Comic Review: Zatanna 4

After I managed to catch the two previous issues and building up some excitement, this particular issue came along. Now I am not going to say it was a bad issue. I was basically a filler issue which is a bit disappointing when you are on issue number 4.

In this issue we start off with Zatanna already in action in Las Vegas battling the Royal Flush Gang. Suffice it to say they don’t put up much a fight and they are quickly taken care of. Zatanna is preparing for her Las Vegas show and were introduced to an old family friend who is the man who runs the hotel where Zatanna is performing. But he is not as he seem’s as he is under the rule of the devil. He has gotten himself into his fair share of problems and the devil is giving him a chance, deliver Zatanna or lose his soul. The rest of the comic is Zatanna running into her brother at the hotel who turned her room into party central and upon clearing everyone out is attacked by three flame elementals.

I guess this issue is what it had to be but in my opinion there just needed to be more to it. Zatanna’s brother is rather undisciplined and not totally sure where he figures in right now. He just seem’s to be there. I think if there was more focus on developing something between brother and sister or more on our conniving villain of the issue then this would have been a much better issue.

Despite the not so great issue we have some good dialogue. Zatanna’s personality is always enjoyable and Paul Dini has it down perfectly. Compared to the previous two issues I am also a bit less fond of the cover by Stephane Roux. The interior art is also different this issue sporting more classic comic art rather then the new leaning towards anime-ish art that has been used so far. I have my fingers crossed for issue number 5 to pull things through.

Comic Review: Zatanna 3

The ongoing series of Zatanna continues but I have to admit that I was a tad disappointed on this issue and you will see why. But first I have to say that so far the comic series is turning out ok. I am usually very apprehensive with new series. It’s like I hope for the best but have a nervousness if they falter. So far though I am just oozing confidence.

Last we left off Zatanna had vanquished a Nightmare Imp that tried to imprison her within twisted dreams but there was someone who had sent the imp. That man was Brother Midnight. This issue starts off very quickly with Zatanna being attacked by effigies of her crew and it’s up to Zatanna to rescue them from Brother Night. Zatanna not only rescues her cue but then battles her fathers spirit as well as Brother Night. It’s a pretty action packed issue but it’s laid out in a simple panels. You would think with so much going on that parts might get lost in the storytelling but it all manages to hold up. My only complaint that I would say of the whole issue is that the conflict with Brother Night could have drawn out over a few more issues. He was built up as being pretty badass but seemingly was torn down faster then he was built up and that is a bit of a shame as he was a pretty good villain. Maybe it was his overall look, cockiness or whatnot.

I was pleased with the writing by Paul Dini as Zatanna has so far carried on very consistently. Again the writing and the panel layouts work well in telling the story. I have to say yet again that I am very pleased with the cover by Stephane Roux. I seriously want some of these as my backgrounds. Inking as well is also well done. I am totally digging the art style. I am hoping this team stays together for a long time.

Comic Review: Zatanna 2

This is one of DC Comics new titles in 2010 that in my opinion is a break out hit. Zatanna has been one of those heroes that really hasn’t had a huge platform to shine. She is supposed to be the most powerful if not an extremely powerful magical user so I have the mindset of Ok, why is she not in more events.

Well hopefully this series will establish her as more of a big time player and in this issue things are rolling along. What I particularly enjoy is that the story focuses on a simple theme of Zatanna with her group performing magical shows and trouble seem’s to find her. In this issue we meet a Nightmare Imp which tries to cause Zatanna a restless night which could last for eternity but someone is behind this scheme. That brings us to Brother Night who seem’s like a pretty good villain. He doesn’t have much on him right now but there is a growing foundation that I hope more is built around. Oh and he somehow has control of the soul of Zatara who is Zatanna’s father. That is pretty badass and villainous. He seem’s like a pretty legitimate villain at this point. Hopefully they can build him up more over the next few issues.

The writing by Paul Dini is sharp and Zatanna’s charisma and playfulness comes through. She is a cheeky girl but has good intentions and it all comes through. Her interactions with her crew is also amusing. While we are only two issues in, things seem to be picking up and I look forward to things to come. And props to Stephane Roux on a very nice cover.

Comic Review: Civil War 5

Here we are with part 5 of the Civil War. Things were a bit disappointing last issue but this one picks things up quite well. The big angle in this particular issue revolves around Spider Man. Not sitting comfortably anymore with Tony’s vision he attempts to walk away however Stark doesn’t want him to. It eventually escalates to Stark threatening in not so many words and Spider Man trying to get away. Of course Tony seem’s to have no control of SHEILD and they get some of their villainous recruits to capture Spider Man.

This is just more examples of the registration act going all wrong. The villains obviously almost kill Spider Man till The Punisher steps into the conflict. You can imagine how he deals with things but he does save Spider Man and brings him to the resistance headquarters. Nobody trusts Punisher however he does offer to help break into the Baxter building.

Finally we are left off with Daredevil being brought to the jail facility located in the negative zone.

This issue really redeemed things and set things back on track. I am still a bit amazed though on Starks lack of humanity. He minimizes the death of his friend and all his actions because of what he believes in. I am not sure if this really was meant to be like that because it pretty much makes Iron Man unlikeable. I am also constantly surprised that while he is the head of SHEILD that he has zero control over anything in that organization. I get that there is a potential they are playing off on the idea that things have gone over his head and out of control but I think while they have played the grey area off quite well that sometimes it goes overboard. I enjoy however that Captain America is getting a bit carried away by resorting to use the Punisher who represents a lot of things Cap is against.

In the end it is a much more powerful issue nearing the end of this event

Comic Review: Captain America 25

Captain America is dead. Just the phrase is as shocking as the news. Cap always  seemed like the hero that despite what happened would never be subjected to the typical character dying ploy often used in comics. But his time has finally come after all these years and I think that is what really makes this moment unique. With Civil War, Captain America took the side of the liberties of heroes against Iron Man and his vision of a registered community. After realizing that despite what they were fighting for that their confrontations were causing more harm then good, Cap surrendered to the authorities which brings us to this issue.

Captain America is being brought to trial but not before some friends like Falcon,, Bucky and Sharon try to rescue him. But when Cap arrives to a mixed crowd of both supporters and blamers we see what fate has in store for him. Cap is gunned down by a sniper but he seem’s to be finished off at point blank range. From there, Falcon and Bucky try to take down those responsible but we all know who is behind the attacks. Obviously it’s the red skull. Cap is later declared dead and we are left with no satisfaction of justice and we are even confronted with an interesting twist at the end.

While the issue was excellent through some historical references to Cap’s past and what he stood for it added an extra punch when he was shot and later declared dead. However part of me would have preferred actually seeing him in court facing his charges for forcing the whole registration movement down our throats and then having him murdered upon leaving the courthouse. It basically served it’s purpose however but I would as stated preferred a move involved death.

Comic Review: Civil War 4

With the last issue of Civil War, it heralded the return of Thor on the side of Tony Stark. And that is exactly where the issue starts up with Thor kicking everyone’s butt. Those against the registration law just KNOW they are in trouble and ready to leave. Captain America is beaten badly by Tony Stark or should I say his suit. As I mentioned last issue Starks suit was able to analyze and predict all of Cap’s moves ahead of time statistically and thus he was able to beat him without much effort. I found this to be absolutely cheap not to mention Cap almost dies in the battle.

Now what surprised me was the death of a hero by Thor. When your killing your own there is something horribly wrong and both sides at least know that. Starks group knows that they are crossing a line and things have gone way to far. But is it too far to go back. Sue Storm helps everyone on the anti-registration act escape as she is pushed to her limits.

We learn the killer Thor is a clone who just went too far as clones tend to do which brings up some interesting points. Why on earth did Reed Richards and Hank Pym think it was a great idea to clone a god. Ok, I can see why a villain would but when were playing in the gray area of what is right or wrong it seem’s to me act’s like this tip the scales and one side loses all credibility. And if that wasn’t enough, villains were being recruited to help Stark. Like what?

I get that they were trying to get us with a little shock and awe with a tad of cool but I think this is where the issue and Civil War just failed. This poignant debate on a heroes role and his accountability is torn apart after three solid issues with almost insultingly blatantly obvious horrendous acts done by certain heroes to help their cause.

Reading the issue is exciting and is still enjoyable however if your taking the arc of the storyline on it’s own thus far then this issue is the worst of them all and destroys what credibility that was built. Yes the law will be fought over still, we will get more fights but as to who is really wrong or right has been answered.

Comic Review: Civil War 3

Well the last issue of the Civil War was quite exciting with Peter Parker revealing he was Spider-Man. Things among the new hero registration law is brewing as both sides are heating up which we all know will lead to a battle. The whole premise of Civil War is interesting however I have to admit that I am rather amused at how hypocritical the law is. The law wants to train heroes to be heroes to prevent the young ones from picking fights they can’t handle ala New Warriors. However that being said they are going after primarily older established heroes who have more then proven themselves.

Stark and Richards spend time this issue trying to convert others to their cause. Richards attempts with Panther and Wakanda don’t pan out and Stark tries to get Emma Frost to get the X-Men which of course they don’t bite. A humorous moment comes as we see Hercules, Cap, Daredevil and Falcon in their new mundane identities.

Stark seems to sink to an all new low as he destroys his own property to lure the Secret Avengers into a trap which leads to the confrontation between Iron Man and Cap that has been brewing now. Iron Man seem’s to have his way with Cap as his suit is apparently programmed with all of Cap’s moves pre calculated in it. I found this kind of lame. While I know Stark is a genius in his own right and the suit is very powerful, I find that having the suit pre programmed to battle someone is a bit far fetched even for a comic. With Cap getting his behind handed to him the Secret Avengers try to come to his aid only to have Hercules electrified by Thor who makes his appearance known.

While the first two issues made a good attempt at making a grey area where both sides stand, this issue goes about making Stark look like such a douche that you cannot help but side in with Cap. Iron Man seem’s to have no real pull with SHEILD either and is loosing whatever control or sway he thought he had. But still despite ALL that the issue was fantastic and definitely makes us want to read more.

Comic Review: Civil War 2

I started Civil War 1 to jump back into the Marvel Universe and much to my enjoyment, it was a very great book and kicked off an interesting conflict. This of course led me to jump right into this issue of the Civil War. The last issue left things off rather tense with Iron Man, Reed Richards and Yellow Jacket who would hunt down Captain America when the new registration laws came into effect.

Well in this issue they have just come into effect. What I particularly enjoyed was seeing the interaction between Reed and Sue of the Fantastic 4. Reed thinks the registration act is the way to go and it will be revolutionary and obviously from the looks of things, Sue is not totally onboard. This is further driven home by Reed keeping certain aspects of his dealings with Iron Man secret from her. Also in  the opening pages we see Iron Man, Tigra, Yellow Jacket, Reed and others take down a Doom bot but spare some time after to bring up Cap and where Tony stands. At first he seem’s very confident but once the law passes he confesses that he hopes this is the right thing to do. It’s putting him at odds with a dear friend but he is still convinced that what he is doing is right.

What is also a very good moment to the story is seeing the Young Avengers being taken down by the government for being heroic but not registered. This shows an immediate flaw to the policy in that nobody from what we are shown is really given any time to register. The law is passed and Boom, take down the Young Avengers and not in a very good way either. It almost causes more harm then good. But this shows that while the law has good intentions, it’s poorly executed. And of course Cap manages to rescue the Young Avengers with the aid of Falcon and are recruited into the newly formed resistance. One of the big plays of this issue was Spider-Man and his revealing to the world at last that he is indeed Peter Parker. Jameson’s reaction is pretty priceless to say the least.

Two issues in and I am really digging the Civil War. It’s got fast paced action, tugs on ideals and makes you think really of what would be best if you were put into their shoes. The questioning of their ideals is great and is nice to see heroes so conflicted when it comes to their own. They are put into an uncomfortable spot and they are acting like it. Mark Millar does a great job of this and like last issue all the panels where done excellently. I hope it keeps up as I go along the series.

Comic Review: Civil War 1

I am going to be honest with you, I haven’t followed a lot of Marvel Universe activity in a long time. I know of the major events that pass but otherwise I don’t keep too many tabs. Well, since I have gotten a digital online sub over at Marvel I decided to go ahead and jump in, but where to? Well I think the most defining event that has transpired in awhile is Civil War. So with that, let’s take a lot at the first issue of this event.

Civil War picks up with The New Warriors looking to boost their image by taking down some super villains for their reality show. What happens is that while most of the villains they pick off, one just happens to be the wrong one and sets of a enormous explosion killing not only the New Warriors outright but also a multitude of civilians. And as you can guess, this sets everything into motion. Now even when I collected X-Men comics when I was younger there was always a gritty edge that was intolerance towards mutant kind. Sometimes these would culminate in storylines but it typically just gets dealt with and life moves on. Well things have typed the scale here. Congress passes laws for registrations and while that may not seem very different from other stories, the super heroes are divided on the issue.

Now from the onset we knew that Captain America would lead the heroes who believed in freedom while Iron Man would head the registration of heroes. Obviously this is pretty important as not only have they been partners for so long but they are genuinely friends. This issue builds slowly on this as Tony Stark is taking into the realization that heroes should be accountable. The confrontation with a mother who lost a child stamps this further into Tony. While he may have sat more or less on the outskirts of the issue he feels compelled to head it on after this.

Captain America while on the hellicarrier of SHEILD is confronted on his position. Captain America took the side that it’s a decision that will divide the hero community but he would see it played out. You could tell he was not exactly for the laws congress would pass but was taking the out then being confrontational. But the interim new chief decided to try and force Captain America into a position of being a hired arm of the government to get those who are not compliant. This goes against the ideology of Captain America and who the heck wants to be forced to confront his friends. That being said SHEILD adds fuel to the fire by basically attacking Cap. Not a good idea and in the end, forces his hand. Finally we find out that indeed Iron Man will ‘handle’ Cap for the government.

In all this issue by Frank Millar was awesome. The writing was really well done. For so much happening, a lot was accomplished and laid out in a way that was clear. The art was terrific so kudos to the team on that. For a person just jumping into the universe, I was very happy to start here and I look forward to reading the rest.

Cool Service Alert: Comic Pull

I forget how I came across this place but as fate would happen, somewhere between getting my daily intake of geeky news and searching for erotic pictures I came across this pretty cool service called Comic Pull. It’s for both US and Canada which is wicked because I live in Canada and we generally tend to get  shafted on these kinds of nifty services.  The concept is that it’s a comic distribution company. You create an account, fill out your payment / shipping information. Then you peruse any comic series you would like and can select to pull it meaning that whenever the next comic in the series comes out, they will set it aside and ship it too you. I find the prices are rather reasonable since print comics run roughly  about $4 – $5 a pop here at a local store. Suffice it to say I have some series pre-ordered which will start next year as I get back into collecting again. Check it out though as I think it will be worth your while if your interested in comics and a reasonable price with ease of use.

Comic Pull