Monday, September 9, 2013

Supergirl Comic Box Commentary Reviews: @DCComics Action Comics, Worlds' Finest, Superboy @dranj70


Here are today's "Guest Reviews" by Anj from Supergirl Comic Box Commentary. Included are DC's; Action Comics #20, Worlds' Finest #12, and Superboy #20. 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.


Action Comics #20 - Hybrid, Part 2; World of Krypton, Part 1: Discovery


Superman battles an enemy of his own making in the horrible Hybrid—but what else does Lex Luthor have in store for The Man of Steel and the people of Metropolis? Get set to learn some of the secrets behind Luthor’s role in The New 52!

Preview


The Hybrid Rages!


Action Comics #20 came out this week, the second issue of the Andy Diggle and Tony Daniel brief story arc. Now I gushed last month about the first chapter of the arc as it read like a great more classic Superman story with some great Lois moments; a brilliant, dangerous, sociopath of a Lex Luthor; and a inspirational and strong Superman. But it also was something of a bittersweet book as I knew that Andy Diggle's time was truly short-lived and Tony Daniel had already said he was off the book after the arc.

This issue has Diggle in the credits, a book he said he 'wrote part of' when on Twitter. And Daniel takes over both writing and penciling on the book.

I have to say I was very happy with the book as, quality-wise, it picked up right where the last issue left off. Sure, there is some super-science hand waving as we get the explanation of exactly what is happening here. But there is, I believe, a nod to a classic and personally beloved Superman story from the 70s. And that alone might have made me happy. But there is solid action in Action. And there continued to be this exploration of who Luthor is these days.

The book starts off with a brief scene showing Luthor being taught jujitsu. While his knowledge of the moves is superior, the teacher feels that Luthor is lacking an understanding of self. Physical skills cannot take the place of self-awareness. Luthor seems to shrug off the comment, taking advantage of the teacher's bow to throttle him.

Last month we saw him imprison his psychiatrist. Here he knocks out his martial arts instructor. All of this shows that Lex realizes that something is missing, some understanding of who he is. But no matter how he looks, he just never can face himself in the mirror. But I am intrigued that Lex is going through these steps. He just can't take a full step towards helping himself.

It also is telling that his default response is a show of power. Might always seems to make right with Lex.

Read the rest of Anj's review on Supergirl Comic Box Commentary

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 4
 - (Buy Action Comics #20)

Worlds' Finest #12 - The Price of Fame


As Power Girl returns to her classic look, DeSaad wreaks havoc on her tech empire—and PG and Huntress find themselves hunted by the talented torturer from Apokolips.

Preview



Power Play!


Things have been clicking a bit more in Worlds' Finest and Worlds' Finest #12 continued the trend. After what seemed to be slow beginning to the title, the underlying threat of Apokolips has finally reared it's ugly head and set the pace of this book.

Now the draw for me to this book earlier was the excellent character interaction between Power Girl and Huntress. Writer Paul Levitz has always been one to create complex and three dimensional characters and these two are pretty interesting and layered. Huntress has the passion of Catwoman and the determination of Batman. She wants to honor her father but seems as ferocious as her mother. Power Girl has some of the down to Earth innocence of the Silver Age Supergirl, the edge and physical nature of classic Power Girl, and a sort of free spirited attitude with a voracious sexual appetite. There is a lot to be sifted through there.

But earlier, the character exploration was often wrapped up in some less than thrilling action sequences and plots.

The threat of a Fourth World invasion has been looming though. These two witnessed there world shattered and they don't want to see that here. And, as I said, that Apokoliptian ugly head is finally out in full view ... and what an ugly head it is! The New 52 DeSaad decides to stop skulking and bring the fight to the Worlds' Finest and, as a reader, am happy.

The art on the book is an interesting melange. I am a huge Ryan Sook fan and this cover with Karen finally in her old Power Girl outfit just popped of the rack. Kevin Maguire, Geraldo Borges, and Robson Rocha all contribute, each bringing a slightly different sensibility to their pages but all very slick.

Read the rest of Anj's review on Supergirl Comic Box Commentary

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 5/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 3/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 3.7
 - (Buy Worlds' Finest #12)


Superboy #20 - A Wretched H.I.V.E.

“BLOOD AND STEEL” begins as The Teen of Steel decides it’s time to become more proactive in his battle against evil. But how far will he go before he crossed the line?

Preview


Blood and Steel


Superboy #20 came out this week, the first of what feels like many books sporting someone new in the creator column. Less than two years in, Superboy has his third writer. Welcome Justin Jordan.

There is a lot for Jordan to wrap his head around. Over these 2 years, Superboy as a title has felt uneven to me. His origin certainly isn't easy to recite. And last issue's knuckle-ball of a genetic reveal hasn't helped, at least for me. On top of that, I am still trying to understand just who Kon is. Is he a hero? An anti-hero? A brainwashed dupe? A player, sitting in his plush apartment surrounded by cash? What are his motivations?

If I have one hope of Jordan, it is that he solidifies what Kon thinks of himself and why he does what he does. After reading this issue, I think we are off to a good start. And the injection of humor in the form of Dr. Psycho is completely appreciated given the dour feel of this book so far.

The art on the issue is split in thirds between usual artists RB Silva and Rob Lean, Kenneth Rocafort, and Chris Cross. The art is well done, but their styles are very different and very distinctive, so the changes did distract from the story a bit.

And I don't quite know what the cover has to do with the story on the inside. Again, this feels like a feint by DC. This cover makes Superboy seem like a dark character, grim and gritty. And maybe that is how DC wants to market him. But the story doesn't bare that out.

Read the rest of Anj's review on Supergirl Comic Box Commentary

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 5/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 4
 - (Buy Superboy #20)

Purchase DC Comics
Anj is a blogger at http://comicboxcommentary.blogspot.com/The use of these reviews has been authorized by the original author.
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