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  • I may have been a bit harsh, it does have some good parts, the cliches just overpowered them for me.

  • At least it was free, right? :)

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    Vae Victis.

    Vocatus atque non vocatus deus aderit.

  • Marvel: Hawkeye #3

    Title: The Goodness Continues

    I'll gladly say it. Matt Fraction and, to a lesser degree, David Aja, have made me a liker of Clint Barton a.k.a. Hawkeye. Before this series started I'd never read a single Hawkeye comic so I had minimal basis/knowledge of the character outside of the few Avengers and Black Widow comics I've read. That being said, Wayne, a long-time worker at my local comic shop, has liked Hawkeye for several decades and also likes Fraction's take on the character. If you can satisfy long-term fans of a character while drawing new ones you're doing something right. What Fraction continues to do in this issue is show us just how a "normal" member of the Avengers deals with the day-to-day craziness of comics.


    We empathize with Barton because he doesn't have any powers, he can and does get hurt, he's a smart alec, and the list of endearing traits goes on and on. In short, Fraction makes Hawkeye relatable, fun, and pleasantly human. I can see a little bit of Archer in him, just not the really stupid, alcoholic, and overconfident parts. 

    The issue opens on the tail end of the story that we'll see unfold from a countdown of mess-ups perspective. A countdown of nine mistakes that have led Hawkeye and his partner Kate, down this hilariously over-the-top path of a car chase. His day started off simply enough as he was merely trying to label his trick arrows so he'd be better able to use them when the time arose. To facilitate this activity he heads off to the store to get some tape and that's when things take a turn for crazy town. He sees an awesome car that catches his eye and asks the owner if he can buy it off of her. He asks if she can drop him off at a store to grab that tape on the way to the bank to get the payment for the car. Surprise, surprise, they end up back at her place and the downhill spiral begins in earnest at this point.

    As already alluded to, what follows is a wild ride that showcases a variety of both Barton and Kate's versatility, sense of humor, and ability to work under insane amounts of pressure. In fact, they make it look easy. This comic features a nice blend of good, interactive dialogue, action, and a huge dosage of good ol' fashioned comic book fun. I'd give this a 4.5/5 as I'm not a huge fan of the art, but everything still manages to make this a must-read series. There's even a funny set of old-school credits at the very beginning of the issue that are a nice, appreciated touch. 

     

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    Vae Victis.

    Vocatus atque non vocatus deus aderit.

  • I actually really dug the first issue of the rebooted cyberforce, it did feel distinctly 90's though, but the plotholes didn't bug me seeing as the first five issues are being released for free and not every comic has to lay all its cards on the table with its first issue

    "If you really loved me you'd all kill yourselves right now"  -Spider Jerusalem

  • It had its moments, but there was just so much that seemed like things I have read many times before. I plan on picking up the rest of the free issues, I hope it turns around because visually it was really cool.

  • I would've rated it a 3-3.5 which translates as between decent/ok and solid for me. It was definitely enjoyable, overall and I was quite taken by the art.

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    Vae Victis.

    Vocatus atque non vocatus deus aderit.

  • FAMESREVENGE:

    It had its moments, but there was just so much that seemed like things I have read many times before. I plan on picking up the rest of the free issues, I hope it turns around because visually it was really cool.

    well in a way it kind of is stuff that's been done before, I dug it mostly for the nostalgia factor as I got into cyber force while I was reading the darkness, ripclaw shows up around midway through the first series and becomes a sort of spiritual guide for Jackie Estacado, it was cool to see him again after all this time in his own series again where he belongs, and I'm sure 90's Silvestri fans feel the same way, and the creative team is probably banking on the nostalgia factor as well

    "If you really loved me you'd all kill yourselves right now"  -Spider Jerusalem

  • that and off the top of my head I can't recall a book that killed off most of its main cast after one issue, except maybe X-statix and that was done as a joke

    "If you really loved me you'd all kill yourselves right now"  -Spider Jerusalem

  • DC: Batman: The Dark Knight 13

    Title: Solid despite not providing anything new

    Dear readers. I'll be the first to say that, as a whole, I've not really enjoyed this series so I dreaded reading this issue. That being said, despite my initial, almost overwhelming bias against it, it turned out to be a pretty solid read so I have to begrudgingly give it fairly high marks. 

    The main plot in this recent story arc-Batman has to stop Scarecrow. The only thing is, Scarecrow is victimizing Gotham’s children. As you’d expect, this trikes a bit close to home for the Dark Knight, not only because of his own personal trauma, but also because of the number of young wards who he’s loved, trained, and lost over the years.  Scratch that.  Given the five year time span of this reboot, we’re still not clear exactly how the likes of Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, Jason Todd, and Barbara Gordon have cycled in and out of the Bat’s shadow. 

    While this issue doesn’t really do anything new or offer any actual revelations into the characters’ motivations, it still weaves a solid narrative that is given a fitting, raw, visceral, feel through the art. While reading this issue the art just felt right all the way around and it also helped to seamlessly transition between the present and flashbacks as this happens throughout the book. Both the pasts of Scarecrow and Batman are shown here and we finally get the complete picture of just how messed up Scarecrow’s tortured portion of childhood actually was. In the very beginning of the book there is a heart-rending moment when his current captive pleads with him to let him go by drawing a picture of him and her holding hands together. This causes Scarecrow to actually, albeit briefly, both come in touch with his scant humanity and relive the trauma that set him on his life’s path. There is a brilliant yet subtle difference in coloring here that distinguishes his flashbacks from the present without making the differences too glaring. 

    As you may have guessed, he uses a new fear toxin on Batman and this takes the reader through a what could have been scenario of Batman’s life had he chosen a path that was literally less dark. In fact, on a number of occasions his “embracing of the darkness” is overtly emphasized. While this is done well, it’s the same old story of Batman that even someone with only a passing knowledge of the character would find predictable and it is in this lack of plot innovation that this book drags.  It feels tired, forced, and carelessly lends fuel to those who feel comics have become “too dark” in the current era. Truth be told, it was more interesting getting a glimpse into Crane’s past than the Dark Knight’s. 

    While this issue was well-done, it didn’t really add anything to the mythos of either character. When this combines with confusion/lack of finality about current continuity and how it matches up (or doesn't) with that of the past, this issue’s effectiveness is strongly undermined. I'd have to recommend you pass on this issue. Final score 3.5/5. This was, quite honestly, one of the harder books for me to review/score this year. Strangely enough, I also couldn't find any samples for you all to enjoy that weren't watermarked. Here's a link to a preview on cbr.

     

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    Vae Victis.

    Vocatus atque non vocatus deus aderit.

  •  

    Wildcard: IDW's Let's Play God #1

    Curses! I’d promised myself I’d just stick to what was on my subscription list this week, but as I browsed the racks I kept coming back to this book. After flipping through it briefly, I added it to my ever-growing stack of comics. You’d think that by now I’d learn to never look around at new releases if you want to stay within your budget. Oh well. To the review!

    It opens with an unknown character who’s taking notes on his/her surrounds and is detailing how disgusted they are with the corruption and neglect they are witnessing. This immediately drew up images of Rorschach’s journal and thus drew a parallel to the in-your-face realism that that series continues to evoke.  From here we follow a band called Doomed Earth as they’re practicing a song we presume they’ll soon play. Given that said song is over half an hour long they decide to call this session quit and go their separate ways. We’re then taken to the two female members of the band who’re chilling out on a rooftop having some drinks.  As innocent as this setup seems, what follows is a completely unexpected event that gives the rest of the book a both intriguing and suspenseful feel.

    Dear Diary, Today I got even creepier. Why do I even care about these people?

    One of the most beautifully rendered moments in the book also happens to be one of the most believably brutal that I’ve seen in comics in a while. It depicts the murder of a peeping tom who keeps appropriately creepy albums of those he photographs from afar. There’s, fittingly, no dialogue at all and everything from the panel layout to the colors, and facial expressions sells the scene perfectly. Also, the violence, despite its brutality, doesn’t feel over the top but rather quite fitting and acceptable given the rather creepy opening. Even the mask that the killer is wearing is creepy despite the fact that it’s a smiley face. Here, once again, my mind drifted to Watchmen by means of the Comedian’s trademark smiley face button.

    I still don’t know what to expect from this series and I may not keep following it but this was definitely a good first issue that draws you in and makes you question people’s motives towards the end. If you can stomach the linked (be warned it IS graphic) picture and off the beaten path nature of this issue, I’d definitely recommend picking it up.  Aside from what’s been mentioned as far as the violence is concerned, the only other minuses  for this book is that it feels light for the price and reads fairly quickly. However, this really don’t take away from the reading experience as the story does take you in and the book feels and looks like it’s of high quality. Final score 4/5. Thanks again for reading everyone!

     

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    Vae Victis.

    Vocatus atque non vocatus deus aderit.

  • when I saw grant on that lets play god cover I got hecka excited thinking maybe it was written by Alan Grant who's essentially been completely off the grid lately (last thing he did was a three issue mini series for evil ernie at DDP) no such luck, although it is from the same creative team of "We Will Bury You" which I've heard of vaguely, also I saw a few panels for this book and thought they looked intriguingly creepy I might check it out

    "If you really loved me you'd all kill yourselves right now"  -Spider Jerusalem

  • @Chaos: I wasn't familiar with the creative team at all but am glad I took a chance on this one. *Sigh* I'll probably follow this series too.

    My pull list

    Vae Victis.

    Vocatus atque non vocatus deus aderit.

  •  

    DC: Masters of the Universe: The Origin of Skeletor #1

    When I saw this on an update list a month or so back I was actually quite thrilled. As a kid I watched Masters of the Universe, which I just called He-Man, and Skeletor and the transformed Battle Cat were my favorite characters. After adding this to my ever increasing subscription list I asked a friend of mine if he would be up for me getting him a copy as well. As expected, he said yes. We both share a fond nostalgia for horribly cheesy cartoon shows from our childhood, you see. 

    The issue opens with a disturbing yet oh so clever use of panels, and you all know how much I like page/panel layouts. You can see it below. Clearly, Keldor (Skeletor) is well on his way to become the cackling villain we loved or hated in that 80's cartoon show as we can see that his face has taken some version of the Harvey Dent treatment. The narration works really well here for introducing the Keldor’s personality, upbringing, and background. In fact, it, along with the well-used flashback panels do a very good job of capturing him as being an incurably flawed yet sympathetic character. Truth be told, I couldn’t help but read issue as a retelling of the relationship between Loki and Thor. This especially rings true given Keldor’s status as a “half-breed”. 

    This is one reason why I love panels.

    The differences in coloring alone, with respect to present and past events, does an effortless job of clearly showing the reader the differences in time. Plus the simultaneous juxtaposition we’re shown of past and present carries the story along at a nice pace. It doesn’t feel like it drags because the past events seem to have a direct, propelling influence on the present’s direction. Moreover, the colors and hues of the book had a subdued feel and set the tone nicely for the tale, even though it’s one of a mixture of origin and revenge. The only part that I wasn’t too keen about was the end as it seemed to be a bit too Star Wars like for my taste. You’ll have to read it or find scans to see what I mean. 

    This was a solid and enjoyable issue, especially if you were like me and had no clue as to what Skeletor’s origins were. Final score 3.75/5

     

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    Vae Victis.

    Vocatus atque non vocatus deus aderit.

  • last time I tried posting a review thingie on here for the poorly written but good idea filled happy, the web page crapped out on me, so rather than a full on fancy shmancy review with pictures and what have you I'm going to recommend Bedlam #1 which came out this week and delivered wonderfully on it's premise: is evil something we are, or something we do? the book tackles this by introducing Madder Red, a supervillain who bears a strong resemblance to the joker who for three years terrorized the fictional city of Bedlam, his last horrific crime which involves the massacre of several men women and children ends with Red apparently dying, some of the book is a little hard to stomach when it comes to Madder Red's crimes but it somehow feels necessary to evoke just how evil his deeds were. What happens after the medically insane Madder Red's supposed death? suffice it to say he "gets better". For $3.50 you also get a good amount of story, I was surprised by the length of the book and how well it sets up its premise, the art matches the tone pretty well too, so if you can stomach some graphic violence and child murder this is a really good book (sidenote, as a father I usually take offense to the depiction of children being killed especially if its done in an exploitative manner, Bedlam doesn't feel exploitative, it utilizes horrific crimes to bring its point across which is deeper than most comics even attempt to tackle so it didn't bother me too much, just in case you needed some more context to my comments on the books violence)

    Edit: ok fine heres the cover pic:

    Bedlam #1 - Comic Book Cover

    "If you really loved me you'd all kill yourselves right now"  -Spider Jerusalem

  • Ah yes, I'd read a preview summary of sorts in Comic Shop News a while back but had forgotten about this until reading one of the recommended reading articles for last week on comicvine. It mentioned Bedlam and this gave me an Aha! moment. Needless to say I grabbed it this week and definitely enjoyed it.

    Your review is spot on and I was quite thrilled with the last page and had to go back through the book looking for hints. Thanks for putting this out there.

    My pull list

    Vae Victis.

    Vocatus atque non vocatus deus aderit.

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