Monday, October 27, 2014

Rant-Reviews of Some Older Releases That Just Started or Finished

Not As New, But Still Worth Talking About
These comics aren't exactly brand-new, having come out some weeks (or even a month) ago. Still, I think they are worth discussing so I'm going to do just that!

The Reviews Themselves
Gotham Academy #1
This is an extremely promising start to a new series by the talented Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher as writers and Karl Kerschl on art. While many DC books these days seem to suffer from a house-style in the art as much as the storytelling, this first issue of "Gotham Academy" feels refreshing in how different it is. Part of the reason it feels this way is probably it doesn't quite fit into one genre. As a comic about a prep-school in Gotham, it has a bunch of the requisite teen drama one would expect, but also works in some serious-sounding mysteries about issues more stern than the usual teenage relationship drama, along with hints of horror (something evil clearly lurks in the academy) and a good helping of comedy. 

The main character is Olive Silverlock, whose hair does indeed match her name in its striking sheen. Apparently her attitude has changed immensely over the summer, with something awful befalling her mother and an immense fear of the Batman being evident too. Speaking of Batman, considering he never actually appears in the comic (besides as Bruce Wayne), you definitely feel his influence on Gotham, with his existence both being treated as something normal (People shurg-off the Bat-Signal shining brightly in the sky) but still ominous (Olive clearly has a reason to fear Batman, most likely relating to what happened to her over the summer).

Between the intriguing mysteries, stellar art, and otherwise being an enjoyable comic, "Gotham Academy" is a pleasant step in the right direction for DC considering how lately they have been turning me off with most of their non-Vertigo output. If rumors from Bleeding a Cool are to be believed, the success of DC's more off-kilter comics may help the company feel encouraged to put out more eccentric titles, and if that is the case with the result being we get titles like "Gotham Academy", that is good news indeed.
4 out of 5 stars.

Mighty Avengers #14
Just as we have a DC title starting-up as a pleasant surprise we have a Marvel title I was initially very excited for petering out a bit, but with the hope that its upcoming re-launch as "Captain America and the Mighty Avengers" might bring with it a stronger focus. Writer Al Ewing and future artist Luke Ross(on a side-note:  Please, God, no more Greg Land anywhere near this title, this book had enough of him) will hopefully make the future comics great, but as it stands, this is a perfectly-okay ending to what felt like a super-long story arc about a variety of things. These "things" ranged from yet another secret team of Avengers in the past (this time 1972, making us be up to how many Avengers before the official one now? I know of at least another.) to Blade fighting Deathwalkers, and the various Marvel-events that occurred intruding upon the book as needed--The Superior Spider-Man showed up, Infinity occurred, Original Sin took place, etc. etc. 

To the book's credit, despite all the distractions it did end-up telling a decent story about what was basically a more diverse group of Avengers than the other teams coming together and solving smaller problems while building up to a bigger one.  It resulted in not being a bad way to spend 14 issues, but to call it a particularly good time would be difficult. I can only hope that when the new Captain America, Sam Wilson, returns to the book it brings with it some good stories that take advantage of the possibilities this book offers with it's more diverse cast and the always-enjoyable Luke Cage. Then again, the first issue of the book ties-into, "Axis", so there might go my hope for it not letting events dictate what happens in the book too much.
2.5 out of 5 stars.

Roche Limit #1
A new series from Image featuring a writer and artist I do not recall having any familiarity with (Michael Moreci and Vic Malhotra, so wait, I do know "Hoax Hunters"), "Roche Limit" is an interesting title a bit reminiscent of another Image work that features a space station inhabited by questionable characters ("The Fuse") while also working in enough sub-plots to compliment the main mystery of a missing person so as to seem it has a lot going on. It is an interesting start and hearing press about how the book will in fact consist of separate arcs that are in the same universe but set in very different times makes me think this could indeed be an interesting book. For now though it is just moderately interesting, but with gorgeous art that helps make up for any annoyance I have with the story seeming to be wanting to juggle one extra sub-plot too many. A quality start, in other words.
3 out of 5 stars.

George Perez's Sirens #1
George Perez is a legend in the comic-book industry, and I was lucky enough to meet him at a comic convention where he was as pleasant as I'd heard. A bit ago he agreed to work exclusively with BOOM! for his future comic titles, and the first result of that partnership is this debut issue (with a total planned six) of his new title, "Sirens". Written and drawn by Perez, "Sirens" is just as good-looking a book I would hope, which makes it all the more depressing that I found the story to be a jumbled mess. There are jumps in time between the past and future, sci-fi elements along with fantasy ones, various female protagonists, and it all makes little-to-no sense. 

Toward the end of this issue I was just skimming any text and honestly just enjoying the art. Perez is basically saying, "You want some dragons to inexplicably be flying spaceships? Here you go! Desire to see a woman in the wild west firing off futuristic guns? Sure!" He isn't making a comic so much as a piece of good-looking art with an incredibly weak plot about mythical "Sirens" who have existed throughout time and are involved in some kind of inter-galactic war or such. I honestly have no clue what was going on but at least enjoyed the good art, and for that the book gets...
2 out of 5 stars--Although if they just cut out the text it would be a solid star better as an art showcase.

The Older Ones Have Been Reviewed!
Those are the releases that are a tad older which I wanted to talk about. Keep an eye out for another post a bit later in the day where I'll have some rant-reviews about slightly-newer releases!

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