Comic Reviews for 8-24-2011

Written on Wed, Aug 24, 2011 by Kyle posted by kyle

Reviews 8-24-2011

Warning: Spoilers Below

-Batman Incorporated #8

Leviathan takes another attempt at tearing down the banner of Batman, in Batman Inc. #8. Issue written by Grant Morrison, with art by Scott Clark. During a tour of the Internet 3.0, Bruce Wayne and his potential investors in the project are attacked by a group of terrorist/ computer viruses called Captain Worm. With their lives and secrets at risk, it’s up to Batman to pilot two avatars (both Wayne and the Batman) at once with the help of Oracle, all to combat the threat. After exposing the Trojan horse inside the investors, Oracle is able to secure the system and everyone inside. Most importantly, she pinpoints where the investors’ money was to be funneled and who was behind it. This reveals the head of Leviathan as Jezebel Jet, who previously had attempted to destroy Batman with the Black Glove (another Morrison creation).

Morrison’s writing continues to amaze with some of the turns it takes that bring us back to his earlier work. We never saw the death of Jezebel Jet, but it was taken for granted when Talia captured her, and now it has come back to haunt Bruce.

Clark’s art does a good job for what it is. The story takes place in cyberspace, but the computer animated feel is a little off putting. It harkins back to movies with a similar feel, like ‘Lawnmower Man’ or ‘Disclosure’.

Grade B-

-Wonder Woman #614

Diana’s Odyssey comes to an end with Wonder Woman #614. Issue written by Phil Hester with art by Don Kramer and Lee Garbett. Picking up from last issue, Diana is facing off against Nemesis– the God of the vengeful dead. While Diana has her lasso of truth, Nemesis wields a blade made by the titans, forged to kill Gods. The familiar way all her endeavors leads to fighting, strange as it were… comforts Diana, and turns the fight in her favor. Diana cuts down Nemesis with her own sword, which is what Nemesis wanted all along. Centuries of angry souls left on Earth are the long-running burden Nemesis must carry. By tricking Wonder Woman into murdering her, the burden is transferred to Diana. She accepts the burden passed on to her, but remarks that she will be the last to carry it. And with that, Diana breaks the sword of Nemesis in a flash of light. As the light fades, Diana finds herself on Paradise Island, with its inhabitants fully restored and unaware of all that transpired. A relieved Wonder Woman goes to her mother, where she contemplates the threats reality faced. Her mother’s wisdom leads her to understand she will always find herself, and their will always be a Wonder Woman.

Hester finishes this series amicably after being handed the reigns by J. M. Straczynski. The tone was similar after the switch, but Hester still made the story his own. While it might have felt drawn out these last few issues, the story and portrayal of Wonder Woman deserve recognition.

Kramer and Garbett’s art is a close match but you can certainly see differences. Most of this is done while Diana visits her mother, so the shift in mood makes less jarring than I’d anticipated. Luckily the last page is all Kramer, ending on a fun splash page of Diana flying free above Themyscira.

Grade B+

-Batman: Gates of Gotham #5

Batman and the Architect finally go toe to toe in the series finale with Batman: Gates of Gotham #5. Issue written by Scott Snyder with art by Kyle Higgins. With bombs set to take out the last great structure built by the Gates’ brothers decades ago, Batman, Robin and Batwing snap into action to stop the flooding of Gotham City. Batwing (the other former Batgirl) and Robin (Damian) passover the decoy bombs at the base of the Kane Bridge as a distraction, so they can reach the real charges beneath the water. Unable to remove them, Batwing tells the usually suspicious Damian to trust her plan. Meanwhile Batman (Dick Grayson) takes on the Architect ‘Dillon May’. Grayson is able to easily out maneuver him. Batwing and Robin tie a cord connecting the underwater bombs to the Bat-Boat, pulling them out before they can damage the bridge. In the end, the Architect is revealed to be the last descendant of the Gates family. Believing his family was wronged and covered up by the rich families of Gotham, Batman reveals that the brothers were in fact driven to madness by the pressure of the mechanical suits– as has happened to their heir in this series.

Higgins’ art has a dark shadowy feel that suits this series and Gotham itself very well. We get a great amount of depth in both facial expressions and scenery of the city.

Snyder’s use of the cities’ history, and rare appearances of Cassandra Cain and Hush, has shown both great insight and extrapolation of the Batman universe. It’ll be worth following where he goes next when he begins his run on the ongoing Batman series beginning in September.

Grade B


-FF #8

After two months following Black Bolt’s return, we return the the Future Foundation and the book’s main conflict–  the war of four cities in FF #8. Issue written by Jonathan Hickman, with art by Steve Epting. This issue begins with the Counsil of Reeds in the Forever City (formerly of the High Evolutionary) as it comes into conflict with Attilan. The Future Foundation splits up in teams to take out the Counsil of Reeds, stop the Forever city from spreading de-evoloving radiation, and stop the conflict with the Inhumans. After splitting into teams of Reed Richards/ Reed’s father/ Spider-Man, Dr Doom/ Diablo / Mad Thinker, and the Wizard/ two A.I.M. agents… things begin to go bad, near instantaneously. Reed is taken from the city by Medusa to see Black Bolt. Doom is taken down by the Mad Thinker and Diablo– when his back is turned… proving even villains can’t trust other villains.

Epting’s biggest triumph of this series continues be the different looks of the different character’s. We have the human looking heroes surrounded by everything from cro-magnon men, mole men, Inhuman soldiers, not to mention the typical super villains in Future Foundation bodysuits. Everyone is easily distinguishable. It makes for an easy read.

The scale of the conflict Hickman has going on is almost too big to keep track of. With the motivations of the Council of Reeds, the Inhumans and villain teams assisting our worlds Reed Richards, there is a lot going on in just 20 pages here. If you miss a step, you might be in trouble. I don’t know if it was intentional by Hickman, but he might be writing the most complicated series at Marvel right now… and I love it.

Grade B

-Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates #1

Seems like the sky is falling on Nick Fury in the relaunch title of Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates #1. Issue written by Jonathan Hickman with art by Esad Ribic. Following the events of Ultimate Fallout, the situation is grim for S.H.I.E.L.D. They’re budget is cut, tensions are mounting everywhere, Asgardians are walking the Earth doing as the please, and an evil Reed Richards has returned to Earth. As problems begin to rack up we see the European super-team fighting Thor, an explosion in South American waters that scrambles Tony Stark’s brain, and Captain America has left the team… having given up being a hero. It seems the series is starting off giving Nick Fury too much to deal with at one time.

Hickman continues to write stories that have so much happening at once that they require additional readings. The non stop action here was definitely helped by his short stories in Ultimate Fallout. Now instead of growing them one at a time, we’re treated to getting everything at once.

Grade A-

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