Saturday, August 20, 2011

Comic Book Reviews 8/21/2011

Instead of writing a bunch of long and drawn-out reviews for all the comics I’ve been reading, I’ve decided to write some slightly more condensed versions in order to get all my main points across while being able to review more books at the same time. If you think this style is better, or simply prefer the other, feel free to let me know. I’m always up for suggestions and such.

Batman: Arkham City (Issues #1-4 of 5 Limited) – I’m not one who reads many video-game based comic books these days, as I came out mostly disappointed with the results (Almost any Halo comic outside of the graphic novel itself, Gears of War, etc.; just hasn’t been my cup of tea). I decided to give it a try anyway however, as soon as I caught glimpse that Paul Dini was the writer (he wrote the animated series, as well as numerous classic issues of Detective Comics and other books). This decision ended up paying off, as the storyline has not only been solid on its own, but the information and foreshadowing it provides more than makes it worth the price of admission. It will entertain you and get you excited for the new game coming out. What more could you ask for?

Lady Mechanika (Issues #1-2) – When I had first seen the artwork for this title, I knew I was going to have to give it a try, simply for the artwork alone. An action series about a half-mechanical woman hunting down werewolves and such, trying to discover the mysteries behind her dark past, and a setting of London in the 1800’s all wrapped up in a beautiful steam-punk setting? Yes please! I was very pleasantly surprised with what I got with this title so far (even if the delayed release schedule seems to get more and more ridiculous). Nothing that’s happened in the series so far has felt irrelevant or unnecessary in any way, shape, or form (including an important character referenced in issues #0, which I will now have to track down to fully understand). For only having two issues so far, this series has already got me hooked and eagerly awaiting the third. Surprisingly not gimmicky like I was expecting, this series is more than worth looking into.

Silver Surfer (Vol. 5 Issues #1-5 Limited) – I’ve always been a fan of the Surfer, ever since I saw his appearance in the original Fantastic Four series and cartoon, and even his own solo cartoon (short-lived as it was). I went into this new mini-series with no prior background knowledge of what direction this new story would be going in. The last Silver Surfer story I read was JM Straczynski’s “Silver Surfer: Requiem,” a beautiful story of surfer Norrin Radd’s final moments of life. All I knew about this latest was that it took place during present time Marvel continuity. Based on the cover (as with almost all Silver Surfer stories in general), I was expecting another journey across the cosmos. What I got from the first issue was a very unexpected plot twist, followed by four more issues of sheer fascination on my end. Trust me when I say that this is not the kind of story you would expect from a character like this, or a book like this, and you’ll come out very satisfied as a result.

Sonic the Hedgehog (Issues #225-227) – I admit that when I was younger, Sonic the Hedgehog was one of the first comics I ever started reading monthly. This was mainly due to my love of the original Sega Genesis games and my appreciation for the ABC cartoon (also known today as SATAM to separate it from the other Sonic cartoons like Underground). That said, I have not actually picked up a Sonic comic since about issue 75 or so. Once the books started getting more like the Dreamcast Sonic games, I lost quite a bit of interest. I picked up this new story on a whim, as well as its mention on the covers of being for Sonic’s 25th anniversary. My reaction was mostly positive after all. Similar to the DC revamp going on now, issue 225 was made to set up for a bit of a reboot itself. After going through many MANY details, some even pertaining back to when I was reading the book as a kid, the series begins sort of a new start with the aptly titled “Genesis” story arc. Each cover for the issues in this mini-series (minus the fourth and final part), are spoofs of the original Sega Genesis game box covers, which are certainly amusing in the nostalgic way, and a good way to get the attention of those considering jumping back on. The artwork is also very impressive for a title of this type. Archie comics still seems to know exactly what it’s doing here, and I admit this is a reboot I may end up getting back into this series over.

IDW’s The Cape: Legacy Edition (One-Shot) – Not to be confused with the TV series that premiered earlier this year, this one-shot issue is based off a short story that was written by Joe Hill in 2005. This re-release also includes the original prose story, as well as the announcement of a new mini-series that will be starting up soon. This book was nominated for an Eisner award, and once you read it, you’ll know why. This story is Twilight Zone creepy, and I mean that in the best way possible. The best way to go into this one is to know as little as possible, and that’s how I’ll leave it for everyone here. This is one of the biggest and most refreshing surprises in comics for me this year.

Once I finish up with Flashpoint and its many tie-ins, as well as all of the current Amazing Spider-Man issues, I’ll be reviewing all of those and some classic (and not so classic) stories of comic’s past. Until then!

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