Archive for the 'vampires' Category

03
Sep
07

Wetworks #12

Written by J.M. DeMatteis

Art by Joel Gomez and Trevor Scott

Cover by Whilce Portacio

Wildstorm $2.99 

Okay, this was the single best issue of Wetworks I’ve ever read.  I had seriously gotten to a point where I don’t even want to read this book when I get it, but I’m too lazy to make an alteration to my subscription list and have it stop being pulled.  It’s not horrible, it’s just not good, but this issue was quite good and completely different from the previous 11 issues that Wildstorm has put out post-Worldstorm relaunch.

The majority of the narration of the story for this issue is done by a sort of Laurel K. Hamilton writer who writes romantic-leaning vampire novels, who happens to be a very part-time lover of Persephone/Red, a vampire who serves as part of Dane’s Wetworks team.  There are strong narratives by the writer, both in regular fashion in letter boxes at the top of the panels which segway into scenes on his typewriter, which were fantastic and really well-placed, along with narrations by Red herself.

Against Dane’s knowledge, special ops are sent to  make sure Red doesn’t get soft from being in love.  So the agent goes a little far and almost kills her lover, and Red lives up to her reputation and makes sure that this is the final mission of this particular agent.  It works well with the overall revamping of the series.

It looks like Dematteis is scheduled to be on this book until at least Christmas and if he keeps up with this kind of storytelling, along with the original team back in place and somehow manages to get back to what the first arcs strong sensibilities were, he could really turn the book around.

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04
Aug
07

New comics for August 03, 2007

I’m a week and a half behind, so this week I ended up picking up quite the pile. I was glad to see so many great issues in my pile this go around. I was particularly excited about walking dead, which is already reviewed, batman, dark tower and JLA. I’ll be putting up several reviews per day and working my way through my pile over the next several days.

Action Comics #853 – Kurt Busiek(w), Brand Walker, Livesay, Lee Loughridge(a)
Batman #666 – Grant Morrison(w), Andy Kubert, Jesse Delperdang(a)
Black Panther #29 – Reginald Hudlin(w), Francias Portela and Val Staples(a) Arthur Suydam(c)
Black Summer #1 of 7 – Warren Ellis(w), Juan Jose Ryp(a)
Chronicles of Wormwood #6 of 6 – Garth Ennis(w), Jacen Burrows(a)
Countdown #39 & 40 – Paul Dini, McKeever(w), Jim Calafiore and Jay Leigten(a)
Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born #7 of 7 – Peter David and Robin Furth(w), Jae Lee and Richard Isanove(a)
Deathblow #6 – Brian Azzarello(w), Carlos D’Anda, Henry Flint(a)
Fallen Angel #18 – Peter David(w) and J.K. Woodward(a)
Futurama # 32 – Ian Boothby(w), Mike Kazaleh and Andrew Pepoy(a)
Grimm Fairy Tales #16 – Ralph Tedesco and Joe Tyler(w), Andrew Magnum and Roland Salvidor(a)
Justice Society of America #8 – Geoff Johns(w), Fernando Pasarin and Rodney Ramos(a)
Metal Men #1 of 8 – Duncan Roleau(a & w)
Midnighter #10 – Keith Giffen(w), Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, Randy Mayor(a)
Raise the Dead #4 of 4 – Leah Moore and John Reppion(w), Hugo Petrus, Marc Rueda and Ivan Nunes(a)
Speak of the Devil #1 of 6 – Gilbert Hernandez(Spider-Man Fairy Tales #3 of 4 – C.B. Cebulski(w), Kei Kobayashi, Christina Strain(a)
Star Trek: Klingons Blood Will Tell #4 – Scott and David Tipton(w), David Messina and Elaina Casagrande(a)
Star Trek: Year Four #1 – David Tischman(w), Steve Conley, Leonard O’Grady(a)
Uncanny X-Men #489 – Ed Brubaker(w), Mike Perkins and Andrew Hennessey(a)
Unholy Union #1 – Ron Marz(w), Michael Broussard(a)
Walking Dead #39 – Robert Kirkman(w), Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn(a)
Welcome to Tranquility #9 – Gail Simone(w), Neil Googe(a)
Wetworks #11 – J.M. Dematteis(w), Joel Gomez and Trevor Scott(a)
World War Hulk #3 – Greg Pak(w), John Romita Jr, Janson, Strain(a)
World War Hulk: Ironman #20 – Christos Gage(w), Butch Guice, Dean White and Gerald Parel(a)
World War Hulk: The Incredible Hulk #108 – Greg Pak(w), Leonard Kirk, Scott Hanna and Chris Sotomayor(a)
World War Hulk: The Irredeemable Ant-Man #10 – Robert Kirkman(w), Phil Hester, Ande Parks, Bill Crabtree and Val Staples(a)
X-Men #201 – Mike Cary(w), Humberto Ramos, Carlos Cuevas and Edgar Delgado(a)

04
Aug
07

Wetworks #11

Written by J.M. Dematteis

Art by Joel Gomez and Trevor Scott

Wildstorm $2.99

Around issue nine I started to hear that this issue was going to be the first canceled from the wroldstorm event. That issue was the last of the original creative team for this relaunch. Issue ten began the new team of Dematteis and Gomez, and two issues later, I still don’t like the work as much as the first nine issues, but it’s not bad.

The differentiation in stories is incredible though, jarring at some points because they’re almost unrelated outside of sharing the same characters. The first nine issues played out this great complex story of a vampire prison on an alternate version of Earth, it detailed a rebellion, a prison escape and a plot of dominate the planet. The writer went pretty far back and explored the history of vampires and werewolves on this alternate earth and made the characters, even the obvious villains, interesting and easily likable. Then issue ten jumps straight into a story where Mother One, the cyborg of the team, has somehow lost a piece of her soul in a region called the deadworld, where only Ab Death can go to save it. This isn’t explained very well, but she needs that piece of her soul or she’ll die. That piece of soul is the one that really works and apparently the rest doesn’t run without it. It’s like an episode of Lost on Wednesday or Bob Barker without Plinko; you can’t have one without the other.

So Ab Death goes off and gets her soul back, bringing Mother One back from Deadworld. I would say that Ab Death has been one of the most examined characters of the entire series thus far, and I’m happy with that, but they aren’t going in the right direction. Often issues will focus on an inner dialog he tends to have between himself and the reader, where his generic philosophies about life and afterlife are explored and he tends to ponder about himself and his place in all of it. Souls and heaven and hell and all that lot that he’s not too sure about. What would really work well and actually develop a great conversation from the character would be to explore how it feels to be a character with no past. He has no memories of his life beyond the past few years, he was created, not born. It may be foolish wishful thinking, but the exploration of what it is like to be a character with no past, who doesn’t know what he believes, perhaps because he hasn’t been around along enough to develop complex ideas and opinions on such complicated matters as death and souls, what it’s like to not have a clue who you are. It’s as if someone became an amnesiac at 40 and never recovered, never having someone as a reference point to piece together who you are. It would be terrifying, looking in the mirror and seeing a stranger, living in a stranger’s body, standing on a stranger’s feet. But that goes undeveloped. Wildstorm should give me a job.

I haven’t decided if I want to keep reading this or not. The characters are interesting enough, but it doesn’t feel like the creative teams are pushing for any real character development at this point. Either work this guy’s problems or move on to another character, there are so many in this book who haven’t been explored at all and in a universe with cyborgs, life-conscious vampires, werewolves and the like, that’s a real shame.

01
Aug
07

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: The First Death #1 of 2

Written by Laurell K. Hamilton and Jonathan Green

Art by Wellinton Alves and Color Dojo

Marvel Comics/Dabel Brothers Productions  $3.99

anita1.jpg

Apparently the Guilty Pleasures adaptation of the novels have been pretty successful. I even saw that the people at Borders had posted up a comic book rack with the comics in the horror section where Hamilton’s novels are. That made me pretty happy, because there seems to be this hard separation between a large amount of comics and traditional literature readers. Being avid fans of both, I like to see everybody conveign and have a good time with a good story. Hamilton must have been happy with all of the sales, because, to my knowledge, she has no real history writing comic scripts, yet she designated this story, with 100% new material, for a comic book and helped write it herself.

The First Death is a two-parter that promises never before seen story and appears to occur before Guilty Pleasures, as Anita says she’s never been in the all male, all vampire strip club that she spends so much time in in the miniseries. It took me awhile to get into the miniseries, something like five or six issues, but I finally liked it. I think it was the dense amount of narration and long speech bubbles that made it hard to get through. Until this year I’d been mostly reading superhero comics, which have little important dialog, and sitting down with a comic book and spending a half an hour reading it felt strange and entirely out of place. But now I’ve rather enjoyed it. The writers manage to get a huge amount of story into an individual issue by using tactile, relevant dialog only and using the hell out of narrative boxes. It achieves a much more complex and detailed story than one is used to seeing in most comic books, especially one with a Marvel logo on it. Personally, it’s a welcome change.

Though Brett Booth did the cover and was the art supervisor of this issue, he doesn’t actually do the inside art. This was kind of disappointing for me, I’ve become a fan of his pretty quickly. At first I found his art to be kind of weird, disjointed in a way that made perfect sense, but it looked different. His sharp, detailed designs just stood out from the pages of Guilty Pleasures. Then I bought the first volume of Magician’s Apprentice and got to see six more issues of his work, by the end of the second issue, I really liked his stuff. Instead, in this issue Alves uses a softer, more gentile approach to character designs and uses a more generalized, less detailed attention to the little things. This, accompanied by less colors, results in paler characters and dull backgrounds.

The story focuses on a series of child murders, which is proven to be done by vampires. Anita is called in to help the police with their investigation and, as part of finding suspects, she attends Guilty Pleasures, a male vampire strip club, for the first time. This also serves as her introduction to Jean-Claude, the vampire who runs the club, with his victorian style clothes and hyper-sexualized masculinity that makes Anita incredibly uncomfortable. This book isn’t bogged down by the unnecessary inner-dialog of odd, out of place sexual thoughts that Anita has that plagued the Guilty Pleasures series, which makes for a much better read. Along with a generally more focused plot line and a faster pace, The First Death looks to be a pretty good read, better, I should say, than the first mini-series.

28
Jul
07

30 Days of Night Eben and Stella #3 of 4

Written by Steve Niles and Kelly Sue DeConnick

Art by Justin Randall

IDW Publishing $3.99

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Xen’s quest to find the missing vampire baby that will help him rise to the upper eschelons of the vampire society continues with conning Eben to help find Stella, who has the baby.  It works, vampires get shot, the baby doesn’t show up anywhere in the issue and things generally seem to be working out in Xen’s favor.

The issue is a lot of action with lots of guns blasting, pissed off vampires and some good narration that you’d expect from Steve Niles.  I liked the running theme of the issue being fear and how one just has to face it, swallow it and move beyond it, or get crushed by it.

19
Jun
07

30 Days of Night: Eben and Stella # 2

IDW Publishing $3.99

Written by Steve Niles and Kelly Sue DeConnick

Art by Justin Randall

Eben and Stella has been a great return, almost to the very first mini-series, in the sense that it picks up on old characters from the early stories , but it’s also a Steve Niles story, which improves everything drastically.   In addition, the art is much improved, in fact, the art for this book is down right fantastic.  It reminds me of J.K. Woodward’s work in the second Fallen Angel series, utilizing photoshop to manipulate brush strokes and more traditional art to make the work look incredibly realistic.  I wouldn’t call it computer art at all, because it has a distinctive life-like quality, not the well-known downfalls of CGI art – rounded, blatantly fake plastic skin tones and awkward light reflections.  It’s great art.

The story goes back to show what happened to Eben and Stella Olemaun, the former of which was bitten by a vampire and committed suicide to stop himself from hurting Stella, his wife.  She managed a way to bring him back, he infected her.

This mini picks up, expanding on Stella’s feelings of betrayal and she soon finds herself in a poor position, stealing a car that just happens to have a baby in the back seat.   And that baby just happens to be part of a vampire prophecy that the vampires believe will destroy them.  Because she has the child, the vampires believe Stella is part of the prophecy, wishing to fulfill it and end her suffering, as she had never wanted to actually become a vampire.

The story is good and interesting, backpedaling to old characters I’ve been wondering about since the first 30 Days series, and it looks like it will continue well throughout the year, with one more miniseries planned before the movie is released in October.   2007 should be a good year for vampire nerds of the non-Joss Whedon order.