Waylon Weighs In: Reviews Of DC's Spotlight Issues From The Week
Through out the pages of Aquaman and Justice League, Throne of Atlantis has been wowing readers. It's the first story in quite some time that has been centrally featured around Aquaman, and his world. Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis have yet to disappoint with this event, and the look to conclude the event this week with the Justice League battling Atlanteans.
Throne of Atlantis concludes, Wrath of The First Lantern is in full swing Geoff Johns is debuting his Justice League of America, and his collaboration with Andrew Kreisberg in Vibe. Click here to take a look at my reviews for some of DC's biggest comics from the week.
Johns has done a splendid job of making Aquaman not only a relevant character, but a character you can root for. Throne of Atlantis has really captured Arthur and his inner struggle about where he wants to be and where he is needed. The conclusion to the story mixes great action beats with emotional story telling, keeping you interested and engaged in it the entire time. The ending wasn't your typical cookie cutter ending where everyone leaves happy. There will be ramifications for some of the characters that they, especially Aquaman, do not want to face, which is refreshing.
Reis was the perfect artist for this story and book. With in the first three pages you are treated to a beautifully laid out full page spread that captures the entire battle. With all the action that was written into the book it would have been easy for the drawing to look a little lackadaisical. However, Reis makes every page look amazing. My only complaint is that they seem to try and pack a lot of detail into smaller panels. This slowed the reading momentum down as you had to stop and squint to see some of the amazingly detailed art.
After being a little let down by the events of Rise of The Third Army, I go in to the Green Lantern universe's next story, Wrath Of The First Lantern, a little skeptical. The story is continued in the pages of Green Lantern New Guardians #17. Tony Berard has penned the story which focuses on the First Lantern's torment of Kyle Rayner, and is backed up by Aaron Kuder's art.
Starting out the story, I was a little bored with it. That all changed pretty quickly though, as Bedard takes you on a pretty wild ride through the mind of Kyle. With the First Lantern released during the Rise Of the Third Army story he is out to hit the Green Lanterns where it counts, by breaking them down emotionally. Just as you are getting into the story though, the book ends rather abruptly. The book totals twenty pages, which feels like it is no where near long enough. You feel like the carpet is yanked right out from under your feet while you are reading.
The book had some really good looking art by Arron Kuder, but overall I wasn't impressed. One of the things that really stuck out was there is a shot of Kyle as a baby, and his head is just as big as if he was an adult. Some of the character keep the same facial expression through out the entire book as well, which was a little distracting. What Kuder excelled at though, was the way the First Lantern looked. He also put an interesting twist on some of the panel divides in the book.
The Justice League of America is coming! Amanda Waller fears for National security so she has tasked ex-Justice League liaison Steve Trevor to put together a team to take the the Justice League down if they ever become out of line. Geoff Johns looks to bring these lesser known characters together, with David Finch bringing them to life with his art.
Expectations are high with this book, with Geoff Johns success with DC's A-list characters, they are hoping lightening strikes twice with some of their B-list characters. The story it's self is well thought out and enjoyable to read. However, my problem with the book is the match-ups they created. Each JLA member has a specific member of the League that it will be tasked to take down should they ever go rouge. Some of them make sense, such as Martian Manhunter being linked to Superman. Others, like Catwoman with Batman, are just complete nonsense. To expect readers to believe that if Batman were to ever turned bad, and that we should put our faith in Catwoman to stop him, is a huge stretch. The issue is a pretty basic #1 issue, no big character development yet, but you can tell it's coming. Although I have issues with the books story so far, I will definitely be picking up issue #2 to see where the story goes.
The art work in the book, I really enjoyed. It has a dark a gritty tone, that doesn't seem as polished as what you would find in the Justice League stories. It fits with what the book is going for, and surprisingly kept me interested in the book even though there were not big action beats.
Plucked out of the pages of Justice League of America, the world is reintroduced to Vibe. Arrow Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg, along with Geoff Johns is looking to breath new life into this forgotten character, with an updated origin story that started with Darkseid's invasion in the first volume of Justice League.
When I got this issue I wasn't sure whether or not it would be worth the read. I was happily surprised to see a character with a unique set of superpowers. While I was a little disappointed that the power wasn't fully explained, the story is set up in a way that it will be eventually. There is some really good character development in the story that makes you pull for Vibe (his real name is Cisco). The foreshadowing for the character's future arc is subtle yet effective to let you know it's not going to be all rosy for him. The ending for the book was a shock, but in a good way, and makes me excited to see what Kreisberg and Johns has in store for Vibe in the future.
Pete Woods handled the art for the book, which blew me away. The first page is not very noteworthy, but then you are hit with and intense and creepy full page spread that just hooks you in. With little action in the book it's sometime hard for artist to keep you interested, yet Woods pulls it off, and pulls it off nicely.
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