Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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



Here are today's Guest Reviews by Anj from Supergirl Comic Box Commentary for DC's; Superman #21, Action Comics #22, Superman Unchained #2, and Worlds' Finest #14. 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.


Superman #21 - Don't Mind if I Do


Witness the horror of Hector Hammond as Metropolis burns! What happens when a city is taken over by a nightmare?

Preview



Hector Hammond, Man of Steel!


Superman #21 came out last week and it has taken me a bit of time to finally get to the review.

I have to say that with H'El in the rear view mirror, I have been pleasantly surprised with direction of this book. There is nothing earth-shattering by writer Scott Lobdell here. But there isn't anything horrible or vile either. And frankly, I have to be happy about that. So much was wrong with earlier issues that an average issue is a huge upgrade. I don't mean to damn with faint praise. The last couple of issues have been fun and interesting. I might not be smiling widely after reading these, but I have a satisfied half-smile on my face.

On top of that, Kenneth Rocafort continues to shine on this book. There are usually a couple of breathtaking panels each issue, stuff that sparkles. And this issue is no different. I can't praise him enough.

This isn't perfect by any means. But this Psi-War angle is pretty intriguing and an actual threat to Superman.

Here is a great example of Rocafort's art. We open to this splash page of the new Queen Bee bathing in some honey-like liquid. You immediately get a sense of her personality as you see her enjoying this shower of sticky stuff.  I looked at the art before reading the captions and the first word that came to my mind was 'luxuriate'. And sure enough, that word is in Lobdell's text. When art and words mesh, the comic medium is at its strongest. Just great stuff.

Turns out the 'honey' is liquid plasma coalesced from the thoughts of Metropolis. She seems to gain strength from psionic residue.

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

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 2/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 2/5
Story - 3/5
Verdict - 2.7
 - (Buy Superman #21) SAVE 10%

Action Comics #22 - Atomic Knights, Part One; The World of Krypton, Part 3: Darkest Depths


A group of warriors from space come to Earth in search of their new king—and they’ve set their sights on Superman to lead them!

Preview




Atomic Night


Action Comics #22 came out this week, starting an 'all Scott Lobdell, all the time' couple of months in the Superman titles. While Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder are waiting in the wings, Lobdell takes over the venerable Action title with artist Tyler Kirkham.

When this was first announced, I literally cringed. We were in the midst of the incongruous and inscrutable H'El on Earth storyline and Lobdell wasn't writing a Superman consistent with my vision of the character. Now I still have some issues with Lobdell's approach to Superman but I have to admit that his last couple of Superman issues have been much better than the detestable early part of his run on the book. In particular, the Psi-War plotline is pretty engaging. And judging by this issue, it looks like Lobdell will use his writing monopoly to advance that story in both books. Maybe DC should put the little numbered S-shields on the covers during this time?

Tyler Kirkham is on art here. I have liked his work on Green Lantern Corps and Legion Lost so I was not surprised to find that I liked it here. There is a nice variation on his art here, smooth and clean in places, detailed and gritty in other spots.

Those numbered shields might be helpful here. A week ago Superman #21 ended with a cliffhanger, Hector Hammond facing off against H.I.V.E.'s Queen Bee. Here he is working with HIVE, in space and about to board their 'world-killer' orbiting space station.

This is a pretty impressive death satellite. It is surprising that it hasn't been noticed by anyone! I will say, suddenly the H.I.V.E. goes from being a wonky old Teen Titans Hydra clone to a much bigger threat.

It is also interesting to read that Hammond has battled the Green Lantern Corps in the past, in deep space no less. It means at least some remnants of the 'old DC' are still around in the universal reboot of the New 52. But that also makes it relatively confusing. The New 52 really still has that 'immediate Post-Crisis' feel to it. What has happened? What hasn't?

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

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 3/5
Story - 3/5
Verdict - 3
 - (Buy Action Comics #22) SAVE 10%


Superman Unchained #2 - The Fall



The technological terrorists called Ascension are growing bolder with every attack, creating problems only can solve—and that’s with help from the world’s greatest detective, Batman! But the mystery that’s really got them both worried is the unknown figure that’s been shadowing Superman! And in this issue’s backup tale, Jimmy Olsen takes center stage as Metropolis reacts to an event that’s shaken the city to its core!

Preview




Unchained


Superman Unchained #2 came out last week and continued to percolate the multiple plotlines that writer Scott Snyder and artist Jim Lee put into motion in the inaugural issue. Between the anti-technology but highly technological terrorist group Ascension, the super-powered military agent Wraith, and Luthor doing 'good' things, this title hit the ground running. Moreover, these are my favorite sorts of plotlines because you know at some point they are all going to merge in to one major event.

Jim Lee's art is solid in this issue. I do have to comment on the cover (something I will comment on in the review as well). This cover image of Superman clutching the American flag could be considered a patriotic image, especially given the proximity to Independence Day. Unfortunately, after reading the story you realize the tanks Superman in fighting on the cover are American tanks! I am pretty sick of story after story of Superman fighting the American military. It would be nice if ... maybe every now and then ... we see Superman fighting along side out troops. Knowing now he is toppling over American troops, this image becomes almost symbolic of treason!

The issue opens with Superman in Dubai. Ascension has bombed the Burj Khalifi, the world's tallest building, toppling the upper half and leaving Superman 11 seconds to save everyone. Snyder gets us inside Superman's head as we hear him wracking his brain to come up with an answer. I think one of the perceived problems of writing Superman is getting around his near omnipotence and perceived infallibility. How can you create conflict or drama in someone this powerful. By reading this desperation in Superman, it humanizes him, let's us now while everything might look easy and rosy, he struggles with answers just like everyone.

Of course this panel got my attention especially given the recent spate of issues around killing and death with the Superman character. Here he talks about coming up with the solution which will cause the least amount of deaths. A Superman willing to concede death isn't necessarily a classic interpretation.

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 - 3/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 4
 - (Buy Superman Unchained #2) SAVE 10%


Worlds' Finest #14 - Losses



The technological terrorists called Ascension are growing bolder with every attack, creating problems only can solve—and that’s with help from the world’s greatest detective, Batman! But the mystery that’s really got them both worried is the unknown figure that’s been shadowing Superman! And in this issue’s backup tale, Jimmy Olsen takes center stage as Metropolis reacts to an event that’s shaken the city to its core!

Wonder Woman, Steel, Brainiac, and Parasite appears only on variant covers.

Preview



At the Mercy of Desaad!

Worlds' Finest #14 came out last week and seemed to be another pause in the forward progress of this title.

I have struggled overall with this title. I have a fondness for both Power Girl and the Huntress (in all her incarnations although Helena Bertinelli is my favorite). I have enjoyed Paul Levitz's writing since I was a kid. The original artists on the book were two of my favorites - George Perez and Kevin Maguire. The underlying plot of heroes trapped on another world and trying to stop Darkseid seems like a win. And, to add a little bit of awesome sauce, this Power Girl had a career as Supergirl!

But the initial issues seemed to be something of a jumble. There were adventures or missions that didn't seem to matter much or add anything to the overall story. The two characters seemed to be separate more than they were together. Even though the art was great, the book seemed to be treading water.

Then, Paul Levitz seemed to realize that things needed to move forward. And so for the past several issues, we have seen Power Girl and Huntress under attack by Desaad and his Apokolips troops. I have been pretty happy with this book. But ...

Worlds' Finest #14, outside of its cliffhanger, is basically a repeat of last issue. And suddenly I felt that we were back to treading water. I think that artist Robson Rocha has been improving in his art here but he isn't Perez or Maguire yet. So I was pretty let down by this issue.

All of that said, I love Ryan Sook and his covers are great, including this one.

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

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 5/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 5/5
Layout & Flow - 3/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 4.3
 - (Buy Worlds' Finest #14) SAVE 10%

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

0 comments :

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...