HylianNinja's Weekly Review #3

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by HylianNinja, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. Hello all, this is my third and most likely final week of reviews. The first two weeks can be found here and here. This week is Animal Man #21 and The Fall of the House of Usher #2 (of 2).

    The Cover: Normally I would not like a cover like this; the overly dramatic text mixed with a superhero in a dramatic pose is just too much. But the cover is very similar to covers during Morrison's run on Animal Man. The stark white background really makes the image (which is just damn cool) pop. And, I really appreciate that Animal Man has a different artist on cover duty. While this is not one of the greatest covers I have ever seen, it is still pretty damn cool.

    The Art: I don't like Steve Pugh. For a minute, if you will, go and read some of the first few issues of Animal Man. I'll wait...

    ... Notice how amazing the previous artist Travel Foreman was? Now look at the current issue of Animal Man. I'll wait...

    ... Notice Steve Pugh's art? Now go and read something from the 90s, like The Invisibles for example. I'll wait...

    ... Notice how much of a 90s artist Steve Pugh is? He isn't even a good 90s artist; he is an example of a mediocre 90s artist. His art almost ruins Animal Man. It is hard to enjoy Lemire's amazing writing because I keep focusing on how terrible the art is. There is one panel that could have been legitimately disturbing if drawn by another artist.

    And during this issue Francis Portela does the art in a couple of sequences. The switch to his cartoony art style makes for a really jarring experience.

    The Story: The many-issue-spanning Red/Green/Rot story came to an end a few issues ago, and Buddy Baker's (Animal Man) son Cliff lies dead in the aftermath. His wife has taken his daughter and left him. An indie movie he was an actor in is becoming quite famous as the award season rolls in. Buddy Baker, unlike other superheros, does not have a secret identity; as the movie grows more popular so does Animal Man. In an attempt to break out of his depressed stupor, Buddy begins to investigate reports of missing pets; this feels very much like something from the early Morrison issues of Animal Man. And Maxine, Buddy's daughter and current avatar of the Red, begins to bargain with Totems of the Red in an attempt to bring her older brother back to life.

    Lemire's writing is up to the quality of pre-Rot World Animal Man issues. His dialogue is always perfect and never feels out of place. Lemire's real talent lies in creating empathy for this family. Often, superhero comics can be completely impersonal with half-assed attempts to create empathy. But with Animal Man, Lemire focuses almost entirely on the family and emotional aspects. The best thing about this is issue is the fake Twitter used throughout. The opening page is peoples tweets about Buddy Baker/Animal Man, and throughout the book peoples tweets about what Animal Man is doing and where he is are shown. I have never seen this done in any other comic. While it may not seem like a big deal, it is really damn effective way of showing how famous Animal Man is becoming.

    I do have a few problems, though. This issue supposedly takes place two months after Rot World, yet the sense of time is completely lost; it feels as if only a couple of weeks have past. In this issue someone appearing to be Arcane shows up, but Arcane was killed at the end of Rot World. I hope it is just Pugh's bad art or Lemire trying to trick us. And one final problem, this issue ignores something seemingly important at the end of Rot World. At the end of Rot World Maxine frees the two remaining Hunters. The Hunters were thought to be previous Animal Men, but, when healed, they appear to be almost alien. For Lemire to not even mention this is really odd. It makes it seem like he has forgotten about it.

    Even with the flaws this is still a great issue of Animal Man.

    The following review is for comic book that deals with some mature themes. I would not even recommend that younger members of EMC even read this review. Edit: This isn't really a review, just a few thoughts.

    Yes, you read that title correctly; Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher has been turned into a two issue comic book.

    The Cover: The cover has an old-fashioned feel to it that really goes well with the comic book, and it hints at just enough of the disturbing things found inside.

    The Art: The story and art are both done by Richard Corben. He has done a crapload of stuff for smaller publishers, and I show my ignorance by having never heard of him until recently. The art is really unique. I could see it being out of place in some comic books, but for this it really fits. The art brings Poe's story to life, as Corben can draw really disturbing things with seeming ease.

    The Story: The comic book is actually a combination of The Fall of the House of Usher and The Oval Portrait. Corben takes the incest found in the subtext of The Fall of the House of Usher and cranks it up to really disturbing and uncomfortable levels. I can't remember a time when a comic book made me as genuinely uncomfortable as this one. It even goes as far as to hint at necrophilia. After the third page I actually had to ask myself if I wanted to keep reading it. If you have read The Fall of the House of Usher then the story plays out much as you would expect. I think it best not to go into too many details, as I think it is best to let the comic book surprise you. You should just trust me when I say that this is awesome.

    These two issues have been a damn good (and disturbing) read.

    If you have any questions about these reviews or general questions about how to get into comic books feel free to ask.

    I am thinking that this will be my last week writing these, because it takes a while to write these and I don't know if anyone is actually reading them. If you are reading them please let me know, and I will continue to write them.

    Also, you really should be reading Ten Grand. The second issue came out recently, and, after reading it, I added it to my pull list. It is one of my favorite comic books.
    penfoldex and Luckypat like this.
  2. Awsome job on these reviews! you should be like a journalist or something like that lol!
  3. How do you feel about Animal Man's New 52 reboot? Worth reading?
  4. Animal Man and Swamp Thing have both been amazing in the New 52. Although Animal Man admittedly begin to drag during the Rot World story arc. The common consensus is that Lemire had to stall because he was waiting on Snyder to wrap up his stuff. The first few issues with Travel Foreman doing the art were especially amazing. I would suggest at least getting the first trade to see if you like it.
    penfoldex likes this.
  5. There will not be any reviews this week. I was going to review The Wake #2 (I couldn't think of a way to review Morning Glories, so I decided not to review it). As I was almost finished typing up the review, I went to pick up the comic book and accidentally placed my hand on the keyboard, thus wiping out everything I had typed. And I really don't feel like typing it up again. So here is a short review instead:

    Short Review: The Wake is a new ten issue, Vertigo miniseries from Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy. It is very horror inspired, much like all of Snyder's work. It is a great new miniseries, fully deserving to be on your pull list.

    Next week I will try not to screw up again.