SUMMER IS AROUND THE CORNER AND THE NEWEST RELEASES ARE HOT OFF THE PRESSES!
Comic companies have the latest comics on the racks and we’re glad to read them to review for you!
Writers: Tom King
Artist: Mikel Janin
Cover Price: $3.99
A Batman… on a horse… in a desert. I know that sounds like the beginning of a joke, however that is the focus of this comic.
Tom King uses an insanely minimalist style in this issue. It creates a very intimate issue between Bruce Wayne and the Flashpoint Batman, Thomas Wayne. Additionally, the quiet of the issue strips away the pretense that often drips from Batman and his villains. Meanwhile, a tantalizing mystery is dripped to the reader throughout this issue. I am impressed with how the dialogue in this issue catches you up to the current status of Wayne and the major plot points of this comic. The story pace is brisk and everything is unusually clear.
Moreover, the art by Mikel Janin mirrors the story. It is crisp, clean, and very detailed. In addition, the desert scenes evoke the vast dryness of the ecosystem. You can smell the dusty landscape in the panels and even feel the heat from the occasional campfires. Meanwhile, Janin tends to use a lot of small lines to add gradient details. This is normally a pet-peeve in the art I see. However, it fits the grunge of the landscape In addition, Janin is very good at action. The melees imply a lot of impact and energy. This is visually incredible.
Batman is not one of the heroes I idolize, however, this issue goes a long way to making him more accessible. Additionally, you do not know fear until you have seen a Batman sing during a fight.
THE UNSTOPPABLE WASP #9
Writers: Jeremy Whitley
Cover Price: $3.99
This issue made me feel bad because, after reading it, I feel like I’m missing out on a great story.
We recently read Jeremy Whitley’s Rainbow Brite comic and discovered his quirky and fun writing style. That style is magnified in The Unstoppable Wasp. Whitely balances a lot of characters and situations. There is a bit of catch up that is necessary if you decide to skip the primer behind the cover. However, there is just enough information in the dialogue to fill in the blanks for people dropping in here. Most of the characters are capable and have interesting dialogue. I do note, though, that it feels like this book is trying to balance between heroic defiance and self-effacing humor. Moreover, that balance isn’t always apparent. It can feel like you have two different types of story in one scenario. If you’re not used to Whitley’s style, this may be confusing.
Meanwhile, Gurihiru’s art adds the pop that this comic lives by. This is because of the obvious shoujo manga influence that is all over every page and figure. This means there is low detail, although there is a brightness and energy to the pages. There is good motion to the action, though it is low impact. Additionally, the characters are very expressive. That expressiveness has to do more with the shaping of the facial features, rather than the more minute detail in most Western-style comics.
This comic is like a fun piece of bubblegum pop. Once you find the rhythm, it will put a smile on your face.
Writers: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Renato Guedes
Cover Price: $3.99
This first issue is a tantalizing misfire.
Fred Van Lente has an interesting script. The characters are distinct archetypes, although they are not quite fully fleshed out characters. Moreover, there is a lot happening in this issue to set up the rest of the story. This is jarring because it seems like every main character is aware of everything happening to every other main character. Additionally, even though the characters are missing large parts of their memories, they have a lot of muscle memory and knowledge on some advanced concepts of technology, history, and themselves. If this was a few issues in, it wouldn’t be as confusing.
Meanwhile, Renato Guedes brings a more European painted style to the art. His faces are disturbingly realistic, sometimes. This is not a bad thing, although it is very unusual in the comic-book scene. Additionally, while the power effects in this comic are very flashy, the physical action can be a bit flat and lacking on a sense of motion. There is a lot of give-and-take on the visual side of this comic, however, perhaps things will settle in future issues.
This is a comic is a lot of great parts that do not quite come to a great experience.
PICK OF THE WEEK
SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS #1
Dark Horse Comics/Disney Comics
Writers: Cecil Castellucci
Artist: Gabriele Bagnoli
Cover Price: $3.99
This is one of those comics that I just dared myself to read. It is way outside my norm. You know what… this is pretty good.
Cecil Castellucci has the assignment of adding more context and story to an animated classic. Moreover, he handles the job with aplomb and a deft hand. His character dialogue can be a touch cheesy, although the source material can have the same said of it in a conversation. In addition, Castellucci adds a lot of additional exposition in Snow White’s voice to give a greater window into her thought processes before she was forced from the castle early in the story. The pacing is decent, however this is not an action or intrigue story, so readers will have to be ready for a lot of characterization and slower moments.
Gabriele Bagnoli’s art has to balance a lot. She cannot lose track of the original Disney image of Snow White, however, she has to make the visuals appealing to modern tastes or even people who wouldn’t read this comic. Bagnoli’s solution is to make add more Japanese and Korean influences to the art style. This art helps give the story a fresh look. The characters are expressive and are dynamic in motion. There are a few times where I would appreciate more detail in faces. That is more of a personal nitpick than a critical problem.
This creative team is off to a pretty good start at retelling the Disney version of this fairy tale to a new audience. I am very impressed because of how much more depth Snow White, the Queen, and the Huntsman have after a single issue. This makes me want to take a look at the second issue to see what is made from the Seven Dwarfs, as well as what comes next.
In the end, this comic is… (sigh) enchanting.
Have you read any of the same comics? Different comics? Let us know in the comments below! In the meantime, here is a link to the latest episode of our comic book podcast, the Part-Time Henchmen!