Friday, November 13, 2009

Weekly Comic Book Reviews for 11/11/09

The Top 25 Anime Character countdown is going to be taking a small break. It will be back on Sunday with #11-#15. Instead it is time to review some of this week's comics. This week's reviews I will take a look at Amazing Spider-Man #611, Batman #693, and Green Lantern Corps #42.

Amazing Spider-Man #611

Creative Team
Writer: Joe Kelly
Artist: Eric Canete
Colorist: Andres Mossa

Story – This Man, This (Expletive Deleted)

Review
Though Amazing Spider-Man #611 wasn't as great as I was expecting it to be Joe Kelly still provided a very good issue. This issue makes me wish that Kelly would write a team-up title with Spider-Man and Deadpool or at the very least a mini-series. It is actually incredible that we haven't had more issues with Spider-Man and Deadpool meeting up in the past as it just seems like a natural team-up with how great both character's play off one another.

As Kelly has done anytime he has been penned to write a story on Amazing Spider-Man he just showed why he is one of the best Spidey writers on the Spider-Man Brain Trust. And at the same time he showed a great handle of a character he is long been familiar with. The two characters had a great chemistry. And I really like how Kelly choose to open the first scene
between the two with a Looney Toons-type joke. It was really great way to open up the rest of the scenes between the two for the rest of the issue.

Also of note were the jokes about Blackest Night joke and the need for internal monologue. But
what really sealed the deal was the yo mama jokes in the basketball courts. Because seriously how can you not laugh at "You mother's so stupid she thinks cheerios are donut seeds," or "Your mother's so fat, Hank Pym had to beat her up in the back of a Quinjet." Great stuff by the two of them as Kelly really did a fantastic job with all the jokes in the issue.

What sort of took steam out of this issue was the artwork. Even though this issue with Spider-Man and Deadpool needed an artist that could draw more in a more cartoony style Eric Canete artwork was just way to inconsistent. There were points in the issue were the characters just look distorted which does take you out of the issue at times. It also seemed that the art was rushed and not much effort was put into this issue.

Also another thing that I did not like was the unnecessary need to tie it into the Gauntlet storyline that is going to start in the next issue. Though we saw that something was going to happen to Maddie with the preview of things to come during ASM #600 it just felt out of place in this issue. It just felt that Kelly forced the Gauntlet storyline in even though he did not need to as we have in this issue which had a very light and humorous tone.

Issue Rating
Story: 9.2/10 – Kelly turned in some great writing with Spider-Man and Deadpool. The only thing that kept it from being a perfectly rated story is the unnecessary insertion of the Gauntlet story line.

Art: 5.7/10 – Though Eric Canete artwork had an interesting cartoony look the inconsistency, which at times lead to characters looking distorted, really hurt this issue's story in certain parts.
Overall: 7.45/10 – Amazing Spider-Man #611 was a fun issue to read. Even though some of the weaknesses of the issue did hurt the story this was still a fun issue to read. If you are a Spider-Man or Deadpool fan I highly recommend picking this issue up as Kelly does a great job
writing both characters.

Batman #693

Creative Team
Writer and Artist: Tony Daniel
Inker: Sandu Florea
Colorist: Ian Hannin
Story – Life After Death Part 2: Charades

Review
Though I was not blown away by Tony Daniel's second turn at writing Batman I was impressed with how much his writing improved over his work on Battle for the Cowl. The previous issue of Batman was actually a fun read with my only complaint in that issue was the turn to a Nazi type character that Dr. Death became. Daniel continues in this issue what he did in this issue by giving us another solid issue.

And what was good about this issue is that Daniel placed Dick Grayson in a situation where he really hasn't been in since becoming Batman: a social party with all of Gotham's most well known and richest people. Though it felt Daniel could have milked it a bit but it was a nice change of pace for Dick's character as it is a different situation finds himself in. By being in this type of
social situation it kind of takes Dick out of his comfort level of being a performer.

I would like to see him in more similar social situations just as Dick Grayson as it can help evolve his character into really being seen as the heir to Bruce's throne as he not only has to handle wearing the cowl, as he is already doing, but also dealing with Wayne Enterprise which hasn't dealt with much. And these types of situations are made more interesting with the use of Hush still posing as Bruce Wayne.

What made things more interesting was the choice for the wingman that Alfred choose for Dick being Helena, aka Huntress. I don't know but originally I actually thought it was going to be Barbara that Dick was going to go to the event with but the choice of Helena made things much more interesting. Daniel did a very good job building up the love triangle since both Helena and Barbara have had relationships with the former "boy wonder." This is nice sub-plot that I hope continues even after this storyline is over.

Also, it was good to see Daniel had Dick used different versions of the Batsuit to fit the situation Dick was in. His Batsuit he used at the end of the issue looked like it integrated the Winger-tech as it looked very similar to the Wingers Dick used when he was Nightwing. Though I did think the ending was a very cliché ending and did not really hook me for the next issue.

I
ssue Rating
Story: 8/10 – Daniel provide a solid second issue to his return arc to Batman. He told a very fun story throughout the issue though the ending was a bit to cliché.
Art: 8/10 – As always Daniel provide some great artwork though some of the pages in this issue felt rushed and not the typical Daniel artwork he has done in the past.
Overall: 8/10 – Batman #693 was a solid issue. If you are a Batman fan this is a very good issue to read as there was a good balance between Dick's personal and Batman life. Daniel is building a very good story that is a massive improvement to his work on Battle for the Cowl.

Green Lantern Corps #42

Creative Team
Writer: Peter Tomasi
Artist: Patrick Gleason
Inkers: Rebecca Buchman and Tom Nguyen
Colorists: Randy Mayor and Gabe Eltaeb

Story – Hungry Heart

Review
Green Lantern Corps #42 was another great issue, and as was the case with Green Lantern #47, also showed that the quality between Blackest Night and Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps is incredible. Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps continue to show that there really is a story that Blackest Night has failed to do with the event. Tomasi also continues to show why GLC is really one of DC's premier titles as he just makes this a fun action packed issue with plenty of character development/interactions.

GLC #42 is actually my favorite issue of Blackest Night so far. Tomasi just kicked so much butt with this issue that he really has set the bar high for what he is going to do with the next issue and what I expect from Geoff Johns in Blackest Night and Green Lantern. It was just a fun read from start to finish as he packed this issue with a ton of emotion to go along with all the action that was going on in this issue.

I really liked Kilowog's depressed look on his face as he looked around at what was going on in Oa. It was a very powerful scene as Kilowog has always shown to have a tough exterior as he has been the tank of the Green Lantern Corps. And to see such a warrior with a very depressed look on his face effectively showed the how much emotional weight Blackest Night has to the universe.

What really did it for me in this issue was how Tomasi portrayed Kyle Rayner. Tomasi did an incredible job showing why Kyle has the heart of hero and is seen as one of the best Green Lanterns in the Corps. His intense willpower and bravery to do what is right is second to almost none. The ending with him carry the power battery and taking out most of the Black Lanterns with him was the best scene we have had so far in Blackest Night. And the last page of this issue carries a lot of ramifications for what may happen in Blackest Night.

Patrick Gleason provided plenty of quality artwork with a lot of kudos to his inking and coloring crew. He provided some of his best artwork on this issue. I especially liked his artwork in the last half of the issue was awesome. And those last few issues of Kyle making the ultimate sacrifice were just incredible and will definitely make my Highlights of the Week.

Issue Rating
Story: 10/10 – Tomasi provided an incredible story in GLC #42. He just packed this issue with so much incredible writing that it will be interesting to see how he, and Johns, can top this issue.
Art: 9.2/10 – Patrick Gleason provided some great artwork. His artwork was great for this emotional and action packed issue.
Overall: 9.6/10 – Green Lantern Corps #42 is the best issue of Blackest Night we have had so far. If you are reading the event than do not miss this issue as it was an incredibly well done issue both in the writing and art. This is just a must buy.

2 Comments:

Bryce said...

I feel that one of the problems was that once you make Blackest Night a universal main event it then becomes constricted. Like, if it had just stayed in GLC and GL, we would have an amazing story all around, because it wouldn't have to focus on the rest of the Earth heroes, who are a relatively small portion of the universal war we're witnessing. But in the GL and GLC books we are focusing on the characters who have built up to this event and are the point of this event and so it works so much better.

Kevin said...

@Bryce: You are right about that. That has been a big complaint of mine with the main Blackest Night series. I also think Johns is falling under a similar trap that he fell under during Infinite Crisis as he does not now how to juggle so many big DC characters in one title.