Wednesday, December 26, 2012

WGTB Reviews Four Comics

Merry Christmas! Well, Happy Boxing Day as we call the day after Christmas here in Canada. Today was a day off for me and allowed me to take a break from all the holiday fun and write four quick reviews of comics I've read recently. As December 26th comics (Justice League and Amazing Spider-Man) haven't been read yet, the books written about today go back to the past two weeks. I hope you enjoy and are having a great holiday season.  

Marvel's Thor: God of Thunder #3 (February 2013) Written by Jason Aaron, art and cover by Esad Ribic, colour art by Ive Svorcina & lettering by VC's Joe Sabino. Edited by Lauren Sankovitch. PRICE $3.99
Jason Aaron, Esad Ribic and Ive Svorcina continue to pack a punch with the third issue of Thor: God of Thunder. I have really been enjoying this book since the Marvel NOW! relaunch of this Thor title and issue #3 gives me no reason to stop looking forward to the next. I'm finding it to be a cross between Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods and the 90's sci-fi hit Babylon 5 in good old-fashioned comic book form. This issue, the third of the God Butcher storyline, has Thor deep in space at an amazing place called Omnipotence City and then in the equally cool ninth-century Russia, both of which are amazingly drawn. The action seems to have cooled a bit from the previous issue but that's okay because in #3 we get a somewhat more cerebral caper-type story. This comic goes deeper into the back story of the ancient foe Thor is dealing with and we even see the God of Thunder fearful of what the future could hold. A lot happens in this issue but it is easier to follow now that I'm used to the threefold time-jump aspect of it. With regard to art, Ribic's work really matches Aaron's story and is doing it for me. This is comic book high-fantasy at its best. 4.5/5 STARS

Comic book high-fantasy at its best from Thor: God of Thunder #3 

DC's Nightwing #15 (February 2013) Written by Kyle Higgins, pencils by Eddy Barrows, inks by Eber Ferreira, colours by Rod Reis & letters by Carlo M. Mangual. Edited by Brian Cunningham. PRICE: $2.99
My next quick review is Nightwing #15 by Kyle Higgins, Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira. I hadn't read the previous issue and picked this one up because writer Kyle Higgins really knocked a recent interview on Word Balloon with John Suintres out of the park and got me interested in the Nightwing aspect of the Death of the Family storyline. This issue was a good follow-up to Batman #15 which featured a meeting of the Gotham-based Bat Family and I enjoyed seeing Dick Grayson take off on his own to deal with the Joker's master plan. So while I'm not completely familiar with the longer storyline, I have to say this was a good, enjoyable comic book. I've always liked Nightwing and found the Joker as written by Higgins to be just as equal in evil and diabolical malice as that of Scott Snyder. This issue was also a nice break from Greg Capullo's art which seems to be wearing on me in recent issues with Eddy Barrow doing a great job here capturing the menace of the Joker awesomely. The below image was especially creepy. I think I'll come back to this issue next month and maybe go looking for back-issues to get a larger sense of the Nightwing story. 3.5/5 STARS 
Barrow's art was really enjoyable this issue of Nightwing #15

Marvel's Avengers #2 (February 2013) Written by Jonathan Hickman, art by Jerome Opena, colour art by Dean White with Justin Ponsor & Morry Hollowell. Letters by VC's Cory Petit. Edited by Tom Brevoort with Lauren Sankovitch. PRICE $3.99
In the two Avengers comics we've seen thus far from Marvel NOW!, there really hasn't been much to write home about. This comic, like its cousin book Thor: God of Thunder, is high-concept story-telling and involves some of the common evolutionary and extraterrestrial based tropes we often see in sci-fi and comics. Unfortunately (and unlike Thor) this book has taken a little longer to get off the ground. Indeed, the second issue was largely a story of the second group of Avengers assembling to go and rescue the first who are in trouble off-world. I enjoyed it on the whole and the introduction to the four principal baddies and the origins of their creators, The Builders, was especially good. I also know that this is a Jonathan Hickman book so I'm probably totally wrong about not thinking it's totally amazing and should probably re-read it in a couple days to discover what I've missed. But until then it gets a promising yet mediocre 3/5 STARS.
The group is still assembling in Avengers #2

DC's JSA Liberty Files: The Whistling Skull #1 (February 2013) Written by B. Clay Moore with art by Tony Moore. Colours by Dave McCaig, letters by Wes Abbot & edited by Ben Abernathy. PRICE $2.99
Easily one of the best comic books of the month, The Whistling Skull #1 is the first issue of a mini-series that creators B. Clay Moore and Tony Harris hope will eventually be turned into an ongoing run with forty odd issues. Set (sort of) in the DC Universe, the Whistling Skull is a Justice Society of America World War II story centred around a British non-Crown affiliated protagonist who fights the Nazi's. In parts it is very funny and entertaining, while in others it is downright grim and gory. Tony Harris' art at the beginning was a little tough to get used to, but the book never-the-less grew on me and by the end I was really enjoying this fusion of fun and intrigue. Come to think of it, this is what a comic book should be so I'm going to give it a high grade and say I'm already looking forward to the second issue. 4.5/5 STARS

Tony Harris' art takes some getting used to, but eventually grows on you.

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