Thursday, March 28, 2013

Comic reviews for books picked up on 23/03/2013

Spoilers ahead for Wonder Woman 18, Supergirl 18, Earth 2 10, Ultimate Spider-Man 21.

Wonder Woman 18
I have been very much enjoying this series, but upon reading this it struck me that my enjoyment wasn't due to Wonder Woman.  I still very much enjoy the character, sure, but the Wondy in this series isn't really drawing me in.  She doesn't have the depth of characterisation that previous series have.  Possibly this is due to her having little on panel time, compared to the other characters.

This series has so far been mostly about Zola and her child, the Gods jealousies and games, and a bit about Amazon history.  Diana has been present in all issues, and she acts with vigour and determination in each issue, but she is not really the important character.  It feels like the book should perhaps be called Greek Myths and Diana be a supporting character in it.  It's great, and I enjoy it every month, but it's not really Wonder Woman book. She doesn't drive the events.  The other characters do.

In this issue, Diana fights Hermes for the child and one of the Titans (I think) fights Poseidon.  Poseidon defeats his nephew and Ares steals the child from Demeter and brings it to Zola.  Diana really has little importance.  Events could perfectly easily have transpired without her.

Supergirl 18
At last H'el on Earth has finished!  Presumably it finished in the pages of Superman, which I don't get.  I think that's a little unfair as it seemed to me that this was Supergirl's story.

In this issue, Lex Luthor is in prison soaking up some sunshine in his one hour outside.  The sunlight activates a hub - where he can virtually meet with his team for an hour or so to plan and scheme and develop villainous plots.  This is a great and inventive idea and not something I thought the new 52 would come up with, so kudos to them.

Meanwhile, Kara has spent 2 weeks orbiting the sun to cure her of Kryptonite poisoning.  She's had enough so she discharges herself, finds her way to a lava pit under the earths' surface and gets hit by someone who ran across Superboy a few issues back.  Of course she is still suffering from Kryptonite poisoning.

The issue ends with Power Girl also feeling queasy and we are promised that next issue:
Power Girl! Supergirl!  But there can only be one Kara!

You know, I'm pretty sure we went through all this pre new52.  With disastrous results.  By disastrous, I mean with a bad story.  Why are we going here again???

It doesn't help that the inner artist has changed.  I'm sure that if Mahmud Asrar was pencilling this story would come across better, but he isn't and it doesn't.

I am considering dropping this title.  If the story doesn't pick up, if there are more crossovers I think I'll have had enough.  I am just not interested in this new 52 universe.

Earth 2 #10
I bought this on the advice of a friend.  It showed promise but I just can't get behind these new characters.  Jay Garrick is a teenager (I think - at least his mum looks like she's in her twenties...), and he's likable, but not likeable enough to be better than old codger Jay.  Alan Scott is likable enough, and seems to have some oomph to him, and of course it's great to have gay characters, but diversity isn't enough to make a story good.  Kendra is pretty cool - she appears exactly the same character as in the pre new52, just Black.  They haven't re-invented her.

If Alan was still an old codger, but gay, I'd read this.  If Jay had the same sensibilities and air of wisdom and experience about him, but was a teenager, I'd buy this.  As it stands, the characters names are not enough to make me want to buy more.

I will give credit to Nicola Scott for making Jay's stupid new costume look reasonable.

Ultimate Spider-Man 21
Now this is good shiz!  This is a brilliant comic, cover to cover great.

The Ultimate universe retells the greatest main universe's stories.  Or at least it started that way.  Now things have changed and we have new characters, new story arcs, but set amongst existing, long standing, popular characters.  In this universe Gwen Stacey is alive, Peter Parker is dead and Miles Morales is the new Spider-Man.  In this issue, Miles' Dad is in hospital after being attacked by Venom.  Miles is obviously very upset about this and is with his friend Ganke who is trying to comfort him.  Gwen and Mary-Jane see the attack on the telly and decide Miles needs their help.  They, meet, discuss tactics, give the background and a cop turns up and suspicious as to why Peter Parker's friends are coming to a new part of town, shortly after a Parker enemy attacked an unknown (as Miles' Dad is at this stage).  Venom is still loose and attacks other civilians before moving back to the hospital.

Venom is truly horrifying and disgusting.  The characterisation of long term characters like MJ and Gwen is spot on and believable, despite the fact they are much younger than in the regular universe.  This is a good lesson in how to reinvent characters to become new and modern.  It's fab.

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