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  1. #721
    I like to rock the party Corporal Blues's Avatar
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    My thoughts after reading the second issues from the DCnU:


    Action Comics #2: I'm really glad they toned down Superman's powers a bit for this comic. He's still a strong dude, but Morrison has done a good job making Supes seem like he isn't an unstoppable force. I also like the way they're handling Lex Luthor. The guy is faced off against Superman, but for believable reasons: with the safety of humanity in mind...the guy's not wrong, he's just an asshole.

    I think I'm officially not a fan of Rags Morales. Superman is supposed to be a young man in this, but there are times he looks more middle aged and pushing towards old man. (Just look at the cover art) Also Lois looks like a frumpy, worn out cougar on casual Friday in this issue. Morales' character designs look totally different from one page to the next. Not impressed.

    Inconsistent art aside, this is a fun take on Superman, and Morrison makes the Man of Steel fun to read. I'm definitely on board for the first full arc, and probably Morrison's entire run.

    Animal Man #2: A lot of people are totally in love with Animal Man. I am not one of those people. I was firmly on the fence after the first issue, and not a lot has changed after the second.

    I stuck around for this second issue on the strength of the three page dream sequence at the end of issue one, and like that issue, a few cool things happened that got me excited, which helped balance out the other not so cool parts. For example: Animal Man's eyes bleeding a crazy map-tattoo onto his chest. Animal Man's daughter turning a neighbor's hand into a chicken leg is pretty cool too. However, I realize I can't just keep reading this issue for the one or two pages of thrills it provides each issue. The whole issue needs to be worth reading not just a few pages.

    A big hang-up I have with this title is that I don't like Travel Foreman's art. He can draw some creepy and cool beasties, but most everything else looks flat and generic, or too clean and sanitized. Because this is written by Jeff Lemire, I'll give it one more issue, but it needs to improve drastically.

    Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #2: Does Frankenstein slap a deranged and creepy old church lady who's been sacrificing children to monsters from another dimension? Hells to the yes. Does Frankenstein do some underwater sword wielding against some crazy creatures? Mmm hmm. Does Frank and his crew travel to a planet completely covered in monsters? Yes!

    Unlike Lemire's Animal Man, which focuses on characters and their interactions, Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. is all about the balls to the walls action and monster slaying. Yeah, there's some character development in there, but it's not the focus of the comic, nor am I inclined to care.

    I do get the sense that the light/popcorn feel might not be able to hold my interest over time, but for now, it's pretty enjoyable, and this one scores high marks for sheer escapism. My one gripe: Frank's lame platform style combat boots.

    Detective Comics #2: I wasn't instantly in love with this title after the first issue, but a shocker ending made me interested enough to read more. I wish I could say otherwise, but this issue felt like more of the same. More bat-toys, a fight, and lo and behold, another shock-tastic ending.

    Tony S. Daniel, who does both the writing and the art, seems to be relying on the cheap thrills approach with Detective Comics, and I'm not sure how much more I can take. It doesn't seem like a sustainable form of story telling. I can only take so many big shockers before they achieve mundane status, and lose their ability to make an impact. I'm considering dropping this one from my pull-list.

    Batwoman #2: Batwoman is easily the best title coming out of the DCnU, and for my money, is one of the best buys on the shelf these days. J.H. Williams III is probably the best artist in the game right now, and Batwoman is an amazing looking book, not to mention a compelling read.

    Kate Kane/Batwoman is a really interesting character to read about both in and out of the bat-suit. The developing love story with Detective Sawyer adds an interesting dynamic to the whole deal too.

    On top of a budding love story, there's some strange wraith-like creature abducting Gotham's children, and a D.E.O. spook pulling rank all over town trying to figure out and unmask Batwoman. Batwoman is great stuff, I highly recommend this very accessible series.

    Batman #2: Batman is the better of the two Batman titles, but it still has a major weakness. The art. I didn't like it in issue one, and I like it even less in issue two. I wrote in my review of issue one that I hoped to grow accustomed to, and one day like Capulo's art, but I think I kinda hate it. Not only is it fifteen years or so out of date, but it just doesn't work on multiple levels.

    The first thing that drives me nuts are his action sequences, which are poorly planned out and confusing to figure out what the hell is going on. There was a really poorly executed action sequence where Batman jumped the bat-cycle onto an oncoming train (no ramp needed) in physics defying fashion that was just plain cheesy, but it gets much worse.

    The other aspect of Capullo's art that drives me nuts are his character designs. Simply put, the people look ridiculous. Why is Bruce Wayne's head shaped like a cinder block? There's another confusing action scene where Bruce Wayne battles some assassin in an owl-combat suit. Bruce tries kicking and punching the guy, both of which are easily blocked by the assassin, yet somehow, Bruce is then able to run up, and put the guy in a head-lock no problem. There's then three increasing close up panels of Bruce trying to choke the guy out, then comes the worst panel of the entire comic: a close up of Wayne's grimacing, teeth gritted mouth, and the whole thing looks like it was drawn with a ruler, complete with squared off lips, which meet the teeth at a right angle. The lack of effort in the art, and terrible layouts make me incredibly frustrated.

    What makes this story even more tragic is that Scott Snyder is a great Batman writer. I really like the story that he's got going on with this first arc, too bad I can't stand the art. Please get a new artist. Soon.

    All Star Western #2: Last but not least comes the western that really isn't a western, since it takes place in Gotham... When we last left Jonah Hex he was investigating the plot of From Hell. Now he's caught up in a brutal shoot-out at Amadeus Arkham's casa with minions of Gotham's own elite secret society. When the gunsmoke and dust clears Hex is still standing, and in his no malarkey fashion, discovers the whereabouts of the bad-guys hang out. With Arkham in tow, he heads off to deal out some more six-shooter justice.

    Thankfully, it turns out this opening story arc isn't a total rehashing of the From Hell plot, Gotham's secret society is actually following the teachings of the "Crime Bible" a dark faith based on the story of Cain and Abel.

    So basically this opening story arc is setting up to be Jonah Hex versus rich religious nut-jobs.

    Amen to that.

  2. #722
    Registered User lonewriter's Avatar
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    I haven't read the Batwoman comics, I'll check them out.

    I am reading the new Justce League The New 52, so far I really like it.

  3. #723
    I like to rock the party Corporal Blues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonewriter View Post
    I haven't read the Batwoman comics, I'll check them out.

    I am reading the new Justce League The New 52, so far I really like it.
    If you do, be sure and read the graphic novel, Batwoman: Elegy. Its the story that precedes the current plot line, and is one of my all time favorite super hero comics. Great stuff.

  4. #724
    I like to rock the party Corporal Blues's Avatar
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    I finally got around to reading some of Jacques Tardi's comics work. It was the War of the Trenches was an amazing read. Here's a bit from my review:

    Set during World War I, It was the War of the Trenches gives a grunt's eye view of the miserable existence that was trench warfare. Through a series of vignettes Tardi gives the reader an indelible view of what it was like to be a lowly French soldier in one of the deadliest wars in all human history. If going over the top, scouting enemy gun placements, or enemy artillery barrages didn't kill you, then friendly fire, starvation, or dysentery likely would.

    I read It was the War of the Trenches in one spectacular and glorious sitting. This graphic novel is so expertly researched, and beautifully drawn that I couldn't make myself put it down. Tardi's artwork is amazing, and he captures the imagery of the war as well as any photograph. In many ways, Tardi's art which features settings that look photo-realistic, and humans with a slight cartoonish look to them, reminded me of Joe Sacco's art, but it's more likely that Sacco's art is inspired and influenced by the work of Tardi, since he's been around longer. Either way, Tardi's realistic depiction of places and spaces is as good as it gets, and gave me a strong sense of all the mud, blood and detritus of the trenches.

  5. #725
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    I reviewed X-23 #17 over on my blog, but I'll sum it up here.

    Great art.
    Good writing.
    Why on Earth did you drop this series, Marvel? You're flipping idiots.

    Hoping to finally get around to my Free Comic Book Day issues soon, as well as the Boom! trades I ended up with.

  6. #726
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corporal Blues View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loerwyn View Post
    Saw this cover on Comics Alliance and just had to share it. It's for an upcoming Avengers trade and it's absolutely laughable. Iron Man and Thor look utterly ridiculous!

    That John Romita Jr. for you. (AKA JRJR) I'm not much of a fan of his work. He was the artist for Kick Ass and there were times when a character's head would be the same size as the rest of their body.
    IMHO, JRJR is the most overrated* artist in all of comics. Every character has the same poorly drawn face, they all look like blocky stick figures. Much as I was enjoying JMS's Spider man for a while, I couldn't stomach the art.


    * yes, worse than Rob Liefeld.

  7. #727
    I like to rock the party Corporal Blues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    IMHO, JRJR is the most overrated* artist in all of comics. Every character has the same poorly drawn face, they all look like blocky stick figures. Much as I was enjoying JMS's Spider man for a while, I couldn't stomach the art.


    * yes, worse than Rob Liefeld.
    Worse than Liefeld? That is a strong statement. But a valid one. I'll give you that.

    I know how you feel about enjoying the writing on a title, but hating the art. I'm in the same boat with the new Batman stuff. I love Scott Snyder's writing, but I can't stand Greg Capullo's art.

  8. #728
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
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    at the other end of the spectrum in drawing prowess, I'm reading now Kingdom Come, and the paintings of Alex Ross are incredibly realistic. He has a thing for illuminating a face from bellow, but the level of detail the angles of view are amazing.
    I wonder if there's more by him ...

  9. #729
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    Mignola is easily one of my favourite artists But I quite liked the realistic art of X-23 (Issue #17 at least), but I really like the art in Batwoman and Batgirl (Steph and Babs reboot) too. It's funky.

    Liefeld is... uh... Liefeld. I have Deadpool Corps and the art was fairly poor for the most part.

  10. #730
    I like to rock the party Corporal Blues's Avatar
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    Algernoninc- Ross is a great artist. I think he's probably the last guy still doing actual paintings. He recently did covers to the Rocketeer mini-series, and his covers were amazing.

    Loerwyn- Yeah, I love that X-23 cover, I'll have to flip through it next time I'm at the comic shop to check out the interior art.

    In my opinion, JH Williams III is probably the best in the business right now. He can illustrate in a variety of styles, and can incorporate them flawlessly into the page.

    My favorite artist though is Frank Quitely. His work on We3 and All Star Superman blew me away.

  11. #731
    Registered User lonewriter's Avatar
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    I am reading the Young Justice comics, based on the animated series. I think they are really good.

  12. #732
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    So, there's this daft person around, and she wrote this piece for the blog of a major UK sci-fi mag about women in comics.

    Pfft, what was she thinking?


  13. #733
    I like to rock the party Corporal Blues's Avatar
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    That's a great article Loerwyn. I couldn't agree more, both DC and Marvel need to step their games up.

    In my recent comic reading, I read Volume 1 of Garth Ennis' The Boys.

    Simply put, it was awful.

    The sex, violence, crude humor, and naughty language were all extremely overdone to the point of ridiculousness. This was very disappointing because I really enjoyed Preacher. I wont be reading any more of The Boys.

  14. #734
    Filthy Assistants! Moderator kater's Avatar
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    Congrats Loerwyn on the article, nice little addition to the CV - think you could have used Voodoo from the DC reboot as the most obvious example of their return to an 80's porn-bordering T&A sexuality approach though.

    The Boys is parody plain and simple, either it's your bag or it isn't. I dropped it after the third trade and having flicked through some of the singles since don't feel the need to go back. Bit of a fallow period for Ennis atm though I think his mind is on his movie writing.

  15. #735
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kater View Post
    Congrats Loerwyn on the article, nice little addition to the CV - think you could have used Voodoo from the DC reboot as the most obvious example of their return to an 80's porn-bordering T&A sexuality approach though.
    Oh, didn't know about her - oops. But thanks kater, and the same to you CB.

    Forgot to waffle about why Power Girl is acceptable, though

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