Its been quite a while since I have read any comic books.
Time to weigh in some thoughts on the continuation of the mini-events from Marvel and DC Comics and see who made some impact this week.
All my reviews after the jump.
Fear Itself #4
Written by Matt Fraction
Art by Stuart Immonen
Inks by Von Grawbadger
Published by DC Comics
With Bucky Barnes dead (again) at the hands of Red Skull's daughter-turned Asgardian power tripper Sif, the whole superhero community is again in doubt of their collective ability to confront and defeat the mysterious Serpent and his hammer-wielding Worthys, while thousands of people are killed in the process.
We're already halfway this series and I have yet to see the real "fear" come in for this book, and this issue is another wasted opportunity to create that necessary feel. Fraction is using the Serpent as a mere lifesucker - as his Worthy's kill thousands of people the Serpent's power increases and apparently makes him younger - and it doesn't fit in nicely.
If that's how "fear" is supposed to be depicted in this book, then maybe Marvel had an error titling this series. They should have named it "Death Itself", and The Serpent: "The God of Butchering". That would have justified Fraction's writing.
On the bright side of things, Steve Rogers is back as Captain America and is gunning his way into enemy lines, and Thor comes face to face with the Serpent himself, which makes a quite exciting scene. But this ultimately fails as Fraction shoves the Thunder God away from the main antagonist and instead have him fight two Worthys: the "Tron"-atized Hulk and The Thing. I'm pretty sure Thor will be able to beat those two guys no matter how big their hammers are.
To those who think Thor will die in the next issue, I've got this to say: Fraction will NEVER... kill one of Marvel's Trinity, so forget about Thor getting killed. He's a god for pete's sakes.
Immonen makes little improvement from his previous issues but its still very likeable and neat-looking. Grawbadger's inks are very well done, though it seemed to be too thick at times. The overall art is good to say the least, but it lacks emotion and dynamic for some reason.
Now the question still remains: where is this event going? Honestly, I still don't know at this point. Fear Itself continues to drag itself down the drain by forgetting its core theme and turning this into an all out brawl with little focus on emotional impact.
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Andy Kubert
Colors by Sandra Hope
Published by DC Comics
Another series that's on its halfway mark, and though Flashpoint does kind of fall short in terms of storytelling - its certainly filled with fun and awful lot of surprises that had my jaws dropping when they were unveiled.
Johns continues the Barry Allen saga and completely makes up for the ridiculously good cliffhanger by putting Allen again on the chair hoping that he will finally get his powers back this time with a second jolt. Its very hardcore I should say, with 75% of his body burned from the effects of the first lightning strike, Allen didn't care and just went all in this time - but with good results. We get the Scarlet Speedster back again.
Another thing was that Johns maintained with his stance of making Cyborg the main guy of this series, and that is something that I really liked. Cyborg is one of those underused characters in the old DC universe, and seeing him as the leader of the Resistance while kicking-ass all at the same time is very nice to see.
And speaking of the Resistance, they finally made their first appearance here, and you'll never guess who the members are. I'm not gonna spoil it for you because its so damn bad-ass that you have to read the comic!
Finally, John's radical character creation in Subject 1 is quite of a shocker. This is an entirely new character concept that I really dig, but hopefully Geoff won't immediately make him "bulk-up" all of a sudden just because he got a glimpse of the sun's beautiful rays. Subject 1's progress should be gradual, and there's no other way I would have it.
Kubert's art is as impressive as ever. His anatomy and facial expressions are great, just like his use of perspective and shadows. The Cyborg scenes were very well done and his full page spread showing Barry Allen becoming "The Flash" again and catching Flashpoint Batman in mid-air is exciting as it is superb.
But once again, the main flaw continues to be the slow writing because even with a couple of good follow ups and boombastic surprises, Flashpoint #4 still wasn't able to shake things up for everybody involved, and with just one issue left, I'm pretty sure Johns will not be able to tell his script convincingly that could be the "make it or break it" factor for readers when the New DC Universe line of comic books arrive in September.