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


Here are today's Guest Reviews by Anj from Supergirl Comic Box Commentary. Included are DC's; Justice League of America's Vibe #4, Supergirl #20, Action Comics #21, and Superboy #21. 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 of America's Vibe #4 - Illusions and Disillusions


Why is Vibe battling Batman? Our hero is in way over his head when he’s forced to turn against A.R.G.U.S.!

Preview



Betrayed by Batman?


One of the things that stands out for me with this book is the sensibilities of Paco as a new young hero. I am a sucker for the 'hero's journey' and no one seems to capture that as well as writer Sterling Gates. Here is Vibe, a good person, trying to figure out his powers, trying to figure out his place in the world, and trying to figure out the intentions of A.R.G.U.S. Does he want to work for this group? Is he a good person working for a bad group?

I know that sales haven't been phenomenal for this book but I hope we have time to explore all the pressures on Vibe. He clearly has a sense of right and wrong. But he needs to worry about his family. The government is providing some stuff for him. Will he sacrifice who he is to protect his family?

On top of that, I am intrigued about the breachers into the DCnU, those other-dimensional beings who cross over. I keep hoping we are going to see a veritable Who's Who of breachers from the old DCU in these issues.

Pete Woods is off this issue so art is done by Manual Garcia and Fabiano Neves.  I like the soft tones on the later pages involving Gypsy.

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 Justice League of America's Vibe #4) SAVE 10%

Supergirl #20 - Home Invasion!


Supergirl is dead—Long live Supergirl! Or so it seems as the strange connection between the Karas has Power Girl becoming Supergirl again.

Preview





When Worlds Collide! Featuring Power Girl!


Supergirl #20 came out this week, the first issue with writer Michael Alan Nelson. For me, I was glad to finally have this issue in my hands. Nelson is best known for a Cthulhu and his Supergirl was being touted by the DC higher-ups as being 'dark very dark. And yet, Nelson's own interviews talked about wanting Supergirl to be happy, wanting her to strive for joy, and wanting her to embrace Earth a bit more.

What was this title going to be like with Nelson at the helm?

Well, if this first issue is any indication, I think Supergirl is in good hands. I liked this issue very very much and I felt that it hit upon a lot of the things that I think make Supergirl such a great character. We see her intelligence, her resilience, a sort of self-deprecating attitude about herself, and ... shockingly ... her humor. We haven't had too many laughs in this book so far to have some humor enter the story was heartily welcomed. This felt a bit more like a classic Kara to me, and that is a great thing.

The book also nicely sets up two things for the future, best discussed during the review.

The art on the book is done by Mahmud Asrar and is even a notch above his usual superior stuff. In particular, he seems to have an innate grasp on Power Girl, making me wonder what he would be like on Worlds' Finest (without ever wanting him to leave Supergirl). His ability to make the two Karas appear similar enough for them to be the same person but distinct enough to be different is amazing. And colorist Dave McCaig really shines here, steeping the Sanctuary scenes in orange and keeping the deep sea and space scenes dark but clear.

The cover by Emmanuela Lupacchino is lovely and updated from the original solicit to show the 'old school' Power Girl costume Karen is now sporting.

On to the book!

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

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 5/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 5/5
Verdict - 4.6
 - (Buy Supergirl #20) SAVE 25%

Action Comics #21 - Hybrid, Part 3: More Than Human; The World of Krypton, Part 2: Dissension


Superman is betrayed by his own DNA! And in the backup story, learn The New 52 origin of The Parasite!

Preview




Hybrid Rises!


Action Comics #21 came out last week and continued the World of Krypton back-up story that looks back at Jor-El and Lara's early days.

Part of DC's impetus for The New 52 was that it allowed creators to have some freedom with characters, another reboot to try to inject some freshness into some classic characters. It can't be easy. It is tricky to try to reconfigure characters that have decades of steady characterization. An angry disaffected Supergirl doesn't work. An army of Firestorms doesn't work. An aloof Superman doesn't work. That isn't new energy or freshness. It is simply wrong.

But minor characters that can be tweaked? Now that is where new universes can be used to their maximum potential. So I am having a fun time reading this World of Krypton story by writer Frank Hannah and artist Philip Tan and its interesting take on Superman's parents.

I am used to seeing a square-jawed Jor-El who is both stoic and morose. I am used to Lara being a devoted mother, fussing over a cradle. So I don't mind seeing a young Jor-El wide-eyed and exploring ruins. And it is fascinating to see a Lara in military garb throwing backround kicks at Colonel Zod (?). Both of these new characterizations, done in the character's youth, build on the foundation of desperate and intelligent parents willing to buck the system and build a rocket to save their child. It is a refreshing look at these two without shattering what has come before, without erasing who they have been and trying to re-write history.

This is how you can mesh a fresh take on a character as well as maintaining a historical perspective and a respect for what has come before.

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 #21) SAVE 10%


Superboy #21 - State of Decay



Krypto comes to the rescue as Superboy is on the trail of Dr. Psycho and the new, mysterious H.I.V.E that has infested Metropolis.

Preview



In the Depths of H.I.V.E. ... With Krypto at his Side!


Superboy #21 came out last week and continued a trend to re-invent this comic, moving a bit away from the angst-driven early issues to more straight-forward super-heroics with a dash of humor. I, for one, welcome the change.

Writer Justin Jordan has shifted the story of the book from running from N.O.W.H.E.R.E. to fighting the more psionic-oriented H.I.V.E. With the complicated nonsense of NOWHERE/Harvest/The Culling/multiple layers of subliminals in the rear view mirror and with a complete lack of acknowledgment of Scott Lobdell's inane genetic history for the character, I really feel like this is a fresh start and a 'bold new direction'.

Suddenly this book feels like a super-hero book again with a young man with powers striving to help people. Great news!

RB Silva  and Rob Lean do the bulk of the art and it has been interesting to see their style morph in front of our eyes to the thicker lined murky look he currently sports. It works well with scenes with psionics or tactile telekinesis. However, I miss his cleaner look in the quieter moments of the story. Edgar Salazar pitches in on some pages and his thinner smoother style worked well.

With the threat of HIVE now front and center, Superboy has teamed up with Dr. Psycho to try to bring them down.

I like the contrasting personalities between these two new friends here. Certainly there is a banter here which allows Jordan to bring some humor into this book, something much appreciated. But Superboy wanting to act while Psycho investigates is similar to the friction/friendship between Huntress and Power Girl in Worlds' Finest.

It feels consistent for Superboy to be bored just sitting around, saying it every three minutes.

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

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 3/5
Story - 3/5
Verdict - 3.1
 - (Buy Superboy #21) SAVE 10%

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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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