IV-Blog Page 2014

 

Comic/Manga Reviews 9-20-14

This is a new segment I’m planning on doing weekly, depending on how you guys feel about this. Given that I am a huge fan of comics and making one of my own, I thought I’d give my two cents about comics and/or new manga I’ve been reading. Maybe make some suggestions for you guys. 😉

To start out I decided I’d limit it to 1 book per 3 Categories: A DC book,  a Marvel book, and one from another publisher and/or indie book. Nothing new manga-wise for me this week so I’ll save that category for another time.

Without Further ado, lets get started!

Edge of Spider-Verse # 2

 

I’ve been loving the current Spider-Man series, and I am pumped for the upcoming “Spider-Verse” event they’re setting up with this mini-series. The first issue (which focuses on Noir-verse Spider-Man) was a fun one-shot. Noir Spider-Man has always been a fan favorite of mine as far as the alternate universe Spider-Men were concerned. However issue 2 wowed me with a very interesting what-if: If Gwen Stacy was bitten by the spider instead.

This one-shot was a very fun and stylish look at a universe where Spidey’s doomed love was thrust into the role of the hero. It set up a much different universe, and promised some interesting stories that, sadly, had to be contained to a 2-page “Previously on Spider-Woman” section to set up the one-shot’s story, such as: Gwen at first using her powers for show-boating tasks such as playing drums in a band upside-down, this universe’s Peter Parker being a much more bitter and vengeful character who, despite Gwen’s friendship, vowed to make himself “special” and make everyone who made him miserable pay, turning himself into this universe’s Lizard, and Gwen ultimately causing his death while trying to stop him, and in turn being turned into New York’s most wanted.

The story itself focuses on Gwen after these events, full of rage, self-hatred, and guilt over Peter’s death, all the while trying to balance being fully committed to the band she’s a part of (The Mary Janes…Take a guess who’s the band leader), and using her powers to fight evil and dodge the police (led by her dad Captain Stacy, who has vowed to bring her alter-ego down).

The artwork for this one wasn’t that great, but it has a charming enough style to it.

Despite my personal feelings that they glossed over a much more interesting story (I.E. Her origins and this universe’s Peter Parker/Lizard), the main story itself is a good read, and as a character, this universe’s Gwen Stacy is a lot of fun. Also, I LOVE her costume design. Honestly its one of the best “Spider-costumes” I’ve seen so far in this event series that has a LOT of Spider-heroes. I truly hope that, whatever happens in Spider-verse later this year, Gwen survives it, and that Marvel makes either a prequel mini-series or a whole new series starring her, because after reading this one-shot, I want to see more of Gwen Stacy: Spider-Woman.

Rating:

Story: 4.5/5

Art: 3/5

Characters: 5/5

Overall: 4.5/5

Recommendation: A great read, pick it up if you can!

Batman Eternal #24

I’ll be honest, I haven’t been reading a lot of DC lately for certain reasons. Only things I’ve been faithfully following have been Batman, Batgirl, The Flash, and to a lesser extent, Batman Eternal. This weekly series promised me two things that got me majorly pumped for it: The return of a major fan favorite Bat Family character Stephanie Brown AKA Spoiler, and that the plucky and resourceful Punk girl Harper Row would finally enter the ranks of the Bat Family as Batman’s first official female sidekick (in the New 52 Continuity). However, 23 issues in, I have barely seen either of these two plotlines.  Batman Eternal has been a collossal mess, with like 20 different plotlines going on at once, and SOMEHOW they’re all connected. To name a few:

Commissioner Gordon is framed for mass murder and is imprisoned. the cops are slowly returning to their uber-corrupt Anti-Batman form under their new sinister Commissioner, supernatural hell is going on within Arkham Asylum that Batwing and the Spectre are currently dealing with, Tim Drake aka Red Robin investigates a strange Nano-machine virus plaguing the poorer parts of Gotham (with Harper Row tagging along, against his wishes), a very unstable Batgirl trying to prove her dad’s innocence (with Red Hood of all people trying to get her to calm the hell down), Stephanie Brown on the run from her supervillain dad after she witnesses a meeting of his supervillain crew (And their shadowy leader, who seems to be the mastermind behind this whole series), and trying to stop their sinister plans, and Catwoman going through some kind of existential crises of what she’s doing with her life and thinking about her family legacy. Oh yeah and Hush is back, still being a dick to Batman.

….Did I mention that this is supposed to be one single series?

What bugs me the most is that the plot-lines I actually care about (Harper and Tim’s misadventures, and Stephanie/Spoiler’s story) Have gotten little-to-no coverage in comparison to the rest of these cluster-**** plot-lines. That, however, changed this week.

Outside of a few pages dedicated to the Dark Knight FINALLY figuring out that Batwing and the Spectre may be in trouble over at Arkham, the rest of the story exclusively focuses on Stephanie. In this she discovers part of her father’s gang’s plan, which seems to be setting the city up for mass-riots via all of his gang’s specifically quirky abilities/talents doing subtle things to rile people up, such as Signalman slightly screwing with the traffic lights of Gotham to cause mass-gridlock, Ratcatcher using his rats to poison water-pipes within the sewer with pathogens, Prankster setting up rolling blackouts in the poorer sections on peak days (game days, holidays, events, ect) and so on. Its all so subtle, yet disturbingly effective.

The last-half is a rather intense motorcycle chase between Spoiler and her dad Cluemaster, who’s been trying to kill her for several issues to silence her. Not going to spoil how she wins this fight, but I will say it was a fantastic display, specifically keeping to the core of Stephanie’s character: She’s not a skilled fighter like the others, and most often relies on gadgets, cunning, and trickery to defeat her enemies, and this fight was a brilliant example of it.

The artwork for this one was pretty top-notch. Good anatomy, nice style, and I could clearly see everything the artist wanted me to see.

All in all, this was a story I’ve waited quite a few issues to read. Now if only Harper and Tim could get some love…

Rating:

Story: 5/5

Art: 4/5

Characters: 4/5

Overall: 5/5

Recommendation: A great read, but only if you’re a Stephanie Brown fan looking to finally see her back in action.

Giant Robot Warrior Maintenance Crew #1

This one isn’t technically new this week. Got this a couple of weeks ago. However, since this is my first post concerning reviews, I thought I’d use the Other/Indie section to review this little gem from Cosmic Times.

This wonderfully written parody of series such as Voltron takes place in the distant future, focusing on Erica Pratch, a young, optimistic fangirl of her Republic of Planet’s defender, a giant robot named Herotron, and its brave and heroic 5-man team of pilots. She graduated top of her class, with the sole wish to become a pilot. Tragically, she fails, but desperate to be part of her hero, she joins up for the maintenance crew instead…And she soon comes to regret this.

While on the outside Herotron looks shiny and new, on the inside it is a barely-held together wreck out of some kind of sci-fi horror movie. She discovers that the maintenance crew is typically put under extremely dangerous and stressful conditions of trying to keep Herotron up and running during its constant battles with alien monsters (as its explained a lot of its flashy and destructive weapons and attack modes often cause internal damages to the ship), and the “brave and heroic” pilots of Herotron are a bunch of arrogant, dimwitted assholes who barely acknowledge the maintenance crew’s existence down below, and has almost zero-regard for their well beings, as they constantly use Herotron’s flashy attacks, despite requests from the maintenance crew not to. Also there’s giant alien parasites skulking around Herotron’s crotch…Hey, you pick up a lot of things in space.

This series is a harsh, but fun deconstruction of the “giant robot hero” series, taken from the POV of the little guy trying to keep this symbol of hope up and running (and trying to suppress the urge to shoot its pilots out of the airlock).

The artwork is surprisingly great for an indie-release. Nice anatomy, and it has an interesting style. The story makes a very interesting choice to NOT show what the giant robot looks like outside of on the cover. Instead the entire story takes place within its broken down insides as the battles go on outside. It makes for an claustrophobic (in a good way) experience.

All in all, a very fun read from a company of underdogs much like their protagonists, and I will definitely be supporting this series.

Rating:

Story: 4.5/5

Art: 4/5

Characters: 5/5

Overall: 5/5

Recommendation: It was worth every penny. I would recommend it to everyone!

And that’s it for this segment. Let me know what you guys think. Should I keep doing this weekly? Should I add more than 3? Will Storm ever find love that doesn’t end badly (I’m looking at you Death of Wolverine)? I guess we’ll find out next week! Catch you guys later!