Monday, December 13, 2010

Rant-Reviews--All of these comics are at least a week old, possibly months, what's it to ya?

Batwoman, Action Comics, Uncanny X-Force, and...Ultimate X #3? Does anyone even remember that?

Batwoman #0
Let's get two things out of the way. I generally hate when comics do supposedly "special" number-zero issues to kick off a new series. I'll let it slide this time because this does in fact feel like more of a prelude to the actual Batwoman series and not intergral. Also, the art in this comic is beautiful and amazing and other compliments. JH Williams III knows how to draw/paint a pretty picture, and goes with a cool dynamic, teaming with Amy Reeder, with he drawing the Batwoman scenes and Reeder drawing the out-of-costume bits. These pieces aren't completely separate though, with the page often cleverly split in half, with both halves being narrated by Batman, but with the scenes themselves being very thematically different, excluding a genius part where they sort of line-up in unison wonderfully. Oh yeah, the story was fine too, but my comments earlier about it seeming like more of prelude? Well, that is a bit of problem. This just doesn't carry much of a plot, Bruce is just evaluating Kate Kane (Batwoman) and that's about it. The art though, if I were to read a comic just for the pictures it would be one made by ol' JH.
3.5 stars out of 5. 

Action Comics #895 & Action Comics Annual #13
I've loved Paul Cornell's writing since I read his work on the Marvel Max series "Wisdom" and then carried it over into "Captain Britain" so it was no surprise to me that I have been enjoying his take on a character I enjoy, Lex Luthor. From the encounter with Mister Mind, to Gorilla Grodd, Death (from Neil Gaiman's Sandman!) herself, and now some guy named Vandal Savage, I've had quite a good time even if my lack of knowledge of DC cannon made it so I only recognize the gorilla and Death. My enjoyment of Action Comics proper is what makes it so odd that I didn't really like the annual all that much. The first tale with Darkseid was clever, but the art seemed to be trying to be weird for weird's sake and the way the panel was supposed to flow was confusing to say the least. The 2nd tale was just dull with Luthor not listening to a mentor and going and screwing things up for himself like he often has. The mentor is an interesting character in the DC Universe and a lot more could have been made of their similarities with Lex, but instead it was just, as I said, dull. Pick up the main Action Comics, don't worry about the annual.
Action Comics #895--4 out of 5 stars.
Action Comics Annual #13--2 out of 5 stars.

Uncanny X-Force #2
Oh Rick Remender, I do so like your writing. From Punisher's bizarre turn into Franken-Castle, Fear Agent, or this new take on X-Force. The previous X-Force series was just too dark for its own good, both in the literally murky art and dour tone. This has great art from Jerome Opena, and a script from Remender that knows when to cut loose a little bit and crack a joke or two. I like the character Angel so it is good to see him being written well here, and having Fantomex in a comic is always a treat. Oh yeah, Deadpool is around too, but even people who don't like him should find Remender's version good. As for the story, it is interesting and revealed its clever twist last issue of Apocalypse just being a seemingly-sweet little boy. Plus our heroes go the moon. Yeah, this is a good comic.
4 out of 5 stars.

Ultimate X #3
Anyone remember this comic? It was supposed to come out every 2 months and featured Jeph Loeb actually writing a recent story that didn't suck (like Hulk, Ultimatium, etc.), and had gorgeous art from Art Adams...anyone? Hm, guess it's just me. Well, the art sure was pretty, and the creation of new characters in the Ultimate Universe is always a positive, but this isn't so much a review as me asking what the hell happened to this comic? In fact, my next post will be a "Whatever Happened To?" featuring this series. I was promised an issue four to come out in August and it's now December! I'm genuinely curious as to what happens next and dig the "mutants on the run from the law" vibe. Even the annoying tendency to have an ancillary character narrate the issue made sense in this latest comic. I hope issue four eventually comes out. I keep hearing dates, but I'm not holding my breath.
3.5 stars out of 5.

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