Professor Kyle’s New Comic Reviews 2-09-2011

Written on Thu, Feb 10, 2011 by Kyle posted by kyle

Warning, these reviews will likely contain SPOILERS.

-Batman and Robin #20

Batman & Robin issue 20 kicks off a new story arch with news writer and artist team Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason .

I’ve been anxiously awaiting Tomasi to come on board this book, and I wasnt disappointed. The opening scene shows how well he can draw little differences in characters and personality. The idea of the inner Batman circle having a movie night, and what it happens to be is rather interesting, especially with the movie choice of Bruce’s. But the theme fits with the idea thats come along of Bruce taking everyone to the roots of what made him batman, along with new ideas for the future.

I’m currently unfamiliar with Patrick Gleason’s work but he’s done a nice job capturing facial expressions here along with making sure the action sequences are easy to follow. The final chase seen at the end was especially nice. The one complaint I would have is Damian’s similar facial expression throughout the entire story, but that just might be Damian being Damian.

Grade B+

-Secret Warriors #24

Portable Creation Engine indeed my friend.

This issue really gives the feel that Secret Warriors is about to reach its crescendo. This issue gives up the background of the Black Team Nick Fury had assembled lead by his son Mikel. The Black Team is at one point earlier in the series described as more of a juvenile deliquent version of the main team, and now we know why.

Hickman’s story here is somewhat familiar as we see a team of ragtag misfits and oddballs brought together to do something good and “Stand for something” but it does add to the narrative of Nick Fury here.

Art duties are split between Alessandro Vitti, who’s done a lot of work for the series, and David Marquez who does most of the pages in this issue. Ive sometimes thought Vitti’s lines were too rough in this series but the three pages he does at the beginning and end are the perfect places for them. Marquez highlight is the two different styles he has over two pages relating a story within this story.

This story effectively catches us up to the present and it seems like Fury is loosing whatever cards he had left to play. I’m very curious to see where we go from here, and what has happened that may have been missed earlier.

Grade B

-Osborn #3 of 5

Kelly Sue Deconnick and Emma Rios continue to take us through the strange road that Norman Osborn’s fall has led him on. In Osborn #3 Norman, the other inmates who were locked away ins special solitary underground make their way to the general population of prisoners who were looked up under the ocean.

Deconnick has done a nice job creating new a new environment and a cast to fill it around Osborn. We’ve seen the results of a bad guy escaping the confines of an ‘unescapable prison before, but in this case we also follow the politicians who put him there and what they might face when things come to the surface.

Rio’s art has had an edgy feel to it. The scenes are displayed well here but I find myself enjoying the look of the more monsterous character’s than regular people.

All in all a decent issue. We still have very little explanation for people having those goblin tattoos, or where this prison came from. Two issues left to find out, along with Osborn’s continued fate.

Grade C+

-R.E.B.E.L.S. #25

One book I sincerely worried would suffer from going down to 20 pages of story content was R.E.B.E.L.S. by Ton Bedard and Claude St. Aubin. Im glad to see that is not the case. In issue 25 Starro the Conquerer makes his move and lays out his entire plan to R.E.B.E.L.S. leader Vril Dox. We also see a plan from the Psions so obvious I’m shocked it hasn’t happened sooner.

I don’t think I can go on enough about how well Bedard ties in so many of the established alien beings and races in this book. Its great to see the politics compete with action in a successful book. The return of Starro also cements that the story arcs here do tie together and have impact rather than just moving from one quick story to the next.

St. Aubin’s art has been consistently good on this title. We get very human emotions and expressions from all the race’s we see. The gem of this issue is on the last page when we get reminded why no one messes with the main man.

Grade A-

-Knight and Squire #5 of 6

Paul Cornell and Jimmy Broxton take us to the near finally of their tale of British heroes and villains in Knight and Squire #5. This issue spends more time focusing in on the British Joker, whom we met back in the first issue that took us to the Super Pub.

Cornell’s story plays of the same themes that have been building all along. We see the Knight as a more elegant hero that happens to also live in a slightly more polite society than those of their American counterparts. This is nearly spelled out by our surprise guest who appears at the end. Issue six may see some serious upheaval in the Knight’s universe.

Broxtons work certainly fits the tone of the story. My favorite panel involves Jarvis Poker blowing sneezing powder in the nights face midway through the issue.

For a series I’ve been mildly enjoying till now, this issue certainly upped the ante. If you enjoyed Cronell’s work on Action Comics #897 then you should enjoy this.

Grade B-

-The New Avengers #9

The New Avengers #9 written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Mike Deodato and Howard Chaykin seems to be taking us in two different directions. The first is following Luke Cage’s Avengers going pro active with an attempt to take down Superia’s latest base of operations. I’ve never heard of Superia but that might be why she is setting a base of operations in Rhode Island. The second follow’s Nick Fury Agent of Shield more than 50 years ago hunting nazi’s in hiding.

Bendis has a talent for snappy dialogue, and setting a good action sequence to go along with it. The only complaint is that with 4 text boxes in one page and no positive indication of who in the group of 9 is talking right away, it becomes a little confusing who each one is.

Deodato and Chaykin’s art fits both stories well. The Fury story of the 50’s feels like a good start for Fury’s introduction here with a nice mix of action and goofiness. On the Avengers side we continue to get what has kept this series going with good group shots and buildings being clobbered.

Grade B

-Justice League: Generation Lost #19

Justice League Generation Lost reaches issue 19 of 26 in this weeks issue by Judd Winick and Fernando Dagnino. And with this issue history repeats it self. The cover gives a god idea what to expect as Jamie Reyes is the main focus of this issue as the third person to carry the name Blue Beetle.

Winick’s writing feels rushed in the sense of things almost moving too quickly here. I’d swear this issue only took 5 minutes to read. Luckily it was entertain. Only complaint is that I don’t remember Max Lord coming of vaguely racist in the past.

The art here started off well enough in the beginning, but seemed to get a little too shadowy towards the finish. It just seems strange to see so many shadows in a room on fire but has no smoke.

Grade B-

-Ultimate Spider-Man #153

Ultimate Spider-Man 153 written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Sara Pichelli David Lafuente, Lan Medina and Ed Tadeo begins The Death of Spider-Man this month. For those who took notice, yes that is definitely Bender B. Rodriguez among Iron-Man’s armor.

Bendis continues to carry this series well with a nice double dose of veteran/ newbie type dialogue between Spider-Man and Iron-Man on one side and Black Cat and Mysterio on the other. Bendis’ real strength comes out when we have more of this. The character development is what this series has always done best.

The small army of artists on this issue continue to to give us scene’s that seem to fill a page with minimal effort. The art looks simplistic but still manages to display depth and even humor when needed.

Grade A-

-Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates #1

The Death of Spider-Man continues with Ultimate Avengers vs New Ultimates #1 written by Mark Millar and Art by Leinil Yu. This issue picks up where Ultimate Avengers 3 #6 left off with the Trisktilion stranded in the desert. Things are moving into place with Carol Danvers and the Ultimates on one side, Nick Fury and the Avengers on the other.

Millar brings a more realistic feel to the concept of super heroes when working on Ultimates. Here is no exception as we are treated to everything from rival governments attempting to steal experimental soldiers to living weapons exploding in the faces of those setting them off.

Leinel Yu’s art always gives the feeling of movement in this issue. There is plenty of that to go around but it doesn’t translate as well for moments like one of the giant men waking up with a concussion. Still the colors and page layout make this story continue to feel like a blockbuster movie.

Favorite moment of this issue is Millar referring back to Tony Stark’s brain tumor that we haven’t heard of since back in the first ultimates series from 2002.

Grade B

-Unwritten #22

Mike Carey and Peter Gross take us through the strange twisting story that is Unwritten 22. Tommy Taylor finds a way out of Moby Dick but into a mish-mash of other stories Tommy’s friend meanwhile learn more about the puppeteer.

Carey has made this such an interesting ride by giving us bits at a time of how the word of stories mesh with our real world. It’s an idea of fiction having a impact and connection with the real world that still fascinates reader and this installment gives us a good size piece of how it all works.

Gross’ art continues to do an amazing job taking famous character’s and locations and making them all look natural for our character. From crashing ocean waves to whale interiors we have an array of good visuals in this issue.

I felt an especially big smile when I spotted a popular character from my favorite Terry Gilliam movie.

Grade A

2 Responses to “Professor Kyle’s New Comic Reviews 2-09-2011”

  1. Rebel Rikki says:

    Sharp observations, Kyle. I look forward to seeing more of these. 🙂

  2. Jignesh says:

    Insightful review. I will glereanly defend any unfavorable Avengers review just for the sake of being contrarian, but this issue was indeed a hot mess. First, I love Walt Simonson, but the art in this issue seemed bizarre. Too many heads were shaped like thin, cylindrical sinus capsules and there was so little shading or depth (I’m spoiled by Deodato) that much of the art appeared two dimensional. I feel torn when a large publisher like Marvel gives a semi-retired artist like Simonson a chance at a A-level title. I mean, it’s awesome that Bendis wants to include some of his idols in the current mix but I’m afraid that newer digital coloring techniques have made Simonson’s style appear outre. And that plot and dialogue certainly seemed phoned in. Oddly, I’m loving Bendis’ New Avengers title quite a bit. Even Avengers Assemble has a light, fun undercurrent that hearkens back to the heyday of the 70 s Avengers title. Whenever I get a bit down on BB, I grab my hardcover of Torso, the first few collections of Powers, Dark Avengers, the recent Scarlet HC (best graphic novel ever written from second-person perspective and that’s a damn hard thing for any writer to pull off in any medium), and the first New Avengers run. The dude hasn’t missed any deadlines that I’m aware of in over a decade. A few turds in the punchbowl are to be expected, I suppose.