Tag Archives: reviews

[review] Mister Miracle no.1

“Of course this title was going to be his pick of the week no matter if it turns out to be a turd sandwich served with a glass of warm Natursekt.” is probably the first thought when i declare that Mister Miracle no.1 is my comic of the week. And that is true because i already enjoyed last weeks New Gods Special more than is warranted.

Jack Kirby’s creations, and the figures from his Fourth World in particular, all have an aura around them; an honesty that has become a mainstay in contemporary comics but even years after their first publication feels like nothing else.
And in the centennial of the King Of Comics DC-Comics publishes a continuation of one of the most beloved figures and the Fourth World he inhabits that evokes an almost equal buzz as when i read Mister Miracle’s premiere issue.

Of course, DC made sure this book would cause a wave by giving writer Tom King and artist Mitch Gerards the keys to the Hot Rod that Grandpa built back in the day but Dad put a blanket upon because he did not get the time to continue the work (which is an elaborate metaphor for Grant Morisson’s work on the characters).

The comic opens with a facette that always was there in the beginning of Scott Free’s existence as the greatest escape artist there is, but twists it to the ultimate conclusion: only the best escape artist can built the ultimate trap for himself. But not only does the contraption put Mister Miracle in chains; the whole pantheon of the New Gods is trapped with him.
And as if that isn't enough to push against; Darkseid is.

But the story of this escape act would not work as well as it wasn’t for Mitch Gerards. He makes the characters stand out of their surroundings; gives them the boldness that is associated with New Gods and Forever People. But while Kirby gave us figures that feel like springs under permanent tension declaring their readiness to expand any moment by emanating the famous Kirby crackle, Gerards relies on their presence to instill the awesomeness of the figures.
He deepens the unrealiable nature of what we see on the page by working with distortions and in one instance even by placing pieces of adehsive tape on the page.

A downside to this issue is that a person that reads this issue without prior knowledge of the characters and their relations to each other and the larger DC-Universe could put it away with the thought of it being nothing more than DC trying to copy the “artsy fartsy” approach Tom King brought to the Vision or the Omega Men. But like with the two mentioned series, he examines an aspect of the character in his way, or in this case rather focuses on an ignored one: Scott Free was sent to a life of torture at the hands of Darkseid and Granny Goodness to secure a peace treaty that only was honored until it afforded Darkseid to further his power.

While i am counting the days until the second issue is officially released (September 13th) the sentence above presents the biggest stone in the way of this title to become more than just a Kirby acolyte’s favourite contemporary comic. But the events unfold in the broader continuity of the DC Universe, and when Darkseid is mentioned there is more at stake than just the city a hero is located at.

Mister Miracle no.1
published by DC-Comics
written by Tom King
art by Mitch Gerards
lettered by Clayton Clowes

Advertisements

comic reviews [31/2016]

Ms. Marvel no.9 (2016)

msmarvel9

A lot of Marvel titles are making Captain Marvel’s precog determined arrests a topic, and while i can see ex-SHIELD personel being on board because they have witnessed some shit over time and need more time to process, the kids in Ms. Marvel march to the drums because they get to use their powers to do good. And oftentimes they want to do their job a bit to good.
The people that get hurt here aren’t fortunate enough to have had their name on a cover in recent time, it’s the mostly regular janes and joes suffering for the greater good.


Lucky Luke Homage 1: Der Mann der Lucky Luke erschoß (2016)

luckyluke

Not being able to read the french original i got the german translation. It captures the spirit of the classic comics, but Matthieu Bonhomme’s art, leaving out the Dalton brothers, injecting a drop of A Fistful Of Dollars as well as giving nostalgia a character lets the book feel modern despite the classic dressing of the cover.
I’ll ask my Dad if he could lend me his collection so i can give my memories a new coat of paint.


Giant Days no.17 (2016)

giantdays17

This issue reminded me of the years spent hunting for a job that could “secure” my future for a while. No matter how legit people made things out to be, i was participating in dubious matters and my silence was bought rather than my work compensated.
Long way to say: i enjoy the book. Story and artwise its another great example of the John Allison brand of entertainment being a hyper realistic look into how we imagine the world to be.


Paper Girls no.8 (2016)

papergirls8

I don’t know how Mr. Vaughn does it. “Nothing” is happening, but you’re looking forward to more.


Black Science no.23 (2016)

blackscience23

Black Science stays as awesome as ever. Even if Grant’s monologues get on ones nerves, it makes the stress situation he’s in more authentic. He’s not better, his focus just shifted to trying to make everything right.


Superman no.4 (2016)

superman4

So far except for Aquaman, Rebirth has been a disappointment. But this issue managed to get the Superman feeling going. Seeing Clark and his son work together is a joy to watch. Supes finally taking on the role that was his from the beginning is an actual progress.


Klaus no.7 (2016)

klaus7

The perfect comic to read with your loved ones once the holidays come around. I immensely enjoyed this title and am looking forward to see what Morisson does with the Easter Bunny.
But seriously, the Superman iconography in this issue make it a festive treat. Oh, and aliens are responsible for everything of course.


Aquaman no.4 (2016)

aquaman4

My favourite Rebirth title. This issue might have gone a rather foreseeable way it feels like finally something is done with the character. And that is something that i miss with the relaunch. Not that nobody is trying, but here it feels like a path has been mapped out.


all photos taken for review purposes, copyriht lies with the repective woners

we say goodbye to The Super Awesome Comic Review Show

It was announced two weeks ago and has become a sad reality last week: The Super Awesome Comic Review Show from AstroZombies[1] usually hosted by Foxi has come to an end.
It has been one of the few shows that focused on comics rather then the review/journalism culture around it and will be dearly missed by me.

[1] located at 3100 Central Avenue, SE Albuquerque, NM 87106

comics 28/2016

Vision no.9 (2016)

Three more issues. This series needs a complete hardcover edition as soon as it’s over. But with all the character work being done so far, there is a fear that it might be rushed to its conclusion. Lets trust in Tom King shall we?
I never mentioned how Gabrial Hernandez Malta’s artwork while not being typically super-heroic delivers the atronger impact with the emotional beats.


Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior no.9 (2016)

What a fist pumper! Gilad is loose in the Sovereign’s Labirynth and boy, the Wrath is real.
I’ve read that some people are at odds with the pace, but seeing how this and the issue before it unfolded, i must see the pace was just right. The brutal imagery of Gilead’s many death and the struggle he undergoes to return to the world of the living put such a weight on the reader, that it is almost a relief to see him wreak havoc. Sadly, against some goons instead of the instigator of Gilad’s suffering.


Power Man and Iron Fist no.6 (2016)

This issue is the best thing that has so far come out of Civil War II. The reaction of the protagonists to the events unfolding mirrors that of many comic readers. But not enough to warrant Marvel overthink their publishing plan. But while they are brought up to speed on the events, former vilains are being targeted by a group of vigilantes and a group of reformed and acting baddies are hiring Luke Cage and Danny Rand for protection.
Sanford Greene is sitting this one out, but Flaviano Armentaro’s artwork while feeling less fluid fits the book as well.


The Flintstones no.1 (2016)

I take everything backmi said about the Hanna-Barbera “relaunch”. This was amazing! Ok, it takes the franchise into a dark place, but back in the day Fred and Barney were advertising cigarettes, so it stays in line.
Evolution and how progress is driven by violence covered in a sheen of humor is the foundation this issue is built open at first glance, and at the end waits the other end of the spectrum, a gesture that is all to human and has been practiced by everybody through the ages in one form or another.

photo copyrights lies with the respective owners, taken for review purposes

comics [27/2016]

Blaue Pillen (Blue Pills) by Frederik Peeters

blaue_pillen
An autobiographical tale about life with HIV illustrated in a quick and feverish way. Aama already used a similar approach to convey its story about evolution, but here it helps to convey the underlying fear of loss that must be experienced by all parties in such circumstances. The perceived honesty further deepens the experience for the reader, giving us the chance to cheer and fear with the people we’re reading about.
At the end of the book, Frederik Peeters has a dialogue with a mammoth that suddenly appears on his way home. At the beginning of the sequence one could assume that it is just a weird exchange for the sake of art which so far has been avoided, but when it is revealed to be a moment of realization, even growth, it fits great as a point for leaving this part if Peeter’s life.

Empress no.3 (2016)

empress3
I wanted to don’t like this book because of Mark Millar and his recent tendency to write for the silver screen. There are still some kinks in this, but it follows the Millar formula to give a known thing a new spin. And Stuart Immonen is a beast on art. Not-Obi Wan/original draft Luke Skywalker which serves as the titular regality is a joy to behold.
I wonder where the story leads because it leaves a lot of corpses in its way. The chambermaids who dress the Empress in the first issue for example….

Manifest Destiny vol.2: Amphibia & Insecta

destiny2
The expidition into the new frontier continues. The backgrounds and motivations of the crewmembers are explored and in the end upbringing, status and decisions don’t matter because the whole crew sits not only in the boat that carries them across the water, but ride the same one through life. Which is a fancy way to say, no matter how noble one might seem you can’t trust the person to do the right thing.
And i cheered when Lewis slaughtered the title giving amphibian due to a phobia of mine.

Future Quest no.2 (2016)
futurequest2
To sum the issue up in one word: Action! The stakes are set, the heroes seem to face a challenge they won’t overcome and Dr. Quest is a step behind FEAR, the evil organization who’s goal is to invite the big evil that killed the guardian corps Space Ghost was part of, to earth. I’m still digging the series. Story and artwork transport the reader back to the childhood days when the Hanna-Barbera cartoons made us shut up and listen/watch. Hopefully the artist and story changes for future issues don’t mean the numbers don’t add up….

Giant Days no.16 (2016)

giantdays16
Last issue wasn’t my cup of tea, but this one was great again. The energy levels are high, the humor is great and the cliffhanger the issue ends on makes me want to get the next one as soon as possible. I’m always amazed at how relatable the series is despite the overdrawn characters and situations.

Paper Girls no.7 (2016)

papergirls7
Things are moving at a glacial pace. But while it’s slow, it keeps tipping scales left and right. Despite the “modern enviroment” in which it is produced, it still reminds me of watching The Goonies, ET and other movies during my younger years.
This page i took a screenshot of made my eyes glaze over becauae visualizing ourselvea as kids and giving us a hug was a technique we learned in group therapy.
I’m afraid old Erin will die.

Black Science no.22 (2016)

blackscience22
It’s a less action filled issue, but despite the serious matter of Grant trying to attone for his shortcomings as a father, it has some fun moments.
The last dialogue broke my heart. But he has earned that kind of treatment.

Kaijumax season two no.3 (2016)

kaijumax3
Three issues in, but the story already feels so dense. This issue flashes back to the past of high ranking officer of the Security Forces who is happening to inspect the prison while Chisato is trying to deal with the events from the last issue. The inspection also reveals why the world reacts so harsh towards the Kaijus, the story of betrayed trust.
It’s the little things like the entrance in the mech’s sleeve, or Jeong’s new armor, or the Rider 2 inspired police uniforms coupled with the serious storytelling that make me enjoy (almost) every issue of this series.

Like any of the titles i talked about? Don’t like them? Want to contribute? Please get into contact with me and share your view

copyright lies with the respective owners, photos taken for review purposes

comics [26/2016]

  Bird Boy vol.1: The Sword Of Mali Mani (2016)

birdboy1

The first volume of Bird Boy was a surprisingly good read! Yeah, it’s fast and you have some story beats laid out in the first couple of pages, but the presentation, the details and the path that is taken to reach those story beats set it apart from similar works.
The masks the tribesmen are wearing are my favorite thing to look at. It is a sign of how vulnerable the people are that they have to transform themselves into beasts. When a bear attacks them, it looks like he is doing battle with a pack of wolves rather than humans. The fear of the woods, into which the ancient hero Mani Mali ventured to save the people, is also a great metaphor for how we lost part of our connection to nature, how we put on masks and make noise to intimidate it. Even the animals in the book are wearing masks and instead if blood, parts of the forrest they come from flows out of their bodies when it’s hurt.
This thing is magical and i wish i could read the second this afternoon.

  Batman: Ego and other stories by Darwyn Cooke (2016)

batmanego
Everybody who likes Darwyn Cooke’s work and Batman can grab this without any thought. Cooke’s Batman stories seem to use the characters portrayal from the animated series, which i believe he worked on. This collection also includes Selina’s Big Score, which is a neat story but would have worked better for me if it was not set in the DC Universe. It’s a good heist story, but Seline Kyle does not fit in for me.
It is sad that we lost a creator who deserved a run on Batman if he so decided. This collection gives a great and affordable overview of Cooke’s work as an artist and writer.

  Autumnlands: Tooth & Claw no.11 (2016)

autumnlands11
There was another panel i’d like to post, but this just encompases the “fuck yeah” nature of the issue. We get a few answers but a bag of new questions is being delivered too.
And i enjoy the coarse language to much….

  Rumble no.11 (2016)

rumble11
Do yourself a favour and get Rumble. It might be a power fantasy story, but it is seasoned with metaphors of real life issues and how we try and hold back progress. It is a story about growth, leaving save zones but not to conquer and poison oneself with further sins, but to grow ones hearts. And James Harren’s artwork, perfectly capturing the madness of the proceedings.

  Transformers vs. G.I. Joe no.13 (2016)

transgoe13
One of the most innovative comics of the last few years has come to an end. And what an end it is.
While tying up everything, Tom Scioli and John Barber leave behind a sandbox that has more than enough stories left to explore.
This comic made me stop talking to certain people because their never ending complaints about this comic. Yeah, the art might be a deal breaker, but i always saw it as an homage to the design of the toys, evoking the stories we played out with them as kids.

  Jupiter’s Legacy vol.2 no.1 (2016)

jupiterslegacy2.1
It’s back! Took me a while until the series grew on me, but Mark Millar is someone who’s work gets tainted by the hand that wields the quill.
But it did not have the impact i anticipated. There is the great bit at the beginning about how Hutch got his power-rod from his father, which showcases Millar’s strength: no unnecessary weight. A father who realizes this is probably the last moment of quality time he has left with his son leaves him a legacy before opening the door to face his fate.
The rest of the issue is set-up for the things to come.
This is complaining about high standards, but Quitely’s art seems rushed and devoid of backgrounds. But rushed art by one of the greatest is still great art, and if the rest of the run comes out on time, i’ll take it.

  Black Panther no.3 (2016)

Blackpanther3
As a white, middle european male i don’t feel
Like having a right to talk about this book.
It is a great take on not only T’Challa, seeming lost between his life as king and superhero but how he lost sight on what is going on in Wakanda. And while he is searching for clarity, new powers are forming, trying to regulate their circumstances.

|quick reviews|

  Rai no.14 (2016)
Great issue, Father seems to have enough of trying to get the humans on new japan in line through guidance, and starts the first approach.

  Dark Knight III – The Master Race no.5 (2016)
Drawn out and not entirely necessary continuation of the Dark Knight Returns? To a degree, but there are some moments in this series, two in this issue in particular, that make the reader utter a “fuck yeah”.

  Power Man and Iron Fist no.5 (2016)
The Heroes For Hire are back! Great fun story coupled with Sanford Greene’s energetic and fluid artwork.

  Wonder Woman no.1 (2016)
I’ll wait for the first trade before i say something stupid. (It feels like the people working on the title are also clueless about what to do with Wonder Woman, but i’m sure Greg Rucka has a mastertape.)

  Ultimates no.8 (2016)
This title….this team should be the Avengers and everybody else should wear the dark/secret/all-new/now-with-25%-more-deadpool Avengers designation.

  Teen Titans no.21 (2016)
Monsiour Mallah and the Brain seem to have been shipped (that’s what the young people say these days, right?).

  Uncanny Avengers no.10 (2016)
I should have reserved my happiness about Hank Pym’s return because what happens here was telegraphed a few issues ago, i just did not want to believe it.

  Aquaman no.1 (2016)
Good start, but like with Wonder Woman, i’ll wait a few issues until i make my last call because again, feels like it’s burned all the creative juice in the first few pages.

  Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur no.8 (2016)
Freaky Friday with Dinosaurs. I wonder how this might enrich the relationship between the titular characters. Also, Marvel Boy is a creep.

  Doctor Strange no.9 (2016)
As much as i like the series and how this arc came to it’s end, i wonder how it will continue once the movie release date is around the corner.
But for now, the good Doctor has to not only solve the problem with the Inquisition but also some nasty business he kept locked up in his basement.

  Mighty Thor no.8 (2016)
While i dig the mortality aspect of the book and how it is a ticking time bomb, i’m not sure if Jane Foster is aware of the situation. But then, i guess it’s the same thing with the Flash, he’s only as fast as the story demands.

  Civil War: Choosing Sides no.1 (2016)
The Damage Control story was fun. The rest….SHIELD should be abandoned or given back to Steranko and Hickman for an overhaul.

  Web-Warriors no.8 (2016)
Heard this series will be cancelled later this year. Which is sad because it is a fun read.

  Jem and the Holograms no.16 (2016)
The Dark Jem arc is over, and so is Sophie Cambell’s tenure as artist on the title. It feels oddly like a built in jumping off point, bit i’m looking forward to what is in store now that the cards have been shuffled. This book is like watching a more contemporary saturday morning cartoon.

  Nighthawk no.2 (2016)
Again, a title i don’t feel like i should have an opinion about. But i like how it is asking questions and portrays the motivations some people have in real life.

  Captain America – Steve Rogers no.2 (2016)
So, the explanation for the Hail Hydra! moment is here. And it is solid, at least for me. I must admit that i was a bit offended by it, but i speak comics, there is probably a plan behind it.
Cap will make sure there will be some cracked Skulls as retaliation.