The Comic Queen

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Friday, February 25, 2005

Single-Panel Reviews 02/25/05

Solo #3
DC $4.95
Writer & Artist: Paul Pope; Colorists: Jose Villarrubia, Dave Stewart, James Jean
I’m really digging this series. Each issue has been entertaining, creative, and unexpected. This wasn’t my favorite issue, but there was certainly plenty to enjoy. Pope ranges from a Greek tale to a Jack-Kirby-tribute OMAC origin story, to two slice-of-life stories, to a Batman and Robin tale. I enjoyed the down-to-earth, slice-of-life ones the most. These being “Life-Sized Monster Ghost,” a four-page story about a boy’s travails with send-away “treasures” he finds in a comic; and En Esta Esquina (On This Corner), a six-pager following the occurrences of a particular street corner over a night’s time. Pope’s art varies a bit from story to story, but his signature seems to be cartoon realism with a chunky line – kind of superhero old school. He’s very skilled both with his art and story, and there’s a real sense of fun throughout the book.
Bottom line: B+

Runaways #1
Marvel $2.99
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan; Penciller: Adrian Alphona; Inker: Craig Yeung; Colorist: Udon’s Christina Strain
I’m glad to see this title back. This is just an enjoyable series about a group of kids with powers, plain and simple. The runaways Karolina, Molly, Nico, Gert, and Chase are out on their own trying to clean up the mess that’s been created since their parents bit the dust. The Pride might have been evil, but they did keep LA in working order keeping the number of evil guys in tights running around to a minimum. So, the Runaways are trying to reign things in as best they can. “Trying” being the operative word. We’re also introduced to a small group being formed to help young people who have been superheroes reenter normal life; and Vaughan sets up the possibility of a supervillain to come. Whew, that’s quite a bit of things happening in this first issue. The story gets off to a good start, but I’m a little less impressed by the art. For the most part I thought Alphona did a great job. He draws a pretty angular version of most characters and Strain adds a nice soft coloring to the book. However, Alphona seems to have real trouble drawing Chase. His character is drawn so inconsistently that at one point I wasn’t sure who the characters was. Also, I’d say it would help to have read the previous Runaways series, but not required.
Bottom line: A-

Batman: The Man Who Laughs
DC $6.95
Writer: Ed Brubaker; Artist: Doug Mahnke; Colorist: David Baron
I found this to just be a really average Batman and the Joker story. The writing was good, the art was good (loved the creepy joker faces), but the plot itself was not impressive at all. I expected a little more from Brubaker – in fact that’s the biggest reason I picked this up. Like I said, the writing was good, it just lacked any kind of twist to make it stand out from the legions of Batman stories out there.
Bottom line: B

ABC's from ABC's of Superpowers
Little Gnome Books $8.95
By Jason Lethcoe
This is the best ABCs board book of all time. If you have a toddler or know anyone who has a toddler, please buy this board book for them. Hell, buy one for yourself while you’re at it. Each page features a kid with superpowers that match up with a letter of the alphabet: from Greta’s Grin to Ozzy’s Ogle, this book is a classic. It appears to be done in colored pencil in very cartoon stylings. I can’t explain it better, you just have to see it. I don’t give out A+s very often, but this earns The Comic Queen Seal of Approval with no hesitation.
Bottom line: A+


  • At 12:28 AM, February 26, 2005, Blogger Brian Cronin said…

    I had a slight problem with the whole "teen heroes grow up with problems" routine.

    It seemed so...early 90s.

    Like something that would have seemed really clever THEN, but now? It's been death.

  • At 10:13 AM, February 26, 2005, Blogger Erin M. Schadt said…

    That's true, it has been done a lot; there's just something about Vaughan's reincarnation of the plot that I find more entertaining and likable than most others I've read.

  • At 8:52 PM, February 26, 2005, Blogger Brian Cronin said…

    It's funny, I generally am totally impressed with his takes on stuff like when I saw him do the whole "Julie Power as a ditzy wannabe actress," I was pretty disappointed.

    It just struck me as, "Really? That's really the way you thought was proper to go with her? Did you ever READ a Power Pack comic book before you chose to use her?"

    Vaughan just always struck me as a dude who would put a little more care into his decisions...

  • At 3:23 PM, October 02, 2005, Blogger jon said…

    We are trying to find good animation in movie to take the kids this weekend. Good animation in movie reviews are hard to find

    I just stumbled onto your blog while looking. Seems to happen to me a lot since I am a knowledge mooch LOL


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