HylianNinja's Weekly Review #2

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by HylianNinja, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. Hello all, welcome to the second week of my reviews (the first week can be found here: http://empireminecraft.com/threads/hylianninjas-weekly-reviews-1.26103/). My store still didn't get in Swamp Thing and The Movement. I really don't know what the hell is up with that. I will probably get them off of Ebay. But, this week I will review Superman: Unchained #1, Suicide Squad #21, and Batman #21.


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    The cover: The first time I heard the title for this book (which is really dumb), my first thought was that the cover would Superman breaking through something. So, while the cover is really eye-catching and cool looking, it is exactly what I would expect for this comic. I wish they would not have played it so safe with the cover. One final note about the cover, this issue (and the new issue of Batman) has a really thick cover. Most of the time DC covers are really thin. It reminds me of an Image cover and makes me wish DC would get off some of their money and use thicker covers.

    The art: Not much to say about the art in the main story, really. It is typical (meaning, really good) art from Jim Lee. The art in the epilogue, however, is by Dustin Nguyen. The darker art style fits the darker tone of the epilogue. But, it is a jarring transition between the main story and epilogue because of it, and his Jimmy Olsen looks drastically different from Lee's Olsen.

    The story: I am very picky about Superman stories. The only Superman stories I like are Superman: Red Son, All Star Superman, Superman: Earth One, and Grant Morrison's recent run on Action Comics. So, when I heard that Scott Snyder was writing a Superman story I was somewhat interested.

    One of the big things about this comic book is a giant quadruple sized mega page early in the comic book. While has been advertised as a poster, it is in no way a poster. The front of it has a really cool image that could only by pulled off with the giant size, but the back feels like it could have been done on a regular page. The entire thing just feels like a gimmick to make me pay an extra dollar for the comic book. Yes people, DC is charging five dollars for this comic book!

    The basic plot is that eight objects (satellites, space stations, and the like) fall from the sky. Of course, Superman has to track down whomever caused it. The story has some very Snyder-esque moments it in; for example, Superman talking about playing a game on a local farm and the use of showing the past and present. It isn't a bad comic overall. But, it feels like a really safe Superman story, which is really odd coming from Snyder, of whom, I expect more. Also, the final panel was so hokey and expected for a Superman comic that it made me want to take this off of my pull list. I think I will keep this on my list for a couple of more issues before making my final verdict.

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    The cover: I like that Suicide Squad has a different artist for the cover. Jason Pearson's style is more animated and less precise than Patrick Zircher's style. This cover is, unfortunately, the exact cover I would expect for this issue. It is really a disappointment after the amazing cover last issue.

    The art: Zircher doesn't draw dissimilar to a comic book artist. He just does a damn good job of drawing what is a typical comic book style. His biggest strengths are drawing complex emotions on the faces of characters and knowing when to use uneven panels to give the book a slightly off feel.

    The story: The Suicide Squad is basically a group of villains controlled by Amanda Waller who, in exchange for time off of their sentences, run suicide missions for the government. Suicide Squad was one of the most consistently bad books DC published, up until Ales Kot took over in issue 20. Up until that point Kot had only written a one shot and a four issue miniseries for Image. People were shocked by how good his first issue was, and he continues the awesomeness into the second issue.

    Even though there isn't as much psychoanalysis (it is much more subtle; James Gordon, Jr. swearing on his sisters grave, for example) in this issue, he still find the time to cram all sorts of weirdness in (a brief mention of U.S. drone warfare, for example). The story starts seventeen days into the future, and crap appears to be hitting the fan. The story then flashes back to present. Most of the main story is told on the cover, though.

    I do want to spend some time talking about Harley Quinn. Up until this point, I hated Harley Quinn. This comic book is probably the first I have ever cared about Harley Quinn. Before this Harley was just the annoyingly voiced girl fawning over the Joker. This is the first time the character has been given any depth; and it is done in such a subtle manner, too. Kot instinctively understands characters, and, in that way, he is like this generation's Grant Morrison. Side note: The bottom of page five might be one of the greatest things ever.

    I am really excited to see what Kot does with this series, and I hope that DC puts him on more stuff.

    If anyone has any questions about this review or how to get into comic books, feel free to ask.
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  2. The review for Batman is here! I had to put it in a second post because I hit the 10,000 character limit. I don't think I will continue to do these because they don't get enough views to justify the time it takes to write them.

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    Zero Year is here!

    The cover: I don't know who thought this was a good idea for a cover. It looks like something I could design. The Jock variant cover should have been the main one.

    The art: As always, Greg Capullo's slightly animated style is simply amazing. But, there is something really special about this issue; mainly because we are used to seeing Capullo's art in shades of grey. This issue, however, is very bright and colorful for a Batman issue, and Capullo's art looks beautiful in many colors. The first and last pages are especially beautiful. My only problem with the art in this issue is the way he draws Edward Nygma. It is as if he tried to draw the most stereotypical nerd he could. Rafael Albuquerque handles the art in the back-up story; as always, his art is beautiful. I hope that if Capullo ever has to step down from Batman, Albuquerque will be able to take his place. Although, Albuquerque's nineteen year old Bruce looks a little too old.

    The story: Some time after the reboot, I assume that someone at DC noticed that Batman no longer had an origin story. So, here we are at Zero Year, Batman's origin story for The New 52. You may have seen a glimpse of this in the #0 issue; but that was more of a trailer to the movie. I have nothing against Year One, but I was really excited for this. I think fans forget that Year One was never exactly canonical in the first place (James Gordon, Jr. wasn't written back into main canon until The Black Mirror).

    To me, Batman has always been the hero who is prepared for anything. Scott Snyder does a really good job of showing Batman at a time when he wasn't prepared, when he wasn't even Batman yet. The issue starts off six years before current canon. Some No Man's Land type of event has happened, leaving Gotham in ruins. On page four Batman makes his first appearance, and this is the best panel in the book. In it, Batman has no special near-future technology; he just has a dirt bike he has welded some bat shaped pieces of metal to and some standard looking military gear (and he is wearing purple gloves, a reference to early issues of Batman). This is Batman if he existed in the real world. This panel (and page nine the last panel) define what Snyder is doing with this Batman. He is showing him at a time when he is still a little green, which makes an interesting read. Even his conversations with Alfred are different. I am reminded of C-3PO telling Han the odds of successfully navigating an asteroid field.

    After the opening sequence the book goes six months into the past. Bruce has just arrived in Gotham and is living in a building on crime alley. At this point, he is not acting as Batman but he is trying to infiltrate gangs using various disguises.

    Scott Snyder has done such a good job trying to make everything make sense in the new canon, even going as far as explaining the giant penny in the Batcave (I hope he will explain the giant t-rex). The only thing that struck me as odd was a scene in which Thomas Wayne was in his garage. Up until the point, Snyder has portrayed Thomas and Martha as philanthropists, but the garage is lined with luxury cars. The whole scene just seems out of character.

    The back-up story shows how Bruce learned to drive so well. I really hope the back-up stories feel in how Bruce received his training. I would also like Snyder to address the elephant in the room. Which is Damian being ten but Bruce has not acted as Batman for that long. In old canon, Bruce met Talia after he was Batman. So, at some point Snyder needs to show Bruce meeting Talia while he was still traveling the world.

    This first issue of Zero Year was simply amazing. It makes me very excited for what will come next.
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  3. I actually got around to reading Kot's other work yesterday, and that statement could not be more true. I pride myself on being able to comprehend Morrison's work. After reading Wild Children, Kot's first one-shot at Image, I could understand it; it was weird but manageable. His miniseries Change was a different story. Change was way more dense then anything I have read by Morrison. I could barely understand the basic concepts of Change. I heard that Kot is going to do another Image series later this year, and it will definitely be going on my pull list. This guy is my favorite new writer.