Comic Reviews 8/3/16 – DC, Strange Attractors, 007

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Green Arrow #4

Green Arrow remembers to be fun again in a big way. Everything in this issue is over the top, starting with Green Arrow escaping the Seattle PD and running into a vengeful Diggle, to Black Canary witnessing the Inferno’s baptism ritual.

The art is pulling way more than its fair share here too. Ferreyra’s colors make Seattle look like, instead of a moon, a giant neon light hangs above the city at night. And his layouts are some of the most kinetic I’ve seen in comics, but never to the point of chaos. I hope he gets a lot more work coming his way.

 

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Superman #4

This issue is out there.

Superman and Jon team up to defeat the Eradicator, and accidently break him open, unleashing the souls of every Kryptonian trapped inside of him, which then attack Metropolis looking for a piece of Kryptonite.

The book’s climax is weird, with Superman confronting many different ghosts at the same time as the Eradicator repairs itself – but it’s far from bad. It’s just strange, especially for a Superman book. If anything, it feels more like a chunk of the recent Moon Knight found its way into this story.

I like it. Keep Comics Weird.

 

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Nightwing #2

After the rocky start to their partnership last issue, Nightwing and Raptor go on their first mission together, and Dick realizes they have more in common than he thought.

This early on, it’s hard to tell if Raptor is an interesting character, or just a mystery box. He has opinions about branding and carries around shark attractant. He echo’s Dick’s “leaping without a net” approach to fighting, but seems to have Bruce’s penchant for playing the long game. At times, dialogue between Nightwing and Raptor can feel like two Dicks talking, while at others, Raptor presumes more of a Batman role.

It doesn’t reach Grayson levels of quality, but so far, this book is a good time.

 

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Batman #4

Tom King finally gets into a groove in this issue, using some spectacular moments to finally get to the crux of the story.

After a strong opening that skips ahead some time after last issue’s cliffhanger, where Batman finds Gotham Girl in a fetal position surrounded by twenty seven dead soldiers; Batman #4 intentionally references one of All-Star Superman’s most iconic moments to make a point about the difference between Metropolis and Gotham. It’s a powerful, resonant moment that contextualizes the rest of the series so far. Gotham is a crucible, and even some of its strongest heroes can break.

Amanda Waller also gets a great scene in this book, where she completely owns a conversation with Batman, as she does – it’s a cool moment that also does a fine job of exposition, and manages to be a segue into the final part of this book; which ends on another visual reference to a Superman story, Man Of Steel.
Gotham Girl still feels underutilized compared to her brother, but aside from that, and some silly dialogue near the end, Batman #4 kicks this story into high gear.

 

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Future Quest #3

A weird bit of interlude, as this issue tells us two prequel stories. We find out how Birdman met Sumadi, and what they were doing before being called to Florida; and get a lot of general backstory on the Herculoids and their fight against evil robots. The quality doesn’t really suffer from the change in structure, but I can’t help but miss the ensemble of the previous issues a little – and this book does feel like a sudden block in momentum.

 

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Strange Attractors #3

Brownfield informs Heller that chaos in the city is increasing faster than he’s predicted, and Heller starts to use Brownfield’s methods on his own while writing his thesis.

This issue has two conflicting tones. The first regards Heller’s personal story. He’s getting closer to Brownfield, more invested in his work, and confident in his abilities to help the city. The second regards the city itself. Spliced into the main story are scenes of the city on edge: a schoolyard fight, an overwhelmed mayor, increased crime, and a major traffic accident. These two conflicting tones does good work of making the reader feel that something big is about to happen, and show us the fragile peace it threatens to break.

 

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James Bond #8

Maybe the single best issue of Ellis’ Bond yet.

Ellis turns another classic bond trope on its head, this time the Bond-girl seduction scene, in a comically unexpected way. It helps that Birdwhistle is a great character in general. The silent action sequences that have been in almost every issue are reined in a bit here, and are punchier for the discretion. And some heavy exposition near the end leads to an amazing and ever so Bond-y cliffhanger.

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