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


Here are today's Guest Reviews by Anj from Supergirl Comic Box Commentary for DC's; Action Comics #23, Superboy #23, Worlds' Finest #15, and Justice League of America's Vibe #7. 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 #23 - Atomic Knights, Part Two; The World of Krypton, Part 5: Fortitude


Superman battles the constructs of an immense alien civilization that has built a feudal system based on pure evil! Plus, in the backup story, Jor-El and Lara try to save the Science Council from the colonel who seeks to make all of Krypton kneel before him!

Preview



Cosmic Deathmatch!


You know that feeling when a movie or book starts out great and then fizzles? That feeling that something wonderful was there, right in the grasp of the creators but sadly slipped away? That has been my feeling of the World Of Krypton Back-up feature which has run through Action Comics and the recent Superman Annual.

Action Comics #23 ended the story by writer Frank Hannah with art by Tom Derenick. And what started out as an interesting look at a young Jor-El and Lara decayed to a straightforward action book with some questionable ethics by our two protagonists. A Jor-El willing to mind control the planet. A Lara Lor-Van with a sadistic and murderous streak. That seems miles away from the curious elated scientist and strong young soldier we saw in the first chapters.

Something was there. And then it wasn't.

The loud violent second half of the tale does seem in line with the New 52. And I don't mean that in a good way.

As anticipated last issue, Jor-El is able to stymie the plans of Colonel Ekar but simply refusing to work the 'harmonic resonator'. While I don't like hearing that Jor-El made this thing at least he still has the ethics to not use it to enslave the populace. He is willing to sacrifice himself, or subject himself to torture, before he will cross that line.

Although by creating this thing, maybe he crossed that line already, albeit with his 'nudging' rather than Ekar's edicts. It just feels wrong for Jor-El to have done this.

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 - 5/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 4.1
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Superboy #23 - Match Game


The game is over for the Hunted! Who lives and who dies is sure to set the universe ablaze. Plus, a major villain emerges from the shadows!

Preview




Superboy vs. Superboy


As much as I talked last week about trying to look at the positive of comics, some issues just send me reeling back to pessimism or ennui.

Superboy #23 seemed like an unnecessary issue, trying to stretch an idea to fill 20 pages, and feeling pretty repetitive as it did so.And unlike Worlds' Finest last issue, there aren't many character flourishes to keep me interested. And while Marcus To's pages in the issues are great, the rest of the issue seems muddy. Writer Justin Jordan's initial issues were very good, grabbing me with a new concept, injecting humor, and bringing a lighter feel to the book. This issue and the last have dimmed the optimism I felt then. And Jordan is already gone after next issue.

The problem is simple. Superboy has been in a school where it is obvious that students are seeing things and going crazy. Then ... shockingly ... Superboy begins to see things and go crazy. I would hope that he would realize he is being manipulated immediately. But after a couple of pages, he should realize it. Instead we have a whole issue of people bashing things nonsensically. The whole 'none of this is real' could have been ... should have been ... handled more quickly. I guessed it at the end of last issue. Superboy should be able to do it reasonably quickly too.

In fact, the realization that this is all an illusion is given to us on the first page! "Doctor Psycho" arrives to try to set Superboy's mind right.

But despite his friend saying that he isn't seeing things clearly, despite seeing a number of other teens reacting to things that aren't there as if they weren't seeing things right, Superboy ignores his friend and lashes out with his TK.

He terrorizes the school, sending kids running for their lives.

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 - 4/5
Story - 3/5
Verdict - 3.1 
(Buy Superboy #23) SAVE 20%


Worlds' Finest #15 - Down the Rabbit Hole



Power Girl and Huntress find that a major player from Apokolips is stuck on Earth just like they are! How will their next move affect Earth 2?

Note: The cover credits Robson Rocha with pencils and Wayne Faucher with inks on this issue, however the issue is actually drawn by Emanuela Lupacchino and Guillermo Ortego.

Preview



Captives of Desaad


I feel as if recently I have been a bit more critical about comics than I should be. That for some reason I am dwelling on the negative parts of stories rather than the positives. And I find that some titles seem to be getting the brunt of my criticism. At times like this I need to remind myself that comics are supposed to be the fun part of my life.

The preamble is a way to say that I have been a bit rough on Worlds' Finest these last few months. I have called the book 'up and down' so you might think I call it elevator in my mind. The truth is some of my problem with the book is a problem with the current market, decompressed and slow story-telling dragging down any progress the book has made.

Worlds' Finest #15 came out this week and was an entertaining issue, showcasing the personalities of the main characters, adding a couple of interesting wrinkles to their histories, and ending on a very good cliffhanger. After a couple of issues of Huntress and Power Girl being on the run in repetitive scenarios, we get good movement of the plot.

But comics are a mix of words and art. Art is as crucial to the success of a book as the story. And I can't help but think that part of my increased satisfaction on this issue is the art of Emanuela Lupacchino. I know that RB Silva has been named to upcoming regular artist but Lupacchino really sparkles here. Yes, there is a big slab of cheesecake in this issue, with some obvious butt shots and a fascination with Power Girl's chest, the art is still stunning. And when the art and the story work together, they elevate each other and the experience.

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 Worlds' Finest #15) SAVE 10%


Justice League of America's Vibe #7 - We Band of Brothers



Afraid that A.R.G.U.S. has been lying to him, Vibe goes on the run! But he doesn't get very far before a new villain with ties to his past threatens to turn his future upside down!

Preview




Introducing Rapture!


It has been something of a tough week for me in comics. In Supergirl, Zor-El has been once again cast as a villain. And in Legion of Super-Heroes, the beloved team got sent to comics limbo in a rather sad and humiliating way. Amidst all that offal was Vibe #7.

Vibe continues to be a cut above the rest, a classic take on the teen super-hero albeit in the darker more sinister DCU.. There is a brighter take on heroism in this book than in almost any other DC book that I read as Cicso remains optimistic, believing in the inherent goodness of humanity, and struggling to honor his brother's memory.

Like many classic heroes, Vibe's decision to be a hero is spurred on by tragedy. His older brother Armando saved him during the original Darkseid invasion, resulting in Cisco obtaining his powers. This inspires Vibe to help others. But before you think this is something you have read before, there is a key wrinkle. Armando didn't die.

And it isn't all sweetness and light. Cisco has had to deal with being lied to and betrayed, showing it is hard to remain good in a cynical world. It is this attack on Cisco's ethics that I find most intriguing. Will he give in to everything around him and become coarser? Or will he continue to rise above.

But it is a book about a hero and I love it for that.

Add to that some seriously wild, wide-open action and a boatload of obscure DC characters and writer Sterling Gates has the recipe for a great book. With all dimensions open to him, Gates has access to almost anything!

Pete Woods has left the book so art here is done by Andres Guinaldo and he shines here. Whether it is close-ups of expressions, people in civilian clothes, or giant para-demons fighting people in exo-skeletons, it all shines here. I hope he remains on as the regular artist.

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 - 5/5
Story - 5/5
Verdict - 4.6
 - (Buy Justice League of America's Vibe #7) 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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