Published on August 31st, 2012 | by Cosmic Comix and Toys5
Shawn’s Reviews – August 31, 2012
AMERICAN VAMPIRE #30
Vertigo (DC) Comics
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Rafael Albuquerque
Pearl and Skinner Sweet are still hunting down this new brood of vampires in Hollywood during the 1950s. While they are dishing out some delicious violence (there are mountain lions involved), Pearl seems to be literally retracing her footsteps while she was alive in the 1920s as she loses herself in despair that Henry may never wake up again.
We learn how the Order has pacified Skinner, but there is a hint that he is laying the groundwork of his own plans. Though he appears to be somewhat reformed and shows that he cares for Pearl in his own way, she was the one that almost succeeded in killing him. The final pages of the issue proves that Pearl may have gone to a point of no return, and that secretly Skinner has exacted his revenge.
This was one of the best and most heartbreaking issues to date. I honestly care less for the Vampire Coven plot as I do seeing how the story-threads have developed since the first arc. Henry, Skinner, and Pearl were all there at the beginning and this issue marks a turning point forever for these characters. I am captivated by how the creative team put it together, and as a fan I am brokenhearted in what this means for my favorite characters.
Scott Snyder gives is plot and conflict, but what he does best is literally giving a story to the readers that takes a bite out of you. It hurt me to read those last few pages as much as it served the story. Do you know those stories where characters are stagnate and nothing ever changes for good or bad? This is not one of those stories. I feel like in the middle of a story-arc this book has turned a corner that can never be undone.
The art by Rafael Albuquerque is as a treasure as always. He captures the time that the story takes place in perfectly and has no trouble jumping here and there through flashbacks. His Pearl is both sweet and deadly, and his Skinner always has a look on his face that would Loki a reason to get nervous. When Pearl is in full vamp mode she still freaks me out thirty issues into this story. The last few pages are sexy and horrific in equal measure.
FINAL WORD: The best book of the week. Excellent twists and turns that serve the story while changing the status quo forever. Well done!
THE GOON #41
Dark Horse Comics
Written and Illustrated by Eric Powell
Back-up art by Mark Buckingham
Goon fans will definitely love this issue! After being defeated numerous times by the Goon, the Zombie Priest recounts how he scraps by through his existence by performing black magic for sad and pathetic people. As we see, these things he does for others always backfires negatively for them, and even in his semi-retirement the Zombie Priest’s work is still thwarted by the Goon.
It is a wonderful character study that gets into the head of this longtime villain, but instead of just serving as a character piece, it also hints at a deadly threat waiting on the horizon for the Goon. And I think longtime fans will want this issue if for nothing else than to see the beginnings for what is coming next for this series.
Eric Powell’s script is pitch perfect with just the right amounts of absurdity, comedy, horror, and teasing peppered throughout. His art is gorgeous. Powell can put together facial expressions like no other, and his monster designs are gloriously hideous. The Back-up story by Powell and Mark Buckingham was also a nice touch by giving us a more traditional Goon Vs Monster fight.
All in all I think fans will enjoy this issue and be excited for whatever kind of evil it is that our hero will soon be fighting. What will this villain’s appearance mean for the Zombie Priest as well? Who knows? But I cannot wait to find out!
FINAL WORD: Another great issue with a bit of a tease for what is coming next. Goon fans will not want to skip this issue!
JUSTICE LEAGUE #12
Written by Geoff Johns
Pencils by Jim Lee
Inks by Scott Williams
Additional Art by Ivan Reis and David Finch
The Justice League defeat Mr. Graves and the super-powered entities that were giving him his powers, but the fallout from their apparent mistakes has Wonder Woman (and the League) cutting ties with Steve Trevor and Green Lantern bowing out of the team so they can use him as a scape goat. Meanwhile, Superman and Wonder Woman share a moment.
Let’s start with the bad. This was a very disappointing story-arc. The villain was lame, and the Justice League taking the blame for the Graves and his family felt out of place to me. Geoff Johns has set it up where the world has a tremendous distrust of the League, but I do not think he sold it really well. We already know there will be a new Justice League America book next year and will feature a team much more in line with the Government, but I feel like the writer is purposely forcing a story to match the status quo the line is moving towards. It does not ring very true.
On the flipside, even though the conversation between Superman and Wonder Woman is a bit on the Emo side, I think the creative team sells that very well. I totally buy these two characters taking solace in one another and I am onboard for their burgeoning relationship. It is almost sweet in the way it happens.
In addition to the new twist on WW/Superman, Jim Lee’s art is rather excellent this issue. As much as the main plot drove me nuts and did not work for me, the art was never the issue I had with it. The characters look fun and dynamic, and he is part of the reason the Superman/Wonder Woman scene works so well.
When it comes down to it my problem with the book is that this should the premiere superhero title for the DCU and its not. Its dark stories painting the League as anything but heroes, and it serves the direction Johns wants to take the titles rather than the actual stories he is trying to tell. In other words the twists and story beats we are given feel artificial and not organic like a good story should be.
FINAL WORD: Stay for the great art and the Wonder Woman/Superman stuff, but it is almost undone by a lame excuse for the League to be at odds with the world.