Sunday, November 3, 2013

Oct 30 Comic Week in Review

This week Pablo Gunner reviews some of the most questionable new mainstream books of the week and a hidden gem. Check out these written reviews of REX ZOMBIE KILLER #1, THOR CROWN OF FOOLS #1, FOREVER EVIL ARGUS #1, DAMIAN SON OF BATMAN #1, AQUAMAN ANNUAL #1.

DC Comics
 (W) John Ostrander (A) Geraldo Borges, Ruy Jose (CA) Paul Pelletier, Danny Miki
It should be pretty obvious that this wouldn’t be consistent with the ongoing Aquaman title with a different writer and artist. Oddly enough thats only half right. First of all its extremely difficult to measure up to Geoff Johns as a writer so right off the bat I didn’t expect this book to be written as well with John Ostrander at the helm. Fortunately I was wrong when it came to the art. Geraldo Borges was very consistent with the look, style, and quality of art this book has been putting out since issue one. I was overall impressed with his work despite very few and minor discrepancies. The writing is wherein lies the problem with this book. It wasn’t bad by any means it was just mediocre. Unfortunately mediocrity doesn’t make for a memorable or great story. This book is more or less a group story of Aquaman teaming back up with The Others. It started quite confusingly in fact but its not before long that you realize that The Other are forced to reconvene. Somebody is trying to make a power play and she tries to convince each member to assist her. The reveal to as who she was felt insignificant and carried no weight to it. Even her defeat was anticlimactic. One thing that was done relatively well as far as the writing is considered is that each character had their own clear, concise voice and motives. The well done characterization and decent dialogue was enough to make up for this soggy story. This one fell flat for me. As good as it looked I wanted to purchase it but I just couldn’t bring myself to it.
(W/A/CA) Andy Kubert
When I heard about this title coming out I automatically blew it off because I figured it was just trying to coin in on the death of Damian and the people who still miss him so much they need to read a book with him in it. Months later it has finally hit the shelves so I decided to give it a look-see. Some people may not care for Any Kuberts art but I’m not one of those people so despite not caring for the way Damian looks on the cover I thought I would give the art a chance. Knowing that the artist is also the writer I had very low expectations. I don’t usually like books that are written and drawn by an artist and I was correct in all of my assumptions. Right away you see that just like on the cover Damian is also illustrated to look like teenage boy nearing more towards the late teens despite the fact that he should only be about 10 years or in his preteens. His Robin outfit also looks nothing like any sort of Damian Wayne Robin costume I’ve ever seen. It looks cheesy, awful, and outdated. The character of Damian was also written similar as to when he first became Robin or started working with Bruce as part of the dynamic duo. To say the least he was acting like a dbag like he use to but looked older so it was confusing as to whether this was some sort of alternate timeline or world or something like that. Batmans dialogue was just as bad as how Robins costume looked, cheesy, awful, outdated, and lame. From there on out it actually go better. Batman died, Damian started killing all possible suspects, and Alfred lectured him about it. It was difficult to be sympathetic towards Damian since he had been such a dbag the entire time. Even after Bruce’s death he was still pretty annoying. Once again this book proves that most artists shouldn’t write and do the art. I actually enjoyed the art quite a bit. Its a little bit of an older look and style reminiscent of the late ‘80s and ‘90s art. The pages even felt like an older book. Honestly I believe it was printed on a different kind of paper. It was nice. None of that made up for the rest of the book though despite the ending being the most interesting part of the book. The writing got better as the book went on but at the same time I’m not willing to read a series to wait until the writing gets better especially when it started at such a low quality. If you want to read a good Damian book then read Batman & Robin Volume 1 Batman Reborn.
Verdict: weak SKIM
(W) Matt Kindt (A) Manuel Garcia (CA) Brett Booth, Mark Irwin
Another book in which I had high hopes and low expectations. Matt Kindt has done some good stuff recently but he’s also written some poppers so I didn’t really know what to expect from him. The same can be said about Manuel Garcia but that is all out of ignorance since I don’t believe I have seen any of his work. His style was very consistent with that of the JLA artist. That being said its overall pretty impressive. The same cannot be said for the writing. First of all it started with some guy in a plane talking about his father who had trust issues and in turn passed that on to him. It took me a while to realize that this guy was Steve Trevor. It was the mission that ended up with him crash landing and meeting Wonder Woman. Eventually it gets to present time with ARGUS and the whole world in shambles. One thing this book did do well was explain how he got there and why he’s still alive. Then it quickly becomes a mission to save the president of the United States of America. Thats more or less where it ended. The writing wasn’t awful but it was kind of allover the place and unfocused. The objective of the characters and the story was more clear later on but it took a while to get there. By the time it did it was over. I hold number one issues at somewhat of a higher standard because they should suck you in, keep you interested, and make you want to pick up the nest issues or rest of the series. This book did none of these. The idea that I thought this book would be about was exponentially better than what it turned out to be and thats never a good thing. Good art rarely makes up for writing that is mediocre at best and this is one of those books.
Verdict: weak SKIM

Marvel Comics
(W) Bryan J. L. Glass (A/CA) Andrea Di Vito
It was obvious that this book was released purely to cash in on the Thor Its A Dark World After All. Half of the book is new and the other half is a reprint of the first appearance of Malekith, who is the main villain in The Dark World. His first appearance was written and drawn by the famous Thor artist Walter Simonson. That story really seemed like you had to be reading that Thor run to know everything thats going on like why is Baldur so obese and everybody is so old amongst other details. For its time I’m sure it was the best thing ever and in all honestly it was pretty solid and interesting even if it was a little too wordy for my tastes. The art is what holds up the best. I would even say that it rivals some of the best artists nowadays. Now the first story had nothing to do with Malekith at all. It was just a random one-shot. The art was decent. It looked like a better more polished indie style. It started with Thor in the thick of it against his fellow Asgardians then it rewound to the beginning. Thor explains why there has been disturbances in Asgard and they go to seek out the source. They find a castle in new ravine. While wandering the halls of this castle it appears that there is a room for each of them that meets their needs. Oddly enough Thor is the only one that breaks this spell and figures it out. Its mostly concluded but is left open to the possibility of a second part. Overall it was ok. Personally I wouldn’t want to pay $4 for it.
Verdict: SKIM
(W) Rob Anderson (A/CA) Dafu Yu
From beginning to end this book is pure awesome fun. Theres definitely some serious parts but what makes it so awesome and fun is the art and animal characters. This book is promoted as Homeward Bound meets Walking Dead and it does not fail to deliver on that. Its interesting to see things from different animals points of view. The squirrels were the most comical. Essentially this story is a continuation of the one-shot. Its about a crew of three dogs, a cat, and a gorilla with a baseball bat in the zombie apocalypse. One of the dogs, Rex, is the leader of the group. He was experimented on by the government so he’s a little smarter than the rest of them. He’s trying to get them to Nevada where his trainer is. The group is all pretty complex like that but its not at all in a cheesy way. In fact it seems pretty realistic for the most part. There’s a little corgi mix pup, a pit bull that was owned by a drug dealer, and an ape that was closer to humans than his own species so because of this he finds it difficult and unnerving to kill the humans. The group is on the run with some gorillas on their trail. A group of dogs that they recently released have also joined up with them. Its cool and crazy to see what these animals do when they are backed into a corner, literally and figuratively. There’s a recap’intro page so you don’t have to feel lost or like you’re missing anything if you haven’t read the one-shot. The art could be better but the zombies and humans look spectacular. The zombies look grotesque, the humans look realistic, and one of the animals in particular looks terrifying. This book kept me interested the whole time and has me avidly awaiting the next issue.
Verdict: BUY


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