Comic Book Reviews Frank’s Haul 4/2/2014
Aquaman and the Others #1
Writer Dan Jurgens
Art by: Lan Medina
This was one of the books I was most excited about reading this month because it features more of Aquaman. DC is certainly taking risks to create universes around their Justice League characters similar to what they’ve done with Green Lantern. With Aquaman, Geoff Johns did a lot of world building for Aquaman during his run. He made this title possible. So finally sitting down to read a team book where Aquaman is the leader is kind of surreal. Back when I started reading the book, I was very hesitant because my preconceptions of the character were that he was a joke. Mostly, I remember seeing him in cartoons as a kid and his only power was he could talk to fish. After picking up the first New 52 book, I started to realize just how wrong I was. Aquaman in itself is always fun and entertaining to read and Aquaman and the Others is more of the same but with a little more serious tone.
The Others aren’t a group of characters I’m very familiar with so I was introduced to them for the first time in this book. My first impression is that they seem so different from one another and I didn’t find myself immediately liking any. In fact, next to Aquaman they don’t stand out much. Hopefully this book spends most of the first arc introducing readers to these characters otherwise Aquaman will be the character that carries this book. Fingers crossed Dan Jurgens can pull this off.
Other than my concerns about the characters, I enjoyed the overall story. It’s a natural setup to bring them all together by having a threat appear that wants the artifacts that give them their powers. What was more exciting was finding out there’s a tie between the events in this story and to a future DC event. Definitely caught me by surprise! Artwork by Lan Medina was also wonderful. I especially enjoyed the way he drew Aquaman when you see him for the first time in this book. He looked quite heroic.
Overall I’d say this was an entertaining and promising start for a new series. If you already enjoy the Aquaman book, you won’t be disappointed with Aquaman and the Others. It’s every bit as fun with a little more violence.
Review Score: 5 (of 7)
Earth 2 #22
Writer Tom Taylor
Art by: Nicola Scott
Green Lantern got back! The Earth’s jade warrior returns to lead the forces of good in their battle against Dark Seid. Meanwhile, Val’s powers continue to grow but will he be the new Superman he is destined to be? Tom Taylor is settling into his Earth 2 run. This book was less about shock and more about slowing the story down to develop the characters and overall story.
Firstly, Alan Scott is back! Rising from his own ashes, he’s ready to get back into the fight against Superman and Dark Seid. This actually gave me chills because not even death will release him from being Earth’s champion. Meanwhile, Lois and the rest of the team continued their slow work at encouraging Val to help them fight Superman. It’s obvious that Taylor has big plans for Val because he’s taking his time to show the character’s development into being an active part of the team. I’m digging it and it’s wonderful to finally see some progression instead of the characters being stuck in the Bat cave for another book.
Nicola Scott’s art never ceases to amaze me. The first three pages of this book are now my favorite pieces of work she has ever done. Naturally, everything else in the book was just as amazing. Even Superman’s evil facial expressions look beautiful the way Scott draws them.
Events in Earth 2 may have slowed down considerably after the fast-paced destruction of Taylor’s opening arc but there is still a lot of reason to continue reading this title. For one, Dark Seid has not given up his pursuit of the Earth and his new plan would have significant repercussions for the new wonders if he’s successful. Taylor is clearly headed into a big story arc that sets a new Justice Society against Superman. That new team will likely include Aquawoman, Green Lantern, Batman, Hawk Girl, Red Arrow, Red Tornado, Doctor Fate and a new Superman. Keep reading this book because Taylor is about to blow us away.
Review Score: 7 (of 7)
Detective Comics #30
Writer Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato
Art by: Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato
Bruce Wayne is not as heroic as Batman. Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato begin their run on Detective Comics with the mysterious drug Ikaris infecting the streets of Gotham. When Bruce Wayne’s efforts to clean up the city catch fire at his doorstep, he quickly realizes that he needs to take down whomever is distributing the drug.
Immediately it’s apparent how different this title will be from its sibling. Instead the focus is on Bruce Wayne which seems to be the method that Manapul and Buccellato choose to tell the emotional aspects of their story. When you see Batman in the beginning, you see the hero as he rescues Chinese immigrant children from their kidnappers. However, when we see Bruce at the end there’s genuine anguish on his face because there’s nothing he can do to save a friend.
While I prefer my Batman stories more “dark” looking than what Manapul and Buccellato have done, it’s still a gloriously beautiful book. Thanks to the simplistic art style and watercolors, Batman has never looked better. Moments like Batman crashing through a boarded-up window made me stop and admire the art because it was so masterfully executed.
It may be too early to call Detective Comics a huge success for Manapul and Buccellato but that’s inevitable if the rest of their run is as good as this first book. I’m certainly already digging this title and if you enjoyed The Flash as much as I did, then you’re probably feeling the same way. If you haven’t already picked up this book, you should! Detective Comics was not a book I read at all, but there’s a lot of great potential that it’ll be a must have for every DC fan.
Review Score: 6 (of 7)