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Quick Hits: Reviews of Annihilators #1 and more… | Comic Reviews | Nerdy Nothings

Quick Hits: Reviews of Annihilators #1 and more…

Annihilators #1

Annihilators #1: Yeah, I know the cover says Annihilators—and features the Silver Surfer, Quasar, Beta Ray Bill, Gladiator and Ronan the Accuser—but it’s a certain, small gun-toting interstellar raccoon that I want to talk about. Sure, the Rocket Raccoon and Groot story was delegated to back-up status—technically, it’s a double bill, both the Annihilators and Rocket Raccoon get a full length story in this bonus-sized issue—but for me it was the highlight of this new series. The Annihilators story was entertaining enough, but to me suffers from a couple of problems. First, a lot of time is spent in introducing the characters to the readers, which is understandable, but really it feels drawn out here. Second, I came into writers Dan Abnett’s and Andy Lanning’s cosmic corner of the Marvel Universe via Guardians of the Galaxy, a team of underdogs and misfits, whereas the Annihilators—as the story points out—consists entirely of heavy hitters. People always do tend to want to pull for underdogs—which is why no one outside of Florida will ever cheer for the Miami Heat—and it’ll be interesting to see how Abnett and Lanning overcome this obstacle in the future.

So, as I mentioned above, for $4.99 you get the equivalent of two $2.99 full length comics. In the second half of this book Rocket Raccoon takes center-stage. With the Guardians having disbanded what opportunities are out in the galaxy for a tactical genius and demolitions expert raccoon? Bounty hunter? Mercenary? Corporate mail room?? Rocky appears to have gone for option number three; as we open this story he’s happily delivering mail and playing the role of corporate drone only to get attacked by a wooden clown, carved of sentient wood. To get to the bottom of this Rocket decides to track down his old buddy—and sentient tree—Groot, only to uncover a hidden truth about his longtime ally.

While the Annihilators arc is taking some time to buildup, we get to jump right into the action with Rocket Raccoon, in what I found to be a clever, fun and fast-paced chapter. Rocket even gets a chance to show some heart as we get the reasoning behind his decision to become a corporate worker bee. And best of all? The art. Rocket Raccoon is not an easy character to draw, artists on Guardians of the Galaxy either seemed to succeed wildly or flatly fail, and here Timothy Green II does a fantastic job. Really, he just knocks it out of the park, and I defy to you to find a better drawing of a sad raccoon than on page 17 of this story. So, I figure a double-bill deserves a double grade. I’m giving this first chapter of The Annihilators a B, it has potential and I’m looking forward to future instalments, while Rocket Raccoon and Groot gets a very enthusiastic A. Really fun stuff, I’m gonna go reread it right now…
Review by Spaceman Spiff

Batman Beyond #3: A solid recovery from last issue’s over-the-top slugfest, this comic marks the end of the first arc of Batman Beyond‘s ongoing series as Terry McGinnis and the rest of the Justice League gear up for a final battle with Willie Jatts, the new Matter Master. I found issue #3 to be a lot like issue #1 in that I’m back to not liking Benjamin’s art, which is fairly formless, but quite enjoying Beechen’s script. This issue even makes a little headway into making up for the pointless superhero infighting of last month’s installment by finally addressing the question of whether or not Terry should join the Justice League. There’s also some great seeds planted for future stories, both within the narrative and in the (newly-returned and very welcome!) letter column. Beechen has a strong grasp of endings, it seems, and this book remains a keeper, at least for now. B
Review by Rebel Rikki

Brightest Day #21: With three issues left to go in DC’s latest year-long maxiseries, the dominoes start to fall. Here we get the end of Martian Manhunter’s B-story, his foiled plot to restore Mars to life. It’s not great, and is weighed down by the drama-saturated dialog which has plagued his story. One of Manhunter’s key traits is stoicism, after all, and though I understand that it’s nice to get a rise out of him from time to time, lately he’s been about as whiny as a pop-punk band circa 2000. What I do like, as always, is the return of the feeling that we’re actually building to something; the A-story scenes are strong and will hopefully pay quality dividends over the next month and a half. In addition, the art trio of Patrick Gleason, Ivan Reis and Joe Prado turn in another great effort on pencils here. These guys have been rocking Brightest Day this whole time, and I look forward to their future projects.  B
Review by Rebel Rikki

Green Lantern #63: “War of the Green Lanterns” begins here with a prelude that hints at how rogue Guardian Krona plans to take revenge on the universe that’s done him wrong. Writer Geoff Johns delivers a promising premise, and I really like that he united all the Corps leaders for this arc. The seven of them working together happens far too infrequently and bears a lot of great group dynamics. Art-wise, this book is a big step down from the work of series regular Doug Mahnke. In particular, fill-in penciller Ed Benes seems to have completely forgotten how the Guardians look. On the bright side, Adrian Syaf turns in a few pages too, and I really liked the dark touch he brings to his work. When Mahnke inevitably leaves Lantern, I’d stick around for Syaf.  B
Review by Rebel Rikki

Sweet Tooth #19: Sweet Tooth spends an issue with its ladies as Lucy, Wendy and Becky take a walk and shed some light on their past before joining up with Gus, Jepperd and the rest. In a wonderful move, the book recruits three indie artists—Emi Lenox, Matt Kindt and Nate Powell—to relate the girls’ stories. This is a really sharp way for Sweet Tooth to bring in outside talent (and yes, it definitely is talent) while not disrupting the feel of the series, which to this point has been drawn exclusively by writer/artist Jeff Lemire (and fret not, Lemire provides the framing sequences). The looks into these characters’ pasts are all pretty chilling, especially the tale of Wendy, one of the hybrid children that Gus befriended during the last story arc. But this issue looks ahead as well as forward, ending on a cliffhanger that will probably frustrate you since you’ll want to know more right away. Sweet Tooth has never really had a bad issue, but its last two have been among its best.  A
Review by Rebel Rikki

tags: batman beyond, brightest day, green lantern, rocket raccoon, sweet tooth, the annihilators

  • http://twitter.com/astamm78 Andrew Stamm

    One more thought on the Annihilators comic… as two full issues in one book it really is a good value for $4.99. Definitely a nice change of pace for Marvel from their randomly priced $3.99 comics

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