3.21.2012

3.21.12 Reviews

The Massive #0.3 (Dark Horse): Yup, it’s officially Dark Horse Presents #10, but you know where my heart lies. For the last part of the prequel trilogy, Brian Wood opens with a history lesson about man’s abuse of the planetary ecosystem. It runs all the way up to the Deepwater Horizon and Fukushima Daichi disasters and sets the board for the loose mission parameters of the group Callum Israel now leads. Ultimately, I like the idea that if you push on the planet long enough, it’s bound to push back. Kristian Donaldson’s work has never looked better, crisper and tighter than some of his early frenetic sketchiness that inhabited titles like Supermarket. This prequel exercise really solidifies Cal’s origin and the change of heart he had regarding his purpose in life, and adds to the mystery that is Mary. It all sets the stage for what promises to be a thrilling and socially relevant ride, and we’d expect no less from Wood. With so many books dropping in June from the writer, I simply can’t wait, but this will undoubtedly be the crown jewel. Grade A.

Batman #7 (DC): The short version of this review is that this is basically everything you want a Batman comic to be. It juxtaposes Batman with a historical backdrop, making Gotham City a character itself. It has dark mythology matched by detailed intricate visuals, touches on the many relationships in the Batman family, and features a sinister and worthy opponent in Talon and The Court of Owls. I enjoyed the death visions that tend to rewrite the mythos to some degree, placing the Owl, not the Bat, as the natural hierarchical predator at the top of the food chain. I thought it was a little heavy on exposition when Bruce was explaining the reanimation of dead tissue via electrum deposits, but the reveal of who William Cobb was is a great payoff. Though, I will say that I find it hard to believe nobody ever noticed a silver and copper implant in that tooth before. Did that person never go to a dentist? As you can see, I’m trying hard to avoid spoilers. By the time you get to the cliffhanger, you don’t even notice that Snyder and Capullo have methodically led you through a prelude. It’s a prelude to war. Grade A.

Prophet #23 (Image): Before we even get into the comic, can I just say that I friggin’ love the “Experience Creativity” ads adorning this new crop of Image Comics? This time, there’s one with Fiona Staples. I wish you could purchase a set of prints or something, so I could just hang them all over my office at work. I would *totally* buy that, Image Comics! There’s even an interesting little back-up story. Anyway, let’s get to the main feature. I keep being struck by how much unique content is here visually and verbally. Brandon Graham and Simon Roy are rivaling the world-building of Herbert, Martin, Tolkien, and Lucas. It’s bits like “the living missile” as this form of organic technology that’s so fresh and original. John doesn’t even skip a beat, having lost an arm or an eye as he makes his way toward the tower with the G.O.D. satellite. I enjoy the omniscient narration because it makes this story feel like an ancient text, like we’re being told an old story, an important story, one that sucks you in because you want to know so much more. I like having questions, not frustrated questions, but intrigued questions. I love the sense of hope and change this ended with, with other humans, and the “rebirth of the Earth Empire.” It lends the sense that one chapter has closed, and another will open as a new artist rotates in. It’s a perfectly managed transition. Grade A.

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