Seventh Soldier Reviews…

Wonder Woman #24

Gail’s Wonder Woman run has been solid all-around – but after the excellent opening arc, the Circle, it lost a lot of momentum, as it was followed by two decent arcs that lacked the emotion or even excitement of the first.  This is the fourth arc of Simone’s run, a small two-issue arc titled ‘Celebrity’.  After Wonder Woman’s very public battle with The Devil, she’s experienced a surge of popularity, and so Hollywood comes calling.

The issue has its strengths – Gail has clearly found the voice of her cast.  The opening scene, between Nemesis and Hippolyta, is absolutely great, and it’s followed by more excellent character work with Diana, the Hollywood execs, and two super-intelligent gorillas.

Of course, the appearance of a villain with a grudge – in this case, the Simone-created Queen of Fables – throws a wrench into the works.  A solid issue, and I have high hopes for the remainder of the arc.

Grade: B+

Green Lantern Corps #28

Green Lantern Corps is a book I’ve only recently begun to pick up in single issues, and I consider it to be a pretty solid book.  Not spectacular, but not pretty good.  That said, I feel that this arc could have benefitted from an extra issue – and an improved threat.  I just don’t feel that five Sinestro Corps members is huge threat for the entire Corps, and I was kind of curious about the fact that it’s mentioned that there is no recording anywhere of that particular race of beings existing.

There are some cool aspects, and the last page of this issue definitely kicks GLC into pre-Blackest Night mode.  It’s a fun issue, but it’s nothing special – the arc as a whole is rather skippable.

Grade: B-

Patsy Walker: Hellcat #3

Patsy Walker: Hellcat opened strong with one of the funnest first issues in recent memory, but the second issue bordered on incomprehensible.  This issue is more in the vein of the first – fun, slightly spastic, cute, and hilarious.  This is the first comic I can remember laughing out loud during in quite some time, and I was laughing out loud more than once.  Part of that is thanks to artist David Lafuente and colorist John Rauch, who do an excellent job throughout at numerous visual gags, and with Patsy’s facial expressions.  Meanwhile, writer Kathryn Immonen goes nuts in this issue, and it leads to good times.

We move on in the story, as we have every issue of the mini thus far.  I’m still not sure WHY the story is happening, but it’s definitely a breath of fresh air, and one that gives Patsy a pretty unique voice in comics.

Grade: A-

Doktor Sleepless #8

Doktor Sleepless opened really strong, but quickly slowed to a snail’s pace.  While there were still interesting ideas in each issue, thanks largely to the back matter, not much was happening.  That said, read on – Doktor Sleepless has come back with a vengeance.  It’s funny, it’s a little scary, it’s insane.  It’s everything that we love Warren Ellis for.  I have a strong feeling that the series will read notably better in trade, but regardless, this was definitely a strong issue, and an excellent way for Ellis to end his first arc.

Grade: B+

SeventhSoldier Reviews

I…I think I liked this issue.  I can’t tell.  I’m…I mean, as a reviewer and a human being, I’m flummoxed.  I don’t…

What on Earth is going on in this series?

Grade: ?

House of Mystery #4

House of Mystery is a Vertigo project loosely connected to the Sandman mythology.  In it, we meet a two different groups of people.  One group has been ‘kidnapped’ by the House, unable to leave, while the other group seems free to come and go as they please.

Each issue has an overarching story focussing on new arrival Fig, who believes that this is her dream house, and while the story is progressing slowly, it IS progressing as we begin to meet some of the forces moving outside of the House to their own mysterious ends.  The story could be interesting, but it’s slowed down by the inclusion of the second, more schizophrenic part of the book…

…the mini-narrative.  In the House, money doesn’t matter – the only currency is stories, and we get a new story from one of the patrons every issue.  The first issue’s mini-story is one of the honest-to-God creepiest things I’ve ever read, and none of the rest have really lived up.  This issue’s story doesn’t live up, but it’s the first that’s come close as we see a young woman in San Francisco searching for True Love, and the impediments she meets along the way.

Ultimately, House of Mystery is a decent series that needs to step it up a notch.  This issue is a step in the right direction, though, and if you’re a fan of bizarre little stories that range from horror to humor, with a slow-moving but interesting meta-plot, you should do yourself a favor and pick the book up.

Grade: B+

Review: Patsy Walker: Hellcat #1

I went into Patsy Walker: Hellcat with absolutely no idea what to expect.  I loved the cover art, and I’m a big fan of minis starring little-known characters that seem to have no effect or tie-in to the greater universe.  I’m not sure, exactly, why that is, but sometimes I just need a break from all the pomp and pretension of the greater universe to just get an interesting story, continuity be damned.  Patsy Walker: Hellcat fits that description pretty much perfectly.

At the beginning of the book, Iron Man asks Patsy Walker, newly resurrected and registered, to help him out, drafting her into the 50 States Initiative.  She hoped to land a team of old friends, beautiful people, maybe somewhere nice, like Florida.  Instead, Iron Man stations her in Alaska, and then admits that she won’t actually have a ‘team’ – they can’t spare the manpower, so they’re sending her by herself.  She flies to Alaska, where she meets some locals and confronts superpowered antler bears. 

If any of that sounds odd, there’s a reason for that: the book is very, very odd.  It’s energetic and peppy – Patsy is reminiscent of a super-powered Holly Golightly, perpetually energetic and seeing the best in her situation, prone to flights of admittedly hilarious fancy.  The art, by David Lafuente, reinforces that image, and is absolutely gorgeous to boot, notably in the aforementioned flights of fantasy.

Patsy Walker: Hellcat #1 is quick and fun, but it’s mad energy sometimes makes it border on insensible.  If you’re looking for something fun and a little bit off-beat, Patsy Walker: Hellcat delivers.  It may not CHANGE THE FACE OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE FOREVER, but it’ll probably keep you entertained for a little while.

Grade: B