THE WEEKLY COMICS ARE ON THE RACKS!
With new comics come new comic reviews! Which comic is our Pick of the Week!
Writer – Tim Seely
Artist – Carlos Villa
Cover Price – $3.99
This founding member of X-Force doesn’t have many spotlights since his creation back in the 1990’s. Can a character embedded with cliches grow past his origin?
Sometimes, a character who hasn’t taken off leaves a lot of room for improvement and Tim Seely has written one heck of an improvement. Seely’s Shatterstar is a conflicted man who embraces his warrior instincts while admitting that he has little clue how to live as a man. Moreover, this conflict is amplified when he is dealing with his ex paramour, Rictor. The large amount of exposition in narrative boxes can be a shade tiring, although they do deliver the necessary information. If anything, it’s all of the flowery language in the narratives that can be a bit much.
Carlos Villa’s art takes a bit of acclimation. The line work is clean and he uses a good amount of details in his character’s faces. Meanwhile, the clothing can be a bit too clean. Shatterstar and Rictor are wearing a jacket or vest and both are sharp, they almost look like shells instead of clothes. His action has a good energy, although it can take a second look to understand all of the intent in the art.
Shatterstar sounds like it has a lot of flaws, except it doesn’t. The above are the most glaring problems in a solid story and re-imagining of a character that has a lot of narrative gaps to fill in. Whether it sticks the landing is yet to be determined, however, it is a good start.
THE GREEN LANTERN #1
Writer – Grant Morrison
Artist – Liam Sharp
Cover Price – $4.99
Grant Morrison is a heralded writer and Hal Jordan is a legendary DC character. The two together should be a landmark story… SHOULD be.
Grant Morrison’s plot in the Green Lantern is muddy at best. The oversized issue has a run-of-the-mill story and he doesn’t lay down serious threat for either the issue or the overarching story. Meanwhile, Morrison’s version of Hal Jordan is less of a hero or a cop and feels more like an older version of Scott Pilgrim. By that, I mean that he feels low on motivation, floating from day job to day job, and isn’t terribly likable.
Liam Sharp’s art is as muddy as the writing. His line work is extremely busy by comic book standards. Sharp prefers small lines and cross hatching for gradient work and it makes characters seem filthy and over-textured. In fact, Sharp’s art feels more like an independent self-published book, rather than polished DC comic.
Hal Jordan has a lot of history and unless there is a serious change in The Green Lantern series, I sincerely hope this comic is written out of it.
When one of the bird-headed aliens in it crows like a chicken, you know that this ride isn’t worth the price.
Image Comics/Top Cow Comics
Writer – Zack Kaplan
Artist – Flavio Dispenza
Cover Price – $3.99
There is something compelling here.
Zack Kaplan can be accused of writing a Walking Dead like series. The world is been effected by a solar eclipse and mankind cannot exist in daylight without protective gear. Between this mechanic and the search for a cure, as well as the tribes growing in the aftermath can feel like Rick Grimes versus the Survivors at times. The characters have good dialogue and nothing feels over-complicated or distracting. Considering I have never read a prior issue, the story is laid out just well enough in dialogue to get me caught up.
The art is by Flavio Dispenza and he is pretty solid. His faces have a good detail work. Moreover, his backgrounds have a dingy quality that fits this issue. Additionally, Dispenza is an artist that effectively uses black to add to the heavy and emotional feel of the collapsed society. Meanwhile, his detail work, especially in the environmental suits, deserves special mention. This art could easily be in Suicide Squad or the Punisher.
Eclipse is a tale that has a stronger emotional pull than the Walking Dead at this point. I am not certain I am a fan of it, however this issue does make me want to read more and find out if I can be.
PICK OF THE WEEK
IMMORTAL HULK #8
Writer – Al Ewing
Artist – Joe Bennett
Cover Price – $3.99
I don’t know how, but Marvel now has a comic more horrific than Archie’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
Al Ewing is delivering suspense in every page. His Hulk has a very measured tone I am not used to and it is chilling. This Hulk revels in his power and his own desire to get back at perceived wrongs. Meanwhile, the other characters in this book have good and direct dialogue. Actually, even though some of the more disposable characters are somewhat cliche, they are done with a flourish that makes the reading experience entertaining.
Joe Bennett still has a little trouble with human expressions in his art. They can seem a bit over-expressive. I will say that it has become much better than prior issues in this series. However, his version of the Hulk is terrifying. Bennett’s thick lines combined with swaths of black for detail gives the Hulk mass and a foreboding quality. His Hulk also has a lot of physical qualities that can remind you of the first versions of the character, but more monstrous. Bennett’s backgrounds are very detailed and it is easy to be pulled in visually.
Al Ewing has reinvented the Hulk and what he can do. This hulk is a thinker, although not as smart as Banner. Moreover the Hulk and his lore are being transformed as we read it from a maligned monster into something to be feared, including that the character has logged his first intentional fatality.
I am quickly becoming a fan of this new terrifying Hulk. I am not used to comics that scare me, although this series is doing exactly that.
Which comics do you read? Let us know in the comments below! In the meantime, here is a link to our comics news and reviews podcast, the Part-Time Henchmen!