WE TOOK A BREAK FROM KINGDOM HEARTS III LONG ENOUGH TO REVIEW MORE COMICS!
New video games will not distract us from the comics publishers put out every week!
AGE OF X-MAN: ALPHA
Writers: Zac Thompson & Lonnie Nadler
Artist: Ramon Rosanas
Cover Price: $4.99
Even in their perfect world, nothing is perfect for the X-Men.
Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler present us with the Age of X, a utopia that has a lot of dystopian parts. This issue does a fairly good job of setting up the status quo of the displaced mutants and the society they have been removed to. Moreover, it gives a quick primer to the varying players and their unusual roles in nearly every aspect of… wherever they are. However, this issue also has the pacing of a set-up issue. Alpha is where we learn about the status quo, whereas the subsequent mini-series will tell the tale. This comic isn’t bad, because it’s just typical of this kind of story set-up.
Meanwhile, the art by Ramon Rosanas is perfect for this type of story. His art has a freshness that mirrors the setting. He uses very thick outer lines and sparse small details. It makes the images look unusually clean. Personally, it made me feel like something was very wrong, and that feeling played out in the later pages of the comic when the fractures began to show in this “perfect” world.
Age of X-Man: Alpha does a good, if not remarkable, job getting you on the pace of the new status quo. Whether it becomes as much of a pop-culture benchmark as the Age of Apocalypse has yet to be seen.
ACTION COMICS #1007
Writers: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Steve Epting
Cover Price: $3.99
Bendis is continuing to redefine Superman and his enemies.
Brian Michael Bendis has contributed a lot to comics and he is working hard to take Superman out of all his comfort zones. He shows a keen understanding of how Superman’s world affects him as much as he has an effect on it. I am no Superman fan, however all of the characters here are very emotionally honest and easy to understand. While parts of this comic do have a lot of dialogue, it is useful dialogue that helps define why these characters are thinking as they do and how they need to proceed. This is one of those comics where the writer is very insightful into how a fantastic world could work.
Steve Epting does a lot right with his art. He is using blacks well, especially when making something look dim or dingy. This comic is extremely light on action. With that said, there is a good flow between panels and the art does help the story. The lines here are mostly thin, but have very long strokes. Some outlines seem to blend into the dark backgrounds. It makes the kind of visual voids that draw the eye, encouraging in-depth study of images. In the meantime, Epting’s faces need a bit more. While the characters are recognizable, they kept striking me as slightly inhuman. It is like looking at a Disney animatronic; it’s extremely life-like, although I know it’s not human.
All in all, this is a good jump in point for readers. Superman’s world is changing as someone is challenging some of DC’s most notorious global agencies. Meanwhile, you can sense a globe-shaking adventure coming.
Writers: Chelsea Cain
Artist: Eddy Barrows
Cover Price: $3.99
This comic is brimming with imagination.
Cheslea Cain is wearing her heart on her sleeve in this series. All of her writing has a great mix of emotion and humor about a potentially terrifying situation. This series has a lot of metaphors about gender bias and it does make me wonder about how men see women and vice-versa. While I am not absolutely certain what is happening starting in on issue #5, I do have a good grasp of the overall story. That is a benchmark of a talented writer.
Eddy Barrows work is very thin overall. His outer and inner lines are thin. His detail work is a few small lines. However, the details are so close together, the detail becomes scratchy. Moreover, the outer lines often are not deeply inked. This makes them appear faded. Additionally, while younger characters have a good energy and appearance, the older characters seem to lack a lot of emotion. It is a strange juxtaposition.
I am enjoying this issue and want to start at the beginning after reading this comic. Because of this comic, I think Marvel missed a big chance when they cancelled her follow-up mini-series to Tom King’s Vision.
PICK OF THE WEEK
WONDER WOMAN #63
Writers: G. Willow Wilson
Artist: Emanuela Lupacchino
Cover Price: $3.99
This is the kind of Wonder Woman story I have been waiting for G. Willow Wilson to write.
While this character is very sparing with the title character, we are following several Olympian refugees she has rescued and brought to America for immigration. It creates several problems legally and socially that are interesting allegories for the current debate about immigration in America and globally. Wilson is in form here making characters that are unbelievable and very human at the same time. She has written a smart script.
Meanwhile, Wilson’s writing is buttressed by the art by Wmanuela Lupacchino. Her art captures the essence of these unusual characters without making them alien. Lupacchino’s Pegasus and Cadmus are extremely good. They are very expressive without exaggerating the normal look of a horse. While the detail can get a bit busy, the artist should have full credit for making a satyr, a minotaur, and a winged horse not look too out of place in her panels.
Moreover, this story has created questions for me regarding how Wonder Woman fits into DC’s multiverse. She is doing her best to help these people, although she isn’t going too far out of her way. This is in line with how the character is written, however if she is often depicted as one of the more loving characters in the universe, why does she seem to have lukewarm compassion towards their plight? Meanwhile, if enough people trust Diana’s word to let these refugees have a chance, why isn’t she tackling some of DC’s more prescient threats like Lex Luthor or Vandal Savage?
Something to ponder later.
In the meantime, this is a solid issue that is a terrific jump in point. This fees like an expansion to Diana’s world without completely redefining it and shows some of things the character does for those who need help.
What do you read during your video game breaks? Let us know in the comments below! In the meantime, enjoy a link to our comic book news and reviews podcast, the Part-Time Henchmen!