miércoles, 25 de septiembre de 2013

Some thoughts about Wonder Woman #23.2: First Born

The origin of the First Born is finally explored.

After the intense battle between him and Diana, the First Born doesn't have enough strength to face Apollo who with the help of his Oracles is able to investigate about his brother's past as well as how his future connects him to Zeus' throne.

This works as both a continuation and a prologue to Brian Azzarello's story on Wonder Woman. The first years of the First Born are revealed and they're pretty interesting to watch, about a man who knows only hate due to being condemned by a prophecy that his father had to follow, not to mention that it develops a pretty interesting background for the next story on Wonder Woman.

One thing though, did the First Born have sex with a hyena? Because if so, ew.

The pencils are handled by ACO this time and he does a fantastic job at replicating the style that Cliff Chiang created for this series. I would love to see him as Chiang's replacement if he leaves title.

Excellent issue. This almost compensates for how disappointing was the Cheetah issue from last week (almost).

Some thoughts about Justice League of America #7.4: Black Adam

Kahndaq is under a terrible reign and they need their savior back.

Amon and Adrianna are two siblings that couldn't have more different ideologies, they still want the same thing however, the best for their people and when a descendant of the tyrant Ibac comes to rule their country they will have no other choice to summon Black Adam back to life.

This was another impressive collaboration between Geoff Johns and Sterling Gates. Making both Amon and Adrianna (who were the incarnations of Osiris and Isis respectively in the previous continuity) the main characters was a pretty interesting choice, not to mention that it also sets Black Adam's story for both Forever Evil and the upcoming Shazam series.

One problem though, one of the protagonists dies but who says that character will stay that way?

Edgar Salazar is doing the art and he has a pretty expressive and detailed work, is pretty appealing.

Another great Shazam issue, the future ongoing looks more and more promising.

Some thoughts about Green Lantern #23.4: Sinestro

Sinestro's backgrounds are revealed despite of his absence.

Lyssa Drak is reminiscing the story of Sinestro from the book of Parallax but now that she doesn't have it anymore she will have to take all that knowledge by herself and at the same time she will learn that Sinestro's future depends on his people once again.

This was a quite neat issue. Sinestro's past is further explained based on the little teases that we have seen on Geoff Johns' Green Lantern series, Matt Kindt does an interesting work at contrasting both the perspectives from Lyssa Drak and Sinestro even updating some aspects like how he received his ring and his resolution about it.

I have some complaints though, Kindt's narration lacks a bit of emotion here, some of the lines are pretty cold and even Hal Jordan's dialogue seems a bit awkward since Kindt tries to inject a kinda forced "cool" vibe to it.

Dale Eaglesham does the art here and, my God DC needs to give this man an ongoing. The backgrounds of Sinestro's past are wonderfully depicted and his characters are attractive and powerful, let's cross fingers for his inclusion on the upcoming Sinestro Corps series.

Good issue overall, some complaints here and there but nothing that ruins the experience.

Some thoughts about Justice League #23.4: Secret Society

Everything you know may be twisted and perverse on another world.

The Outsider tells his own story on Earth 3 as well as the different aspects from that world and how they influenced in the creation of Owlman, explaining his interest on the Earth Prime version of Dick Grayson and his current state.

Geoff Johns and Sterling Gates have done a magnificent job here. Both authors take hints from previous incarnations of Earth 3 (especially from Grant Morrison) but they add their own takes and hints to the world including an interesting depiction of the Joker from that world as well as Thomas Wayne's origin and his relationship with Superwoman. Plus, it also has a pretty natural connection to the Forever Evil event, it's a pretty good little story that works as a stand alone issue and a tie-in.

Symon Kundranski is on the artwork and his grim and gritty pencils fit the tone of this issue wonderfully. I would love to see this guy in a noir inspired book.

Best issue of the week for me, these writers are great together

Some thoughts about Aquaman #23.2: Ocean Master

The former king of Atlantis is finally free to recover his kingdom.

After spending a while in prison due to his invasion towards the surface world, Ocean Master is now able to go back to help his people but he will soon learn that the surface dwellers might also need him.

This is the second collaboration between Geoff Johns and Tony Bedard and I'm happy to say that this one is an improvement over the previous one. The portrayal of Ocean Master her is much more complex than in any previous incarnation, showing how he's a product of his culture which may make him cruel and cold in some cases but he may also be compasionate towards others.

Art duties belong to Geraldo Borges this time and he actually does a quite good job, some of the scenes and characters are pretty impressive. His style reminds me a lot of Eddy Barrows', I hope he's a lot more consistent though.

Anyway, really good issue. It's amazing how much Ocean Master's character has improved on the reboot.

miércoles, 18 de septiembre de 2013

Some thoughts about The Flash #23.3: The Rogues

The world belongs to the Crime Syndicate but what happens to the criminals that doesn't care about world domination.

The Rogues have been at odds since Captain Cold's actions turned them into metahumans. However, with the Crime Syndicate causing disasters all over the earth and Cold's sister in peril, The Rogues will have to work on their differences and try top stop the regime.

Thought this was solid but not particularly impressive. Brian Buccellato's direction is pretty good as expected but at some points his dialogue starts becoming repetitive, one would assume that he would have learned that he shouldn't repeat the word "score" so many times by now. Still, the portrayal of The Rogues is pretty on point as well as their motivations to go against the Crime Syndicate.

Patrick Zircher does a fantastic work at hadling pencils, his first few scenes didn't exactly surprise but his performance on the latter half of the issue was quite impressive.

Solid enough but I hope the following miniseries improves some aspects.

Some thoughts about Green Lantern #23.3: Black Hand

Black Hand is back to life, at least the kind of live he's accustomed to.

William Hand doesn't remember who he is or the reason behind his current state, the only he knows is that everything he touches dies and once that happen he can control them. Now, he will have to find a connection to his enemy that could hurt him the most.

This was entertaining enough, nothing really mindblowing but a well written little story about Black Hand. His connection with death is interestingly explored and Charles Soule does a good job at investigating his psyche but there's nothing really new or surprising about his character nor direction.

Alberto Ponticelli's artwork fits the theme of this issue quite well, I'm not really a fan of his style but here is more than adequate.

Solid enough, I was expecting that Soule would deliver something more inspired though.

Some thoughts about Wonder Woman #23.1: The Cheetah

Barbara Minerva wants to kill everyone, including herself.

The Cheetah is offering different hunts to her Goddess just as she was indoctrinated to do by her aunt. Now, an unfortunate new Manhunter has to chase her and he will find that job much more difficult that he initially thought.

I'm surprised to say that this was kinda underwhelming, John Ostrander's script is a bit too simplistic. Barbara Minerva was taught to revere the Goddess of the Hunt but she doesn't show enough personality by herself to be truly inversted on her journey and this also presents a reasonable reason to hate Wonder Woman but not a truly personal one, not to mention that Ostrander repeats the word "hunt" so many times that the narration starts becoming annoying. I will give him this though, I like how this goes accord to the fanatic concept of The Cheetah.

Victor Ibañez handles art duties and he does a pretty good job, really expressive and his storytelling skills are also pretty solid. Pretty good work there.

This was a bit disappointing I would say. I guess it all depends on First Born now.

Some thoughts about Action Comics #23.3: Lex Luthor

Lex Luthor is free from prison only because he wants to.

The most dangerous mind on earth has finally decided to stop being imprisoned and has returned to his usual business tactics which means using his intellect to force others to do his bidding.

This was actually a quite good story focusing on Lex Luthor, I have only one problem though, it makes his character regress. When Scott Lobdell reintroduced Luthor after the 5 years gap, he presented him as really threatening and powerful mind who only cared about demonstrating that he was the most intelligent man on earth and actually respected Superman as a rival.

On this issue however, we see the typical portrayal of Lex Luthor obsessed with Superman which makes him pretty vain at this point. I suppouse that Charles Soule had to follow the current direction imposed by DC but it just makes Luthor devolve.

Raymund Bermudez' art is really good, not especially distinctive but it's a pretty polished job.

This would have been a quite good issue, if it was about the pre-New 52 Luthor. I just feel that the current depiction makes the character go backwards.

miércoles, 11 de septiembre de 2013

Some thoughts about Green Lantern #23.2: Mongul

In Warworld there's only one rule: Mongul rules.

A planet is unfortunate enough to encounter the strange vessel and trying to stop it, the whole world will have to learn that anyone who dares to cross Mongul's path will be dealt by him personally.

I have to say that this is probably the best thing I have read from Jim Starlin so far. The portrayal of Mongul is imposing, brutal and intelligent and his origin was pretty compelling, not to mention that he also adds some easter eggs about Alan Moore's For The Man Who Has Everything and sets Mongul's new direction as an antagonist for the Green Lantern Corps.

Of course I need to mention Howard Porter's wonderful work here. Vibrant, powerful and creative, despite that I love Kevin Maguire I'm getting more and more excited about the inclusion of Porter in Justice League 3000.

Awesome issue, Starlin actually exceeded expectations.

Some thoughts about Justice League of America #7.2: Killer Frost

Why is Killer Frost obsessed with Firestorm?

Caitlin Snow was a scientist who loved working in cold temperatures but after getting in the way of some other greedy scientists from S.T.A.R. Labs she gets transformed into a being of pure ice whose primal objective is to try to feel warm again and hopefully go back to normal.

Sterling Gates has created a quite nice origin for this classic Firestorm villain as well as giving her an understandable motivation and a sympathetic background. I have to mention that I really appreciate the research Gates did for this issue, explaining some interesting aspects from cold to make the story much more satisfying.

Derlis Santacruz was in charge of the pencils in this issue. I didn't know who he was before but now I'm really interested in his work, he has a really clean and expressive style that it's a mix between cartoony and realistic, I really liked it.

Definitely enjoyable. Hope that Gates can keep this kind of work in his
following villains issues.

Some thoughts about Detective Comics #23.2: Harley Quinn

What's inside Harley Quinn's mind?

Harleen Quinzel was forced to follow orders since her childhood and always tried to escape from the rules of society, suddenly she finds herself in a world of madness after interacting with the Arkham Asylum's inmates, especially the Joker who will give her what she always wanted, freedom.

Matt Kindt continues his work on the Suicide Squad's characters before taking the reins of the main title and just like with Deadshot in last week, Kindt understands what makes a character special but also adds some extra layers to make it much more complex.

For the first time since her introduction there's a reason for Harley to become the maniac she is now besides being obsessed with the Joker. She actually always was interested in chaos, she always wanted to do whatever she wanted without caring about anyone, even some of her last work in this demonstrates that she doesn't truly care about her ex-boyfriend, it has always been about herself.

Art duties come from Neil Googe's part whos has a really attractive and cartoony style which fits perfectly in this story, it's a shame he's not the one doing the art on the upcoming Harley Quinn ongoing.

One of the best issues from this week, really excited about Kindt's work on Suicide Squad.

Some thoughts about Justice League #23.2: Lobo

You think you know Lobo?

The Main Man has created a horrible reputation and no impostor can take that away. After accepting different kinds of jobs he's finally able to met the person from earth who has been searching for a long time.

This is the debut of Marguerite Bennett as a solo writer, does she delivers?

Unfortunately, I have mixed opinions about this. For one, I think Lobo's portrayal is good enough and the direction they're setting seems to have potential, it makes you wonder who the guy that has been posing as Lobo truly is. The biggest problem for me here is the narration, Bennett has some lines that she keeps repeating and repeating just to prove a point but they're not particularly good pieces of dialogue and turns the whole perspective into a pretty awkward place, almost everything that could have been good was practically ruined by these flaws.

Ben Oliver and Cliff Richards handle the art and they do a solid job at it. For those worried about Lobo's design, he still looks like a pretty tough guy, just with shorter hair (I can't believe that I'm actually adresing this complaint).

Anyway, kinda average. One of the weakest from this week.

Some thoughts about Aquaman #23.1: Black Manta

What happens when one of the deadliest assassins on earth has lost his principal motivation?

Black Manta is free thanks to the new reign of the Crime Syndicate but now that Aquaman is gone where can he direct his anger? The answer will suddenly appear once that Ultraman steps on his life.

This the first of two collaborations between Geoff Johns and Tony Bedard on Aquaman. However, Bedard hasn't delivered a truly impressive job since the New 52 started so my expectaions about him are pretty low already, so what's my opinion about this issue? I thought it worked... for the most part.

Bedard's portrayal of Black Manta is faithful enough to his current interpretation, the action he commits, his motivations and past, all of it is well explained, the narration was solid too. The problem is that this issue felt like a pretty short read and Manta's motivation for going against the Crime Syndicate is a bit too simplistic, it does the job though.

Claude St. Aubin is doing the pencils in this issue and his work looks pretty good, but at times it looked kinda inconsistent, especially at the depiction of some villains.

Well, this was solid, not great but solid nonetheless.

Some thoughts about The Flash #23.2: Reverse-Flash

The origin of The Reverse-Flash is finally revealed.

Daniel West has always resented his father due to his abusive treat towards him and his sister and after the events that changed his life on the gorilla invasion he at last has the power to go backwards in time and try to fix his past and mistakes. There's a catch though, the past is apparently not what he remembered.

Welp, we already figured this a long time ago, Daniel West is The Reverse-Flash. The revelation itself was well handled though, Daniel's motivations are interestinly explained as well as his relationship with his sister, Iris West. The way how he gained his powers makes sense too in retrospective and you can blame The Rogues for that.

I was disappointing that Manapul was not the one doing the pencils but Scott Hepburn manages to deliver a solid work, although I wish his characters looked better.

Yeah, pretty good issue. The Reverse-Flash storyline continues to be the best yet from this series which makes the recent announcement about this creative team leaving much more disappointing.

Some thoughts about Earth 2 #15.2: Solomon Grundy

Solomon Grundy, born on a...

A long time ago a family worked at a Slaughterhouse, their circunstances were hard but the father still endured until one tragic day when his wife commited suicide due to the constant abuses of their boss which prompted his husband into becoming a murderer and killing himself. Now, Solomon Grundy has returned from his exile in the moon thanks to Green Lantern and everything that crosses into his path ends dead.

Matt Kindt handles the new origin of Solomon Grundy and he does a wonderful job at creating an interesting background without contradicting what happened in the previous issues of Earth 2. He actually made Grundy a sympathetic character instead of just a rooting zombie looking for destruction and death, not to mention that he introduces a logical reason behind his famous phrase and possibly a future sub-plot for him, what happened to his son?

Aaron Lopresti does the art and his work stunning, pretty detailed and emotional, I missed him.

Contender for one of the best issues from this week, funny that its competition is another issue written by Matt Kindt

lunes, 9 de septiembre de 2013

Is there a DC title more boring than Worlds' Finest currently?

Because I swear to God I can't find one, at least not now that Legion of Super-Heroes has been cancelled.

Do you wonder what both titles have in common? They have Paul Levitz as their writer. During the last couple of years and even before the New 52 I have been amazed about the amount of work that DC has given to this guy despite that his works doesn't receive neither critical nor sales success.

This may be due to his history. Paul Levitz has a long list of DC works including a classic Legion of Super-Heroes run from the 80's which was also drawn, and probably co-written, by Keith Giffen which became an instant achievement in both acclaim and sales. This might have been one of the reasons why DC gave Levitz the reigns of Legion of Super-Heroes relaunch in the New 52 as well as the recreation of both Power Girl and Huntress in Worlds' Finest.

Now you may believe that this is an article made exclusively to complaint about Paul Levitz but I can't assure you that it isn't despite of evidence of the contrary (I'm saving that topic for another day in fact). This article has been created to criticize the current New 52 Worlds' Finest series due to its lackluster quality and to try to find a way to make it improve.

jueves, 5 de septiembre de 2013

What's the deal with DC's editorial these days?

Yeah, I've just read the most recent news about the departure of J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman from Batwoman due to editorial interference.

Now, I don't plan to dwell into the rumour that DC has an antigay policy due that this supposedly happened because they didn't allow Kate Kane, the protagonist and her girlfriend, Maggie Sawyer, to get married since past history points to the contrary anyway.

miércoles, 4 de septiembre de 2013

Some thoughts about Justice League of America #7.1: Deadshot

What motivates Floyd Lawton?

Is it the dead of his family due to a random event? Or is it something more? He has been trying to justify why he survived for years without finding any answer and even when he's able to kill the persons guilty for his tragedy he still feels empty, his life is already set.

The first thing you must know is that this is a completely different origin than the one Deadshot had in his previous incarnation. On his past incarnation he was a child who hated both his parents and tries to murder one of them but instead he kills his brother, the only person who truly supported him. On the other hand, here we have the a child surviving from a shooting and tries to find a reason for it. I would say that this origin is not exactly better than the previous one since the latter was the more complex of the two and also was one of John Ostrander's best stories.

However, this new origin actually goes accord to the New 52 Deadshot who is not the classic psychopath but a character who shows more emotions and Matt Kindt does a solid job a trying to emplain the reasons behind his actions. The writing itself is okay but not really impressive, at some points was pretty complex but at others it was kinda lacking in emotion.

The art is handled but both Sami Basri and Keith Champagne who replaces Pascual Ferry. Unfortunately their work is not their best, it looks a bit unpolished at times although it still does the job. It's a shame that Ferry couldn't actually draw this issue.

Anyway, this story was solid enough but I would say it lacked something.

Some thoughts about The Flash #23.1: Grodd

What does Grodd do in a world without The Flash?

Grodd has escaped from the Speed Force and is going to take the Gem Cities as a symbol of his superiority despite that both humans and gorillas were about to make peace. Grodd doesn't care about anything but his destiny and is able to take over both species easily but something is still wrong, there are no other being who can prove to be a worthy rival of him.

*Kneel before Grodd!*

WOW! Brian Buccellato actually manages to make an entertaining story, I'm pleasently surprised about how much his writing has improved lately with both this and his work on The Flash Annual. The portrayal of Grodd is quite fitting and even adds some layers to his motivations, he is a really savage beast who considers everyone else beneath him and doesn't even think about killing others to prove his superiority. The strongest point here however, is how this goes accord to the Flashpoint story Grodd of War, in a world without nobody who become a worthy adversary Grodd doesn't know what to do. Don't expect a lighthearted story here my friends, this a pretty brutal tale.

I have one complaint though and is not really a complaint as much as nitpick, but I was really excited to see a new version of the Rainbow Raider named Chroma being introduced just to be disappointed a few pages later. Mr. Buccellato, you're a tease.

Chris Batista handles the pencils and his work is excellent. I'm glad that all The Flash villains issues have so many great artists working on them.

One of the best issues from this run. This makes Rogues Rebellion a much more promising read.

Some thoughts about Green Arrow #23.1: Count Vertigo

Nothing good can come from a kid being forced to become something greater.

Werner Zytle has been told all his life that he's deserves to be royalty and has been blamed for not being it at the same time. Used as a guinea pig to an experiment to turn him into a metahuman grants him the power to obtain what he always wanted and get vengeance on the ones who ruined his life, no matter who.

This is probably the darkest issue that Jeff Lemire has plotted on this series so far. Count Vertigo is presented as a man who needs to believe that he's better than others to survive which turned him into a monster who will destriy anyone who gets in his way. This issue makes you immediately invested on the character and it worked excellent as both an origin story and an interlude to the next chapter of the main story in Green Arrow.

Andrea Sorrentino handles the art once again and it's amazing how consistent and beautiful his art is. He hasn't delivered a disappointing work yet.

Pick of the week once again. This title is on roll.

Some thoughts about Green Lantern #23.1: Relic

There was another universe before ours.

An universe pretty similar to the one we currently have where beings called Lightsmiths used the power of emotions to do whatever they wanted, there was a disadvantage though, the light came from somewhere and it wasn't infinite. A scientist tried to warn the Lightsmiths to the danges of using the light indiscriminately but they didn't listen and after a while the life in the whole universe extinguished leaving alive just the scientist who tried to prevent this from happening.

I'm surprised about how much I loved this issue. I like Robert Venditti's run but I have also been criticizing it for not being that creative nor impressive, this issue changes the whole perspective of his run, he doesn't negate everything what happened on Geoff Johns' run about how the Rainbow Corps work but he adds some new mythos to it and actually presents quite intriguing questions about how the power of light affects the whole universe.

Relic has also an interesting backstory and motivation to his actions which makes his current actions much more relatable.

Rags Morales' art is beautiful, is good to see him back in form after his rushed work on Action Comics.

Anyway, best issue from Venditti's run. Lights Out looks much more exciting now.

Some thoughts about Forever Evil #1

The Justice League is dead, the world belongs to the Crime Syndicate.

The villains from the DCU are running rampant now that the world's greatest superheroes are nowhere to be found. The Crime Syndicate lead by Ultraman is threatening every being in earth to follow their rules if they want to survive, some agree with their vision, others are completely against it and to make his argument stronger Ultraman is going to unmask one of the most prominent heroes on the world. What does Lex Luthor has to say about this? He clearly doesn't like it.

This is the main event that DC has been planning for a while, does it delivers?

I would say that, writing-wise at least, it does. Geoff Johns implements a varied amount of characters to tell their different perspectives about the current events, the best aspect of this story is that Johns makes each villain express themselves in a few lines of dialogue and that's sufficient to understand their personalities and motivations, this is a perfect way to make new readers invested into the antagonists from the DCU without needing to research much about continuity. That's a pretty well done job.

Another point i need to comment is Lex Luthor's portrayal. I think Johns made Luthor's point of view pretty understandable just based on his opening narration, not to mention that he made him pretty terrifying and incredibly threatening. I also have to mention how Ultraman's powers and weaknesses work, we knew his past incarnation was powered by Kryptonite but know he actually has to inhale it to get his powers, that's a pretty interesting twist and his weakness is also perfectely logical too.

The weakest factor here I would say is David Finch's art, "inconsistent" is the word I would use to describe it. At some points it looked pretty good and quite fitting for the plot, in some pages however, it looked rushed and lacking polish, plus he got some characters really wrong.

So what do I think? It pretty much delivers everything what I was expecting from a Johns' event and it even adds some surprises, Finch's art is a mixed bag but fortunately it doesn't ruin the experience.

martes, 3 de septiembre de 2013

A few things about this little comic obsessed freak.

Have you ever thought too much about something? Well, I do.

Not only about the main theme of the title from this blog but also about several topics in life, my deal is that sometimes I become too invested into certain aspects of it, being about work, education, hobbies, relationships, etc. Is pretty difficult for me to forget about things even if I want to.

One of those hobbies are comics. Like most people I have been reading comics since I was a child and have a certain vision about what's the most important factor that should be implemented in any work related to the medium: fun.

One may think that fun could refer to merely one aspect of a comic but to me it refers to several ones: Dialogue, dynamics, action, creativity, pacing, story, long term planning, art and probably more points that I'm forgetting.

However, lately I have seen that  a lot of comic fans and even the so called "professional reviewers" tend to disregard most of those aspects and just focus on a few of them, or even none of them, to give either a positive or negative opinion based simply on personal bias.

That's why I'm creating this blog to try to give a mostly unbiased opinion about the releases from every week so you can take some perspective in consideration and see if those titles actually are in common with your own personal tastes.

I want you to know that I don't consider myself a reviewer, far from it, I'm just a comic fan who gets excited about the industry and wants to comment about my favorite series and even those that doesn't appeal that much to me to give enough information to my community.

At the end it all depends on you of course.