Sunday, 29 April 2012

New Comics - 25th April 2012

Four books this week. Wasting no time, lets get to them:

Superman #8

Issue 7 of Superman saw the new creators Keith Giffen and Dan Jurgens get off to an impressive start but unfortunately Superman #8 couldn't keep up the pace and felt slightly flat overall. To put it bluntly, this was a mediocre comic at best and failed to satisfy across the board. What's more disappointing is the fact issue 8 could not sustain and carry on the good vibes from Superman #7. What went wrong?

Well Giffen and Jurgens wrapped things up, which is good, but they did it in an unsatisfactory way. Superman has a bad dream, finds out Helspont was trying to control his mind with a face-sucking creature, they fight, Helspont disappears and that's it, story over. As I reached the half way point in this book the words started to roll over me and I had pretty much made up my mind by then. Helspont went on and on explaining why he was there and why he needed Superman blah blah blah. I'd given up caring by then because Helspont's diatribe felt like it was never going to end. It quickly became a boring read, simple as that. The art wasn't much better either. Jurgens, with Jesus Merino finishing his pencils, was inconsistent throughout. Superman's face seemed to change repeatedly and it all felt a bit of mess overall.

I'm seriously thinking about removing Superman from my monthly pull-list. I'm getting really tired of dishing out money for sub-par comics and if Superman all of a sudden becomes the hot book in the comics world, well then I can just pick it up in trade. I might give it one more issue to redeem itself, but at the moment one of my favourite superheroes in the DC universe is on a very tight leash.

Rating: 2/5

Supercrooks #2

I picked up the first issue of Supercrooks two weeks ago for two reasons. 1) Mark Millar is the writer, and I won't go so far to say I'm a fan but I have enjoyed a lot of his work (Superman: Red Son, Kick-Ass, Civil War) and 2) Leinil Yu is on art duties and I will admit to being a big fan of his (Superman: Birthright, Superior). Issue 1 was great and I really like the concept of following the villains instead of the heroes for once. Millar succeeds in making us feel for these criminals and help us understand why they live a life of crime instead of leading normal lives.

Issue 2 continues where the debut issue left off, as ex-con Johnny Bolt resumes his pursuit of putting together his old team for one last big job to help their old mentor who's fallen into a lot of trouble of late. Millar excels as a writer when he isn't being restricted by the strict rules Marvel and DC have concerning their characters, especially the sort of language those characters can use. In Millarworld, where the creator has the freedom to do exactly what he wants, these characters come to life in a somewhat more realistic manner than they would in a Big Two book. For the tone that this book is trying to set, having the characters talk to each other like real human beings is an absolute necessity and Supercrooks benefits from it enormously. Combine this with Yu's flawless art style and you've got a pretty good book in your hands. Yu is at the top of his game here - his distinctive style flourishes throughout.

Overall this is a fun book and I'm really enjoying the direction Millar and Yu are taking this. Keep it up good sirs.

Rating: 4/5

Daredevil #11

Daredevil #11 featured the final part in the three issue mini-event "The Omega Effect" and concluded the story that began in Avenging Spider-Man #6 and Punisher #10. Unfortunately this really didn't live up to my expectations at all and ended in a really unsatisfactory fashion.

The first two parts to the Omega Effect were fantastic. Mark Waid and Greg Rucka's electric script was terrific in Avenging Spidey and Punisher so my hopes were high for the final part, plus it was all going to be wrapped in up in my favourite book featuring my favourite character. What could go wrong? After finishing this issue, it turns out we are exactly where we started before the Omega Effect began. Seriously, exactly. Nothing has changed, especially not for Daredevil and Spider-Man. Only the Punisher's world has been altered slightly. Daredevil had the mega hard-drive with all the data on the big baddies at the start of this crossover and he finished with it too. This was such an underwhelming ending, the Omega Effect might as well not have happened. Its a real shame too because this crossover got off to such a fantastic start. Now it all feels like a complete waste of time. What a letdown.

It's even more disappointing because Marco Checchetto's beautiful artwork has essentially gone to waste. His stunning work on Avenging Spider-Man #6 and The Punisher #10 featured some of the best representations of those characters I've seen in a long time, and his work in Daredevil #11 is equally impressive. How unfortunate then that the story doesn't matter at all.

Daredevil #11 is still a top book as far as production goes. The art absolutely sings and the script is witty like you'd expect from Waid. But the overall story and its failure to move the story along really brings this book down a  notch, significantly. I'm amazed Conor at iFanboy gave this the Pick of the Week. Maybe he gave it based on the overall quality of the three issues collected in this mini-event, which is fair enough I suppose. But for me this failed to deliver and was really disappointing in the end. Bring on Daredevil #12 next Wednesday when Waid's mission for DD gets back on track.

Rating: 3/5

Aquaman #8

Solid stuff yet again from Mr Johns and Mr Reis who are keeping Aquaman at those high levels they've established for the character ever since issue 1. It's been exciting to delve into Arthur's past over the last two issues, seeing what he was like before he became Aquaman. From what we've seen so far, he wasn't always so interested in being a hero - in fact there's a flashback in issue 8 where Aquaman refused to rescue innocent civilians in an attempt to keep up with the villain he was chasing. It took the rest of his group (the Others) to change his mind and get Arthur to help out, which he did begrudgingly. Aquaman's a bit of badass deep down we discover. There's also some tension between him and his wife Mera, who's been completely left in the dark concerning her husband's history with the Others, particularly the feisty (and scantily clad) Y'Wara. This rather funny moment occurred:

All in all Johns and Reis's Aquaman is as entertaining as ever and its great we're getting to find out more about his life before he became the superhero we know now. Top stuff.

Rating: 4/5 Pick of the Week

Thanks for reading!

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