Invincible#80 REVIEW (Dinosaurus Preaches and Invincible Goes to a Comic Book Store)

15 06 2011

DINOSAURUS SMASH! Cover drawn by Ryan Ottley

 
 
Invincible#80
 
Written by: Robert Kirkman
 
Drawn by: Ryan Ottley
 
Inked by: Cliff Rathburn
 
Colored by: Nikos Koutsis
 
Published by: Image Comics
 
Price: $2.99
 
After a near two month wait we finally have the latest issue of Invincible, the BEST SUPERHERO COMIC BOOK ON THE SHELVES THESE DAYS. Was it worth the wait? DEFINITELY. In fact, this is one of THE BEST issues of Invincible that I have read in a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I did like the Viltrumite War story arc overall (I even had one of my letters published in an issue of the Viltrumite War issues), but it took too long for each issue to come out and most of the issues were “CRAPPER COMICS”, meaning that you could finish the comic in one sitting ON THE CAN.
 
Well, to my joy this issue was NOT a “crapper comic” because it took me a good 10-15 minutes to read (about 5 of those minutes were spent joyfully STARING at Ryan Ottley’s GORGEOUS art). There is a lot of dialogue in this issue, but all of it is GOOD dialogue that FLOWS VERY NICELY. A lot of it is even witty banter between Mark Grayson (Invincible) and his girlfriend, parents, and friends. There is even a scene in a COMIC BOOK STORE where Mark comments on some of the  BUSINESS PRACTICES of the COMIC INDUSTRY which threw me into a fit of laughter. That scene once again proves to me that Robert Kirkman is a writer with A PAIR OF B***s.
 
There was A LOT that happens in this issue and after that comic book store scene I thought that it would be hard to top that, but the VERY NEXT SCENE proved me wrong. I won’t spoil it, but all I will say is that it was a very touching moment that is a UNIQUE and INTERESTING spin on the whole aspect of the ‘superhero catching the bad guy who robbed a bank’. It yet ANOTHER example of Kirkman really making this book his own spin on a superhero story. It really is something truly spectacular.
 
The end of the book is spent featuring the LONG-AWAITED RETURN (at least, for me anyway) of DINOSAURUS! I swear, sometimes half the fun of reading Invincible is reading all of the NEW and FUN names that Kirkman has created for the heroes and villains that he has created. Right away we figure out very clearly WHO Dinosaurus is and what his MOTIVES are and it really does make his character special and unlike your average super villain. The results of his plan are… well, BIZZARE to say the least and make for a pretty good CLIFFHANGER. Now I know I was complaining about Kirkman’s occasional misuse of Splash Pages (pages that have no panels in them) and there IS a DOUBLE Splash page in this issue, but it was done CORRECTLY and added the effect of what happened and showed readers the scale and magnitude of what Dinosaurus had done.
 
It seems that with each issue of Invincible Ryan Ottley’s art keeps getting BETTER and BETTER. No complaints at all for his art. It’s gorgeous.
 
My only complaint would be that there was an element of the story that happened in the previous issue that I was hoping Kirkman would address right away, but didn’t. Slightly disappointed, but Kirkman isn’t the type of writer who drops a story element or plot and then leaves it hanging for long periods of time, so HOPEFULLY Kirkman will explore it in the next coming issues because I’m looking forward to see how he handles it.
 
Overall, A VERY SOLID COMIC AND SERIES. If you guys are interested in reading Invincible I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE you to read it. Don’t know where to start well you can start with the FIRST VOLUME of Invincible and work your way through each volume if you are enjoying it. There are a total of 14 volumes of Invincible out so far. You can find them at your LOCAL COMIC BOOK STORE, BOOK STORE, or USED BOOK STORE.
 
FEEL FREE TO COMMENT AND SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS! The water is FRESH, so please feel free to join in on the discussion!
 
I would rate Invincible#80:
 
9 out of 10 DINOSAURS
 
 
OUT OF
 




Fantastic Four#587 REVIEW (A Farewell To A Good Friend)

30 01 2011

Cover by Alan Davis

Fantastic Four#587

Written by: Jonathan Hickman

Drawn by: Steve Epting

Inks by: Rick Magyar, Mike Perkins, and Steve Epting

Colors by: Paul Mounts

Page Count: 28

Price: $3.99

Publisher: Marvel Comics

SPOILERS ARE PRESENT IN THIS REVIEW! IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THIS ISSUE YET AND DON’T WANT TO KNOW WHO DIES THEN SKIP THIS REVIEW AND COME BACK LATER.

So here we have it. The Fantastic Four ‘death’ issue Marvel has been hyping for about six months now. I only read the first part of this story arc, “Three” and then I dropped it since I wanted to save money. After reading this issue I really wish I had kept reading FF because I was LOST. Reed Richards was in Nu-World fighting Galactus, Sue Richards was with Namor, etc. Basically the FF and Reed and Sue’s kids are scattered across the universe and I have no clue what’s going on. I think I would’ve enjoyed this more had I read the issues that came out beforehand.

All that aside I actually enjoyed this issue. It keep things moving and everything led up to the final scene. I am a big fan of Jonathan Hickman’s work and while this isn’t as deep or mature as some of his other works have been it still keeps the entertainment quality that is present in his previous work. It’s fairly evident in this issue and the issues I bought when Hickman first started his run on Fantastic Four that he understands the family PERFECTLY. There is not one moment in his run where I’ve questioned the character’s motives or if they would have done that. I LOVE how Hickman portrays Franklin and Valeria, Reed and Sue Richards’ kids. Their little rascals who get bored easy and cause a bunch of trouble, but also are a big help when need be. Again the story was confusing to me, probably due to the fact that I haven’t read a few of the issues before this one. Also there were a lot of splash pages in this story which I think is a lazy way of reaching your deadline on time. Splash pages are used for EFFECT and NOT for REACHING YOUR DEADLINE ON TIME.

There also were a lot of pages with little to no dialogue, but towards the end Hickman uses these types of pages EFFECTIVELY. HERE’S WHERE THE SPOILERS COME IN. The page I’m talking about is the pages where The Thing watches as Annihulus’ army surrounds Johnny Storm as the door closes on him as The Thing sheds a tear. The last page is The Thing holding Franklin and Valeria in his arms. Those kinds of pages with little to no dialogue are what they should be used for. I also love how Sue Storm puts Namor in his place during this issue 🙂

I’m not a huge fan of Steve Epting, I liked his art on Captain America, but for all intents and purposes the art didn’t really enhance nor let down this issue. It didn’t help that there were THREE INKERS on the book, one of them being Epting himself. The art does look inconsistent in certain places of the book, again because of the different inkers.

So with this issue we say good-bye to Johnny Storm AKA the Human Torch. He has always been my favorite member of the FF. I loved his coolness he had about him and the light-heartedness he brought to the team and I ALWAYS enjoyed it when he and the Thing would argue and fight, see Marvel Fanfare#15 for a GREAT example of this 🙂 I even remember my dad handing me his Human Torch action figure for me to play with and I remember my uncle pretending that the action figure was actually on fire and was burning him, as he doused the toy with water.

So good-bye Human Torch… we’ll see you in about six months to a year 🙂

RATING: B





IT’S HERE! ComicBookDude’s Comic Talk Podcast- Episode ONE

30 12 2010

AT LONG LAST!

The first episode of my podcast is here! Sorry for the brief delay of time when I said this was supposed to come out, but I ran into some technical setbacks. Regardless of that I mananged to get through those obstacles and here we have it:

http://www.archive.org/details/ComicbookdudesComicTalkPodcast-EpisodeOne

Click that link if you want to download it!

For the time being you guys will have to check out the podcast through that link. Eventually I’ll have it so that you folks can listen to it through the blog. Be sure to live feedback and let people know about this podcast! I will try to get this out on a weekly/bi-weekly schedule. It depends on how my schedule looks like and how much there is to talk about. Thanks for taking your time to listen in!

In this podcast I introduce myself and explain what this podcast is about. I discuss my two cents on Marvel’s new event book coming out in April 2010 called Fear Itself by Matt Fraction and Stuart Immonen. I also review Chew#16, Invincible#76, Superior#3, The Guild- Vork#1, and American Vampire#10.





Wonder Woman#601 REVIEW (Is this “all-new” Wonder Woman any good?)

30 07 2010

Cover art by Don Kramer and Michael Babinski

Wonder Woman#601   

Writer: J. Michael Straczynski   

Artist: Don Kramer with inks by Michael Babinski   

Publisher: DC Comics   

Price: $2.99   

Here we are! New Wonder Woman! New costume! New creative team! After reading Wonder Woman#600 I figured this was as good a time as any to jump on board and start reading Wonder Woman. Mind you, I have read a few issues of Gail Simone and Greg Rucka’s run, but I have yet to fully follow a run of Wonder Woman. I was hoping that this would be a run I would want to continue with the story. With JMS working on the writing chores that increased my hope. I’m interested to see if he can do to Wonder Woman, what he did with Spider-Man. So, I bought this issue with high hopes. Were they met? For the most part yes.   

I knew that JMS had changed Diana’s (Wonder Woman for those who don’t know her real name) origin. I am bit ashamed to admit this since Diana is one of my favorite female fiction characters, but since I had no idea what her origin was this was interesting and new for me. Very quickly into the story you see that amazons are a tough breed of women. Basically they’re the female versions of the Spartans. As usual, JMS does a great job at keeping me interested in the story and has me not wanting to put the book down. The story is fast-paced. Not too fast, but not too slow. The story remains interesting throughout the book. The pacing is perfect for the book. One thing that bothered me was the plane scene. How do you doze off on a plane and not be thrown off? I didn’t get that. I understand that she’s Wonder Woman, but that was a bit too much. Overall the story was great.   

The art was the biggest surprise of the book. I did not expect to like it as much as I did. Don Kramer does a nice job on art chores and he manages to pull of a Nicola Scott (whose are I love, by the way) feel to his art. The art was another factor that played into keeping the story interesting. It worked very well with the feel and pacing of the story. So kudos to you Don for the nice looking art.   

Overall this was a nice package that was worth the price I paid. I will definitely be sticking around for a while in hopes of it staying at this level of quality and possibly beyond that level. I am happy where it’s at now, but it would be cool to see the quality go up. Now that would be a rockin’ comic book!  

Rating: B+





Scarlet#1 REVIEW (Is this the third strike for Bendis?)

14 07 2010

Cover art by Alex Maleev

Scarlet#1 

Written by: Brian Michael Bendis 

Drawn by: Alex Maleev 

Price: $3.95 

Publisher: Marvel/Icon Comics 

You know that saying: “three strikes and your out?” Well to me that’s what my feelings toward Bendis have been recently. Avengers was strike one. New Avengers was strike two. So was Scarlet strike three? I can honestly say that Scarlet definitely was not a strikeout. 

(POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD) 

Scarlet is about a girl who is basically trying to right the wrongs of the world, by eliminating the evil-doers. Throughout the entire issue the protagonist breaks the fourth wall constantly to tell the reader her story. To me, as an aspiring comic book writer myself, the technique of breaking the fourth wall is a dangerous one to use. It can either go well and work well with the story or it can fall flat on its face. In this book Bendis does it near-perfect. It’s a very unique way of telling his story and does a nice job of getting you emotionally invested in the character because she’s talking directly to you, the reader. Also the fourth wall breaking is the method of telling the story and not just a gimmick (like when Jessica Jones’ baby looks at you in an issue of New Avengers). There is a part where she and her boyfriend are running away from a policeman, who is a heavy narcotics user. Just when you think they’ve gotten away her boyfriend gets shot from behind by the policeman and is killed. That scene made me feel so bad for the protagonist, where in Bendis’ Avenger books I don’t give two craps about any of the characters in those books and what happens to them. 

The fourth wall breaking was so well done that, at times, I felt that this was based on a true story. I really did. The great thing about this book is that there is a strong female protagonist who reminds me a lot of Deena Pilgrim from Powers, which is another good Bendis book (the new volume is terrible, though). If you go back to my earlier blogs I’d constantly complain about the frequent misogyny in Bendis’ mainstream books. I don’t know why he can’t write all his female characters like this. Clearly he can write them really well, but he has also shown that he can do some pretty nasty things to them as well. Now, some bad things happen to this girl and I’m sure more bad things will happen to her, but when the bad things happened I felt an emotion other than disgust. I felt bad for her. There was also a funny Twilight joke which brought up a good point that all girls want nowadays is a pretty boy who’ll protect them 24/7. 

I can’t finish this review in good conscience without talking about the art. I have never been a huge of Alex Maleev’s art, but this is by far the best art I’ve seen him do. It’s truly a work of art. I’m still no fan of his, but I’m glad he did a nice job on the art chores. Now I do have a couple of complaints about this book. One was that there was no Parental Advisory or Explicit Content warning on the cover OR on the back of the book. This book is definitely NOT for those kids under let’s say 14-15 years of age. There is a ton of swearing, a fair share of violence, and some brief sex scenes. I’m usually ok with this if it doesn’t go overboard or becomes too much, but when you don’t put a warning on the cover of the book, I’m sorry but I’m gonna call the company out on this. The other thing I didn’t like about this book is… that I have to wait a month for the next issue!!! 

All in all it was a very solid issue that sets up the next issue perfectly and I can hardly wait for the next issue. For all of you who bought this last week, I don’t have to wait as long as you, so HAHA! 😀 

This is the Brian Bendis I know and love. I loved AKA Goldfish and his work on Ultimate Spider-Man. Why he can’t write like he does in this book and the stuff that he’s written that I’ve enjoyed, I don’t know. But I certainly hope he stays and I’m glad he’s still capable of writing solid stories.