Friday, June 26, 2009

Weekly Comic Book Reviews for 6/24/09

Amazing Spider-Man #598

Creative Team
Writer: Joe Kelly
Artists: Paulo Siquieira & Marco Checchetto
Inkers: Siquieira, Checchetto, & Santos
Colorist: Jeromy Cox

Story - American Son Part 4 of 5

"American Son" continues to be one of the best Spider-Man stories we have gotten in a long time. Joe Kelly is just delivering everything you expect of a Spider-/man story. He provides soap opera drama, comedy, and action. And really this is how comic book stories should. This story feels like it is a game changer for Amazing Spider-Man. Not the Marvel Universe. Just Amazing Spider-Man.

I think as to many writers in this era are trying to make their stories universe changing event instead of building on what has been told before in that book. And by doing that many stories do not feel like they deliver like they should, which is what is hurting a lot of Dark Reign stories. But what Joe Kelly has done with "American Son" is use the current status quo of the Marvel Universe as only a backdrop for his story that really does not build on Dark Reign but on the stories all the Amazing Spider-Man writers have been telling this past year. At no time do I feel like it will affect the greater Marvel Universe. This story only feels like it affects Amazing Spider-Man which is how all stories in comic books should feel like.

I love everything Kelly is doing with Peter, Harry, Norman, and even Norah. All these major characters feel important to the story and all get great character development during the issue. There are plenty of moments that I enjoyed in this issue that I could mention but the my favorite scene out of the whole issue has to be the short interaction between Peter and Bullseye. That scene was just plain funny.

The only thing that I did not like is the storyline with Lily and the true father of her baby which was unsurprising. Though the reveal feels more of an apology by Marvel to fans for screwing over Gwen's character. But still the real reason I hate what is going on with Lily is that I just have never liked the character and this only makes me dislike the character more.

Issue Rating
Story: 9.4/10 - The Lily story aside, Joe Kelly is doing a great job telling a phenomenal Spider-Man story. Kelly just has a great handle for Peter, his supporting cast, and all the villains involved in the story.
Art: 8/10 - Siquieira and Checchetto provide plenty of solid artwork for this issue. The only gripe I had with the art was with how they drew Invisible Woman.
Overall: 8.7/10 - Amazing Spider-Man #598 was another solid issue. And if you have yet to pick up, or re-pick up, Amazing Spider-Man I highly recommend getting "American Son" when it comes out in trade format as it has been a great Spider-Man story

Green Lantern # 42

Creative Team
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Philip Tan & Eddy Barrows
Inkers: Jonathan Glapion & Ruy Jose'
Colorist: Nei Ruffino & Rod Reis

Story - Agent Orange Part Four

It may be because Johns has been so focused with Blackest Night but over these past few months the quality of his work has really dipped down. Green Lantern is still one of my favorite titles to get every month but Johns has really taken all the fun out of this title with these past few story arcs. "Agent Orange" while a fun concept just feels like it dragged on one to many issues and it should have been only three issues and not four.

There are some fun concepts like Hal gaining control of the Blue Lantern ring and creating his own construct of Green Lantern Corps, the scene between John and Fatality, and what is going on in the hunt for the Anti-Monitor. But just something about how Johns put these storylines together just feels disjointed and he really rushed through each storyline to get it over with.

It also does not help that the art for this issue was not very good either. Both Tan and Barrows are good artist but working together on this book, with two set of inkers and colorists, did not help the book to feel less disjointed. It actually felt worse as it just looks like they rushed this issue out.

Issue Rating
Story: 4.2/10 - While Johns dialogue was okay in this issue the way he has told this "Agent Orange" story arc was not well told and not up to the standard of his previous work.
Art: 5.5/10 - While seperately Tan and Barrows are good artist together they just did not work well and gave us a sloppy looking issue.
Overall: 4.85/10 - Green Lantern #42 was a very disappointing end to what was already a boring story. "Agent Orange" is a completely skippable storyline that readers looking forward to Blackest Night do not need to read at all.

Guardians of the Galaxy #15

Creative Team
Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Artist: Brad Walker
Inkers: Victor Olazaba & Livesay
Colorist: Jay David Ramos

Story - War of Kings Tie-In

While this was not the epic action packed issue that I was expecting DnA provide plenty of great action and character develop that further develops the overall War of Kings storyline. From the looks of this issue this story takes place right after War of Kings #4 and right before issue #5.

What has been great about Guardians of the Galaxy is that it has returned to being just a fun space opera/action book that it should be. DnA understand the perfect times when the characters should be serious and when to insert some comedy. All the action with the Guardians, Inhumans, and Shi'ar was all well done and help show what these characters act like during crisis. All the characters were handled well and it makes me look forward to what will happen in War of Kings #5.

The only complaint I had with this issue was Walker's art towards the end of the issue. While all the art was great for about 2/3 of the issue the last 1/3 just did not look good especially Rocket Raccoon. Rocket just looked ugly and like he had rabbies.

Issue Rating
Story: 8/10 - DnA continue to have a great handle on all of the characters involved in War of Kings and they know how to use all the fighting to provide great character work.
Art: 7/10 - Walkers art was good for most of the issue and it was just the end of the issue that the art really looked horrible.
Overall: 7.5/10 - Guardians of the Galaxy #14 was another exciting issue that adds a lot to what is going on in War of Kings.

Teen Titans #72

Creative Team
Writer: Bryan Q. Miller
Artist: Joe Bennett
Inker: Jack Jadson
Colorist: Rod Reis

Story - Child's Play: Ring Around he Rosie

It may be because my expectations for Teen Titans have rellay been lowered a lot over the past year and a half but this, and the last, issue have been good issues. This issue had some great interaction between all of the Titans and it finally feels like this is a team again as the various characters are finally able to get to know one another. I just like how all the Titans, sans Cassie, were able to just go out and hang out like friends not just teammates. This is something that has been missing from this title for a long time.

The Titans have always been more like the JSA than the JLA as the Titans have always been more of a family than a bunch of individuals fighting together. And it is nice to see them do this again. I especially loved the little love triangle going on between Jaime, Traci 13, and Lorena. It definetely lead to some funny moments in this issue.

Also the back-up with Ravager was farely entertaining and I am looking forward to seeing what McKeever has in store for my favorite Teen Titan character.

The only complaint I have is continued deevolution of Cassie's character. Instead of interacting with the team she just continues to distance herself from the team. And with the return of Connor I get the feeling that any developmet with Cassie will be thrown out in favor of her returning to being Connor's girlfriend. Which is a shame since Cassie's character does have room to grow but it just doesn't feel like the writers of this title know that.

Issue Rating
Story: 7.6/10 - Miller does a nice fill in job as he understands what makes the characters tick and McKeever does a good jo with the back-up story.
Art: 7.7/10 - Barrows provides plenty of solid artowork though there were times where the artwork had some inconsistencies.
Overall: 7.65/10 - Teen Titans #72 was a solid issue that brings back the fun this title has been lacking for a long time.

Wolverine: Weapon X #3

Creative Team
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Ron Garney
Colorist: Jason Keith

Story - The Adamantium Men Part 3 of 5

If it wasn't for this weeks Amazing Spider-Man issue Wolverine: Weapon X would have been my book of the week. Aaron is doing a great job just telling a solid Wolverine story.

Aaron understands that he does not have to reinvent the wheel and that he just needs to put his characters, in this case Wolverine, in fun and interesting situations and let the character be him/herself. "The Adamantium Men" is not a new story that Wolverine has not been in before but it is just a fun story that brings the character back to his roots.

The cat and mouse game between Wolverine and Strikeforce X in the Columbian juggle provide plenty of solid action, though not as good as the last issue, that Garney does a good job illustrating. While most of the Strikeforce X characters are your generic villain soldier villains they are at no point boring characters. And I like the corporate executive that is behind the hunt for Wolverine as he is just your good old fashion corporate sleeze ball looking for any way to profit.

Issue Rating
Story: 9/10 - Aaron continues to have a great handle Wolverine's character and build a nice villain organization for our hero to go up against.
Art: 8/10 - Garney provides plenty of solid artwork and I especially dug his artwork for the Columbia jungle scene.
Overall: 8.5/10 - Wolverine: Weapon X #3 was another solid issue and if you are looking for a good Wolverine title to read this is the only Wolverine title that is worth reading at the moment.