Hey hey!!!! This week not only will I be reviewing my pulls (including two Marvel comics that aren’t on my pull list) but I’ll be on the Hero Nuggets Podcast!!!! Check it all out after the jump!
The Bounce #3
The beginning of this issue is actually touching. No, really. The Bounce comes back home through a window to catch his gay roomie(Terry) dressed in drag. The two have a heartfelt/stoned discussion about why they each do what they do and we learn about Terry’s drag queening and sex life and we get the hint that The Bounce isn’t completely sure why he’s a hero except that he feels a compulsion or a calling to do it. We also learn more about the experiment that gave him his powers and took his best friend from him.
The Bounce’s brother, the Assistant DA, is still a dick bag and that makes the tension between the two even greater now that big bro is hunting the superheros down. The sleazy guy behind all of the military’s experiments doesn’t get much screen time but we do learn that he has some connection with the creation of superpowered beings and may even be unleashing them on the city on purpose.
I really appreciated the discussion between The Bounce and Terry, it was nicely done and very funny at times. It’s also great to see an LGBT character inn comics, even if he is just a roommate he’s now privy to the superheroing The Bounce is doing making them even closer. Joe Casey has a nice handle on this . . . at least in terms of characters, world building, and action. I’m still kind of unsure what the big bag is up to but not knowing builds tension nicely.
David Messina, the artist, is great. This is another one of those artists who really stands out to me. His panel layout, the bold outlines of his characters that make them pop, and he’s REALLY good at faces. Like, really good. All thumbs up. I enjoy Giovanna Niro’s colors. They aren’t exactly cel-shaded but it’s pretty close to it and it compliments the lines very well. The most intricate color work in this issue is the beastie on a rampage at the hospital with a complexion like a stone alligator.
Verdict: It’s keeping me interested, the art is nice, and +1 for the gay-drag-queen-roommie! 3 stars!
Fun fact: the villain we met last issue is an Apokaliptian New God who predates the Parademon invasion of Earth Prime (the main Earth of the New 52). While looking her up I also learned that her name, Kaiyo, is Japanese for “forgiveness”. Interesting, no?
Though her name may have deeper meaning than we expect she’s not doing anything very forgiving. She possessed Catwoman, had her go on a killing spree in Metropolis, then had Batman and Superman fight, and then transported them to Earth 2 before the Parademon invasion of that world.
Time travel, universe jumping, possession, etc, etc. It is a bit hard to follow but once you’ve read through this issue it’s easy to go back and put the pieces into place. Kaiyo has taken the Superman and Batman of Earth Prime from before the formation of the Justice League and put them in Earth 2 which is a far more Utopian world than either of them know. It ends, however, with Earth 2 Wonder Woman showing up on a Pegasus and seemingly stabbing Lois Lane with a spear.
The characterizations of the Kent family were spot on. Jonathon was overprotective and Martha was motherly and nurturing, to both Supermen. Catwoman, in Earth 2 Batman’s wife, is playful, witty, catty, and fun to read. I hope we see more of her in the future. But reading the differences between Batman Prime and Batman 2 and the differences between Superman Prime and Superman 2 is really cool. I’ve always liked the Batman/Superman title because the characters provide such a great foil to each other. This go round, however, Greg Pak has the characters playing foils to their alternate selves and it is very fun.
My only concern is whether this arc will be retconned or they’ll forget it ever happened or what. We already know that Batman and Superman first meet during Darkseid’s invasion of Earth. Is Greg going to retcon DC’s New 52 continuity less than 2 years into it? That would annoy me. Like, a lot. So I’m hoping they find a way to wrap this up in a neat little bow.
Jae Lee’s art is STILL amazing. And when paired with June Chung’s wonderful color work well . . . Wow. The panels where Catwoman, Batman, and Batman fight in the Batcave are VERY heavily shadowed and the silhouettes work nicely with the smokey grey-blue background. Contrasting with that are the silhouette scenes of Earth 2 Martha embracing Superman Prime with a cloudy, Midwest backdrop. Then you have the well lit scenes with the introduction of Lois and Wonder Woman . . . Lee is incredibly talented. I will never argue that. And I love his art. But a part of me still thinks his style would be better suited towards a more supernatural title.
Judgment: This was a great issue. The writing is solid, the art is interesting/impressive, and I’m loving the series so far. I give it three stars!
The Superior Spider-Man #14
Dr. Octopus in Peter Parker’s body? Interesting . . . .
I have to say I have never been the biggest Parker fan. When it comes to Spider-Men I prefer Miles Morales of Ultimate Comics. However, during the universe-crossing event Spider-Men I saw a side to Parker that I enjoyed. He didn’t seem so one-dimensional and boring and Mary Sue to me. But Superior Spider-Man is pretty damn cool. All of Spidey’s powers and all of Doc Oc’s ruthlessness? That is something I can get behind. Plus his costume looks a lot cooler. While Oc is trying to play the hero and amend for past sins he’s doing it in an incredibly awesome-kill-bad-guys-kind-of-way. A villain’s ruthlessness and utilitarianism can give a hero an edge that makes them all kinds of badass. And Kingpin learned this the hard way . . .
Spider-Man assaults Kingpin’s lair, Shadowland. He assaults it with a team of Spider-soldiers. And Spider-robots. And Spider-mini-robots. And a giant Spider-mecha. This issue takes Spidey for an all out war against Kingpin and it works. He escapes and a new baddie is set up to fill in for a while at the end. Dan Slott has written a great issue and even I, not a regular Spider-Man read, can see the difference between Amazing and Superior. It’s very well crafted.
The art was nice, I love the new Spider-Man costume and the almost-anime-like-expression that Humberto Ramos gives to the eyes of his characters. All of his art is very expressive and he over accentuates certain features(angle of a kick, widening of the eyes, clutch of the fingers, curve of a character’s spine while jumping) to tell the tale in that panel to its fullest. This along with Victor Olazaba’s colors had my eyeballs bleeding.
Verdict: Wow. While I won’t be putting this on my pull list I DID get onto my Amazon account and buy the first two volumes of Superior Spider-Man and pre-ordered the 3rd. I award this 4 stars!
New Avengers #8
Soooo . . . I have pretty much NO idea about what’s going on but this seemed pretty action packed and was definitely prepping up to Marvel’s Infinity event.
Atlantis and Wakanda are at war, Black Panther isn’t the King of Wakanda anymore, Iron Man just got back from space, Reed Richards still annoys me, Namor annoys me even more, and there is a global invasion going on. It’s pretty heavy but I enjoyed reading it. Not enough to go back and find out what the hell everyone was talking about but it was solid. I am intrigued as to how everything that is going on in Marvel’s Universe will lead into Infinity and how the universe will change afterwards. It’ll be interesting to see, for sure.
The writing was good. I loved seeing the interaction of the characters (particularly Black Panther and Namor) but a lot of the comic didn’t strike me. At the end of the comic we see an invasion from space happen and a fleet of ships lands outside of Doctor Strange’s place in NYC. That, honestly, was one of the most interesting parts of this issue. The only action was an assault on Atlantis, not much in the way of fighting. I suspect, however, that everything has been put into place for what’s coming. Write Jonathon Hickman has crafted, what looks to me is a jigsaw puzzle, but is intricate, deep, and will have lasting ramifications to come in Infinity.
The art was brilliant. Everything was so detailed . . .secret meeting rooms, Atlantis getting destroyed, the robot-arm-thing that takes Iron Man’s armor off. That paired with the brilliant and effective use of color made this a treat for my eye holes. Mike Deodato and Frank Martin impressed me. Really. ME! That’s kind of a big deal.
Verdict: Decent writing at the least, probably great writing if I had read the entire series. Awesome-sauce art. 3 stars.
Justice League Dark #22
Trinity War continues in this third installment and we learn a lot. But that only leaves us with even more questions . . . .
The bad guy is nice enough to spell out the plot to Madame Xanadu (who survived the explosion! YAY!) and the Justice Leagues are swapping members like swingers at swinging party. I think that analogy stands, but still. Wonder Woman is going after Pandora, Batman doesn’t want to go after Pandora (he really isn’t clear about how he thinks they should handle the Superman killing Dr. Light thing, though), and Superman breaks out of Waller’s cell with the Question to find out who’s done what to him.
And all three of the Trinity of Sin are now in play, while Wonder Woman hunts Pandora with a few members from each League Batman and Phantom Stranger, with a few members from each League, are left to devise a plan, and Superman is with The Question and the left-over League members. I had thought at the VERY beginning of DC’s Trinity War hype that it would end up with the Trinity (Supes, Wonder Woman, and Batman) each leading their own Justice League against each other. And it’s beginning to look like I was correct. However, we are still only halfway through the War so there are many more twists to come, I’m sure.
Geoff Johns has been directing this fantastically . . . Jeff Lemire’s writing is okay. One thing that bothered me though was Steve Trevor saying Wonder Woman couldn’t go after Pandora’s Box because it was too dangerous. How did he know it was too dangerous? Because when he and Team 7 went after it half of them died. He said it was too dangerous for Wonder Woman to go after the Box because he and a bunch of other humans couldn’t. Wonder. Women. Dangerous. Humans. Why would something that is dangerous for humans be dangerous for a demigod? For Wonder Woman?
I couldn’t really wrap my head around that . . . I had originally thought that Steve still cared for Wonder Woman and didn’t want her to get hurt. But then Batman jumped on Steve’s side and insisted to Wonder Woman that it was too dangerous. I’m beginning to wonder if Batman and Steve have forgotten that she’s, you know, Wonder Woman. I had hoped that when DC buffed her for the New 52 she would start to get some respect but the way she’s been treated by Steve and Batman, like she’s a child who doesn’t understand her own mythology(depsite being born of it) seemed weird. I’m just hoping that Batman doesn’t get the chance to say I told you so because I’m sick of seeing Wonder Woman get her ass kicked. I guess we have Jim Lee and his hatred of the character to thank for that, however.
Sigh . . . end fanboy rant. Regardless of my feelings on the treatment of Wonder Woman the issue carried the story nicely and some cool things happened. The JLA abandoning Amanda Waller was a great moment. She’s a bitch of a character and I love her but it’s always nice to see something not go according to her plan. She’s basically the Umbridge of the DCU. Of course the villain, at the end of the comic, announced that there was a mole in the Justice League! Which one? We’re not told but I don’t think it’s all that surprising. So far the villain has pretty much been used to tell us the plot of what’s going on in case we missed the previous issues. It’s a convenient story telling device.
Mikel Janin’s art is nice. Nice-nice. There was a nice looking page where Batman and Wonder Woman’s faces were facing off, challenging each other, superimposed over the panels. It was a nice touch that really drove home that the Justice Leagues were dividing. The pages were all nice looking, crisp colors and nice details.
Verdict: Each issue of Trinity War gets better and better! Can’t wait to see what happens next! 4 stars!!!!