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JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 Review

Written by on Sep 3, 2011
Filed in: Comic Book Reviews  |  9 Comments »

JUSTICE LEAGUE #1

Rating: 1/5
Publisher Name: DC Comics
Publisher Website: dccomics.com

Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Jim Lee
Inks: Scott Williams
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Number of Pages: 24
Price: 3.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Comics superstars Geoff Johns and Jim Lee make history! In a universe where super heroes are strange and new, Batman has discovered a dark evil that requires him to unite the World Greatest Heroes!

Reviewer’s Comments:
I would not be surprised to learn that Justice League was written “Marvel Style”, wherein Geoff Johns scribbled out all his best Batman-Hal Jordan quips on the back of a cocktail napkin and made Jim Lee turn it into an actual comic. That seems to be the amount of work that went into actually scripting this thing.

The best description I read for Justice League #1 was that it reads like a giveaway comic that came with an action figure (a sentiment coming from Curt Franklin of Comics Alliance.) Continuing that train of thought, it started to remind me of that Subway ad comic that DC was including in all their books recently. Of course, Jim Lee can draw circles around the Subway comic guy but I bet the writer of that gem could give Geoff Johns a run for his money. Now, I’ll admit to not being terribly familiar with Mr. Johns’ work (because I don’t care about Hal Jordan and thought that bringing back Barry Allen was an awful idea) so maybe he’s always this bad; that being said, Justice League #1 and all five issues of Flashpoint had about 2 or 3 pages of actual story between them. The rest was filler interspersed with “funny” and “clever” “dialogue”.

That’s especially disheartening when you consider this comic was supposed to be DC’s big, ballsy lead in to their reboot. Instead, it’s a completely forgettable story that takes about 3 minutes to read. In it, Batman is running from the cops while fighting what turned out to be a Parademon (at first I thought it was supposed to be Killer Croc) and then Green Lantern shows up. They banter back and forth a bit and then Superman punches one of them (don’t want to spoil that bit of plot revelation; you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out who!) Oh yeah, and Vic Stone is sad because his dad won’t come to his football games. Much has been made of the fact that half the characters on the cover don’t show up at all, but I’d be okay with that if we got, you know, a story.

As far as the art, Jim Lee is in fine form, as usual. The action set pieces are all clear and dynamic and the chase scene between Batman, Green Lantern and the Parademon is certainly well rendered and easy to follow (sadly this chase scene takes up most of the plot.) Beyond his well documented ability to draw people hitting each other, Lee is also adept at penciling in the perfect expressions to fill out the conversations. Batman scowls, smirks and broods perfectly and at the perfect moment and the framing of the ring stealing scene is also quite well done. Alex Sinclair’s colors stand out as well, with the striking green contrasting with Batman’s blacks and greys and all the pretty orange explosions.

Overall, this thing is a waste of 3 dollars and 99 cents. It makes me sad to think that there might be people coming to comic stores and grabbing this book to see what the big reboot fuss is about. Those people are going to read it once, throw it on their coffee table and never have the desire to read a comic book again. And that’s a shame. Some of the other reboot titles actually look and sound really interesting, so it puzzles me that DC decided to lead with this one. Oh well. I’ll still pick up Action Comics #1 which, by all accounts, is actually worth reading.




KIRBY GENESIS #1 Review

Written by on Jun 24, 2011
Filed in: Comic Book Reviews, Dynamite Entertainment Reviews  |  1 Comment »

KIRBY GENESIS #1

Rating: 1/5
Publisher Name: DYNAMITE
Publisher Website: http://www.dynamiteentertainment.com

Writer: Kurt Busiek
Pencils: Alex Ross & Jack Herbert
Inks: Alex Ross & Jack Herbert
Colors: Vinicius Andrade
Number of Pages: 32
Price: 3.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
KIRBY: GENESIS explodes into action! A message to space has been heard and answered — but what has come to Earth isn’t what anyone would expect! As cosmic visitors begin to be revealed to the world, a deadly battle begins — and three ordinary people are caught up in it. Featuring: Captain Victory, Silver Star, the Glory Knights and more — and this is just the beginning! Superstars Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross bring Jack ‘King’ Kirby’s creations to life in a way you’ll never forget! This is the beginning! This is the GENESIS!

Reviewer’s Comments:
If there’s an ideal target audience for this comic, I would probably be it. I worship Jack Kirby. I have multiple books on him occupying shelf space, I subscribe to the Jack Kirby Collector and I regard it as an indisputable fact that not only is he the greatest comic artist of all time but one of the most important artists of the 20th century. So I’m inclined to look favorably towards any comic that seems to exist solely to pay homage to the King of Comics. I really wanted to like Kirby: Genesis. Unfortunately, this whole thing is half baked in both the conception and the execution.

Kurt Busiek is scripting this comic (with co-plotting from Alex Ross) and it becomes quickly apparent that he isn’t above borrowing ideas from himself. Specifically, the whole premise seems to be lifted from Marvels, swapping out the Marvel characters (largely Kirby created but Marvel owned characters, I feel like adding) for Kirby owned ones. These characters are then observed through other characters providing the man-on-the-street perspective. If you’re currently thinking that doesn’t sound Kirby-esque in the slightest, well, I had a similar thought. Which wouldn’t really be a problem if the man-on-the-street characters were interesting in and of themselves, but, sadly, that’s not the case.

Our protagonist is a young nerdy chap named Kirby (yes, really) who is in love with his best friend, a young woman named Bobbi. Bobbi is, obviously, beautiful and popular and unaware of Kirby’s feelings, leading him to remark that, “She has, like, nine million friends on Facebook and God knows how many Twitter followers. Most of them guys. You should see the way they swarm around her when we’re out. And me? I have twenty-three Facebook friends. If you count ‘Mythbusters’ as a person.” Ugh. Where’s the Anti-Life equation when you need it?

Busiek seems to have pulled both of these characters, the protagonists of the series and the would-be emotional anchors of this story, out of the stock characters database and dropped them unaltered into the script. You’ve seen both of them before in much more interesting circumstances dating back to, I dunno, every teenage zero-to-hero story ever made.

Though, really, the highlight of a Kirby homage comic should be the art, right? In theory, yes, but there’s a problem there, too. You see, Alex Ross’ photo-realistic, metallic, shiny artwork is the antithesis of Jack Kirby’s slashing, dynamic storytelling. Jack Herbert is doing the actual pencilling here (I think, the art box lumps them together) but he’s following Ross’ layouts and is clearly an acolyte of the Alex Ross look. That look can work fine for covers, but for actual storytelling it’s flat and lifeless (and not Kirby-esque at all.)

So what we have here is a generic story with stock characters that, while having the best of intentions of paying homage to Jack Kirby, completely misses the mark. If you want to read a comic that salutes the King, pick up Godland instead.




FLASHPOINT – #2 Review

Written by on Jun 2, 2011
Filed in: Comic Book Reviews, DC Comics Reviews  |  2 Comments »

FLASHPOINT - #2

Rating: 2/5
Publisher Name: DC Comics
Publisher Website: dccomics.com

Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Andy Kubert
Inks: Sandra Hope
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Number of Pages: 40
Price: 3.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
The world-changing miniseries continues! Where are the World’s Greatest Super Heroes? Barry Allen is on a mission to find out or die trying – and that may be what’s happening as he tries to make lightning strike twice! Meanwhile, around the submerged Paris, the pirate Deathstroke confronts Emperor Aquaman!

Reviewer’s Comments:
My favorite part about the new issue of Flashpoint is when Barry Allen basically looks at the reader and shouts, “This is real.” Barry, you can tell me that as many times you want, it doesn’t mean it’s true. That this story is “real” and not an Elseworlds is an idea even harder to swallow with the announcement that DC is relaunching all of their comics in September. DC wants me to believe that this is all actually happening and super important while also admitting they’re just gonna reboot everything when it’s over.

But, obviously, that wouldn’t mean much either way if the story itself was worth reading. Which, sadly, it isn’t. Johns is still frantically setting up all of the alternate universe hullabaloo, so we get another issue that’s long on exposition and short on interesting things actually happening. Though he does indulge the easiest and most cliché method of trying to bring urgency to an Elseworlds story: killing characters. In this instance we get to see the deaths of characters which weren’t interesting under normal circumstances and are even less interesting now.

Not having read an event comic in quite some time, I had forgotten the strict pacing of these things. Four issues are used for exposition, one for actual story and one for putting everything back to where it was before. So maybe it would be wiser to just skip everything until the end to see what sort of things actually happen (and then how those events are retconned.) Better yet, wait till it’s all over and read a plot summary on Wikipedia.

One bit of plotting which I found amusing was Barry’s overly literal attempt to regain his powers. He’s apparently not much of a comic reader, because, if he was, he would know that when the hero awakens powerless it means they have to solve everything using only their wits to prove how worthy they are. He probably got what he deserved for ignoring this rule. Also, not to be a continuity whore, but didn’t Barry’s powers come from the Speed Force or something and not just an ordinary lightning bolt?

The art is nice. Andy Kubert has a number of great splash pages and continues to show why he’s one of the premiere names in mainstream comic art. I assume at some point Johns will give him more to draw than just people standing around trying to explain/figure out what’s going on.




SWEET TOOTH – #21 Review

Written by on May 12, 2011
Filed in: Comic Book Reviews, DC Comics Reviews  |  1 Comment »

SWEET TOOTH - #21

Rating: 4/5
Publisher Name: Vertigo
Publisher Website: http://www.dccomics.com/vertigo/

Writer: Jeff Lemire
Pencils: Jeff Lemire
Inks: Jeff Lemire
Colors: Jose Villarrubia
Number of Pages: 32
Price: 2.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: MAX – EXPLICIT CONTENT – 18 years old.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Gus reluctantly joins Jepperd on a hunt for the missing girls, but the tension between the two continues to grow. Meanwhile, Singh and Johnny come face to face with a deadly new threat, and Lucy and the girls meet Walter Fish, an enigmatic survivor who may have more to offer than meets the eye. Don’t miss snowmobile gangs, yetis and more as the new story arc “Endangered Species” kicks off with a bang!

Reviewer’s Comments:
I wouldn’t say that the quality of Sweet Tooth has dropped as of late, but certainly Jeff Lemire has lowered the stakes. After Jepperd rescued Gus from the Evil Scientist Camp and the Merry Band of Adventurers escaped into the woods, the previously over arching story seems to have given way to something more low key. Of course, there are still some pretty big mysteries to unravel (like: why are there part animal people? and what’s the nature of the virus that killed the whole planet?) but the last few issues have found the characters mostly wandering through the woods on their way to Alaska. They’re not out of danger obviously, since those previously mentioned woods are still part of a post-apocalyptic hellscape, but now the relationships between the characters has taken center stage. And issue #21 is so far the best example of how effective that approach can be.

Gus and Jepperd are out looking for Lucy and the girls who are continuing to chat with eerily nice Walter. These two stories are told simultaneously, Gus and Jepperd on the top half of the page, with no dialogue or narration, while the girls continue to talk to Walter on the bottom half of the page. And the whole comic runs like that, telling two stories one half page at a time.

Far from being gimmicky, this approach is really effective and also works in a way unique to the comics medium. A film or TV show couldn’t cut back and forth this quickly without losing its audience. However, and this is something I know Alan Moore has spoken about frequently, the self selected pacing (so to speak) inherent in reading a comic really lets this style shine. Keeping Gus and Jepperd’s story silent is a nice touch as well. After all, what do they really have to say? Gus has shut out Jepperd completely after his betrayal and with good reason. But both characters still need that connection; Gus missing his father and Jepperd having watched his son die before his eyes. Lemire also layers this story with sub-panels to show what the characters are thinking about or feeling, an approach I’m also a big fan of. After all, comics are a visual medium so showing is always better than telling.

Lucy and the girls continue to talk to Walter and everything he says continues to sound too good to be true. This part of the story happens to be creepy precisely because nothing creepy has happened yet. But with everything we’ve seen in the pages of Sweet Tooth it’s really only a matter of time. Right?

Overall, this is probably the best issue of Sweet Tooth in quite some time. The real treat is the wordless story starring Gus and Jepperd that effectively explores and advances their relationship without needing to say anything at all.




FLASHPOINT – #1 Review

Written by on May 12, 2011
Filed in: Comic Book Reviews, DC Comics Reviews  |  No Comments »

FLASHPOINT - #1

Rating: 2/5
Publisher Name: DC Comics
Publisher Website: dccomics.com

Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Andy Kubert
Inks: Sandra Hope
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Number of Pages: 40
Price: 3.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: A – Appropriate for age 9 and up.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Not a dream, not an imaginary story, not an elseworld. This is Flash Fact: When Barry Allen wakes at his desk, he discovers the world has changed. Family is alive, loved ones are strangers, and close friends are different, gone or worse. It’s a world on the brink of a cataclysmic war – but where are Earth’s Greatest Heroes to stop it? It’s a place where America’s last hope is Cyborg, who hopes to gather the forces of The Outsider, The Secret 7, S!H!A!Z!A!M!, Citizen Cold and other new and familiar-yet-altered faces! It’s a world that could be running out of time, if The Flash can’t find the villain who altered the time line!

Reviewer’s Comments:
It’s summer, so that means it’s crossover time! Ah, who am I kidding? It’s always crossover time! This time we have something called Flashpoint. From the title, I’m betting it involves The Flash. Now, I don’t normally read crossovers (because they’re usually both a) terrible and b) pointless) but for some reason I got roped into this one. I think it’s because I’ve been reading The Flash Chronicles (trades collecting the first Silver Age flash stories) so I felt like getting into an epic Barry Allen adventure. I guess, I dunno.

I find it funny that the solicitation for this event states, explicitly, “Not a dream, not an imaginary story, not an elseworld.” Well, you can call it whatever you want but it is what it is: an Elseworld. I’ll explain.

The plot involves Barry Allen waking up at his desk and suddenly the world is all different! Captain Cold is the hero of Central City, Wonder Woman and Aquaman are evil despots conquering parts of the globe, Batman is all dark and gritty (this one was quite the shocker), etc… So Barry, without his powers, has to set out to unravel this mystery.

The reason why I’m calling this an Elseworld story, even though it says it isn’t, is because we all know that at the end everything will return to normal. So really what are the stakes here? I guess that’s the problem with these crossovers; they push all of existence to the brink of destruction every time and it gets increasingly harder to care.

The story itself is all set up, with Johns explaining the differences between this reality and the regular one. It’s mildly interesting but not much of an actual story. Andy Kubert’s art is probably the actual reason to pick this up, the man is a pro as usual. He can draw superhero splash pages as good as anyone but the smaller moments really shine as well. Barry meeting his mom and seeing Iris are both pretty effective scenes. His rollout of Captain Thunder (Black Adam wearing Captain Marvel’s costume, I guess) was pretty good, too.

But overall, this is just another event where everything is going to change but not really. So buy it for the art, maybe, but beyond that, who cares?

Also, that line DC drew at 2.99 was apparently not written in stone.




Xombi – #2 Review

Written by on Apr 30, 2011
Filed in: Comic Book Reviews, DC Comics Reviews  |  No Comments »

Xombi - #2

Rating: 4/5
Publisher Name: DC Comics
Publisher Website: dccomics.com

Writer: John Rozum
Pencils: Frazer Irving
Inks: Frazer Irving
Colors: Frazer Irving
Number of Pages: 32
Price: 2.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
David Kim has a choice: Join his companions in battle against a horde of murderous creatures or abandon them to their fates while he sets off alone to tackle escaped killer James Church. Plus: Nuns with guns!

Reviewer’s Comments:
Xombi, so far, contains one of my favorite traits for a comic book. It’s positively dense with ideas.

Almost like something Grant Morrison might write, it barrels forward at full speed continually presenting original and bizarre concepts. The first issue introduced us to David Kim, his powers (his body contains nano-bots which consume raw material to keep him alive), his friends (two nuns and a Catholic schoolgirl, all with their own powers, of course) and then dropped us into a story involving a prison made of tiny houses and shrunken inmates. But one of the inmates escaped and an army of zombie children wearing Halloween masks have shown up for a fight. Oh yes.

The 2nd issue finds the characters fighting it out with these evil children and giving chase to the escaped inmate. Complementing this story is Frazier Irving’s beautiful and unique artwork.

His pencils and inks are very strong in and of themselves but what stands out most is the coloring. It looks artificial and digital, certainly, but this aspect of it ends up enhancing the otherworldiness and creepiness of the story. And the colors used are striking as well. Irving washes out the first part of this issue in pink, but, rather than it being a bright or happy color, it makes everything seem sickly and menacing. Yes indeed, this a great match of an artist’s particular strengths to a script.

About that script… I mentioned the density of ideas. But I wish writer John Rozum would travel even deeper down that rabbit hole. Sure, we get some wonderful sequences featuring talking pocket change and a creature made from dessicated insect husks, but there’s also some hand holding and some expository narration that is, ultimately, unneeded. I hope that as the series goes on the writing becomes even bolder and trusts the reader to put things together on their own. If it happens to go too far in that direction, well, I’m okay with that. I’d rather read a bold, unique, flawed comic instead of an uninteresting but competent genre exercise.

So I think Xombi is a title worth watching. It’s been a good read so far and I’m hoping it will soon start to let loose even more and raise that freak flag high.




Caligula – #1 – Comic Book Review - Review

Written by on Apr 18, 2011
Filed in: Comic Book Reviews  |  No Comments »

Caligula - #1 - Comic Book Review -

Rating: 3/5
Publisher Name: Avatar
Publisher Website: http://www.avatarpress.com/

Writer: David Lapham
Pencils: German Nobile
Inks: German Nobile
Colors: German Nobile
Number of Pages: 32
Price: 3.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: MAX – EXPLICIT CONTENT – 18 years old.

Publisher’s Blurb:
In an age of depravity, one man’s appetites horrified the entire Roman Empire. The very Empire he ruled. Some stories are passed from one generation to the next only in secret. Told in hushed whispers as the very words are too horrific to speak aloud for fear they offend the Gods. A Roman Empire built on the blood of its people, a ruler who began as a generous man but who ended as the most debased of monarchs. One name still speaks volumes of how absolute power can corrupt – Caligula. David (Crossed) Lapham unveils a new tale of Caligula, he was not just a man drunk on power, he was possessed. A modern master of horror, Lapham digs deep into the world of Rome 37 AD and offers a unique epic of horror. Joined by new talent German Nobile who promises to serve up fully-painted pages dripping with blood, this all-new, full-color series will be six issues of evil that will make any Crossed fan smile with glee. For in the age of Caligula, all roads lead to Hell. Caligula #1 is available with a Regular cover by Jacen Burrows, a Wraparound cover by series artist German Nobile, and a special rare Golden retailer incentive.

Reviewer’s Comments:
I’ve always been freakishly fascinated with Roman history. Recently, I got addicted to the History of Rome podcast (which is exactly what it sounds like), re-installed my old Rome: Total War computer game and then started digging through my closet to find my Roman history textbook from college. You know, just for some casual reading. So when I saw that Avatar was publishing a comic set in Ancient Rome I was pretty pumped. True, the comic was about Caligula and, seeing as how it was published by Avatar, I could only assume it would be about as historically accurate as the infamous film about Caligula. So I tried to set my expectations accordingly.

With that in mind, Caligula #1 is exactly what I was expecting. Actually, it was even more salacious than I was expecting. Within this 32 page story you will find the following: bestiality, decapitations, disembowelments, orgies, rape, people being eaten by tigers, stabbings, weird mutant sex and probably some other stuff I glossed over. Writer David Lapham and artist German Nobile pile on the sex and violence to depict a Rome of non-stop cruelty and debauchery. Delivering an actual story, though, is another matter entirely.

Caligula (the comic) is your standard revenge yarn. Caligula (the Emperor) kills someone’s family (in graphic fashion, of course) and they set off to get even. Casting aside everything relating to his old life, Junius heads off to Rome. He finds himself haunted by the horrible things done to his family and repulsed by the depravity in the capital city.

It’s a pretty standard genre revenge story filled with torture porn and actual porn as Junius pursues his goal. Keeping that all in mind, it’s a quick, decent read. I do wish the story had more meat to it rather than just being a device to show crazy acts of sex and violence, but I did enjoy it. In particular, there’s one twist at the end that really comes out of left field that has got me curious for issue two.

Overall, the setting and the plot twist have got me interested in a second issue but the rampant sex and violence didn’t titillate too much without a real story to go with it.




Detective Comics #875 – Comic Book Review - Review

Written by on Apr 7, 2011
Filed in: Comic Book Reviews  |  No Comments »

Detective Comics #875 - Comic Book Review -

Rating: 5/5
Publisher Name: DC Comcs
Publisher Website: http://www.dccomics.com/

Writer: Scott Snyder
Pencils: Jock
Number of Pages: UK
Price: 2.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Detective Comics #875

Reviewer’s Comments:
Perhaps even more than Batman himself, Jim Gordon is a man irrevocably connected to Gotham City. Batman occasionally jets around the world adventuring (Batman Inc., one of the only ongoing series starring Bruce Wayne, is about just that) but the idea of Jim Gordon traveling to Argentina or Tokyo seems laughably odd. I find it particularly interesting that Jim’s ex-wife moved to Chicago after their divorce, almost seeming to suggest that to get away from Jim Gordon one has to get away from Gotham City itself. He is Gotham City. Though not a native, his spirit, his flesh and blood, his frustrations and his triumphs have become intertwined with Gotham City in a way that can not be severed.

With all this talk about Gordon it shouldn’t be a surprise that the newest issue of Detective Comics features him almost to the exclusion of Batman. This is a welcome change since, even though Gordon is an omni-present character in the Batman mythos, he usually exists as more of a sounding board rather an actual three-dimensional character. This issue sidesteps that and puts us into the head of everyone’s favorite fictional police commissioner.

The story picks up from last week, when Jim’s estranged son came into town insisting that he’s on medication now and has gotten better. Better from what, you might ask? All we get are hints. Gordon is also trying to finally close the case on a serial killer that he was unable to catch many years ago. He thinks he knows who it is and tails the man throughout the city. He’s playing a hunch, but with the mental state he’s in, you can’t help but get the impression that he might be wrong. And I think he feels it too. But the alternative is even worse.

In a flashback, we get to see part of why everyone is so edgy around James Jr. On a vacation out to the lake, it seems as if Gordon’s young son may have done something horrible. He denies it, of course, but Jim and his wife are starting to fully realize the implications of how messed up their son really is and, even more tragically, that they can’t do anything about it.

That underlies the greatness of this issue: it’s all about ambiguity, building tension and a creeping sense of dread. The story is teased out in a way that keeps you turning the page eager to know what’s going on but also afraid to find out. The artwork plays into this perfectly; it’s grimy and gritty in a beautiful way. Even the Summer flashbacks are colored in such a way as to seem sickly and disturbing.

This, along with Batman Inc. #4, are two of the best single issues of a Batman comic in recent memory. They are both required reading for all Batman fans.




Scalped #47 – Comic Book Review - Review

Written by on Apr 7, 2011
Filed in: Comic Book Reviews, DC Comics Reviews  |  No Comments »

Scalped #47  - Comic Book Review -

Rating: 4/5
Publisher Name: DC Comcs
Publisher Website: http://www.dccomics.com/

Writer: Jason Aaron
Pencils: R.M. Guera
Number of Pages: UK
Price: 2.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: PARENTAL ADVISORY – 15 years and older. Similiar to T+ but featuring more mature themes and/or more graphic imagery.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Scalped #47

Reviewer’s Comments:
As an ongoing comic series, Scalped veers wildly in terms of tone between being either a schlocky pulp crime series or a gritty document of social realism. Aaron and Guera manage to keep this coherent for the most part, but I have to say that my favorite issues of Scalped are the ones that take time off from the main story to show what life is like on the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation. This is one of those issues.

Dino Poor Bear is a man who yearns for nothing but to get off the Rez. The cover of Scalped #47 shows an eagle carrying him away, except for, of course, chains holding him down. No matter how hard he tries he can’t get away. He’s stuck there. But he does live with Carol; Chief Red Crow’s daughter and Dash’s occasional lover. And Carol is a beautiful woman, a fact which all the male characters in the story can’t help but notice. Dino certainly notices. In fact, he’s fallen for her something fierce. Dino lives with his Grandmother and infant daughter and scrubs toilets at a casino, but this torch he finds himself carrying for Carol keeps him going.

In a flash back, we see how she deflects unwanted attention by grabbing Dino’s hands and announcing, “I’m with him.” It stirs him to the core. Later, she says something else sweet to him. Being a lovestruck young man, he misses the context and the nuance of these situations and they just fuel his crush.

Eventually, he buys Carol a gift and commits himself to tell her how he feels. I won’t spoil how this goes, but this is an issue of Scalped; adjust your expectations accordingly.

This is the 47th issue and by this point writer Jason Aaron and artist R.M. Guera have this stuff down to a science. Their work on this title is very solid and very consistent (as I alluded to earlier, it does occasionally veer too far into schlock but nobody’s perfect) and this issue is no exception. If you aren’t reading Scalped yet, well, this is as good a point as any to jump on board.




Wonder Woman #609 – Comic Book Review - Review

Written by on Apr 7, 2011
Filed in: Comic Book Reviews, DC Comics Reviews  |  No Comments »

Wonder Woman #609  - Comic Book Review -

Rating: 2/5
Publisher Name: DC Comcs
Publisher Website: http://www.dccomics.com/dccomics/

Writer: J. Michael Straczynski & Phil Hester
Pencils: Don Kramer
Number of Pages: UK
Price: 2.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: A – Appropriate for age 9 and up.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Wonder Woman #609

Reviewer’s Comments:
I only started reading Wonder Woman about 2 or 3 issues ago but so far I find the efforts to retool the character interesting. Despite being the archetypal female superhero, Wonder Woman as a character has always been pretty hit-and-miss and she has a fairly convoluted origin and history.

Most of this issue deals with this convoluted origin and history, to a degree. Wonder Woman has been knocked out and Dr. Psycho has decided to take her on a psychic tour through various past lives and incarnations: we have pirate Wonder Woman, blind Wonder Woman, African Wonder Woman and the more familiar interpretations we’ve seen before. Why is Dr. Psycho doing this? Well, Diana doesn’t know and neither do we.

That’s the biggest problem with this comic. It’s clearly taking a step to something bigger and more important, but all we have right now is exposition and exploration. In the letter columns, writer J. Michael Straczynski implores a reader to stick around until issue #612 to see how everything pans out. At that point, this may all make sense but right now it doesn’t. I am curious to see where he’s going but unfortunately this issue is largely just an info dump. Which could still be interesting, I suppose, but it’s still not clear how any of this info is relevant.

That being said, this isn’t a horrible comic. Straczynski and Hester are good writers and I enjoy Don Kramer’s art (I also like the new costume so maybe I’m nuts.) Wonder Woman #609 is an alright read in and of itself but it does seem to exist largely just to help set up the big thing that’s apparently coming in three issues.


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