Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Mini-Series Conclusions, T&A Witches, and Outer-Space--These Are My Rant-Reviews!

No Particular Reason
Today I thought I would just do whatever and review the final issues to some mainstream mini-series (some of which finished a bit ago and others still fresh in our minds), the ever-entertaining if also completely bonkers, "Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose", and just for good measure throw in a review of the first two issue's of Garth Ennis' "Caliban" coming out from Avatar Press. Yeah, there really isn't a rhyme or reason to my selections today other than I felt like talking about these particular books, so let's get to breaking things down, shall we?

Origin II #5
Wow, after a somewhat slow start, then getting more promising I had developed relatively hopeful expectations for this comic before...well, this. Basically all we learn is that Victor Creed AKA Sabertooth has a sister that Wolverine hooked up with once but whom was never spoken of again by anyone. Also, Mr. Sinister "dies" but with that guy death is about as final as finishing your soda at a restaurant--you've got another one coming to you again relatively soon as long as the refill machine is working. This was not terrible, but still disappointing with a ending that all but guarantees an "Origin III" is in the works. Hopefully it won't be as wholly unimpressive as this mini-series. At least Adam Kubert supplied some dynamite art.
2.5 out of 5 stars.

What-If: Age of Ultron #5
Another Marvel-mini that ended a bit ago, and another disappointment. After a bunch of relatively-unconnected issues occurring with the only theme being the breaking of reality in "Age of Ultron" altered some worlds, all of the sudden the various universes explored in the previous four issues merge together in order to fight Ultron and give birth to a new world...or something. Honestly, this issue kind of ruins the previous ones--not that most were particularly good--and seems like a missed opportunity to tell a good "What-If" story based around "Age of Ultron", which readers will recall I actually have some fondness for despite others being hard on it. Oh well.
2 out of 5 stars.

Forever Evil #7
This is the last event-comic I plan to read for some time, as I repeatedly keep telling anyone who will listen how I have event-itis. "Forever Evil" wasn't that great, but it actually wasn't particularly bad either, telling a relatively-solid if not overly-creative tale of evil versions of DC's heroes coming and causing all sorts of trouble before in a (not that shocking) twist the very villains of the main DC world end-up saving the day. This issue had plenty of over-the-top violence as DC seems to love doing lately, drawn capably by David Finch, so that's good too.

With Lex Luthor now set-up as being a hero of humanity it might be interesting to see the direction some of the DC comics take--if you're someone who is still reading them. The only thing that really was a bit surpsing was Luthor figuring out how Bruce Wayne is Batman, that may result in some interesting stories before DC finds some way to erase that from Luthor's memory and/or continuity.
3 out of 5 stars.

Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose #86
Jim Balent likes to draw half-naked (and fully-naked) bi-sexual witches. He also likes to draw mostly-naked bi-sexual were-cats (its like a were-wolf  but a cat-body) and bi-sexual vampire-women. He then draws these characters engaging in almost pornographic sex with each other or a man in other issues, but keeps it just tame enough to not end up in the adult section of "Previews". He draws this T&A with great skill though, being good at giving the audience what they want, which is sexually-charged comics with a wiccan-theme that inexplicably draws a large female audience.

This is what Balent wants to print every two months, and its what his fans want to read. Therefore, this issue where Tarot and a vampire fight over how they want the were-cat to be their exclusive girlfriend and also say some stuff about magic is exactly what readers of "Tarot" look for. It's gorgeously drawn T&A with a teeny-tiny hint of something deeper while also being a bit insane. For succeeding at what it sets out to do I respectfully give it...
4 out of 5 stars.

Caliban #1 and #2
Garth Ennis has made some interesting books with Avatar Comics, doing everything from his favorite subject of war-comics, to horror (look at "Crossed" for an example of that) to now outer-space with a horror-bent. These two issues basically entail the crew of a space-ship called the Caliban accidentally merging with an alien ship when both try to occupy the same hyper-space. This fusion results in the crew exploring this mysterious alien ship where it seems a variety of strange samples from other worlds are being kept and things clearly are about to go even more horribly wrong--if the end of the second issue is any indicator.

Ennis always has had a good ear for dialogue, and maintains his great skill of building tension while giving us just little bursts of violent and/or scary release (whilst still continuously ratcheting up the intensity). While not a ton has necessarily occurred within these two issues Ennis has nailed the atmosphere of fear and dread wonderfully and I look forward to seeing what happens next in the third issue which comes out this week.
4 out of 5 stars (for both issues).

So there it is, some comics reviewed. Have a quality rest of your day.

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