HylianNinja's Weekly Review #4

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by HylianNinja, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. This week is The Movement #3, Ten Grand #3, and Swamp Thing #22. I was expecting Bedlam #8, but I think it got delayed. Here is the link to last week's review.

    The Cover: Generally I don't like fight scenes on cover, but this one I mostly take exception to. How often do we see people fighting cops on DC covers? Not very often. And because of that, the cover is very eye-catching. It is not without its problems though; Amanda Conner, the cover artist, draws Katharsis a little too... How should I put this?... well-endowed. Although, I can't fault the cover artist for trying to draw the characters the way the main artist, Freddie Williams II, does. But stuff like this just gives comic books a bad image.

    The Art: Uhhh... Where do I start? Simply put, the art is pretty bad. Gail Simone, the writer, is trying to tell a serious story, yet the art is way too cartoony. I guess one could make the argument that the lighthearted art is supposed to balance the serious story, but it just makes everything awkward feeling. The art isn't even an example of good cartoony art. And I already mentioned the mildly sexist way the artist draws women. I know all of you are telling me to accept it, because that is just the way things are in comic books. But, does it have to be that way? I say no; stuff like this just give comic books a bad image.

    The Best Panel of the Book: Page six, panel two. One of the only times this book gets any humor throughout this issue.

    The Story: The whole reason I started getting this book was the name Gail Simone on the cover. You might recognize Gail Simone as the writer of The Secret Six, which was one of the greatest comic books ever. If you don't, then what the hell are you doing with your life? Seriously, The Secret Six is awesome.

    But moving on, this was actually a disappointment. The main plot is pretty simple; a group of super-powered kids form a movement to change things. One of the main flaws is that it mostly lacks Simone's signature humor. I assume she is trying to do a super serious book, but we have enough of those already. She also tells a flawed story. Many comparisons have been made between this and V for Vendetta. And at first, I thought that was the case, but after three issues I realize that is wrong. In V for Vendetta it was made very clear to the reader why V was doing what he was. But in The Movement Simone uses some amateurish corrupt business men and corrupt cop archetypes to explain why the kids are doing what they are. And most of the kids are just antihero/wronged-hero-seeking-revenge archetypes that are written very poorly; the only members of The Movement that are interesting are Mouse and Burden. In this series, Simone just tries to focus on too many things, and everything just becomes blurry.

    Next trip to the comic book store, The Movement is being taken off of my pull-list. This series had some potential to be good, but it just isn't. I am not sure if it is DC's editors trying to be too controlling, as they sometimes can be, or Simone trying to write something she is not cut out for. I wouldn't recommend this comic to anyone.

    The Cover: Gulliem March, whom you may recognize as the artist of Talon, takes over cover duty this issue, and he does a great job. The cover has an amazing flow and movement to it. This is probably one of my favorite Swamp Thing covers. After seeing this cover, I wish March would take over the art for Swamp Thing. But, DC ruins yet another cover with forced, overly dramatic text on the cover.

    The Art: Kano has an old-fashioned style; it is reminiscent of an old child's comic book like Archie. This is very disappointing after the Paquette run on Swamp Thing. I really don't have too much to say about the art, other than, Swamp Thing needs a new artist. Badly. But miracles can happen; Albuquerque was announced as the new artist on Animal Man, so not all hope is lost.

    The Best Panel of the Book: Page nine, panels four and five. Yeah, I realize picking two panels is kind of cheating, but seeing the Green talk into Swamp Thing's head was probably the best part of the issue; it fits in very well to what Soule is doing with the character.

    The Story: Charles Soule took over Swamp Thing a few issues ago, and so far, he has done an okay job. He is new to the comic book field, and it is fairly obvious. While he has a lot of good ideas, he tends to make some newbie mistakes. He falls prey to using info-dumps for lack of better storytelling methods, and he jumps around too much.

    But, let us focus on this issue. In this issue Soule finally gives us a glimpse of the Seeder; a man who uses the Green's powers against its will. The Seeder goes to a small, poor Scottish town and asks an elderly couple what they think the town would wish for if given the chance. They tell him that the poverty of the town was caused by the closing of a whiskey factory, so he grows a tree that produces whiskey.

    It seems odd for Soule to jump over to this, since he just begin to explain who the mysterious woman was in the last issue. Ultimately, the issue follows a "be careful what you wish for" story. The issue does remind me of the Moore Swamp Thing run in a way, but it is missing Moore's poetic writing that made his work good. There are a few nice touches throughout this issue, the voice of the Green in Swamp Thing's head, for example; but it just seems like is Soule trying to learn how to write a comic book. I think this series can go places and that Soule has a lot of good ideas; this issue was just okay though.

    Before I finish, I do want to discuss a couple of more things. Soule has chosen to mention Abby in only the most subtle of ways, and I have yet to decide if this is the best choice or not. Option A is making Abby one of the main focuses of the story, much like Lemire is doing with Cliff, thus leaving new readers entirely confused; Option B is leaving her almost entirely, thus lessening the impact of her death. When I first finished the Rot World story-arc, I thought Swamp Thing had a much better ending. But, after reading the last issue of Animal Man and seeing the way Soule is treating Abby's death, I am beginning to think that Animal Man had a better ending, simply because Lemire has chosen to focus on Cliff's death more. Soule probably made the right decision, but I can't help but feel disappointed.

    Soule seems to be trying to take Swamp Thing back to before the New 52, back to the Moore days. But Soule lacks Moore's poetic writing style and skills as a writer. I hope that Soule finds a Swamp Thing he can call his own. I would recommend at least picking up the first issues of Soule's Swamp Thing run to see if you like it.

    As always, if you have any questions or comments about this review or any questions about how to get into comics feel free to ask/post. I will be posting the review for Ten Grand sometime later, as I have grown tired of writing now.
    NINJATTILA, jacob5089 and Luckypat like this.
  2. Have you ever thought of becoming a writer? you are very good at it. lol :D
  3. I actually don't think I am that good at it. Generally after I get done writing my reviews I check Comic Book Resources and Multiversity to see if they have any reviews up for the stuff I am reviewing; after I read their reviews I usually am embarrassed by my reviews. But if I am honest, my review for Swamp Thing #22 was much better than CBR's this month. And my reviews are always better than Comic Vines's, but that doesn't take much skill. At all. But I think being a journalist would be a terrible job...
  4. Well to me they are very detailed soooo i think its good lol :D
  5. And here is the (kind of) review for Ten Grand. Warning, Ten Grand is a mature rated comic book; it contains questionable language and some pretty disturbing and violent imagery.

    The Cover: As with the previous issues, this issue has a beautiful cover. It has an amazing Yin-Yang flow to it; and to returning readers, it creates a great mystery. And I think the cover is beautiful enough and eye-catching enough to attract new readers, who have not the faintest clue as to what this series is about.

    The Art: Ben Templesmith, who is also the cover artist, is a great artist. The term "moody art" gets thrown around a lot, but if you look up a definition, you will find a picture of Ten Grand's art. I can not and will not even begin to describe how beautiful the art is; I must simply say trust me and buy the book, so you too can experience it. Templesmith can simultaneously create beautiful, moving pieces of art and make your worst nightmares become reality. Seriously, this book has some truly terrifying imagery in it. I don't know if this book would work as well without Templesmith; he can simultaneously draw Heaven and Hell.

    The Best Panel of the Book: Page nineteen, panel four. It is such a simple, beautiful panel, but it creates a sense of horror and dread for what comes next.

    The Story: This book is written by J. Michael Straczynski, whom you may recognize as the writer of the amazing Superman: Earth One graphic novels. The basic plot is that.. umm.. let me just quote the inside cover of the book: "Joe Fitzgerald, a former mob enforcer, promised the love of his life that he'd quit after one last job. He never imagined that his target might have demonic connections who killed Joe and Laura (his love). As he lays dying, an angelic force offered him a deal: in exchange for his services he will be able to see Laura for five minutes every time he dies in a righteous cause... and then resurrected to continue the fight. When not on heavenly assignments, Joe takes on jobs on behalf of the lost and hopeless. He charges ten grand for his services, enough to ward off the users and losers, but not enough to ward off anybody who seriously needs his help. The more desperate the cause, the more just the job, the better his odds of having a righteous death... and that one moment with Laura."

    You might be saying that sounds dumb... and you might also be wrong. While it is part supernatural noir and part revenge story, this comic book is definitely more than the sum of its parts. Some comparisons between this and Hellblazer have been made, but I think this is much different. Yes, it has magic and themes of Heaven vs. Hell and satanic imagery, but there are many differences between Joe and Constantine. This has become one of my favorite comic. I am not sure if it is because I am a complete sap, or if this comic book is as good as I think it is.

    In this issue we get a flashback to when Joe and Laura first met. I thought it was a beautiful story, but once again, I am a complete sap. This sequence really allows the reader to feel for Joe and understand why he would endure the agony of many, many deaths. The flashback is definitely the main focus of this issue but a couple of other things do happen: on the beginning of this issue Joe continues his search for Debbie's sister, and in the end events hinted at in the last issue come to fruition (I won't spoil what those are).

    Poe said something along the lines of: The two most beautiful things one can write about are beautiful women and death; so therefore, the most beautiful thing one can write about is the death of a beautiful women. The idea of someone enduring countless agonies and horrors just to be with their beloved for a handful of minutes coupled with a beautiful woman's death makes for a great story. I really don't want to do a proper review of this for fear of spoiling some the neat surprises found in this series. So I'll just stop now and say that this is a great comic book and that I would recommend picking up the first few issues to see if you like it.
  6. Eh, why not? Here is a bump.