Monday, February 20, 2012

Stryder's Favourite Comics - Release Date 2/15/2012 PART II

Happy Family Day everybody!*  I haven't got a family, so in lieu of whatever I'm supposed to be doing on this recently invented holiday, I read more comics!  Shocking!!

If you haven't read part I of this week's comics yet, you can find it HERE.  Ok right to it then?

Wonder Woman #6 - Wonder Woman continues to face problems within her newly discovered divine family.  Normal day-to-day concerns tend to seem inconsequential when stuck in the middle of a power struggle between the gods!  Poseidon, Hades and Hera all get involved as Wonder Woman struggles through both fight and parley to protect young Zola, the girl carrying Zeus' newest, unborn son.

Diana is a clever cookie....with the help of Hermes the messenger and her recently-found half-brother Lennox, she almost manages to outmanoeuvre the gods!  She certainly gives Hera a hard time!  Unfortunately for both Diana and Zola, Hades isn't quite so easily fooled.

Once again we had fill-in artist Tony Akins on pencils.  Next month apparently Chiang is back and I'll be happier, although I do look forward to seeing more work from Akins.  Preferably something where he gets to draw in his OWN style more. 

Overall Run: 

-I know almost nothing about Wonder Woman, and this story, to me at least, is riveting! 
-Plot and dialogue combine to create something that is both very informative and deep while also being very exciting visually with a lot of action!  This book seems to have found the perfect balance between fighting and talking...rare in comics!

-Even though I enjoyed the fill-in penciller, I still hate that they have to have one so soon into a run, particularly with a character like Wonder Woman who should be as big as Batman or Superman if they would just give her her due... 

Score: 4 out of 5 decapitated horse monsters!!  I would have given her 4.5 if Chiang had done the whole run....

As always, more after the JUMP!!

Red Hood and the Outlaws #6 - This month we go back in time to learn how Jason Todd first met Princess Koriand'r of the planet Tamaran.  In other words, when Red Hood met the Outlaws!  This is a story that I found surprisingly touching!  This book has mainly been, in my mind, a throwback to the comics of old...those 90's comics like X-Force or Ghost Rider that were all testosterone and large-breasted women.  This month proves that Red Hood has a little more to say than that, with an issue almost entirely devoted to character development.  Through a series of conversations and a few revealing flashbacks, we learn more about Jason and Kori in this one issue than I've know...ever!

This comic is one of those rare issues that really makes me like the whole series a lot more.  Consider the cast of Red ex heroin addict, an exiled alien princess and the only character EVER whom readers voted to have killed...AND HE WAS!!!  Maybe we should replace "Outlaws" with "Outcasts" in the title of this book?  Regardless, I think this book purposely put these loser characters together and started them out as a cliched comic-book trope in order to win us over now!  Symbolic of the "loser" characters who are determined to win regardless!

Or maybe I'm reading too much into it.  Still, I like it!  Great issue!

Overall run:

-A story fast-paced and entertaining enough to keep me from noticing that I have no idea what's going on, STILL.
-This book is like an experiment that's gutsy and new and maybe expected to do poorly, and yet it's been improving each month!  I find myself very invested in both Jason and Kori all of the sudden!  I want to know more and that's saying a lot about characters I had ZERO interest in only a few months ago! 

-The slow-build and silly cliched writing in the first issue or three probably turned a lot of people off.
-The alien-hunting freak from issues 4 and 5 seemed like a pointless "B" plot to give Starfire something to do while the boys were doing the "serious" work.  

Score: 3.5 out of 5 sanity-stripping Lazarus pits!  How did I become more interested in JASON TODD than I am in Dick Grayson?  What IS the world coming to???

Supergirl #6 - Last issue Supergirl met and battled a "Kryptonian Worldkiller" named Reign on an asteroid that housed the city of Argo, her one-time home.  Argo was ripped out of Krypton before it's destruction and ended up in a decaying orbit around a small blue star.  Reign was actually being quite reasonable and wanted to pool knowledge with Kara to find answers about what happened.  Kara, of course, just wanted to punch her a lot.  This turned out to be a mistake, as Reign pretty easily defeated Kara and left her for dead, before flying off to find Earth and make it her own.

This issue, Kara is FINALLY starting to use her brain rather than her yellow-sun fuelled hormones to resolve issues.  After moping about how she's a failure and about to die for a while (to be fair, she does this while pinned to the wall with a sword, as in the excellent cover art), Kara hallucinates her dead parents and finds the will to escape and pursue Reign, in an effort to stop her from enslaving OUR planet.  Oh yeah and Argo falls into the sun.  Oh well....not like anyone was alive there... 

Overall Run: 

-I really enjoy the art's more realistic than in most comics, with a more subdued colour palette and some interesting character designs
-Kara may not be that likeable since she's awoken from her escape pod, but the author does a good job of portraying the sort of mental shock and...I want to say spaceship-lag? That she experiences.  I appreciate the attempt at realism and human emotion in a story about super-powered space aliens!

-Kara's sulky teenage ways are obviously wearing thin on me, FAST.  Despite my empathy for her situation
-I feel like there is a lot of exposition in this book and yet I STILL  don't know very much about what's going on.  Keep Kara in the dark if you want to, but let me know at least a LITTLE more...

Score:  2.5 out of 5 traumatized space teens...JUST a .5 away from being dropped.  Luckily next month looks more interesting...

And that's it for this week!  Until next Wednesday at least, when Aquaman, Flash, Superman and more come to play!

*Yes, I'm aware that you Americans have something called "President's Day" today.  I assume it's to honour Bob Loblaw, president of Loblaw's groceries and founder of popular food and product line "President's Choice".  They DO make excellent chocolate chip cookies!

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