Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Gotham Episode 2 "Selina Kyle" review

So we're two episodes into Gotham, and I can say that I like the direction, but I was not as big a fan of this episode, if that makes sense. The video will explain somewhat better.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Comic Book Reviews: Batman Eternal #25 and Batman '66 #15

The Bat-books for the week were a little underwhelming. I expected far more from the '66 title especially, given the track record.

Nonetheless, Eternal had a very worthwhile set-up issue that's only real issue is that it doesn't really do anything but ask questions to be answered later.

And Batman '66 still had flashes of quality. It just needed more time to iron out the story.

Here are the scores and video review for more information:

Batman Eternal #25 - 8.0/10
Batman '66 #15 - 5.9/10

Comic Book Reviews: Superman Doomed #2 and Samurai Jack #12

I'm in a bit of catch-up mode, so I'll keep this brief: I'm REALLY glad the Doomed storyline is over.

This was a case of too many ideas coming together in a messy way. I can honestly say this was not a story I'll be anxious to re-read.

That said, there are some nice moments and I am interested to see where they take it next.

Samurai Jack is doing a big universal change in its arc and is handling things much stronger in my opinion. If you're curious, check out the video or these scores below:

Superman Doomed #2 - 4.0/10 (and I might be a tad generous with that score)
Samurai Jack #12 - 9.2/10

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"Gotham" Premiere Episode thoughts

Want to know what I, a Batman fan, think of the prequel-ish Gotham show on Fox? Check my opinion out in the video below. Want the long story short? It's good enough that I'll add it to my Arrow, Flash and Korra reviews. That should tell you enough.

It's so Arrow-esque it hurts!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Comic Book Reviews: Batman Eternal #24, Sensation Comics #2 and Edge of Spider-Verse #2

This week's comic book issues are all centered around female characters, and they're all good reads.

I enjoyed all three, and my first voyage into Marvel territory in months has me campaigning to give Gwen Stacy's Spider-Woman a solo series. Seriously, buy this book and write to Marvel.

As for the other two, they're the quality I've come to expect from the books. I'm a little behind on YouTube stuff, so forgive the shortness of this blog, but it looks like we're going video-exclusive today.

Here are the scores and the video for you to review:

Batman Eternal #24 - 7.7/10
Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #2 - 8.2/10
Edge of Spider-Verse #2 (Gwen Stacy as Spider-Woman) - 9.1/10

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Comic Book Reviews: Batman Eternal #23, Batman (Futures End) #1 and Superman Unchained #8

Scott Snyder is taking up my entire review day, whether he writes or plots, with comics.

Superman Unchained has suddenly gotten back on track and now only has one issue left, so maybe we'll get the end of the story by Halloween (or at least the end of the year).

The art remains its glorious self and the actual story is finally coming together. I felt like the random appearance of Jimmy Olsen's plotline felt really shoe-horned, but there was clearly an idea for how this stuff was supposed to tie together, and it works. It's really just the pacing that limited it.

The fight scene between Superman and Wraith was epic and really showcased Supes at his best and most competent. It also may have ruined Superman: Doomed for me because it reminded me that Superman is smart enough to be able to avoid all the stuff that went down in "Death of Superman" and "Doomed."

Overall, I thought it was the best issue of the day. I give it an 8.4/10.

Batman Eternal was a strong plot issue, but it was so focused on being big and bombshell-heavy that I'm not sure it all flows perfectly.

I did like the art, though Catwoman's face seemed a tad blocky, and I am interested to see how she responds to the request made to her.

For more spoiler-filled thoughts, check the video, and much of my opinion will be shaped by future issues. But for now, know that I enjoyed the story and give it a 7.8/10.

The Futures End tie-in for Batman was the weakest element in the entire stable today. It works significantly better as a tie-in to the "Number 27" future story that was in January's Detective Comics issue.

This even having the potential to be canon is upsetting for me, as the characterization for Bruce was irritating. The villain's character was off-point. I'm not a fan of the ending and the art portrays everyone as WAY too old given this is only five years in the future.

Some of you may enjoy this, and good for you. For me, it's a 4.9/10.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Comic Book Reviews: Batman Eternal #22 and Batman '66 Meets the Green Hornet #4

Sometimes you can screw up a story with false advertising. Batman Eternal #22 has that issue.

They promised a grand reveal of the Gotham mastermind, and it was a character who we all saw in the issue prior. Heck, the teaser last week made me think the villain we saw was just a henchman, but apparently not.

And it isn't just false advertising that botches this. From a narrative standpoint, allowing the reader to know the villain gives the reveal less impact, and that's really all the book was selling itself on because the Architect (who I'm fairly certain hasn't been seen since 'Gates of Gotham) was not all that interesting in this issue.

The reason this story still has quality is Julia Pennyworth, who makes her presence in the Batcave known immediately and it's a really solid introduction.

Where it falls short is in the art because some of the reaction faces for Julia and Batman had me laughing at times when I really shouldn't have been laughing.

Outside of some weird panels, the lack of a cliffhanger and the weak reveal, though, the issue is actually really focused and strong. I like it and give it a 8.3/10.

The Batman-Green Hornet crossover continues its great mini-run and Kevin Smith continues to show competence in writing these characters.

He does have a few hiccups where he's a little too over-the-top (yes, even by Adam West standards), but they are few and far-between.

The art remains some of the best in the business, so Ralph Garman should be praised on that front.

From a narrative standpoint, the story hits some snags. A major flashback is given too quickly so I lose some of the emotion on that front.

The issue had a weak cliffhanger as well. It makes very clear that Batman and Robin are in no real danger because the Hornet and Kato are in pursuit, so the final page holds no weight.

Aside from those issues, though, the story is engaging and funny in addition to being a sensible plot (again, by the crazy standards 60s Batman set). I give it a 9/10.

Futures End One-shot Comic Reviews: Detective Comics and Green Arrow

I really don't like this gimmick.

Setting stories five years in the future is a recipe for disaster. You either have to outright drop the gimmick at some point (making these issues pointless), or you lock creative teams into an editorial path for years after the writers left the book.

The idea is a bad one, but with any luck, the idea can allow for really fun one-shot issues with a nice 'what-if' scenario.

Detective Comics does that well here, as the Riddler is teased as Batman's new sidekick. In the issue, it's explained why and that it is not permanent.

My main gripe with the book is that it makes no sense as to why this had to be set five years in the future at all. This could have been the payoff to an arc that you could have started today. This issue could take place roughly two months after Icarus and nothing would have changed.

Maybe the point is not to limit Batman's team all that much, but even so, this issue is little more than a one-shot that could happen at any point in Batman's history and be equally credible.

Luckily, the plot is good, the Riddler (though made out as more of a joke than in Snyder's Zero Year) is still written fairly well, and the ending twist was done well.

I'd give the issue an 8/10.

On the other hand, there are issues that use this gimmick to cap off stories and create enough intrigue that you WANT the editors to make the storyline happen. And that's the case with Green Arrow.

Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino have reached the end of their glorious run on the title, and used this story as an epilogue to the stories they told. By the end of the issue, I was legitimately angry... that they won't be continuing because this future Green Arrow world seems really awesome.

Once again, Sorrentino kills it on the art and makes the book worth the price of admission for the pictures alone. But it's Lemire's look into what Ollie and Emiko's relationship will be that makes me really excited for future stories.

The Outsiders get excellent treatment. We (kind of) see Green Arrow take on a notable arch foe in the Lemire-Sorrentino world. Heck, there's even a new sidekick named Dart, who fans of this run will know immediately.

There was surprisingly good humor and real character growth. There was emotion and a sense of excitement. The book even managed to tie into the Futures End book this is supposed to be a gimmick for.

It works as a great one-and-done and it works as a tie-in. Most importantly, it works as an epilogue to the trilogy of trades that Lemire and Sorrentino will create.

I highly recommend this issue and give it a 9.75. It's only lower than a 10 because it does require you to read the prior run to appreciate its full weight and sets up plot points that are not guaranteed to pay off.

But yeah, it's a great read, and I not only recommend buying it, I recommend buying the $4 holographic cover version because this team deserve the extra buck for a job well done over the last year or so.