Comic Reviews From Too Long Ago

These reviews are from the shipment of comics I got 2 weeks ago, but didn’t have time to review because I was busy with other things.  But here they are now.

Captain Victory 1.
Sterling Gates and Wagner Reis.

Sterling Gates crafts a fine introduction to Captain Victory with this first issue. The bulk of this issue is spent showing the reader exactly who Victory is and what he is fighting for, without sacrificing the immediate action. While it is primarily focused on the title character, Gates still manages to instill personality in several of this crewmen.

The primary action of the book is an assault on a planet by the forces of the evil Blackmass, under the command of one Batteron, with Captain Victory fighting against them. Weaved in with that are scenes from Victory’s youth, being raised by his grandfather’s, Blackmass, men. His lessons are juxtaposed against the current situation to show exactly what he has learned.

If there is a weakness to the issue it lies in Reis’ art. Not that it is particularly bad, but there are some rough spots. The armor worn by many characters never looks right. It seems too small, or their heads too big. Other than that there are some moments that look stiff, using signature Kirby poses that do not gel with the other panels.

All in all a fine first issue. Nothing mind blowing, but a set-up for what promises to be some satisfying superhero tinged space opera.

Mystic 4 of 4
G. Willow Wilson and David Lopez.

What an utter disappointment. Not the art, Lopez does just a phenomenal job as he has done all along on this title. But the story, what a disappointing ending to what began as a wonderful mini-series.

Instead of the climax to the brewing conflict between former friends, it deals with a much more generic and much less interesting calamity involving a magical eclipse. It brings the two friends together, sets the conflict up, then just brushes it aside, seemingly postponing it for a later story that does not seem likely to ever be written. This issue renders much of the previous ones completely useless. All that time spent of Harry Potter-esque hijinks seems completely wasted, as that came to nothing. There is nothing to this story, no central theme or conflict built to a satisfactory resolution. Just many small conflicts quickly forgotten rather than resolved. Please, don’t waste your time on this.

Bonnie Lass 3 of 4
Michael Mayne and Tyler Fluharty

This excellent series is showing no signs of letting up until the last issue ends. I don’t want to give much of it away, but Bonnie and her crew have found their treasure, now they must fight for it. The majority of the issue is taken up by a fight between Bonnie’s crew and a group of mysterious adversaries. The art is wonderful, cartoony and expressive and it is a perfect fit for the story being told. And while some bits of dialogue clank, the villain’s big monologue fell flat for me, the story is well told.

I gushed about the first issue of this series, but I missed reviewing the 2nd. I’ll just say that taking a chance on this was one of the best comic buying decisions I’ve made. It isn’t deep, but it sure is fun. Pure exhilaration until the last page. I can’t recommend this enough. I’ll probably have a review of the whole thing after I get the last issue.

Deathstroke 2 & 3
Kyle Higgins and Joe Bennett

I thought the first issue of this series was decent, but it didn’t really get me interested in continuing to read the title. But I heard good things about the next issue, so I went ahead and picked up both issue 2 and 3.

Both issues are delightful, full of ridiculous, over-the-top ultra-violence. Slade is a crazy anti-hero Clint Eastwood, who kills and maims with wild abandon. He is out to prove that he is not over the hill, as many people seem to believe him. And his method for achieving this is to make his contracted kills as violent and public as possible.

Joe Bennett’s art is crisp and chunky, far enough away from realism that every time Deathstroke chops off someone’s had with his giant sword it comes off as less gruesome gore and more cartoony absurdity. It works well with the very comicy stories that Higgins is writing, like in issue 2, the fight with Road Rage, a hired killer on motorized roller-skates. There is also some underlying mystery with a briefcase that I don’t really care if it is ever revealed. It doesn’t matter what is in the briefcase, only that it pissed Slade off.

As long as it keeps up the level of crazed ludicrous violence, more humorous than gruesome, this is a title worth reading.


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