjoying what I’ve read so far, and the art is absolutely gorgeous, so I’d say you can’t go wrong with this book.

Ollie’s Beard 3/5

Prince of Power #2

Marvel Comics, $3.99

Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Reilly Brown, Terry Pallot

Pak and Van Lente continue their awesome story of Amadeus Cho’s search for the apparently-not-dead Hercules, which is really a lot of fun.  As always, the sound effects are my favorite part, this issue’s best being, in my opinion, “KRRROZZZOVERR.”  From cover to cover, this book delivers snappy, fun dialog telling a clever and fairly fast-paced story, and art that’s just beyond compare and beautiful.  If you haven’t been reading Pak and Van Lente’s work, then you’ve been doing yourself a disservice.  Go out and buy this now, you won’t regret it.  You also wouldn’t regret picking up some Herc trades or scouring your comic shop’s back issues for more from this writing duo.  Prince of Power is officially my pick for Best Book of the Week!

Odin’s Beard 5/5

Millar & McNiven’s Nemesis #2

Marvel/Icon, $2.99

Mark Millar, Steve McNiven

An interesting thing happened at the comic convention this weekend.  A booth I walked past was selling the first issue of this series for a fairly high price.  I don’t remember what it was, but suffice it to say it was several times the original cover price.  I thought to myself “Wow, I’d like to meet the person who would pay that for such a terrible book.”  Just as I was finishing that thought, another con-goer looked at it and said “Wow, they’re charging that much?  It was so bad, I gave that issue away for free…”  Which leads me to believe that the general consensus is that the over-the-top violence for violence’s sake in the first issue, and the cliched story devices present in the second issue are not convincing readers to think this book is good.  My prediction: the first issue sold well on the buzz from Kick Ass, and the issues past the second will see a steady decrease towards the end.

Superman’s Beard, 1/5

Outsiders #30

DC Comics, $2.99

Dan Didio, Philip Tan, Jonathan Glapion

I love how Dan Didio is able to tell a story that both references his work from the Blackest Night tie-ins, and fits in the timeline with the War of the Supermen, two recent big events in the DC universe, and somehow manages to have this book do nothing and make no difference to either story.  Sure, there’s a fight scene, but it’s completely unnecessary, and doesn’t advance the plot or character at all, and there’s a scene where the team has to deal with being fired on by missiles, but there’s no tension as you don’t know why they’re being fired on, and honestly, there’s no reason to care.  There’s pointless destruction on Black Lightning’s part, and a lot of grousing from Metamorpho about working with his old boss.  This book gives me so little to care about that I’m definitely dropping it next time it comes out.

Batroc’s Beard 2/5

Jonah Hex #56

DC Comics, $2.99

Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Phil Winslade, C.P. Smith

DC did something right with this book.  Coming out just before the movie, this book, priced reasonably at $2.99, provides a great starting point for anyone who’s excited for the movie or who just saw the movie and wants to know more about the character.  It features a great first feature that’s pretty standard Hex fair, showcasing who the character is, what he stands for, and what he’s capable of.  The second story gives a good look at the character’s back story, including some things I didn’t know, like how he got his scars.  Lastly, for an even bigger connection to the movie, the book features a transcript of a conversation between Palmiotti, Gray, and Jonah Hex’s director Jimmy Hayward, which is pretty cool.  Way to go with this one, DC.  If this doesn’t get new readers, I don’t know what will.

Volstagg’s Beard 4/5

And that’ll do it for this week.  I’m going to be launching a few new features on the site this week, so keep your eyes peeled throughout the week, and as always, feel free to let me know what you think about anything!  Until next time!

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2 Responses to “Comic Reviews 6/15/10”

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“…the back of the book features call backs to future Batmen from past stories…”
That sentence blew my mind.

Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey.

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