September 25 Comic Week in Review

This week Pablo Gunner reviews the last week of DC villain books for the month. Find out what he thought of SECRET SOCIETY #1, JOKERS DAUGHTER #1, KILLER CROC #1, BANE #1, OCEAN MASTER #1, and METALLO #1.

Writer: Sholly Fisch, Artist: Will Conrad
The design of this new Metallo is bulky, odd, weird, and kind of goofy looking. I really don’t find him intimidating especially for a Superman villain. This origin is a little interesting. Its kind of like Robocop. He’s a military guy that was involved in some incident that left his body almost completely destroyed. For whatever reason they decide to try and salvage him as well as use him as a test subject. Oddly enough kryptonite is the only thing that powers him. The military reinstates and puts him back into action. With each mission he becomes more of a loose canon, liability, and mentally unstable. After a mission in which he takes innocents just to take out the targets the military decides to cut him loose. Feeling betrayed after the military tried taking him out he decides to take the fight to them. Knowing that the same experiment worked on him a superior version is sent to combat him when he attacks. Miraculously Mentallo was still the victor despite being physically and technologically inferior. The reasoning behind his victory was because the guy he had locked horns with didn’t want to kill him and he said that to Mentallo himself. I find it unlikely that the same soldier that volunteered for this excruciating experiment wouldn’t have the gall to take out his target when ordered and given the perfect chance. I don’t really recall why Mentallo has a hard on for the man in red and blue but since he can’t get his revenge he decides to join up with the Secret Society. The art was pretty good overall but I couldn't stand the look and feel of this incarnation of Mentallo. The story and writing wasn’t bad but it wasn’t that great either. It was just ok. Some of the stuff wasn’t explained or just didn’t make sense.
Verdict: PASS

Writer: Geoff Johns, Sterling Gates, Artist: Geraldo Borges
Much like the Black Manta villain book this issue accomplishes similar things. It was a good character driven and focused book that was consistent story and art wise with the Aquaman title as well as a decent tie-in to the concurrent events of the DCU. The greatest thing that this book does is give you the prefect idea of what kind of man or shall I say Atlantean he is. This has Ocean Master leaving Belle Reve after it been broken into by the Secret Society. Like everyone else he is given the chance to join up with them. Not caring the least about the surface world he declines and heads back to the sea. On his way he finds a guard that actually treated him with dignity and fairness writhing in pain from a deathly injury. Ocean Master takes pity on him and ends his pain. I won’t deny that he’s a little twisted but a lot of his motivations make sense. One of the aspects of this book that impressed me the most was that it looked just like the art that has been in Aquaman even though it was a different artist.
Verdict: weak BUY

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi, Artist: Graham Nolan
This book was sorely disappointing to me especially considering who wrote it. There was something about this book that made me feel it didn't get Bane right. Whether that was more the fault of the writer or the art I'm not sure. I never felt like the writer got Banes voice down and he definitely never looked completely right to me at ant point. For me this story mostly boiled down to the fact that since Bane and his army from the Santa Priscan prison were already planning to take Gotham in Talon that he would just continue his plan but now fight the bat villains for control of the city starting with the Scarecrow. It was odd because at one point Bane kills some of his own guys, a little girl thanking him for killing her abusive father. All of that was really weird and didn't make any sense. I didn't care much for the art either in fact I thought it was weaker than the writing myself. Recently Bane has been written and drawn very well in Talon so it's hard to measure up.
Verdict: PASS

Writer: Tim Seeley, Artist: Francis Portela
The art was actually pretty good and the writing was rather solid. This was a different take on Killer Croc than I have ever experienced. Mind you I've never known the true origin of the original Croc but nonetheless this was pretty interesting. He wasn't an experiment or self made villain but rather a deformed young man trying to make it in the world that finally found his place, the Gotham sewers. This book shows you a side of Croc that you’ve probably never seen before. As a little boy he was told he was a freak by his own family. When he gets older he joins the circus but gets cheated by the show runner knowing that there is no other life for Waylon Jones except for that of being a circus freak. Then he goes to Gotham and makes the sewers his home. Over time he gathers a following and makes his own underground society of people that he protects and cares for. For the first time ever I actually felt sympathetic for Killer Croc. The narrative was done from the point of view of Croc and it worked out pretty well. Despite feeling sympathy for this man he still looked and seemed terrifying. It could be a Forever Evil tie-in but it mostly just seems like a well done one-shot and origin story.
Verdict: BUY

Writer: Ann Nocenti, Artist: Georges Jeanty
Essentially this book is about a random creepy girl that demolished her own face and found Jokers rotting face in the sewers just so that she could wear and try to be like him. The art was pretty good but it in no way made up for the lackluster story, characters, and writing. The only semi interesting thing about this character was the mystery behind her identity but even that was revealed three fourths of the way into the book and big surprise she's a nobody. The only thing this book accomplished is wasting my time. 
Verdict: PASS

Writer: Geoff Johns, Sterling Gates, Artists: Manuel Garcia, Rob Hunter
The story in this book was at least interesting and adds to the Butlers world. The writing conveyed an interesting story that the art just couldn't. I was left with more disappointment and questions than satisfaction and answers. I can honestly say that I blame it all in the art. It was just too dark, moody, and unclear. When given the chance most artists dive at the idea of creating a death scene especially of monumental characters but they completely failed to deliver in this. Even though this book is titled Secret Society it was more about the Butler aka Alfred of Earth 3 and Owlman, Thomas Wayne. The art style actually should have worked perfectly for the story the writing tells but the artist(s) failed to deliver.
Verdict: PASS

You can pick up these comics at Age Of ComicsKaboom Test Labs, or 
Twin Suns Comics & Games


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