Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Angel & Faith #2 review, Aquaman #1 review, The Flash #1 review

Comic Book Wednesday

Issue #20

Part One

Ah. The final Wednesday of the New 52. Once all of these reviews or out, we'll know what books are awesome, which we're dropping, which we're giving one more month, and which are setting the internet on fire. Today's slice of the Comic Book Wednesday pie is a thin one, with only three reviews, but we've got a lot more content coming tomorrow.

Angel & Faith #2

Live Through This – Part Two

Written by Christos Gage

Art by Rebekah Isaacs

Dark Horse Comics

Angel & Faith #2 is impossibly good.

Following up on the reveal at the end of the first issue, we watch how Faith copes with the knowledge that Angel plans to bring Giles back to life. The two of them work so well as a team because of their deep, dark history. Faith knows that she owes Angel for how he stuck by her at her worst when no one else would, so despite how much she disagrees with Angel’s ill conceived plans, she stays by his side, not condoning his actions but being what he needs: a friend.

This book is steeped in the rich history of both ANGEL and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, referencing old stories from this rich universe. This, paired with the spot-on voices of Angel and Faith, lends a weight and an authenticity to the comics that elevates this comic to a higher level. And damn, that art is fantastic.

It’s a wonderful, exciting read that is true to the characters and the heart of the show. I love it.

Aquaman #1

The Trench – Part One

Written by Geoff Johns

Pencils by Ivan Reis

DC Comics

I’ve had a very Geoff Johnsy year. I’ve been reading through some somewhat recent trades, discovering how awesome Johns is at reinventing characters. His runs on Green Lantern and The Flash were some of the most fun I’ve had reading funny books all year, and his fine work on Flashpoint (especially the final issue) was among the most exciting and moving comics I’ve had the pleasure of reading. I was looking forward to his Aquaman for a number of reasons, chief of which is the fact that this character needs a writer who approaches characters with respect, sensitivity, humor, and pathos to breathe life into him. And Geoff Johns does just that, while poking fun at the perception of Aquaman.

The mission statement of this book is clear: it’s going to recognize and even call attention to how the public sees Aquaman as a joke… and then pull the ground out from under them. In the book, people laugh when Aquaman appears on scene. A blogger, while interrupting Aquaman’s meal to score an interview, asks him how it feels to be no body’s favorite superhero. This could all come off as way too meta and easy, but these scenes are balanced out by scenes of Aquaman showing how badass he actually is, as well as some humanizing flashbacks to his past—in typical Johns fashion.

If you enjoyed Johns’ work in GREEN LANTERN: SECRET ORIGIN or THE FLASH: REBIRTH, this is right up your alley. This book finally does justice to the man that Grant Morrison always believed in:

Oh yeah. Aquaman's the baddest ass in the seven seas.

The Flash #1

Written by Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato

Art by Francis Manapul

DC Comics

This is another of the New 52 that I was looking forward to the most. The Flash’s story arc in Flashpoint was emotionally driven, heroic, and so poignantly bittersweet that I’d hoped that would translate over into his ongoing series as well. Writers Manapul and Buccellato forge ahead, however, not addressing what Barry went through in the Universe altering finale of Flashpoint. It’s a brand new story in a brand new world… while Barry “set the world right,” this new world is one where he isn’t married to Iris West. They haven’t even been on a date. Hell, he doesn’t even seem to like her very much, though that’s obviously a means to set up their romance arc. Especially in context of Flashpoint, and what Barry sacrificed in order to return to world to what he thought would be normal, it’s sad and a bit disappointing to see how different his life has become, and how unaware of the changes he is.

The comic itself is decent. The story doesn’t carry the weight than Geoff Johns’ Barry Allen stories did, but those had a lot more at stake – this serves as a very functional beginning to a new arc. The writing is mostly decent, and the art is phenomenal. It’s a good team, and I think they will build a good Flash story. I do hope, though, that these books eventually grow to address the “Flashpoint wall” the same way that the Legion books have. Barry Allen has, in some ways, become the heart of the DCU… so I hope he eventually realizes that his sacrifice has been manipulated and things are not as they are supposed to be.

But hey. That’s just one fan’s wishes. I liked the book.


TOMORROW: A whole entry dedicated to IDW's GHOSTBUSTERS #1.

AND THEN: Reviews for Superman #1, Justice League Dark #1, The Dark Knight #1, The Savage Hawkman #1, I Vampire #1, and The Fury of Firestorm #1.

No comments:

Post a Comment