Daily Archives: September 29, 2011

A New 52 Review: Blackhawks #1

Blackhawks #1
Writer: Mike Costa
Pencils: Graham Nolan
Inks/Cover artist: Ken Lashley
Colors: Guy Major
Letters: Rob Leigh
Editor: Mike Marts
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99 US

The manager at my local comic shop has been after me to check out IDW’s various G.I.Joe comics, especially the new Cobra spinoff series, but I’ve resisted, not being a big fan of G.I.Joe, even though my brother and I had a number of the toys in the 1980s. Well, this entry in DC’s New 52 line is written by the guy whose work has been what’s been driving my friend’s recommendations, so I approached this revamp of the Blackhawks concept with an open mind. Well, I can only assume G.I.Joe: Cobra is exceptionally better than Blackhawks, but this read like an Image comic from the early 1990s, designed to be Kewl rather than compelling. Another reason why I was curious about this title was the fact longtime comics artist Graham Nolan — once DC’s go-to guy for Batman stories — contributes to it, but his simple, traditional style is nowhere to be found in this comic book. I expect Blackhawks will appeal to G.I.Joe fans… if they’re looking for super-hero elements to creep into their Joe stories.

Continue reading… →

A New 52 Review: Aquaman #1

Aquaman #1
“The Trench, Part One”
Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Ivan Reis
Inks: Joe Prado
Colors: Rod Reis
Letters: Nick J. Napolitano
Cover artists: Ivan Reis & Joe Prado
Editor: Patrick McCallum
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99 US

I’ve often had a problem with various Aquaman comics over the years, and I think I know why: Aquaman is DC’s counterpart to Marvel’s Thor. Both characters come from mythic cities hidden away from human eyes, and both travel to Earth (or in Aquaman’s case, earth) to come to the rescue of mortal men and women. They both hail from societies defined by ornate and antiquated decor, purple prose and the ways of the warrior. In other words, I’ve often found both super-hero characters to be haughty, unrelatable and, well, boring. Sure, there have been stories that have stood out, series stints that drew me in, but that was appreciation for the work of comics creators rather than any kind of affection for or attachment to the character. The premise for this new Aquaman series is the title character’s decision to leave behind the stilted, stoic world of Atlantis and to live as a man rather than as a merman. I’m intrigued and thoroughly interested in the possibilities.

Continue reading… →

A New 52 Review: I, Vampire #1

I, Vampire #1
“Tainted Love”
Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Artist: Andrea Sorrentino
Colors: Marcelo Maiolo
Letters: Patrick Brosseau
Cover artist: Jenny Frison
Editor: Matt Idelson
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99 US

In an editorial I wrote about the DC’s New 52 lineup two months before the comics were released, I dismissed I, Vampire as “DC’s effort to capitalize on the Twilight/True Blood trend,” and I argued it would make a poor foundation for a new comic series. But you know what makes for a good foundation for a new title? Compelling writing and attractive artwork, and I, Vampire has plenty of it. The premise — a centuries-old vampire trying to defend mankind from an onslaught of fellow bloodsuckers, led by his one-time lover — is a simple one and doesn’t come off as particular new in any way. But the tone of the dialogue, and the haunting and haunted look of the artwork made for an engrossing read. I remain disappointed the two main characters in the story spend it in a state of partial undress because it creates an impression of superficiality that’s not reflective of the storytelling skill the creators exhibit in this opening salvo.

Continue reading… →