Friday, April 18, 2014

I Can Review that Comic in One Sentence

Falling behind again. Not that that's news. Here are some comics I read recently.

Ms. Marvel 3
This is a delight, with breezy art, solid writing, and a light touch while maintaining a strong sense of gritty reality.

Red Hood and the Outlaws 30
Any issue that focuses on Roy and gets him right, as this does, is fine by me.

Harley Quinn 5
Most fun book I read right now, as Harley joins forces with the aging Sy-Borg for misadventures.

Rocket Girl 4
This beautifully drawn, dizzying time travel tale continues to confuse and impress.

Black Widow 
4: Natasha takes on a job for Maria Hill that might be more than she bargained for.
5: Spycraft fails Natasha as she pursues a formidable assassin in this gorgeously illustrated chapter.

The Shadow 23
The Shadow faces and vanquishes an old evil in a surprisingly anti-climatic confrontation.

Shadow Year 1 8
This look at the Shadow's first year of operation as he works to take down mobsters might just be a bit longer than it needed to be.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

More One Sentence Reviews

I am so far behind with reading, let alone reviewing, comics. But I did finish reading all the "A Song of Ice and Fire" books so far, and have started to tackle the Comics to be Read stack. So, here are some quick reviews, dating back more than I care to admit.

Saga 18
A fitting end to the current story as Hazel begins to walk!

Harley Quinn 4
A fun adventure as Harley begins her new job and tries to right a wrong while multi-tasking.

Red Hood and the Outlaws 29
Roy's trapped onboard when aliens steal the Outlaws' spaceship in this decently written first chapter of a story by Will Pfeifer.

Hawkeye 18
Aside from being confused by the books coming out out of order and the alternating tales of Kate and Clint, I enjoyed this chapter of Kate's adventures in Los Angeles and how they dovetail with the trouble Clint is in.

Fairest 25
Cinderella is still dealing with the mice and her stepsister in the current story's penultimate chapter, to which I say, thank goodness, but this has been going on too long already.

Nightwing 29
The story of a suddenly orphaned girl who discovered Dick's NW secret turned out to be better than I expected it to be.

Ms. Marvel 2
This continues being a charming intro to the new Ms. Marvel, with the right amount of teen angst, identity and image issues, and superheroing.

Captain Marvel 1
Aside from not getting the need to start the numbering again and not all that interested in all the Marvel characters showing up (Iron Man, Iron Patriot, and others I don't read but do know about from the movies), this looks like a good start to Carol rediscovering herself.

Lazarus 7
The stakes get higher for both the Carlyle family and the "waste" people hoping to be uplifted to "serfs" in this tightly plotted, tense chapter of this science fiction book.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

One Sentence Reviews

Why one sentence? Because I'm basically lazy. So here goes.

Fairest 24
Love the cover, getting tired of the story, and I really hate mice. (And not part of the review, why can't this book be printed on nicer paper that brings out the color better?)

Miss Fury 9
Much as I'm enjoying this, the timey whimey stuff makes Doctor Who easy to follow.

Shadow Now 5
Lovely, realistic art enhances this story of the Shadow in the present day, but I'm ready for the conclusion.

Velvet 4
The plot thickens in this beautifully illustrated, period-piece espionage tale by the masterful Ed Brubaker.

Noir 5
The concluding chapter of the story that teams Miss Fury and the Black Sparrow ends with an expected twist that still nifty.

Lois Lane One-Shot 1 (Doesn't that seem redundant? It's on the cover as 1 One Shot.)
Nice art and intriguing Lois-centric story that includes her sister, lots of flashbacks to their childhood, and science run amok, but seems to drop words/sentences of explanations, which seems to be a trend for a lot of writers that irritates me no end.

Hawkeye 15
Finally back to Clint's story and it's a doozy as he and his brother end up in a heap of trouble.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Five Comics I Read

World's Finest Annual 1: First Contact Prelude
I'm not reading other DC titles right now that deal with Earth-2, so I'm getting a bit lost with this one. Still, this story comes before whatever is going on currently, with Helena and Karen back on their homeworld of Earth-2, as Robin and Supergirl respectively. Helena deals with trying to be good enough in her father's eyes and Karen chafes under Superman's restrictions on her as his secret weapon. Even with the tie-in at the end to the current Apokolips storyline, it's a nice bit of character development and the art is nice. Nothing special, just entertaining.

Red Sonja 7
In Gail Simone's second story arc, Red Sonja is on an offbeat quest. In this first chapter, she's seeking a great chef and runs into a tribe of cannibals. I could say this issue was a tasty treat, but I'll refrain. ; I got the issue with the lovely Jenny Frison cover, though Amy Reeder's was nice, too.

Legenderry 2
This steampunk saga is rather fun. In this issue, we meet this universe's version of Green Hornet and Kato. Not much plot development, yet plenty of action. Davila's art nicely complements Willingham's story.

Red Hood and the Outlaws 28
After the thrilling ending to Tynion's long story arc, this was a disappointment. Supposedly a chance for the team to kick back and relax and for Jason to rekindle his romance with Isabel, this ended up being an excuse to break them up. After they fight off some baddies, with hints of a future story that might not happen now that Tynion's leaving, Isabel tells Jason what he does is important, but it's not the life for her. She was a good character, so this saddened me.

Harley Quinn 3
Probably the best book from DC right now, not counting Vertigo. Alone on Valentine's Day, Harley battles loneliness while under a love spell of Poison Ivy's doing. Mainstream comics don't get much more fun than this. And Amanda Conner's cover is to, uh, die for.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Two Reviews

Astro City 9
The current story arc is a very feminist one, focusing on female empowerment. Winged Victory is still trying to get to the bottom of the plot against her, and the tension building as the so-called evidence framing her mounts is quite palpable, conveying a true feeling of helplessness. Vic gets a timeout when she meets one of the women from the Council of Nike from which her powers derive. Listening to the old woman's story of her life and the prejudices she'd had to overcome, Vic finds her own determination and courage renewed, and just in time for next issue's conclusion. As side issues, the men who support her feel helpless, too. There's nothing they seem able to do that can help and they know her preference is to solve the problem on her own. Added to the mix is the male youth who'd sought help at one of Vic's women-only shelters. Should the shelters be for all, we're left to wonder, or is there sufficient need for female-only shelters? And in good conscience, can they turn away a boy in need? The book poses some real questions along with the usual superhero adventures.

Nightwing 28
I'm really loving the art by Russell Dauterman. The story by Kyle Higgins is okay. It's competently written, Dick is in character, but things are starting to feel a bit too familiar, a bit too predictable, a bit too inevitable. The parents of the girl who saw his things and realized Dick is Nightwing have been murdered and the girl knows who killed them. She didn't tell the police, but she does tell Dick she knows who he is and that she knows and wants his help to get the killer. But before that, Sonia drops by to apologize to Dick for lying to him about her father. When I think of how many times Dick has moved, how many supporting characters have moved into and out of his life.... It makes me not want to get too attached to any of them. I've been enjoying Dick's time in Chicago, but I think it's time for him to go home. Despite making friends, he feels too much of a lone wolf sort of character and that's just not him. At any rate, now that Zucco is behind bars, I don't have much emotion invested in the book right now. It's the writer's job to change that for me, and right now, he's starting to lose me.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Quick Reviews

Well, I finished the 3rd book in George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series and have gone on to the next. But I squeezed in most of last week's comics.

Lazarus 6
This dystopian world is scarily real. While Forever deals with security issues, the "waste" family flooded out last issue decides to head for Denver in the hopes of winning the "lift" lottery, the only chance to become "serf," and therefore, employed and somewhat protected. This is a possible dark future that is all too plausible.

Fairest 23
Cindy meets an old friend and finds out who's behind the.... uh, sinister plot. Seriously, this is so confusing. Fun, but confusing. Might help if I also read Fables, but I don't.

Codename: Action 5
And thus the story ends in a fairly satisfactory way, with the alien defeated. Pretty good story.

Noir 4
This pulpy tale with two female leads who look too much alike when not in costume as Miss Fury, the Black Sparrow, and their competitors for the treasure encounter a series of traps right out of Indiana Jones movies. Not much substance, but entertaining.

Black Widow 3
Somehow, I missed issue 2, damn it. In this one, Natasha's latest client isn't what he claimed to be, but she makes things right in her own way. Even if the writing, handled by Nathan Edmondson, wasn't good (and it's fairly great), this would be worth getting just for Phil Noto's art.

Shadow 22
The Shadow's quest for answers takes him to yet another country where he has to help the natives before he can get his next clue, which will send him back where he started. Properly pulpish and moody, so I hope the story's conclusion lives up to the setup.

Painkiller Jane 4
"The Price of Freedom" concludes in a most satisfying way. I do wish some of the T&A would be toned down, but I love Jane and I'm glad there will be more stories. And the book has been optioned for a movie!

Jennifer Blood 36
The End. Actually, it's left in such a way that it could continue, but Jennifer's quest for her kids comes to a conclusion in a plausible and fitting way. She started killing for vengeance, then had to kill to keep her secrets and then because she got a kick from it and it had become a part of her. Over the course of the book, she's rationalized it all, but perhaps, she's finally come to understand that, and maybe, has grown up a bit. It's been a helluva ride.

Ms. Marvel 1
A really nice, charming start as high schooler Kamala copes with being a teen as well as cultural and generational clashes with her parents. And then, everything changes. I can't wait to read the next issue.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Five Comics I Read Last Week

I'm starting to fall behind again because I'm reading A Song of Fire and Ice: A Storm of Swords, trying to finish it before the 4th season of Game of Thrones begins. I've just gotten past the part where season 3 ended.

Anyway, on to the comics!

Hawkeye 16
This had me so confused. I thought I'd missed an issue, but no, they just released it out of order, something they can do since they're alternating Kate and Clint. A wacky little, fun tale about aging rock stars. Kate was at her most adorable.

Shadow Year One 7
The cover is white, with just the title logo in black text. I'm not sure what that means. It had nothing to do with the story. Maybe the art didn't arrive in time and they didn't want to delay the book? Ah well. Picking up from last ish, Margo needs a rescue, then she and the Shadow kiss and more, then the Shadow explains how he learned to probe the minds of men and who the enemy is that he's seeking. So, a bit of a respite before the story's climax, I trust.

Saga 18
Wow, this book continues to impress. Lying Cat gets the cover, or maybe that should be Lie to Me and I'll Rip Your Throat Out Cat. At any rate, Klara puts out one of the cat's eyes, then Izabel chases him off. Marko's mom and the ghost babysitter are so badass! Meanwhile, Marko's ex, Gwendolyn, has him, Alana, and Hazel trapped. She wants him to tell her a spell to save the Will, and doesn't react well when he tells her the spells work only on their kind. She goes on the offensive, and Marko takes a chance, and well, we all, including Alana, learn her wings aren't just vestigial, after all. Some more things happen and we end with a peek into what comes next: Hazel's toddler years. The book is taking a few months off, and I'll be suffering Saga-withdrawal, for sure.

Harley Quinn 2
The most fun thing about DC right now. Starting with Amanda Conner's lovely cover, this book is a joy. The interior art by Hardin and Roux is very nice and very suitable to Harley's brand of inanity. Poison Ivy stops by, then she and Harley save a lot of animals from being euthanized by freeing them. The book is silly and not much happens, but it sure is entertaining.

Red Hood and the Outlaws 27
James Tynion IV's long saga comes to a close. It probably went on too long and I know a lot of people didn't like it, but I foudn it a friendship-affirming tale. His memories restored, we learn more about why he gave them up, and he finds the way to defeat Ra's al Ghul. Essence is given her mother, Ducra's, powers and is left to rebuilt the All-Caste. And Jason, Roy, and Kori head out for their next adventure, their friendship intact and stronger than ever. This really was Jason's story all the way, even if it didn't seem that way for many issues.