Sunday, September 22, 2019

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Flash Forward #1 | Wally Wests Redemption

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Today We Explore and Explain the events of today’s newest Flash Forward #1 Wally Wests Redemption

Spider-Man #1 Review

Written by: J.J. Abrams & Henry Abrams 

Art by: Sara Pichelli 

Inking Assistant: Elisabetta D’amico 

Colors by: Dave Stewart

Letters by: VC’s Joe Caramagna 

J.J. Abrams and his son Henry Abrams have teamed up to deliver to the world a very personal Spider-Man story that deals with death, grief, the relationship between a father & a son, and much more. This is a gut wrenching story that took some very unexpected turns, but it’s very well written and an exciting new take on the character of Peter Parker. Often times Peter Parker is a character that gets stuck in age purgatory as Marvel likes to view him as a teenager or young adult, and we never get to see much of his life outside of that age range. It’s really exciting to see a different take on his personality, especially one outside of being Spider-Man, but at a later point in his life than we’re used to. 

Ben Parker is an interesting character so far. I’m glad that they’ve set him apart from Peter and given him a different edge than Peter even though they’re in similar situations. I’m not super into the moody kids who’ve lost someone archetype, but it’s fine so far and I have a feeling that Ben’s arc will round out nicely. The villain of this story is one that I’m worried could fall into generic tropes that most origin story villains do, but he’s off to a hot start by the way this first issue starts out. I’m interested to see where this story goes, but the first issue was definitely a step in the right direction. I’d like to know which of the Abrams pair has more influence on the story, especially since it seems to be at its core a story between father and son, but they’re doing a great job. 

Lex Luthor #1 Review

Written by: Jason Latour

Pencils by: Bryan Hitch

Inks by: Bryan Hitch & Andrew Currie

Colors by: Tomeu Morey

Letters by: Tom Napolitano 

DC’s Year of the Villain has had its hits and misses so far, but the highlight for me has been these very personal one shot stories of random villains getting their own issues. The most important one seems to be Lex Luthor’s as he has been at the forefront of the Year of the Villain, and we finally get to read his solo story. In this issue, Lex goes on a journey through the Multiverse and interacts with several different versions of himself. I love the concept of the multiverse because of the sheer magnitude of stories that you can tell and how each one can be unique and risky without any consequences. 

It was cool to get to see the different Earth’s versions of Lex Luthor, but I’m not quite sure I understood what the point of the story was. I get that Lex wanted to interact with all of these different versions of himself and decide which ones were worthy, but I’m not sure why or if that was even his mission. That’s not to say that the issue wasn’t good or entertaining, but it just went over my head I think. The highlight of the issue was definitely the Earth where Lex was Batman, that was a unique take and a fun trip for a few pages. This whole Lex Luthor fused with Martian Manhunter situation is kind of confusing to me, and I don’t feel like any writers really understand it either, but I guess that’s the problem when you start doing weird stuff like that with characters. 

This issue is a fun one that examines Lex Luthor as a character and it’s one that shows us all the different possibilities for how someone like him could turn out. Definitely pick it up if you’re a fan of the character or if you’re just trying to keep up with the Year of the Villain, as I have a feeling that this one will end up being important down the line.

Hawkman #16 Review

Written by: Robert Venditti

Pencils by: Pat Olliffe

Inks by: Tom Palmer

Colors by: Jeremiah Shipper

Letters by: Starkings & Comicraft

Robert Venditti’s Hawkman has been a breath of fresh air in the comic book industry. For a character that is all about reliving his past, Venditti has found a way to flesh out Hawkman’s future by using his past to propel the character forward. DC comics have been caught up in trying to please fans by starting Rebirth where they returned to old continuity, but outside of a few major books there hasn’t been a whole lot done to patch up some of the holes. Venditti’s Hawkman has done a great job of doing just that for the character and paying homage to the characters best moments by taking us on journeys through the past and the future.

In issue 16 of Hawkman, we get to see the fallout from Hawkman and The Shade’s previous encounter with the Shadow Thief. Hawkman and The Shade are dealing with their previous loss and the Shadow Thief now owns their shadows. We get a good amount of time building the relationship between Carter and Swift, something that was very necessary for new readers to care about their partnership. Carter Hall has been plagued with his past this entire run, and he’s struggled with being the Hawkman that he feels the world deserves. This issue was a nice change of pace because we got to see Hall show some aggression and be a little vicious in his fight with the giant shadow dragon. That fight was really awesome and amazingly drawn by Pat Olliffe, and it serves the story instead of just being a cool action piece. 

The end of this issue sets us up for a major showdown in issue 17, and it’s one that has been building nicely. I’m super happy with Venditti’s run with this character and I’m excited to see what comes next in the story. Every character that Venditti has touched in this run has been elevated because of it, and because of that I’m excited to see where things go. 

King Thor #1 Review

King Thor #1 

Writer: Jason Aaron 

Pencils: Esad Ribic 

Colors: Ive Svorcina 

Letters: Joe Sabino 

Seven years in the making…King Thor made his first appearance in Thor: God of Thunder #1. Since then The All-Father has fought Gorr the God Butcher, Galactus, Phoenix Wolverine, and Final Doom. He also helped defeat Malekith the Accursed in The War of the Realms. King Thor has faced some of the deepest and darkest villains in the blackest voids of the cosmos. 

King Thor #1 starts off a four issue miniseries that reunites legendary creative team (Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic) behind the comic book run that started it all Thor: God of Thunder. Highly recommend rereading, tons of references spanning the entire seven year epic. 

King Thor #1 picks up right where Thor #16 ends. King Thor arrives back in the future, speaking to himself of regrets and his failures then bang a blast from Loki wielding the Necro-Sword! 

This book cannot be contained! Aaron and Ribic come together and hit another home run! This issue gives me everything I ever wanted and more. A slow build with the Granddaughters of Thunder and Shadrak God of (spoiler), then BAM! A full in your face epic battle to the death, brother against brother, God against God Butcher! I promise you this is a story for the ages. The last page will have all Thor fans screaming!

Doomsday Clock #11

Writer: Geoff Johns

Illustrator: Gary Frank

Colorist: Brad Anderson

Letters: Rob Leigh

     The long awaited eleventh installment of the hit maxiseries, Doomsday Clock has finally made its way through the unforgiving chain of delays, and into our eager hands. Well ladies and gentlemen, let me be the first to tell you that this book was well worth the wait. The opening of this book deals heavily with the fallout of Superman rushing to the aide of an unstable Firestorm, and the incident in Red Square. Tensions rise between The US and Russia regarding the “Superman Theory” that seems to be coming to fruition thanks to one Ozymandias; and the Justice League after traveling to Mars, are still nowhere to be found. We finally get to see exactly what Ozymandias has planned since first arriving in the DC universe. With Superman and Dr. Manhattan finally meeting face to face, will Ozymandias’ sinister scheme play out according to his plan? Or will another unlikely hero emerge to save the day, along with the rest of the planet from an ultimate demise.

     One of the most compelling parts of this issue comes about halfway through, the interactions between Lex Luthor and Lois Lane. Lex having reached out to Lois brings her into one of his secret vaults, which he claims she is only the second person to ever step foot in besides himself. It is there Lex reveals to Lois that he has been monitoring abnormal chronal energy spikes for the past two years, which any avid Comic reader should know is shortly after the beginning of DC’s “Rebirth”. Its just a few short panels after that were given a second POV shot of the notorious reunion between Barry and Wally in “DC Universe: Rebirth#1”, after having lost Wally to the speed force. While at first Lex thinks these anomalies are caused from the two speedsters, he soon realizes the true source of these readings; an old photo.

   The art in this book has fit the tone of the story perfectly. Gary Frank’s grittier style matches up beautifully to a story that’s set to take place in the mid 80’s. One standout aspect of the art is Franks’ ability to capture the emotions of the characters to a tee. From the rage from the angry mobs, to Adrian Veidt’s smug arrogance, the facial expressions from this artistic team are top notch. There’s only one final issue remaining to answer the biggest question yet, what happens when Superman meets Dr. Manhattan, one on one. You won’t want to miss this penultimate chapter in the Doomsday Clock epic that’s sure to make waves for the DC universe to come. Doomsday Clock #11 hits the shelves of your local comic store September 4th, don’t miss out!

Batman vs Ra’s Al Ghul #1 Review

Written by: Neil Adams

Drawn by: Neil Adams

Colored by: Neil Adams

Letters by: Clem Robins

Neil Adams is one of the most prolific writers and artists in comic book history. His track record speaks for itself and he’s a contributor to the modern comic book canon with some of the most important characters of all time, mainly being Ra’s Al Ghul. He’s one of those writers that immediately earns your respect based off of history, and his books can sell with no knowledge of the book other than Neil Adam’s name. “Batman vs Ra’s Al Ghul” is Adams’ latest comic book, with the first part of a six issue storyline coming out today.

Overall I think that this issue is a mixed bag of quality. Adams takes on all aspects of storytelling in this series, because he is both the writer and the artist of this tale. It’s always hard to judge the first issue of a storyline without knowing what’s coming next or what the writer has planned for the rest of the story, but there is a lot that you can assume by reading the first issue. I think the artwork all throughout the issue was very good. I like Adams style of artwork and coloring, and it’s obviously very reminiscent of a time that’s been passed by in the comic book industry. 

As far as the story is concerned, I’m not very interested in what’s going on yet. The issue starts in an interesting way by thrusting us into the middle of a disaster in Gotham, and we slowly learn why this is all happening. Unfortunately, I think the actual context of the story really isn’t very interesting and it doesn’t really pick up until Deadman and Batman cross paths. Deadman is a really cool character so I’m glad that we’re getting to spend some time with him here, but I feel like the interesting parts of the story start and end with him. Batman and Ra’s have a conversation that feels kind of meandering and like it runs around in circles, and another mystery for the story that’s teased on the cover occurs at the end, but I can’t say that I was really interested with what happens next. I’ll likely keep reading to see how the story unfolds, but I can’t say that I’d recommend jumping into this story without seeing if the quality gets better or not.

Fantastic Four #14 Review

Written by: Dan Slott

Art by: Paco Medina 

Colors by: Jesus Aburtov

Letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna 

The Fantastic Four has always been Marvel’s first family, and after a shaky decade of awful film reboots, a few character deaths, some canceling of titles, and a regaining of rights by Marvel, the Fantastic Four is back and better than ever, and writer Dan Slott is leading the charge. I didn’t get the chance to get in on the ground floor of this title, but with issue 14 being the start of a new storyline, I felt like now would be a great time to jump in. 

Issue 14 is the first part of the new story, “Point of Origin.” In this story arc, the Fantastic Four return to their original Marvel roots and set out on a space exploration journey to finish the original mission that gave them their powers. I absolutely love the idea for this story and am super excited to see where it goes. This story was very well written, and Slott is one of those writers who just understands these characters. We get a chance to see Reed’s endless desire for exploration, Ben’s constant search for happiness, and Johnny’s relentless need to prove himself. 

The artwork is awesome and somehow finds a way to walk the line between modern day comic books and the classic art style of the 1960’s. Artist Paco Medina is doing some career defining work with these characters and I’m almost at the point of only wanting to see these characters through his lens. The scene that opens the issue of the Richards family at the Marvel-1 unveiling was really well done and it set the stage for the issue great. The flashbacks to the accident that started it all were used very effectively and Johnny Storm’s origin was very well done. This issue has convinced me to give Slott’s run with the Fantastic Four a read through and I’m very excited to see what’s to come.

Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy #1 Review

Writer: Jody Houser

Pencils: Adriana Melo 

Inks: Mark Morales

Letters: Gabriela Downie

*This Review will contain spoilers for Heroes in Crisis!*

Rock band, Cobra Starship, once said that good girls can go bad, but this is what happens when Bad Girls Go Good.

After being killed and then resurrected (reborn?) in ‘Heroes In Crisis’ Poison Ivy is having trouble keeping her new (old?) humanoid shape and Harley Quinn is doing her best to figure out a way to help her favorite girl. However, Harley is also trying to figure out her place in the world while trying to help Ivy.

I have to admit, despite my immense love for ‘Heroes In Crisis’ I wasn’t really excited for this series. I mean I like Harley Quinn in spurts, but overall she annoys me in any series where she is the focus. However, when I do like her, 9 times out of 10 it’s when she’s interacting with Poison Ivy so I decided I should give it a try. While it wasn’t a great issue to start the mini-series it did at least set enough interesting strands up that I can see myself returning to it. I especially love the struggle that Harley is going through to find her place in the world, she isn’t sure if she is a hero or a villain and really doesn’t know which one she wants it to be. While personally I think that is a story that is about 5 years past being solved and it’s become pretty obvious the character is closer to a hero or anti-hero than villain it does create an interesting thread and examines the importance of overcoming the past and becoming more. The book also brings in a certain character to seemingly be the antagonist whom I know pretty much nothing about, but I got excited to see their presence. 

Overall, this book was a slog to get through for about three quarters and felt oddly like a Year of the Villain tie in, without ever actually paying off as one, but when it finally got to the actual introduction of the issues in the book I actually really enjoyed it and found myself not wanting it to end yet. 

Immortal Hulk #23 Review

Writer: Al Ewing 

Pencils: Joe Bennett 

Inks: Ruy Jose with Belardino Brabo 

Colors: Paul Mounts with Matt Milla 

Letters: VC’S Cory Petit 

First things first this isn’t The Incredible Hulk this is The IMMORTAL HULK! The Incredible Hulk is dead, Bruce Banner killed him! Only the Devil Hulk remains supreme. Bruce and the Hulk can die every day, but what is dead may never die. As soon as the sun goes down the Immoral Hulk awakens. The night is his time. The Hulk rules the night. Any monster, pestilence or army generals are no match for the Devil Hulk. 

Immortal #22 left us off with Gamma Flight looking for some much needed revenge against General Fortean and the Shadow Base. Of course it was a trap that they ran right into, in true superhero fashion Hulk and company come to the rescue, or do they? 

Hulk is just a monster but is he calculated? Or is he both? Funny how Hulk is just a monster but has never killed an innocent bystander. The truth is the Hulk always has a plan – all the rage, all the pain, and all the mayhem is directed towards one goal. 

Immortal Hulk is one of my favorite ongoing horror books and continues to be a great super hero comic. Easily the most consistent comic books on shelves, each and every issue is firing on all cylinders.

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