Thursday, June 5, 2014

Comic Book Reviews: Action Comics #32 and Green Arrow #32

While the Batman universe seems to be nailing its crossover events, Superman's has been struggling to find its footing. Superman: Doomed feels like it tried to tie into all the Superman titles' active storylines regardless of if they made any sense together.

I think the first month of this crossover can be seen as a critique of the Superman group editor's job in keeping things coherent. Or it could just be seen as the group leaving the Lobdell era behind and transitioning to a new, stronger one.

The good news is that Action Comics seems to move a step in the right direction. The story went back to going into Superman's head and saw what his thoughts were during all this. His struggle felt more real for the process.

Additionally, it finally set up the roles for the supporting female characters. Lana Lang appears to be set to solve how to fix Superman; Wonder Woman is going to be the most powerful person in the world, which means we'll get Wondy vs. SuperDoom at some point; and Lois Lane is going to be written out of character and make no real sense.

Seriously, was this a plotline of Scott Lobdell they're stuck with? Someone please explain to me what is the deal with Lois' character! I feel like it makes sense to someone but having only read Unchained and Action, I'm at a loss.

This issue has a backup artist, but he matches Aaron Kuder well. And the coloring hasn't changed, so the issue felt as strong art-wise as ever.

Overall, I grant the issue 7.8/10. It's a good issue, but took a lot of time in simply repairing the story. It's a necessary issue, to be sure, but being worth $4? Hard to justify.

Meanwhile Andrea Sorrentino was the star of Green Arrow #32. Jeff Lemire may have crafted a great story, but that art is what's going to stick with me.

She took her spreads to a whole new level this month with a pair of flashback sequences that were done in this style that reminded me of a 1970s spy film. To say the least, it was impressive.

That's not to take away from her more normal pages, which are still very gritty and grounded. She did a nice job of varying the number of panels as well, and the final full-page spread was a great reveal.

As for the story itself, it's a little bit of an afterthought and much of it is told in flashback, but it's all great stuff that I'm sure will pay off later in the arc. I like Richard Dragon's backstory and the prospect of his trainers moving into the Arrow-verse.

I also thought the Red Dart was a cool villain and I hope they do more with her later on. And Diggle is awesome as always.

The biggest downfall is that the story is all setup and very little really happens outside of a couple twists near the end of the book. As such it's an important issue to pick up, but it's probably the least ambitious.

As far as a rating goes, it's a 9/10. It's still a must-buy if only for the brilliant artwork, but I firmly expect this to be the weakest issue of this arc when all is said and done.

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