I am back at Fanboy Gaming doing the old deeds of reviewing the best form of entertainment in the world (take that video games). This week I get to review the likes of Green Arrow, Wolverine, the Avengers, and the long awaited Superman 700. LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s begin shall we?
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by John Romita Jr.
The adventures of the Avengers continue as they struggle to comprehend the message brought to them by Kang the Conqueror in the previous issue. I really am not into time travel stories unless they are very thought out, but this one just seems like an excuse to have another fight. I started reading Avengers, not for the Avengers themselves or that Bendis was writing it, but because John Romita Jr. was the artist. Unfortunately I think that Romita is may have delivered some of the sloppiest art of his career, although the colorist must attribute some of the blame as well. On the first page the coloring and art is damn near perfect, but every page afterwards it just looks like it was done with crayons. I have been a fan or RomitaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s art since I was a kid but this stuff here just ainÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t cutting it. The dialogue in here is lame even for Bendis. He tries attempts at humor and just makes the characters seem less like themselves, which is very distracting for a long time reader like myself. Now a message to JRJR: Stop drawing Tony StarkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s arms so big. There is no reason that he should have bigger arms than Thor. This issue was pretty weak I would recommend skipping it.
Wolverine: Weapon X #14
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Ron Garney
In the previous review I mentioned that I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like time travel unless itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s well thought out. In this storyline the time travel is well thought out and works effectively to tell a good story. Roxxon is sending Deathloks back in time to kill people who could be potential threats, terminator-style. The writing is filled with action but this issue does finally give the revelation of how all of the Deathloks became enlisted to Roxxon. I have never been too big on Ron GarneyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s art but it gets the job done. Garney can draw action and emotion and let it be seen on the faces of all of the characters. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like the coloring in this issue it feels really flat and makes everything seem lifeless. This was a solid issue, not much else to say about it. Only a couple issues left and then this series will join the ranks of the other countless Wolverine ongoings.
Secret Warriors #17
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Alessandro Vitti
In the past months I have had a lot of problems with Secret Warriors. Problems such as forgettable main characters who I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even know the names of after more than a year of reading this titles, problems such as unveiling mysteries and answering them with bigger mysteries. However somehow Jonathan Hickman got the right idea in this issue that the fans donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to read about another teenage super hero team, but we want to read about Nick Fury. In fact he did us one better and threw the Howling Commandos in this issue too. Although this issue is a lot of talking and little action, it is a good kind of talking that really shows what the Howling Commandos are all about. I enjoy the artwork it is very dark and gritty, the right way to show the tension that is being conveyed in this story. One thing fans will be happy about here is that neither Hydra nor Leviathan makes an appearance in this issue, so rest assured you will not have to deal with stupid squid head creatures in this issue. Hickman may have changed up his act but it for the better. While he does give a big surprise in the end I can assure you that it is not another mystery stacked on top of a mystery.
Green Arrow #1
Written by J. T. Krul
Art by Diogenes Neves
So after the massacre that was Cry for Justice (I mean the storyline not actual people dying) Star City has a beautiful new forest growing where there was once a void of destruction. I am still unfamiliar with Green ArrowÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s character but I felt that this issue was a good introduction. I got a good sense of a Robin Hood style hero with morals but who doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t take any guff from criminals. I must say that I absolutely adore this artwork. This is my first exposure to Diogenes Neves but I am already a fan. The areas where Neves truly excels are the scenes within the forest, which he gives an ominous glow for a feeling of beauty and mystery. Best of all Neves shows emotion on the faces of all the characters in this book, from the anger on Green ArrowÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s face as he steadies his bow, and to the pain that is soon inflicted on the fiends who find themselves in Green ArrowÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s aim. Not very much more to say without spoiling the plot, but go out for yourself and go read it.
Written by J. Michael Straczynski, James Robinson, and Dan Jurgens
Art by Eddy Barrows, Bernard Chang, and Dan Jurgens
At long last the moment we have all been waiting for, Superman #700 has arrived. So was it the shining brilliance we all expected it to be? Short answer: No. Like most other issues paginated in centennials it is just a showcasing of several short stories about the main character and not a complete story. So instead I have 3 short stories to critique. James Robinson did the first story, which was a conclusion to his long dragged out New Krypton storyline. This story had some heartwarming moments, but I just think it could have been done better. It gives a nice reflection on the events of the past few years and sets Superman back to his life with Lois. I was not too big on the art, too many flat surfaces especially on the fingertips. The second story by Dan Jurgens was a little better, certainly had a few laughs in this tale of Robin and Superman but I expected more. It was a fun story but when the pressure is this high you need to deliver something more than just another sidekick team-up. However Dan Jurgens can still draw beautifully, I gotta give him that. The reason that we all have been anticipating this issue is because J. Michael Straczynski is taking over as a writer. I enjoyed what I read, but there simply was not enough of it for me to enjoy thoroughly. They gave us a sample when we all wanted the scoop, and I think we are entitled to the scoop because we paid $5 for it. So in the end all we got were short stories and a sneak peek. I wanted this to be a big moment in Superman history, but I came up short. Next month with issue #701 is where that history begins, so once more I wait.
Thank you all for reading.
– Matt Dunford (your comic book guy)