COMICS REVIEWED BY THE PART-TIME HENCHMEN!
New comics are at your local stores, and we take a look at a few of the newest issues!
Writer – Mirka Andolfo
Artist – Mirka Andolfo
Price – $3.99
I didn’t expect to become a fan of a comic all about forbidden love.
Mirka Andolfo again handles both the art and writing duties in this original story.
Her characters continue be very distinct, although their voices feel less individualistic in this issue. The comic flows well and a bit more time is spent with the protagonist’s roommate as she tries to uncover a hidden meaning behind the central character’s erotic dreams. I can understand why the second issue of Unnatural would turn people out, though. It is a dialogue heavy issue that does not move the story forward much in its pages. It can come off as filler, though I think we are on the verge of a major step forward.
Andolfo’s art is extremely good. I’m not much of a fan of anthromorphic characters, however everyone has a personality in their look and their frames, stances, and demeanor vary in eye-catching ways. This may be a dark dystopian version of Zootopia, but it is a very pretty one.
Unnatural #2 isn’t on the higher end of sophomore issues. I think it is worth its cover price, though, as it continues to build a world that can feel more real to me than Gotham City with themes that include civil rights, understanding, and desire. I hope people find the patience to give it a try.
Fantastic Four #1
Writer – Dan Slott
Artist – Sara Pichelli & Simone Bianchi
Price – $5.99
Marvel’s “First Family” has returned to the comics! Now that they are back, what kind of presence do they have?
Dan Slott write two separate stories both happening in this issue. While it appears that he is changing the story, most of the issue feels like a lot of prior Fantastic Four stories with a new wrapping. The relationship between the Thing and Alicia Masters has gone to engagement before. Whether they can actually go all of the way to marriage remains to be seen. After a few emotional beats, by the end of the comic, the status quo feels very firmly restored.
Sara Pichelli drew the primary story and I like the energy she brings. Even with a severe lack of action, the characters have a great flow. Moreover, even the quiet moments have good energy. However, I have to say that I like how Pichelli presents the Thing and the Human Torch. The thing feels more massive than some of the prior artist portrayal. Moreover, the Human Torch’s powers have a truly incendiary look. If only the movies made the fire look as intense as this.
There is good and bad with this issue. The good is that if you’re a long time fan of the Fantastic Four, you are going to be pretty satisfied with this issue. If you are not a fan, there isn’t much here to change your mind. Perhaps when the team is together in the next issue, that will change.
Writer – Marc Andreyko
Artist – Kevin Maguire
Price – $3.99
The last living vestige of Krypton is gone. What does the last hero who stood on Krypton do?
I don’t envy Mark Andreyko’s job. He has to take the new story of Supergirl established by Brian Michael Bendis and find a way to make a story for this character. Andreyko does a pretty solid job of establishing the similarities between Supergirl and Superman. Moreover, he nails down how the two are massively different. Supergirl will probably be described by some people as angsty or angry, however, I feel the grief Andreyko had written into the character.
Kevin Maguire handles the art duties of this issue and I am very mixed on this art. His line work is fine, but a character’s facial shape can change from panel to panel. There were times Supergirl’s face looked lean and then her face would be more square. I think this is more of a problem of how Maguire is trying to show perspective than a lack of consistency. His faces also lack a lot of detail. Maguire is leaning on the colorist to create depth in his characters.
I actually have hope for the new storyline of Supergirl in space hunting down who destroyed Krypton. If Maguire’s art develops a bit, this can be a new strong story in DC’s lineup of comics.
PICK OF THE WEEK
RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #25
Writer – Scott Lobdell
Artist – Dexter Soy, Trevor Hairsine & Ryan Winn, Phil Hester & Ande Parks
Price – $4.99
It has been a long time since I checked in with DC’s undercover outlaws. With a new shift in the story coming, I decided to check in and see how the story has progressed.
I do think that Scott Lobdell is one of the most under appreciated writers in DC today. He has manged to take my least favorite Robin and make him a sympathetic character despite Jason Todd completely going against Batman’s wishes. Even though I cannot condone all of his actions, I completely understand the character’s motivations. Additionally, this story removed Artemis and Bizarro from Jason’s team in a reasonable way without unnecessary drama or death. Despite missing 16 comics, I don’t feel lost reading this issue.
You would think that with three different artists on the main story, there would be a very noticeable shift in the art. Surprisingly, Soy, Hairsine, and Winn managed to make the differences very minor. In all honesty, I didn’t know there was three artists until I went and looked up the credits of the issue. Although the art can be a bit over dynamic with posing and body structure, I think the art lends itself to the desperate heroism on display through the issue. Just when I thought the art was approaching laughable, everything came back into sync and I think it all works extremely well. As a caveat, sometimes, the action from panel to panel loses some of its flow and requires a second look to make sense.
This issue removes two characters, but adds another surpise and starts to develop the new direction of Jason Todd. I didn’t expect this to be a standout story, but it makes me want to read the next few comics and find out where Lobdell takes us next with DC’s anti-heroes. I will seriously miss the conversations between the Red Hood and Artemis. They had the kind of adversarial respect from the heyday of Catman and Deadshot on the Secret Six.
Do you have any favorite comics this week? Let us know in the comments below! Also, we have added a link to the latest episode of our comic news and reviews podcast, the Part-Time Henchmen!