What to Expect: Week 1 of the Relaunch

While lebeau continues to give you a fantastic title-by-title breakdown of the upcoming relaunch, I’m going to take a slightly different take on things.    With the full solicits revealed, release dates included, we now have a slightly better idea of what to expect come September.  So I’m going to break down the solicits by release date, talk a little bit about what I’m going to get – and what I’m going to skip – and why, so you’ll have an idea of what some of the books that will definitely see coverage here will be… and which of your favorites you can heartily mock me for skipping.

So, with that brief introduction, on to week one of the solicits, otherwise known as… September 7th.

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Review: Free Comic Book Day 2010

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Well, I could pretty much copy my intro from last year’s FCBD coverage. I did pretty much the same thing. I didn’t go to the comic book store, instead spending my time with boxing, beer, and babes. I got my free comics early, so I can still review these things.

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Review: World’s Finest #1

Worlds Finest 1

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Sterling Gates in the last year or two, largely to do with his revitalization of Supergirl.  With that in mind, and knowing that he’d be writing next year’s Kid Flash title, I figured I’d give his newest mini, World’s Finest, a shot.  I’m still not sure how well Gates will handle the notoriously difficult Bart Allen, but World’s Finest #1 offered a quick, entertaining adventure.

For those unfamiliar with the premise, World’s Finest is a team-up book in which each issue features a different pairing between the Gotham Knights and Team Superman, all tying into a larger story.  Gates does a satisfactory job of that here, introducing all his players with a relative minimum of exposition – though he goes a bit overboard with the new Nightwing, especially given that the title page already talks about his origins – and giving us a done-in-one story connected by the presence of a malevolent figure revealed in the book’s final pages.  His dialogue is simple and to-the-point, and he manages to slip in a fairly clever action beat that lets them wrap up the issue’s big fight quickly.

Artist Julian Lopez does some fairly solid work here as well.  See how thrilled Tim looks when he thinks the tactile telekinetic help he gets mid-fight is Conner, or the otherworldly nature of the Nightwing costume the first time we see it, or, perhaps most impressively, how he manages to make Tim look his age again in a single, relaxed panel as he contemplates something he loved and lost.  Lopez’s action sequences look a little stiff, but, for the most part, he provides clean, simple art that works well with Gates’ script.

World’s Finest isn’t particularly revolutionary, but it is fun. A reasonably solid action comic with a brief, reluctant touch of drama, it’s opening issue provided a nice bit of superheroic escapism.  The good guys prevail, an even bigger bad is revealed, and in the end, everything stays the same.  Slight, but engaging.

Grade: B

– Cal Cleary

Read/RANT

Bruce Castle Presents: New Avengers or New Krypton? Or New Coke?!

New Avengers #46 (***1/2)

I love villain books. Secret Invasion from the bad guy POV? Bring it on! This issue was a lot of fun. Particularly if you like The Hood and the cronies he hangs around. Bendis doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, but I still had a good time. Even though I’ve heard a lot of praise for Tan’s art, I feel that his work is just above average, but he makes the baddies look cool here. The most interesting thing in the book is of course non-Skrull related. It kind of sets things up for the future of the NA, or at least gives them a new foe to face.

Superman: New Krypton Special #1 (****)

The first five pages are completely wordless. Why? Because we’re dealing with the Action Comics #870 events. These pages are drawn by Frank and of course he knocks the artistic ball out of the park. Actually, the book’s look in general was very impressive. That’s near impossible when you have several artists working on one comic, but somehow they pulled it off. This seems like an interesting event, but I kind of already know where it’s headed. The foreshadowing is too heavy. Another thing that bugged me is that Robinson’s writing was weak. Yes I realize this is written by Johns and Gates too and how can I tell who wrote what, but I can use common sense. It’s like in 52, do we know who wrote what? No, but we have a really good idea. I think I’ll be skipping the Robinson issues unless of course I hear they’re great. Anyway, this seems like it’ll be a pretty good story and I think you should at least give it a try. Oh, and I skipped that five buck Olsen crap and I don’t think I missed anything important.

Bruce Castle Presents: Smells Like Teen Hero

 

Invincible #53 (*****)
Man, this stuff is still so good. Again, major props to the art crew. Ryan Ottley rocking the pencils, Cliff Rathburn tracing like there’s no tomorrow, and FCO Plascencia is owning the colors. This book looks gorgeous! Kirkman brings the goods too. After last issue’s shocking violence and ominous finale, we get some realistic teenage angst. Mark has to juggle with his brother being possibly evil, his mother spilling the beans about his identity to her new boyfriend and of course, keeping his new superhero girlfriend happy. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of action to accompany your soap opera. Some plot threads that were established several issues ago are dealt with, a new Fin Fang Foom-esque, sans purple pants, character is introduced, and Invincible pimp slaps a guy. I also have to commend Kirkman for providing endings different from his usual “OMG!!!” stuff. There’s still a little bit of that, but it’s much more subtle. If you’ve been thinking about picking this book up, read issues #51-53. Hopefully you’ll read the previous issues later, but this stuff really is a great “jumping on point”.

Supergirl #34 (****)

There’s about to be a Superman crossover story and this is the team that’s going to handle Supergirl. I have always liked Supergirl, but it’s hard to explain why. She is consistently written poorly. I was pleased to see she got some cool moments in Johns’ current Brainiac storyline and I’m happy to report she’s written well here too. This is more of the human angle for Supergirl. She asks questions that we all ask. Why am I here? Am I doing the right thing? There are plenty of strong character moments. Plus, we get some nice Silver Banshee action and how often do we see that? Also, the book looks pretty. It fits the tone extremely well and it manages to solve an important artistic problem, how do you make a girl with bare midriff and the world’s shortiest skirt not look trashy? My one complaint is why does Supergirl have to cry twice in one issue? It works fine the first time but it is completely pointless the second. Anyway, I’m glad Supergirl is finally getting the treatment she deserves.

Foilball’s Review Roundup #57 – Reviewed on The Pull List Podcast!

Batman #680 (****)

Supergirl #34 (****)

Terror Titans #1 (*)

Hey, yours truly is on this week’s The Pull List, featured on the VsRealms homepage, wherein I help review these three books. I posted my star ratings, but to get the full reviews, go listen to that podcast! Go now! And then leave them a review on iTunes and stuff, they deserve it!

…and if you’re super lazy like me, you can download the episode at this link. DING!