Saturday, January 28, 2012

Reviews for Alpha Flight #8, Aquaman #5, Secret Avengers #21.1 and more!

It was a small week (for me at least). It was a fun week, with one book ending it's run and another getting a new writer.  Let's get started.

Marvel Comics
Alpha Flight #8:  Another book by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente is going by the wayside.  Alpha Flight goes out with a bang and hopefully someone will come back to the characters.

Pak and Van Lente give the book a nice ending.  Almost every thread in the story is completed, but given the opportunity, they could have done a lot with these characters.  I wasn't the biggest fan of the whole "Unity is space aliens" twist, but #8 delivers a good ending.  Every character is given a moment to shine, considering we don't know when we will be seeing these characters again.  The duo use Wolverine well, making sure that he doesn't take over the book.  It's a great example of having a big character bring in readers, but still focus on what the book is all about.  Hopefully Pak and Van Lente can bring these characters back in one of their other books.  Or maybe a miniseries with the upcoming Avengers vs X-Men event.

Dale Eaglesham continues to deliver some of his best work.  Action looks great, and the characters have a lot of expression in their face.  The final page with the whole team on them will be an iconic image for fans of the team for years to come.

Alpha Flight #8 gets 4/5.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Reviews for Invincible Iron Man #512, Morning Glories #15, Superior #7 and more!

It was another great week to be a comic fan.  It's a week where we have books like Batman #5, which is already a strong contender for single issue of the year for me.  But the rest of the books were solid all around.

Marvel Comics
Avenging Spider-Man #3:  At the end of it's first arc, Avenging Spider-Man looks to be a title to watch for plain old fun.  Oh, and fantastic characterizations for Spider-Man.

Zeb Wells wrote one of the best arcs during the Brand New Day era, Shed.  With the end of this arc, he keeps writing Spider-Man pitch perfect.  I love Dan Slott, but Zeb Wells is the best Spider-Man writer at Marvel.  He balances the humor and drama, blending the two great.  There are a few panels in this book I'll show to anyone to show why Spider-Man is such an enduring character.  Wells also adds some great moments for the Red Hulk and J. Jonah Jameson.  Mole Man has been left in a new, more menacing, role after this arc.  Very excited to see what Mark Waid does with this in Daredevil.  The issue does end in an abrupt way, even if it's hysterical.  It's packaged a little to nice.  But when the rest of the issue is fantastic, who cares.

Joe Madureira pencils his best issue of the arc.  The "not using inks" choice isn't as blatant as previous issues, and looks better this issue.  Having Spider-Man be lankier is a great choice that some pencilers seem to always forget.  Spider-Man has always been thin as a rail.  The spinning spike of that blue rock pops off the screen.  I'm going to miss Mad in the next few issues (especially with Greg Land penciling the next issue).

Avenging Spider-Man #3 gets 4/5.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Is Spider-Man the New All-American Hero?

In Grant Morrison's recent reboot of Action Comics, he changed Clark Kent slightly.  After a few issues of seeing Clark Kent in his daily life, it appeared more and more that Clark Kent is acting more like our favorite Web Slinger.......Spider-Man.

Clark Kent and Peter Parker have always had a few similarities.  They work at newspapers and wear glasses for part of their careers.  But usually that's where it ends.  Here, in the nuDC world, Clark Kent's parents are dead (much like Peter Parker).  He still works at a newspaper, but is seen holding a camera more (much like Peter Parker).  When fighting bad guys, Superman seems to be more quippy (much like Spider-Man).  The big difference though, is that Superman is vulnerable.

When Superman was created, he was the creation of a different time.  The Depression was in full swing, and the biggest bad guys that Superman was fighting were corporate fat cats who caused the financial problem.  And while that is becoming more of a problem in this day, it's nothing on the level of the Depression era.  Spider-Man is the result of a generation who were lost, but found their way to get through.  Peter Parker is still relatable, and with more and more kids getting out of college and not being able to find their place in the world due to the economy, he is more relatable than ever.

Clark Kent (right) is starting to look more like Peter Parker(left)
Amazing Fantasy #15 (Marvel Comics) on left. Action Comics vol. 2 #1(DC Comics) on right

Reviews for Scarlet Spider #1, Green Lantern #5, Wolverine #300 and a lot more!

It's the second week of the year, and we already have a new Spider-ongoing.  DC continues to have some great books and some ok books.  Lets get started with the reviews shall we?

DC Comics
Batgirl #5:  Gail Simmone seems to be creating a nice little rogues gallery here for Barbara Gordon.

When the name Gretel appears on anything, you can think nothing but the children's fable.  This had me worried, but leave it to Simmone to create a female villain who is very menacing.  Having Bruce Wayne go down so easily seemed a bit lazy, but nothing has been explained yet, so let's wait and see.  The whole zombie 338 thing is a tad weird, and I would have likedThe scenes with Barbara and her mom was fantastic to read.  It's a nice ripple to add to her life, even if it has nothing to do with this new villain.  Barbara's analyzation of this new enemy shows why she is always going to be a great Batgirl.  It's smart, and not over the top or too descriptive.  It adds to the visuals without over powering them.

Adrian Syaf continues to impress on pencils.  There are a few more shots that are clearly set for guys, but nothing to the extent of other artists.  Barbara's mother is penciled well, clearly looking like Barbara but enough that she isn't so it's believable.  Which makes Gordon's traits in Barbara appear more.  Syaf's work is great, but nothing ground breaking 

Batgirl #5 gets 3.5/5.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Best of 2011

It was a great year to be a comic book fan.  There were plenty of new ideas that kept the industry afloat, and it makes 2012 be that much more interesting.  Here are the best of 2011 (according to me).

Best Event
5. Brightest Day
4. Schism
3. Spider-Island
2. Fear Itself

And the winner is.....