Writer: Sean McKeever
Artist: Eddy Barrows
Inker: Ruy Jose
Colorist: Rod Reis
Story - The New Deal part 3: New Day Dawning
Ever since the two-part Doctor Light story we got before the start of Infinite Crisis this title has been in a state of mediocrity with the only notable story we have gotten from this title was the Doom Patrol arc. This state of mediocrity stems from the fact that Teen Titans has been dealing with turnover on the team with at least one Titan leaving at the end of every arc. One of the things that has hurt Teen Titans is that this used to be the flagship title for the next generation of heroes but since One Year Later started that title has gone to the JSA since all the big next generation heroes appear in that title.
Also it does not help that Teen Titans has been stuck in this ongoing recruiting drive since the start of One Year Later and 52. It has almost become a chore to continue to read the same story over and over again. I understand that it is tough having to come up new ideas for stories since most of stories have been done already so almost every story we read, whether in a comic or a book, will be the same. That still does not excuse the fact that writer can do something original as to not make a story feel like a retread of what has been done to death before.
Now the problem with this issue is that it again centers around Red Devil (can I still call him that now that he has lost his powers?) adventures in Hell with Kid Eternity which does nothing to interest me in either character. The problem with Red Devil is that he just continues to be a whining crybaby looking to be accepted when he does not realize that he is already an accepted member of the Teen Titans. Even before he lost his powers Red Devil never did anything of note to help out the team and now that he still does not have his powers I don't see a reason for him to be on the team other than to let the team have at least four members since he hasn't shown to have any useful skill to help out the team in missions. But from the Origins and Omens back-up it looks like he wont be around for much longer if the image of his future is correct.
And speaking of the Origins and Omens back-up I would not make a big deal about the image of Wonder Girl and Blue Beetle kissing on the last page featuring the Titans future. I am guessing that image has something with the crossover between Teen Titans, Titans, and Vigilante starting in April that involves capturing Jericho. My guess is that Jericho probably takes over Wonder Girl's body and in order to escape from Blue Beetle, who is the only one in his way, Jericho (as Wonder Girl) give Blue Beetle the kiss as a distraction to get away from being captured. So I would not make a big deal about the kiss shown other than it will cause some tension between Jamie,Traci 13, and Cassie for at most a issue.
The only real thing that I liked about the issue is Eddy Barrows artwork. As always Barrows turns in some dependable artwork. While it is nothing spectacular it gets the job done. He does a good job drawing all the various evil creatures located in Hell by giving them a menacing look. Also he does a nice job with the various character reactions but his faces are inconsistent in certain panels.
Story: 4/10 - McKeever continues to disappoints as he has us go through yet another recruitment arc.
Art: 7/10 - Barrows provides some dependable art that can be inconsistent at times.
Overall: 5.5/10 - This issue that mainly focuses on Red Devil did nothing to get me interested in the character. And even though there were some interesting images in the Origins and Omens back-up issue I am not to hyped about the future of this title like I should be due to the state mediocrity Teen Titans has been in for a long time.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
It is time for one of my rare posts that does not deal with a review of a comic book. I think it is in order because I need some direction and input from the Followers of The Revolution.
Rapscallion86 and JonHend posted two very valid comments to the New Avengers #50 review. Both are loyal Followers of the Revolution, but they had real issues with the review. Both commented that I was too sarcastic and hostile in my review. And both commented that they would much rather read reviews from me on comic books that I enjoy rather than comic books that I dislike.
And I have to totally agree with Rapscallion86 and JonHend. They were both completely right in their assessments of my review. Normally, I try my hardest to be as unbiased and as clinical as I can be in my review in order to give a fair and well rounded review. I did not do that with New Avengers #50.
The fact is that the past two weeks have not been great. And I have been fairly hostile, irritated and extremely cranky. In short, I have pretty much been a total dick to just about everyone. Normally The Revolution is my release that allows me to escape the crap from work or whatever else is going on. And usually I can separate the two so you guys never have to put up with my pissy moods. I figure you guys all come to The Revolution for a bit of escapism as well. Everyone has problems and nobody wants to hear about someone else's problems.
Well, my black mood clearly got the better of me and it really poured through in my New Avengers #50 review. I won't apologize for my opinion of the issue. But, I do want to give the Followers what they want.
The fact is that you guys out there, the Followers of The Revolution, control this blog. Not me. It is what you guys want that dictates what I give you. I have opened up the direction and format of The Revolution to a popular vote before. And I am not shy about doing it again.
The Revolution is not a platform for me to preach. The Revolution is not a vehicle to feed my ego. I mean, I hide my real identity from everyone because I do not want the focus on me. I want the focus solely on the comic books that I review. I never promote myself. I only promote the comic books that I enjoy.
I have always hesitated to only post positive reviews because I am afraid that I will lose my credibility as a reviewer and come across as nothing more than a shill. I have always hated how Wizard loves every single comic book that they review. So, I figured that if I posted reviews about comic books that I was not impressed with that I would retain more legitimacy and credibility than if I always raved about every comic book that I reviewed.
I also felt that readers would appreciate being able to get reviews of certain issues that were not good so that they could avoid wasting their time and money on those issues. In a time when comics are more expensive than ever and the economy is getting worse, I figured that people might like to be aware that some massively hyped comic books might not be worth their hard earned cash. I did not want The Revolution to just be me sycophantically praising issues. I wanted The Revolution to be a resource for people to figure up how to spend their dollars on comic books.
So, I believe that it is time for another poll in order for the Followers of The Revolution to decide on any changes to the format of The Revolution. I have put up a poll and I urge all of you guys to vote. I know that plenty of people don't like polls. But, this one is important. Everyone gets a say in the direction of The Revolution and the majority will decide the direction that I take.
The poll question is: "Which would you like to see The Revolution do with regard to the weekly reviews?"
- Only give detailed and lengthy reviews to comic books that receive a 7 or higher score. Any issue that scores a 6 or less should get a Bunker Bulletin only.
- I don't care if you loved the issue or hated it. Give us detailed and lengthy reviews for whatever comic books you choose to review regardless of the score.
- Put a poll up every Monday and let us vote on which comic books from that week are to get detailed and lengthy reviews. The top four issues in the poll will get the detailed reviews regardless if you liked them or not.
Now a bit of housekeeping. The Revolution is happy to announce that we have left our blogspot days behind us. We now have our very own domain name: www.comicbookrevolution.net. The main page is still under construction. The blog is now blog.comicbookrevolution.net. The forums are at www.comicbookrevolution.net/forums/index.php. Hopefully, we will get the main page up and running soon.
The Revolution never stops trying to grow and evolve. I would love to have gotten the domain name comicbookrevolution.com. But, someone else has it and is doing next to nothing with it. So, if you are the owner of that domain name sell it to me! And for the record, we are the original Comic Book Revolution. We were around years before this other website.
And last, but not least, I would like to welcome aboard a new member of The Revolution. Nagacore has graciously agreed to contribute to The Revolution. I think he will be an invaluable addition to the team. That brings us to a crew of four members. Man, it seems like forever ago when it was just little old me posting reviews on this blog. Like I said, I am determined to make sure that The Revolution keeps on growing.
All right, enough talking. Go and vote!
Posted by Rokk Krinn at 9:45 PM
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Billy Tan, Matt Banning, Justin Ponsor, Brian Hitch, Rain Beredo, David Aja, Dave Stewart, David Lopez, Alvaro Lopez, Alex Maleev, Steve McNiven, Dexter Vines, Morry Hollowell, Leinel Yu, Mark Morales, Dave McCraig, Steve Epting and Greg Horn
Story Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 3.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with the New Avengers staring at the paused picture of the New Avengers on their television. Hawkeye is pissed off and is ranting that they need to go kick the Dark Avengers' asses. The others are just stunned. Clint spits that they are probably Skrulls. This prompts Iron Fist to quip for Clint to stop using the word Skrull. Iron Fist says that he is sick of that word. Luke chimes in that he is sick of that word, too. (So am I.)
The New Avengers proceed to figure out that Marvel Boy is Captain Marvel. That Moonstone is Ms. Marvel. That Venom is Spider-Man and Bullseye is Hawkeye. The New Avengers are pissed that the Thunderbolts are posing as Avengers. However, nobody recognizes who is posing as Wolverine. Logan replies that it is his son, Daken. The New Avengers are all stunned silent that Wolverine has a son. Spider-Man is stunned that Wolverine has even had sex. (This scene is ridiculously decompressed.)
The New Avengers talk about how since Tony paid for everything with SHIELD money that Norman is now in control of Avengers Tower. Captain America asks Spider-Man if there is no question that Norman Osborn is the Green Goblin. Spider-Man swears that Norman is the Green Goblin and that Norman is a murderer and a psychopath. Captain America adds that now Norman has surrounded himself with criminals from the Thunderbolts. And now Norman has weaseled himself into a position of power. Captain America states that they have to believe that Norman is intent on abusing his newfound power. (Duh. Look at the big brain on Cap.)
Bendis is talking me to death.)
Ms. Marvel states that they might be able to beat the Dark Avengers. Ms. Marvel says that she has Tony's power inhibitor that he used on the New Avengers a while back when he lured them to Avengers Tower by using Steve Rogers' dead body as bait. Ms. Marvel says that they could lure the Dark Avengers somewhere and then use the power inhibitor on them. Luke says "And beat the black off them." (Whaaat? Why in the hell would Luke say that? First, it is stupid and ignorant. Second, none of the Dark Avengers are black. That was dumb dialogue. Once again Bendis makes Luke look like an idiot.)
Jessica Jones then points out that they are running out of places to live and that they cannot lure the Dark Avengers to Cap's hideout. Ms. Marvel says that they can lure the Dark Avengers to some other place. Spider-Woman then says that she thinks that she might come into play at this point.
Dark Avengers #2 where Norman tells the team that the Skrulls are done and that they are not going to go after Tony Stark for their first mission. Moonstone then suggests that they introduce themselves to each other. Daken asks why they would do that. Moonstone says that it was her way of saying that she does not know what the hell Daken is. (God, I have sat through ten pages of talking static heads and now I have to re-read a scene of dialogue from an earlier issue. Bendis is putting me to sleep.)
Suddenly, Spider-Woman arrives on the scene. (Thank god. Please fight. Do not talk.) Venom attacks Spider-Woman and asks Norman if he can eat her. (That is so fresh and original getting old.) Spider-Woman says that she came here to talk to Norman. Hawkeye asks if he can kill "it" before Venom eats "it." Norman says that Spider-Woman is not an "it." That she is not the Skrull queen.
Norman asks what Spider-Woman wants. Spider-Woman says that she first went to the New Avengers but they did not want her. That they all hate her because she looks like the Skrull queen. Norman answers that he has no desire to look at Spider-Woman's face, either. Norman says that he has no spot on the Dark Avengers for her.
Venom says that Spider-Woman is a Skrull. (This issue is just awful so far.) Spider-Woman screams that she is not a Skrull and blasts Venom. Sentry grabs Spider-Woman's arms and tells her to stop. Spider-Woman blasts Sentry in the face. It has no effect on him at all. Sentry says "No. Seriously. Cut it out."
Norman tells everyone to stop fighting. Norman says that Spider-Woman has nothing to offer him. (This scene is about three pages longer than it needs to be.) Spider-Woman says that she knows the location of Luke Cage and the New Avengers. Spider-Woman asks if that information is worth a roster spot on the Dark Avengers.
We cut to the New Avengers at the old Hellfire Club house o' sin in New York City. Wolverine says that he thought about this location if the New Avengers ever needed a place to hide out. Luke can't believe that Wolverine would have suggested this location as a place to live. Wolverine quips that it would have been better than nothing. Luke answers "Not really." (Dios mio. This issue is an ode to decompression at its most extreme form. Are we going to talk about the amount of navel lint that Luke accumulates due to the "wife beaters" that he wears?)
We have to sit through Ms. Marvel giving an unnecessary explanation about how the power inhibitor works. Evidently it is like a biological EMP. Mockingbird asks how they will know when to use it. (I would suggest using it when the bad guys show up.) Spider-Woman appears on the scene and tells them to fire it up now. That the Dark Avengers are right behind her. Wolverine sniffs the air and says something is wrong. (Yes, you are correct, my short furry friend. Something is wrong. We have been 18 pages and gotten more mind numbing and rambling dialogue than one person can possibly handle.)
Suddenly, the power inhibitor explodes. (Damn Starktech!) Iron Fist says that they should retreat immediately. Spider-Man says his spider sense is tingling. Wolverine says that his is as well. The door blows up and little red riding Hood and his merry band of D-list super villains enter the scene. (Aww, were you expecting to see the New Avengers knock heads with the Dark Avengers? Sorry. NO SOUP FOR YOU!)
We cut to outside of the Hellfire Club and see the Dark Avengers on a nearby rooftop watching the Hood and his thugs attack the New Avengers. Norman says that it was a trap after all. Norman says that the New Avengers will get the message. Norman says that the Dark Avengers will not join the fight. Norman continues that he does not want his first act as top cop to be him beating up Captain America. (Norman is hands down the smartest character in this issue.) Norman tells everyone to get into the Quinjet. Ares looks totally despondent that they are not joining the battle.
We then slide back into the Hellfire Club where the New Avengers are brawling with the Hood's merry band of losers. Mockingbird asks who the villains are that are attacking them. Clint explains that it is the Hood and his band of villain. (Jesus Christ. Is Bendis going to explain even the most basic things to the reader like the reader is two years old? Is it too much to ask for Bendis to just shut up and just give us some kick-ass action with no talking to make up for all the decompressed dialogue we have gotten for the past 22 pages?)
Ah, no such luck as we get tons of inner narration from Iron Fist about how crazy his life is and that he only joined the New Avengers to help out his old buddy Luke Cage. Danny drones on about he needs to spend more time as Danny Rand and blah, blah, blah.
Guuuuh.) Luke thinks she set them up and that he is going to have a talk to her after this fight is over. (For God's sake do not kick her in the vagina, Luke. Control your natural urge to do so.)
We then cut to Clint and Mockingbird fighting side-by-side. We get double inner narration from the duo. Clint thinks about how the Hood would have known that the New Avengers were in the Hellfire Club. Clint wonders what the relationship is between the Norman and the Hood. Mockingbird just thinks "Not exactly sure who anyone is, but I can hit them. I'm with Clint. We're kicking ass. This is good." (Now that was a damn good narration.)
We see Spider-Woman fighting some of the thugs. Spider-Woman's inner narration is all about how this is all her fault, that everyone hates her and whine, whine, whine. Next up is Spider-Man's inner narration. (Because, evidently, you just can't have a kick-ass brawl without talking the reader to death in the process.) Spider-Man thinks how he always turned down offers to join the Avengers. And the one time that he decides to join the Avengers they are fugitives on the run and blah, blah, blah.
Bucky says screw Norman and Tony. That the New Avengers are the Avengers. Bucky then thinks that Steve fought in many fights like this. However, Bucky has his own style of fighting that is different from Steve's. Bucky whips out a gun and start shooting at the villains.
Next is Ms. Marvel's inner narration. (God, this is so formulaic and boring.) We get plenty of inner narration about how the Hood is a total loser and blah, blah, blah. Ms. Marvel blasts the Hood in the face. The Hood shrugs it off. Finally, the comic book gods smile on me and the incessant inner narration ends. Ms. Marvel tells Spider-Woman to blast her with everything she has. That Ms. Marvel will absorb the energy, power up and then let out a blast to take down all of the villains.
Get used to it, Clint.) Wolverine is pissed that they turned tail and ran.
Captain America tells everyone to calm down. Clint states that the Hood and Norman are in cahoots. All of the New Avengers agree that the Hood and Norman must be working together. Spider-Woman apologizes for what went down at the Hellfire Club. Ms. Marvel answers that it was not Spider-Woman's fault and that she helped to get them out of there. Clint then storms out of the room. Everybody sits around and asks where Clint is going.
We cut to a breaking news report on TV. We see the newscaster stating that they have an unexpected interview. We see Clint next to the newscaster. Clint drones on for two pages full of the same panel shot. (Well, we began the issue with a series of static panels with talking heads, so why not end the issue with a bit more of the same?)
Nah, Americans are very docile. Give us an SUV, a Wal-Mart, some beer and crappy "reality" TV shows and we won't complain about anything.) And that Clint promises that he and the New Avengers will be there fighting alongside of the people of America. End of issue.
The Good: New Avengers #50 was a total train wreck of a read. However, I can still satisfy The Revolution's Rule of Positivity with this issue. Bendis does give the reader a large fight scene that runs for a whopping 13 pages. While it certainly had its defects in its delivery, it was still enough fighting to satisfy many action fans.
And while I took issue with much of the inner narration during the brawl as being unnecessary, I have to admit that I loved Mockingbird's inner narration. This was the only inner narration that I actually found well crafted. Mockingbird's narration gives the reader a nice insight into her character and her frame of mind as she deals with being back in the 616 Universe after her long absence.
The Bad: New Avengers #50 was a hot mess. Bendis gagged up a poorly crafted issue. New Avengers #50 was terribly paced. The story creeps along at an almost maddeningly slow pace. This issue was a study of decompression in its most extreme form. The entire issue was ridiculously decompressed, but the first nineteen pages were just outrageously slow and dull.
New Avengers #50 suffered from poor plotting. There is a total lack of plotlines on this team title other than the one involving the New Avengers determined to expose the Dark Avengers. That is it. Compared to other team titles like Guardians of the Galaxy that boasts several major plotlines, short range plots and long range plots, as well as a myriad of sub-plots involving the different team members; New Avengers comes across as substantive as an anorexic super model.
The unending waves of pointless babbling dialogue and inner monologue nearly drowns the reader. So much of it was completely useless and unnecessary. The dialogue and inner narration drones on and one with no point or purpose for the majority of the issue. This is certainly some of the most incredibly decompressed dialogue that you will find in any comic book on the market. Some of the frivolous dialogue borders on being absurd. It is almost as if Bendis simply is in love with his own voice and wants to reader to love it as much as he does.
What made the endless rambling dialogue even more annoying was that it simply re-hashed dialogue and information that we have gotten over and over on this title and other titles since the beginning of Dark Reign. Bendis simply re-hashes everything that has happened since the end of Secret Invasion. I appreciate set-up work as much as the next read, but enough is enough. I am tired of reading the same discussions on every single Avengers title over and over.
Most of the dialogue is your typical Bendis speak which is Bendis' default setting when he has no grasp of the external voices of the various characters that he is handling. The character work continues to be extremely thin. None of the various members of the New Avengers have much of a textured, fleshed out or nuance personality. Instead, the various members of the New Avengers either possess a generic and bland personality or they are simply walking stereotypes. Clint and Luke in particular come across more as caricatures rather than actual characters.
Unfortunately, the large fight scene was dragged down by the endless and boring inner narration from each of the characters. And the structure of the fight scene and the inner narration was so mechanical and formulaic as we methodically plodded through a page of narration from every single member of the team. And almost all of the inner narration was useless and unnecessary. There was no real need for any of the inner narration from Iron Fist, Luke, Clint, Spider-Woman, Spider-Man, Wolverine and Ms. Marvel.
Now, I do not mind a little bit of inner narration during a fight scene. But, I place an emphasis on a little bit. Less is always more when it comes to an action scene. Inner narration should be used sparingly, period; and only when it advances the story. The vast majority of the inner narration that Bends overwhelms the reader with serves little purpose and does not advance the story in any substantive manner.
In general I strongly dislike artwork by committee. It only works for me if the artists involved can blend their styles together in order to prevent the issue from having a schizophrenic look. Unfortunately, that does not happen in New Avengers #50. We get a whopping 18 artists in a single 37 page story. That has to be some kind of record. And the art styles clash as we shift artists from page to page during the long fight scene.
And even the parts of New Avengers that are handled by the main three artists are dull and uninteresting. The reader gets nothing but an endless onslaught of small panels with talking heads in them or we get the same static panel over and over with the only changes being the dialogue balloons. New Avengers #50 was just so visually unappealing on so many different levels.
Overall: New Avengers #50 was an extremely disappointing read. And it is made even more so by the fact that Bendis is capable of giving us a much better effort than what he turns in on this title every month. Ultimate Spider-Man is a consistently good read. Dark Avengers has been entertaining. However, New Avengers continues to be one of the most unimpressive reads that Marvel publishes.
If you have enjoyed what Bendis has given us on New Avengers over the past couple of years then definitely pick up New Avengers #50. You will certainly like this issue. However, for everyone else out there I would strongly recommend avoiding New Avengers #50. This title is definitely not worth the inflated cover price of $4.99.
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Butch Guice
Colorist: Frank D'Armata
Story - Old Friends and Enemies: Part 2 of 3
Captain America has always been one of the strongest and most dependable read month in, month out and this issue is no different. Ed Brubaker has done an excellent job making Captain America feel more like an epic espionage book that is masquerading as a comic. The truth is that Captain America, along with Ultimate Spider-Man and Green Lantern, is one of the few ongoing comics published by Marvel and DC that feels like it is telling its own story and not being forced to have to tie into company wide crossovers or direction.
One of the reasons Daniel Craig's has become my favorite James Bond is because his version of Bond is unrefined and make up stuff as he goes without having to rely on some sort of super advance technology to get him out of the situations he finds himself in. It is for those same characteristic why I continue to enjoy Bucky as Captain America. Even though he has been a soldier for a long time and has plenty of experience going in on top secret missions he is still trying to get acclimated to being the new Captain America which has caused him to become very impulsive and full of self-doubt about filling his new role.
And this issue is a perfect example of that impulsive and self-doubt that Bucky is filled with as he takes up the Winter Soldier costume again when facing off against Doctor Chen and his men. It is interesting to see that the reason Bucky goes on this mission as Winter Soldier instead of Captain America is not just because he doesn't want to disgrace the name of Captain America. The real reason Bucky took up the mantle of Winter Soldier again is because he feels guilty for what he did to Chen in the past and that he deserves to take any punishment he gets in this mission as Winter Soldier not as Captain America.
What makes this aspect of the story even better is the fact that Natasha is able to quickly figure out the real reason Bucky is doing what he is doing without telling her. This helps to make the relationship of Bucky and Natasha even more compelling as Bucky will not be able to keep telling lies to Natasha since she knows what Bucky is thinking. It really sets this relationship apart from other comic book relationships as we will not have to see either one be able to BS the other since the other will call them on their BS.
Also Brubaker continues to do an awesome job in how he is handling Namor in this story. Namor has always been a cool character with tremendous untapped potential. The problem is that writers just don't seem to be able to be balance out the villainous nature of thee character with his 'hero' nature. It always seem that writers will either try and make him a complete asshole that you can't root for or a push over. But Brubaker does a nice job showing that tough take no BS attitude while also showing Namor is a man that cares about the few friends he has as he helps out Bucky with his mission. All I can say is that I did not see the ending of this issue coming at all and I can't wait to see were Brubaker takes the Dr. Chen/Human Torch storyline and how Bucky and Namor are going to get themselves out of their situation they find themselves in.
While Brubaker does a great job with all of the dialogue it was Butch Guice dark espionage artwork that help drive home the blockbuster feel of this book. He and his colorist, D'Armata, do an awesome job balancing all the dark shadows along with the explosions going on in the background to make all the action going on this issue stand out. This book feels like I am watching one of the Bourne or James Bond movies with all the great fighting going on in this issue. The only problem I had with Guice's artwork is that their were a few panels were some of the characters faces looked like they have been stretched out vertically. But that is just a minor complaint that does not take away from the enjoyment of this issue.
Story: 9.4/10 - Brubaker continues to do an excellent job creating suspence within the book without ever making the dialogue feel rushed.
Art: 8.7/10 - Minor inconsistencies aside, Guice does a nice job making Captain America feel like one of the big blockbuster espionage movies we have gotten over the past years.
Overall: 9.1/10 - Captain America #47 was another great read for the comic book that has become the rock of my pull list.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Ivan Reis
Inks: Oclair Albert
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with Carol Ferris in her office. She picks up the phone and calls Hal. Cowgirl answers the phone. Carol says that she must have the wrong number and that she was trying to reach Hal Jordan. Cowgirl recognizes Carol's voice and answers that "Highball" has not gotten back from space yet. Cowgirl asks if Carol wants to leave a message. Carol says no. Carol hangs up the phone and looks at a picture of her and Hal as kids standing next to their fathers.
We cut to Ysmault and see Hal Jordan as a Red Lantern. We see Sinestro strapped into a red energy electric chair constructed by the Red Lanterns. Rage courses through Hal's veins as he lashes out at the two Blue Lanterns. Atrocitus notices that the Blue Lanterns hesitate to use their power rings. Saint Walker retorts that the blue light is the most powerful light. Atrocitus then challenges Saint Walker to unleash his blue power on the Red Lanterns.
Atrocitus then breaks Saint Walker's wrist. Atrocitus says that he knows the secret of the blue light. That hope is nothing without willpower to enact it. We see Hal then throw the switch on the red energy eclectic chair that Sinestro is hooked into. Sinestro fries.
Atrocitus states that Hal's green power ring is inactive and that without an active Green Lantern by the Blue Lanterns' side that their blue power rings will not work. Saint Walker admits that his blue power ring does rely on the aura of green to function. However, that does not make Saint Walker hopeless. Saint Walker says that all will be well.
Saint Walker lunges for Hal and says that he does not know if Hal has great hope in his heart. But, that Saint Walker welcomes Hal to the Blue Lantern Corps. Saint Walker slips a blue power ring onto Hal's finger. The blue ring immediately begins to purge Hal of the infection of the red power ring.
While the red and the blue lights are battling inside of Hal we cut back to Sinestro training Hal and telling him how Green Lanterns are trained to overcome fear. But, when it comes to guilt, regret and loss that Green Lanterns struggle with those emotions. We see Hal flashing back to meeting Cowgirl and Hal thinking "Yellow. My one weakness."
We hear the Blue Lantern Corps oath as Hal rips off his Red Lantern outfit and reveals a combination Blue Lantern and Green Lantern costume. Hal then attacks Atrocitus and blasts him. Atrocitus falls to the ground and mumbles in disbelief that the blue power ring destroyed the red power ring. Atrocitus exclaims "Impossible."
We shift to Carol walking to the hangar. Carol tells Tom that she is thinking of taking a quick flight in Hal's plane. Tom says that he will tell the tower to clear the runway. We cut to the Star Sapphire Corps. They mention how Carol's heart yearns for Hal. They say that Carol will not need Hal. That Carol will only need the Star Sapphire Corps.
We cut to Sinestro and his Yellow Lanterns arriving at the Qward in the anti-matter universe. Sinestro is informed about Mongul taking over the Sinestro Corps and stationing himself on Daxam. Sinestro unearths the Sinestro Corps main power battery. Sinestro recharges his power ring. Sinestro swears that Mongul will suffer just like Hal and Atrocitus will suffer.
We shift to the planet Okaara in the Vega system. The Controllers arrive on the planet and say that "the power" is buried here on this planet. They arrive to a vault that houses the orange power battery. We cut to a shadowy figure wearing an orange power ring. The figure cries out "No! Go away!" The figure screams that the Guardians promised that "it" would be his. We see Scar listening to the shadowy figure. Scar says "Yes, Larfleeze. Cry out. Join the others."
We then get an Origins and Omens back-up story. It focuses on Hal Jordan and John Stewart. We see John back at the location where Xanshi used to be. John sees Fatality in her Star Sapphire form sitting on an asteroid. John is about to blast her and then decides not to and flies away.
We cut to Hal Jordan back on Earth at Ferris Air. Tom tells Hal that Carol took his plane flying. Tom says that when she landed she was not smiling. Tom says that Carol spends all of her time alone. We cut to Carol in all her Star Sapphire glory.
The Good: Green Lantern #38 was another good read. This issue was nicely paced as Johns creates the proper chaotic feel of a galactic war that is about to erupt. This issue was not rushed, but it moved with a purpose as Johns seamlessly shifted from slower paced dramatic scenes to faster paced fight scenes. Green Lantern #38 offers a great balance of action and drama.
This issue was strongly plotted. Johns continues to impress me with his master plotting skills on this title. Johns is juggling so many interesting plotlines. And they all have plenty of substance to them. Johns has managed to set the stage for a big event in Blackest Night that is going to feel grand and epic in scope. Johns is masterfully sliding all the various players into place for the Blackest Night. And I appreciate how Johns has managed to find a role, no matter how small or large, for just about every supporting character in the Green Lantern mythos.
The dialogue was nicely crafted and had a pleasant flow. The character work was also well done. Johns has presented the reader with an interesting collection of characters for the Blackest Night event. I know that some people dislike the "rainbow" Corps aspect to the lead-in to Blackest Night. I actually dig all of the different colored Lantern Corps and it works for me. Each one has a specific purpose and lends to a deeper and more interesting story. And, for the most part, each Corps has been nicely developed. The Red Lantern Corps still remains the only Corps that I find uninteresting.
And this is a theme that Johns has been playing with ever since he brought Hal Jordan back to the Green Lantern Corps. Hal has been battling feelings of guilt, remorse and anger ever since returning from the dead. The battle between the red and the green was a logical extension of that long running theme.
It is clear that Johns has had his eye on Blackest Night for quite some time and that this big event would play the pivotal role in Hal finally sorting through his unaddressed emotions stemming from his return to the DCU and his past as Parallax. By experiencing the various ranges of emotions, Hal will be able to come to grips with his own personal issues and become a more grounded person who is at peace with himself and his role in the DCU.
I liked the surprise of having Hal morph into a hybrid Green and Blue Lantern. I was not expecting this move at all. And this surprise change was only made more interesting by the fact that even Saint Walker had no idea what was going on with Hal suddenly turning into a hybrid Lantern.
I dig that Johns has Sinestro back on the loose and ready to wrest control of the Sinestro Corps from Mongul. I am certainly looking forward to the moment when Sinestro locks horns with Mongul. That should be highly entertaining. But, before we get to that climactic showdown, Sinestro has the immediate task of saving his daughter from being killed by the Red Lantern Corps. I am interested in seeing this little family reunion. It is hard to imagine Sinestro as a daddy.
Johns continues to do a nice job handling Sinestro's character. Usually, Johns fails to impress me with his normally one dimensional villains. Sinestro is a rather textured villain and I find him incredibly intriguing. It is nice that Johns has been giving Sinestro as much panel time as Hal. A strong villain always makes a story a much more engrossing read.
Johns does a good job with Carol and mixing her back into the story. The reader gets a nice sense of Carol's feelings of loneliness and loss that weigh heavily on her heart. It is clear that Carol has little else in her life outside of her company. I liked the scene with Carol on the phone with Cowgirl. Johns manages to contrast the two women in just a few panels.
Carol is an obvious choice for the Star Sapphires. Carol has a long history with the Star Sapphire and her loss of love fits with the theme of the Star Sapphire Corps. Adding Carol into the mix only makes the impending battle between the Corps that much more interesting. Poor Hal is going to have a rough time ahead of him. It is going to be tough knowing who is friend and who is foe in this impending war.
I appreciate the details that Johns places into this story. There were some nice little subtle moments like during the scene on Ysmault when the red and blue lights are battling inside of Hal. Hal thinks about how yellow has always been his one weakness. In that panel we see Cowgirl. Hal's traditional weakness to yellow is symbolized in Cowgirl's blonde hair. This adds another layer to this love triangle between Hal, Cowgirl and Carol. I am curious to see how this all plays out.
Green Lantern #38 was packed full of gorgeous artwork. Reis and Oclair are amazing art team that has made Green Lantern one of the nicest looking titles on the market.
The Bad: The Origins and Omens back-up story nowhere near as good as the main story. I found the back-up story to be a bit slow and dull. The back-up story was mostly fluff that failed to live up to the intensity of the main story.
Overall: Green Lantern #38 was a good read. Johns continues to craft balanced issues that offer up an enjoyable blend of action, adventure, drama and mystery. This title is part super hero and part cosmic Sci-Fi. Green Lantern #38 should appeal to a wide range of comic book readers no matter what style of comic you prefer. I would definitely recommend giving Green Lantern a try. This is a consistent and dependable comic book that is worth the cover price.
Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Pencils: Lee Ferguson
Inks: Sal Regla
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10
Part 3 of 4 of "Wings of Desire" was uninspiring. The story of a pawn of an evil organization who breaks free from her programming. Her boyfriend is a member of the resistance. The head of the resistance wants her to go back and help free others like her.
This would be okay for a starting point if they found a way to make it different. I did not see anything new from this issue. And the last page revelation of Ripclaw (Image's version of Wolverine) only serves as a reminder of the lack of new ideas.
The art was below the usual Image standards. The best art in this issue was the cover.
Writer: Ben Fisher
Artist: Mike Henderson
Lettered: Adam Markiewicz
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
This entry on Smuggling Spirits is a rare graphic novel review, and an even rarer independent publisher graphic novel review for The Revolution. Hopefully one of many more. Smuggling Spirits is a good way to start this new trend on the blog. Smuggling Spirits is published by Studio-407. Smuggling Spirits will be coming out in hardcover format in March.
Smuggling Spirits is, as some of its ad copy states "Set in a nightmarish vision of the past where deadly monstrosities roam the shadows of Prohibition-Era America, Al Stone is a bootlegger who finds himself on the run when he inadvertently stumbles upon the bloody secret of the creatures' survival. As the beasts close in to take back what's theirs, Al and his young ward, Nathan, make their final stand in this blend of horror, drama, action, and suspense."
Not a particularly gripping plot, on its own, but one of the pleasant surprises of this book is the relationship between Al and his "young ward". Al is a very capable individual, as most protagonists are, but despite the obvious comparison, this is not a Batman and Robin story.
And that is what makes this book stand out for me. Ben Fisher's writing gives depth and soul to what could have easily been another clever adventure story with neat monsters and guns blazing.
His words and ideas are then drawn, in black and white (this is an independent press) by Mike Henderson, in clear, strong lines that allow the art to tell the story as well. The art allows the story to be told without captions or descriptive exposition. Henderson's art succeeds in making many of the monster encounters as intense and dramatic as they should be.
Fisher succeeds also, in giving a satisfying and substantial ending to the story. Not every writer, indie or mainstream, can always pull that off. The only actual complaint I had was that some of the profanity felt forced.
Make no mistake. This is a black and white period piece comic with monsters thrown in. There are no superheroes, there is no "eye candy" or other fan service, and the protagonists kill things and swear. If you only read color, mainstream comics, this will not be for you.
I hope that you can appreciate that this underneath the black and white, bootlegging monster filled world of Smuggling Spirits is a story that will engage you and make you feel something. This is great work from the "indie scene" and the creators involved in this comic make the most with what they have. If you are willing to try something new, and anything in this review piqued your interest, this book is certainly recommended.
SMUGGLING SPIRITS: BOOK ONE
SMUGGLING SPIRITS: BOOK TWO
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
GREEN LANTERN #38
JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #24
ASTOUNDING WOLF-MAN #13
DYNAMO 5 #20
AVENGERS INITIATIVE #22
CAPTAIN AMERICA #47
FANTASTIC FOUR #564
INCREDIBLE HERCULES #126
MARVELS EYE OF CAMERA #4
MIGHTY AVENGERS #22
NEW AVENGERS #50
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #131
WOLVERINE FIRST CLASS #12
WOLVERINE ORIGINS #33
Before we get to the comic books for this week, I would like to thank Dave over at Funny Book Fanatic for naming me his fanatic blog of the week. I appreciate the love, Dave!
We have a total of 19 comic books headed to the bunker today. This is a huge week. I am continuing in my effort to mix in more comic books outside of the worlds of Marvel and DC. This week is decidedly Marvel heavy.
However, the DC comic book that I am most looking forward to reading is Green Lantern #38. Johns has this title on a serious roll as Blackest Night is just around the corner. I fully expect this issue to be an exciting read.
Which DC comic book am I least looking forward to reading? That would be Trinity #39. This title continues to be such an average read.
Which Marvel comic book am I most looking forward to reading? What is not to like about this selection of comic books headed out way from the House of Ideas? We are getting plenty of great reads from Marvel this week. I am looking forward to reading Thunderbolts #129. I had never read anything by Andy Diggle before last month's issue. Luckily, a Follower of The Revolution recommended this title and felt that I would dig Diggle's writing. And they were right. Diggle turned in a good read and Thunderbolts #129 should be an action packed story.
I always look forward to the latest issue of Incredible Hercules #126. If you still have not given this title a try then you should do so. There are very few titles on the market that are as much fun as Incredible Hercules.
I am curious to see what Slott has in store for us with Mighty Avengers #22. His debut on this title last month was a solid one, but it did not blow me away. I am hoping that this issue is a bit faster and offers the reader some classic Avengers action.
Fantastic Four #564 should be another quality read. Millar continues to make Fantastic Four actually interesting.
However, the Marvel comic book that I am most looking forward to reading is Nova #22. The last issue of Nova ended with a stunning hook ending as we saw Richard stripped of his Nova powers and kicked out of the Nova Corps. Nova #22 should be an interesting follow-up issue.
Which Marvel comic book am I least looking forward to reading? I have low expectations for New Avengers #50. This title has consistently underperformed and I have learned not to expect much from each new issue.
However, the Marvel comic book that I am least looking forward to reading is Wolverine: Origins #33. If Marvel every wants to contract the number of Wolverine titles on the market then I submit that this be the Wolverine title that gets the axe.
All right, it is time to dish out The Revolution's weekly awards.
As usual we got plenty of great comments from the Followers of The Revolution. I went ahead and gave the comment of the week to Amalgham in response to the Amazing Spider-Man #587 review:
"When it comes to Spidey I have to always put the disclaimer that I cannot let go of the OMD/BND thing. So long as it is still going on I cannot forget.
That being said, I started picking up ASM again for this particular storyline simply because I had gone a few months into the BND storyline and had invested some time with the Menace character as well as Jackpot. With the Jackpot identity having been revealed and possibly the storyline resolved, only Menace was left and I wanted to see who was behind the "mask".
I was drawn to this issue by the fact that Spidey was captured and wanted to see how it was handled. I wasn't expecting Spidey to get unmasked, but I think I hurt myself from the amount of facepalms I did while reading this issue.
I know that heroes aren't going to be unmasked easily, but seriously, how the hell can someone who is a suspect of being a serial killer not be unmasked right on the spot by the NYC police?!? Oh, and I looked up the law that was cited in connection to the reasoning... hence the facepalm.
I live in NYC and if someone like that were caught, and were a federal fugitive he would have been unmasked right on the spot. But, I think this would probably apply to any state. I tend to think cops want to make sure they can recognize the suspect if they happen to catch him again.
Sometimes I try to suspend my sense of logic when it comes to comics, but this was not a case where I could do so.
Overall, I think I could do without the Spider-Man being caught and more of just the Menace story portion of the comic. It seems that that storyline makes more sense then the rest. Well, until the next facepalm issue, look for me at my nearest emergency room where they try to save me from the multiple concussions I'll probably give myself."
Okay, let's go ahead and check out the nominees for the Che for the best comic book of the week:
Dark Avengers #2
Guardians of the Galaxy #10
The Winner: X-Factor #40
The Revolution has already posted reviews for Dark Avengers #2, Invincible #59 and Outsiders #15. We enjoyed all three issues, but they just weren't quite good enough to win the Che for the best read of the week.
Guardians of the Galaxy #10
Writer: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Pencils: Brad Walker
Inks: Victor Olazaba and Livesay
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
DnA cranked out another great read with Guardians of the Galaxy #10. This was an action packed issue as the Guardians of the Galaxy rode to the rescue to save Starlord and Jack Flag from Blastaar's army at 42 in the Negative Zone. Action fans should love this issue since this is a fast paced issue with plenty of action.
This is another well plotted issue as DnA continue to deftly juggle various interesting plotlines at the same time. I like the plot development of Adam Warlock setting out to prove that he is the Messiah and then assuming control over the Universal Church of Truth. The interesting plot twist that the Universal Church has a strange cocoon in their possession piques my interest. Evidently, the Matriarch of the Universal Church feels that the contents of the cocoon houses the true messiah and that Adam Warlock is a fake messiah.
We get a good hook ending at the end of this issue. Jack Flag gains the ability to walk again due to the incredible science at Knowhere. And we then learn from Starhawk that the war that ends everything is starting. We should start to see the War of King events running through the pages of Guardians of the Galaxy.
Guardians of the Galaxy #10 is a balance read that offers a unique combination of excellent character work, good dialogue, strong plotting and quality action. DnA have a nice blueprint for this title and continue to move the story along in a pleasant and focused manner. The only aspect of this issue that I was not overly impressed with was the artwork. It is quite ordinary.
Writer: Peter David
Pencils: Valentine De Landro
Inks: Pat Davidson and Valentine De Landro
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of
I had to give The Che for the best comic book of the week to X-Factor #40. This issue was on a different level than all of the other comic books that I read from last Wednesday. David continue to amaze me with his work on this title. With the exception of the average Messiah Complex tie-in issues and the dull Secret Invasion tie-in issues, X-Factor has been Marvel's best written title. Obviously, what those tie-in issues have taught us is that X-Factor works best when kept separate from the rest of the 616 Universe.
I was worried that the David was losing his focus as the quality of writing truly dipped during the Secret Invasion tie-in issues. However, David has proved my fears unfounded and is back on top of his game with X-Factor #39 and #40.
I will once again honor David's wishes and not say reveal any of the details about the story to X-Factor #40 other than that this issue deals with Jamie going back to talk with his dupe, John Maddrox, who is a preacher in Vermont. This issue builds off of the story that David gave us back in X-Factor #16. Check out my review to refresh your memory of that issue. X-Factor #16 is my favorite issue of X-Factor so far. It was beautifully written. And David manages to match his effort from X-Factor #16 by crafting an equally wonderful read in X-Factor #40.
That is all I am going to tell you all about what happens in this issue. Suffice it to say, this issue was such a moving, powerful and emotional read. David continues to strike a chord within my heart and continually gets me to empathize and relate with his characters in a fashion that I rarely do with most comic books. David's handling of Jamie's character continues to be some of the best character work that you will find in any comic book.
And yes, the ending to X-Factor #40 is another shocker. I cannot wait to see where David goes from here. I strongly urge you to give X-Factor a chance. Get the trades to fill yourself in on the back-story and then go out and purchase X-Factor #40. You won't be disappointed.
And now the nominees for the Sequential Methadone Award for the worst comic book of the week:
Justice League of America #30
The Winner: Justice League of America #30
Justice League of America #30. Needless to say, the Justice League of America has seen better days. This title has become a shell of a comic book. The JLA is constantly getting overshadowed by outside characters due to story arcs that are designed to shill for characters and stories that are to take place outside of the Justice League of America. It would be nice for the JLA to actually be the center of attention in their own title.
There is a paucity of JLA-centric plotlines on this title. The character work was average and the dialogue rather pedestrian. I have never cared at all about Shadow Cabinet before this story arc. And McDuffie did nothing at all to get me to like these rip-off characters with what he gave us in this story arc. I would only recommend Justice League of America #30 to Shadow Cabinet fans. JLA fans will be sorely disappointed with this issue.
So congratulations to X-Factor #40 for winning the Che for the best comic book of the week. And "congratulations" to Justice League of America #30 for winning the Sequential Methadone Award for the worse comic book of the week.
Even with a broken arm Peter goes tries to save his roommate from getting killed while in prison. Is anyone else having flashbacks to when he did this exact same thing back in New Avengers: Breakout?
It is good to see the badass Adam Warlock back as he warns of the upcoming War (of Kings) and telling the leader of the Church of Truth he will be their new leader.
Man Earth heroes are self-involved. While all of Earth's heroes been busy fighting each other the Guardians, Nova, and the other Cosmic characters have been busy saving the universe, you know like actual heroes should. They should be thanking the Guardians of the Galaxy for saving their assess.
Breaking up with a girl over the phone is never a good idea. Hasn't Tim ever heard of text-messaging. Though I am not one to criticize Tim for this since I, like million other guys, have broken up with a girl over the phone. I advice Tim to be wearing a cup the next time he sees Zoanne.
Here is the Origins and Omens back-up for Robin. While it all looks interesting I do have a question: Is that Tim or Damien next to Ra's Al Ghul? They both have the same haircut.
Is it just me or, outside of the "S" hair curl, does Clark look a lot like he could be Bruce's twin?