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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Latest Comic Book Reviews (07.12.2011) - Flashpoint: Batman - Knight of Vengeance #2 & American Vampire #16

Two stunning comic book with fantastic cliffhangers and shocking reveals in a comic book week that's full of surprises. Yes, reviews are little bit late, but as the saying goes - "better late than never".

All my reviews after the jump.

Flashpoint: Batman - Knight of Vengeance #2
Written by Brian Azzarello
Art by Eduardo Risso
Published by DC Comics

In a world where Bruce Wayne is dead and where his dad - Thomas Wayne - is the goddamned Batman, its really hard to tell which character is going to appear next in this topsy-turvy alternate reality, and Azzarello just does that: making his readers fall into thinking that they know the whole story, but then slaps them in the face with a jaw-dropping shocker that will make anyone scream: "What in the fucking hell?"

Its an almost-perfect mystery writing by Azzarello, with Risso continuing to do a great job on his crime-noir style of illustrative storytelling. These two are the best in what they do and within the mystery-crime genre, I think this team is the best out there.
Jim Gordon is highlighted nicely here, with him serving as the lone hero before Batman steps up to the scene - albeit too late. The Oracle reveal is a pretty nice surprise too, but I don't really feel that the character fits into the role she's given.

And that's the main flaw that plagues this book. Despite its genius at leading readers to an enjoyable roller coaster ride, the book also alienates an awful lot because of familiar characters being put into unfamiliar roles. Yes it makes for a very thrilling literature, but it also creates an unorthodox feel that could confuse (some) big time.

With all of that said, Knight of Vengeance - despite its alienating tendencies- is still one of the best Flashpoint tie-ins while serving as a solid stand-alone saga by itself. You won't forget the brutal last pages of this issue, for it is one of the biggest shockers this week while giving us a peek as to what's going to happen next.

But just like before, I'm sure Azzarello won't let anybody correctly guess his next treat.


American Vampire #16
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Rafael Alberquerque
Published by Vertigo 

If there is one underrated comic book in the stands - that has to be American Vampire.

This comic book series is one hell of a groundbreaking story in the vampire genre that erases the teeny-boppy Twilight completely, and yet, it doesn't get the credit and attention it deserves from its fans. Scott Snyder has been making this saga noteworthy and he continues to 1-up himself every single month with his brutal and dramatic storytelling.

AV #16 is no different. 

As our commandos are jailed in an underground Japanese prison, the struggle and will to survive has never been evident and paramount in this issue. Our heroes are desperate to make to escape the hellhole, and with the revelation that the Japs are creating vampiric monsters out of their prisoners, the adrenaline rush just heightened up a notch.

Snyder's crafty narrative with Henry and Skinner Sweet is the highlight of this book - including a blood-sucking scene that was as horrific as it is beautiful. These are desperate times for everybody involved, and Snyder just made the most logical decision to put Henry in a mindset where he has to do everything there is to survive - even if it takes to "befriend" a notorious American Vampire in Sweet.

Henry's love interest - Pearl Jones - makes an appearance as well, looking to save his beloved from imprisonment, but she may have to go to a tough battle before she can ever accomplish it, as seen in her panels. Snyder will definitely continue this brawl in his next issue which will definitely make up for another  awesome exciting issue.

All of these is (and will be) accompanied by Alberquerque's strong illustrations that blends perfectly with Snyder's script. Words are not enough to explain the fantastic watercolorish style that completely sets the dark and melodramatic tone of this epic series that consistently impresses readers - even non fans of the vampire genre.  His last panel in this issue is one of the strongest panels of this series EVER.... and it reeks of 100%, pure-badassery that would make one drool for more vampire action.

American Vampire continues to impress, and with 16 issues down, its quickly gaining status as a series of epic proportions because of its vampire goodness. So good - its not even funny. 

Hopefully more fans will take notice for this series right now because this is Snyder and Alberquerque at their very best. Writer and artist at the peak of their powers, and it would be a shame not to witness it. 


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