Quick Hits: Reviews of Batwoman #2, Ducktales #5 and more…

Batwoman #2

Batwoman #2: While our title heroine continues to track down a superpowered killer who’s been abducting children, a tenacious government agent known as Chase hunts Batwoman herself. There’s not much I can say about this book that I didn’t cover in my first review, so I’ll just hit the major points. Batwoman is a fantastically written story (by J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman) that blends elements of supernatural horror, police procedural and traditional superhero stories. Of course the art by Williams is fantastic and basically unmatched in monthly comics; he doesn’t draw pages so much as he creates compositions. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the many two-page spreads that populate the issue, where his unorthodox layouts and beautiful figures really shine. My favorite example of that here is the spread set in a church, where the villainous Weeping Woman appears to claim another victim — the way that water seeps out of her one panel to subsume those containing her innocent prey is nothing less than brilliant.    All in all, Batwoman continues to be one of the strongest books in The New 52.  A

Ducktales #5: Yes, I’m a grown man, and I’m reading Ducktales, cool? Everyone figured that with Disney’s acquisition of Marvel, BOOM!’s line of Disney comics had to end eventually, and that’s what’s happening here, as Ducktales crosses over with Darkwing Duck (which I’ve followed from the beginning) for each title’s last few issues. I imagine that gives the creative team (a mix of the writers and artists from both titles) a chance to go a little nuts and tell stories they always wanted to — it’s not like they need to leave anything set for the next story arc! So what we get is something of a Disney Afternoon dream, as Darkwing Duck and Scrooge McDuck have to join together (with their lovable casts of characters) to defeat Magica DeSpell and her mysterious evil friend The Phantom Blot, who possesses the power to turn everything from ordinary citizens to supervillains to buildings themselves evil (or more evil, I guess). This comic delivers all the action and lighthearted humor I’ve come to expect from Darkwing Duck, and though I’m really sad to see that series go, at least it’ll be fun watching it leave. B+

Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #2: Here Frankenstein and his new team of Creature Commandos make further headway into investigating a monstrous invasion of a small Washington town, while we learn more about Nina, the genetically enhanced “fish woman” and scientist behind the whole Commandos team. Although I love writer Jeff Lemire, I haven’t taken to this book as much as I thought I would. I think I have a bit of a problem with the art, courtesy of Alberto Ponticelli — it seems too much to me like it’s trying to ape Lemire’s own style (on display in the excellent Vertigo comic Sweet Tooth), which I don’t enjoy; Lemire does his own thing really, really well, but it’s not really an imitatable style, and I’m a little put off that DC seems to want to try. And while the story here is good, it’s maybe not as sharp as it could be; I absolutely love some of the darker elements lurking underneath the text, but the book seems too happy to gloss over what I’d consider the really interesting stuff going on (child sacrifice, an oppressively religious small town that thinks alien invaders are dark gods) for more typical tear-em-up action. The book’s not bad, but yeah, I think it could be better. B-

Resurrection Man #2: Our amnesiac hero Mitch Shelley heads to a rest home in Portland for reasons unknown… that is, until a random flashback clues him in to the fact that his father lived and died in that very home. But while Mitch searches for answers to his past, the agents of Heaven and Hell search for his immortal soul. The first issue of Resurrection Man was one of my favorites of the New 52, but this installment takes a pretty sharp dive. One of the things I loved most about the debut issue was how frantic it was, but this one literally becomes geriatric by devoting most of its pages to an old folks home, which is probably among the most boring settings you could ask for in an action-adventure comic. A lot of the plot just doesn’t do it for me; we learn so little about Mitch here that the issue seems like it’s running in place, and why are all the villains of the book so surprised that Mitch would end up in Portland when THEY ATTACKED HIM ON A PLANE HEADING FOR PORTLAND LAST ISSUE? The concept for this book remains strong, but the issues are going to need to execute more strongly to hold my continued interest. C

Unwritten #30: In this last chapter of “On to Genesis,” Mike Carey, Peter Gross and Vince Locke finish out the story of The Tinker, a 1930s superhero character created by a friend of our hero Tom’s dad. I’ve been loving this arc, which has delved into the origins of the comic book medium and superhero genre while continuing the book’s usual fascinating examination of the boundary between fiction and reality. We finally get a compelling look at The Tinker here, and we learn a good deal more about what it means to literally have been born into the real world out of fiction. Some old friends also show up to help bring about the arc’s resolution, including one of my favorite characters in the book, Frankenstein’s monster, also called “The Creature,” who Mike Carey writes a bit like Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing. There’s really never an issue of this book I don’t love, and although I thought the superhero connection explored in the past few issues has been especially interesting, I’m sure that whatever comes next will be just as good. A

tags: batwoman, ducktales, Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E., resurrection man, unwritten

  • Latest Nothings
  • site design: haystack needle design    privacy policy©2011 nerdynothings.com     RSS