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.
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.
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.