Archive for the 'worldstorm' 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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11
Aug
07

Deathblow #6

Written by Brian Azzarello

Art by Carlos D’Anda and Andy Flint

Wildstorm $2.99

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The situation gets more hectic and the intensity grows as Michael Cray, ex-Navy Seal and recently reintroduced to society, goes further underground as the government hunts him down like the half dozen talking dogs he hangs out with.  To be honest, I really like this series, but it can be hard to follow at times.  While reading this issue I kept thinking that I need to re-read the entire series to get a grip on the complicated story.  Cray is rescued from Afghanistan, where he was a prisoner of war, but the government seems to have been trying to kill him ever since he got back, but the reason hasn’t been clear at all.  It now seems that Cray is being set up to take the fall for the murder of an important scientist.

I liked the story, which Azzarello is great at advancing at a moderate pace, and the art is really well-suited for the gritty, sewer dwelling kind of person Mike has becoming since going underground, but my favorite part of this issue was the “terror spreaders” terrorism hotline, which epitomized everything that is retarded and hilariously stupid about America for me.  1-800-fite-4-us  God, that’s great.

09
Aug
07

Midnighter #10

Written by Keith Giffen

Art by Chris Sprouse, Karl Story and Randy Mayor

Wildstorm $2.99
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Well, that was a pleasant and immediate change. In a single issue Chris Sprouse takes Midnighter from being a one shot, non-continuity-having, globe-trotting, uncaring superhero comic book to what looks to be an arc about Midnighter developing an alter ego and his stay in an insane, dangerous patriotic American town. FUCKING AWESOME. I was seriously just about to stop reading because I didn’t feel like the comic had done anything worthwhile in the near year that it’s been out. I’m actually really excited now.

I felt like I should keep reading, if nothing more than to support one of the only gay superheroes in comic books, but with all of the one shot, self-contained stories, I didn’t feel like it was really worth three dollars to see these little action stories with cute dialog about a teleporting tough guy. But the idea of establishing a secret identity? Now that’s interesting and I don’t think I’ve seen it done. Many comic book-based movies have done the opposite, where they show the viewer how the person who has attained new abilities develops a superhero persona, but not the other way around. Because of this new angle, we get to learn answers to questions I’ve been asking about Midnighter since the first issue. Like, who the fuck is this guy, where he’d come from, does he like toast? And things of that nature.

In this issue we learn he has a daughter, which is interesting since he’s gay, but no real information is divulged about her othre than the fact that she hates that his life is so secretive and she generally seems to have a poor relationship with him. Another thing we learn is that at some point the guy Midnighter used to be was erased, after the government programmed him. While you could easily say that this is going the Wolverine route, I really don’t think they’ll be doing that, though I would be happy to see him fight against some government scientists and politicians who may have stolen his life from him. In addition to all of this, it is revealed that he has some sort of secretary, though she doesn’t know much about him and isn’t privy to private, classified information, though she passes paperwork and what not on to him.

I’m actually really excited about this.

06
Aug
07

Welcome to Tranquility #9

Written by Gail Simone

Art by Neil Googe, Carrie Strachan, Francisco Paronzini and Leandro Fernandez

Wildstorm $2.99

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I think I know what’s coming, and if I’m right, this is going to made of non-stop win. Gail Simone is the writer for both Gen13 and Tranquility and in a move that surprised me, she had the kids from Gen13 seek refuge in the town of Tranquility. I just figured that some characters might interact and maybe she’d do some crossover issues a few times, then move it along, but something much better has been playing out in the last three or four issues of the combined series. The gen-active kids show up in town right as Freddie Host, who acts like some sort of lawyer-looking seed of the devil, shows up in Tranquility looking for debts he’s owed by the senior citizens of Tranquility. He even kills Zeke’s snake.

In the meantime, which is likely not to be a coincidence, the dead start coming back to life in town. Agents of the devil can have that effect on grandpa Tom sometimes. This is interesting, not just the zombie idea, but the concept that this guy that works for the devil gave a whole bunch of people superpowers and said he’d come to collect a debt some time. Decades go by and these people are now sixty and seventy years old, they can’t fight back anymore, and he shows up to collect. And he brings zombies. And the Gen13 kids just happen to be in town. I’m actually really fucking excited about what’s going to play out over the summer. Last month I thought the origins of Zeke the zombie and Tommy’s past were okay, but served as filler, but now this is all starting to connect. Simone’s first Tranquility arc was a murder mystery that went into character observations and gave us a great little sketch of this community for super-powered senior citizens. Now she seems to be building a zombie epidemic caused by the devil(a plot that is virtually never used in zombie movies, in fact, they usually never say why the zombies are there), it’s going to be great. It also helps that she’s a fantastic writer.

In addition, we get introduced to the Coyote Kid, an old man who looks like Clint Eastwood and is a perfect shot. And he also happens to have a personal vendetta against zombies. After a few pages the main part of the issue ends and then something from the first arc comes back that I have sorely missed, the vintage back story. Using an old-looking art style and an old comic book feel to the story telling, Simone and a completely different art team from the rest of the issue tell CK’s story and why he’s going to be sticking around for the fight.

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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

Grifter and Midnighter #5 of 6

Written by Chuck Dixon

Art by Ryan Benjamin, Joel Benjamin and Saleem Crawford

Wildstorm $2.99

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In general, I haven’t really cared about this min-series, to me it just seemed like another way to feel like people from The Authority were around in the Worldstorm universe while the actual Authority comic stays on hiatus, but this issue was a little different. By a little different, I mean it was actually good, all around, and it made me think of it as something other than a substitute for The Authority while it’s hiatus wrapped up. It felt like a way to show Grifter while Wild C.A.Ts is on hiatus.

But it does this more effectively, because Midnighter has his own comic book, where you get these fine tuned single issue adventure stories in the style of a Star Trek episode. They’re all self contained and very safe. Instead, this series has been mounting a cause to make these characters have to work together while showcasing two very interesting characters who don’t get much attention due to being parts of teams and generally being written poorly. Chuck Dixon has caught his stride as far as writing dialog between Midnighter and Grifter, it’s just a shame that it’s happened on the second to last issue of this miniseries.

Chasing the giant evil aliens(wow, new concept), they discover that the aliens have been on earth longer than mankind, and that they’ve been tricked several times in order to actually try to kill these things. The premise is kind of hokey and rather dull, but the actual interactions, the dialog and art are actually pretty entertaining. Ryan Benjamin’s pencils work great in this series, where dull, dark shadows consume about half of the page layouts, but what he’d drawing is detailed enough to be interesting. The rest of the art team really shines once they get out of the dark, letting the backgrounds shine with vivid colors that have been so absent and repressed in those dark cave scenes.

I’d say if you stopped reading this, pick it up, but it wouldn’t be a good time to start. Personally, I just want to read some Authority and Wild C.A.Ts, but I want anti-gravity boots too.