Four color weekly
Comic reviews for 6/16/10
What I got:
Marvel – Black Widow 03, New Avengers vol.2 01
DC – Birds of Prey vol.2 02, Brightest Day 04, Joker’s Asylum: Harley Quinn
Bit of a light week for me. Maybe I’ll grab a few more over the weekend. On with the reviews…
Black Widow 03 – writer: Marjorie Liu, artist: Daniel Acuna
First things first, Daniel Acuna continues to amaze with his work. at once both dynamic and fluid, he does a tremendous job here conveying the brutality of the fight between Natasha and Elektra as well as the emotion during the few quiet moments. And there are very few quiet moments in this issue. We open with a fight, see some recovery on Natasha’s part, a quick intro to a nightclub, and then another fight. The mystery of the Black Rose continues to deepen with little time left in the series to wrap it up. Marjorie Liu does a decent job with her characters here giving them mostly believable dialog. At times it comes across as somewhat “forced cool” and trying to hard. Overall, a satisfying issue.
New Avengers vol.2 01 – writer: Brian Michael Bendis, artist: Stuart Immomen
Marvel’s relaunch of the Avengers continues this week with the first issue of volume 2 of the New Avengers. While not the most traditional of Avengers books, the original New Avengers series will go down as one of the biggest selling runs in Marvel history. Volume 2 kicks off in a complete 180 from the first series. Here, the Heroic Age has started and the heroes are gathering because they want to. Luke Cage has some really great moments here. His interactions with Steve Rogers are particularly well played and Bendis should be commended for his work on the character. In fact, the writing overall is very strong. While not everyone’s favorite creator, Bendis is very consistent. The art is also strong here. Immomen carries the heroes well displaying them as properly heroic in stature and body language. The villians are a nice starting point for this team of more street level Avengers. I am very excited for this new volume and cannot wait to see where it goes.
Birds of Prey vol.2 02 – writer: Gail Simone, artist: Ed Benes
Another month, another example of why Gail Simone should be considered among the giants of the industry currently. Her stories never fail to entertain. She consistently puts her characters into the situations they would least like to be, and then proceeds to fuck with them further. The Birds are being played by more than just the white ninja girl prevalent in this issue. Someone else is attacking the Birds using their assets against them. Oracle has a few really well done beats in this issue that show why it’s not Batman or Luthor or Ra’s that should scare us, it’s her. She is the one I would least like to piss off because she could get to me in so many ways it’s terrifying. Benes does a fine job of mixing cheesecake art with good action and emotion. His storytelling has always been a little lax for my tastes but he gets the job done and is consistent. He really shines while tackling the female form and continues that trend with this issue. Also, the Penguin makes an appearance. Anytime he is involved, i’m interested. This book really should be in your pull list.
Brightest Day 04 – writer: Geoff Johns, artist: various
So here’s the deal with Brightest Day; a bunch of C and D list characters have been resurrected and now they are trying to find out why. Depending on which characters you care about will determine your overall enjoyment of any given issue of this series. Johns does a good job with the writing here, especially with the Hawkman and Hawkgirl section. Otherwise, this issue falls flat. The rest of the characters spotlighted, Deadman, Hawk & Dove, Aquaman (his storyline anyway), and Firestorm, don’t really do much for me. There is a reason these characters have never really succeeded and so far, Brightest Day has done nothing to convince me otherwise. Only Aquaman has the potential to carry his own book for any length of time in my opinion and no one has gotten it right yet. The art is decent throughout though nothing mind-blowing. Trade waiting is recommended for this series as you can then pick which story or stories you really care about and read them in totality.
Joker’s Asylum: Harley Quinn – writer: James Patrick, Artisit: Joe Quinones
Confession, I love Harley Quinn. She is one of the greatest characters to come out of the DCU in a long time. What Paul Dini did with her on the animated series was a thing of genius. That being the case, I tend to get whatever Harley is in. Some are good, most are not. This falls somewhere in between. The overall story is a Valentine’s Day romp that sees Harley trying to find the Joker and celebrate. It’s filler that does nothing to develop, enhance, or further their relationship in the slightest. The wrap up comes all too quickly and there is literally no payoff. The art is average often and bad a few times. I don’t know muck of Quinones work and this issue has done nothing to cause me to seek out more. The writing does a fair job aping Paul Dini but sometimes falls flat. For some reason the word awesome has no business coming out of Harley’s mouth. Patrick’s Joker serves as nothing more than bookend and the joke with the puppy is utterly unfunny. Get this if you’re a completest, pass right on by if you are not. The cover by Claudio Castellini is the only thing above average here.