Single Combat 8/12/11

Posted on August 12, 2011. Filed under: Reviews, Single Issues |

By Erik Lewis, Lead Blogger

A day late, but it’s for a good cause, I assure you.  As you all know, every week I go to the comic store to try and let you guys know what comics are good(and bad, for that matter) before you buy.  And as you know, 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:

Amazing Spider-Man #667
War of the Green Lanterns: Aftermath #2
Spider-Island: Cloak and Dagger #1
The Red Wing #2
Fear Itself #5
B.P.R.D.: Hell On Earth: Monsters #2
Hellboy: The Fury #3
Baltimore: The Curse Bells #1
Red Robin #26

And here’s what I thought:

War of the Green Lanterns: Aftermath #2

DC Comics, $3.99

Tony Bedard, Ransom Getty, Andy Smith, Brian Cunningham

Review by Erik Lewis

The War of the Green Lanterns was pretty interesting, first in that it kind of stepped back towards the Green Lanterns as the important Corps in the DC Universe.  It focused on a select few Green Lanterns, being the earth Lanterns, Ganthet, Mogo, and a few others, and it was important because it served as a stepping stone to get to next month’s Green Lantern #1(featuring Green Lantern Sinestro on the cover), it leaves Hal Jordan in limbo, and it’s shaken things up within the Green Lantern Corps itself.  Aftermath adresses all the problems left by the War, but doesn’t really answer any of the questions raised.  How will John Stewart deal with being the one to pull the trigger on Mogo?  What’s going on with Kyle and Soranik Natu?  What does Atrocitus have planned for Krona’s body?  Can Ganthet(or any other Green Lantern, for that matter) trust the other Guardians?  Will the Blue Lanterns be able to continue without a Guardian to look to as a leader?  And that’s just scratching the surface.  War of the Green Lanterns: Aftermath was a short two issue bridge, just a time-killer, really, but it was and interesting read.  I think it might have worked a little bit better as a double-sized one-shot, but all in all, it wasn’t bad.  I’d even say it’s essential reading if you’re looking to pick up the new Green Lantern #1 next month.  The art is impeccable, with the artist capturing the distinctive look of each of the Green Lanterns very well, and not really any hint of a movie influence, which is good.

Ollie’s Beard 3/5




Fear Itself #5

Marvel Comics, $3.99

Matt Fraction, Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, Laura Martin, Tom Brevoort

Review by Erik Lewis

If I could describe Fear Itself(so far) in one word, it would be “WOW.”  Matt Fraction has taken an opportunity with this year’s event, and with that opportunity he has done things that I didn’t even dream of seeing in a comic.  In just a few short issues, he’s regressed a character, destroyed an icon in Marvel Comics, killed one of the founding members of the Marvel Universe, reintroduced one of the most powerful aspects of the Marvel Universe, and told us that the status quo is largely lies.  I find Fear Itself to be the most engaging Marvel event book since House of M(the first event book that I ever bought when it was released).  Matt Fraction succeeds in splitting our attention among the Big Three, showing Thor fighting Hulk/Nul and The Thing/Angrir, Iron Man having his conversation with Odin, and Captain America facing Sin and The Serpent.  I don’t like how the Iron Man part is something that also happened in his own title, but I can understand that it was inserted in the interest of having a self-contained event book, where people can read more about it if they want, but aren’t missing anything if they don’t.  Aside from that, just about every page has a wow moment, or something that made my eyes go wide, and the best part is Immonen’s art give the whole comic such an epic feel.  I think Fear Itself has edged out any other event comic as my favorite of the year, at least so far, and as much as I was looking forward to this issue, it seems that I’m looking forward to the next two even more.  Don’t miss this!

Odin’s Beard 5/5




The Red Wing #2

Image Comics, $3.50

Jonathan Hickman, Nick Pitarra, Rachelle Rosenberg

Review by Erik Lewis

One thing that I like a lot about Jonathan Hickman is that while the topic of time travel tends to pop up in his works somewhat frequently, each of his stories that uses time travel as a device feels different than the others.  The Red Wing does not feel like Fantastic Four, which in turn doesn’t feel like S.H.I.E.L.D.  I spent most of the last review talking about the art, and the art is still pretty fantastic, but I want to talk here about Hickman’s exceptional use of the comic medium.  In the last issue and this issue, there have been page sequences that have caused me to completely disregard the story and just flip back and forth through the pages.  Now granted, there’s no way of knowing, short of seeing the script, how much was Hickman planned and plotted and how much was Pitarra’s innovation, but with the thought that Hickman planned it and Pitarra carried it out, they did so with a vision.  there’s some who might say that bringing me out of the story like that is counter to the goals of a good writer, but I have to disagree.  Sometimes when I read a comic, I can become so engaged in the story that the art kind of fades into the background and occasionally I’ll have to remind myself that there are pictures to look at.  Panels with little or no dialogue will be skipped, all in favor of progressing the story.  That kind of thing doesn’t happen with The Red Wing.  It’s the kind of book where I can get lost in the story without losing sight of the work as a whole.  It’s not often that I find a book that captivates me like The Red Wing does, to the point where I’m a little sad that it’s halfway over.

Volstagg’s Beard 4/5




Amazing Spider-Man #667

Marvel Comics, $3.99

Dan Slott, Humberto Ramos, Carlos Cuevas, Edgar Delgado, Stephen Wacker

Review by Erik Lewis

I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again.  Since he took over, Dan Slott has taken Spider-Man from a character I felt somewhat forced to like to a character that I can’t wait to read every time his book comes out.  Spider-Island is some of Slott’s best work so far, and that’s saying something.  The basic premise plays with the very nature of Spider-Man and shows us what would happen if someone got all of the power of Spider-Man without the sense of great responsibility he has to use those powers for good.  That’s not to say that that’s the only thing that happens, as supporting cast member and member of the NYPD Carlie Cooper gets powers, and she’s demonstrated in the past that she knows about great responsibility, most notably reporting her own father for criminal activity.  Still, it’s not just the interesting dissection of the Spider-Man character that makes this book(and this storyline) worth the read, it’s also the way the story unfolds.  Specifically how, with all the bad guys dressed up(and powered up) like Spider-Man, how can Peter make his teammates trust that he is who he says he is.  Madame Web adds another level to things, and of course the Jackal and his lackeys of the Six Miles Wide gang and the Tarantula and Spider-King all add up to a lot going down in the book, but that’s ok.  Even the majority of the tie-ins look interesting based on the titles and cover images alone.  I said that Fear Itself was my favorite event of the year, but Spider-Island is a very close second to that.  Sorry DC.

Odin’s Beard 5/5




B.P.R.D.: Hell On Earth: Monsters #2

Dark Horse Comics, $3.50

Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, Tyler Crook, Scott Allie

Review by Erik Lewis

It’s interesting, in a title that’s supposedly about the B.P.R.D., we’re treated to a story that’s mostly about Liz Sherman.  Not that I mind, really.  Liz has been largely missing from the Bureau’s activities for a number of mini-series now, so it’s nice to get a chance to catch up with the character, even if her location has you a little disappointed in her to begin with.  In the first installment of this two part series, it’s revealed that Liz has been living in a trailer park since she disappeared from a Bureau raid and has been trying to forget about that part of her life for some time.  She’s thrust right back into it by a group of frog-worshiping hillbillies, however.  Things don’t go as smoothly as one might expect for Liz, although they could go worse if she wasn’t a government trained operative.  It seems that the Mignolaverse seems to be converging on a point, at least the stories that take place in the present.  Hellboy has fought and beaten the Dragon in The Fury, and here Liz has discovered that the frogs are back, and we’re even given information about the fate of Abe Sapien, although I kind of feel like I’m missing part of that story, if I’m being honest.  Taken as a whole, the Mignolaverse is getting very interesting, and I feel like Mignola is going to have to give us something very big and very soon, even if it means the end of the franchise and the characters that he’s given us.  I hope it doesn’t come to that, but honestly, I don’t see much of an alternative, really.

Ollie’s Beard 3/5




Spider-Island: Cloak and Dagger #1

Marvel Comics, $2.99

Nick Spencer, Emma Rios, Javier Rodriguez, Stephen Wacker

Review by Erik Lewis

Even though it only feels loosely related to the Spider-Island story, this tie-in miniseries has a strong start, with Cloak and Dagger getting evicted from their church base of operations and Cloak setting them up as a sort of non-profit Heroes for Hire organization.  Cloak and Dagger are one of my favorite, yet underrated and underused superhero duos, and I feel almost as if something is missing from this portrayal of them.  Tyrone and Tandy seem to have drifted apart, and it’s almost painful to read.  Although the story of the first issue seems to focus more on Tandy than on Tyrone or the two of them together, I still get this feeling that either something’s not right, or that there’s something missing since the last time we saw these two in their own title(was that during Dark Reign?  I think it might have been…), but I’m sure that Spencer will see fit to fill us in by the end, as well as fulfill his promise to take Mr. Negative out of the equation completely.  I feel like Marvel walks a fine line with their miniseries events, where the tie-ins are either too numerous and connected to the main story(like Shadowland), or too few and loosely connected to the story(Chaos War), and I want to see Spider-Island succeed in bringing out tie-ins that are just connected enough that it doesn’t feel like I’m reading a tie-in that should have taken place in the main book, but not with so many tie-ins that I don’t feel like getting them all.  As far as tie-ins go, though, this one seems to be on the right track, and I don’t think any of you will be disappointed if you pick it up.

Ollie’s Beard 3/5





And that’s it for this week!  Be sure to check back in next week for more reviews, and feel free to join in on the discussion!  Post a comment below, or check in on Twitter, you’re always welcome.

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2 Responses to “Single Combat 8/12/11”

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Thanks for ther Kind words about Issue 2 of The Red Wing!

No problem! Way to make a good comic!


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