The Comic Queen

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Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Single-Panel Reviews for 6/30/04 & 7/7/04

Here’s a quick rundown of some comics I’ve read in the past two weeks.

Batman: Harley and Ivy #3 of 3
DC $2.50
Writers/Artists: Paul Dini and Bruce Timm; Colorist: Lee Loughridge; Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
I love Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, so this short series was fun for me. The three comics aren’t really a three-issue plotline, but rather three vignettes centering around two characters and their antics. In this case that’s Harley and Ivy. In fact wish this would have been set up a bit differently. Perhaps instead of three stories loosely tied together, they could have done a 4 to 6 issue series of distinctly separate one-shots. Anyhoo it is what it is and that’s a fun romp with two unique characters.
Bottom line: B+

DC Comics Presents: Batman #1
DC $2.50
First story:
Writer: Geoff Johns; Penciller: Carmine Infantino; Inker: Joe Giella; Colorist: Sno Cone
Second story:
Writer: Len Wein; Artist: Andy Kuhn; Letterer: Kurt Hathaway; Colorist: Bill Crabtree
These DC Comics Presents titles are the best tribute DC could have given Julie Schwartz. Kudos to DC for this project. Schwartz was famous for (among many other things) inspiring writers by conceiving cover ideas as jumping off points. So, in these tributes, artists are reworking Julie’s original covers and inspiring two new stories. The two contained in Batman #1 are both lighthearted in their own way and definitely reminiscent of the Silver Age of comics.
Bottom line: A

Sleeper Season Two #1
Wildstorm $2.95
Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips
I’ve never read any other Sleeper issues, but thought I’d better pick this one up since I’ve heard such great things about the title in general. And I guess it just isn’t my bag, baby. O.k., first off, just to be really picky, who the heck is the chick in the car on the cover? I’ll buy that Carver is the one shooting on the cover instead of driving as he was in the actual issue—artistic license and all that. But really? Who’s the chick? Anyway, I’ve immensely enjoyed Brubaker’s work on Gotham Central, and I think that’s where I’ll stay for now. I appreciate the internal emotional conflict Brubaker is going for with Carver, but there really wasn’t much else I liked in the comic. I don’t shy away from language at all, but the profanities in this issue (not to mention the poop story by Blackwolf or the sex scene) just seem thrown in there for no real purpose. I just didn’t feel invested in any of the characters at the end of the book. I think I’ll save my money for something else next month.
Bottom line: C+

Fantastic Four #515
Marvel $2.25
Writers: Mark Waid and Karl Kesel; Penciller: Paco Medina; Inker: Juan Vlasco; Colorist: Paul Mounts
This isn’t my favorite storyline of this title in recent memory. I just can’t get into it. This “Dysfunctional” storyline has focused rather cheesily on the “Frightful Four” battling the Fantastic Four. It’s alright I guess, I think I’m just spoiled by Ultimate Fantastic Four right now.
Bottom line: B-

Ultimate Fantastic Four #8
Marvel $2.25
Writer: Warren Ellis; Penciller: Stuart Immonen; Inker: Wade von Grawbadger; Colorist: Dave Stewart
Originally I just thought I’d give this title a try since I usually enjoy a good origin retelling, and I like the characters that make up the Fantastic Four. This “Doom” storyline has exceeded all of my expectations and is more than I expected from any mainstream superhero story even. Right now the group is trying to figure out exactly how their bodies work and what their limitations and “powers” are. It’s just great storytelling folks. And the colors are INCREDIBLE. Do yourself a favor, pick up this title. Now.
Bottom line: A


  • At 10:04 AM, July 14, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You're right on the money in regards to the two Fantastic Fours. Mark Waid's run has been hit and miss with some good highs (the 9 cent issue, the FF meeting their creator) and some big meh spots, like this storyline. Definately not on par with his first Captain America run or his Kazar title. The man got me to read Kazar, so you know he must be good. But Ultimate FF is hitting on all cylinders right now after a meh start.

  • At 10:57 AM, July 15, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hello! I tried out Sleeper because everyone said it was the next greatest thing. All I knew was that it was about a guy who was undercover and then couldn't get out. So I bought the first 2 trades (hey, they were 50% off) and gave it a shot.

    Now I know NOTHING about the Wildstorm books. I don't read any of them. So when I started reading the 1st tpb I was very confused because I didn't think the main character (or anyone) was going to have special powers and they started making references to other books and I was very turned off by it.

    Then a week or so ago I started reading them from the beginning again, this time knowing what I was getting into and I ended up loving it! Start with the trades and you'll get a better story.

    Oh, you'll find out who that chick on the cover is and you'll LOVE IT! :)

    - pmpknface


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