Eye on Comics

Comics criticism and commentary from Don MacPherson

Archive for the 'Reviews – DC/Wildstorm' Category

Pomp and Circumstances

Posted by Don MacPherson on 4th October 2009

Astro City: Astra Special #1
“Graduation Day”
Writer: Kurt Busiek
Artist: Brent E. Anderson
Colors: Wendy Broome
Letters: Comicraft
Cover artist: Alex Ross
Editor: Scott Peterson
Publisher: DC Comics/Wildstorm Productions

One of the more down-to-earth and sweet stories in the history of Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson’s Astro City comics was a two-part arc featuring Astra, the youngest member of the First Family, Astro City’s answer to the Fantastic Four. At the time, she was a school-aged kid, and all she wanted was to be normal, to fit in with other kids, instead of the fantasy and wonder that her life as a pre-teen super-hero brought with it. Well, Astra’s all grown up now, having graduated from college, and we get to see just how those early wishes and some more maturity have shaped the young adult. This two-part limited series is shaping up to be an interesting companion piece to that earlier Astra story, so much so that I hope that when the time comes to collect this new story, that earlier, mid-1990s two-parter (already included in the Local Heroes: Family Album trade paperback) is included along with it. Now, this isn’t the strongest or most resonant Astro City story these creators have crafted over the years, but it’s certainly solid. Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s Not Easy Being Green

Posted by Don MacPherson on 15th March 2009

Variant coverEx Machina Special #4
“Grassroots”
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: John Paul Leon
Colors: J.D. Mettler
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Cover artists: Tony Harris (regular)/John Paul Leon & Jonny Rench (variant)
Editor: Ben Abernathy
Publisher: DC Comics/Wildstorm Productions
Price: $3.99 US

We’ve seen far too few comics from writer Brian K. Vaughan since the conclusion of his landmark series Y: The Last Man. Of course, he’s been busy as a writer/producer on TV’s Lost, so his recent absence from the comicscape is understandable. It’s for that reason that any new offering from him should pique the interest of anyone interesting in quality writing in comics. This Ex Machina Special offers him the opportunity to explore an as-yet unexplored facet of his fictional New York mayor’s agenda: environmentalism. Specifically, Vaughan looks at newspapers, how that struggling industry has contributed to environmental problems and how it has addressed the issue as well. But more interestingly, Vaughan turns his attention to the environmental sins of another mass-print medium: comic books. It’s a surprising and thought-provoking notion, and driving the debate forward is a plot that involved ideological conflict and a murder plot. Read the rest of this entry »

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There’s No Place Like Rome

Posted by Don MacPherson on 22nd October 2007

Ex Machina #31
“Ex Cathedra, Chapter Two”
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Tony Harris
Inks: Jim Clark
Colors: J.D. Mettler
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Editor: Ben Abernathy
Publisher: DC Comics/Wildstorm Productions
Price: $2.99 US/$3.65 CAN

With the advent of the conclusion of Y: The Last Man upon us, as well as talk of a movie adaptation of the series, it’s easy to forget that Y isn’t the only ongoing series with challenging, thought-provoking plots and themes currently being offered up writer Brian K. Vaughan. Ex Machina is always at its strongest when it focuses on the political and personal plotlines over the science-fiction/super-hero elements, Vaughan’s manages to bring credibility to those incredible concepts. This particular issue of the series is just as entertaining as those that came before, but the theological cliffhanger here made this episode stand out as particularly compelling. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Vaughan’s imaginative and provocative ideas are brought to life via Tony Harris’s convincing, detailed illustrations. At this point, if you’re not reading Ex Machina, you’ve likely dismissed it and believe it’s too far along in the continuing narrative. But Vaughan’s script is thoroughly accessible, not only in terms of plot information but in how it crosses genres. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Reviews - DC/Wildstorm | 3 Comments »

A Midnighter’s Summer Dream

Posted by Don MacPherson on 6th November 2006

The Midnighter #1
“Killing Machine, Part One”
Writer: Garth Ennis
Pencils: Chris Sprouse
Inks: Karl Story
Colors: Randy Mayor
Letters: Phil Balsman
Cover artists: Sprouse & Story/Michael Golden (variant)
Editor: Scott Dunbier
Publisher: DC Comics/Wildstorm Productions
Price: $2.99 US/$4 CAN

I wasn’t exactly taken with Garth Ennis previous new title, The Boys. Furthermore, I’ve been generally underwhelmed by Wildstorm’s relaunch event, “WorldStorm.” So it was with some trepidation that I approached this debut issue. Fortunately, not only does Ennis come through with a compelling script that demonstrates a real appreciation of the title character, but the artwork by Chris Sprouse is thoroughly pleasing, albeit in an unusual way. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Wild’ Grant MorriStorm

Posted by Don MacPherson on 20th October 2006

This week marked the release of not one but two new ongoing titles by noted comics writer Grant (Seven Soldiers, 52) Morrison. And it marked the release of not one but two new titles from DC’s Wildstorm Productions.  And not one but two new titles in the Wildstorm “WorldStorm” line. Yeah, I’m talking about the same two comic books: The Authority #1 and Wildcats #1. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Reviews - DC/Wildstorm | 22 Comments »

The Kids Aren’t Alright

Posted by Don MacPherson on 12th October 2006

Gen13 v.4 #1
“Best of a Bad Lot, Part One: And on the First Day”
Writer: Gail Simone
Pencils: Talent Caldwell
Inks: Matt Banning
Colors: Carrie Strachan
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Cover artists: Caldwell & Banning
Editor: Ben Abernathy
Publisher: DC Comics/Wildstorm Productions
Price: $2.99 US/$4 CAN

I am not a Gen13 fan. Never have been, and I’ve sampled the property at various points in its history, including the initial run. There have been a couple of entertaining stories, but those were the result of talented writers and artists using the title characters as generic super-hero characters. Now, normally I’d pass on a new Gen13 title, but anything with Gail Simone attached as a writer earns a look as far as I’m concerned. Unfortunately, the second issue isn’t going to get a glance. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Reviews - DC/Wildstorm | 20 Comments »