Comic Book Reviews — Frank’s Haul 9/4/2013

DC Universe Vs Masters of the Universe #1

Crossing Over

Writer: Keith Giffen

Art by: Dexter Soy

Fleeing from Eternia, the Masters of the Universe seek the help of John Constantine to defeat Skeletor. This is the crossover you’ve been waiting your whole life for. Or maybe the one I’ve been waiting for? After his defeat, Skeletor has escaped to Earth to syphon off its magical energy. With the help of Evil-Lyn, the Masters of the Universe follow him. Keith Giffen takes a break from the main He-Man and the Masters of the Universe title to craft a fun, true DC story that pits a world of magic against a world of superheroes.

Pop Mhan is absent from this book because a different style was needed to fit the story into DC’s New 52 universe. The colors are much brighter. It successfully bridges the visual gap between the two worlds. Honestly, hearing Constantine saying Skeletor’s name was the highlight for me. I giggled like a school child. Giffen also did an excellent job crafting a natural story that necessitates the crossover.

Few dislikes about this book other than the way Skeletor looks. He looks less like a warrior and more like a sorcerer. It’s probably more fitting for the character but it’s inconsistent with how he previously looked the last time we saw him.

DC and Giffen are clearly heading somewhere spectacular with their Masters of the Universe comics. Between the main title and this miniseries, DC is showing they are committed to reviving this property. DC Universe Vs Masters of the Universe #1 is another must read book. It’s fun, exciting and brings to life childhood games of having your DC action figures fight your Masters of the Universe. This book will make you feel like a kid again.

Review Score: 6 (of 7)

 

Justice League #23.1

Apotheosis

Writer: Greg Pak

Art by: Paulo Siqueira and Netho Diaz

Bow before the New God: Dark Seid! Greg Pak tells the origin of one of the most powerful villains in the DC Universe. Angry with the Old Gods and wanting nothing but the death of everything, Uxas incited war among them. Through their demise, he was able to obtain the power to become Dark Seid. This is an origin story you didn’t think you wanted, but were fascinated by nonetheless.

The first half of this story plays out like Greek mythology. Uxas climbs the Gods’ mountain while they are sleeping and whispers into their ears. After they battle, he kills them and steals their power. Since I love Greek mythology, I enjoyed this. There were also some tidbits thrown in that help further expand Dark Seid’s invasion of Earth 2 and Prime-Earth. Pak did an excellent job despite the less-than epic scale of the art.

If you’re going to tell a story that involves Gods –especially Dark Seid and the New Gods– both the writing and art need to have an epic scale to them. Paulo Siqueira and Netho Diaz did an admirable job, but I felt the colors should have been brighter, backgrounds more detailed and the shadows deeper. This is one occasion when the inside of the book really needed to look like the cover art.

Kicking villains month off with Dark Seid was an excellent choice. He was the primary villain of the title’s relaunch so it bookends the two-year anniversary nicely. We also get the New 52 origin for the character. My only hope is that we’ll be seeing more of Dark Seid in the future because the final page teases something sinister.

Review score: 5 (of 7)

 

Battle of the Atom #1

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Art by: Frank Cho, Stuart Immonen and Wade Von Grawbadger (pencils), Marte Gracia (colors)

Something is wrong in Pheonix Arizona. When the young X-men from the past go to investigate a super powered mutant in Arizona, they experience something terrifying. It prompts Wolverine and his present-day X-men to begin sending the team back to their time. However, the X-men of the future have come to the present to stop the team from making a mistake. Brian Michael Bendis kicks off this event with an explosive start that we all saw coming a long time ago.

Needless to say, the writing and art are as excellent as you’d expect from a Marvel event. The real shocker was seeing young Cyclops briefly die and then come back to life. Old Cyclops disappeared during this but it was a scary moment that reiterated why the young X-men cannot and should not have stayed in the present. Equally exciting was the fact that Triage’s power was strong enough to actually bring Cyclops back to life instead of just heal his wounds. After an event like this, it’s no wonder the future X-men came back to set things right.

Nothing to really dislike about this book other than the fact that it involves time travel. Marvel sure does love those. It’s odd that we would get another one so close to Age of Ultron. Apparently, the damaged that was caused to the universe wasn’t that bad if characters are still traveling back and forth.

This book somewhat flew under my radar because I haven’t been too thrilled with the Uncanny X-men title. However, the first few pages do a great job at drawing you into the story. By time I reached the middle of the book, I was already hooked. There are plenty of surprises, but the biggest one is saved for All New X-Men #16. So pick up this book before you grab that one. There’s no way you will be disappointed.

Review Score: 7 (of 7)

 

Frank Fuentes

Frank is a self admitted DC fanboy living in Seattle, WA. He's currently a Computer Science student with aspirations of working in the game industry one day. When he's not writing reviews for the site, he spends his free time absorbed in all kinds of geekery: video games, comic books & technology. For more of his geekery, follow him on Twitter (@cizco) or visit his site at Francizco.com.

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