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Comic Reviews Archives - Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources

Q2: The Return of Quantum and Woody #1 Review

q2One thing that I think is fairly important to look at with the return of Christopher Priest and M.D. Bright to their original creations, Quantum and Woody, is that this is the second time that they have returned to these characters after a long absence. Of course, the big difference is that in this case, the absence was fourteen years. But before there was a gap of over a year between seeming end of the first series and the short-lived revival of the series. So Priest has had some experience with living up to heightened expectations from the absence. The first time around, he totally pulled it off, with some inspired comic book issues (including an ill-fated Black Panther metafictional crossover that was almost awesome). But fourteen years is a whole other story, right? Or is it? Let’s find out by taking a look see at Q2: The Return of Quantum and Woody #1 by Christopher Priest, M.D. Bright, Dexter Vines and Allen Passalaqua…
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Wytches #1 Review

wytches1This isn’t exactly like I’m revealing some shocking piece of information to you, as everyone pretty much knows what I’m about to say already, but damned if Matt Hollingsworth isn’t one of the most amazing colorists working in comics today. What I am especially always so impressed about Hollingsworth’s work is that there’s no signature Hollingsworth coloring “style.” It’s not like you sign Hollingsworth on and you know exactly what kind of look you’re going to get – he excels so much at matching his colors with the style and the mood of the book. He works essentially in concert (“essentially” because he is obviously doing his work independent of the penciler/inker) with the artists of his books to create an experience unique to each title. Hell, forget “unique to each title,” with his recent work in the pages of Hawkeye, he has created a unique look for every other ISSUE (one look for David Aja with Clint’s adventures in New York and one for Annie Wu with Kate’s adventures in Los Angeles). Now don’t get me wrong, since he has had such great success coloring particularly moody books like Aja’s Hawkeye, Maleev’s Daredevil and Lark’s Daredevil, people looking for a moody title often DO look to him, so if you want to suggest that that is a “signature” style, then you might have something to that, but even there, there is room for great variety in the look of the title (his stint on Daredevil with Maleev looked different than his stint on Daredevil with Lark, for instance) – and that is extremely evident in Wytches #1 from Image Comics, written by Scott Snyder with pencils and inks by Jock and colors by Hollingworth.
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Archie #660 Review

archie660In general, Archie stories are marked by their general brevity. This is because the escapades that Archie and the gang get into tend to be the sort of things that wrap themselves up quickly. The characters are so well-defined by now that even eleven pages often feels like a full story, as so much of the character work comes completed before the writer has even begun the story. You don’t have to explain why Betty and Veronica are fighting over Archie – it is just a conceit accepted by nearly anyone who picks up an Archie story. Thus, a typical Archie story has a quick hook that resolves itself quickly. This is not a shot at those stories, as I absolutely adore Craig Boldman’s work for Archie and his stories tend to be in the realm of the six-pager. Coming up with four good six-page stories in a single issue is a tremendous feat in my book. At the same time, though, it is also impressive to come up with a plot hook that can sustain a full-sized issue. I’ve been meaning to give Tom DeFalco’s recent work on Archie a bit of a shout out, as he has done some strong full-length issues recently. However, today I’ll take a look at the latest issue of Archie, where Ales Segura puts a fun twist on the classic “guy making dates with two girls on the same night” plot. In Archie #660, with art by Jeff Shultz and Rick Koslowsksi, Segura goes for double the laughs with Archie making a date with FOUR girls in a single night!
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Ex-Con #2 Review

excon2One of the things that really stood out to me about the second issue of Ex-Con #2 (from Dynamite by writer Duane Swierczynski and artists Keith Burns and Aikau Oliva) is the confidence that Swierczynski has in his “lights” concept. The conceit established in the first issue is that the protagonist of the book, Cody Pomeroy, used to be able to “read” the colored auras that people had around them and use those lights to manipulate them to his benefit. After being betrayed by his ex-girlfriend and sent to prison for five years, he lost the ability after being nearly beaten to death in prison. His life was saved by a big bad guy who saved Cody in exchange for Cody owing him a favor. Now, out of prison, Cody must do a favor for the big bad guy but try to use his old con man skills without the big cheat sheet he had with him since he was a kid. So here’s where I’m particularly impressed – in the first issue, Swierczynski established what color meant what. Well, as I noted, Cody lost his ability to read colors in the previous issue and I was surprised to see the concept dropped so quickly. However, in an interesting twist, the auras continue in the story – Cody just can’t read them anymore. WE can but he can’t. That’s a clever use of the idea but morover, Swierczynski doesn’t spell the colors out for us in this second issue. I just re-read #1 earlier today and I can’t remember which color went with what (besides, of course, green going with greed, because that’s just obvious) but there’s no explanation in #2 to everyone’s colors. You just have to either remember, check back to the guide in #1 or eventually figure it out based on context (if enough blues coincide with people telling the truth than you gotta figure blue means people are telling the truth). I love that confidence. It’s audacious. It’s very cool.
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Ex-Con #1 Review

excon1Ex-Con is a new series from Dynamite written by Duane Swierczynski with art by Keith Burns and Aikau Oliva. It tells the story of a 1980s con man who gets caught and upon his release at the end of the decade, must use his skills to go to work for a rich developer who is somehow involved with the con man’s ex-girlfriend who put him behind bars in the first place. The developer and the ex-girlfriend are also somehow connected to a powerful bad guy that the con man met in prison. The brilliant Tim Bradstreet cover perfectly conveys the mood that this book is going for, as what we have here is a guy who always felt that he was the smartest guy in the room only now hie whole life is thrown for a loop and he must adjust to the changes while somehow keeping himself from either being thrown back into jail or worse, getting himself killed. The way that Bradstreet depicts a guy who is trying to remain cool while his whole life is falling apart makes for one striking cover.
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Green Arrow #35 Review

greenarrow35coverWhen the New 52 reboot hit back in 2011, some characters clearly saw themselves a lot more changed than others. Titles like Batman and Green Lantern had relatively minor changes (although in both cases more changes came down the line as writers used the freedom provided to them to make more alterations) while books like Teen Titans were more or less completely rebooted. Perhaps the most ill-advised change in my book was to Green Arrow. The New 52 launched at the same time that the TV Series Arrow did, so I completely understood the impulse to reboot Green Arrow to make him align better with the TV series version. So when they announced that Green Arrow would be de-aged, that made some sense to me, even if I did not think it made a whole lot of sense to essentially nullify his longstanding relationships with Black Canary and Green Lantern. However, the end result by J.T. Krul and Dan Jurgens ended up serving NEITHER goal – it erased all of his comic book continuity and it also didn’t remotely resemble the TV version of the character, either! That, to me, was just a total failure. The book’s creative team changed early on and the book got even worse. Things got so bad that after just sixteen issues, DC brought in a top notch creative team (Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino) to essentially reboot the reboot. And they did so, with a standard “scorched earth” revamp. Lemire and Sorrentino did a fine job on the title. But here’s the thing – despite their addition of the TV character John Diggle to the title, their take on Green Arrow was somehow even FURTHER away from the popular TV version of the character. Lemire and Sorrentino were doing an impressive sort of “ninja noir” tale, and I’ll miss their run, but I can understand the impulse to finally take Green Arrow more in line with Arrow.

And to do so, DC brought in two writers from the show, producer and co-creator Andrew Kreisberg and writer Ben Sokolowski (they’re co-plotting the stories with Sokolowski then scripting the book solo).

So let’s take a look at the latest Green Arrow revamp (three reboots in 35 issues, oh my!) in Green Arrow #35, courtesy of writers Andrew Kreisberg and Ben Sokolowski and artists Daniel Sampere, Jonathan Glapion and Gabe Eltaeb

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Thor #1 Review

thorcoverI’m going to give a little experiment a try (for as long as I can). I’m going to try to review a new comic every day this month and then perhaps continue to review some of the comics on a continuing basis (therefore I’ll be mostly spotlighting new series or ongoing series with new directions, as if I am to continue with a review I’d prefer not to pick books already significantly in progress).

I begin with this week’s release of Thor #1 by Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman and Matthew Wilson, debuting the all-new female Thor.

One of the absolute joys I get in reading so many comic book titles is when I get to see a comic book creator develop. I recall seeing Russell Dauterman’s work on Grace Randolph’s Supurbia and finding it to be strong work. However, as time has gone by his work has gotten better and better. By the time he began drawing Cyclops for Marvel, it seemed clear to me that this was a guy who was destined for a bigger spotlight and now, with the release of the brand-new Thor, he has gotten that spotlight and Jason Aaron seems content to spend much of the first issue of the title showing off the impressive work that Dauterman can do working with colorist Matthew Wilson.
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Review time! with Thanatos Diver #1

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I usually don’t review books that don’t come out for two months, but I’ll tell you why I’m doing it under the cut, if you dare read on!
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Review time! with POP #1

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“You want to be the song, the song that you hear in your head”
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What I bought – SDCC edition (plus some other more-or-less random comics and observations)

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Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive. (C. S. Lewis)
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Review time! with Displaced Persons

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“In the wind we hear their laughter, in the rain we see their tears”
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Review time! with Shattered with Curve of Horn

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“I travel the world and the seven seas – everybody’s looking for something”
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Review time! with Under the Flesh #1

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“She’s a lady, she is mine – brush back your hair, and let me get to know your flesh.”
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Review time! with Funrama #1-3

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“Strange voices are saying – what did they say? – things I can’t understand; it’s too close for comfort, this heat has got right out of hand”
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Review time! with San Hannibal #2

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I never get tired of receiving comics in the mail!
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