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Reviews Oct2012

Posted onJanuary 5, 2013 by     Leave a comment

Reviews are brief and late – partially due to getting delivery monthly; partially due to time taken to get around to reading them!

Week of Release: 3/10/12


As we approach the end, Butcher shows his ability to manipulate has no limits and Jessica Bradley gets royally shafted resulting in a bleakly satisfying hair removal moment. It’s mostly a talky issue with liberal swearing and smatter of violence. All done bar the bolted door, fittingly ending on something of a sad whimper.


Non Humans #1 (IMAGE) – 4.5/5

Image continues to impress! A futuristic police story in a world where toys come to life due to a disease enhanced by imagination. Consequently, kids have imagination damped by drugs and there’s no internet or TV – that’s a neat trick to make something futuristic and yet still a more noir-style thriller. Excellent first issue and Whilce Portacio’s art a perfect fit.


Earth 2 #5 (DC COMICS) – 2.0/5

I still don’t really know why I’m getting this but it is slowly improving. I think I just dislike the rot in this – there is no reason for this to be Solomon Grundy, either, who is a wasted antagonist and lacking any interest. And yet…there is some possibility here, some promise from Flash in particular. The world council, as a direct result of Apokolips invasion, has promise – or may be painting Earth 2 into a bad corner, making it too dissimilar to the world we know. A few more issues, against better judgement!


Dial H #5 (DC COMICS) – 3.5/5

Cock-a-hoop saves the day! The balance between lunacy and bizarre drama is a marvel in this comic. It’s a slight dip after the last issue one-off, I think, but the arc comes to a close in a just-about-understandable way, hinting at more to come and showing just how powerful the dial could be.


Action Comics #13 (DC COMICS) – 4.5/5

A Hallowe’en tale of sorts, with more history of Krypton, the Phantom Zone and Krypto (I’m a sucker for Krypto! Even if he has changed breed). Travel Foreman’s art is a vast improvement for me, though I fear the ongoing 5th dimension stuff as I’ve never like Mr Mxytwat. Heartbreaking backup, for any dog lover or softie, by Sholly Fisch.



Week of Release: 10/10/12

Batman #13 (DC COMICS) – 3.5/5

Death of the Family begins and I fear for not getting any of the multitudinous crossovers. The tale harks back to the Joker’s first appearance smartly and there are certainly going to be no punches pulled on the clown’s psychosis here. However, there are a couple of problems: one is that the Joker’s plan seems far too organised, too little lunacy. But the main one is that he’s not funny – that’s a key component balancing the mad with dark humour. This is more about (well done) fear and the build to some likely death, whoever it may be. Conflicted feelings.


Demon Knights #13 (DC COMICS) – 3.0/5

I can’t deny there are some nice ideas and touches in this – Vandal Savages perfect contentment with his actions; Sir Ystin’s “defence” against demons. But it’s another “personal hell” style story and it seems to be meandering. I have to wonder whether Cornell was already packing his bags for Marvel.


Fantastic Four #611 (MARVEL COMICS) – 3.0/5

The final issue wraps up the situation with Doom as the toybox lid is almost shut, everything neatly back where it was. It’s perfectly fine as a big-scale tale, but doesn’t touch on the sort of Celestial mega-scale that Hickman was hitting at the start.



Week of Release: 17/10/12

Justice League #13 (DC COMICS) – 2.0/5

Daniel’s art hasn’t suddenly made this better. That is all.


Hellblazer #296 (VERTIGO) – 4.0/5

Revelations and deceit; a demon (or not) that wants shoes was fun. Constantine’s own self-loathing has led him in the wrong direction but now most of the cards are out and the all-too-human foibles are, as ever, the root cause of the more grisly supernatural shenanigans. Good stuff!


Week of Release: 24/10/12

Batman Incorporated #4 (DC COMICS) – 4.0/5

Matches escapes in brilliant style, staying in character (“call Guiness!”) and with the visual clues laid down in the last issue. Burnham’s art excellent, characterisation lively (and a lovely touch that reminds you that Damian, for all his training, is still a child). Not sure where the neverending battle with Leviathan is going but I’m coming along.


Justice League Dark #13 (DC COMICS) – 2.5/5

Part of the problem with writing magic stories is in defining the magic; JLD is suffering a little from magicians just being “more powerful” or not without any real detail. Dini wrote a great Zatanna; here, she is continually ineffectual, which is starting to grate. And since when is “hgoune” a definable magic action?? Much of the impact is lessened for me by my hatred of #0, the inconsequence of Necro and Constantine constantly tossing out magic spells. There is still fun here, but it’s really underlining how much I’m going to miss Hellblazer.


FF #23 (MARVEL COMICS) – 4.0/5

Hickman takes the place of Reed’s dad as goodbye’s are made; it’s a fine end with an uplifting last page that is a perfect synopsis of this series. This has probably been my favourite run on FF and now it’s time to leap away!


Journey into Mystery #645 (MARVEL COMICS) – 5.0/5

It’s fitting that Gillen’s final issue uses a narrative trick so perfectly mythic to stop Loki revealing his situation as he endeavours to find one last way out of his entrapment. This has been the best comic Marvel has produced in a decade and the only downside of it is that I am now rather confused as to who the character in Young Avengers will be as I follow Gillen over there…


Extermination #5 (BOOM! STUDIOS) – 4.0/5

Amongst all the action of boarding a psychic train and battling alien beasties, this is really a character issue, illustrating the reflections of relationships in the ragtag group and how the merciless pragmatism of Reaper is not so different, in the end, to the lovestruck selfishness of Nox. It’s getting less original every issue but it’s still great fun.


Week of Release: 31/10/12

Justice League Dark Annual #1 (DC COMICS) – 2.5/5

The finale to the Books of magic arc has some extra guest stars, needlessly jammed in to try to get me to buy other comics. I wish Lemire had gone with my idea here, instead of the appalling Necro, and this could have played out like A Wizard of Earthsea, with no need to stick Amethyst in. The winning ruse is blindingly obvious but there is, at least a nice look between Zee and Constantine. Janin’s art fine except for Frankenstein, needlessly here and looking like Shrek. Ending is the most promising part (Apokoliptian?). And Hunter needs to grow some hair.


New Deadwardians #8 (DC COMICS) – 4.0/5

Not quite the fabulous heights of last issue and a slight anticlimax, I felt. Nevertheless, a fine ending to what has been a terrific series. All the t’s are crossed – I hope there isn’t a follow-up, much as I liked this, just to preserve it properly, like Inspector Suttle.


Bedlam #1 (IMAGE) – 3.5/5

You can’t hide from the Joker-ness of the main character but I think there may be a little more here – or at least the chance to take this to more uncomfortable realms (as long as Spencer doesn’t just go for shock). This might just be Joker as Dexter; if the dialogue is as compelling as this, it’ll still be worth it for a while. Dramatic, kinetic art from Rossmo with nice use of colour (or lack of it) to aid the jumping narrative.


Happy #2 (DC COMICS) – 5.0/5

Lord help me, I love this; the juxtaposition of mayhemic, sweary violence and super-excited, cheerful blue flying horse is great. No surprise that the santa from #1 reappears, and at least now we know who Happy is imaginary friend to. There’s an obvious link from #1 that Sax is good at finding serial killers but I wonder if Morrison has rather more up his sleeve…

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