March 13 Comic Week in Review
This week for the Comic Week in Review we did reviews for Batgirl, Batman, Avengers Assemble, Avenging Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Fearless Defenders, and more!
Writer: Ray Fawkes, Artist: Daniel Sampere & Vicente Cifuentes
The story picks up exactly where it left off and it's intense from the get go. The narration is interesting as it seems to be coming from the point of view of the antagonist most of the time. It's apparent that Barbara's brother has a sick , demented, obsession with her. The story keeps you on your toes as Batgirl is actually going after two completely different murderous psychopaths that are entirely unrelated at the same time but which will she go after first. There was no doubt there was a couple solid surprises as they play this deadly game of cat & mouse. The art seems slightly improved over the last issue and almost on par with the previous artist Ed Benes. I was surprised how good this issue was. Don't be fooled by the REQIUM on the cover because its literally only one and a half pages worth of tie-in.
Verdict: weak BUY
Writer: Scott Snyder & James T Tynion IV, Artist: Andy Kubert, Sandra Hope, & Alex Maleev
There's no doubt that Greg Capullo is the best Batman artist we've seen in a while but Kubert does a good job on this specific story from the point of view of Harper Row. This is the second issue featuring Harper the last being Batman #12 which we covered on Comicast #41. Long story short, she saved Batman during the Court of Owls story arc and he kind of repaid the favor by beating up some bullies that were about to beat up her and her brother. The entire issue was done as through her point of view as was this one. In this issue Harper has noticed that Batman is on a destructive path recently, going day and night without rest. Batman is caught off guard as she suspected would eventually happen and she shows up to help. Despite actually being helpful he goes off on her so she goes off on him. Then the art changes over to Alex Maleev. In this second part of the story Harper, whom works for Wayne Corp., talks to Bruce Wayne to send Bats a message. She meets back up with him, they reconcile, and go on their merry way. The two art styles don't really flow well into one another. The story and dialogue are well done. Kubert has a classic '90s art style whereas Maleev is more of a sketchy, noir style.
Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick, Artist: Pete Woods, Mark Bagley, & Scott Hanna
I'm loving these two issue story arcs. These are the comics that literally anybody can pick up, read, enjoy, and love. This issue started a little confusing and it was mostly due to the fact that I had read the last issue whereas if I didn't I probably wouldn't have found it confusing much if at all. It's starts with Black Widow bleeding out, recaps an old mission, and then returns to present time. Turns out some guy has figured out the lizard transformation formula. There's a dark romanticism thing going on. Things turn for the worst as Spider-Woman and Hawkeye fight off lizard people with Natasha bleeding out. Hawkeye is forced to make a possibly deadly but last ditch effort decision. The narration is done from Black Widows POV. It works and flows quite well. You would think that with all the people on art it would be at least a little inconsistent and it wasn't at all. The art is clean, smooth, cool, and has a good flow to it. The emotion on the face and in the eyes were really strong. For anybody that finds getting into or buying comics daunting then this title is perfect for you.
Writer: Chris Yost, Artist: Marco Checchetto
Checchetto's art is astoundingly impressive and stunning. As much as I loathe the idea and character of Otto Octavius as Peter Parker I really appreciated how well the character and story was written. Electro returns from space to wreak vengeance upon the man that put him there, Thor, but first he knows he has to step his game up to take on the thunder god by himself so he goes to AIM. Spider-Man tries to warn Thor but from a nerd to a jock he just blows him off. When Electro shows up to lay the smack down on Thor both Spider-Man and Thor find out its a lot more serious than they thought. By the end "Otto Parker" respects Thor but it also seems he may have something sinister planned for the future. The art was gorgeous with panels that had me awestruck. Dialogue and story were we're well done and spot on with characterization.
Verdict: STRONG BUY
Writer: Matt Fraction, Artist: Mark Bagley
This story turns out to be almost anything but what you imagine it is. It starts about this crew traveling in time to find out more about Julius Caesar and ends up being far from it. Ben, Torch, and the kids visit Rome 44 BCE while Sue and Reed stay on the ship to have some "mommy-daddy time." What confused me is that Johnny and Thing don't really try very hard to conceal themselves when meeting Caesar. Immediately I thought "aren't they going to ruin the time stream?" Right away you find out that Caesar is not who he seems to be and that he's much more. Sue and Reed discuss their issues during their alone time. Some pretty crazy and unexpected stuff happens in this issue. The biggest question is, what is Caesar up to? Bagley is the pinnacle of great comic book art whether it be spreads or close up panels. I didn't expect much from the story but Fraction delivered one heck a trip.
Verdict: STRONG BUY
Writer: Cullen Bunn, Artist: Will Sliney
The introduction of characters and story flow is impeccably well done as this group is progressively coming together. Dani Moonstar is introduced in a cool way, looking all sexy, armed with bow & arrows. The art has a very sleek, shiny, and sexy look to it. Misty, Valkyrie, and Riggs have a meeting with the All-Mother. Lets just say the All-Mother was a bearer of bad news. It was interesting to find out the sacred duty of a Valkyrie. The consequence of failure results in a confusing yet stimulating outcome.
Writer: Nick Spencer, Artist: Luke Ross
Confusing, interesting, and enticing just like a good spy book should be. The entire book is pretty illusive. I felt like it almost had nothing to do the first issue. At first it's about and narrated from the POV of AIM. Then it switches over to new black Nick Fury recruiting and breaking Taskmaster out of imprisonment from a villain controlled and run country. Things go bad quick but in the end Fury always gets what he wants. The art is a little sketchy but never too much, gritty, and dark for the most part fitting well with the spy genre. It's detailed and clear whether its close ups or far shots. I'm interested for now but we'll see where the story goes.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Artist: Chris Bachalo
Bachalo can really knock the close ups and spreads out the park but when it comes to far shots he's horrible. In turn this makes the art look inconsistent. As long as he mostly sticks to his strengths the art looks mostly good. The best thing about Bendis is the dialogue he writes for the characters. They make good points and it seems real not to mention the characters are spot on. Despite verbally butting heads with the Avengers this team of X-Men kind of come out on top. Most of the issue consists of the the Avengers and X-Men blaming each other for the events of AvsX. Honestly despite making a good argument they really pissed me off because they all still seem unwilling to accept the responsibility for their actions. I truly feel like young Scott Summers would own up to his mistakes and turn himself in. For me this us one of those books that I both love and hate because I hate the characters but I love to read about them especially the way BMB does it.
Writer: Paul Cornell, Artist: Alan Davis, Mark Farmer
Good, short, quick, easy, intense read. It starts with Logan pretty messed up bidding for time as he heals for the chance to take out a murdering psychopath killing hostages with what looks like an alien gun. As it goes on you find that things are more complicated than they look. Most of us know that Wolverine has a soft spot for kids and this factor is used against him. I'm not a big fan of Davis but he can do a hell of a Wolverine. I didn't care much for the way the female looked but that's my only complaint with the art and its a minor one at that. It's a sketchy, gritty style but it really works well for this. Cornell does not waste any time at all jumping into this story and all around bad situation. The story is action packed, fast, intense but not confusing in the least. Cornell and Davis are off to a spectacular start.
Panel of The Week: Batman & Robin #18
Spread of The Week: Star Wars #3
Cover of The Week: Star Wars #3
Back ’n Bag of The Week: Wolverine & The X-Men #26