It’s a nice start for the new year with a mix of comics and graphic novels. The notable release for the week is the start to Marvel’s next major event Siege as well as Siege: Embedded. Also, the next entry in the Vertigo: Crime line is out with Jason Starr’s graphic novel The Chill. It’s received accolades from numerous websites. Find out what we think below.
Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #2 – Well, I had hoped for an improvement on the second issue, but what we’re treated to is one elongated fight scene as Wonder Woman attempts to fight off the affects of the Black Lantern Ring. I’m shocked this came out of Greg Ruck who usually can be counted on for high quality writing. But, not even the extended battle scene and/or trippy/psychedelic ending are the worst things of the comic. It actually contradicts Blackest Night #6 which came out a week before. Bravo DC, destroy continuity in about a weeks time (might be a record).
Spoiler on the contradiction (highlight for the text): In Blackest Night #6 when we see Mera and Wonder Woman both receive their rings they’re in the middle of battling each other. In this issue Wonder Woman has just kissed Batman and is in some weird acid trip fighting the affects of the ring. Also, the Star Sapphire costume in this issue clearly doesn’t match to the one in Blackest Night #6. It’s missing the lines on the breast plate as well as her earrings. Well done DC!
Story: 4.5 Art: 7 Overall: 5.75
Cable #22 – Well, you get what you expect for this issue, Cable and Hope sliding through time to get away from Bishop and getting closer to returning to the present day. This entire series would of worked much better as a bunch of back up features and my guess is it gets canceled after the next arc or a massive revamp.
Story: 5 Art: 6.5 Overall: 5.75
Deadpool: Team-up #897 – The main Deadpool series, fantastic. The other two series (which includes this one) not needed. Deadpool teams up with the Ghost Riders to take care of a demon. There is no point to the story other than to suck $2.99 from my wallet. There are some cool artistic moments, but why does Deadpool have a mouth at times in this issue?
Story: 5.5 Art: 5.5 Overall: 5.5
Marvel Boy: The Uranian #1 – You might know this character from Agents of Atlas, which was a critically acclaimed series that never quite got the reception it deserved by the comic reading public. This three issue limited series explores the origin of this character. The art is different but cool, and the story at first is original. There’s a retro feel to the story, but at the same time very modern (which is fitting for the character). There’s also a “retro” comic included. I’m not quite sure why the series is out, considering the lack of readers for the series he appeared in, I never quite came across a demand for this one. It would of probably fit better in an anthology like Astonishing Tales which seems to also have gone before it’s time.
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5
New Mutants #9 – It’s post Necrosha (which I seemed to have missed the ending) but all is quiet on Utopia and Emma Frost decides to get down to the mystery of Illyana’s return. Also the team must deal with the return of Doug and Warlock. It’s the beginning of the next arc, which seems cool in that it ties into some past continuity and introduces new villains.
Story: 7 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7
Siege #1 – It’s been seven years since the Marvel universe was shaken up and now Norman Osborn has decided to lose it and attack Asgard with the combined might of the Dark Avengers and the Initiative. All without the go ahead from the President. He’s lost his grip, but who will take him down. The only hang up with the issue is it clearly occurs after the events of Thor’s battle with Doom. Add that along with the situation with Captain America: Reborn #6 and you question why this issue couldn’t have been pushed off until February? But, Brian Michael Bendis gets right to the action we all want to see and is backed up by Olivier Coipel’s usual amazing art. The event is only four issues, but I expect to see some fireworks if this first issue is any indication.
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9
Siege: Embedded #1 – Norman Osborn’s use of media to manipulate the public has been an ongoing plot and theme throughout the Dark Reign story line. Here it continues as Ben Urich arrives in Chicago post disaster and decides to cover this major event. At the same time Osborn chooses a tv personality who is a little familiar to an existing one and of course he’s on a tv network that resembles a real life one that’s “fair & balanced.” It’ll be interesting to see how the war in the media is waged throughout Marvel’s big event.
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75
X-Factor: Nation X – The X-Factor team heads to Utopia to chat with Scott and catch up with some friends. The issue is good and really lays out what we can expect with the Utopia storyline in the long term and the issues facing Scott’s decision to isolate the mutant community. It’s also nice to see the X-Factor team reunite with a lot of their old friends. Also, based on some other visual ques (like the Void still in Emma’s head) we can now place where X-Factor is in the X-Men continuity (that’d be running behind Uncanny and Legacy).
Story: 7.5 Art: 7 Overall: 7.25
The Chill – Jason Starr with art by Mick Bertilorenzi have crafted another excellent entry in the Vertigo Crime series of graphic novels. The story is a mix of horror and crime lying in between the earlier releases, Brian Azzarello’s superior Filthy Rich and Ian Rankins’ Dark Entries which so far ranks third in quality. The plot involves grizzly murders and druids in New York City with a nice atmosphere that ratchets up the mystery to a point you don’t know what to expect. Bertilorenzi’s art adds fantastic mood to Starr’s writing with great use of shadows and some creative uses of panels. If you enjoy either the horror genre or noir, this is well worth the purchase.
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9
The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century AD – There are times that I have read a comic book and don’t quite follow what the writer was getting at, it’s incoherent. This graphic novel by Dash Shaw and released by Fantagraphics and IFC is really artwork in comic form, and I don’t get it but not due to gibberish. It really is a art that’s above my head. It’s beautiful to look at with amazing packaging and fantastic art work but the series of short stories comes off as an acid trip to me (maybe the fact I’m not on acid is the issue). This is very much “art” and meant for adults to consume. And even not understanding it (I’m giving it “?” because of that) I still have to recommend purchasing it by collectors of art. Especially if the description of “a beautiful, funny and touching existential tale. Like 2001: A Space Odyssey refracted through Miyazaki and Beckett” sounds appealing to you. Maybe, I’ll give it another shot but at this time I can only leave it with, “huh?”.
Story: ? Art: ? Overall: ?