Sunday, August 23, 2009

It's been another super powered week

Reviews and spoilers ahead for:
Power Girl # 4, Supergirl #44, Superman Annual #14, Superman/Batman #63 and Wednesday Comics #6 + 7. I was a little late reading Wednesday Comics # 6.
Power Girl # 4
Hurrah this was very enjoyable. Far better than issues 1 and 2. Karen and Terra have a girls night out to the pictures and Terra learns more about surface life. Karen is revealed as a hardcore horror fan, which pleases me no end, and then the city is attacked by mythical creatures and elf queen. Terra fights in her knickers, knee high socks and t-shirt as she wasn't wearing her costume. Karen headbutts a dinosaur (i'll get a scan up when I remember to do one), wrestles a manga styled tentacled thing and saves the day.
The art is cute as ever and like a lot of Amanda Connor's stuff, the best bits sometimes take in the background, e.g. the wino taking note when Karen and Terra are changing.

Speaking of the art, and the costume change, Connor's art does feature a lot of cheesecake. Prominence is given to boobs and bums and it's every bit as sexy focused as a lot of other artists I've complained about. One of the differences in Connor's work is that the anatomy is at least realistic. Her style is also quite refreshing - it's cute, it doesn't try to be 'adult', if you get what I mean.

I'm mentioning this for a couple of reasons. 1 is that I don't want to be seen to be hypocritical, deriding male artists' work and praising women's work. That would be crap and sexist. Another is that I think it's fair to point out that using women artists doesn't automatically solve all problems in the industry - from my very uninformed and entirely speculative viewpoint, I reckon it's a culture issue as much as anything.
3, Connor's art may emphasise the sexy but at least the subjects bend and move like humans are meant to. Also, she doesn't sexualise every female character in every panel. It's a more gentle approach.
Lastly, I shall add that I do still like Connor's art, but I tend to read her comics with one raised eyebrow.

Supergirl #44
This issue suffered for being part of the Codename: Patriot story arc. I didn't feel like it was focused on Kara, but more on the events around her. I'm not sure how interesting this would have been, or how much sense it would have made, to those not following the crossover. The issue was more geared around moving the crossover plot forward, which fair enough, needs to be done, but it came across as more of a filler issue than vital to the plot in it's own right. I understand how certain things have to happen so we could get to the next chapter, and this will probably read fine as a trade, but it didn't work very well as a monthly issue.

Having said that, there some positive points - Ral-Dar has got more interesting and the Lois-Kara interchanges, and Lois-Clark-Kara disagreement was good. These felt important to the long term character development of all involved, not just necessary for this one crossover.

Up until this issue I was actually really pleased with the Codename: Patriot arc. It is concluded in Superman 691 and then we get the Hunt for Reactron crossover. Next Supergirl issue we get to see Kara and Thara meet again properly, then the Hunt for Reactron concludes the following issue. I'll be glad when these crossovers have finished and we get to see some more self contained (at least within the WONK arc) stories.

Superman Annual #14
All about Mon-El. Tying up his origins and his links with earth. I did rather like how it all panned out, but overall this book wasn't essential. There looks to be some problem with the printing because some of the text boxes were very blurry. That didn't help. My conclusion - pick up if you're a Mon-El fan, skip if not.

Superman/Batman #63
All about Batman, nominally about Supes. Grodd has taken over the earth, Superman has been banished, all other heroes have been eaten by Grodd and it's up to Batman to save the planet.
I didn't care for this. I don't care for Batman centred stories - I don't like detective or crime stories - and this did nothing for me.
Still, one not so great issue in a whole selection of gems is nothing to complain about.

Wednesday Comics #6 + 7
This has got a lot better. Maybe it's because I read them both together, or maybe I was in a better mood, but I got lot more out of these than previously.
Batman is still blah. Deadman, Green Lantern, Strange Adventures, Metal Men, Sgt Rock I quite happily skip and read only for reviewing purposes. The Demon/Catwoman strip is dull as and doesn't have enough Selina in.

The good stuff, is good -
Kamandi sees the girl kick some enemy ass and provide her name. They seem to both be drawn with quite childlike faces but she appears to have breasts, it's a bit odd. Overall I reckon this is gonna be a good yarn though.
Superman #6 was pointless, but #7 saw his house get blown up and then Kal emerged from the wreckage. A) I like that sort of happening, b) the art is still gorgeous.
Metamorpho - Ok, so the story is not remotely interesting to me, but I do like the presentation. This week (#7) we had a snakes and ladders game at the bottom of the strip.
Teen Titans - #6 sucked, #7 saw Tim having a bit of an insecure moment, so I'm wondering if it will all lead back to him by the end, The art is perfect.
Hawkman: I maintain that the first strip of 'flap flap flap' was good. #6 and 7 see Hawkman and the plane crashland on an island with dinosaurs. I like the little girl's huge eyes (caused by her thick glasses).
Flash- lots and lots of Barrys. I think it's all gone a bit wrong!
Wonder Woman - Etta Candy turns up and is great. I haven't read any Etta in the WW books but this incarnation is brilliant. The art remains wonderful.
Supergirl - #7 not as strong as #6, but satisfactory. The background detail that Connor provides makes me chuckle (Streaky playing with a starfish f'rinstance). In this strip Aquaman is a dick and makes Kara cry. She suddenly seems much younger. If she wants someone to talk to animals why doesn't she call up Diana? Nevermind.

Blackest night Superman hasn't shipped to my store yet, I think there might be problems with a lot of UK orders. I'll review that next week, if it's arrived by then.
I cancelled Detective Comics and Booster Gold.

I also saw in the Gentleman Ghost figure in the toy shop. I really really like this figure.

No comments: