Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rant-Reviews--Three #0 Issues, Daredevil, and...Tarot: Witch Of The Black Rose? Hoo Boy...

Let's get into some reviews by looking over a few of the DC zero issues that have been coming out, then we'll check in with the as-always stellar Daredevil, which is on its 18th issue. Plus we'll give a gander to Tarot: Witch Of The Black Rose because when you need something to giggle at the absurdity of, this is the comic to buy.

DC Universe Presents #0
This honestly should be called, "Cancelled Comics Cavalcade" as most of the stories in here are from books that got cancelled before they could reach a zero issue. Oh, and a Deadman story that somewhat satisfactorily sets up his few issues that were originally at the start of this series. Seriously though, is there much of any point to that, "Hawk and Dove," tale written by the now-officially-insane Rob Liefeld? I may not have bought this book if I had noticed his involvement as I'm avoiding his work now. The Mister Terrific story isn't bad, but at this point it would make more sense to have it in the, "Earth 2," comic where he is apparently popping up. The OMAC bit begs to be considered important with a title, "Origins Matter After Cancellation," and the Blackhawks tale was so inconsequential I can't even remember it. Yeah, what was the goal of this issue, really?

To give credit where it's due, this did make me a little curious about the OMAC comic that I believe you can now (or soon) get the whole short-series of in trade. It has Maxwell Lord whom I've always found to be an interesting character. Perhaps that was the goal of this, to make people want to go and get the trade paperbacks of these cancelled series, and grab the first trade paperback of, "DC Universe Presents," to read more about Deadman. As an actual single comic though, meh.
2.5 out of 5 stars.

Batman #0
This isn't so much an origin of Batman as it is two stories. One is a tale of how Bruce Wayne first got a start in fighting crime and the other segment is about how the Bat-Signal came into being, with various future Robin's noticing it up in the sky. It's a good issue of Batman and actually sets out to tell an origin as I believe was the point of the zero issues. One problem with this however is how it throws a huge kink in trying to figure out Batman's continuity in this new 52 universe.

There was the idea that Batman was operating in secret for years before the whole Justice League came together 5 years ago from our present. However, in this comic it shows a Bruce Wayne who isn't even Batman yet, "Six years ago," and one who doesn't have a Robin by his side, "Five years ago." This means Batman went through three Robins before having his son, Damian, take the mantle within five-ish years. Oh, and his son is 10 with, "Batman and Robin #0," apparently stacking on additional continuity glitches...I give up trying to figure it out. This is still a fun comic at least.
4 out of 5 stars.

Resurrection Man #0
Let's be honest and just say this is, "Resurrection Man #13," instead of the #0 DC is giving all its books this month. This does have a flashback to explain how there could be two Mitch Shelly's, but most of the book takes place in the present, right where issue #12 ended. Plus the book sets up future stories too for the character despite his series being cancelled. The whole idea of giving this a zero for its number is really a mess...but at least the story was pretty good.

Yes, I was concerned with the whole, "There's two Mitch Shelly's," plot, but the twist that (SPOILER) the Mitch Shelly who grew out of the first one's lost arm is actually a nice guy and the original Mitch Shelly is a huge, evil jerk was kind of a fun idea. The "clone" of Mitch Shelly has been the man we're rooting for and who continues to exist after the "real" Mitch Shelly has his soul taken for...some reason--it was never really clear to me how Heaven and Hell were involved in this story.  Still, I had fun, and I can't hold the whole numbering snafu against this book when it's DC editorial crew who chose to do that. I wonder where the Resurrection Man will show up next--I'll probably pick up the comic showing where he does.
3 out of 5 stars.

Daredevil #18
This series was giving us a bright and happy Daredevil with the understanding that he had that darkness lurking around in him. Matthew Murdock hoped he could just try and forget it, living a nice life. Well, it seems that ol' madness is slowly coming back to strike Daredevil if the events of the last few issues and especially this one are anything to go by. Sure, we'll probably have it revealed some villain is making Murdock look crazy and be seeing impossible things, but as the series is seeming to point out, it really wouldn't be that much of a stretch for Daredevil to genuinely be going crazy. Mark Waid is an expert writer and this book continues to reflect that. The art by Chris Samnee ain't too shabby either. If you have been following this series definitely pick up this book. If you haven't been Daredevil, what are you waiting for? Get those earlier issues and catch-up!
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Tarot: Witch of The Black Rose #75
The next issue comes out this Wednesday, and waiting for it with bated breath has been so hard! With its intricate plot and complex storytelling the two months between every issue are difficult to bear....okay, if we're honest this book is about Tarot fighting a naked fairy-woman who has a weird thing for repeatedly spanking Tarot. Yeah. As always Jim Balent is a pretty talented man who for some reason has chosen to spend his time writing and drawing a comic about a witch who has trouble keeping her clothes on...who fights other magical beings that also have trouble staying clothed (or just skip wearing anything). It's a silly book, but considering Balent has so many people who buy it--with a fair amount being female readers who are into the whole Wicca-magic stuff--I imagine Balent is the one who is really doing the laughing. All the way to the bank.

For what this book is, it's perfectly decent, and it's a cheesecake-art comic with magic and jokes thrown in. Nothing more and nothing less. If that's what you want, here you go. Those of your looking for deep stories or females with realistically-proportioned bodies look elsewhere.
5 out of 5 stars for accomplishing what it sets out to do.
2 out of 5 stars if we're judging it as we judge other, actually good comics.

There are the comics of late I felt like reviewing. The good thing about comics is not matter how many good or bad ones you read there is always a fresh batch Wednesday.

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