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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Latest Comic Book Reviews - 03.01.2012

Haven't posted in a long long time, i know. Been busy with work making moolahs (we all have to, don't we?), but I still read comics every week just to a little bit of entertainment and take a break from the exhausting work and stress.

So here are some books that I read recently:

Justice League #6 
by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee
Published by DC Comics

We have been given some less-than impressive issues since this whole thing started, but this issue kind of gave everything fans wanted to see: the Justice League finally kicking Darkseid's ass and establishing their description as the "World's Greatest Superheroes". They didn't kill Darkseid, but they managed to bring him back to the hell hole he came from courtesy of Cyborg and the team's collective effort. JL #6 also introduces new readers to those "boom tubes", "mother boxes" and Darkseid's henchmen. Oh, and Jim Lee's ever so-90s art is present too with his ridiculously detailed action double-spreads.

Also introduced is that mysterious lady that appeared in all the DC New 52 books and the enigmatic Phantom Stranger. Interestingly yummy.

And with that, I give this issue a rating of....

4 out of 5 Mother Boxes!

Daredevil #9
by Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera
Published by Marvel Comics

When will Mark Waid's DD brillance stop? I don't know, but we're lucky to have him writing this awesome series. And the latest issue continues Matt Murdock's mission on solving the mystery of the missing and stolen coffins - which apparently includes his dad's. Its a simple story but yet Waid manages to mix in thrill, excitement, action, scary moloids, and even show the dynamic in Black Cat and DD's relationship after that one night stand they had last issue. And yes, the whole thing still revolves around that mysterious Reed Richards hardrive, but somehow Waid managed to make me forget about that for a bit. And when he did remind me that the hard drive is still the main focus (this time involving Black Cat), it hit me with a bang. Now things just became a bit more complicated for DD.

No need to review Rivera's pencils, because if you have been reading this book you know that its sooooo good. There's so much going on in every panel that it's hard to take you eyes off of it. 

And with that DD gets...

5 out of 5 Reed Richards data drives!!!

Voodoo #6 
by Ron Marz and Sami Basri
Published by DC Comics

Okay... after that reveal last issue, this Voodoo thing just got crazier. And i mean crazy in a bad way because we still don't know who Voodoo is, and now we learn that she was a clone of the real Priscilla Kitaen and we do not who how the hell did that happen. Issue #6 doesn't answer those questions either as it spends more time giving us what we already know and gives emphasis to neck-slashing and Voodoo killing off Daemonites. And Agent Fallon is almost  non-existent in this issue by the way, and that's a turn off for me. The meeting with the "Council" (whoever these guys are) at the end is good though and gives me hope that we're finally going to get some answers come issue 7. 

But still, the writing on this book is starting to get boring for me and the only thing that keeps me tuned is Sami Basri's ever-clean pencils. But that has to improve too as I have seen no additions to his game asides from better facial expressions. Backgrounds are still too simple and he still relies too much on close-ups. That can only take you too far. 

So for that, Voodoo receives...

2 out of 5 Daemonite heads

The Flash #6 
by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato 
Published by DC Comics

Now that the Mob Rule arc is finished, its time to get some Captain Cold goodness and we saw that last issue when he was introduced with a not-so-surprising hoodie get up (you know, hoodies and collars are hip in the DC universe these days). Now in this issue, Captain Cold's background is explored a bit and it involves drama of course, but the most interesting part is his reinvention of his power set. Gone are the freeze guns and it looks like Cold's powers are innate and are within his body, thus he has more control over it, making him a more serious villian. Credit the writers for making this happen. Bye Bye Mr. Freeze references. 

Nothing special happens as the story centers a good old-fashioned matchup between The Scarlet Speedster and Captain Cold while throwing in some Speed Force trivia, little bit of the Wally-Patty Spivot romance, and a new Flash gadget along the way... but what really sells this issue though is the amazing art which has become the staple of this Flash reboot right from day 1. From the clever play on the title introductions almost hidden in the icy tower backgrounds, to the full double page spread of a boat cracking in half, to the Flash using his powers to save the day... is just pure creativity at its highest level.  Sequencial art being honed to its full potential by Manapul and Buccellato. Incredible.

Obviously, I'm all praise for this title so this gets...

5 out of 5 Flash Treadmills!!! (the superb art really trumps the "just okay" story) 

American Vampire #24 
by Scott Snyder and Rafael Alberquerque
Published by Vertigo


Our favorite vampire Skinner Sweet is back. And I'm not so sure though if this was intended to be a surprise because right from the end of Death Race part 1, I already knew that this vamp our beloved Travis is hunting is Skinner. There's couldn't by anybody else than him. Now that we got that out of the way, let's continue.

This picks up immediately where we left off with AV #23 and Snyder does his magic once again by interweaving Sweet and Travis' pasts, connecting Travis to the Vassals of the Morning Star and simply creating a believable universe within these two characters . He breathes life into them, making us readers feel the horror, the sweat, the suspense, the high stakes of the race, and even the dark and dry setting of the desert. Skinner is unrelenting. Travis is losing his cool. This is about survival. About consequences. And Snyder gets all of these across with justification and clarity.

And let me also give a big hand of applause to Alberquerque for staying on top of his game and giving more and more effort into this book each and every time. Though its Snyder who gives the character's life, its Alberquerque who makes them move, run, scream, and feel pain - he gives his art an authentic feel to it thus making a huge emotional impact on its readers and more importantly, brings genuine magic when combined with Snyder's masterful wordplay. 

One more issue remains for this Death Race arc, and I'm feeling that we're gonna get a pretty sad goodbye to one of AV's memorable characters. I think I'm gonna cry if that's the case. 

Still one of Vertigo's best on-going, this gets...

5 out of 5 Molotov Cocktails

Highlander: Way of the Sword TPB (2006-2008)
by JT Krul and Carlos Rafael
Published by Dynamite Entertainment

This collection was a four issue comic book limited series based on the popular cult franchise - Highlander and stars Connor McLeod in a story where he simply searches to retrieve his sword (well, his mentor Ramirez' sword) when he lost it to long time nemesis The Kurgan by accident eons ago.

Yes that's the whole story in a nutshell, but along the way you get a lot of the trademark Highlander pieces that made it a cult favorite in the 90s. You get awesome sword fighting, gore, lots of blood, heads flying everywhere, and orgasmic Quickening. You get to travel in different time periods as well, which to be honest, gets a bit confusing when the setting suddenly changes from 1966 to 845 AD for example. And as with McLeods, there's the one night stand turning into romance which then turns into sad tragedy. Oh Immortals. They're like "the walking dead". 

In any case, I have to say JT Krul's writing here is great. I really enjoyed it. Never too cheesy, over-the-top angry or depressing, with the just right amount of tone appropriate for every situation and he does takes it up a notch in the ending with a nice send off narration. 

This book is cool especially for fans of the franchise and its packed with great art from Rafael too. Sword choreography is great, he doesn't hold back on depicting over the top violence, and he's pretty good with facial expressions too. You really see the anger and despair in the characters and feel them. His Christopher Lambert version is good too as well as his backgrounds, so that's a plus. Only downside is that he draws his anatomy too muscular especially for women, but other than that, his art is solid.

So with that said, I'm giving this...

4 out of 5 Immortal Heads 

Feel free to comment and discuss some of these books in the comment section. 

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