Comic Review: Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1

Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1 by Frank Miller

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A continuation of the epic Dark Knight and Dark Knight Returns series by Frank Miller, this series is nothing, if not widely hyped. Don’t get me wrong, I was just as excited as everybody else about the thought of the return of Frank Miller to his mighty Batman story, I simply have found myself, a little underwhelmed in this first issue.

Without giving anything away, I’ll simply give you my impression of the writing and art of this single first issue, steering clear of any major plot giveaways.

I found myself a bit lost through the first half of the issue. I had a hard time figuring out if I’d missed or forgotten something about The Dark Knight Returns or not. There’s some of the old style infused in this newer version, what with the text messaging back and forth in the standard abbreviated fare. This is fully inline with the original versions dialect chosen to portray the goons. Both of which annoy me to no end. I cannot stand when writers literally write accents into their dialogue. I much prefer a simple footnote of some sort indicating the accent. I may be the only one who hates when poor grammar are written into stories, but I just cannot get over it.

After finding out where I was in the story half way through, I discovered an inserted story of Captain Atom, which I wasn’t sure if I should read that first, then continue on with the DKIII story line or save that for the end. I chose to save it for the end, glad I did. It wouldn’t have ruined anything, but I think it’s best to read it after you’ve completed the DKIII story first.

The artwork was good. Not great, but also not horrible. There were times that I had hoped the art would support the story a little more so I could follow what was going on a little more, but alas, there were times the art was just as confusing.

It wasn’t all bad. There’s a great twist at the end that is totally worth the wait. A single page made the whole story make sense and made the story pretty darn good. I still don’t feel the price tag of $5.99 is worth it. This is especially evident considering Frank Miller is said to have very little actual involvement overall in the book. It feels like an overly obvious ploy by DC Comics to capitalize on a legendary name to sell some books. Hats of to them for succeeding. I bought it hook line and sinker, though I don’t know I’ll be collecting the entire series unless the overall writing keeps getting better.

This may not be a must have for your collection unless you’re a huge Batman fan, or you’re hoping the book will increase in value. It has a good chance of actually doing so, though there are probably around 30-50 variant covers for this series already so it may not be worth nearly as much as you’d hope.

View all my reviews


Comic Review: Daredevil | Vol. 2 (1998-2011)

Daredevil, Vol. 1Trade Paperbacks in this Series

My Series Rating: ★★★

This was such a great series. The first 8 issues that Kevin Smith wrote were superb. There was a slight drop to the story for me when Kevin left, but the story still kept up enough to keep me interested. By the time we got to the Shadowland event, I was so hooked on this series I never wanted it to end.

The series really took a dark turn in the Shadlowland event which was a fun twist from the typical Daredevil stories I’m used to. Not that Daredevil is this happy go lucky story in the first place, but it just struck me as to the sheer darkness of the story line. As you can see, this series made it pretty deep with a total of about 133 issues. The art is a delight and the writing by both Kevin Smith and Brian Michael Bendis is superb for the majority of the series.

I highly recommend this series to anybody who loves Daredevil and especially to those who are on the fence. There’s good character development and a great plot with some sub plots mixed in as well. You’re also going to get exposed to a lot of other superheros in the Marvel universe such as Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Misty Knight, White Tiger, etc. If you’re thinking of buying all the issues in this series you’re gonna drop some cash, namely on the first 8-10 issues, so the trade paperbacks listed above might be the better bet to get you going.

Comic Review: Detective Comics, Vol. 6: Icarus

Detective Comics, Vol. 6: Icarus
Detective Comics, Vol. 6: Icarus by Francis Manapul

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love everything Batman and was so excited when I received my copy via the GoodReads First Reads giveaway. The best part is this book is signed by Brian Buccellato which makes this my first ever signed comic.

If I’m being honest, I’ve not had a chance to read the first 5 volumes of this series, so I’m not completely sure what has happened in the story to get to this point. My review will obviously be skewed a bit because of this.

As far as the story goes, not a whole lot happened. Not of a lot of consequence at least. I wasn’t excited to see what was going to happen next. There wasn’t a lot of suspense or intrigue in my opinion. It felt a bit mundane. I know that sounds pretty negative and that was a big reason I only gave the book 3 of 5 stars. It’s an easy, quick read which was ok, just not as much substance as I would have liked. There again, it could be because I haven’t read the rest of the series.

The artwork was good, but not my style. I prefer a little crisper art. There are times it’s difficult to see what is truly happening in a frame. I prefer more distinguished colors which just aren’t in this book. This is still art, and I appreciate it very much. I liked it a lot, it simply isn’t my preferred style.

Based on this volume, I don’t know that I’ll run to my comic book shop to buy the first 5 to see what happened, though I’ll probably check them out at my local library if they have them as I noted at the start, I love everything Batman.

View all my reviews

Comic Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Vol. 1: Change is Constant

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Vol. 1: Change is Constant
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Vol. 1: Change is Constant by Kevin Eastman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love pretty much everything there is about the Turtles so when I had the opportunity to buy the first volume of this new series, I jumped. So, I said I love everything about the turtles, I should preface this with, it’s a pretty superficial uneducated love. I pretty much know what I know from the late 80’s cartoon and the Hollywood movies. So I’m no expert.

This story gives us a very recognizable origin story of how our favorite turtles and their beloved father/sensei Splinter make their way into our lives. There are a few things we need to recognize and get over, those of us who only know the turtles from Hollywood. First, in this volume, the brothers don’t wear different colors. No blue Leonardo, or red Raphael. No worries, though this makes it really difficult to pick them out, until you find the weapons they’re using. The other big difference here is in the actual origin story. The way this story plays it out, Raphael seems to have been lost shortly after being exposed to the mutagen. Thus, we follow the other three brothers working to track him down for the majority of their lives. Their primary foe in this volume is a mutant known as Old Hob. He’s a cat/man who is working for our beloved villain General Krang. This story fits what I’ve known of the different characters, though April O’Neil has a bit of an upgrade in her intelligence by making her a scientist who was working on the project in which the turtles and Splinter were involved.

The biggest flaw I see to the story, was that the turtles are needed to get the mutagen back to continue the work being done. My question is, why couldn’t that mutagen simply be taken from Old Hob? Perhaps he wasn’t the result of the same ooze mutagen as the turtles, but it would be good to understand how he came about, otherwise, why the need for the turtles at all.

Overall, I thought the book was great. Like I said, I love pretty much everything turtles so I was easily able to get over any of the differences I’ve been accustomed too, plus, knowing it was created by the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles makes it easy to get over any differences or expectations I may have had. The story is different enough to make it worth reading. This is not just another regenerated copy of past work as far as I’m concerned.

I cannot wait to start in on volume two soon.

View all my reviews

Comic Review: Marvel Zombies 5

Marvel Zombies 5
Marvel Zombies 5 by Fred Van Lente

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve never experienced Howard the Duck, and I’ll be honest… If he’s always like he was in this book, then I love Howard the Duck. I bought this book in hardcover from my local comic book shop for a whoppin` $6. I was so excited, because, if you’ve read any of my other posts, I love Zombies.

Marvel Zombies volume 5 continues the saga of saving the multiverse from many strains of the virus that causes a zombie apocalypse. Each world has it’s own strain of the virus, which in turn, creates it’s own very unique set of zombies with slightly different traits.

The team charged with finding blood samples of each zombie strain consists of Machine Man, Howard the Duck, and a new recruit from one of the worlds they visit, Jacali Kane (Quick Draw).

Honestly, this story started bring the Marvel Zombies world back into what I consider “Worth” reading. Volumes 3 and 4 were starting to get a little dicey. Bringing Howard the Duck in seemed to have solidified the story for me. How a duck can do that for me, I have no idea.

Essentially, the goal is to get the strains of each virus so Morbius (vampire) can find a cure.

The art was, and always has been solid. I love zombie art, so I’m probably biased, but I really felt Michael Kaluta and Kano did a great job with the illustrations and penciling.

As a result, I had to give this book 4 of 5 stars. It wasn’t the most profound story or even the best Marvel Zombies story I’ve read, but it was a solid one. I would have liked to have seen some of our favorite Avengers or X-Men zombies come back, but alas, that wasn’t in the cards for this book. The star of this book was Howard the Duck, and I’m not at all ashamed to admit it.

View all my reviews

Comic Review: Batman, Vol. 5: Zero Year – Dark City

Batman, Vol. 5: Zero Year - Dark City
Batman, Vol. 5: Zero Year – Dark City by Scott Snyder

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was so excited when I won this book via the Goodreads First Reads giveaway. I love Scott Snyder and I’ve already read much of his work on The New 52 Batman comic book series.

This story takes place when Bruce Wayne is about 25 or so. He must save Gotham from The Riddler’s evil plot to destroy the city. As is typical of The Riddler, the actual intent of the villain is constantly in question, thus, Batman must figure out his actual plan. As is also typical, Batman must play The Riddlers game in order to save the city.

I love the classic Batman villains so this story was right up my alley. The Riddler is probably my 3rd favorite villain behind The Joker and The Penguin so the story itself was great for me.

Where I found the story a bit out of my liking was in the art. The first issue I had, was not in the art, but in the depiction of Bruce Wayne. I’ve never envisioned him with a buzz cut. I had a really hard time believing the character they were showing was Bruce and thus, Batman. Aside from that, which I got over, but it took about 3/4 of the book to get through, my other issue was the Batsuit. This suit that the Batman wears is really ratty looking. Probably intended to show a young, up and coming Batman, but this suit just looks beat up. It looks like he’s wearing a t-shirt with the sleeves ripped off. I prefer the more polished and technically advanced looking batsuits over this one.

Even with those complaints, the book was great. Those minor details I noted really only took one star away. The story was strong enough to carry this book alone. I cannot wait to see what’s next for Batman.

View all my reviews

Comic Review: Marvel Zombies 4

Marvel Zombies 4
Marvel Zombies 4 by Fred Van Lente

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked this book up at my local comic book store for $6. I was so excited because it was so cheap and in hardcover. I loved the first volume by Robert Kirkman of the Marvel Zombies franchise that I assumed this book would be on par with the first.

I love zombies, but I don’t love it when a story just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I’ve read through volumes 1-3 and this by far has been the least entertaining. In this volume the zombie virus become airborne which of course is catastrophic. There is a race to destroy the virus before it can spread to the entire world. I like the concept of making the virus airborne but they just didn’t do a good job everywhere else. The writers bounced us around so much and didn’t really explain much. They relied too heavily on the art to fill in gaps in the story and I just didn’t feel the art had a chance to be successful.

For the most part the art was good. It did what it could and was pretty creepy which is what I expected. The artists had their hands full trying to tell this story with the sub par job the writers did. My favorite part of the book was Deadpool. He’s my absolute favorite comic book character, so I was excited to see him in this book. The issue I had, was the personality the writers gave the Merc with a Mouth just didn’t jive with the rest of his stories. I’ll leave it to you to decide if I’m being overly critical though.

View all my reviews

Comic Review: The Walking Dead, Vol. 01: Days Gone Bye

The Walking Dead, Vol. 01: Days Gone Bye
The Walking Dead, Vol. 01: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been watching The Walking Dead on AMC like everyone else has been and have completely loved what they are doing with it. Naturally, I had to read the comics to see how closely they have followed the original.

I wish I had started with the comic instead of the show. Having watched the show first, I now look at the book as deviating from the story, even though, it is the reverse. There are characters I barely recognize in the book from the show. So, how do I review something that I’ve already been given a slightly different version of? I can’t give the book a fair shake on the story line because I couldn’t get over the timeline changes and character differences, so I’ll focus on more of the artwork.

I enjoyed the story, but I felt it moved a little faster than I would have liked. It seems there could have been more detail provided with the story. Don’t get me wrong, I gave this first volume 4 stars because it was still a great read, but I wanted more detail.

The artwork was somewhat of a love hate moment for me. I love the zombies. Those images are awesome (sometimes I wish it were in color), but some of the characters are hard to recognize from time to time. There aren’t enough discerning features to recognize who is being pictured. That’s probably just the TV show getting in my way. That is why I didn’t drop another star.

Overall, the book is great. Can’t wait to dive into the next one.

View all my reviews

Comic Review: Aquaman, Vol. 1: The Trench

Aquaman, Vol. 1: The Trench
Aquaman, Vol. 1: The Trench by Geoff Johns
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We all know that Aquaman hasn’t been the most popular superhero as of late, so I had high hopes for this book. So many people have loved this new reboot of the ever so marginalized man of water. In the first six issues of Geoff Johns’ reboot of Aquaman we see Arthur Curry start to win some of the public over and dispel some of the common misconceptions about the trident wielding superhero.

My impression of the book was very good as you can see by the 4 star rating. Starting with the art, this book was a winner right away. It was up there with the Animal Man series in terms of eye candy. I especially liked the coloring work. Now add in a story that gave a small glimpse into what may have happened to Atlantis, who Mera really is and who Aquaman can and likely will become, it was a great introduction to the character for me. I’ve not read any of the past stories, though I’ve seen some of the artwork and have always thought Aquaman wasn’t given a fair shake. He wasn’t taken seriously by the artists depicting him. This book breaks that mold and I cannot wait to get my hands on volume 2.

View all my reviews

Comic Review: Animal Man, Vol. 3: Rotworld: The Red Kingdom

Animal Man, Vol. 3: Rotworld: The Red Kingdom

Animal Man, Vol. 3: Rotworld: The Red Kingdom by Jeff Lemire

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series is getting better and better. I couldn’t sleep last night so I sat down with this book and finished it all. Typically I don’t have time to read an entire TPB in one sitting but I couldn’t put this one down.

I’m not going to get too into the story line as that would divulge too much of the story and I don’t like including spoilers, but what I can say, is that Buddy Baker and Alec Holland (Swamp Thing) work together to attempt to defeat The Rot and save the world. I didn’t expect to see the likes of Superman and Wonder Woman, or Frankenstein, but low and behold there they are and it was a great addition to the story.

The story was superb and the art continued to deliver. The Animal Man series is simply creepy, yet beautiful. I cannot get over the terrifying creatures of The Rot in this book. I highly recommend this series to anyone without a squeamish stomach. Plus, you finally will get to find out what Maxine (Buddy’s daughter) can actually do.

This book very much deserves this 5 star rating. I expect Volume 4 should be as good, though it’ll be a tough on to be better.

View all my reviews