Daily Archives: May 1, 2012

Eye on the Eisners: Optic Nerve #12

The nominees for the 2012 Eisner Awards were announced about a month ago, and as I did for a couple of Eisner-nominated books last year, I decided I’d offer some reviews of some 2012 nominees as well. There’s no way I could review all of the nominees; I just don’t have the time or resources for such an endeavor. However, I thought it would be interesting to spotlight comics selected by the Eisner judges as being the cream of the crop of the past year. By the way, the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards 2012 will be presented July 13 at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

First up for the 2012 “Eye on the Eisners” is Optic Nerve #12, which contains “A Brief History of the Art Form Known as Hortisculpture,” a piece nominated in the Best Short Story category.

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A Manhattan Project

Captain Atom #s 2-5
Writer: J.T. Krul
Artist: Freddie Williams II
Colors: Jose Villarrubia
Letters: Rob Leigh
Cover artist: Stanley “Artgerm” Lau
Editor: Rachel Gluckstern
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99 US per issue

I undertook last fall to review all 52 first issues of DC’s relaunched lineup, which it dubbed “the New 52.” It was a lot of comics, and as a result, I reviewed a lot of comics I never would have read otherwise. Among them was Captain Atom #1, to which I had a lukewarm reaction. In my review of the first issue, I dismissed the series, positing the title character was “a standard super-hero now, and aside from the terminal nature of his powers, he doesn’t seem particularly special anymore. Captain Atom #1 is, unfortunately, a rather boring read, and I’d rather my super-hero comics be campy or cheesy than boring any day of the week.”

That was the last I thought I’d see of the relaunched series, but thanks to my local comics retailer’s efforts to clear out surplus backstock, I had the chance to sample subsequent issues at a bargain-basement price. I couldn’t resist revisit the book at a buck an issue. I discovered Captain Atom wasn’t the boring comic book I thought it to be. However, while I’m pleased I took a second look, I still wasn’t won over, finding the pacing to be lacking and the concepts being explored too strongly influenced by a landmark comic of the 1980s that DC’s about to mine for new stories and sales this summer.

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