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@JohnMcCubbin3 Reviews: @DCComics Justice League #18, Justice League of America #2, Green Arrow #19, Swamp Thing #19


Here are today's "Guest Reviews" by John McCubbin from Imagination Centre. Included are DC's; Justice League #18, Justice League of America #2, Green Arrow #19 & Swamp Thing #19. I have also added my rating after each review. If you have any questions about my rating or want to discuss anything just leave me a comment.


See the Review Rating Overview page for more information on how I rate each comic.



Justice League #18 - The Grid; Shazam! Chapter 10


Cyborg takes center stage as events fall into place for next month’s massive new story arc: “OFF THE GRID”!


Also, Batman continues to be question the Superman/Wonder Woman alliance and Aquaman’s future with the League.


Plus: The Shazam backup story reveals the origin of Black Adam—and what it means for Billy Batson’s survival!



Preview



Who will Join the Justice League?


Coming of the breathtakingly brilliant Throne of Atlantis story, Justice League has big shoes to fill, and with the upcoming Trinity War story coming it needs to show that it can continue being brilliant, especially considering within two issues Justice League of America has been a better series (although it's only been two issues).

Plot

After the events of Throne of Atlantis the Justice League agree that there needs to be new members that can act on a more permanent basis in case something prevents a current member from acting, so Cyborg uses the Grid to find candidates.

Shazam! Part 10


Mr. Bryer comes to Billy Batson's foster home with the police wanting him arrested, but with Billy not being there he is dismissed. After that the remaining children in the foster home follow Freddy Freeman in searching for Billy.

Review

This wasn't the best issue in the series, so far, but it wasn't the worst. Geoff Johns had a lot to live up to after the brilliant Throne of Atlantis story, but I never expected this issue to match that. I did however find the issue very interesting, and liked how Johns handled the whole Grid situation. Although not very exciting, Johns did however do a good job on the issue besides that, as it had some very interesting sequences, and concepts, a well as leaving some interesting teasers. I also liked that Cyborg had a bigger role in this issue, and felt Johns also handled this well, but I'll talk more about this later on in my review.

The absence of Ivan Reis was noticeable from page one, and I was disappointed as he was solicited as bring the artist. Jesus Saiz did however do a very good job of the art in this issue, and although I'd prefer Reis working on the art, Saiz did do better than a lot of other artists who have worked on Justice League titles in the past. Saiz' art was very detailed, and I actually liked how he drew the characters. Although his art wasn't as beautiful as Reis', it was still very lively, and showed a lot of dynamic. Saiz' also did a brilliant job of the characters facial expressions, and the odd action sequence that featured in this issue was drawn perfectly, giving a very dramatic feel. I do however hope that the solicits are true for the next few issues of Justice League, and that Reis is doing the art, as I really missed it on this issue.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Imagination Centre


My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 3/5
Verdict - 3.1


Justice League of America #2 - World's Most Dangerous, Chapter Two; Security Detail


The new Justice League of America team continues to form, but the question remains: What do these heroes want in return for their membership?


Secret motives are everywhere, and the outcome will have a huge impact on this team and the rest of The New 52!


Plus, the alien MANHUNTER’s back-up series begins revealing more about J’onn’s plans for this team...and the other Justice League.


Preview



Mission One


I was really looking forward to this series, and the first issue didn't disappoint. Although I still prefer the original Justice League members, I found the whole concept of a group of controversial characters protecting America was brilliant, and Geoff Johns, and David Finch did a brilliant job with the first issue.

Plot

The Justice League of America come together, and although certain members like Green Lantern (Simon Baz) are absence, most are together, and they have their first mission, to stop the Secret Society of Super Villains.

Martian Manhunter Back-up


Martian Manhunter explains how he's able to camouflage himself, and infiltrate places like the White House, whilst showing why the President (Barack Obama) as well as America need the JLA.

Review

This was a terrific issue, and with the first issue being such a brilliant taster, I'm happy that it's followed by an even better assembly issue. Geoff Johns is one of the best writers in DC, and although he doesn't produce brilliant stories all the time, he can make any character or series brilliant, having made Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Flash (Barry Allen), and Aquaman brilliant characters once more, as well as doing a tremendous job on the JL books, and Batman: Earth One. I loved the way he wrote every character, and more so that you could see all the different personalities shining through. I also liked that he's giving us teasers of things to come, whilst also giving us an interesting issue, which looks to be a brilliant series, and so far has been better than the other Justice League series (but it has only been two issues). It was also nice to see a bit of team spirit, even if they haven't really work as a team yet, but I'll talk a bit more on that later on in my review.

The art from David Finch is once again phenomenal. I've always said that art is where Finch belongs, and although he also did art on his Batman: The Dark Knight series, the poor writing let it down. I love the way he draws all the characters, but I don't like the way he draws Catwoman this time. I actually didn't mind the way he drew Catwoman in the first issue, but for some reason I don't like on second glance, and feel that it shows too much flesh, and that's saying something when it comes to Catwoman. I did however love everything else about his artwork, and all the other characters were brilliantly drawn, with his best art coming from Martian Manhunter, and Hawkman. I also liked that he was able to draw Scarecrow, as I loved the way he drew him in his last story arc on Dark Knight. The detail throughout Finch's art is also brilliant, and although there is the very odd imperfection, is easily forgiven, and doesn't take away from his tremendously brilliant artwork.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Imagination Centre

My Rating



Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 4/5

Verdict - 3.7


Green Arrow #19 - The Kill Machine, Part 3


What startling secret is revealed on the island that gave Green Arrow birth?

Preview

 


Arrows Everywhere


Since Jeff Lemire has taken over this series it has been nothing short of amazing, and I've really enjoyed seeing Green Arrow in a brilliant series once more, and this story so far has been one of the best Green Arrow stories that I've ever read (although I've not read that many).

Plot

Green Arrow (Oliver "Ollie" Queen) is falling to his death, but manages to save himself. Komodo isn't happy about this, and the two get embroiled into a fight. Meanwhile Naomi is still captive of Komodo, being watched over by his daughter, Emiko Lacroix.

Review

This was a brilliant issue, and Jeff Lemire is really doing something phenomenal with this series. After reading Lemire's amazing work on this series, as well as the brilliant two issues of Animal Man that I read, I decided to try more of his work, getting his run on Justice League Dark (up to date), as well as Constantine (which he co-plots with his JLD co-writer Ray Fawkes), and I've started to see that he's truly an amazing writer, and one of the best working at DC the now. Although JLD has been brilliant, I still much prefer this series, as I feel that it's much more grittier, and dramatic, and I've loved how he's taken Ollie out of his comfort zone, making him have to fight. I've also loved how Lemire's managed to keep the backstory a mystery, whilst giving us slithers of information about it, to keep us interested, which makes for brilliant suspense. Lemire's also managed to keep the story very exciting, having plenty of action, but not too much that it takes away from the development of the story, and overall his writing is amazing, and I can't wait to read more of it, and especially from this story.

The artwork from Andrea Sorrentino is once again phenomenal, and I've been very happy that he's working on this series. The detail in Sorrentino's art is simply outstanding, as every thing is so precise, and perfect, with every minor detail given attention, and it really makes for a beautiful piece of art. There are however two things that I like most about Sorrentino's art, and that's the way he draws facial expressions, and the overall layout of the artwork. The facial expressions are simply fantastic, as it adds a lot of emotion to the story, showing the character's feelings perfectly. The layout is also brilliant, as it really gives a great dramatic feel to the story, also giving an overall unique style to the series. I also love the way that Sorrentino draws the action in this issue, as like the layout it adds more drama to the story, which is brilliant. Marcelo Maiolo has also once more done a fabulous job of the colours, and although I still prefer the colours that Sorrentino added in the first issue in this story, I've still really enjoyed the colours that Maiolo has produced, as they are very similar, and add a very unique tone to the series, whilst also giving more drama and suspense.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Comic Vine


My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 5/5
Verdict - 4.1



Swamp Thing #19 - Urban Jungle


What could Swamp Thing possibly fear more than The Scarecrow?

Preview


A New Direction for Swamp Thing


I've gradually became a bigger fan of Swamp Thing since I bought Swamp Thing: Raise Them Bones, and then started getting the series from Rotworld, and although I was disappointed with the ending of Rotworld, Scott Snyder compinsated with his final issue on the series (Swamp Thing #18), and I was sad to see him leave the series. I was in two minds as to whether or not I was going to continue getting the series, but decided that I'd give it a try, hoping that the change in creative team doesn't mean a change in quality.

Plot

Swamp Thing (Alec Holland) is tasked with protecting the Green, even if that leads to the death of humans. Conflicted with this Swamp Thing travels to Metropolis to get advice from Superman, but bumps into Scarecrow instead.

Review

This was a brilliant starting issue for the new creative team, and Charles Soule did a fantastic job of introducing Swamp Thing in a different style of story, whilst also showing the effects that Rotworld has had on him. I have to say I have never read anything that Soule has written before, and although I've heard that his Twenty Seven series was meant to be good, having not read it myself I didn't know what to expect from his writing. Although I still much prefer the way Snyder wrote the series (even the way he started his run), I do however like that Soule has taken Swamp Thing in a different direction, as it makes Snyder's run feel complete, whilst also making the the series as a whole feel unique (and I never expected Soule to be better than Snyder anyway). I also liked how Soule continued to show that there were lots of emotions in Alec, whilst also showing that he's not quite as driven as he used to be, which was nice, as it shows the depth of the character.

The art in this issue was overall brilliant, and although I still much prefer Yanick Paquette's art (I doubt anyone will draw Swamp Thing better than Paquette), this has probably been the next best. Although I was unfamiliar with Soule's work, I am familiar with Kano's, and although it's still not as familiar as with work from other artists, the art I have seen from Kano (The Immortal Iron Fist) has been brilliant, and I was happy to hear that he'd be working on this series. Kano's artwork was simply brilliant, and although there were a few things that I was initially concerned about at first glance, whilst reading through the entire issue I started to appreciate the art, and the style that Kano brings. The detail was also fantastic, as everything looks so smooth, and clear, and even when the characters are at a distance, Kano's still drew them in a way that makes them stand out, and look realistic. I especially liked how Kano drew the scenery, as everything looked amazing, and whether Swamp Thing was in the Sudan desert, or Metropolis, it always looked fabulous (although I personally preferred the way Kano drew the desert). The only character that I wasn't as fond of drawn by Kano was the Scarecrow, as although I've seen worse, this is still by far the best depiction of the character. In saying that Kano did do a brilliant job of showing the Scarecrow's emotions, as a lot of artists don't manage to do that.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Comic Vine


My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 3.9


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John McCubbin is a blogger at http://imaginationcentre.blogspot.co.uk/ and a comic book reviewer at Comic Vine. The use of this review has been authorized by the original author.

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