Comic Book Reviews: December 7, 2016

Four books caught my eye this week. Here they are in alphabetical order.

 

Batman (2016) #12

Official site is http://www.dccomics.com/comics/batman-2016/batman-12

This whole issue is Batman working his way towards where he was last issue. I can see that the writer made the attempt to shed light on Batman’s psychology and perspective, but all of Batman’s narration sounded really corny. I just felt myself getting yanked through the fourth wall with how cheesy some of these lines are. Also, when you repeat the same line over and over again, it can either make the line more meaningful or draw attention to a badly written line. This issue drew my attention to some really cheesy writing. The art was nice though.

Score: 3/10

 

Justice League (2016) #10

Official site is http://www.dccomics.com/comics/justice-league-2016/justice-league-10

An okay issue. Just more Justice League stories. I feel like there is definitely a desire in the market for more Justice League stories and this scratches that itch. Nothing spectacular unfortunately.

Score: 3/10

 

The Unworthy Thor (2016) #2

Official site is http://marvel.com/comics/issue/61719/the_unworthy_thor_2016_2

The best comic book I read this week. Coipel’s art is awesome and need not be further discussed. This issue of Thor felt very much like an issue of the Silver Surfer or another cosmic space book. It also somewhat ties into what happened in Secret Wars and acknowledges what occurred there. Great book and the only real book that was worth purchasing this week.

Score: 6.7/10

 

The Walking Dead #161

Official site is https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/the-walking-dead-161

I’m so tired of this book. Kirkman has not thrown that many curveballs or plot twists since the television show came out. Any twists he throws out feels like it lacks impact. I’m about ready to drop this series.

Score: 2.5/10

Comic Book Reviews: November 16, 2016

Here are the books I picked up this week and my opinions on them.

Batman (2016) #11

Official site is http://www.dccomics.com/comics/batman-2016/batman-11

Batman’s and his new crew have broken into Bane’s jail in hopes of abducting Psycho Pirate and using him to cure Gotham Girl. As I’ve written on in the past, Batman is often times a team book. You can only explore the character so much before that becomes redundant, so exploring the other character in Batman’s world becomes a necessity if you want to delve further into Batman lore. There are a number of mysteries at play here, primarily the circumstances around Catwoman committing mass murder and the true nature of the Ventriloquist’s mental illness. I guess we’ll learn more about this in the future since only crumbs were dropped in this issue.

Score: 5.3/10

 

Doctor Strange (2015) #14

Official site is http://marvel.com/comics/issue/55428/doctor_strange_2015_14

Bachalo’s art is great as always and the first thing I love about this book. The other thing is the trippiness of the story. Doctor Strange to me is the gateway to the kind of trippy, magical, horror stories that can’t be told through other superheroes. In this issue, Doctor Strange is in hell and needs to use his astral projection to go inside his own stomachand defeat some evil bacon he ingested before it kills him. Yeah, there’s some trippy shit going on here. This is a funny, weird, gross issue and my favorite book of the week.

Score: 7.7/10

 

Infamous Iron Man (2016) #2

Official site is http://marvel.com/comics/issue/61548/infamous_iron_man_2016_2

I am seriously loving this book. The concept of a reformed Doctor Doom trying to be a good guy is so fun. It’s also really interesting to see this super villain try to reason and figure out what a superhero would do because he simply has no conscience. Additionally, I love Maleev’s art and it suits this book perfectly. I feel like Maleev’s ability to draw magic, darkness, and mystery is just impressive. I’m definitely going to keep up with this book and this is my second favorite book of the week.

Score: 7.5/10

 

Invincible #131

Official site is https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/invincible-131

So, Kirkman’s out of ideas for Invincible and  has decided to end the series. I guess this is the beginning of the end and who knows how he’ll write it. Maybe they get a happy ending. Maybe they all die. I’m hoping for an ending that offers a critique of the superhero comic book genre, some sort of statement about the current state of comic books. That was what the point originally was. Kirkman seemed to want to subvert the standard superhero story when he first started writing this book. Who knows what he wants to do now.

Score: 5.4/10

 

Justice League (2016) #9

Official site is http://www.dccomics.com/comics/justice-league-2016/justice-league-9

I think Hitches best work was on Millar’s Ultimates series. His subsequent work hasn’t felt as detailed or fluid. Or maybe it’s just that the stories he’s been given aren’t great. Either way, this isn’t a great book.

Score: 3/10

 

Reborn #2

Official site is https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/reborn-2

If you’ve ever read a Millar book before, you should know what to expect here. If not, then expect to find a bunch of big ideas, imperfectly stitched together with some light humor thrown in. This is not a serious book, nor is it a fantasy book. It feels like any other Millar book where he takes some ideas he had and throws them all together. The story isn’t particularly meaningful, but it is fun to explore this new world. Also like past Millar books, Millar has managed to land another amazing artist in Capullo. There is some amazing art here and that alone could justify a purchase.

Score: 6/10

 

Spider-Man (2016) #9

Official site is http://marvel.com/comics/issue/55703/spider-man_2016_9

A Civil War II tie in. Nice to get some color on the other characters in Miles Morales’ world, but nothing much happens here.

Score: 3/10

 

Suicide Squad (2016) #6

Official site is http://www.dccomics.com/comics/suicide-squad-2016/suicide-squad-6

I read this for Jim Lee’s art and for some reason, they decided to have even less of his art than normal. Lee illustrates only half of this book, which in my opinion means the price should be half off.

Score: 3/10

 

Thanos (2016) #1

Official site is http://marvel.com/comics/issue/61697/thanos_2016_1

I was curious what happened to Thanos after Secret Wars and now I get my answer. Thanos is dying and some characters I’ve barely ever seen before seem to be scheming around it. Not a great issue and I’m not really interested in reading the next one.

Score: 2.5/10

 

Trinity (2016) #3

Official site is http://www.dccomics.com/comics/trinity-2016/trinity-3

My goodness,, Clay Mann’s art is amazing. It just has this very mythological, epic feel to it. I would buy this book just for the art, but any book that tries to delve into the mythos of a long standing superhero like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, deserves a purchase in my opinion. If you like these characters and like the art, you should definitely buy this book.

Score: 6.5/10

 

Comic Book Review: The Walking Dead #160

Official site is https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/the-walking-dead-160

The Walking Dead comic book is really boring. It feels like all the excitement was sucked out of this book and regurgitated in the television show. It definitely feels like Kirkman’s attention is focused there.

I remember when I first started reading this series. Every subsequent arc brought something new and unforeseeable. It showed you the depths of human depravity. Deeper and deeper the hole of depression and hopelessness went, and the deeper the sadness of the narrative, the stronger the core characters became.

This is what I felt until the television show came out. Now the book feels like a shell of it’s former self. There are too many characters, to the point where the deaths of main characters don’t really feel all that sad anymore. There was also this sense of isolation and impending doom that wasn’t there before. Now Rick and crew are part of a big, new world with lots of neighbors and allies. It’s just… not horror anymore. It’s not a psychological exploration of the human condition. It feels more like Kirkman is simply testing ideas here that he can use in his television show, which just depresses me.

Which leads me to the following conclusion: Kirkman should end the Walking Dead comic book. He won’t, because the comic book cross promotes with the television show, but he should. He recently announced that he was ending his book, Invincible, because the story had run its course. He had told all the stories he wanted to tell and there wasn’t much else to add. Which is great. It feels like the Walking Dead is in the same situation. He should just end the book and focus of television.

Oh, and if you need a synopsis of the story, Rick’s army is fighting the Whisperers and the Whisperers attack a city. That’s about it.

Score: 5/10 This story arc lacks the weight of past story arcs. This book feels like a book that has gone beyond its expiration date.

Comic Book Review: Reborn (2016) #1

Officials site is https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/reborn-1

Mark Millar teams up with Greg Capullo for his next new series. My opinion on Mark Millar books are hit or miss. He has a lot of interesting concepts, but the dialogue he writes is generally the same. I feel like there’s a lack of restraint when it comes to a Millar story. No subtlety and some big twist that will come along and just smack you in the face. In other words, the execution of his stories generally cause me to lose interest after the first issue. This remains true with Reborn.

In this first issue, we learn that those who die in our world are “Reborn” into another, fantastical world where people and mythical creatures are at war. Our protagonist, a woman who dies is reborn into this new world and finds out that the people of this world think she is some kind of messiah and will save them all.

The story is really short and not much happens other than that. The explanation of this world and its mysteries will obviously be revealed in subsequent issues. As with other Millar stories, it’s an interesting concept… but I just don’t really care for it and don’t really want to read subsequent issues.

If I do stay with this book, it will be largely due to Capullo’s art. It’s great to see his style again, even though I feel that his work on Batman was far superior in terms of telling a story.

Score: 5.4/10 Probably not going to read any more issues, even if Capullo is drawing it.