Quick Hits: Reviews of Huntress #1, Animal Man #2 and more…

Huntress #1

Huntress #1: For those of us who sighed and shook our heads at books like Voodoo and Catwoman over the last few weeks, Huntress is a breath of fresh air. The Huntress takes a trip to Italy on the trail of gun-runners whose wares are being shipped to Gotham City, and along the way discovers that the equal-opportunity smugglers are engaging in a bit of human trafficking and sex slavery, too. The book so far is moment after moment of Huntress getting in over her head and kicking her way out, and it’s glorious. Plus, artist Marcus To is using Cully Hamner’s redesign of Huntress’s costume from her Detective Comics backup stories, without the ridiculous ab window from Jim Lee’s Hush-era design. About the only complaints I have are the lack of any apparent connection to the New 52 — this could easily have been released pre-Flashpoint — and the concern that a story moving at this pace won’t be able to sustain six issues. But overall, I sure wish this were an ongoing instead of Suicide SquadA
Review by: Tom Tomorrow

Animal Man #2: My favorite book in the New 52 continues to impress with its second installment, in which Buddy and Maxine travel to the heart of the Red in an attempt to root out the corruption there. With DC under so much heat for its representation of female characters, it’s a shame that no one has paid much attention to Ellen Baker, maybe my favorite character in this book, who’s clearly the glue that holds her family together. That means she holds the book together, as well; Animal Man‘s greatest strength is its emphasis on the Baker clan, which allows it to present a modern superhero/horror story through the lens of a (slightly off-kilter) atomic American family. I love it. Artist Travel Foreman shines here on some atypical page layouts (I particularly love the travel sequence into the Red), and his unusual style pops in the more bizarre moments of the book. That said, he and writer Jeff Lemire perhaps apply splash pages and spreads a bit too liberally, which can lead the book to reading very quickly. B+
Review by: Rebel Rikki

Red Lanterns #2: Last month the debut issue of this book failed to win me over completely, and here the series continues to not impress me. Actually, I think issue 2′s marginally worse than the first; too much of it is spent focusing on some ancient conflict between two alien races we’ve never met before and have no reason to care about. One of those races ends up being very paint-by-numbers human (“I’ve got a wife and two-year-old at home”) which is pretty lame. Additionally, writer Peter Milligan seems to be removing Atrocitus’ edge; at one point here we see him overtaken by kindness, which is just weird. Perhaps that’s by necessity — the book’s hero has to have some heroic qualities, I suppose — but I think it threatens to forget the very thing that makes Atrocitus compelling. On the art front, Ed Benes’ work seems to have gotten a little tighter here; he returns a little bit of sharpness to Atrocitus’ features, even as Milligan takes it away. While the end of the issue offers a promising tease for the future, I can’t imagine giving this book too many more chances to convince me it’s worth buying. C
Review by: Rebel Rikki

Stormwatch #2: I love the high concept craziness of this series, but it feels like Paul Cornell isn’t quite comfortable with it. So far, the series reads a little like a Chris Claremont book, where every character feels the need to narrate their powers and explain in dialogue what they’re doing and why. It could really stand to take a cue from Grant Morrison and leave some things up to the readers to figure out — or at least leave some explanations for later on. The quick disposal of the conflicts and cliffhanger from the last issue really makes them seem forced. I trust Cornell as a writer, and I’m interested enough in the concepts here to stick with the book, but I really hope it finds a groove soon. C+
Review by: Tom Tomorrow

tags: animal man, huntress, red lanterns, stormwatch

  • http://www.johnpariah.wordpress.com/ John Olesen

    i thought Huntress was FANTASTIC, and makes me wish it was an ongoing in place of…Suicide Squad….or…yeah…there’s alot of books that could be replaced by a Huntress ongoing….

    also, did you check out the Penguin mini series? AWE. SOME. SAUCE.

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