Saturday, October 8, 2011

New Comics: Oct. 5-11

A new series on the Review, I will be reviewing all of the latest comic book releases of each week here on the Review. Now, obviously I cannot read everything, but I usually read at least three to five books a week, so I will review what I can, and hopefully manage to sell or not sell you on a particular title. So let's get going!
Batwing #2

This second issue detailing the adventures of Batman, Incorporated's latest Batman -- Batwing, the Batman of Africa -- proves that last month's #1 was not a fluke, Batwing continues to be one of the New 52's strongest titles. Writer Judd Winick scripts a fascinating story as Batwing hunts Massacre, a mass murderer hunting down the members of a disbanded African team of superheroes, the Kingdom. I especially love how Winnick is constantly slipping in flashbacks and references of how Bruce Wayne, the original Batman, trained and still aids Batwing in his early days under Batman, Inc. As well, the action is crisp, the dialogue is far better and more believable than what Winnick usually delivers, and the art by Ben Oliver mixes gritty realism with a painterly sensibility, resulting in some of the best art in any comic currently on store shelves. Grade: A+!
X-Men: Schism - Part Five of Five

Schism has been Marvel's latest X-Men event. Unlike many events in comic books, I definitely feel that the changes that Schism has brought to the X-Men universe will stick for a long time, at least until the next big event, but the end results were somewhat disappointing after the kickfire start of the series. In Part 5 we finally see the X-Men split ways, as Cyclops and Wolverine finish their epic battle started at the end of Part 4 and decide to get a divorce (bad time for some humor, I know). Writer Jason Aaron should be commended for attempting a change to the status quo as drastic as this is, but the believability started slipping through the cracks in issue Part 4 when the reason for Wolverine and Cyclops' battle is an argument over sending the X-Men's students into battle (which haven't they been doing for over three decades of comics now). It's just hard to see how after years of far bigger conflicts between the two characters, that that was the straw that finally broke the camel's back, leaving me feeling emotionally cold when the split finally happened because I did not believe in the why. So what can I say, a disappointing end to what was a promising event. Grade: D!
Detective Comics #2

Tony Daniel's second issue of Detective Comics does more of the same that the first issue did, with some awesome grade action and a nice hint at the new villain, but lacking in the great character development that Scott Snyder is currently bringing to Batman. Daniel's artwork is again his greatest strength, giving Gotham luscious detail and the characters, ranging emotions. As for his writing, I am loving how he is portraying Gordon and Bat's relationship, as well as Bats and Bullock's. The hints at the new villain, the Dollmaker, show a potentially creepy, Hannibal Lecter-type villain for the Bat, with enough questions left unanswered to keep the reader coming back next month. Even if Daniel simply puts his foot on the gas and doesn't let off, he nails the excitement. Grade: B+!
Action Comics #2

Grant Morrison's stories are always divisive, you either love 'em or hate 'em, there is no in-between, and luckily I am in the former category in regards to Action Comics. Grant Morrison has re-invigorated the Superman character, and continues to show us the new, "angry" Superman, so to speak. Morrison's young Superman is rash, impulsive, a little cocky, but still has that perfect moral compass that guides him. He has no shame in smashing up the baddies, which I like, and Rags Morale's art really works to evoke the Golden Age-era Superman with so much clarity. While Morrison's Lois Lane still seems vastly underdeveloped, his Lex Luthor gets some more shades in this #2, and anyways Morrison has always been known for the slow burn story, letting things develop over time. In my history with Morrison, his work is best when not looked on an individual issue basis but as a larger collective, so the real impact of Morrison's Action Comics probably wont be seen till at least a year from now, but as for now, it is an entertaining ride with a fantastic cliffhanger at issue's end. Grade: A!

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