Comic Reviews – October 23, 2015

The Modern Meltdown Special #5 – Chatting With John, Patrick And Zoe Of The Worf Revue
October 26, 2015
Comic Book Reviews – 30/10/15
November 5, 2015

CoverThe Astonishing Ant-Man #1

Written by Nick Spencer, Art by Ramon Rosanas

Having watched Ant-Man only recently, I was pretty familiar with the character, so for me this book was fairly easy to get into. The story has inserted enough exposition to get those unfamiliar with the character up to speed, unlike last week’s Spider-man 2099.

In this Ant-Man tale, we find Scott Lang not doing so well as he tries to build his private security firm, while also attempting to stay invisible to his daughter for her protection, whilst still being a small part of her life. Spencer’s Ant-Man is affable, so the reader can easily sympathise with his plight. The addition of a supervillain Uber app is an interesting plot thread, which I hope will lead to a much more interesting story arc.

The artwork here is a little above passable. It’s a very simple art style, not a ton of detail, but because the writing is above par, you’ll still be engaged with the book as a whole.

Ant-Man is a book to keep an eye on. It’s too early to tell if this will be worth committing to a 12-issue run, but there’s enough here to at least take me to issue 2.

*

CoverA-Force #5

Written by Marguerite Bennet & G. Willow Wilson, Art by Jorge Molina

Issue 5 of A-Force is the definitive conclusion to its part of the Battleworld storyline. Not having read any of the Battleworld tie-ins, I can’t tell you if this was a good send off or not, so let’s focus on what I can tell you.

The inhabitants of Arcadia are confronted by the hordes of undead unleashed by Loki. This leads to a multi-page epic battle. You could remove some of Jorge Molina’s artwork here, frame it and put it on your wall. It’s gorgeous, full of action and does justice to what would be considered an epic conclusion.

Wilson and Bennet’s writing is easy to follow for someone who hasn’t read anything prior to this issue. The characterisation is on the mark and there is a moment of triumph mired in sadness that I found compelling, an avid reader of this title more so.

My biggest takeaway from this book was how much I think readers are going to enjoy the All New All Different A-Force #1 coming in December, so on this book alone, I would suggest putting A-Force #1 on your standing order now.

*

CoverInvincible Iron Man #2

Written by Michael Brian Bendis, Art by David Marquez

Have I told you how much I love Bendis’s writing? Since the early days of Ultimate Spider-man, I have loved this man’s writing, and after reading this issue of Iron-Man, I remember why. For the uninitiated, Bendis has the ability to provide any character he’s writing with wit and charm, and he’ll insert it right in the middle of a disaster. It always works and it makes you love his characters even more.

For example, this week the Dr Doom surprise from issue one was elaborated on. Doom is trying to prevent Madam Mask from stealing powerful magic items from around the world and causing massive destruction. During their conversation, Doom recounts an “adventure” that Tony and Doom shared, and how fondly he remembers their time together. Tony counters with the small fact that Doom tried to kill him, to which Doom reply is that he remembers it fondly, not Tony. It’s just classic Bendis and I love it. My gripe with the first issue has also been resolved, and we’re now full forward into a new story that has plenty of mystery to keep the reader involved.

Milona’s artwork is a cut above a lot of other books I have read lately, and Iron-Man fans will be happy. There is a lot of detail going into magical energy affecting the world and armour tricks. I was especially impressed with how they pulled off the stealth suit scenes.

I think this series will become quintessential Iron-Man reading.

*

CoverJustice League #45

Written by Geoff Johns, Art by Francis Manapul

Darkseid is dead! But what does that mean for our heroes in the Justice League? Well, it would seem that they are required to take the place of the old gods.

Each member of the league is forced forward into the role of one of the gods and it all promises to be very intriguing. Johns has always had a knack for laying groundwork in his stories that lead to big payoffs towards the end. The story he’s seeding here will lead to the Justice Leaguers discovering who they really are and what they could do to the planet if they weren’t a force for good. The real story here is not that Darkseid is dead, but how our heroes will fill that void. In this issue, Johns gives you a taste of what’s to come.

Manapul’s artwork didn’t capture me at first, but did grow on me by the end of the issue. His European influences make a nice change to the American art style. I would expect to see art like his in a Euro mag like 20 A.D. or Heavy Metal, so to see traditionally American characters drawn this way is actually pretty refreshing. It also makes sense when you consider that Kirby’s new gods are the characters involved.

I have jumped into the middle of this story arc, but to be honest, I don’t mind jumping into the middle. This issue is probably you best jumping on point for the series right now.

 *

CoverBlack Canary #5

Written by Brenden Fletcher, Art by Pia Guerra

You’re either going to love Black Canary, or hate it. I don’t think there is going to be any middle ground here.

For me, I’ve always liked Canary. When she’s in a rough fight and the odds aren’t in her favour, she’s alone against the world with her back against a wall.

This is not that Black Canary. This is Black Canary meets Josie and the Pussy Cats. Now, before you send me tons of hate mail, I will say that this isn’t a bad thing. It’s good to see established characters being reinvented and trying something different, and that’s what this book is: it’s something different.

The writing is targeting a very specific audience, which is probably young women and muso’s—again, not a bad thing. So when I said “you are going to love it or hate it”, your preference is probably going to be due to the demographic that you fall into.

The story is simple enough, Canary has been hired by a label company to take over the role of lead singer in a band. The previous lead singer is pissed and returns in a battle of the bands with a new band and a surprise for Canary. There’s also a few mysteries at play as well, like what happened to the young girl they rescued who is stealing Canary’s blood and for what use, plus is the label company evil? Like I said before, very Josie and the Pussycats.

The Art is fine, it’s has a unique voice and you have to respect that when some many books try to clone Jim Lee’s style. But much like the book itself, you’re going to love it or hate it, I don’t think there’s a middle ground.

So if you’re a teenage kid, you love band culture and superheros, give this book a look.

*

CoverWe Are Robin #4

Written by Lee Bermejo, Art by James Harvey

Just like Canary before it, We Are Robin is targeted at a younger audience, but it is one I can relate to and so I got into this book a lot more then Canary. The idea of this story is that a group of disenfranchised teens in Gotham have decided to band together as Robins and fight against the crime of their city. But in doing so, these kids have lost a teammate and has brought the Robin movement to the media’s attention in a big, bad way. This issue focuses on one team member’s mental journey as she deals with the environment around her and the death of her comrade.

To the book’s credit, I think the themes addressed here are conveyed well and the over arcing idea of doing good, even though you will make have to make sacrifices and to be aware of that, makes this an interesting issue, if not a thought-provoking one.

There’s even a little commentary on social media, but I wonder if that’s there more for the book’s target audience than to benefit the story.

The art style is very 1960’s pop art backgrounds with more traditional artwork in front. It gives the book a unique feel and, for some reason, reminded me of Watchmen and other British invasion books.

If you like the Batman mythos and can remember the time when you wanted to rail against the world, then you will find a lot to love in this series.

*

CoverTitans Hunt #1

Written by Dan Abnett, Art by Paulo Siqueira and Geraldo Borges

Not knowing a lot about the Titans, I’ve gone into this book fairly raw, but the little lore I do know has served me pretty well. This book is all about set up and, to be honest, it actually worked fairly well on me. For reasons unknown, all of the Titans have forgotten their pasts as members. Why has this happened is a mystery left for further issues, as this is all about establishing your main players. If you haven’t picked up an issue one in a while, then this book may frustrate you, as it takes time to introduce each character. But the mystery is what will drive you to purchase the next issue.

The artwork on display is technically proficient but it hasn’t got a unique voice, so hopefully with a few more issues, the art will start to find a voice of its own.

I think in the long run, this series will, at the very least, be engaging, even if it is simply just superhero fare.

*

CoverAssassins Creed #1

Written By Anthony Del Col & Conor McCreery, Art by Neil Edwards

I think if you’re a fan of Assassin’s Creed then you’re going to be a fan of this book, but that should go without saying, right? Well, to be honest, in this case I think the only people who are fans of the games are going to like this book.

The story continues the Brotherhood of Assassins Vs. Templars bit, and then our main character finds out her ancestor was an Assassin. It’s the same old crap and it’s forced down your throat. The most surprising thing about this book is that it needed two writers.

So we start the story Matrix style, Neo our main character is told that she is the descendant of a member of the brotherhood, and they need her to relive her ancestors memories so they can find the information to stop a current day plot to destroy the Brotherhood.

But the way they show how our protagonist’s mindset is similar to the Brotherhood is very on the nose. She tells off a corporate executive for being nepotistic, takes money from the rich and gives it to the poor. It’s unnatural and pushes the realm of believability, and it takes you out of the book.

The artwork isn’t too bad but has a digital gloss over the top of it and makes it feel like a really good web comic, not a professionally-produced comic.

So again, not much to love here, but if you’re a fan of the video games then this one is for you and you alone.

* * *

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