One, Two, Kapow Comic Reviews 04/02/14

One, Two, Kapow Comic Reviews

Best of the Week 04/02/14

greenarrow30

Title:  Green Arrow #30

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Jeff Lemire

Artist: Andrea Sorrentino

Review:  Thumbs Up!

Last issue Lemire totally shocked me by killing Green Arrow.  A arrow went right through his forehead.  I’ve been wondering how this would play out; sure Ollie has come back from the dead once, but twice?  This issue answers the question right off the bat to a satisfactory level but then blows my mind once again at the end.  Every week I leave feeling justified in stating that this is currently the best book DC is publishing.

Ollie is not dead, and was not killed.  Instead as the ending action of the last issue is playing out, Oliver is high above the cathedral planning his strategy of trying to take on several clans all by himself.  Leaving his Robert and Shado on the island didn’t work out though, and the two join him in the siege.  They burst through the windows from above and find the Oliver with an arrow in his head.  As the apparent dead Oliver gets up, he actually reveals himself to be Magus.  Komodo takes Emiko and leaves for their boat while the clans under his control battle the four.  Magus did not come alone though and signals for the rest of the clans aligned to him to join the battle, the Axe, Sword, and Mask clans.

Shado breaks through and rushes out to Komodo and Emiko.  She draws  her arrow as Komodo does, leaving them in a standoff.  They both fire, Shado misses but Komodo hits her in the shoulder.  As he draws again, Oliver and Robert arrive with arrows drawn as well.  Emiko will not let Komodo kill her mother and steps in front of her, but he tells her he’d rather kill her than let Shado take her.  Oliver shoots, hitting Komodo in the shoulder, but not before he was able to release his arrow.  Robert dives in front of his daughter to protect her, taking the arrow directly through his heart, as we see through an excellent x-ray shot Sorrentino draws us.

Every issue has had me yelling at the last page for more.  First Lemire brings back Oliver’s father, Robert,  then he kills Oliver, and now he kills Robert.  You can’t get any more dramatic than that;  I don’t think my heart could take it.  Oliver was able to discuss with his father the level of hate he feels toward him here, but this might be it unless Lemire has some more tricks up his sleeve.

Sorrentino continues to bring us some of the most beautiful art I’ve ever seen in the Green Arrow.  This issue is action packed with the battle and he cuts in with small highlighted panels showing the intensity of the blows, as one clan member has teeth knocked out and you some them go flying and then the final page circling into Robert’s chest to see the arrow.  I can’t get enough of his art right now!

The only complaint I’ve had at all this arc is the needlessness of going back to the States for two pages each issue to show what’s going on.  It happens here again as Richard Dragon buys his way into prison to release Count Vertigo.  At this point I know it is setting up the next arc Oliver will face when he gets back home, back it is just a distraction at this point to the masterpiece that otherwise the Outsiders War has been.

The Green Arrow is on fire right now.  Arrow on TV has been absolutely amazing and now we have what is wrapping up to be my favorite Green Arrow story of all time here.  Lemire and Sorrentino jumped on what I felt was becoming a sinking ship and veered it into near legendary status already.  Pick this book up!

sidekick6

Title:  Sidekick #6

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  J. Michael Straczynski

Artist: Tom Mandrake

Review:  Thumbs Up!

I’ve been reading all of Straczynski’s books that are part of Joe’s Comics and this has fallen in about the middle of the pack.  The premise and beginning of the series were fantastic, but it seemed to be stuck and just spinning its wheels in the last few releases.  Finally this issue brings some movement in a direction I can honestly say that I didn’t quite see coming, and that I love.  I imagined this was just about Barry Chase, aka Flyboy, trying to find his place in the world after his mentor was apparently killed, i just didn’t imagine it would take him ape s*** crazy.

After trying to remake himself and failing in St. Louis as a brand new super hero, his old haunting ground Sol City doesn’t want him back.  The mayor hires another super hero, Triple Threat to arrest Flyboy if he reappears.  Due to the manipulation by Julie Moonglow and his own mental instability, especially after finding out his mentor the Red Cowl faked his death, it doesn’t take long for him to pop back up.

Barry goes straight for the man in charge of the Red Cowl’s estate and demands answers.  His flight across the sky gives Triple Threat his location.  He comes to arrest him, but Barry is not going to allow that.  The two fight and Barry surprises himself and Triple Threat by being much more powerful than he had ever been before.  Triple Threat realizes he isn’t going to stop Barry, or get paid enough for it, so tries to flee.  Barry easily catches up to him and spears him through the chest for the killing blow.

Barry catches up to his original target who tried to drive away, and lifts him and the car atop a building.  He again demands to know where the Red Cowl is.  When he doesn’t get any information, he lets the car drop to the sidewalk stories below.  Embracing his new dark side, he meets back with Julie and they go to the Red Cowl’s old mansion/headquarters.  He turns on the self destruct and lets the place explode while the two of them fly away.

Having Barry go from former super hero sidekick to suddenly killing two people in one issue is just the shift this book needed.  The series had been light on action so far, but seeing the epic fight between Barry and Triple Threat made up for it.  I was already interested to see what Barry would do after being forgotten and humiliated, but now I can’t wait to see his further decent into a full fledged super villain.  Somehow I imagine a lot more heroes are going to die before the Red Cowl gets what’s coming to him for abandoning his former ward.

Quick Hits

apocalypseal3

Title:  Apocalypse Al #3

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  J. Michael Straczynski

Artist: Sid Kotian

Review:  Thumbs Up!

Apocalypse Al continues to be a fun ride on the not so serious side.  This issue finds Al on her continuing quest to stop the end of the world from happening which brings her to Happyland, the happiest place in the world and a stand in for Disneyland.  You get a troll who gets off from being tasered, some possessed mascots trying to kill our heroine, and a giant Marvin the Mouse hell bent on eating his creator, Uncle Willy.  Straczynski is taking us on one bizarre, hell of a ride and I’m enjoying every minute of it!

moonknight2

Title:  Moon Knight #2

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Warren Ellis

Artist: Declan Shalvey

Review:  Thumbs Up!

Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev brought us a fantastic Moon Knight tale last, but Warren Ellis is bringing us back to the characters roots with some great one off stories.  Here Moon Knight takes down a disgruntled soldier who is killing off the people he use to work for.  Shalvey is doing a beautiful job with our vigilante, especially his modified costume.  The choice of layout was strange since it left a big chunk of wasted white space in the issue, but that didn’t stop it from being a fantastic tale.  Warren Ellis’ bizarre and dark story telling brings a perfect fit the character leaving me craving more.

newwarriors3

Title:  New Warriors #3

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Christopher Yost 

Artist: Marcus To

Review:  Thumbs Down!

This was a tough issue for the creative team.  I had really been enjoying the the first two issues, but the story just seemed to lose steam here.  Instead of really progressing further, the time was instead spent on the High Evolutionary explaining his actions, the none captured team members being introduced further to one another, and the captured team members doing the same.  It did feature some good Scarlet Spider action which I’m always happy with, but it was short lived.  Hopefully next issue will bring the team fully together and get back on track.

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