Published on August 10th, 2012 | by Cosmic Comix and Toys0
Shawn’s Reviews – August 10, 2012
There were lots of wonderful comics this week. Conan #7 was as good as always. Archer & Armstrong #1 provided a interesting twist to the old property. I felt that Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #2 was gorgeous and well done though it does not jive very well with the character from the original Watchmen series, so if that kind of thing is important to you I would stay away. On its own it great, but using it as a prequel for the original Watchmen? Does not read like the same character to me at all. So with that one I’m torn. The Massive #3 provided another great issue for this new series. The following books were my favorite of the week though. Enjoy!
PUNK ROCK JESUS #2
Vertigo (DC) Comics
Written & Illustrated by Sean Murphy
I do not think I could provide a synopsis if I wanted to. We return to the clone baby Jesus, named Chris, performing fake miracles on behalf of the religious reality TV series he is a part of. Gwen, Chris’ mother, is having trouble adjusting to her new life and is drinking far too much. Thomas ends up showing the emotional chinks in his armor, and we learn he has some mistakes to make up for.
There is a twist where the Doctor says she is pregnant and I am now wondering if she saved Chris’ twin sister that the head of the reality show was seen trying to kill. Will this new playmate for Chris really be his sister? And will she end up being the “real” clone of Jesus? Who cares? It will be fun to read!
This book is original, violent, fun, irreverent, and utterly engaging. It is so unlike anything you have read before that it is worth it solely for the originality alone. Right now I do not think there is a book that has surprised me this much in recent memory. Two issues in and already I cannot help and think of how much story we have gotten along the way.
FINAL WORD: This was my favorite comic book of the week!
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Sara Pichelli
I still miss my Ultimate Spider-Man book. Without the interaction between Peter, May, Gwen, MJ, and the Ultimate style Amazing Friends that Bendis had grown the book into it is hard to enjoy the Ultimate Spider-Man book; I am not that into Miles Morales’ turn as Spidey. He’s an interesting character and is growing on me, but I am not as into his supporting cast and that was a huge selling point for me in the original book.
Because of my affection for how the book used to be, this issue of Spider-Men really hit me in my inner Fanboy. In fact I think this issue works for any Spider-Man fan. The version of Peter Parker from the regular Marvel Universe pays a visit to Gwen and Aunt May without really thinking things through. Once they get past the weirdness of an older Peter visiting younger versions of his friends and family back home, they all bond. The result is some of the best character moments I have read in a Spider-Man comic in a long time.
The scenes where Gwen really wants to know what she’s like in the regular Marvel Universe (with Peter shying away from the question) to her reaction to finding out Mary Jane was a supermodel was way too funny. The reaction May had to Peter was wonderful. And the way in which MJ stays away from Peter made me feel really sorry for her. Not only that, but the moment where Nick Fury tells Tony Stark that he basically failed the Ultimate version of Peter Parker speaks volumes about the character.
Forget the Mysterio plot and the crisscross universe. This issue was perfect for the moments it gave us. The creative team works masterfully together to provide the readers with these wonderful pages. Pichelli’s art is gorgeous. I am hoping Peter and Ultimate MJ do have a moment. I would love to see this Peter meet the J. Jonah Jameson that thinks Spider-Man was a hero. And I would not mind Peter running into Kitty Pryde. Unfortunately, with one issue to go, I am not sure how much more we’re going to get.
FINAL WORD: Probably my favorite issue of Spider-Man since the original Ultimate Spidey book ended. Maybe my favorite Spider-Man book in years.
Written by David Schwartz
Pencils by Micah Gunnell
Let me just say at the beginning that I am not a fan of talent shows, least of all American Idol, but you do not have to be a fan of those types of shows to enjoy this comic, and if you are it will probably only add to your enjoyment of it. Idolized managed to do something I have not seen before as it takes the reality-show-hero idea and makes it work.
Leslie is going on Super Hero Idol, but she is doing it with a secret. Years ago her parents were killed during a superhuman fight and she blames herself. She is telling everyone judging her that she is there for redemption; however, she is really there for revenge. The winner of Super Hero Idol gets to join the world’s premiere superhero team, a team that faces the man she blames for her parent’s death quite often. She’s trying to win a superhero competition to do something that is very anti-heroic.
There were many things I felt the creative team did right during the course of the issue. I think the way they revealed how the threat of superhuman fights in populated areas is a major problem was well done. I think letting us in on Leslie’s secret made it easier to get through her backstory that is a little clichéd. And the creators are having lots of fun with the concept. It almost felt like pop version of Astro City.
Lots of care and detail went into this issue. It is well drawn and well written. I also liked the profiles in the back of the book to give the readers an idea of the other heroes Leslie will be competing against. There are many possibilities of where this series can go, and I will definitely be sticking around for future issues. This team has earned that from this reader.
FINAL WORD: A great first issue with a nice twist and the first time “reality TV” works within a comic book.
Written by Scott Snyder & James Tynion (p.22-28)
Art by Becky Cloonan & Andy Clarke (p.22-28)
One of the things I think has been missing from many of the DC books since their relaunch/reboot are strong supporting cast members. I think in many instances the main characters of their books are good, but the peripheral characters come across as cardboard cutout characters. There are exceptions to this rule (with books like Animal Man, I, Vampire, Batwoman, etc), but for the most part I think this holds true. That is why this issue of Batman is such a revelation.
Harper Row was a character introduced during the yearlong Owl storyline in Batman and this issue gives readers clarity about who she is and what her connection to Batman is. What we end up with is an exciting new character with ties to Batman (she’s like a blue collar Oracle in some respects) and to Gotham City who is not going to be donning a cape and cowl. Out of thanks for saving her and her brother, Harper improves Batman’s network throughout Gotham that she discovered, and in doing so sets herself up as an ally of the Bat.
I sincerely hope that Scott Snyder has plans for her outside of this issue. (I am pretty sure he does, but I wanted to say it anyway.) Even though Harper is the main character of the issue there is plenty of Batman to go around. I thought Snyder built Harper up well and in doing so added more depth to the series. Snyder has spent lots of time building Gotham City up within the book and I think spending time with Harper this issue helps reinforce that concept.
The art by Becky Cloonan was perfect for this issue and it was great to see Cloonan give us her rendition of Batman. Between this issue and her Conan work she is really impressing me as of late. The back-up continuation of the story seemed a bit strange, but worked. I liked Andy Clarke’s art on these pages and wonder why he’s not doing complete issues.
FINAL WORD: A great character building issue that expands Batman’s supporting cast in a big way!