Monday, August 20, 2012

comics for the week of 08/15/12.

At some point, I figure that I'm going to have to start throwing X-Force reviews in here. I'm kind of bummed that I didn't jump on buying this book from the beginning, but it's at the point now where it's so good that if you're not buying it, you should just get over that, like I did, and give in. It's worth it.

Batwoman 12 - God. It cannot be overstated what it means to have JH Williams back on art on this title. Without him on pencils, this title is middling at best! With him returning, this title jumps up to the top of DC's stack. Here, he seems to be aping Cliff Chiang's style on Wonder Woman, throws plenty of variation into the mirrored views of Werebeast and Batwoman, stylizes the page in roundabouts and exaggerated angles, and still leaves room for Kate to smash a glass version of Bloody Mary and talk to the shards that her explosion leaves. This book is magnificent. When he switches back to traditional comic book art, as in the section with GCPD and the protests, it still looks head and shoulders better than anything anyone else is doing! The fight with Maggie Swayer reminds us that these are real people, and then he kicks it up ANOTHER notch! He can ramble in his new-author way all he wants, if he's going to deliver a book that is this gorgeous.

Before Watchmen: Rorschach 1 - Wow! This book starts off gnarly! There's a reason why I've mentioned Rorschach as the character that most people relate to/think of as the protagonist of Watchmen. He's a compelling figure. Here, Azzarello really gets his voice right (not just with the Hurm, which is easy) and Bermejo's art is nearly at its peak. The tone of the book, the way it looks and feels, is perfect. Rorschach is a mess the entire time, and that's pretty much how he should be. He's compelling because he's human - so flawed and so imperfect, in so many ways. There's nothing pretty about his birth, his life, his circumstances, or the way he sees the world. This is his reality. This issue feels like just as much, if not more, of a home run as Minutemen 1 did. The Before Watchmen line is picking up.

Green Lantern 12 - While the change in artists bummed me out, I'm still happy with this book overall. The tone of Hal and Sinestro working together has been something that Johns has always had a really good grip on, and it's fortunate that he's one of the people in charge of the DCnU (presumably), because he knows where it's all ultimately going to go, and I think that's reflected in the strength of his writing. Continuing the story of the Book of the Black, we find out more about the other books, the third army, and how far the Guardians have fallen. Regardless of how good it is, though, there's no denying that we're in something of a holding pattern. Bendis-style decompressed storytelling has made its way to the DC Universe, and GJ (and Johns, in general) is definitely guilty. Black Hand gets his comeuppance, which makes it clear just how bad Nekron was and how much of a chump William has always been. The zombie angle was something of a waste, and why even show Carol for those few panels? Overall, good book, but it's just biding its time until the next event, which doesn't bode well for those of us who are more than a little fatigued by the endlessness of the GL assault.

Revival 2 - Yeah, this one was good. But I can't say that it lived up to the promise of the first issue. It was solid, and I'm loving the characterization that we're getting. Tim Seeley is writing the hell out of this book and it shows. But...it didn't captivate me the way the previous issue did. I know it's going to be a slow(er) build, and I'm OK with that, but it didn't have the shock and awe factor working in its favor. I'm sticking with the book, but for now, all we have is family dynamics added to the intriguing premise we had last issue. I'm not complaining.

Saga 6 - This is some whole other level shit. Brian K. Vaughn is plotting a saga and he is not messing around. The whole, "I named it Saga on purpose"? That was real. We have here a multi-generational, multi-planet, space opera unfolding before our eyes. I don't believe (I hope!) that Izabel is dead, because she's too good of a character. Hazel has already characterized The Will as a terrible creature, but I can see him becoming the best kind of anti-hero. And the Robot Prince? God, he's pretty straight up evil. And we haven't even gotten to the main characters yet! The further along in this tale we go, the better Alana and Marko get. They're believable, their relationship seems real, and the way they treat their daughter is priceless. This is the book to be reading.

Book of the week goes to Batwoman, for the pure pleasure of JH Williams coming back to take other artists to school.

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