The jury is still out as far as Verheiden’s job as writer on Superman/Batman. I love Van Sciver’s artwork so my only concern was whether the writing would be on par with the artwork. I liked the last issue and I have a feeling that Superman/Batman #29 should be a pretty entertaining read. Let’s hit the review and find out.
Writer: Mark Verheiden
Artist: Ethan Van Sciver
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: This issue starts with Batman blasting Martian Manhunter with a fame thrower. Martian Manhunter swats away the flame thrower and grabs Batman by the neck and demands to know why he is trying to burn him. Batman responds that he had to make sure it was actually J’onn.
We then shift to Batman filling in Martian Manhunter about the events of last issue where a shape shifter took J’onn’s form and attacked him. Batman asks Martian Manhunter if he knows anything about this. J’onn responds that Batman’s shoot first and ask questions later attitude speaks volumes for Bruce’s character. J’onn says that even if he knew something why would he trust the information with a human like Batman. And with a swish of the cape J’onn leaves.
We cut to S.T.A.R. Labs where John Stewart is examining his ring. He has a gut feeling that there is something wrong with his power ring. Sure enough, the tests results show that there is a subtle change in the refraction pattern and color in the central jewel. Suddenly, a giant emerald fist smashes through the roof and grabs John’s power ring. John falls the ground unconscious from the blow of the green energy fist.
We then shift to an old school 1950’s style Lois Lane approaches Clark in the Daily Planet. Lois goes off on Clark about how his flesh is just a construct. That he knows that is the case and for him to look deep into his soul. Suddenly, the real Lois Lane shows up and punches out the 1950’s Lois Lane. The 1950’s Lois Lane transforms into a Kryptonian powered cave man and locks horns with Superman. Superman takes the fight outside of the building where Hal Jordan shows up and quickly contains the super powered cave man.
Hal tells Superman that there is a government alien containment facility where they can contain this super powered cave man. (The transition between these scenes is a little confusing.) Superman then meets with Batman at the government facility. Batman asks Superman why he is late. That Hal told him that Superman wanted to meet him here at 4 pm. Superman is confused. Superman says that he never asked for a meeting. That Hal gave him a hand containing the shape shifter. Suddenly, a massive green energy blast hits Superman. Batman yells that Jordan set them up. Due to the massive energy blast, Batman falls into a lower level of the government base where he comes face to face with a giant pink alien who took on Green Lantern years ago. The creature who could not die.
At this point, Hal Jordan comes blazing in and starts fighting with Superman. Hal tells Superman that he is not alone. That there are others. Hal tells Jordan to either join them or die. Meanwhile, we see Batman taking down the giant pink alien with some split power cables.
Superman and Hal Jordan fly back to Batman. Batman bum rushes Hal demanding to know Hal Jordan’s explanation. Hal said it wasn’t him. That it was the power ring. Evidently, the creature used Hal to free all of the aliens from the government base. Evidently there is a power capable of corrupting a power ring and controlling the mind of the person who wields the power ring.
Suddenly, a massive green energy blast takes out our three heroes. We then Kilowog standing over Superman. Kilowog says that “When you defy the ring, you defy me!” End of issue.
The Good: Superman/Batman #29 was a pretty good read. It wasn’t a fantastic issue, but it was entertaining enough. The opening scene was cool. Typical Batman. Why ask Martian Manhunter if it is him when you can blast him with a flame thrower to find out. J’onn’s contempt for Batman is no surprise. J’onn, as we have seen in his mini-series, is over mankind. And he certainly is over humans like Batman. It is pretty clear that this New Earth’s Batman is still pretty unlikable by other super heroes. And I’m ok with that. I like my Batman to be a little unlikable. His distrust and aggressive attitude is what allows him to hand with heroes who are vastly more powerful.
The scene with the shape shifter brawling with Superman and Green Lantern was nicely done. It was pretty funny seeing a 1950’s style Lois Lane. Verheiden lays the foundation for the plotline involving Superman being targeted by this alien creature as a potential ally.
The ending was pretty cool. A pissed off Kilowog being controlled by whatever alien force is controlling his power ring is certainly a very scary adversary. This was a good ending that made me interested in getting the next issue. You know we should be in store for some quality action next issue.
I think that Verheiden has a nice feel for both Superman and Batman. I like how he writes both heroes and constantly contrasts their personality differences. I like the nasty edge that Verheiden gives Batman without him being a total dickhead. I also like Verheiden’s Superman. He is strong and confident and truly is a good person who wants nothing more than to do the right thing. These two men make for an excellent contrast with each other. Plus they make a formidable team because of their differences. Verheiden makes a point of showing that Superman’s weakness is not just Kryptonite. He has an emotional weakness and attachment to people around him like Lois. That makes him emotionally vulnerable. Batman is not emotionally vulnerable and is naturally distrusting so he makes up for Superman’s weaknesses in those areas. On the other hand, Superman makes up for Batman’s lack of physical firepower. I am really enjoying how Verheiden is handling the teamwork and interaction between these two characters.
Verheiden serves up some solid dialogue. I think Verheiden definitely know how to write some very interesting dialogue for Batman. Verheiden does a nice job making sure that each character has their own unique voice. Even in Martian Manhunter’s cameo appearance in the beginning of the issue, Verheiden was able to give the reader a nice feel for J’onn’s character and mesh it in with J’onn’s attitude over in his mini-series. That was a nice little touch.
Nobody draws Green Lanterns better than Van Sciver. Just incredible. I will admit up front that Van Sciver is one of my top 5 favorite artists, so it is no surprise that loved his artwork in this issue. Van Sciver draws a wonderfully detailed comic book that is a joy to look at. Plus, Van Sciver actually draws a hot Lois Lane. Maybe the guys drawing Action and Superman could learn something from Van Sciver’s Lois.
The Bad: The pacing in this issue was too hurried and the transitions between the scenes were slightly clumsy and a little confusing. Especially during the transition from Hal helping Superman to Superman meeting with Batman and then getting attacked by Hal. This issue just didn’t have a particularly well crafted flow or rhythm to it.
The scene with Hal Jordan attacking Superman and Batman fighting with the large alien provided for some nice action. However, I’m getting a bit sick and tired of seeing Hal Jordan controlled by something and forced to do evil. It is officially old. I’m also tired of Batman constantly thinking that Hal Jordan is a traitor. I understand the issues they had when Hal initially returned. That was justifiable and interesting. However, this plotline should have been put to rest after Infinite Crisis when Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman realized they had to change in order to be better heroes and role models.
Now, we get treated to more of the same distrusting Batman constantly accusing Hal of being a traitor and being unable to trust him or treat him like a fellow hero. It is just getting old with me and is losing its impact with each time it is re-hashed. I’m not saying they have to be all friendly with each other, but constantly having Batman view Hal as one step away from being a villain has gone on long enough. Plus, it is time that Hal was finally treated as a hero and stop having to keep dealing with the Parallax issue constantly.
I think that the plotline with the shape shifter, the aliens who were freed from the government facility and the force controlling the power rings isn’t very well structured and seems a but confusing and muddled. Maybe after another issue or two Verheiden will be able to better focus and tighten up this story.
Overall: Superman/Batman #29 was a good issue. It wasn’t anything amazing, but it certainly was a good read. The art is incredible and the writing is solid. I think that Verheiden will continue to improve with each issue. This is a comic that is stronger in the art category than in the writing category. However, it is still a quality comic book that is worth checking out.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
The jury is still out as far as Verheiden’s job as writer on Superman/Batman. I love Van Sciver’s artwork so my only concern was whether the writing would be on par with the artwork. I liked the last issue and I have a feeling that Superman/Batman #29 should be a pretty entertaining read. Let’s hit the review and find out.
All Star Superman has been a very fun title. Morrison has done an excellent job crafting silver age style stories and dialogue and giving them a modern twist. I don’t think that many writers could pull this off and I think Superman is the best choice of the characters in the DCU to use for this modern silver age style of stories. I fully expect All Star Superman #5 to be another enjoyable read. Let’s do this review.
Writer: Grant Morrison
Penciler: Frank Quitely
Inker: Jamie Grant
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: This issue starts with Lex in court and being sentenced by the Jury to death via the electric chair. We then shift to Clark Kent flying out to Stryker’s Island to interview Lex Luthor. A bumbling Clark Kent is lead to Lex’s cell where he proceeds to stumble about like a total oaf. Clark says he is here to interview Lex in order to hear his side of the story.
We cut to Lex having a strenuous work out while Clark takes short hand while conducting his interview of Lex. Lex rants against Superman. He tells Clark that if Superman weren’t around then maybe Lois Lane would pay Clark more attention. But, that will never happen with Superman around. That all humans will fall short of his sickening inhuman perfection. Lex then flexes his muscles and tells Clark that his muscles are real and come from hard work unlike Superman’s muscles that are strong simply because he is from Krypton. Lex then asks Clark how Superman looks these days. Lex says that Superman is not well.
We follow Lex and Clark walking down the stairwell to the large room where the general population of the prison are all hanging out. Lex tells Clark that he lives to create the opposite of all that Superman represents. That Lex believes in the survival of the smartest. That brain beats brawn every time.
We then see the prison guards transporting the parasite to his cell. The Parasite is drawn to Clark because he is a massive power source for the Parasite to feed off of. The Parasite breaks looks from him chains and goes on a rampage. This then sparks a complete riot by all of the other prisoners. Total chaos ensues. Lex tells Clark to follow him to safety back at Lex’s cell. During their way to the cell, Clark uses his powers in subtle ways to try and subdue the rioting inmates around them and to whisk away the prison guards out of danger.
The Parasite gives chase to Lex and Clark. The Parasite is like a moth to a flame and desires to consume Clark as a tasty power source. The Parasite is huge and bloated from all the power he has soaked up so far. Lex fires a bunch of bullets into the Parasite causing the energy balance inside the Parasite to overload. The Parasite begins to choke on his own energy. He is too massive to carry his own weight and is about to burst like an overripe fruit. Lex then begins to smash the defeated Parasite into a messy pile of goo while raving this is how Superman will look at the end. That nobody gets in the way of Lex Luthor.
Lex and Clark arrive at Lex’s cell. Lex opens up a secret tunnel in the floor of his cell. The tunnel leads to a long flight of stairs ending at an underground stream of water. There is a boat waiting for them. In the boat is one of Lex’s associates. A hottie named Nasty. (Muy caliente!)
Clark asks Lex why he isn’t bothering to escape. Clark asks how Lex is so ready to die in the electric chair. Lex responds that Superman will die first. That he used the sun to overload his cellular batteries and destroyed him for within. That he killed Superman. Of course, Superman doesn’t know he is dying yet. So, Lex tells Clark to break the news gently. To take his exclusive and print it in the Daily Planet. Lex then rants that there is no deep psychology behind the struggle between him and Superman. Lex rants that if it weren’t for Superman, that he would be in charge of this planet. With that, Clark gets in the boat with Nasty and they leave. End of issue.
The Good: Morrison continues to impress me with each issue of All Star Superman. This issue is a very well constructed and written story. The pace had a nice measured pace in the beginning that slowly built to an all out frenzy by the latter part of the issue. It then ended with a bomb but it was delivered in a bizarrely serene style. All Star Superman #5 had excellent rhythm and flow to the story. It is something that you really only feel in your gut when you read a comic. Not many issues possess this quality, but it is rather enjoyable when you read one that does.
The opening scene with Lex being sentenced to death was vintage Luthor. His imperious attitude when the jury delivers his death sentence was spot on.
The following scene with a bumbling oafish Clark Kent arriving to interview Lex was exceptional. Clark bumbles around like an idiot, but in the process manages to save Lex from getting electrocuted by one of his hi-tech tools.
The continuation of this interview while Lex is working out perfectly delineates Lex’s perceived difference between Superman and himself. Lex is real. Everything he has accomplished has been due to his superior intellect and hard work and sacrifice. His body is sculpted by hard work. On the other hand, Superman is strong only by birthright. Just because he hails from Krypton. Lex, being the ultimate power mad imperialist, simply cannot stomach someone like Superman being superior to him just by virtue of being born Kryptonian. Lex could clearly handle being bested by another man who was just like him who simply achieved greatness through relentless drive and hard work. But, to be beaten by a person like Superman just rubs Lex raw. This scene did one of the best jobs I have ever seen clearly showing why Lex cannot stand Superman. It makes perfect sense.
The riot scene was also well done. This added some action to a storyline that had been dialogue heavy up until this point. The Parasite is a great tool for Morrison to use in order to reveal how Lex devised a plan to kill Superman. Just overload his power source and watch him die. The scene with Lex overloading the Parasite and then stomping him into a puddle of goo was rather powerful. This scene conveyed Lex’s overwhelming and insatiable desire to crush anything deemed more powerful than him.
The final scene had a nice eerie quality to it. There Morrison drops the bomb on the reader by revealing how Lex Luthor has killed Superman and Superman just doesn’t know it yet. Perfect. Lex’s satisfaction that Superman is going to die before him has made him completely at peace with himself and his fate. Morrison delivered a fantastic ending with this issue.
Morrison flat out knows how to write Clark Kent. We get treated to the classic silver age bumbling oafish Clark Kent. And this is by far my favorite version. It reminds me of the doofy Clark Kent that Christopher Reeves played in Superman. Kent’s dialogue is ideal. This is exactly how Clark should talk. Clark’s dialogue had me chuckling through out this issue. Morrison pulls off a masterful job of writing Clark.
Morrison also delivered an equally impressive job writing Lex and his haughty dialogue. Morrison has an excellent fell for Lex’s superior attitude and outlook on the world. The reader gets a wonderful sense of Lex’s character and what makes him tick.
Quitely’s artwork is exceptional. Quitely’s style lends itself perfectly to Morrison’s style of a silver age story with a modern twist. Quitely does an impressive job drawing Clark. You can see his nervousness. His lack of confidence. The way he slumps over. The facial expressions. His feet pointed inward to each other. Quitely’s Clark is clearly a man uncomfortable in his own skin. Quitely also delivers a supremely confident and defiant Lex Luthor. Quitely’s artwork is the perfect compliment to Morrison’s story and truly helps to not only bring Morrison’s story to life, but also boosts Morrison’s themes and mood.
I also dig Quitely’s drawing of Nasty. Now this is the style of chica that the Revolution likes to invite back to the Bunker.
The Bad: I have no complaints at all with this issue.
Overall: All Star Superman #5 is an exceptional read. Incredibly strong writing with excellent character work and dialogue combined with wonderful art makes this issue a real blast to read. I am not a big Superman fan at all and I absolutely love this title. That is a real compliment to Morrison and Quitely. Even if you are like me and have never loved the big red S, do yourself and favor and give this title a try. Unless you absolutely dislike Superman and silver age style stories, I think you will enjoy this title.
The Revolution has really been impressed with the Teen Titans ever since the end of Infinite Crisis. Johns is doing a fantastic job on this title. Teen Titans #38 sports the artwork of a guest penciler in Carlos Ferreira instead of stud Tony Daniels. That is too bad, because I have loved Daniels’ art on this title. Anyway, let’s start this review.
Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciler: Carlos Ferreira
Inkers: Art Thibert & Drew Geraci
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: This issue starts with the Titans taking down a rampaging Girder. After vanquishing the villain, the Titans are mobbed by their tweener fans (complete with zits, braces and nose rings) asking for their autographs. Several ask Wonder Girl for a kiss with their autograph. She declines. Not so for her teammate Ravager who takes off her mask and plants a big wet one on one fan. That prompts all the boys to leave Wonder Girl in favor of Ravager.
We shift to Titan Tower and where Ravager is angry that Cyborg, Robin and Wonder Girl want to go get some of their more experienced teammates to re-join the titans. Cyborg says that this isn’t about Ravager. That while he was reviewing the security tapes of his room while he was in a coma, he came across a cryptic message from Raven. He plays the tape that shows Raven saying that she has found out something that would destroy the morale of the team that is left. That she wishes Vic were awake because she could use his help. The Titans decide to track down Raven.
We cut to Moscow, Russia. There we see Red Star bring the pain to a bunch of meta-human militia members who are a group of terrorists demanding that all meta human activities should be legalized without government sponsorship. (Hmmm, sounds familiar. Something that Marvel is publishing. It rhymes with “Civil War.”) Red Star solves the problem permanently by blasting to death all of the terrorists.
As Red Star begins to leave the scene, he is met by the Titans. He tells them that if they are seen in public then the Rocket Red Brigade will arrest them. Red Star has the Titans teleported to his spaceship that is one thousand feet above the Kremlin.
We then shift to Jerkwater, Colorado. Some masked one armed man (Never trust a one armed man. I learned that lesson from Twin Peaks.) robs a convenience store. We see the robber back at his trailer in a beautifully appointed trailer park. He removes the mask and it is Risk. The ex-Titan. Suddenly, a shadowy figure appears and tells Risk that he has two options: Join the Titans East or die. (Nice. I wonder which he’ll pick.)
We cut back to Red Star’s spaceship. Red Star co-opted this extraterrestrial craft. It is just like the one that gave him his powers. That two months ago, aliens in these ships invaded Moscow. Red Star defeated them. The President of Russia then appointed Red Star the “State Protector” which is a title that he takes very seriously.
During this little speech, Wonder Girl pulls Robin aside and whispers to him if he wanted to talk about their little kiss back in his cave. Robin says he doesn’t want to talk about it and that it was a mistake. Ravager asks Wonder Girl what they are whispering about and accuses her of talking about a mistake. Ravager thinks Wonder Girl is talking about it being a mistake to bring Ravager and Kid Devil along. The two ladies start getting into a verbal tussle. Red Star breaks it up by telling them that they should all quit. That they can’t even walk down a hallway without arguing. That the Titans will never last. That the Titans have disbanded and re-formed a dozen times. That when they grow up they will learn they can only count on themselves. Red Star then remembers all his Titans teammates who have died. Pantha, Wildebeest, Superboy, Jericho and Starfire. (Whaaaat? Dead? Is she still lost in space even after the end of 52? I hope she isn’t really dead.)
Red Star tells the Titans that Raven was in Moscow a week ago. He gives them an address for her in Beijing and then tells them to leave.
We then cut to Beijing where the Titans are searching Raven’s apartment for clues. Raven left her communicator behind. The Titans find a journal. Robin reads it. Raven is looking for something that was stolen from the Titans Tower. That while Cyborg was offline for a year, there were over twenty members on the team and one of them was a traitor. We then get a double page splash shot of those twenty members. You can check them out in the pic. The names that got cut off on the bottom from left to right are Riddler’s daughter and Joker’s daughter, Talon, Young Frankenstein, Ravager, Molecule and Osiris.
We then shift to Raven running from armed soldiers. They are yelling that “she took the book back.” Indeed, Raven is carrying a large and old book. End of issue.
The Good: Teen Titans #38 was another great read. Johns is really hitting his stride on this title and has been making the Teen Titans a must read comic.
The opening scene was nicely done. Seeing the Titans get mobbed by the autograph seeking tweeners lent so much needed levity to a storyline that has been rather somber and serious. I liked how Ravager, in her never ending desire to show up Wonder Girl, took off her mask and laid a big smooch on one of the autograph seeking boys. Wonder Girl doesn’t kiss, but Ravager sure does. These two characters are polar opposites. If Wonder Girl does one thing that Ravager is sure to do the direct opposite. I always like it when teammates don’t always get along like one big happy family. This provides for some quality tension.
The scene back at the Titans Tower continues the tension between Ravager and the rest of her teammates. Ravager is extremely paranoid and sensitive about how the other Titan’s view her. She wants to be seen as an equal and worthy of being a Titan. The video of Raven got my interest. This chase to find Raven and discover what mystery she is trying to uncover should be rather entertaining.
The scene with Red Star laying waste to all of the terrorists was a fantastic scene. I liked the jab at Marvel’s Civil War with the new law in Russia forcing all meta humans to be state sponsored or else arrested as criminals. They even have their junior Iron Man characters, the Rocket Reds, as the ones who enforce the law outlawing non-state sponsored meta humans. I also liked Red Star’s no-nonsense kick ass manner in which he dispatches all of the terrorists.
The scene with Risk robbing the convenience store and then going back to his home in the trailer park was well executed. My how the young and the glamorous have fallen. Risk has truly hit rock bottom. Robbing a store and living in a trailer park. It was a terribly depressing scene that made me feel sorry for a character that has never really interested me. After Johns finished painting a rather bleak existence, he then introduces the long awaited plotline involving the Titans East. It looks like Risk is going to be the first recruit for this new team. I am extremely interested in this new Titans East plotline and think it is going to be very exciting.
The scene on Red Star’s spaceship was perfect. Johns crafts a wonderfully powerful scene. Red Star brings the hard cold truth to a bunch of bickering Titans. Yes, we know all about the positives of the old Titans and the sense of family they once had. However, that is long gone and hasn’t been around for a while. The current team has no chemistry or cohesion. I really enjoyed Red Star’s tough speech about how the Titans don’t prepare them for later in life. That they will leave the Titans and grow up and realize that they only have themselves to rely on. That is a grim individualistic view on life, but as much as we don’t want to believe it, this view is also probably the most realistic view on life. In the long run, when things get tough, your average person can only truly rely on themselves. And then Red Star lists all of the dead Titans. It had plenty of impact on the reader. Johns delivered a very well written and emotionally powerful scene.
The scene in Raven’s apartment in Beijing was extremely cool for the sole reason of the two page splash shot of all the various characters that served as Titans for the one year between the end of Infinite Crisis and the beginning of the OYL storylines.
I have never been much of a Red_Star fan, but I found myself thoroughly enjoying his character in this issue. What a wild list of characters. The most interesting aspect of this list of character is that we have several characters from Kingdome Come making an appearance in this New Earth: Joker's Daughter, Zatara, Offspring and Miss_Martian. There are several characters that I just don’t recognize including: Power Boy, Bombshell, Little Barda, Mas y Menos, Molecule and Talon. I have never seen Young Frankenstein before and the only version of this character is the one over in Planetary published by DC’s Wildstorm imprint. Osiris has to be Isis’ little brother that they are currently searching for in 52. The rest are old Titans for some point in the past.
I think these new characters are all pretty interesting and intriguing. I am eager to learn more about them. I definitely dig that we are seeing some characters that appeared over in Kingdom Come. That is a cool touch. With all these characters at John’s disposal I fully expect plenty of thrilling issues to be headed our way with this Titan traitor plotline.
The final scene was a nice little hook. We see Raven clutching a book and being chased by armed soldiers clearly desiring to have the book back in their possession. This ending definitely got my interest and I am looking forward to more about just what exactly Raven is up to.
Johns delivers a nicely paced issue. We had a good mix of action and drama. As always, the dialogue was well written as Johns clearly has an excellent handle on all the different personalities of the various characters. The relationships between the various Titans are well fleshed out. Johns is able to convey the emotions of the characters to the reader. You can feel Ravager’s paranoia and yearning for acceptance. You can feel Wonder Girl’s annoyance and irritation with Ravager. You could feel the uncomfortable awkwardness between Wonder Girl and Robin. You could feel the hard, cold loneliness and strong sense of duty and honor emanating from Red Star. Johns is doing an impressive job brining these characters to life and pulling the reader into their world.
What has also impressed me with Johns’ writing on Teen Titans has been his uncanny ability to get me to like and care about characters that I had either no connection with at all or flat out did not like in the least bit. Ravager and Kid Devil have been two good examples of this. In this issue it would be Red Star in a huge way and Risk in a smaller way. After reading this issue, I absolutely loved Red Star’s character. This was a character that had never even remotely interested me before. I liked how Johns handled his character. His strong and silent personality with a powerful sense of honor and duty mixed with obvious sorrow and self imposed solitude was rather appealing. We need more panel time for Red Star.
To a much smaller degree, I really got interested in Risk for the first time ever. His story is so pathetically depressing that it made me look at his character in a different light. I’m interested to see what Johns has in store for this character.
Ferreira did a solid job in the role as fill-in artist. I defiantly like Tony Daniels’ artwork much more. However, Ferreira’s art was better than average and was much better than a lot of fill-in artwork that you see on other titles.
The Bad: I have no real serious criticisms about this issue. My only small complaint would be the tired Titans traitor storyline that is being trotted out like a worn down nag for what seems to be the twentieth time. It has been done so many times before that it really didn’t have much impact on me at all.
Overall: Teen Titans #38 is another enjoyable read. Johns continues to crank out quality issues on this title. Excellent characterization and interesting plotlines keep me eager for the next issue of Teen Titans. I recommend that you give this title a try.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Trials of Shazam is a title that the Revolution has been very curious to read for quite some time. I have always thought that the Marvel Family were great characters with tons of potential. I have also thought that DC has continually mishandled these characters and failed to establish them as major players in the DCU. Captain Marvel is so much more than a Superman “clone.” I actually think that Captain Marvel is potentially a vastly more interesting character than Superman. Judd Winick’s writing is hot and cold for me, but I’ll keep an open mind with this new direction that Winick wants to take the Marvel Family. Let’s crank out this review.
Writer: Judd Winick
Artist: Howard Porter
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: This issue starts with some thugs arriving near their headquarters with a truck full of captured children tied up and gagged. One of them is Billy Batson. At 15, he is the oldest of all the captive children. The thugs want them for some sacrifice that calls for the blood of virgins. One of the thugs pulls Billy out of the truck, un-gags him and asks him his age. Billy says “Shazam!” and it is officially on. The two thugs respond by imbuing themselves with an Altarian demonic transmogrification spell. They morph into two ‘roided out monsters. Captain Marvel punches one of them through the air and into their secret temple.
We cut to the transformed monster that landed in their secret temple. He calls out for one of his buddies who comes running to help him. The beaten thug tells his friend that Captain Marvel is here. This causes his friend to whip out his sword and claim that the sacrifice must be made now. That the great To’ Lott requires an offering even if its blood is far from pure. With that the man slices and dices the beaten thug.
We shift back to Captain Marvel putting a whupping on the other transformed thug. Suddenly, we see a giant Godzilla-sized fire breathing frog appear from the secret temple. Captain Marvel appropriately responds that “That is one big frog!”
We then cut to 23 hours ago where Zatanna (In top hat, tails, stocking and heels) is battling some demon. Suddenly, a massive bolt of lighting fries the demon and Captain Marvel appears over the demon’s body. Zatanna asks Captain Marvel what is going on with all the wild demons on the loose. Captain Marvel responds that the world has changed and what Zatanna once knew has become refashioned. That the books of magic have been rewritten.
Captain Marvel then flies back to the Rock of Eternity. Captain Marvel turns back into Billy. Even as Billy, with the merest thought, he can control the Rock of Eternity and its magic to transform it into any shape he desires. Like a comfy den complete with reclining chair and wide screen TV. Suddenly, the Rock of Eternity alerts Billy to evil magic at work in Norway.
We then shift back to the present. Captain Marvel is getting his butt kicked by the Gamera sized frog. Captain Marvel shows off his new powers and uses his lightning punch to unleash numerous bolts of lightning into the underbelly of the frog. The frog transforms back into the thug. Captain Marvel rounds up all of the bad guys and is full of himself. He thinks that when the world of magic becomes unbalanced that Captain Marvel will be there to set it right. That he can do this. That he can protect this world.
Captain Marvel goes to free the captive children still tied up in the truck. He decides they would be less afraid of Billy Batson so he says “Shazam” to transform. An insanely massive bolt of lightning hits him and we see Captain Marvel in a white version of his costume. He has pale skin and long white hair. He asks “What’s happening?” End of issue.
The Good: Trials of Shazam was a pretty nice read. I enjoyed this comic. I thought that Winick delivered a nicely paced first issue. He laid the foundation for this new world of magic and the new role that Captain Marvel is to play in it. He gave us some action and then ended the issue with a nice hook.
I liked the beginning scene. When Billy transforms into Captain Marvel with a violently powerful bolt of lightning with the dramatic one page splash shot of Captain Marvel, I instantly wanted to cheer. That is how you make a grand entrance! The ensuing brawl between Captain Marvel and the two transformed thugs was well paced and interesting. Throw in a Rodan sized Frog and you know you have a winning formula for entertainment.
I liked seeing Zatanna in this issue. I was glad that she was sporting her classic costume. This scene provided for some more action and also served as the vehicle for Winick to give the readers some hints as to the new world that is the DCU. That the world has changed and the books of magic have been rewritten. Winick is taking advantage of Infinite Crisis to give us a brand new world with a whole new set of rules. This scene serves as the foundation for this new world of magic that the Marvel Family will have to find their place in. This scene worked for me and piqued my interest.
I liked the scene back at the Rock of Eternity. It is cool to see Billy commanding so much magic and being able to refashion the rock to whatever shape and setting that he desires. At first, I was not happy with DC killing Shazam. And I was even less thrilled with the idea of Billy taking Shazam’s place. However, I think that this new role might lead for an even more interesting Billy Batson. I’m definitely more interested in seeing what Winick has in store for Billy’s character.
The final scene was well done. After defeating the toad and all the bad guys, Billy if full of confidence. For the first time in a long time, Billy knows his role as Captain Marvel. That he can do this and protect the world. Captain Marvel has long suffered from not having a clear role or purpose in the DCU. DC has basically handled him as just another Superman clone who fights cheesy super villains. It never did Captain Marvel justice and always made him look like a second rate Superman with second rate villains. Winick clearly used this scene to fully establish the new Captain Marvel and his new purpose and role in the DCU. This is where Winick lays out his vision for how he sees Captain Marvel in the new DCU. Finally, we may get a coherent and strong direction and purpose for Captain Marvel and a role that he is confident in playing. Plus, this is a role that takes him out of the realm of being a Superman “clone.” This scene helps to highlight the vast differences between the two characters so that Captain Marvel can stand on his own merit.
I really enjoyed the ending. That is a great way to hook the reader into getting the next issue. Ending the story with an unexpected twist. Here we have Captain Marvel transformed into a white suited alabaster skinned version of himself with long white hair. I actually think he looks kind of cool this way. I’m definitely interested to see where Winick goes with this plotline.
Winick obviously enjoys the Marvel Family and likes the various characters. I know many people will hate Winick because he wants to modernize the Marvel Family. I know that many old schools Captain Marvel fans will despise this version of Captain Marvel, because Winick doesn’t want to go back to the silly, light hearted and campy roots of Captain Marvel. I’m ok with it. It is 2006 and I have no problem with Winick wanting to update a character that has struggled mightily garnering fan interest or finding his own place in the DCU. I’m certainly willing to give Winick a chance to show me his vision for Captain Marvel in the new DCU.
I think that this issue had a nice flow to it and was well paced. The dialogue was nicely done and I like how Winick writes Billy Batson. The dialogue had a nice balance of humor and seriousness. I also think that Winick did a nice job portraying this newly motivated Captain Marvel.
Now let’s talk about Howard Porter’s artwork. Some people may not enjoy Porter’s heavy lined and painted work. It may be too “static” for some. Not for me.
I thought it was jaw dropping stunning art. Just gorgeous. Some of the pages just mesmerized me. Porter’s artwork did an incredible job brining Winick’s story to life and injected plenty of emotion into the story. Captain Marvel is such a visually appealing and interesting character. His mode of transformation and his massive physic lends perfectly to some impressive looking scenes. And Porter definitely took advantage of that fact.
The Bad: I don’t have any complaints with this issue.
Overall: I rather enjoyed Trials of Shazam #1. This was a nicely paced and well written issue with some good action and a nice hook at the end. Winick lays the foundation with this issue for the rest of the eleven issues in this maxi-series. Porter delivered some powerful artwork that truly complimented Winick’s story and vividly brought it to life. I am interested with the new role of Captain Marvel in the new DCU and can’t wait to see what happens next. I usually don't like straight up magic based comic books. However, this title has enough super hero action so it makes for a nice blend of a magic and a super hero based storyline.
I’d definitely recommend checking out this title even if you aren’t a long time Captain Marvel fan. In fact, people who aren’t familiar with Captain Marvel may enjoy this title more than long time Captain Marvel fans.
52 is a comic that I always look forward to reading. It has been a consistently good read since the first issue. 52 #17 has Lobo on the cover and I’ll be honest, that does nothing to make me excited about this issue. I will admit up front that I have never been impressed with Lobo’s character. I find his character to be terribly boring and idiotic. Just seeing his character probably made my I.Q. automatically drop a few points. However, DC has promised us a new spin on Lobo that we are going to enjoy. I certainly hope so. All right, let’s hit this review.
Writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid
Penciler: Chris Batista
Inker: Ruy Jose & Jack Jadsen
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Week 17, Day 1: The issue starts with a promo clip of Lex Luthor’s new upper team. The roster consists of Erik Storm who has claws that can cut through anything, Eliza Harmon, who is a super speedster, Hannibal Bates, who can morph into any form, Gerome McKenna, who is super strong, Jacob Colby, who can fly really fast, and Natasha Irons, who has light based powers.
We then cut to Lex with his group of heroes viewing the video footage. He isn’t all that impressed with the intro of his team and decides that they need a team name. The members tell Luthor that they also need codenames. We then see Eliza shoot up with a drug called “the Sharp.” It is the only thing that can “slow her down.” Her speed powers are hard to control and everything is constantly fast and nothing ever slows down. Eliza gets in Luthor’s grill and yells at him for her hard to control poorly planned powers. Luthor retorts that he simply gave her what she asked for. With that, Eliza races out of the room yelling “Too hell with all of you!”
Week 17, Day: 2: We see out lost heroes in space making their way in their space craft. They have encountered a terrible meteor shower. Adam Strange and Starfire simply are not co-existing very well. (Animal Man engages with Strange in some rather entertaining dialogue in this scene.) Suddenly, Starfire, who is flying outside of the space ship, gets taken out by some of the meteors.
Week 17, Day 3: Out heroes are still in their space ship. Starfire tells Strange she thinks someone threw the meteor at her yesterday. Strange has the ship’s sensor array hooked directing into his visual cortex so he can “see” out to a distance of two parsecs. Strange says the meteor storm is too large to go around and too dense to go through. Strange says that their ship does not have enough energy to power the life support system for much more than six days at best.
Week 17, Night 4: We see Animal Man looking at a photograph of his wife and child. Starfire tells Animal Man that he will se them again. Animal Man tells Starfire that whatever he saw back during Infinite Crisis changed his life. That he saw the entire universe. He saw everything at once and understood things about the shape of space and time. That it is all too overwhelming. Starfire tells Animal Man to relax. That no matter how big something seems, it is never too big to fit inside your head.
Suddenly, Devilance appears and rips his spear out of the space ship. Before Devilance can attack out intrepid heroes, he is hit by a huge energy spike that explodes his entrails across the windows of the space ship’s cockpit. We then see Lobo standing next to Devilance’s dead and disemboweled body.
Strange quickly fills in Animal Man on who Lobo is and how he is impossible to defeat. Strange builds him up to be the universe’s biggest psychotic killer. Starfire then goes outside to “talk” to Lobo. We see the two talking. Lobo rips off Starfire’s top and stares at her breasts. The two continue talking.
We then cut to Starfire back in the space ship telling her fellow heroes that Lobo said Devilance walked into a trap that was meant for Lobo. That Lobo knows where they can find food, water and fuel and that he is the only person who can guide them through this mess. Starfire told Lobo she was a Tamaranian Princess with fabulously wealthy parents. Also, that Lobo has problems of his own for the first time in his life. That he has joined the Church and turned his back on violence. (Now that is an interesting twist.)
We then see Lobo hook up our heroes’ space ship to his space bike and take off. Devilance’s head is spiked on his lance. (Hmmm, I thought Lobo wasn’t into violence anymore?)
Week 17, Day 7: We see Red Tornado’s severed torso lying in the outback of Australia. Red Tornado comes online and is surrounded by three aborigines. Red Tornado says “52.” End of issue.
We are “treated” to a two page origin of Lobo. End of issue.
The Good: 52 #17 wasn’t a bad issue, but, it certainly was my least favorite issue so far. 52 #17 was a well written issue. I liked the scene with Lex Luthor and his new team of metahumans. You knew it was only a matter of time before someone’s powers became uncontrollable. Eliza’s inability to “slow down” due to the powers Luthor gave her is a nice plotline. And I loved how when accosted by Eliza for her inability to control her powers, Lex responds that she cam to him begging for speed and all he did was give her what she asked for. Vintage Luthor. Lex Luthor is the devil and you have to be careful entering into a deal with him. Be careful what you ask Lex for because you might just get it.
I’m interested to see where the writers take this plotline. It should be spectacular to watch Lex’s plans crumble before his eyes. Also, there absolutely has to be a connection between Super Nova and Natasha Irons. They have the same type of powers that have the same energy signature and look. If there is a connection then I’m very interested to lean more about it. Of course, I may simply be reading too much into the storyline.
The scene with Red Tornado was extremely short, but piqued my interest. I didn’t think that Reddy would be online at all during 52 since everyone thinks that he is still dead over in Justice League of America #1. Again, we are teased with the “52.” I cannot wait to finally learn just who or what the “52” is.
All the scenes with our lost heroes in space had some excellent dialogue. I loved it. Animal Man’s dialogue was perfect. Very funny and oddball. This is why I love Animal Man’s character. Plus, Starfire and Strange are the perfect straight men for Animal Man to play off of with his odd brand of humor and outlook on life. I also like that Strange and Starfire just don’t get along on some deep basic level. These three characters have great chemistry with each other.
I liked the twist on Lobo. That he has joined the Church and has given up violence. That was unexpected. It is certainly odd to see our lost heroes relying on Lobo to safely navigate them to a safe harbor. The writers were certainly trying to get us to believe that Lobo was going to be one of the bounty hunters who are all after our lost heroes. This was a nice unexpected direction and I’m curious to see if the writers can really make Lobo an interesting character with any type of depth or texture.
52 #17 is another well crafted issue full of nicely written dialogue that has an enjoyable flow. This issue also has plenty of strong character development with out three lost heroes. That is one thing the writers have been amazingly successful at with this title. They have really managed me to get into and care about all the characters in this title regardless if I liked them or not or even knew them at all prior to reading 52. That is a sign of strong writing.
The art is slightly better than average. Nothing I’m going to rave about, but nothing I’ll complain about either.
The Bad: I do have some criticisms. I found this issue to be the first issue of 52 that was slow and boring. Not much happened that grabbed my interest. The scenes with out lost heroes in space dominated this issue. Unfortunately, I felt that I got more of the same in those scenes. Animal Man wondering if he’ll ever see his family. The team of heroes worried that they will be stuck in space and never make it home. It just drug a bit for me.
I also thought that Lobo pretty much acted like the same old Lobo. I know he supposedly found religion and turned his back on violence. But, he engages in his same old boring shtick of tearing off Starfire’s top and staring at her boobs. We then see him towing the space ship with his space bike and he has Devilance’s severed head on his lance. These are all reasons why I thought Lobo was a rather lame and un-compelling character in the first place. I can see where Lobo would be incredibly appealing to a 13 year old boy. Luckily, I’m no longer 13 so scenes like this just don’t do it for me anymore. I am very skeptical that the writers are going to get me interested in Lobo this time around. However, the boys at DC have done a wonderful job with 52 up to this point, so I’m willing to give them the benefit of a doubt on this one plotline and hope they can make it work.
Overall: 52 #17 is a solid issue and the fact that it got my lowest score and is my least favorite issue of this series thus far is more of a compliment to these past 17 issues than a condemnation of this one issue. 52 is still a well done story that is largely entertaining. It is almost impossible for the writers to crush a home run for 52 straight issues. 52 #17 was the weakest issue for me, but I’m still excited for next weeks issue, because you never know what wild surprise is just around the corner.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
52 WEEK #17
ACTION COMICS #842
ALL STAR SUPERMAN #5
SUPERMAN BATMAN #29
TEEN TITANS #38
TRIALS OF SHAZAM #1
UNCLE SAM AND THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS #2
ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #33
ULTIMATE X-MEN ANNUAL #2
This is another pretty large week for the Revolution. It is heavy with DC titles and light with Marvel titles. Overall, I’m looking at getting 12 titles delivered by burro to the Bunker. There is no way I’m going to be able to post reviews for that many titles. Again, I’ll just have to pick issues that I really loved or really despised to write up some excuse for a review.
All right, which DC comic book am I most looking forward to this week? That is a very tough question. This looks to be quite a strong week for DC titles and there are several that I am excited to read. I really enjoyed the last issue of Superman/Batman. And I think All Star Superman has been a delightful read. And Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters has been entertaining. However, I’ll reserve the honor of most looking forward to read for 52 #17 and Teen Titans #38. 52 is always one of the best titled each and every week. 52 #17 is going to be particularly interesting since DC will be unveiling a new take on Lobo. We have been assured that this is going to be much different than Giffen’s Lobo we were “treated” to back in the 90’s. Supposedly, Lobo is going to be much more interesting. I am extraordinarily skeptical about the return of this character that was nothing more than a parody of all the horrendous Image style characters of the early 90’s.
Teen Titans has been smoking hot since the end of Infinite Crisis. Arguably the strongest DC title right now, Geoff Johns has this title firing on all cylinders. Plus, we get treated to some wonderful artwork by Tony Daniels.
Now, the DC title that I am most curious about is Trials of Shazam #1. I have always liked Captain Marvel and the entire Marvel Family. Judd Winick is extremely hot and cold with me. There are times when his work is impressive and other times when it is completely insipid. I think the previews sport some very nice looking artwork. I do believe that this title has plenty of potential to be a quality read.
Which Marvel comic book am I most looking forward to this week? To be honest, there really isn’t much of selection. I am going with X-Factor #10. This title is fantastic and is definitely one of the best titles that Marvel is currently publishing. David is crafting a wonderfully detailed storyline with excellent characterization.
Posted by Rokk Krinn at 8:59 PM
The Revolution has never been impressed with Bendis’ run on New Avengers. However, with these putrid Civil War tie-in issues Bendis’ run on New Avengers has hit an all time low. I predict that Bendis will not even give a token effort to portray the pro-registration side as anything more than goose stepping Nazis. I also predict that Bendis will make Iron Man look like a totally unscrupulous dick. I also predict that Bendis will make the anti-registration side a collection of saints and valiant freedom fighters. Let’s do this mini-review.
Writer: Brain Michael Bendis
Penciler: Olivier Coipel
Inker: Mark Morales
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: This issue starts with Spider-Woman in her apartment. Nick Fury comes knocking on her door. Nick tells Spider-Woman that with the Civil War in full swing that he is no longer underground. That it is time for Spider-Woman to choose a side. Nick tells Spider-Woman that they need to find where Captain America is operating from. Spider-Woman suddenly blasts Nick and reveals that he is nothing more than a Life Model Decoy. Hill is actually talking through the LMD. Hill tells Spider-Woman that she is a traitor. Hill says that Spider-Woman is under arrest. Spider Woman then blasts the rest of the LMD to pieces. (What a totally stunning and shocking portrayal of S.H.I.E.L.D.!!!!)
S.H.I.E.L.D. cape killers appear and Spider Woman gets captured. She wakes up in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody being interrogated by Iron Man and Hill. Hill tells Spider-Woman that Iron Man told her all about how Spider-Woman is a triple agent working for Hydra and Nick Fury. Spider-Woman is devastated that Iron Man would tell Hill this information. Iron Man responds that he only put up with all of her shenanigans because Captain America believed in her. (Oh my goodness!!! Iron Man is being portrayed as a total bastard!!! No way!! Totally shocking!!!)
Suddenly, the lights go out and a team of Hydra agents rescue Spider-Woman from the clutches of the Nazis…I mean, from S.H.I.E.L.D. We cut to Spider-Woman on Hydra Island talking with Connelly, a high ranking Hydra officer. Connelly tells Spider-Woman that he and other high ranking Hydra officers want Spider-Woman to replace Viper as leader of Hydra and lead them to glory. That Hydra is in her blood and is her family. Spider-Woman responds by taking out Connelly and a couple of Hydra soldiers. We then see leaving Hydra Island in a boat with tears in her eyes after blowing up the entire island. (I guess her answer was no.)
We then shift to Spider-Woman arriving at Captain America’s secret base. She asks Captain America to please take her because she has nowhere else to go. End of issue.
The Good: Unfortunately for me, I must follow the Revolution’s Rule of Positivity. So, what did I like about this issue? Damn, that is a good question. Coipel’s art was pretty solid. It wasn’t anything great, but it was certainly the best thing about this issue.
The Bad: Let’s see, I predicted that the pro-registration side would be portrayed as evil Nazis. Check. I predicted that Iron Man would be portrayed as an unscrupulous dickhead. Check. I predicted that the anti-registration side would be portrayed as valiant freedom fighters. Check. Wow, Bendis, what a great job surprising me with your writing abilities. There is no higher compliment that a writer can receive than being told that their stories are completely and 100% predictable. Good job.
Again, Bendis’ complete lack of any even transparent effort to portray the pro and anti side in anything even remotely resembling a fair and equal light just ruins the story for me. If I need to have someone preach to me then I’ll talk to my parents or go to church, thank you very much. I certainly don’t need it in a comic book. Bendis is a subtle as a sledgehammer to the head. I get it already. The pro-registration side are evil bastards who are the worst thing in this world since Leif Garrett and “Joanie Loves Chachi.” They should all be immediately killed and so should anyone even closely similar to them. And Iron Man is a total asshole. I know. I get it.
And speaking of Iron Man, Marvel is just determined to make this one time hero and original Avenger a completely unlikable character. Marvel is absolutely determined to assassinate Tony Stark’s character and writers like Bendis are all too eager to help in this endeavor. Yay. Great job, guys. Thanks.
Another problem with this issue is that I felt it was another wasted issues. I could care less about Spider-Woman or what side she chooses. I will admit that I have never been impressed with her character and she has never been anything more than a C-list character. So, there wasn’t too much chance that I was going to be interested in a spotlight issue on her. And to make matters worse, it wasn’t even a remotely interesting storyline for her. It was terribly boring and uninteresting.
These Civil War tie-in issues have not created a single new Avengers related plotline. They have not fleshed out or advanced a single Avengers related plotline. All we are getting are one sided stories about how certain ex-Avengers have joined Captain America’s team. These stories haven’t even advanced any of the plotlines over in the Civil War mini-series. For me, these are totally wasted and pointless issues. I can’t wait for Civil War to be over so we can once again read about Avengers related plots and stories with a point and purpose in the Avengers’ own monthly title.
I probably would have given Coipel a higher rating for his artwork if it wasn’t for his truly bizarre drawing of Iron Man’s armor. Coipel gives Iron Man a serious Iron Package for some unknown reason. It is rather disturbing and particularly creepy. I just don’t think Iron Man’s armor needs such a pronounced Iron codpiece. I mean, it has its own shadow, for crying out loud! I’m pretty sure that this is a first for Iron Man. And what is with his pose? Is he trying to show it off to Spider-Woman in hopes of seducing her? He's got his arms crossed like "Yeah, I know you like it and can't stop staring at it."
Overall: New Avengers #23 was yet another uninteresting and wasted issue for me. If you love Spider-Woman than you will very much enjoy this issue. If you enjoy one-sided and very predictable stories then you will also enjoy this issue. If you like seeing large Iron Packages then you will most definitely enjoy this issue. Civil War couldn’t end soon enough for me. I can’t wait to get some good old fashioned Avengers goodness in my Avengers comic.
Monday, August 28, 2006
All right, it is time to review my all time favorite title while growing up. Before Infinite Crisis I found this new version of Legion of Super Heroes to be slightly better than average. Since Infinite Crisis and the hi-jacking of this title by Supergirl, I have found this title to be dreadfully pedestrian. I would be stunned if Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #21 to be anything impressive. Hopefully, Waid will finally resolve this every lingering Dream Girl storyline that has been going on for 8 issues. Hopefully, we get a good payoff for having it drag on for so long. I’m working my way through my second mug of Café Bustelo and am ready for this review.
Writer: Mark Waid & Tony Bedard
Layouts: Barry Kitson
Penciler: Adam DeKraker
Inker: Rob Stull
Art Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: This issue starts with Colossal Boy questioning his fellow giant teens being held in jail. Suddenly, three members of the new Legion of Super-Villains disguised as SP agents enter the jail room. The three members are Kid Quake (The dork that started an earthquake in an earlier issue.), Nemesis Kid and a green guy with ice powers. They blast Colossal Boy and take him out.
We then cut to Brainiac 5 describing his plan to bring Dream Girl back to life. Element Lad resumes his plea for Brainiac 5 to respect Dream Girl’s transition to another stage of existence. That Brainiac 5 is failing to recognize the spiritual dimension that plays a role in all of this.
We then shift to Supergirl hanging out with Phantom Girl, Triplicate Girl and Princess Projectra. Projectra tells Supergirl that it has been insulting to be told that they are all nothing more than a part of Supergirl’s dream. (I love Projectra.) The girls then tell Supergirl about their own personal tragedies in their lives that Supergirl trivializes when she claims that everyone is simply a part of one of her dreams. Supergirl tells the group of girls about her dream where she though Krypton was gone. Supergirl gets up and says that she is going to wake up in her bed in Argo City and her parents will be there and until then she will keep dreaming conversations like this one. And with that Supergirl leaves. (Yup. She is total wackjob.) Triplicate Girl tells Projectra that she was too harsh. Projectra responds that Cosmic Boy asked them to chat with Supergirl and chip away at her fantasy life. That Projectra did the right thing. (Yes, you did. Now, can you make Supergirl go away?)
We then shift back to Colossal Boy fighting with the three members of the Legion of Super Villains. The green guy with ice powers frees the jailed giant teens during the brawl. The giant teens then rush Colossal Boy and overwhelm him. We then get a panel of them beating the tar out of Colossal Boy with various wrestling moves. I see an old camel clutch. That would be a cross face crippler for more modern wrestling fans. I see an Angle ankle lock and a wicked wrist lock.
We zip over to Brainiac 5 right in the middle of his plan to resurrect Dream Girl. Brainiac 5’s plan is complete and Dream Girl has been restored and rebooted. Dream Girl should be alive. But, instead, Dream Girl’s body disappears. Element Lad tells Brainiac 5 that Dream Girl has been gone for weeks and now her body is finally gone. That she moved on to a higher state. In a wild rage, Brainiac 5 attacks Element Lad. Element Lad tries to transmute Brainy into a statute but his powers have no effect on Brainiac 5. Shrinking Violet and Light Lass try and stop Brainiac 5. Brainy tells them that they can’t touch him. That the first thing he did when he joined the Legion was to make himself immune to all of their powers. (Ugggggh.) Suddenly, a voice in Brainy’s head tells him to let Element Lad go. A stunned Brainy lets go of Element Lad.
We cut to Cosmic Boy and Lightning Lad talking. They are discussing the bad publicity that the Legion has gotten since joining the U.P. Lightning Lad offers to quit the team and be made the scapegoat for signing the agreement with the U.P. and then Cosmic Boy can cancel the agreement. Cosmic Boy says that isn’t necessary. That he has decided to hold an election for a new team leader and that all Legionnaires, not just the team members with powers, will get a chance to vote.
We shift back to Brainy’s team in space. Light Lass, Element Lad and Shrinking Violet agree to tell the other members about Brainy’s immunity to their powers. We then see Brainy curled up in a fetal position in his bed. Brainiac 5 finally ran into a problem that he couldn’t compute his way through. Dream Girl’s ghost then appears in front of Brainy. Brainiac 5 said he is ashamed how he acted earlier. He didn’t know she was watching. Dream Girl takes Brainy’s hand and tells him that he has changed so much from when she first met him. Dream Girl tells Brainy that they have all the time they need now. Dream Girl tells Brainy that he needs to sleep. Brainy asks if she will still be there when he wakes up. Dream Girl responds that she will never leave him again. We then see Brainy asleep by himself in a dark room. End of issue.
The Good: Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #21 is another ordinary issue. I come to expect an uninspired and slightly dull read each time I pick up an issue of Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes. Hmm, let’s see, we have to satisfy the Revolution’s Rule of Positivity so I have to find something nice to say about this issue.
The scenes with Colossal Boy in the jail mixing it up with the Legion of Super Villains was average. It is cool to see the new Legion of Super Villains. It is also neat to see the new Nemesis Kid. And the green kid with the ice powers seems like he may be the new version of Polar Boy. I’m interested to find out who makes up the rest of the roster of this new Legion of Super Villains.
The scene with Cosmic Boy revealing that he is calling for an election for the Legion leader and that he is opening it up to all of the Legion’s followers was an interesting little twist. We know that Cosmic Boy won’t win the election. I strongly suspect that the next Legion leader will be a female member.
The Bad: The scene with Phantom Girl, Triplicate Girl, Projectra and Supergirl was average. I liked how harsh Projectra was in an effort to shake Supergirl out of her fantasy world. However, once again, Supergirl comes across as nothing more than a dumb blonde. A total bubble head.
The Brainiac 5 scenes were a positive and a negative. Now, I think that Waid actually wrote these scenes rather well. Brainy is pretty much the only character that has experienced anything even remotely resembling character development. I like the Brainiac 5 that Waid has crafted. The paranoia. The arrogance. The god-complex. It is all great. And I like how it is all torn apart in the final scene in this issue which is actually rather touching.
However, my issue is the massive build up we have had for such a measly payoff. We get eight issues of build up about Brainy’s plan to resurrect Dream Girl and this is what we get? I know what Waid wanted to accomplish with this plotline. He wanted to further development of Brainiac 5’s character by creating something that he couldn’t calculate his way to a solution. That there are forces out there that defy logic and science.
That is fine. Yes, the plotline was very interesting character development for Brainy. But, eight issues to lead up to this? Talk about a massively underwhelming resolution. This could have been easily done in two or three issues. To drag it out for such a long time makes it necessary that the resolution be spectacular. Anything else is going to be considered a weak payoff. For all the massive and long build up this was an extremely weak payoff.
And Brainy having made himself immune to everyone’s powers is unoriginal and kind of lame. Ever since Batman crafted plans to take out every member of the JLA, we now have super smart characters with contingency plans to defeat all of their teammates. Just like Emil Burbank over in Squadron Supreme. This just didn’t work for me.
Waid turns in a very average story. It is clear that 52 is dominating his time. It appears to me that Waid is mailing it in on this title. The addition of Tony Bedard has failed to impress me. It is pretty much on the same level as the unimpressive issues of Uncanny X-Men when Bedard stepped in to help Claremont write.
The dialogue is boring. None of the characters have their own unique voice. With the exception of Brainy, all the characters pretty much sound like each other. The dialogue isn’t bad, it is just resoundingly average.
The character development is slow. Outside of Brainiac 5 and maybe Cosmic Boy, we have had almost no character development in any Legionnaire since Supergirl high jacked this title. Most characters have rather generic personalities.
Another alarming feature of this comic book is that there is a total lack of chemistry between these characters. For a title like the Legion of Super Heroes which relies on a large cast, chemistry between characters is an absolute must. Pat of the charm of the old Levitz Legion was the chemistry between the various characters. You had plenty of well developed friendships and feuds. It was excellent. This new version of the Legion is completely lacking in this area and that is a critical defect.
The plotlines are bland. None of them particularly interest me. The new Legion of Super Villains is slightly interesting only because it will be cool to see what characters they bring back. The Supergirl storyline does nothing for me. I could care less about her character or how she got to the future. What other plotlines do we have cooking? The teenagers versus the adults? Snore. The Legion election? Mildly interesting, but nothing unusual. Is that it? Is there a total lack of plotlines? A title like the Legion with such a large roster should have numerous plotlines running at the same time. What do we have going at this point? The Dominators plotline was hinted to back in issue #16 and has been ignored for the past five issues. You have the robot revolution plotline that pops up randomly ever couple of issues. The inconsistency and lack of development of that plotline has really hurt any interest I might have in it.
The Legion completely lacks any pop or sizzle. There is nothing going on about this title that excites me or makes me want to talk about it to other comic fans. This title has nothing special or compelling. This comic is completely common in every aspect possible.
I simply don’t like DeKraker’s artwork. His anatomy is fine. But, his faces range from average to positively grotesque. Plus, everyone has the exact same face! If it weren’t’ for the different color hair and costumes, you would have no clue who was who. It is as if everyone is related to each other. Kitson’s artwork has been the only consistent bright spot on this title. I cannot wait for him to return to this title.
Overall: Right now, the only thing keeping me on this title besides my undying loyalty and love for Levitz’ Legion is what is headed out way in Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #24. It appears that we are in store for the return of Mon-El. This would absolutely kick ass! I hope that this is the return of Mon-El. I love his character. This is pretty much the only thing that has piqued my interest in this title.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Heroes for Hire #1 caught my eye for two reasons. One, I liked Billy Tucci’s art. Second, I have thoroughly enjoyed Gray and Palmiotti’s work on Battle for Bludhaven and Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters. On the other hand, what made me skeptical about this title were the characters on the cover. Misty Knight, Colleen Wing, a new Tarantula, Humbug and Black Cat are all characters that really do nothing for me. Only Shang-Chi interested me. However, I have always give writers that I like a chance regardless of the characters in the comic. So, with that I am a little skeptical about how much I will enjoy this comic book. Let’s hit this review and find out.
Writers: Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti
Penciler: Billy Tucci
Inker: Tom Palmer
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: The issue starts with a team of super villains calling themselves the Mandarin’s Avatars on a rampage in New York City. (Yes, I know, very surprising.) Misty_Knight and her new team of heroes show up on the scene. They are the new Heroes for Hire and are paid by the US government rather than taking cash directly from John Q. Public like the old Heroes_For_Hire comprised of Iron Fist and Power Man. Misty introduces the reader to the various members of the new Heroes for Hire during their fight with the Mandarin’s Avatars.
We have Colleen_Wing, who is comes from a samurai family in Japan. She is a deadly fighter who is an expert with a katana. Next is Humbug. He is a small skinny weird dude in an S&M style leather outfit. He can control any and all forms of insects. He can also talk to them. It makes him a great spy in a city where there are several thousand Cockroaches for every one person in New York. (Wow. That is pretty skank.) We are introduced to the ultimate Kung-Fu fighter in Shang-Chi. Next is the all new Tarantula who is a lovely Latina. Misty mentions that she has no information on this new Tarantula’s background.
And then, accompanying a nice butt shot, Misty introduces herself. For those who don’t know, she is an ex-cop with a bionic arm built by Tony Stark. She used to sleep with Iron Fist. Misty mentions how she is close to both Tony Stark and Captain America and how this Civil War has been tough on her. And this leads to a flashback scene.
We cut back to one week ago. Misty and Colleen are meeting with Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic and Spider-Man. Misty tells Iron Man that she fully supports the Registration Act. (Holy crap!! A title where the main characters ACTUALLY SUPPORT the Registration Act. And it is a black woman on top of it!! And the characters supporting the Registration Act aren’t written like goose-stepping Nazis bent on the total domination of all humans. Does Luke Cage know about Misty’s support of the Registration Act? Doesn’t Misty know that, according to Luke, the Registration is JUST LIKE Slavery? Oh my. Does that make Misty an Uncle Tom? A tool of the man? A pathetic excuse for a black woman? A total disgrace and scourge to all of society? A pariah who should be shunned by all progressive thinking people and all of the black community in America? Or is Misty just a person who thinks for herself as opposed to some hive mind mentality when it comes to political issues?)
Misty is concerned that the Registration Act will spark violence. Iron Man reassures her that he will try to make it as peaceful a transition as possible. Misty says that Tony’s word is good enough for her and that she trusts him. Misty supports the Registration Act and likes the idea of super heroes finally having accountability for their reckless actions. Misty also likes the idea of new super heroes receiving the proper training for their occupation. Misty then tells Iron Man that she will not hunt down other heroes like Captain America. That her team will only go after unregistered super villains. Misty also demands Stark level resources and the authority to cherry pick her own team. Iron Man agrees to those demands.
We then shift to present time at the Heroes for Hire headquarters in Chinatown. (Cool location for a home base.) Misty, Colleen, Tarantula and Humbug are all eating dinner. Black Car arrives and tells them that one of Misty’s old adversaries, Vienna, is running a fake I.D. ring for super felons looking to go underground or leave the country. Humbug connects with city’s cockroaches to find out where Vienna is located. He tracks her down to a specific location.
We then conveniently cut to that location and see Vienna talking with six super villains about their new I.D.’s. Suddenly, the Heroes for Hire bust onto the scene and they engage the super villains in an altercation of the physical nature. Vienna responds by summoning her rather large robots to help the six super villains in their dispute with the Heroes for Hire. Vienna reveals that she was waiting for them to show up and all of this was nothing more than a set up. Misty radios her home base and tells them to execute “bait and switch.” Colleen, Misty, Tarantula, Black Cat and Humbug put up a good fight but are eventually overpowered by the superior numbers and firepower of Vienna’s robots and her super villain clients. Suddenly, the cavalry arrives as we see Paladin, Orka and Shang-Chi arrive on the scene. They make short work of the rest of the bad guys and the Heroes for Hire emerge victorious.
Misty then shocks everyone by thanking Vienna for her nice work. This was a sting operation and Vienna was working with Misty to catch these super villains looking to leave the country or get new I.D.’s. Misty didn’t tell Humbug or Tarantula that Vienna was working with them and that this was a sting operation. It was because they didn’t trust them. Humbug is an ex-con and they now nothing about Tarantula’s personal history. Misty says that trust has to be the number one thing with Heroes for Hire. Orka tells Humbug and Tarantula that the same thing was done to him when he joined. This was their way of making sure they could count on Humbug and Tarantula.
Misty then says that unlike the other super heroes out there in this Civil War who don’t know who they can trust. That the capes underestimate the Heroes for Hire all they want because despite all their power, none of the super heroes in this Civil War know who they can trust and who they can’t. However, trust will simply never be an issue with the Heroes for Hire. End of issue.
The Good: Heroes for Hire #1 was much better than I expected. It was actually a fun issue. Is it anything incredible or stunning? No. It is just good old fashioned entertainment and action. There is nothing wrong with that. Not everything has to be the Watchmen. Heroes for Hire is written in the vein of the old 1970’s Kung Fu movies. You have female characters that are tough and sexy like they stepped out from a Russ Meyer movie. That is the style of dialogue and the general theme of the comic book.
Gray and Palmiotti craft an entertaining first issue. This was a fairly fast paced issue that wasted no time getting the team assembled and the plotlines moving. We didn’t waste too much time giving the background leading up the creation of this team. The dialogue is entertaining. Yes, it can be a bit campy at points, but I think that is done on purpose.
The opening scene where Misty Knight and her new Heroes for Hire arrive on the scene and brawl with the Mandarin’s Avatars was an excellent way to introduce and explain the background and specialties of each member without boring the reader.
The flashback scene showing the formation of this new Heroes for Hire was very well done. I am thrilled that somebody in Marvel finally portrayed some pro-registration heroes as actual likeable characters rather than dick headed soulless evil beings. And Iron Man wasn’t written like the second coming of Adolph Hitler and Benedict Arnold all rolled into one! How novel. I also love that Gray and Palmiotti countered Bendis’ predictable Luke Cage response to the Registration Act with Misty’s support of the Registration Act. Misty concedes with Iron Man that it is 2006 and the Registration Act is not about race or sex. Misty’s support of the Registration Act isn’t blindly given. She fully understands how abusive any government plan can become. However, she does agree that the Act itself is absolutely necessary as long as it is carried out as peacefully as possible. Misty’s response to the Registration Act was wonderfully not P.C. or stereotypical. It was rather refreshing and pretty much the most realistic and rationally sound reaction to the Registration Act that I have read so far. Way to go to the boys from DC Comics finally writing the best response to Marvel’s Civil War.
This flashback scene had some solid dialogue. I have never been confused with a huge Misty Knight fan, but this scene certainly made me respect and like her character way more than I ever have in the past.
The scene with Vienna’s sting operation was also well done. They fight was pretty entertaining and I liked the back up team consisting of Shang-Chi, Orca and Paladin. I also thought it was a neat twist that Vienna was a part of the sting operation and that the team had kept it a secret from Tarantula and Humbug. Those two members proved their worth and earned the trust of the other members of the team.
I also likes Misty’s take on the Heroes for Hire and trust. I love Misty’s belief in trust and how she demands it from her friends and teammates and blindly gives it back in return. It is quite honorable. It was also cool how even though the Heroes for Hire don’t have all the fancy powers of the metahumans fighting in the Civil War, they have something far more valuable: trust. Nice.
I like the team’s line-up more than I thought I would. Like I said, I have never really liked Misty Knight. However, after this issue, I’m a pretty big fan of her character. Tarantula has some potential. Plus, she is a Latina which automatically means I’ll support her character.
I like Humbug. He is such the non-stereotypical muscle bound male super hero. Humbug is to make readers what a flat chested intelligent female super hero would be to female readers. A refreshing change of pace from the normal stereotype seen in comics. People always complain about how women are drawn. What about men? They are all muscle bound, with washboard abs and are at least 6 feet tall. Not Humbug. And that is why I dig the weird little guy. Plus, he has some pretty interesting, useful and deceptively powerful abilities.
I love Shang-Chi. He is a kick as character. I’m glad to see him getting some panel time in the Marvel universe. Paladin is a pretty cool character who has a lot of potential. Orka is a bit of a strange choice. He isn’t an “urban” character nor is he a martial arts non-metahuman style character like the others. I’m psyched to read more about this seldom used character.
Gray and Palmiotti do a nice job developing Misty’s character and Humbug’s character in this issue. I’m sure they will nicely flesh out the other characters with the upcoming issues. Gray and Palmiotti do a nice job giving each character their own unique personality and craft some solid dialogue for each character.
I am a big fan of Billy Tucci’s artwork. He definitely can draw great looking women. My favorite would definitely be Vienna. We need more of her in this comic! Tucci’s artwork fits the theme and mood of the story perfectly. Tucci’s art makes this a dynamic and enjoyable book to look at.
The Bad: I don’t have any real serious complaints. Just a few very minor ones. The dialogue can get a little cheesy at certain points. The sheer number of "tough butt kicking fighting women" is a bit much as well. It tends to take away from their uniqueness and having too many similar characters makes the team dynamic less interesting. Variety and diversity in personalities and powers is always what makes for a successful team. Unfortunately, with Misty, Colleen, Tarantula, and Black Cat we have 4 very similar characters in personalities and abilities. It will be up to Gray and Palmiotti to clearly develop distinct styles and personalities for each of these four characters.
I know the theme that Tucci was going with when drawing Misty’s hair. That 1970’s blaxploitation movie look. However, in 2006, Misty insanely large and oddly shaped afro makes her look more clownish than cool.
Colleen Wing is a bit on the boring side, but if Gray and Palmiotti can turn me onto Misty, then I’m sure they can get me to like Colleen. Black Cat has never done much for me. I’ll be curious to see if Gray and Palmiotti can get me to like this character.
Overall: If you are looking for in depth, thought provoking and beautifully written dialogue and themes then this is defiantly not the comic book for you. However, if you enjoy Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and like 1970’s Kung Fu movies and don’t mind a little camp then this is certainly a title that you will enjoy.
Heroes for Hire was a fun read. It is pure popcorn for the brain and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you want a comic with some solid dialogue, good action and an overall fun feel to it then give this comic book a try. It certainly has hooked me into getting the next issue. I will say that after one issue, Heroes for Hire has a much better shot of making the Revolution’s permanent pull list than the new Atom or Flash comic books.
Ed Brubaker dropped a huge bomb on the readers with the end of last issue. The return of Foggy Nelson. Needless to say, I’m thrilled that Foggy is still alive. It just isn’t Daredevil with out Foggy around. Brubaker always delivers a solid read on Daredevil. I fully expect Daredevil #88 to be another good read. This issue is a spotlight issue on Foggy filling us in with what has happened to him since we saw him “die.” Let’s do this review.
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: David Aja
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: This issue starts with Foggy calling Ben Urich. Foggy tells Ben that he isn’t dead. Unfortunately, Ben can’t hear Foggy. An FBI agent then enters the room and tells Foggy that they have blocked his phone call to Ben. The FBI agent tells Foggy that he is in protective custody for a reason and that Foggy isn’t getting killed on his watch. The agent says they are working on finding out who tried to kill Foggy. That they are working on trying to find Matt. As long as Matt is on the run, Foggy is a target.
Foggy then has a long introspective narrative thinking about his past with Matt. Foggy admits that he is not a coward, but isn’t very brave. Not like Matt. And how, no matter what crazy incident was going on, that Foggy always felt safe with Matt around. He never worried about dying. Even though Foggy knows that Matt can’t protect everyone. Foggy thinks of Elektra and Karen Page who were both killed by Bullseye.
Foggy said the cold truth hit him when he got stabbed in the jail. That Matt can’t always protect him. Foggy was rushed to the emergency room and while on the operating table, the FBI asked him if he wanted to be placed into protective custody. Foggy was scared and panicked and agreed. Foggy then thinks that Matt is going to continue his reckless mission of revenge for Foggy’s death unless Foggy can let him know that he is actually alive. Foggy decides he needs to escape from protective custody and go on the run and get work to Matt that he is alive.
We cut to the FBI agent training Foggy on his new identity and background. Foggy is now Everett Williams from Jersey.
We shift to a couple of thugs in a car outside where Foggy is. They mention that they have a man planted in the FBI who managed to get Foggy into the witness relocation plan without tipping off the higher-ups in the FBI. Their boss talked to some lawyer about this plan. They thugs were instructed to sit and wait until they get word from their boss.
We then cut to Agent Pullman entering the house and talking to the FBI agent guarding Foggy. Pullman mentions that they tracked Matt flying out of America headed to London, but he was not on the plane when it landed and no one can remember Matt getting up from his seat prior to landing.
Foggy then decides that he can’t continue to let Matt act recklessly in his mission for revenge. Foggy slips out of the house and makes his escape. He hops into a cab down the street from his house. The cabbie turns out to be working for the thugs we saw earlier. The cab arrives at a junkyard where the rest of the thugs are waiting. Suddenly, the thugs are attacked by Hand ninjas. The Hand makes short work of the thugs and save Foggy. One of the ninjas tells Foggy that their mistress (Electra) wants Foggy to go back to the FBI protective custody. That it is safe there. That agent Pullman was the inside man working for the thugs. The Hand have taken him out. There is nothing left for Foggy to fear. Also, that the Hand will be carefully watching and guarding Foggy.
We cut to the next day with Foggy practicing his new name and background with the FBI Agent. Foggy is stunned that Electra is watching out for him. That how crazy has the world become when the bad guys (the Hand) are watching over the FBI. Foggy then wishes for Matt to come back home so they can fix all of this. So they can get back to the way things used to be. So Foggy can be safe again. End of issue.
The Good: Brubaker rarely disappoints me. Brubaker delivers another solid read with Daredevil #88. The past several issues have been very fast paced and full of big surprises. It was a good move for Brubaker to slow things down with this issue and give the reader a chance to catch their breath and soak everything in. This issue had a nice deliberate pace. It was a much needed change of pace from the past several issues. As always, Brubaker delivered strong dialogue that made had a nice flow to it.
It was also very cool to get an insight into Foggy Nelson and how he has viewed Matt and all the dangerous situations that Foggy has been thrust into the middle of over the years. All of the flashback scenes were well done showing how while Matt has been able to always protect Foggy; he certainly hasn’t been able to protect everyone that he loves. It was neat how Brubaker used Foggy’s stabbing as a wake up call to Foggy. That Foggy had been fooling himself into thinking that he was always safe from harm with Matt around. This scene provided some of the best insight to Foggy’s personality. This was very well done. The best line used to describe Foggy was “I’m not a coward. But, I’m not very brave.” Perfect.
We also got a nice explanation about what happened to Foggy after he was stabbed and why he did what he did. And it was cool to see Foggy willing to risk being killed by leaving the FBI’s protective custody in order to get work to Matt that he is alive. That Foggy would risk his life to prevent Matt from engaging in some pointless mission of revenge for Foggy’s death.
Brubaker then spiced up the story a bit by introducing the FBI agent who was working with the Mafia to have Foggy placed in protective custody for some unknown reason. We then get the story cranked up a notch when the Foggy decides to make a run for it and the cabbie he uses is one of the mafia members.
The big fight scene between the gangsters and the Hand ninjas was unexpected and well done. I certainly wasn’t expecting to see the Hand come to Foggy’s rescue. But, with Electra now the leader of the Hand, it makes sense that she would want to make sure that Foggy was protected and safe. This was a cool twist.
The final scene was a fitting ending. Foggy is in a bizarre situation where one of the most notorious bad guy groups, the Hand, is keeping tabs on supposedly a good guy organization in the FBI. I like Foggy’s final thoughts about hoping for Matt to return soon so they can fix this situation and make things like they used to be. And so Foggy can be safe. It was a touching ending that really did a nice job portraying the love and close friendship that Foggy has for Matt.
Daredevil #88 had such a nice feel to it. It was an emotional story that pulled the reader into the story from the first page. I think Brubaker did more to develop and flesh out Foggy’s character than any previous writers have done in their entire runs on Daredevil. You get such a great feel for Foggy. I have always liked his character, but I like it even more after this issue.
David Aja’s style works well with the mood of Brubaker’s story. It is close enough to Lark’s style so it isn’t glaringly obvious that there is a guest artist. However, Aga’s art isn’t quite as solid as Lark’s art.
The Bad: No complaints with this issue.
Overall: Daredevil #88 was another solid read. Brubaker is impressive with his ability to be so dependable and consistent in his writing. Even his “slow” issues that act as a transition between major story arcs are better written than most comics on the market. Even though we had a guest artist, the comic still looked nice and was enjoyable. Daredevil is still one of Marvel’s best titles. It is well worth checking out.