Thursday, February 7, 2013

Comics this week

Earth 2 #9- Writer James Robinson seen to be having a lot of fun writing Earth 2. I mean not only does he introduce Doctor Fate into the New 52, he managed to sneak in an Easter egg in Judo Master. I mean seriously; Judo Master? I took a double take when the Flash got thrown by Major Sonia Sato and then it hit me; Judo Master! I wonder how many people got that one. One thing I have noted is that Robinson seems to have a clear science/magic divide on Earth 2. Wonders who got their powers via science and training (Sandman, Atom, Red Tornado, Judo Master) serve the World Government, whereas wonders who got their powers via magic (Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl and now Dr Fate) do not serve the World Government. That actually makes some sense as these wonders all answer to various mystical entities and as such, don’t and can’t serve the World Government. I’m not sure about Khalid Ben Hassin. I found the holder of the magical Helm of Nabu (and the new Doctor Fate) to be kind of whiny but I’ll wait before giving my final verdict on him. I won’t say this is a great issue, but it sure was a fun one.

Legend of The Shadow Clan #1- Amazingly, one of the smaller comics company, Aspen Comics, has reached its 10th year anniversary. As a promotion, they intend to come out with ten new miniseries over next ten months. An ambitious undertaking and first up is “Legend of The Shadow Clan”, a story about the Himura family, a normal American-Japanese family who discovered that their ancestors were mystic ninjas and that they had inherited some of their ancestors’ abilities. I admit I only pick this up because of the $1 price tag but don’t let the price fool you; this is a good promising series. As expected from Aspen, the art was good. Cory Smith did an excellent job with both the action sequences and the quiet, subtle family scenes. What is more surprising however was the story from writer David Wohl. Despite how little screen-time the Himura family has, Wohl’s script give you a good sense on their personalities and their relationship with each other. Good story, good art; there’s nothing wrong with this issue. Hopefully, the rest of the mini-series is just as good. If they are, then Aspen has a surprise sleeper hit on their hands. 

I, Vampire #16- For a guy whose own book has been cancelled, John Constantine is one busy man. Not only is he in JL Dark, he show up here as well. Now if I could only understand why? Writer Joshua Hale Fialkov turned in another solid script that was dark, intense and humorous, all at the same time. So I can’t understand why he then had Constantine showed up and spoilt it all. Frankly, the cast of “I, Vampire” is strong enough to carry on without him and (I know its blasphemy) I think the story works better without him overshadowing everyone. The biggest problem with this issue however is not Constantine, but the various artists working the issue. I know Andrea Sorrentino has moved on to Green Arrow and this series is ending, but that still does not excuse the terrible mess. I can understand if DC got 1-2 replacements for this issue but 4? Worse is that each of them is doing an alternate page! Which editor at DC thought this was going to work? Even if the artists are good (and to be fair some of them are), it’s just not going to work when the art style changes page to page. That’s too bad because the writing from Fialkov remind top notch. Hopefully, the last few issues of this great series will have a regular artist working on them. The series, and Fialkov, deserve it.

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