Comic Book Rebel Reviews for 8/01/12
- Published on Thursday, 09 August 2012 01:00
- Written by Kevin
- Hits: 823
Welcome back to the Comic Book Rebel Reviews. This will be a Marvel dominated set of reviews as Avengers Academy #34 and Hawkeye #1 headline the releases of the week. Sneaking its way in this week is also DC Comic’s Action Comics #12. Hit the jump button to check out what, if any, winners or losers were released this past week.
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artists: Rags Morales, Cafu and Brad Walker
Inkers: Rick Bryant Bob Mcledd, Cafu and Andrew Henessy
Colorists: Brad Walker and Gabe Eltaeb
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10
In answering a question I brought up about superhero comics last week Action Comics #12 brings up how important both Clark Kent and Superman are while creating a new villain in the form of Captain Comet. Instead of just making this a straight up slugfest Grant Morrison takes a much more personal take on giving Superman a new villain by giving us backstory on the villain. In doing so it makes the entire story feel much more special as we get to see how the villain’s story parallels Superman’s own origin in interesting ways.
What made this take on creating a new villain was the fact it was made more personal with Lois facing death. Superman’s desperation to stop the bad guy was made even more suspenseful as the character proved to be more of a match for the Man of Steel. The use of Lois niece was creative as it built an additional character to Superman’s supporting cast that will supply a basis for future stories.
Now, after the death of Clark Kent a couple issues ago, I have to say the way it was undone was both well done and upsetting. On one hand, Morrison is able to show why it is important for Superman to maintain his Clark Kent life. Being Clark helps ground the character and he is able to do more by being both Clark and Superman than just being one or the other. On the other hand, I am disappointed with how quickly the status quo was returned as Clark being dead still had more story possibilities for other supporting characters.
Even though this issue did have three artists working on the issue overall the art still looked good. Rags Morales, Cafu and Brad Walker all combined to deliver pleasant artwork for the parts they were assigned. Both the action and talking head sequences look good. Unfortunately, there are points in the issue it is clear when the artwork shifts between artists which lead to awkward transition moments between scenes.
Overall: Though the issue had a couple minor stumbles in the form of a specific story choice and art-by-committee Action Comics #12 was still a solid entry in one of DC Comics flagship titles. Grant Morrison continues to make this the must have Superman series with his strong characterization and continued effort in creating a mix of new and old supporting characters. With an ending that introduced elements for a long-time Superman character it will be interesting to find out what Morrison has in store for us next.
Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Tom Grummett
Inker: Cory Hamscher
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Whether “Final Exam” is the final story of Avengers Academy or not Christos Gage has kicked off his latest arc in strong fashion. As has been the case throughout his run on the series Avengers Academy #34 is a strong mix of character interactions with solid action. What this issue does well is bring everything that has gone on with all the kids in Avengers Academy to a head as all the students face important decisions in the face of getting a cure.
Gage shows how much long-term planning he has had for this series by bringing in elements from the Avengers Initiative into the story of Hazmat, Mettle and other kids that disliked their powers. It continues to show that not every power is a gift and what a person would do when presented with a solution to their problems. Do you take the easy route or accept what you are given? That is what this issue answers and is able to make Jeremy Briggs a great final villain for the Avengers Academy students to face in “Final Exam.”
Tom Grummett continues to provide the series with solid old-school comic book art. Though the artwork is nothing that will wow you Grummett makes sure there is a consistent flow throughout the issue. With a talking head focused issue Grummett is able to make each scene have an extra sense of importance.
Overall: Avengers Academy #34 is even further proof of this series being one of the best series that Marvel has going. Taking everything he has built-up over the course of the series we see all of the character development for the students of Avengers Academy come to a head. Gage is able to give every character a unique voice as all the students face one of the most important decisions of their lives. Where things go is unknown but it will be exciting to see how Gage ends all of these characters stories and how it builds to their individual futures in the Marvel Universe.
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: David Aja
Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Well, goddammit. How did Matt Fraction know I was a sucker for sentimental stories involving a dog? If Hawkeye #1 is proof of anything is that adding a dog into the story makes it that much better.
Now it is no secret I am not the biggest Fraction fan. He is a hit or miss writer many times but what Hawkeye #1 does is bring in a lot of the best elements from his fantastic Iron Fist run. Fraction is able to nail Hawkeye’s character without putting too much emphasis on the costume. The structure of Clint dealing with a gang in the form of a flashback and how that brings in the dog he takes in at the end of the issue all works to get to know who Clint is. This was a good choice as it makes this instantly new reader friendly as the ground work for Hawkeye’s character out of the way to set up the big adventures the character will be involved in.
Helping the issue is the great stylized artwork of David Aja. Similar to his work in Iron Fist, Aja provides extremely strong grounded artwork that makes the comic stand out from other comics. He is able to get the reader inside Clint Barton’s head through the various character shots even during the action sequences. He is also able to make New York City a place with a lot of life even with Clint going into the most dingy places in the city.
Overall: Hawkeye #1 is a strong start to a series with a lot of promise. Matt Fraction is able to do a lot of character work for Clint Barton’s character as he dedicates the issue to who the character is. Even though we don’t get much Hawkeye in this issue things are set up well as when know who the man behind the mask and get set to follow his adventures. With the addition of David Aja on art duties Hawkeye is an ongoing series that has all the potential to be a true breakout series.
Kevin started reading comics as a kid when he watched the first episodes of Batman: The Animated Series and Spider-Man: The Animated Series. When he is not reading and writing about comics you can find Kevin as the destroyer of worlds, champion of fighting tournaments and ace Madden player on the PS3. You can catch up with Kevin and all his thoughts at the following links:
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