Daily Archives: September 18, 2011

A New 52 Review: Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1

Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1
“War of the Monsters, Pt. 1: Monster Town, USA!”
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Alberto Ponticelli
Colors: Jose Villarrubia
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Cover artist: J.G. Jones
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99 US

I really didn’t know what to expect from this new series. Writer Jeff Lemire was responsible for the much-praised Animal Man, which has definitely earned its reputation as the critical darling of the New 52 thus far. However, he also penned the three-part Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creature Commandos mini-series, which turned out to be little more than standard genre storytelling fare — competent but ultimately forgettable. Lemire has made it clear he’s a strong writer with many projects, not just Animal Man, but this new series features the same characters as his contribution to the Flashpoint event brand. I’m pleased to say this is stronger than what he had to offer with his previous Frankenstein limited series, but it’s not nearly as compelling and experimental as Animal Man. Agent of S.H.A.D.E. isn’t a home run, but it’s a decent base hit. There are some fun ideas scattered about this story, and Alberto Ponticelli’s style was a great choice for the macabre, surreal science-fiction elements that come together to construct the weird world in which Frankenstein and his allies exist.

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A New 52 Review: Grifter #1

Grifter #1
“17 Minutes”
Writer: Nathan Edmondson
Pencils/Cover artist: CAFU
Inks: Jason Gorder
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Letters: Wes Abbott
Editor: Bobbie Chase
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99 US

Normally, I wouldn’t have been all that keen to read a comic book starring a character from Jim Lee’s WildC.A.T.s, a series that was symbolic of the sort of Kewl storytelling of the early 1990s, a property that was all about how it looked and not at all about any real substance. But I was quite interested in Grifter because it’s written by Nathan Edmondson, the same man responsible for the compelling, novel plotting in Who Is Jake Ellis?. That espionage series with superhuman elements was one of the best limited series of the year, and the title character on this New 52 book seemed like it’d be a good fit for the writer’s sensibilities. That’s true to a certain extent, but after reading this inaugural issue, I felt more confused than entertained. I honestly have no idea if this is a new origin story, if it’s set after the title character’s time with the WildC.A.T.s or something else altogether. There are elements I find interesting, but the lack of clarity in the script serves as an obstacle.

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