COMIC BOOK REVIEWS: DC ROUND UP WEEK 11-16-2016
This week Batman’s plans for Operation: Break Bane’s Damn Back! Continues with an unexpected (but not really) twist, Green Arrow continues to deliver, and I basically give up Aquaman being interesting. To top it off I’m thinking I’ll finally drop Suicide Squad as despite Jim Lee’s artwork the story is just dumb. It’s lowest common denominator dumb. Characters acting different then they do anywhere else, being forced to feel more like the “movie”, and now potential zombie Captain Boomerangs. How did the other books fair this week? Read on!
STORY: Dan Abnett ART: Philippe Briones, Gabe Eltaeb
REVIEW: So it takes Arthur nearly getting beaten to death by the Shaggy Man (yes that’s a real villain, a robot that’s indestructible and looks like Big Foot) to finally win some good graces back with the public after the many attempts by secret organization NEMO to frame him and Atlantis for attacks on the U.S. Everyone is hugging and making amends, which is exactly when Black Manta decides is the best time for this fake Atlantean mercs “The Deluge” to attack every major city. Now all the friends who just made nice with Arthur will quickly be like “oh F that, we gunna beat you up now!” because that’s how people think, and on one remotely assumes this is also part of NEMO’s plan to frame Arthur. This book sucks. The art keeps flipping, (but still looks nice) the characters just are blah, nothing about this Arthur is inspiring or intimidating. He just fought the world’s most dangerous Big Foot. I’m done. It’s gone.
STORY: Tom King ART: Mikel Janin, Hugo Petrus, June Chung, Clayton Cowles
REVIEW: I like Tom King’s writing. I really do. I’ve been enjoying his Batman run thus far, his Vision series was amazing. This though, this storyline is dumb. We had Batman getting his back broke then while floating in water with a broken back, managing to throw punches hard enough to break cracks into concrete, use them to hoist himself up the wall, re-break his own back, thus setting it back to place, and then walk around like nothing ever happened. I get it, Batman is badass, but this is just stupid! Now, we get a more Catwoman focused storyline where apparently she’s not responsible for the death of 237 people, (because Catwoman has always been a mass murderer) and then like clockwork (and somehow to the surprise of Batman) betrays the team, kills two of the team members in cold blood and offers up another to Bane. I’m sure this is all part of a plan, but then while Batman is hiding in the shadows he shouldn’t respond with “OH NO!” because that means he didn’t anticipate any of this, so later on if it’s written with Batman being all cool and slick like “I knew that was gonna happen” I call B.S. Anyway, the real reason this book is amazing right now is Mikel Janin who’s one of the premiere artist in the business. Every page feels like it’s been through film noire reel, and it’s amazing! The shadows are great, the body movement is great, the art just kicks butt! The story will be forgotten about by the end of the year, but readers will definitely keep wanting to see more Janin.
GREEN ARROW #11
STORY: Ben Percy ART: Juan Ferreyra, Nate Piekos
REVIEW: Still a consistent hit, Green Arrow remains my top pick every week it comes out. The writing is sharp and crisp, the artwork always stunning, and an excellent balance of story and action. The action moments on the train drawn by Ferreyra are simply breath taking! The plot by Percy continues to keep moving forward at a pace that matches this super underwater caboose! Oliver and crew couldn’t stop an assassin from killing a diplomat trying to set up world piece, well they sure as hell will avenge that diplomat and track down his murderer! If you haven’t been reading GA, then seriously go get the back issues and jump on as the hype train is legit!
GREEN LANTERNS #11
STORY: Sam Humphries ART: Robson Rocha, Jay Leisten, Cam Smith, Blond, Dave Sharpe
REVIEW: I’m digging this Phantom Ring storyline, but this issue definitely felt like we rushed what could have been an awesome plot development. Frank starts the issue off using his powers (Will) to save a boy and his dog from a tornado. This attracts the local media, and Frank is eating up the cameras. That’s when Simon and Jessica decide to ruin his fun and show to take the ring back. What starts off as the local boy and his family (and the camera crew) turning on the GLs, claiming Frank a hero escalate to Frank flipping out, running through the emotional spectrum and of course ending on Avarice! So yes, the story is moving forward and should still be interesting, but I think I would have liked it with Frank actually being a “better” GL than the GLs. Maybe being able to do more because of the Phantom Rings ability to tap into any emotional energy. Then let that lead up to his ego and greed overcoming him and the avarice showing. Anyway, this is where we are, and it’s still good but as always I feel this series is just a few steps away from being something so much better. Robson Rocha is back on art duties this time around, and as always he brings it! It’s too bad there are always delays on his artwork as he really has a strong understanding for all these characters. Still, an overall good issue that will keep me coming back for now.
STORY: Tim Seeley ART: Marcio Takara, Marcelo Maiolo, Carlos M Mangual
REVIEW: So this issue managed to do a few things. First, it helped make a strong departure from the Monster Men and Raptor story lines. Second, it re-established the relationship /dynamic between Nightwing and Superman. Third, along with the dynamic it re-affirmed that indeed Dick still got the name Nightwing from a story Superman told him about a vigilante from Krypton. Then last, it would appear the series is going to bring Nightwing back to his roots and land him in Bludhaven. I am a huge fan of Takara, so I really hope he stays on this book for time being, but he seems get bumped around from company to company, book to book. Regardless, this seems like the right direction for Nightwing.
SUICIDE SQUAD #6
STORY: Rob Williams ART: Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Sandra Hope, Matt Banning, Alex Sinclair
REVIEW: So it turns out Rick Flag isn’t just really angry at Waller, but in fact is driven to supreme anger by the Dark Vortex (aka the Phantom Zone Portal currently in ARGUS possession). It seems the vortex is driving everyone crazy, and now of course Zod might be waking up too. IT’s a really bad day for the Squad, it’s also really badly written. Rob Williams to me just isn’t the writer for this book. Everything here feels like it should be an “Earth One” situation, as no one feels organic compared to how they are portrayed in others books. Lee’s art is really great, but it just doesn’t save what could be an awesome book from being mediocre. I kind of just want all the character’s heads to explode and be done with it already. Zombie Captain Boomerang or not, I’m over it and dropping the book.
STORY: Peter J Tomasi, Patrick Gleason ART: Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, Mark Morales, Christian Alamy, John Kalisz, Rob Liegh
REVIEW: WORLD’S TINIEST FINIEST! Ok that’s not really the name of the issues, but this is basically the World’s Finest story for John Kent and Damien Wayne. The two young’ns are off on an adventure put together by their parents in hopes that they will learn to be able to work together and maybe even form a friendship. The whole storyline is just a big set up for the upcoming spinoff series starring these two. I’m starting to wonder if maybe there is Damien Wayne overload as he’s appearing in Batman books, Teen Titans, and the upcoming Supersons series. This story though works just fine, and as expected the two boys don’t really get along, but are slowly picking up the merits and flaws of each other. I’m sure when this is all over there will be a begrudging respect between the two which will be the basis for a strong friendship . Regardless how predictable the storyline is, I’m still enjoy the artwork of Gleason and the dialogue/plotting of Tomasi. This series still feels like the best Superman centric book from DC right now, and is a must read for any Kal-El fans.
Well that wraps it up folks! I’ll probably take a look at Raven, Cyborg, JL, and Trinity at some point this weekend so if anyone really wants a review for any of those let me know. Otherwise sounds off in the comments below about your current favorite books!