Thursday, 19 January 2012

New Comics - 18th January 2012

This is traditionally my biggest Wednesday of the month, what with Batman and Nightwing always shipping at the same time, and normally Daredevil or the bi-monthly Amazing Spider-Man making an appearance too. I would have had even more to read this week if Justice League was released on time (rumour has it issue 5 will be out next Wednesday, the 25th). So let's get to the reviews of this week's purchases (there may be SPOILERS ahead, naturally).

Batman #5

We're 5 issues deep into Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's run on Batman and it has been sublime so far. Every issue has left me wanting more and this week's edition was so no exception. Snyder has crafted one hell of a story here and Capullo's artwork bowls me over every month. This book is haunting, pure and simple. Issue 4 saw Bruce fall into the Court of Owl's lair and this week is the fallout, seeing Batman trapped in their labyrinth. I've read that some readers found this issue frustrating, because we didn't learn anything new and meaningful about Talon and the Court. I can understand their frustration but good things come to those who wait right? I'm certain Mr Snyder will reveal everything at the precise moment to cause maximum effect. This was all about seeing Bruce as a human being, stripped down and vulnerable, a man slowly losing touch with reality. This was a horrifying issue as we had to watch Batman be chipped away mentally, as the Court of Owls tortured and teased until our hero began to break down. Don't get me started on the whole "turning the pages" thing; it really weirded me out and for a second there I thought there was something wrong with my individual issue, like it had been bound wrong. The scene with Damian at the end was pretty touching, and it was nice to see him show some emotion for his father. I just hate how I have to wait another 4 weeks into I can find out what happens next; the suspense is unbearable.

Rating: 5/5

Nightwing #5

After 5 issues I've been enjoying Kyle Higgins' work on Nightwing. It's not knocking my socks off but its solid, entertaining stuff and a good read overall. However this week Nightwing seemed to take a bit a step backwards. The whole fight with a demon thing irked me a bit and I felt it didn't make for a great story. Eddy Barrows' art was the saving grace on this issue, possibly his best work on the book so far. Overall issue 5 wasn't great but the reveal at the end has kept me intrigued and I'm very interested to see where the plot goes from here. Dick Grayson is one of my favourite DC characters so even if this book was awful (which it isn't) I'd no doubt buy this book regardless of it's quality, such is my love for the character. Here's hoping the story heats up a bit from now on.

Rating: 2/5

The Amazing Spider-Man #678

Ever since the enjoyable epic that was Spider-Island came to an end, Amazing Spider-Man seems to have gotten a bit lost. After a couple of filler issues involving the Vulture, the dismal issue 676, and the first part of "Devil and the Details" which concluded in this month's Daredevil (I'll come to that), I was hoping Dan Slott would get the show back on the road and that's largely what we got this month in issue 678. I have to admit I was slightly disappointed this issue didn't mention or remark on the events that occurred in Daredevil #8 but I suppose its not really important in the grand scheme of things. Humberto Ramos returned on art duties and in some style too. A lot of people are a bit "marmite" when it comes to Ramos' style; you either love him or hate him. I am very much loving his take on Spidey and I feel he draws a brilliant Peter Parker, bringing some much-needed fun and humour to every issue. Despite his cartoon-ish ways I really enjoy Ramos' art and coupled with Slott's witty take on the wall-crawler, it all makes for an entertaining read. Keep it up please.

Rating: 3/5

Daredevil #8

Quite possibly Marvel's most celebrated title at the moment and I'm proud to say I've been there since the start. Well, if we consider issue 1 last summer to be the start. Mark Waid is still firing on all cylinders and continues to bring fresh and interesting stories to the life of Matt Murdock and Daredevil. This issue concluded the story that began in Amazing Spider-Man 677 and wrapped it all up beautifully. Waid made sure there was a bit of everything; some humour, lots of action, even some romance. I look forward to this book every month as it never fails to deliver the goods. This panel in particular made me burst out in laughter: 

Filling in for Paolo Rivera this issue was artist Kano, who did a stand-up job in the art department. His pencils were perfect, very Rivera-like and kept with the tone previously set by Rivera and Marcos Martin on the series. I hope Marvel can get Kano to fill in every time Rivera or Martin can't make it. Overall this was a great issue and a lot of fun. I enjoyed it so much that Daredevil narrowly edges out Batman as my pick of the week. It had the perfect blend for me and it seems Waid can't put a foot wrong at the moment. Long may he reign on Daredevil.

Rating: 5/5 Pick of the Week

Thanks for reading.

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