COMIC REVIEWS FOR YOUR HOLIDAY WEEK!
The Thanksgiving food coma is over! Which comics found their way to the DVS Gaming desk for review?
HARLEY QUINN #54
Writer – Sam Humphries
Artist – Lucas Werneck
Cover Price – $3.99
Heroes in Crisis has a Harley Quinn smart and savvy enough to stand toe to toe with DC’s Trinity! Harley Quinn’s series has a Harley Quinn that isn’t living up to much.
Sam Humphries is giving us a Harley that feels like more of a caricature of the DC anti-hero. She is quick to anger and hard to interpret. Meanwhile, this Harley doesn’t have much of a trace of the intelligence or savvy as she has in other series. The dialogue of most characters is passable although it doesn’t stand out much. About halfway through this issue, I gained more curiosity for the guest villain, Minor Disaster, rather than the title character.
Lucas Wernick is a decent artist. His proportions are good and his composition is above fair. His art seems to lack polish, though. He uses very little detail in character’s bodies. The faces in his work are also low on detail. Wernick relies on the colorist to add depth to his work. If you take a good look at the panels of Minor Disaster talking to Major Disaster over a posted video, you’ll note that the only change in all three panels is Minor Disaster’s face. Because of this, I wonder how often Wernick reuses his panels in other issues.
Harley Quinn has grown from the Joker’s maul to DC’s answer to Deadpool to a femme fatale that can rival DC’s pillars. Meanwhile, Harley Quinn #54 doesn’t get past the “Deadpool” phase of the character. Quinn has had better interpretations in other comics.
ASTONISHING X-MEN #17
Writer – Matthew Rosenberg
Artist – Greg Land
Cover Price – $3.99
With the Uncanny X-Men series in its second issue, this series cannot last. But, how does it end?
Matthew Rosenberg has made this volume an interesting mash-up and he finishes strong. He has made these characters, X-Men stalwarts and misfits, distinct and unique, even among each other. You can even sense the anguish Havok is hiding under his smile. Additionally, the story is relevant and has a fast pace. Even the moments between Colossus and Kitty Pryde have an emotional honesty you don’t often find in comic books.
Greg Land is an artist you either love or hate. This is because he uses a style that looks like it could be tracings of model and stock photos. It makes Land’s art distinct, although it also means that some faces in the comic don’t quite fit the dialogue. If you look, you can see the panels where there wasn’t a reference photo. Meanwhile, Land uses generous detail in his work and his action has a good flow. Finally, his character faces can look alike.
I am sad this series is over. This volume of Astonishing X-Men had characters brought together by circumstance and tells offbeat in the X-Men universe. In the end, this issue is a worthy finish to an energetic series.
Writer – Dennis Culver
Artist – Geoffo
Cover Price – $3.99
A weed strain allows a group of burnouts to see aliens possessing people and cows in their small town. The premise itself sounds like a drug-fueled fever dream.
I didn’t feel at all lost coming in at issue #3 and I give Dennis Culver full credit for that. This issue has no exposition boxes, however, the dialogue allows readers to catch up fast without overdoing the word bubbles. His characters have some personality, although they weren’t quite distinct in this issue. Culver’s story feels like a cult horror story like Ash vs. Evil Dead. It’s as chilling as it is funny.
I am not sure how to pronounce “Geoffo,” although their art has a very indie feel and sheen to it. The artwork has thick line work, low detail, and high energy. The scenes involving the Burnouts dealing with alien-possessed cows had a strong flow. Meanwhile, other moments and scenes could feel more static and need more sense of motion. To clarify, the art is not bad, it just needs a bit more to bring the story fully to life.
This premise is actually entertaining. It involves the people a small town trust the least to be the heroes they need. Hopefully, this story can keep the strong momentum this issue has.
PICK OF THE WEEK
Writer – Scott Lobdell & Fabian Nicieza
Artist – Travis Moore & Patch Zircher
Cover Price – $3.99
Usually, a series is less interesting when the main character hates their masked alter-ego. Nightwing breaks that mold and smashes through to a new place.
Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza are working together to develop a story about Nightwing’s amnesia and his unwillingness to put a mask on at this phase of his life. Because of this, what we get is a hero slowly rediscovering who he is and was. The dialogue of this issue is light on exposition, although it hands you enough small details to get you up to speed. Meanwhile, the dialogue is sharp without relying on quips or funny lines. The newer characters are currently a bit thin, although they are developing fast.
Travis Moore and Patch Zircher create the art in this issue and they use darker colors with high effect. Even with some of the lighter colors, darker hues are mixed in making a lot of scenes look like alleys in a dank city. Moreover, the line-work is sharp with effective use of thin detail lines. Actually, I also have to praise the use of blacks for shadows.
I also have to praise the flow of action in this comic. Moore and Zircher tell a good visual story and the characters move believably for the most part. A few images have me questioning if Zircher understands all of the ways a body can move. These questions didn’t ruin the issue, although I keep going back to certain images to break them down.
Nightwing’s creators have taken the character to a new place. Moreover, he surprising part is that this character is benefiting from not being in his mask and seeing what the world looks like without him. Finally, the only question is when will he put the mask back on. With DC’s love of Dick Grayson, it is only a matter of time.
What did you read after your Thanksgiving Dinner? Let us know in the comments below! Meanwhile, here is a link to our comic news and reviews podcast, the Part-Time Henchmen!