SeventhSoldier Presents: War

War, huh? What is it good for? Some pretty good comics, that’s what.

Wonder Woman #26


The beginning of Simone’s Rise of the Olympian arc, Wonder Woman’s big shake-up for this year, it also serves as the introduction of her brand new villain – Genocide.  And, to get this out of the way right smack-dab in the beginning of the review, it’s a solid opening issue, if not a stellar one.

Genocide is, to my surprise, a terrible villain.  Thankfully, Simone smartly avoids the issue, because while Genocide, like most one-note characters, is not a particularly compelling personality, she is an excellent monster – and I feel that her costume and dialogue accurately reflect this.

The story is brief – I could sum up everything that happens in about two sentences.  That said, as in every issue, the characterization was spot-on, there was wit, danger, some great action, and even Tresser had a pretty awesome moment.

A good opening, it makes me hopeful for the remainder of the arc, but it doesn’t quite grab me the way I think it should.  Lopresti’s art is magnificent – woo! no cheesecake! – and while he handles everything the issue demands of him with grace and style, a fight as apparently brutal as this one needs an artist willing to get significantly dirtier than Lopresti looks able to get.  The panelling is brilliant, the coloring is great, everything is well handled… but the action of the issue just doesn’t quite feel particularly urgent.  Normally, I don’t mind that in Simone’s WW comics, as we get a series of great character moments and dramatic scenes, but this issue is a fightin’ issue, and as that, it fails to be all it can be.

Grade: B

Unknown Soldier #1


Unknown Soldier is one of the newest Vertigo books, an action-heavy comic taking place in Uganda just a couple years back.  It’s pretty violent, and while its decent set-up, I’ve never been a fan of the device in which a character ‘just knows stuff’, and the issue relies pretty heavily on that.  A promising beginning, but nothing special, lacking both heart and urgency.

Grade: C+

Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns


A poorly executed thirty-page long ad for another event, clumsily shoe-horned into Final Crisis continuity.  As much as I love the concept of the War of Light, all desire to read it has been killed.  So, to that one guy who absolutely hates me for not loving Geoff Johns, congratulations – I won’t be reviewing very many of his books from here on out.

Grade: D+

10 thoughts on “SeventhSoldier Presents: War

  1. @Red Lanterns: Too harsh sir! Was it Final Crisis? No. Did DC want more money? Yes. But this was a good issue. It wasn’t an advertisement, it was the start of a four-part arc that continues in GL. What’s wrong with that? You didn’t like the Red lantern Cat? You have no heart!

    Other than that, I’m glad you posted again. Hopefully you can keep that up. We need more stuff than just my crappy reviews. I wonder if Billy will ever crawl out of that hole.

    I’m looking forward to the WW stuff. I read it in trade.

    Oh and don’t be afraid to comment on my reviews. I miss your 10 comments on my Final Crisis reviews.

  2. It was the first issue of a 4 part arc in another book, it had nothing to do with Final Crisis – and, in fact, actively messed with the timeline in FC (though Morrison’s already given a timeline copout in the main series, thankfully). Red Lantern Cat was too pandering, the set-up of the issue was laughable.

    There very well might have been a sense of fun to it, but I’m getting sick of everything Johns does being set-up for something else Johns does. Rogues’ Revenge ended on a terrible note, and was an ad for Flash: Rebirth. Rage had a silly premise, and pretty much the same ending – “Unsatisfied with this? Well, read this then!” I’m half expecting Legion of Three Worlds to end with a “To be continued in Adventure Comics!” banner.

    Yeah – I’ve been pretty absent lately, both from here and from my own blog. A combination of unemployment, grad school coursework, etc… have kept me from keeping up like I might’ve wanted to. I’ll try and start reading/commenting more reliably now.

  3. I think you just dislike Johns.

    Which is fine. Don’t read his work. I’ve disliked everything Strazenski (Or however the hell you spell it) has ever written, or at least what I’ve read. So I don’t read his books.

    I realize a lot of people love his work and that’s awesome. It’s just not for me.

    There are so many great comics out there. Just stop buying Johns.

    I understand what you mean now about that FC “one-shot”. It definitely wasn’t a one-shot. I can see how that’s frustrating. But for those of us who are already reading GL or are already going to pick up the upcoming Flash, it’s not a big problem.

    I think Johns is trying to keep a continuity within his own books. I don’t have a problem with that. It’s what Morrison is doing right now. The only problem is that Morrison is a better writer or he at least makes his continuity a lot less jarring.

    I think what bugs you is that Johns throws out old continuity to make way for Johns continuity. I totally respect that. Again, don’t read his stuff.

    On a side note, I recently thought about picking up Newuniversal because I finally realized how awesome Ellis is. I checked out your reviews and I thank you. I definitely want to read it. The only problem? Is the book still coming out? I haven’t read Fell either. I love Ellis, but I don’t want to start a journey that will never finish. So do you know anything about it?

    Hopefully you can get less busy soon. What few comments you’ve given me have always been enjoyable. At least you got to agree on how great Secret Six is, eh?

  4. While it’s true that I dislike much of Johns (outside of FC:RR #1 & 2, 52, and one or two other things), I genuinely found the issue poorly written. Outside of a few ‘cool’ moments, did anything happen with even a remote amount of depth or even character growth? Even when I don’t particularly like his stories, I tend to give them decent grades – C-range, which is perfectly average.

    To be fair, I read a fairly small amount of Johns’ work. He just writes so damn much that I’m pretty much bound to come across it here or there. But, yes, as I said in my review, I plan on avoiding Johns completely from here on out, at least for a couple years.

    NewUniversal is still ongoing… but NewUniversal: Shockfront #4 is about 6 months late, at this point. It’s still solicited for, I think, February, though. And Fell will finish sometime, whenever Ellis gets around to it. Thankfully, Fell, at least, was made to be a set of single issue stories, so it can come out whenever it wants.

  5. And 52 was barely Johns. It was mostly the Black Adam stuff. Did you like that?

    Yeah, just don’t read his stuff.

    Newuniversal is still ongoing? Huh? Wasn’t that like a six-issue mini and then Shockfront is the continuiation? I think maybe if the hardcover to Shockfront comes out, I’ll pick them both up. Does that sound good? Is Shockfront still awesome?

    Oh and as for Newuniversal being what the Ultimate U should have been, you’re probably right. But something I’d reccomend is Morrison’s Marvel Boy. Not only was it great, but it totally should have been Ultimate. Spidey in particular. That’s what happens when Bendis and Millar start your universe instead of Ellis and Morrison.

    Did you like Fell? Should I still get the first trade knowing issue ten may never get here?

  6. I loved the Black Adam stuff until Isis died, which was frankly a huge waste of potential for both her and Black Adam, and the WWIII stuff was juvenile.

    Shockfront… I don’t know. NewU reads MUCH better as a trade, so I’d definitely wait to see how Shockfront ends.

    Marvel Boy is definitely on my to-read list. The parts that I’ve read have been promising.

    Fell, if you like semi-horror detective stories, it is absolutely worth reading. I have gotten three or four people into comics, at least a little, using just the first four issues of Fell more than once. It’s concise, has some spectacular art, single issue plots, and the issues are particularly cheap.

  7. Ah but Isis’ death was so sad. It’s been Black Adam’s entire reason for being for the last few years.

    Issue #50 of 52 was great. Those four WWIII separate issues were extremely atrocious.

    Marvel Boy is fantastic. I didn’t catch it all on the first read. So read it twice or just talk to me. 🙂

    Have you read Criminal? Is that stuff REALLY as good as they say? Really? Should I just start with the last arc? I heard that was the best.

    We’ll see about Fell. But hey I picked up the first Scalped trade today. I’ve heard that’s awesome. Everybody loves Jason Aaron. I read that four-issue Wolverine arc and I was underwhelmed.

  8. Criminal is VERY good – if you’re a noir fan. I don’t know that it’s as good as Sleeper, but its definitely a quality series.

    Scalped… the first trade is good, but disappointing. I’ve heard things pick up in the second trade.

  9. I heard Sleeper is going to be a new Tom Cruise movie. They may even have a director. I can’t remember. But Sleeper is better than Criminal?

    I love noir. I guess I’ll grab the first Criminal trade. I might even pick up the first Incognito issue. We’ll see.

    Scalped has been good so far, but certainly not as great as they say. I’m only on issue three though.

  10. Hmmmm… Sleeper and Criminal are very different. Sleeper is a super-hero noir story with a lengthy overarching plot. If you’re interested in it, there are 4 volumes of Sleeper and a prologue called ‘Point Blank’ that you don’t have to read, but that’s definitely very quality.

    Sleeper, on the other hand, doesn’t have a coherent arc-to-arc narrative. It’s a series of single-arc old-school noir stories with absolutely brilliant art.

    I’ve been told not to judge Scalped until I read the second trade. Since I just got some Christmas money, I’ll be willing to give vol 2 a shot.

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