One, Two, Kapow Comic Reviews
Best of the Week 03/26/14
Title: X-Factor #5
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico
There was time that X-Factor was one of my most anticipated X-titles every month. That was before the relaunch though, which is goes against all odds. It features the same writer, who happens to be one of my all time favorite writers, Peter David. It also features one of my all time favorite X-Men characters, Gambit. It got to the point after issue four though that I actually contemplated dropping the book from my pull list. With this week’s issue, the series received a reprieve from being dropped. While it didn’t quite reach the standard David set with Madrox and company, and did start to get on the right track.
Gambit’s kiss last issue caused Danger to reboot her system and regain her memories. Now she seems to have a preoccupation with the cajun as he wakes to find her in his room, standing there watching him sleep. She still feels that she is not back to normal, but she believes Gambit will know how to fix her with “further interactions.”
The teams boss, Harrison Snow comes to them and tells them a rival business man Lemar Smaug will be visiting their company later. He is looking to buy Smaug’s business and wants the team at the meeting to show off Serval Industries assets, which include them.
Pietro takes a detour from getting ready for the meeting by secretly reporting back to Havok. He speeds back as if nothing had happened, but Danger notices that he had recently been running even though he said he was just in the bathroom. She confronts him about it, but he tells her that she must be mistaken.
The meeting finally convenes and Snow tells Smaug of his plan to buy his company. Smaug tells him he was actually interested in purchasing Serval Industries, but is surprised to see super heroes in the meeting. Danger detects Smaug is not actually human, which he denies. To prove her point, she punches a hole through him, revealing him to actually by the Magus.
This starts a fight between him and the group. As Quicksilver rushes in to the fight, Warlock comes to Magus’s aid and the two retreat. The team doesn’t understand why Warlock would help out his father, so they decide they should find and ask his best friend, Doug Ramsey.
One of my biggest complaints from the series so far has been Peter David’s writing of Gambit. I absolutely hate it when writer’s can’t work out Gambit’s accent and then just mostly ignore it. That hasn’t changed unfortunately. It doesn’t help that I am not the biggest fans of Polaris or Quicksilver either. Danger I usually don’t love or hate, but what finally changed for me with the series was her. I already love how he is writing Danger. Her thing with Gambit is slightly creepy, but funny at the same time. Watching her interact with everyone in general was enjoyable. Then her stuff during the fight with Magus was superb as she dove right in without calculating it out, which of course led to some humorous moments. The previous issues just didn’t feel like Peter David to me, but this issue finally did.
The art I’m still not a huge fan of. Di Giandomenico’s pencils just look a little to rough at times, I just can’t get into how he draws people, but this issue did show me I like how he draws robots. His Danger and Magus were spot on. I don’t fault him completely though, I really haven’t been enjoying Lee Loughridge’s colors either, the entire series so far has just relied way to much on yellow for my taste.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that next issue continues on this high point. I have faith in Peter David being able to turn this into being just as enjoyable as his last volume on the book was. While it wasn’t a perfect book, it was one giant leap towards getting the series in the right direction.
Title: Batman: The Dark Knight #29
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Gregg Hurwitz
Artist: Ethan Van Sciver and Jorge Lucas
Last issue was one of my favorites when it came out and luckily this issue was a good. It did feature one of my biggest gripes though, switching artist mid story and issue. Van Sciver did an excellent job last issue, and awesome first five pages here, so I was disappointed to see another artist on the cover finishing up. Jorge Lucas took over art duty after page five for him and I can say that in the end it wasn’t a problem and brought his own unique style to close things out.
Man-Bat had flung Batman off of him from high above the Gotham buildings. With the Batplane out of range, he uses the grappling hooks on his arms to stop his decent with a painful, but death free outcome. Man-Bat is able to escape as Batman goes back to the Batcave to recover.
Batman pays a visit to Abraham who laughs that there is no evidence he is the Man-Bat, otherwise Gotham police would have already arrested him. He arrogantly tells Batman that there is nothing he can do to stop him, especially since as the new and improved Man-Bat, his skin cannot be pierced to administer a antidote. Batman does learn of where he believes Abraham will strike next though, at a specific homeless shelter.
Sure enough, Abraham injects himself with the serum later and flies to the homeless shelter to find his next prey. Batman has already beat him there though. When Man-Bat gets near, Batman, dressed as a homeless man lets himself be bitten. Since he could not pierce Man-Bat’s hide, he injected himself with the antidote. Abraham reverts back to his normal self and the police arrive to arrest him.
In court his lawyers are able to get him acquitted from the charges. There was no proof that he administered the serum to himself, and as Man-Bat, he was ruled temporarily insane. Abraham gets back to his mansion, believing that he was right to kill the homeless to rid Gotham of them. He knows though that Batman is now forever watching him.
Hurwitz has been bringing fantastic short arcs to Batman: The Dark Knight. Here again he tells a quick tale that was thrilling, but not expanded out more than it needed to be. Van Sciver did an excellent job getting the ball rolling for this arc, but Lucas did an excellent job as well. His pencils are much rougher than Van Sciver’s and vastly different, but his approach worked well with this more horror like tale.
Dark Knight continues to be an enjoyable read. While the self titled Batman series from Snyder and Capullo continues to bring us long drawn out arcs, Hurwitz gives us small focused tales for an excellent change in gear. I know that currently the other series gets the most hype compared to this book, but I have to say I’m enjoying the stories here even more so than Zero Year.