Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New Comics: Oct. 12-18

X-Men: Regenesis One-Shot

We saw the X-Men split in two with Schism, and now it's time for the mutants to choose whose side they will be on: Wolverine or Cylcops. Ultimately, the issue is just an overly long book that gives obscure mutants a page each to decide where their loyalty's lie. It's dull and tedious work just to reach the final moment where we know who goes where. Any dramatic emphasis that could have been placed on this situation is lost because the story is constantly speeding by just to get to the next mutant's decision. As well, who are some of these mutants? Unless you have read every X-Book over the past two decades, will you know who these mutants are, their importance to the X-Men universe, or even simply, their powers? Cause I don't. I mean, would it have hurt them to give us the emotional reactions of the mutants we all know, like when Beast sides with Wolverine rather than Cyclops? How does Cyclops take it? Regardless, there was some potential here, especially with the constant visual references back to tribal caveman days, but like Schism, Regenesis lacks any believability in it's character's motivations. Ultimately, this whole idea of splitting the X-Men in two may have just been either too ambitious to tackle, or too haphazardly put together, choose your position. Grade: F!

Green Lantern #2

The story continues with Hal Jordan's arch-nemesis, Sinestro, having been chosen to wear Hal Jordan's Green Lantern ring after Hal had it stripped away from him by the Guardians. The whole interest of this run has been seeing Green Lantern's greatest villain as a Green Lantern once more and seeing whether or not the ring made the right choice in choosing him or if it has indeed made a mistake and there is a greater conspiracy afoot. The thing about Sinestro is he seems to really want to make a difference in the universe, but he sides with whatever power will help him to do that (which is why he originally left the Green Lantern, Corps. to form his own). Often his agendas are extreme, even if at the core there is a genuine desire to make things better, and I think this is what writer Geoff Johns is showing us here. He is adding new layers to Sinestro that I did not even know could exist, such as when Sinestro saves a collapsing bridge, albeit Sinestro does so by nearly jeopardizing the lives of every person on that bridge. Right now, it's hard to tell whether or not Sinestro will return full-time as a Green Lantern or not, but the deeper exploration of the character is what is truly fascinating by this current run. Grade: A+!

Ultimate Comics: X-Men #2

Right now, the new volume of Marvel's Ultimate line is failing to do anything for me. The government has been ousted for creating the X-gene in the first place that created the first mutants, and with the recent flooding of Manhattan by Magneto and the death of Spider-Man, mutants and heroes are more feared than ever. Great premise, but so far it has been stale. What Marvel is trying to do here is give us the younger X-Men: Kitty Pride, Iceman, and the Human Torch (wait, he's not a mutant!), and try to show how these younger mutants will bring back the X-Men. As of right now, it's just tedious work and is nothing I haven't seen before. The mutants are hunted by Sentinels, they are feared by everyone and must be in hiding, blah, blah, blah. For a new volume promising to be a new chapter in the X-Men, this is going nowhere new right now, even if the action is crisp and the writing is solid. Grade: C!


Batman & Robin #2

Writer Peter J. Tomasi remains to be one of my favorite writers currently working in the industry. His expertise at crafting action-packed stories mixed with character development continues to excel in this issue. The whole issue follows Bruce Wayne as he tries to curb his son, Damian's aggressive behaviors, while trying to be a good father to him. So far, Tomasi has gone the angle of a father-and-son story with his latest run, and I am digging it. With Bruce questioning his own fatherly skills, Alfred trying to mentor Bruce to be a father, and Damian actually trying to get past his bloodlust and be a good Robin and son, it feels fresh. What is so fresh about this is that we've seen Bruce as mentor, as older brother, and as father figure before, but we have never seen him as biological father and witnessed him questioning his own abilities as a father. While the larger story arc of this villain hunting down members of Batman, Inc. has been underdeveloped in the first two issues, the cliffhanger at the end of this issue promises to finally flesh out this story in issue #3. Grade: A!


Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #3

New Spider-Man, 13-year-old Miles Morales still lacks the overpowering character personality that made Peter Parker the true-blue Spider-Man; three issues in and I have no real clue as to Miles' character. I was always able to predict Peter's reaction to a situation, and I don't know how Miles will react, which is okay for a first issue, but troubling by issue #3. Even still, one has to commend Marvel for trying something new here. Brian Michael Bendis is scripting these stories in a very realistic fashion, and is introducing us to some nice new characters, like Miles' best friend Ganke, and is trying to make this story more grounded in how real kids act (as opposed to the over-the-top antics of most teens in comics). It's a different interpretation on Spider-Man, which so far has been entertaining and exposes some intriguing social commentary, but is nothing on par with the energetic first three issues of the initial volume of Ultimate Spider-Man. Grade: B-!


Batgirl #2

Gail Simone's run on Batgirl has been a great character piece so far, with heavy emphasis on what happened to Barbara Gordon at the hands of the Joker. Arguably the biggest change the New 52 has ushered in is the fact that Barbara Gordon, the original Batgirl, can now walk again, after being shot and paralyzed by the Joker over two decades ago. In the new continuity, she was in a wheelchair for three years, but now she is not. This still has not been explained, how she can now walk again, but the psychosis that Simone has brought to the character in her fears of getting shot again and trying to cover up the fact that she was once paralyzed to her new roommate has been nice touches. The new villain, Mirror is highly intriguing, and I am extremely interested to see where Simone goes with him. I just have one question, why hasn't Bruce dropped by to see how Barbara is doing? Surely with her being like a daughter to him he would have talked to her about her accident and how she is now able to walk again. Grade: A-!

No comments:

Post a Comment