25 Nov 2007

Mini Reviews 25/11/07

Writer: Ed Brubaker
Art: Steve Epting & Butch Guice
Marvel $2.99

Matt C: Seven issues after the title character’s demise and this series shows no sign of slowing down. Simply put, this is the best comic Marvel is currently publishing. Brubaker’s been firing on all cylinders ever since he took over the book and his storytelling is anything but predictable – the way he’s resurrected Bucky, avoiding potential disaster to create one of Marvel’s most fascinating character’s, never ceases to amaze me. Epting continues to bring an astonishing sense of realism to every situation, no matter how outlandish, and his choreography of action sequences is brilliantly achieved. I have no idea where this story’s headed but every cliffhanger Brubaker drops leaves me eager for more. 10/10

Matt T: Matt's right on the button here in my opinion. Each issue seems to defy clichés, and the action is always superbly rendered. I can't get those Alex Ross Cap images out of my head, but I'm not the slightest bit worried about how Brubaker is going to get there, as he's proved up till now that there's no one else who could be writing Cap any better. 9/10

Writer: Joss Whedon and Brian Lynch
Art: Franco Urru
IDW $3.99

Matt T: Following on from the end of Buffy-spinoff, Angel, After The Fall follows the characters that seemingly perished after the TV show was cancelled. Our undead title character is still fighting the forces of darkness though, and the writing maintains the level of wit normally associated with Joss Whedon. The art is something of a letdown though, with some established characters tricky to make out as the detail is lacking. 7/10

Writer: Christos N Gage
Art: Brian Denham
Marvel $2.99

Matt T: Why put a one shot in the middle of an ongoing series? It’s something of a tricky question when it comes to this particular case, as Breaking Point offers little in the way of change to the status quo. Songbird is front and centre, which is no bad thing, but all this book seems to achieve is breaking down the relationship between her and Moonstone from simmering dislike to on-the-surface hatred. 7/10

Writer: Paul Dini
Art: Tom Derenick & Wayne Faucher
DC $2.99

Matt T: Countdown is clearly trying to build up Superman Prime as the ‘Big Bad’ of this series, but it all feels a little forced, with him spending an entire issue acting like a spoilt brat and generally bullying Mr Mxyztplk. Where Infinite Crisis had him as a slightly more believable angsty villain, Countdown seems to be trying a little too hard to make him evil, forgetting the characterisation that makes him convincing. 6/10

Matt C: Okay, I’m lost now. When did Mr Mxyzptlk get involved? Why do I feel that huge chunks of story are now being shifted to the various Countdown spin-offs leaving me scratching my head, wondering what’s going on? Bar the great cover by J.G. Jones there seemed to be very little point to this issue. That’s the trouble with this series: it’s one step forward followed by two steps back. 2/10

Writer: Darwyn Cooke
Art: Darwyn Cooke & J. Bone
DC $2.99

Matt C: We finally reach the conclusion of the El Morte storyline with a battered and beaten Spirit facing off against a horde of zombies. Every issue of this book is an absolute joy to behold, as near as perfect as a comic book can get. I’m gutted that Darwyn Cooke is leaving after the next issue, but I’m eternally grateful to him for introducing me to the character, and for leaving me such a wonderful addition to my collection. 10/10

Writer: James Kuhoric
Art: Jason Craig
DC/Wildstorm $2.99

Matt T: Unlike many of the other Ash/Army of Darkness spinoffs, this one was actually a movie script that never came to be. Because of which, the pacing isn’t perfect for comics, and the first issue takes too long to get all three title characters on the page. Still, the art is excellent and the writing snappy, with some stupid teenagers getting brutally murdered thrown in for good measure. A solid start, but Ash needs to be central in #2. 7/10

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Mike Oeming
Marvel/Icon £3.95

Matt T: No matter what Marvel are throwing at Bendis at the moment, Powers keeps on trucking in impressive fashion. Deena Pilgrim’s storyline reads like a clever mob story, whereas Walker’s procedural investigative tale takes some interesting twists. This is clearly building towards something, and I can wait to find out what. 8/10

Matt C: I may find his Marvel Universe books less than impressive but Bendis still holds my interest with Powers most of the time. When this book goes off on a tangent it more often than not becomes unstuck, but when it sticks to the “cops solving super-powered crimes” angle – as it does here – it’s a decent read. 7/10

Writer: Matt Sturges
Art: Phil Winslade
DC $2.99

Matt T: The more gruesome overtones of the last few issues have been thankfully ditched in favour of a magical battle and Detective Chimp witticisms, making this issue a welcome return to form. A satisfying resolution of the main storyline with an impressively drawn magic battle leaves the duller secondary tale to take the spotlight in the next issue. 7/10

Writer: Will Pfeifer
Art: David Lopez & Alvaro Lopez
DC $2.99

Matt C: Will Pfeifer continues to give our villain-turned-heroine a hard time: just when Selina thinks she can’t lose anything else, something more is taken from her. Sales of this title suggest it may not be long for this world, but I hope they can find a way to keep it going because I find it to be one of the most enjoyable comics DC puts out. 8/10

Writer: C.B. Cebulski
Art: Karl Moline
Marvel $2.99

Matt T: One of those books that lost it’s way a little, starting in impressive fashion then faltering slightly, before ending rather abruptly, with little resolved. A decent sized battle and some double-crossings are afoot, but the art is patchy in places. The door is left open for another series, but this first arc seemed something of a wasted opportunity to my mind. 7/10

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