Alex Lynch Reviews: JUSTICE LEAGUE #23, AMERICAN VAMPIRE ANTHOLOGY #1 & More!
This week, DC Comics has a great list of books coming out which include the highly-anticipated conclusion to their major event, Trinity War which takes place within Justice League #23. Check out my thoughts after the jump!
Justice League #23
Trinity War has been a really interesting event that has had quite the amount of twists and turns. However, Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis’ Justice League #23 is the perfect conclusion to an already stellar event. Johns never fails to come up with some new and imaginary literature. The fact that Trinity War was created by some of DC Entertainment’s best – Jeff Lemire and Geoff Johns – gives the event high-expectations from the readers and not once has it let me down. For the first time since Flashpoint, I’ve felt obligated to go to a comic book store and pick up the latest issue in an event because my trust in the writers and creative teams to deliver a top-tier story from DC is fully complete. That’s where Justice League #23 comes in as it’s one of the most insane conclusions to an event I’ve read in a long time. The book contains a ludicrous amount of drama, action and suspense that has more bang for your buck than any other comic on the stand this week. Johns and Lemire have crafted an insanely good story that’s accessible to both readers new and old who don’t need to read all back issues of Justice League, Dark and America to understand what the story being told is about. Ivan Reis’ perfect detail on the hero and villains’ costumes combined with incredible colors of Rod Reis make this book a vividly amazing spectacle.
Not only is Johns’ story told in such a blockbuster way, but he also ties up plenty of loose ends and questions that were raised two years ago when the New 52 began. What exactly is Pandora’s Box? Who is the mysterious man responsible for Trinity War? Who was the Justice League’s mole? Why is Superman sick? It’s all explained. DC Comics have achieved a new standard for major comic events and with Forever Evil right around the corner; it’s going to be interesting to see whether or not Trinity War can be beaten. Each and every character has a place in Justice League #23. As someone who took a break from DC (and comics in general) last fall, I found myself falling back into the world of superheroes with the six-part Trinity War and it felt as if I never left. It’s incredibly understandable and the storylines are never overly-complicated. My only complaint about this book is that it had to end and we’ll have to wait a bit to see what happens in Forever Evil. Justice League #23, and Trinity War as a whole, is a must-read event that should not be spoiled at all for you beforehand. I have been a DC fan since my childhood and books with stories and characters like this prove exactly why that is.
American Vampire Anthology #1
I have so-far made the mistake of not reading Scott Snyder and Rafael Alberquerque’s American Vampire. There is no reasoning behind it other than the fact that I wasn’t interested in it despite all the praise it had been getting and at the time, I’d grown tired of his run on Batman and decided to take a break from comics altogether due to lack of funds to stay up-to date. However, American Vampire Anthology is one of the best comics I’ve read in quite some time featuring a “who’s who” of DC Comics coming together to write short stories set in the universe of Snyder’s American Vampire. In the book, you have Scott Snyder, Jason Aaron, Jeff Lemire, Becky Cloonan, Francesco Francavilla, Gail Simone, Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon and Greg Rucka all telling different, yet connected, stories. As I said before, I’ve never read American Vampire beforehand but immensely enjoyed each short in the 80 page book which has completely convinced me to read Snyder’s original book. While one or two shorts may not be as on par as the others, the only negative I have about the product is that with different artists and stories, there’s some inconsistency. This book is basically V/H/S with vampires, which isn’t a bad thing, but goes to show how one story can throw off the reader or viewer. My favorite stories in the book are probably “Essence Of Life” by the wonderful Gail Simone and “Greed” by Becky Cloonan who both tell unique tales within.
To summarize, American Vampire Anthology #1 is a great read for fans of the series, fans of vampires and just fans of each of the authors or artists involved. It’s also a great chance to check out a small sample of every author involved and you’re getting quite the amount of bang for your buck. This One-Shot comic is not one to pass up.
Batman Incorporated: Special #1
This fun book that finishes up some strings left behind by Grant Morrison’s run on Batman Incorporated should make your pull-list this week on the condition that you are a fan of the Batman Incorporated characters. I sort-of gave up on the concept of Batman: Inc. after the New 52 began and only enjoyed a portion of its revival, however the stories inside this special edition by Chris Burnham, Dan DiDio and Nathan Fairbairn make for a decent read. Each of the stories is self-contained, but also connected to each other. This book, in a way, is the Batman version of American Vampire Anthology #1 but half the size (and price). If you aren’t familiar with the cast of Batman Inc, much like me, you may find yourself lost within the pages trying to figure out who these characters are. Nevertheless, the tales told within these pages are easily-accessible. I feel as though without the name “Grant Morrison” tacked on a Batman Incorporated book, I find it less of a burden to read as many people feel that Morrison’s stories are messes or too complicated for new readers. I somewhat agree, but Batman Incorporated and its characters have always been unique and entertaining and this special cherry-picks a couple characters to tell a great, new story to finish off anything that Grant Morrison had left behind. The only negative I have with this book is that Bat-Cow gets somewhat of a spotlight in a charming, yet unnecessary and stupid story. It only made me think about how much I miss Damian Wayne, but all-in-all Batman Inc Special #1 is a decent read and worthy of your pull-list if you’re a fan of the series and have an extra five bucks to spare.
FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics #2
I’m not an avid reader of creator-owned or Vertigo comic books. It’s not because I don’t enjoy them, it’s just that I prefer reading characters that I grew up with and discovering more about their universe rather than diving into an entirely new one without a long-time commitment. With that being said, I absolutely loved The Federal Bureau of Physics #2, which focuses on a public agency called the FBP that investigate anomalies and disruptions between dimensions/universes. It’s quite an interesting tale and a good jumping on point even if you missed the first issue like I did. Simon Oliver may have a future in science-fiction writing as he brings something unique to the table with this book, which was originally named Collider, possibly referring to a massive device used in the book (Human Transport Collider, HTC) to transport humans (well, duh!) from one dimension to the other, or in this issue’s case, a “bubbleverse” which is a section of our universe copied within but with a whole new set of rules. And that’s where artist Robbi Rodriguez comes in. Despite his artwork being somewhat inconsistent (it seems as though some panels are treated with more detail than others), his portrayal of the “bubbleverse” easily signifies how different it’s supposed to be from ours, yet also keeps the same style used in the earlier pages. I’ll try not to spoil the concept or the plot of the book too much, but I’d just like to say it’s an interesting and fantastic read that you should check out for only 3$ at your local shop. FBP sort-of brings a serious version of Men in Black 3 to comics, which is one of my favorite franchises. The leads Jay and Adam are very interesting, yet we’re only starting to get to know them. Overall, The Federal Bureau of Physics is a fantastic concept that would make an exceptional television series and I can’t wait to read more.
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