Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Stryder's Favourite Comics - Release Date 2/22/2012

Proving once again that I have too much going on every day, here it is new comic book day and I'm just posting last week's comics!!  Luckily since it's a leap year, today's new comic day is only one book, and thus I don't feel all THAT late.  Ahh rationalization...what a great human art. 

Speaking of great human art...COMICS!

The Flash #6 - “In the five years I’ve been the Flash, I’ve faced many adversaries…but none as persistent as Captain Cold.”  This issue sees Captain Cold, the villain who, in a very roundabout way, is responsible for the new DC 52 universe in the first place, make his debut in this new universe!  And clichéd or not, this time…it’s PERSONAL.  Captain Cold has somehow acquired new powers, making his old freeze gun obsolete.  However, this is NOT what makes him so much more dangerous.  Always before he’s fought for material gain.  This time, he’s fighting for a very personal cause.  No one is more dangerous than when they are protecting someone they love.

Speaking of love…as always, I love the Flash!  The Flash, of course, loves his new girlfriend…Patty?!?  Not Iris?  Interesting…Barry asks Patty to be his girlfriend in this issue in a scene right out of any shy guy’s life.  It was awesome.  In many ways, Flash is the most realistic of super heroes.  His normal life is actually a normal life!  Or it will be, if he and Patty survive the next issue!!

Overall Run:

-Great cast, great writing, great art, great dialogue!  What more can I ask for?
-Isn’t the Flash the nicest guy in the (comic book) world?  If you can’t get behind him as a hero, why even bother reading comics?  He’s everything you want to be as an 8 year old running around playing superhero…

-I am having a hard time learning the names of all the supporting cast, particularly in Barry’s workplace.  That’s all I got

Score: 4.5 out of 5 super-accelerated lightning bolts!!  This may be my personal favourite book, which is why it DOESN’T get 5 out of 5.  I think I’m TOO biased.

Lots more after the jump!

Batman The Dark Knight #6 -  No secrets being kept here...right on the cover it's THE RISE OF BANE!!!!  Cool!  Batman's still trying to fight off the effects of the venom-like toxin he was given last issue, along with a bit of help from Superman and the Flash, when out comes Bane to take credit for the scheme, gloat about how he was the one who broke the bat before, and generally beat the crap outta poor Bruce.  It's been a rough month for him!
I've always thought Bane was a cool bad guy, at least in concept, but I really only know bits and pieces about him.  Aside from the giant KnightFall story line (being reviewed by Luke RIGHT HERE) I only know what I've pieced together through bubble-gum wrappers.  Mainly that when Bane shows up, it's gonna be trouble.  What I DO know is, perhaps aside from the appearance in Arkham City, I've NEVER seen Bane LOOK better.  This is a man that could believably break the bat (again!).  No Penguin or Ventriloquist here...Bane is a monster!!  I can`t wait to see what happens next!

Overall Run:
-Brilliant artwork...David Finch is fantastic in practically every panel
-A fast-paced and twist-laden story that I still can't predict.  Having no idea what's going to happen next is novel indeed!  

-I don't know HOW this can possibly fit into the other Bat-books, continuity wise.  It feels almost like it's own alternate universe. 

Score: 4 out of 5 cowardly and superstitious criminals!  It's quite the ride!

Aquaman #6 - You know that pretty but strangely aloof red head that is occasionally spotted near Aquaman?  She calls herself Mera but the world often refers to her as Aquawoman?  Anyway, this month they've decided to give her her very own personality and story arc!!  What?  Not only that, but it's actually interesting!!!
Yes, this issue is very rightfully called "Mera Unleashed!" and chronicles the sordid tale of Mera going to the store to buy dog food.  An wretched asswipe of a store clerk, one who obviously learned how to treat women from watching apes at the zoo, gets a  little fresh.  Mera gets a little bone-shattery.  It's a GOOD thing.  All that in only a the first few pages!  Anyone not reading this book really is missing out!

Overall Run:

-A fresh and (at least to me) unique take on Aquaman AND Mera, which plays on Arthur's rep as the "useless" one and makes the characters two of the most interesting in the DCU
-There's a lot of "epic" in this tale, with kings and ancient history and worlds divided, and yet, it also feels like one of the most real and down to earth titles going.  Oxymoron?  Maybe.  Fantastic comic?  Absolutely!

-I didn't really dig on the piranha men from under the sea plot that started this off.  It seemed a little horror-moviesque.  Won me over with hints of a deeper plot though.

Score:  4 out of 5 orange scale-mail shirts!  One of the best of the new 52!

Teen Titans #6 - Red Robin and the gang have to deal with the fallout from last month's battle with Superboy!  All of them are a little battered, but Kid Flash just may have ran himself to death!  Can guest star Virgil "Static Shock" Hawkins figure out some way to save the Kid in his role as a StarLabs intern?  While this is going on, we also get to learn a little something more about young Bart Allen.  A few hints about where he's from and what he's doing here.  Nothing major yet, but tantalizing!

Oh also, Static apparently invented Red Robin's new wings!  That's cool.  I hope that he joins the team when his own book ends in a couple months.

Under his outfit, Tim's wearing a Green Lantern T-Shirt!  How cool is that??

Not only this, but a new villain introduced!  A psychotic and creepy looking teenage meta-human named Grymm.  It may be just me, but are his mouth and one eye just drawn or tattooed on?? 

Also, the return of Skitter, and some great character development and interaction between Wonder Girl and Bunker in which he informs her (surprising NO ONE) that he is gay.  As if the pink and purple wasn't enough.   There was some great interaction here, and if Red Robin is the brains of Teen Titans, I have a feeling that Bunker is going to become both conscience AND heart! 

Oh and how awesome that the team fought Superboy and they DIDN'T immediately become teammates afterwards.  They may in the future, and that's fine, but it didn't happen in the usual, cliched comic way and I for one am thrilled!  Good work!

Overall Run:

-I am a huge Tim Drake fan and always have been (we were the same age, once).  I also love me some Kid Flash.  However, I knew NONE of the other characters in this book 6 months ago.  Now they are some of my favourite ever!
-Some cool character moments (hero and villain) in this run but also some lame teen-age folly.  It's nice that these characters really act like the TEEN titans rather than the Slightly Shorter Adult Titans.  All hormones and neurosis...

-The initial team formation seemed a little rushed.  I would have liked a slower burn with Tim searching people out for longer.
- N.O.W.H.E.R.E. = L.A.M.E.  A.C.R.O.N.Y.M.  But it's probably not all Teen Titans fault.  They're in a few titles...

Score:  4 out of 5 Titans wearing DC Merchandise!  DC is on a role!!

Superman #6 - So last month I more or less trashed Superman #5.  This month Superman takes his revenge, making me look dumb with a well-though out, interesting conclusion to the randomness that has been issues 1-5!  I couldn't be happier!
This is the last issue of Supes with writer George Perez and he really ties his story together and tries to make up for the seeming lack of direction and stilted dialogue of the earlier books.  He even manages to reference every other "Super" book in this issue in a way that makes sense and encourages you to pick them up, without feeling like a blatant marketing gimmick!  Good work! 

Oh the "Does Lois Know??" mystery is not conclusively solved, but I am going to say she at the very least has a GOOD IDEA...

PS:  Supergirl shows up.  She hits things and gets mad.  Nice that she's in character?

Overall Run:
-Clever sci-fi plot with some decent attempts at misdirection.  Lots of world-building that felt far more like a "reboot" than say, Detective Comics or Wonder Woman
-Artwork, especially in issues 1, 2 and 4 with penciller Jesus Mèrino is epic

-Frustrating and inconsistent dialogue takes away from the overall plot
-Frequent change in pencillers is jarring

Score: 2.5 out of 5 indestructible alien costumes!  If it were just issue #6 it would be 3.5 out of 5...or if it were Green Lantern or, say, Captain Marvel...I might go easier on this title.  Since it's arguably the MOST RECOGNIZABLE super hero EVER???  I hold you to a higher standard...sorry Clark.  Hopefully the new creative team next month will hit it out of the park!

So that's it for today but come back tomorrow or the next day for the final #6 - JUSTICE LEAGUE!!  See ya then!

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