December 31 Comic Week in Review

Pablo Gunner uses the little intelligence he has to muster up some written comic book reviews of the titles that he thinks his fellow nerds would want to know about most and the books that didn’t quite make it onto the Comicast. Check out these reviews of DAMIAN SON OF BATMAN #3, TERMINATOR SALVATION FINAL BATTLE #2, 1 FOR $1 X #1, 1 FOR $1 CONAN THE BARBARIAN #1.

(W) Brian Wood (A) Becky Cloonan (CA) Dave Stewart, Massimo Carnevale
I feel like the title of this book should be called something else. Though the Conan that you see on the cover looks so similar to the Conan in the book it seems like it should be called Conan Origins, Conan Year One, or even something like Tales of Young Conan. Of course none of titles would sell as well. Getting to the point, this Conan is young. He looks like he might even be teenaged. Doesn’t mean he’s not cool though probably not as hardcore and definitely not as buff as we’re use to seeing him. It starts with a dry, historical narrative which quickly jumps into young Conan on the run, leaping onto a ship. It gets a little cheesy but its fun and easy to go along with for the most part. The captain tells a tale of beautiful, deadly, demon woman, pirate captain that sails the seas. As things go they are forced to come upon this “queen of the black coast.” If you don’t know who the writer is then apparently you don’t ready any indie books because I would say that Brian Wood is the indie comic king considering how many he writes and of exceptional quality they are. This writing in this book was interesting and fun yet different than what I expected. As for the art it was magnificent. The environment, backgrounds, and characters are very detailed. The character outlines are thick and noticeable which they should be. The expression in the eyes are powerful and intense. Whatever they were going for they hit the nail on the hammer if you know what I mean. Its very fitting to the young Conan style they did. I don’t know why I keep thinking of young Thor. Perhaps this is somewhat like the young Thor of Jason Aaron’s Thor God of Thunder title so if you’re a mainstream comic book reader there you go because now you have something to compare it to. Anyway the artist is known for being the first female writer of Batman in 2012 which is the same year this issue came out. I’m not sure if I would get this in issues though I am leaning that way but I would definitely recommend this in trade form.
1 FOR $1 X #1
(W) Duane Swierczynski (A) Eric Nguyen (CA) Michelle Madsen, Clint Langley
I really had no idea what I was getting into when I picked up this book. Honestly I’m still not sure what this is. It almost seems like a sequel series but even the cover says its issue number one of X Volume 1 Big Bad so I’m not sure. I think it may be one of those stories in which there will be flash backs and time gap fill-ins over time. The art style is sketchy with thin lines. It’s a gritty, grimy looking book. As I was saying I’m still unclear about what the character “x” is or is all about. I’m not sure if he’s a vigilante that kills aka antihero or just a murdering psychopath. I don’t know his skill set or if he has any powers just that he does hanging sit ups in a random abandoned warehouse. Apparently this guy also has no reservation for killing cops which I’m not sure if thats a good thing or not because at first it seemed like the cops were helping this guy cover up a crime scene in which a lot of mercenaries/hitmen were slaughtered but then later they go after “X” so who knows’ The art wasn’t bad and neither was the writing. The art isn’t exactly nice to look at but it fits this book well. The writing on the other hand could have been a little more clear on certain things especially for a number one issue. I’m unsure as to whether this would be good in issues or trade.
Verdict: weak BUY

(W) J. Michael Straczynski (A) Pete Woods (CA) Pete Woods, Matthew Wilson
You would imagine this to be cut and dry considering that we should all know what has to happen but that could not be further from the truth. About the only thing that is going to happen that I know should happen is that the time door has been created and this final battle against Skynet is to get Kyle Reese to the past otherwise none of it will happen. Interestingly enough somebody has already been sent back. This guy is sent back in time to either kill or apprehend a psychopathic killer on the loose that somehow contributes to the Terminator problem so three of the Terminators sent from the future are also seeking him out to say the least. This creates a fresh, new interesting turn aside from what is suppose to be happen. I felt like both the writing and art were a little lacking in this issue. The final battle speech from John Connor could have been better though how can the one he did in the Salvation movie be topped. As I said the art just did not seem up to par with the first issue. I’m definitely along for the ride for this story but I’m starting to think it might be better in trade but then again I’m a hardcore Terminator fan.
Verdict: weak BUY
(W/A/CA) Andy Kubert
It seems like I haven’t read this in a long while so it was confusing for me because I could not recollect what happened at the end of the last issue which seemed pertinent as Damian who is clothed in his own Batman costume nearly drowning in a Gotham City river only to be saved by the old as hell Alfred at the beginning of this issue. My first thought was that I don’t remember how any of this happened. Thats probably because this isn’t a memorable book and my second thought was how much Damian sucks, at least in this story, and especially as Batman, in this story. This issue gets really weird as it appears that SPOILER ALERT! Alfred dies but then his spirit/soul/voice seem to now be in a cat that talks to Damian no less and he actually understands him. Even Alfred the cat seems perplexed by this. Something that I will not deny though is how astonishing the art looks in this issue. Andy Kubert does some spectacular action scenes, spreads, and panels. It truly is mind blowing how fantastic the art is. The story is cheesy and weird but I can honestly say that at least it’s not predictable. It turns out that Joker kidnapped Bruce who was deathly injured because Damian attacked him last issue. Now he’s on the search for him to find out that this Joker isn’t the original Joker in fact he just calls himself The Joker. He mentions himself that it’s not al that original but whatever. This is shaping up to be one of the weirdest if not the weirdest Batman books I’ve ever read. I’m interested to find out if “The Joker” is anybody we know or not. It could be an interesting twist or it could fall flat. I feel conflicted about this book because its somewhat interesting and the art is astoundingly great but this really is quite possibly the worst Damian story I’ve read. He’s an awful character in this story. He such a d-bag. I kind of hate him. This is nothing like the Damian that I know and fell in love with in the Batman & Robin books and yet this is suppose to be an older Damian. It doesn’t make any sense and thats why overall I don’t like this book. If I didn’t dislike the Damian in this book so much I would love to own some of this art.

You can pick up these comics at Age Of ComicsKaboom Test Labs, or 


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