I've been invited by the 4th Man himself to provide another view on today's comic book world! Currently I'm reading 21 series from DC's new 52 and I will give a glance how I rate them and hopefully give you all a new book to read off of my suggestions. I also read Marvel and indie comics and will provide the same for them too.
I want to jump right into a few quick reviews here. Yesterday, Dec 7, Powerhouse Comics in Appleton, Wisconsin opened at noon and I was waiting outside the door. I picked up my box of awaiting comics and also a few ones that tried to fall through the cracks on me.
Marvel: The Defenders #1
- Here we go! Marvel has been advertising this comic like crazy and I'm hoping it won't disappoint. Breaker of Worlds; Part One: I Hate Myself and Want to Die. First things first, I love the Nirvana reference here and if you haven't heard Nirvana's IHM&WTD then download it or go by the Beavis and Butthead Do America soundtrack. It's an A+ song, with heavy riffs and wailing feedback it's everything Kurt Cobain stood for.
So The Defenders started on a high note and faltered HARD from there. I've heard Matt Fraction (Casanova) is a good writer, but he leaves no proof of it here. My favorite character leaves us on page 3 after she slept with Dr. Strange without even getting help on her thesis paper! Then on page 5, I nearly put the book down entirely. HULK (green) actually asked for help. I can't believe it. Hulk was scared. Imagine, "What if HULK... had a HULK? (pg 7)" So the first antagonist is some sort of HULK squared named NUL: the breaker of worlds and he scares the HULK. This is such a farce that it makes me not want to continue reading this comic honestly. The HULK I know and love can't be scared because being scared is weak and the HULK is the strongest thing in the world. If something was stronger than HULK than it would rest SOLELY on HULK's shoulders to stop it. He wouldn't need to recruit a team like the would-be Defenders to help him.
I give this comic a F, because like Netflix my rating can't go any lower. Honestly, a F! I didn't finish even reading the book because none of the ways the characters were used interested me. Iron Fist is a waste of space, the Silver Surfer doesn't even get enough coverage to validate his presence on the team. I won't buy The Defenders #2 and it doesn't bother me at all to say that.
IDW: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Micro Series: Raphael
- BUY this book! Buy all the rebooted Turtles books! Kevin Eastman is writing the Turtles again and it's great great stuff. If you are already reading them, good job, this comic picks up with Raphael having being implemented back into his family, but he still goes on runs with Casey Jones every Wednesday. Nothing like some good asskicking with Jones.
Brian Lynch writes and the art is done by Franco Urru with colors by Fabio Mantovani. The writing is superb and the art is very a cartoonish gritty. Here we are introduced to ALOPEX. A new mutant in the TMNT world and she is a speedster/trickster. She reminds me of Sly Cooper: Thievius Raccoonus in a good way. The back pages have design sketches from Kevin Eastman of Alopex.
But is Alopex a goodie or a baddie? Read and find out. Raphael does his best to discover her true motives. Also, in this issue we are hinted at Shredder for the first time and also hinted at the future of Bebop and Rocksteady. I mean hell, Bebop is even wearing the same out-of-date shades and it's awesome.
-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4 is an A+. Buy it, love it, cherish it. READ IT/REREAD IT.
-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Micro-series Raphael #1 is an A. I don't know why it isn't an A+, other than I wish I saw more of the other Turtles. I can't give everything an A+ can I? Although with these restarted Turtle's books, I just might. Amazing book/amazing reads.
DC Comics: Batwing #4
- I wanted to review Batwing specifically because 4th Man gave it such a big thumbs down, but I will give it a thumbs up. If Batwing disappeared I would notice! Especially after reading and starting to be interested in the character David Zavimbe. At first I thought he was gonna be just a black batman, but it's more than that. I'm very intrigued by Africa and the turmoil of the countries found there, especially in Northern Africa.
Issue #4 gives us the 'secret origin' of Batwing. It's not so secret anymore, but it is a very ideal and easy to believe backstory. David Zavimbe was a child soldier, whom with his brother, killed, stole, and did everything most child soldiers are trained to do. But he has morals enough to not want to kill children and women, and he stands by those morals. Enough so that he losses someone close to him because of it.
Tired of seeing all the death around him, David vows to never kill again. He instead wants justice and reform for his country. Now as David takes the mantle of Batwing, he returns to his battle against an enemy named Massacre. If you are looking for a slaughterfest, then Massacre is your guy. He kills on a whim and is extremely happy to kill anything and anyone.
Also, I found the first few pages very hard to believe that they took place in Africa. The victorian designed house and the firefighters and police looked very modern American. As if they came out of middle america to fight a fire that supposedly took place in Africa. I don't expect tiki huts, but I don't expect two story victorian houses either.
Batwing #4 gets a C. It focuses too much on backstory for my liking. It's a good backstory, but predictable.
DC Comics: Batwing #3
- The look on the 'Dragonflies' faces on page one is worth picking this comic off the shelf and opening to the first page alone. These child soldiers of Africa are such an oddity in today's world. I can't even find the words to describe how awesome/horrible I think it all is to be honest. I'm sure there is a German word to describe it though. Intriguing and repulsive at the same time. This comic gave enough backstory and enough current story to satisfy me.
Massacre, the main antagonist thus far is going around and murdering super heroes of Africa named 'The Kingdom'. The best part of the story is that his murders seem justified and in issue 3 we hear his motives. The action with Batwing/Thunder Fall vs. Massacre is crisp and believable here. It's a great fight and I love good fights in Comics.
-Batwing #3 gets an A.
-Batwing #2, lets just say if you like machetes then this issue is an A+. But I'll give a B, because with the second issue of a new series I want to see more of the main character. Batwing isn't present due to what the story dictates, and that's okay and mostly believable. I do love the character of Thunder Fall, who is introduced here. Fun fight between Massacre and Thunder Fall contained within!
-Batwing #1 introduces you to 'The Kingdom' and Massacre and of course Batwing. It also gives you an idea of what Batwing wishes to implement in his country of 'Tinasha'. A honest and not corrupt African police force. But it'll be hard with guys like Massacre around. One of the New 52's greatest first issue twist endings. The art is just splendid and the story is a quick an fun read. Easy to rate this issue an A, because it makes you want to read more. I'll give it a jaded B+ though, because Batwing just keeps getting better. On the standard of issue 3, the first issue isn't an A.
-The Defenders #1 : F
-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rafael #1 : A
-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4 : A+
-Batwing #1 : B+
-Batwing #2 : B
-Batwing #3 : A
-Batwing #4 : C