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  • well, the panels where hes looking in the mirror and the "We are not who we were , we are who we are" line spelled it out pretty well for me

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

  • DC: Green Lantern #14:

    Green Lantern has been one of the more solid series that I’ve read since the reboot, both in terms of art and story. This issue continues to deliver on both fronts. I've changed the review format so that you can jump to whichever section you feel like reading rather than having to suffer through the usual onslaught of words. I'll also try to include more pictures to break things up a little more.

    Background:

    Just to help you catch up, two issues ago, we were introduced to a new Lantern, a Lebanese American named Simon Baz. Due to a combination of bad life experiences and bad choices, he eventually turns to a life of crime, car theft in particular. He steals a van, is chased by police, and in the process discovers that it is laden with explosives. In an attempt to minimize loss of life he drove it off towards an abandoned building where it detonates, harming no one. Naturally, given his ethnicity and what happened with the van, he is interrogated and about to be tortured when Sinestro’s (another favorite villain of mine) malfunctioning ring finds and springs him from jail. Given that the FBI is in charge of his investigation, they contact the Justice League for assistance. 

    Consider his "pants" crapped.

    Are they all sharing his smug look?

    Plot Summary:

    The meeting between Baz and the League is quite amicable at first as he obviously recognizes, fears, and respects them. He has no intention of fighting with them. After both parties feel each other out for a spell, Baz agrees to allow the League to disarm him. In a moment that hearkens back to Justice League #1 (Batman takes of Hal’s ring), Batman goes to take off the ring, but remember, it’s Sinestro’s. It reacts with defensive outrage in a moment that is beautifully rendered in the splash pages that I came to love in the 90’s.

    This moment pushes their encounter considerably into the less friendly zone, and Baz decides he might as well run for it. Despite the League’s efforts, he shows a table-turning knack for creativity that allows him to escape them.  After a personal moment that continues with a plot point from his introductory issue, the book continues with the overarching plot, namely the Guardians' attempt to eradicate free will from the universe. 

    Summary Judgement and Reasoning:

    This issue is ambitious in that it tackles different angles that tie back into the aforementioned larger plot, and it does so in a way that is, for the most part, easy to follow. If you haven’t been following the series, the scenes that directly deal with Black Hand, another villain I respect, (click this for an awesome picture) or Hal and Sinestro probably aren’t going to make any sense to you, so this is not a good jumping on issue. It also reads more quickly than I’d like and I was left wanting more at the end, in a good way. This issue makes it seem that this series can only go up from here, given how things are coming together in a competent fashion here. This is especially impressive when you consider that the plot reaches into other series (e.g. Red Lanterns and Justice League) as well. If you have enough patience, and cash, I’d highly recommend picking up the previous issues but if you don’t there’s plenty on wikis that can catch you up more thoroughly. Final score: 4.25/5. Summary of score: despite solid writing, competent characterization, and gorgeous art, the plot points can be confusing. Naturally, this can considerably detract from the overall enjoyment and reading pace of the issue. Thank  you all for reading!

    Afterword:

    On a side note, while reading this, particularly the part when the League confronts Baz, I couldn’t help but think of Green Lantern: Rebirth, and seeing Black Hand naturally brings back fond memories of Blackest Night. These nice tie-ins to older story arcs are a nice touch that those of you that have been along for the ride for a little while will appreciate.  There's even a moment that I thought was pretty funny that I'm sure faithful readers will appreciate.

     

     

    My pull list

    Vae Victis.

    Vocatus atque non vocatus deus aderit.

  • Flash's line in that last panel? priceless. I ****ing hate Guy Gardner, he reeks of the 80's

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

  • You don't dig the sleeveless jean jacket and the bowl cut? Who are you?

  • Image: Harvest #4

    Opening Remarks: Dear readers, you may recall that this was a series that surprised me with its art style, subject matter, and brooding mood. I must be honest, though. I wanted to review a comic by Zenescope called Fly: The Fall, but I couldn’t find any scans to show you all so I had to resort to this Image title. All I wanted, was to give you guys the taste of what another publisher has to offer, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Oh well, maybe later we’ll be lucky later on.  On to the review!

    The way her eyes are sewn shut reminds me of something you'd see in a Hellraiser movie.

    Background: In case you don’t remember (I barely do :) ), the main character, the alcoholic, former surgeon Ben Dane, is a part of an illegal organ harvesting group that, surprise, surprise, targets the poor and disenfranchised. The thing is, he wants out. Not only that, he wants to expose the whole operation. In the last issue he was assigned a bodyguard to help keep the organization that he pissed off off his back. She’s very competent and helps him carry out his plan by protecting him, procuring supplies and safe locations, and making sure he doesn’t make too many obviously stupid mistakes. If only she’d been around in issue two.

      Plot Summary: As expected, there are complications that make the story take some interesting turns and we also get to see that “kid” who we saw at the end of issue one. He actually has a greater role here and it’s good to see. Brandon DeStefano’s lettering really stands out in this issue and does a good job of conveying emotion (anger).  The first page of the comic actually almost directly parallels the first page of the first issue, and being that it’s only a three issues back, it’s still fresh and memory. This serves as a very nice way of tying this story arc together and also helps to get information. Colin Lorimer’s colors also do a good job of occasionally giving us relief from the overcast, rainy, almost Gotham City style of gloomy, oppressive atmosphere that pervades the series.  The reds he uses are like a welcome gasp for air and meld with DeStefano’s lettering quite well. 

    Seems like it's always raining here too. 

    Summary Judgment and Reasoning: This has been an interesting story arc so far and I’m actually not looking forward to its conclusion. We’ve seen some interesting developments, particularly with Mr. Dane as he’s an obviously a deeply flawed character who’s managed to actually show some heart and willingness to do the right thing. Given our introduction to him in the first issue, this is hard to believe but works really well with the story. Still, we don’t know what’s driven him down this path and we want to find out. However, if we don’t the story will still wrap itself up so it won’t feel like we’re missing out on too much if his personal motivations are revealed. However, at the end of the issue he’s in quite the predicament and I actually question if he’ll be able to pull his plan off. The peripheral characters do their job adequately, but it’d be nice, albeit not necessary, to see them more fully fleshed out.  Once again, this issue is solid all the way around in terms of blending action, plot progression, main character characterization, and suspense, in just the right combination. Final score: 4.5/5. Thanks for reading, everyone, and have a great weekend!

    Afterword: None!

     

    My pull list

    Vae Victis.

    Vocatus atque non vocatus deus aderit.

  • @Chaos: I know right? I'm not a fan of Gardner myself as he's pretty one dimensional and not even interestingly one dimensional.

    @FAMESREVENGE: Nice!

    My pull list

    Vae Victis.

    Vocatus atque non vocatus deus aderit.

  • I know it looks like I have not payed any attention to this thread but I do read the review previews and I enjoy it, keep up the good work!

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    Thor: God of Thunder #1

    I have never been able to call Thor my favorite character, but Jason Aaron is in a position to change that with the newest volume of Thor. It would be an understatement if I were to describe my opinion of Marvel NOW! as pessimistic. However, Thor: God of Thunder is not only my single favorite Marvel Now! issue, but possible my single favorite Marvel issue of the year.  The combination of the writing and art create a fantastic set-up for what I am sure will be a gripping first arc.

                In this issue we are introduced to Thor during three parts of his life. In his youth as we parties on earth after defeating a frost giant, in his middle age as he answers the prayer of a child on a distant planet, and in old age as he sits alone on his throne, the last king and occupant of Asgaard. What is amazing in reading this issue is that we not only see Thor in these stages of his life, but we are able to get a good sense of what he was like. In this single issue we see growth and maturity as we follow him through major points in his life, all the while he Aaron still maintains his distinct warrior spirit. The three stages of his life all mark a significant interaction with  Aaron has created an issue which has gotten me excited about this character, but even more amazing is that he has created something which could very well be a standalone issue (one with a massive cliffhanger). 

                Compared to the last iteration of Thor this has, in both terms of art and story, a very dark feel, most light being cast by fire or torches throughout the book. The previous Thor comics felt a bit too cutesy for my taste. The very bright, cartoony characters made it hard to view them as great warriors, much less Gods. This book runs into none of those problems. The illustrations, the framing of the scenes and the colors make for a very cinematic feel. Thor: God of Thunder is a fantastic read and I highly recommend picking it up. 

     

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    It is not often that I get upset while reading comics. No, not upset like “What the EFF!? That is stooped!” I get that kind of upset every week. I mean emotionally upset, torn, worried, and afraid. The last time I remember it happening was when I read Civil War, ever since that point I never have forgiven Tony Stark for what he did (That should shed some light on my Ironman #1 review).  I found myself, for the first time since then, afraid and worried about what might happen next in a story line, and it’s all Scott Snyder’s fault.

                It is no secret that Joker has made his triumphant return to Gotham City. After Invading GCPD and slaughtering several police officers he has gotten the full attention of both Commissioner Gordon and Batman, the latter being a bit more intimidating.

                Batman put the pieces together, realizing that Joker is recreating his previous crimes, recreating his encounters with Batman. Batman confides in Nightwing that Joker is after the Bat-family and requests his help as he tries to foil the Joker’s next attack. It should come as no surprise that the Joker is one step ahead of him.  As Joker binds batman to a bridge above the reservoir, and Nightwing’s silhouette is cast over an explosion, Joker reveals his plan to us.

                  Scott Snyder set up for himself a pretty high standard with Court of Owls, and it seems, 2 issues in that he intents to exceed it with Death of the Family. If you have not already been told to read this book by your peers (you need knew peers) I am here to tell you now, this is possible the best book that DC is putting out. We are only two issues deep in Death of the Family, so not is as good of a time as any to go out and pick it up. 

     

  • @Cameron: Many thanks!

     

    IDW: Borderlands Origins #1

    Title: Close, but no Cigar

    Opening Remarks:

    Hello readers! Since you all have been so patient and attentive to the last however many comic blogs the Comics Group has brought you, we figured you deserved something a little more up your alley. Truth be told, there aren’t that many good comic series that are directly linked to gaming that come out all that often, but I digress. We bring you, Borderlands Origins #1 ! 

    Background

    As you might expect, this story sets out to start answering that question that may have nagged you when you first started playing Borderlands. “How/why did everyone end up on that bus in the first place?” As the cover accurately illustrates, this issue will focus on what put Roland on the bus. 

    Plot Summary:  

    Roland, a sergeant in charge of a formidable, albeit strange team, discovers evidence of corruption in the Atlas Corporation, and has to deal with the fallout of his discovery. Obviously, I can’t really get into what happens after the first action sequence because that part’s plot relevant, but I can delve into the first half of the book. After the opening page, which shows Roland’s discovery, we see him and his crew (The Crimson Lance) as they’re sitting around a fire, roasting some part of a scythed. The scene is rife with fairly the camaraderie bolstering dialogue you’d expect from a comic based on this kind of game.

    This part of the book reminded me of the movie Predator.

    Enter the corporate baddy Higgins who interrogates Roland away from the others as to his finding of the incriminating Atlas report. Roland smartly, dutifully, and consistently, denies any knowledge of the document at all. This satisfies Higgins and he says his interrogation was a loyalty test of sorts and that Roland passed. He then sends the Crimson Lance on an expectedly shady mission. On their way to the designated area, they encounter some more of Pandora’s wonderfully friendly wildlife that I’m sure you all have come to appreciate in that shoot it in the face or run it over kind of way. At this point we see the Lance seamlessly work as a group to virtually effortlessly dispatch the wildlife threat. The action is suitably over-the-top and fun and does a good job in almost capturing that in-game feeling on paper.

    Summary Judgment:

    Overall, this book was just okay. While it started off with an interesting premise and had a very nice action scene, it is plagued by too many clichés (dialogue, corporate bad guy,etc.) that are, unfortunately, not creatively spun enough to make them more palatable.  When you add on the all too cliché ending the premise loses even more of its staying power. This is sad because at first, you kind of respect Roland’s stance on the matter, but even this is called into question by the issue’s conclusion. 

    As far as the art is concerned, it’s okay. It feels right for the series and facial expressions are done well most of the time. The armored bodies are also rendered believably and it’s also nice to have a comic whose internal art pretty much matches up with the cover art as that tends to be the exception rather than the rule.  Final score: 3/5. In sum, there isn’t enough innovation in an adaptation of a genre that needs to take an extra step in order to draw in the reader. I’d say to go for a digital copy if you go for it all, but I’d have to say pass on this one. At four bucks, it’s not worth the money.

    Afterword:

    While reading this, I had the sneaking suspicion that I’d read it before. Lo and behold, I had. The whole issue was available for free some time back, perhaps on comixology.  Unfortunately, that page is no longer accessible but IDW does give you a free ten page preview which can be found here. Thanks again for reading and have a good weekend!

     

    My pull list

    Vae Victis.

    Vocatus atque non vocatus deus aderit.

  • @FAMESREVENGE: Wow. I read Batman about an hour ago and you were spot on about the emotional aspect. I mean Alfred is easily my favorite member of the Bat Family after Batman and the scenes in the book that referred to him really pulled at my heart strings. There was so much about the Family in this book that made it really connect on an emotional level rather than just feel like a typical read. While I wasn't really blown away by the previous issue this one blew me away. The extra story was a nice way of adding a little more depth to Joker's plans as well.

    I've felt Thor's been underwritten for a long time so this was a nice departure from that annoying trend. I'm pretty excited to see where (the three) Thor(s) will go and just how far Aaron will push him/them. I loved how "old" Thor had only one eye. Nice touch.

    My pull list

    Vae Victis.

    Vocatus atque non vocatus deus aderit.

  • Thor also only had one arm, which I thought was pretty cool, and will be fun to find out how it happens.

  • did you mean odin? that dude loses body parts every ragnorak

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

  • No, future old man Thor has both a missing arm and eyeball...I'm assuming the eyeball is missing because of the patch.

  • I only flipped through it so far, I figured the old guy was Odin, you can probably figure that Thor eventually took Odins place and the missing body parts are due to the ritualistic sacrifice needed to start the world anew, its kinda convoluted so I'm not entirely sure on that, there are a good amount of things in the realms that could've munched off that arm though

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

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