Alex Lynch Reviews: GREEN LANTERN CORPS #24, SUPERMAN/ WONDER WOMAN #1 & More
Only three reviews this week unfortunately, and that's of Green Lantern Corps #24, Part 2 in the Lights Out event, the highly anticipated debut issue of Superman/Wonder Woman and the debut issue of Forever Evil: Arkham War!
PICK OF THE WEEK! - Superman/Wonder Woman #1 - Charles Soule & Tony Daniel
I have been waiting probably over two months for this book. Tony Daniel is one of my all-time favorite artists at DC right now (their whole slate of artists pretty much consists of A-Listers) and I really enjoyed the Villain’s Month one-shots by Charles Soule, however I’ve never really read any of his comics before, so I was a bit scared to go into this book and I pretty much knew nothing about the writing quality it could be. However, doing this resulted in reading one of my favorite single-issue comic books of the year.
This book really has it all. It has a perfect balance on the relationship aspect, the action aspect and quite frankly, it is very good at telling stories in a unique manner. In this book, Superman and Wonder Woman are investigating an awfully odd storm that interrupts one of their dates, so they work together to save a plane that’s about to crash. However, told through flashbacks are the events leading up to the storm and why the two are on the mission together. The flashbacks involve Wonder Woman and Hesseia exercising and talking about how the relationship with Superman not only affects her, but how it affects her feelings towards Amazons as well. Jumping ahead, Clark and Diana meet for a date and he gives her a gift from the Fortress and she proposes to teach him how to fight. It’s all just really fun foreplay until they get the call for the storm, which leads them into a bigger situation than they could even imagine.
Charles Soule writes these characters just excellently and just knows who they are in the inside, and it seems that his plans for the book don’t involve high amounts of sex or saving the damsel in distress, even though this book is easily accessible to women new to comics who enjoy books like Fifty Shades or Twilight. Wonder Woman isn’t just an accessory to Clark, she has her own place in the relationship, no one is wearing the pants, really. Another special thing about this book is the absolutely fantastic pencil/line work by Tony Daniel, whose work is usually critically-praised. He did the Cheetah story in Throne of Atlantis and Superman/Wonder Woman is just a step-up from what he’s done before. With absolutely stunning scenes that take place in the storm (with absolutely beautiful colors by Tomeu Morey) and keeping consistent with anatomy and detail, Tony Daniel’s artwork only skyrockets this books’ quality. I’ve been waiting for this book for so long and I was not disappointed. It really couldn’t be a better start.
Green Lantern Corps #24 – Van Jensen/Robert Venditti & Bernard Chang
Honestly, I didn’t like Lights Out this week either. I don’t like this event at all, really, because I feel as if Relic is the only good thing about it, but they’re going about it really all the wrong ways in my honest opinion. I just honestly feel that this whole Lights Out event is a mess, especially coming off of Geoff Johns’ fantastic ending to his run. Robert Venditti is a decent author and I’m really hoping that this event kicks off to something great soon!
In this issue, Relic launches a fully-forced attack against Oa after its central power core has been destroyed, leaving minutes until the planet’s ultimate destruction. With the Green Lanterns seeing that there is absolutely little-to-no hope left, and must do one thing…escape. With the lives of the entire color spectrum on the line, John Stewart leads a batch of recruits to distract relic so Hal and his team can escape Oa. As a Green Lantern fan, I found this book incredibly boring. Relic is quite bland and just seems like a second-rate version of the First Lantern, and the characterization in this issue was little-to-non-existent for anyone. Speaking of characterization, I felt the only time that this books’ characters were actually themselves was in the beginning during a sweet, but short chat between John and Hal and how his strategy relates to a war in human history, but Hal doesn’t want to give up fighting relic.
On second thought, this issue has a lot to enjoy if you’re just a fan of comics themselves, but this book is nowhere near what we’ve had in Green Lantern in the past and it just feels like there is no sense of a threat with Relic because we know that DC isn’t going to cancel the Green Lantern titles and we know that Relic will be beaten one day, but I also feel that his backstory was sort of rushed, as well. To summarize, Green Lantern Corps #24 has only “decent” artwork and an extremely generic plot, but it’s actually an enjoyable read if you can get past some of the boring or cringe-worthy dialogue.
Forever Evil – Arkham War #1 – Peter J. Tomasi & Scot Eaton
While this issue was quite better than the Scarecrow and Bane tie-ins for Villain’s Month, I thought that this issue still needed some work done. Sure, the idea that Bane and Scarecrow going to war for Gotham City’s control is a great and interesting concept and all, but the execution of it just seems really bland to me. Not once have I received the sense of war from Tomasi’s tie-in issues to Arkham War and I definitely haven’t felt that Scarecrow or any of his allies are a viable threat to Bane, whose been written as a completely sadistic and strategic monster, as he should be.
The only time in the book that I was actually enjoying it and wanted to flip to the next page were the scenes with Bane and him ruthlessly invading Blackgate. I feel that he is the only character that they’re getting right in this book, because Scarecrow’s appearances are always inconsistent from the last book he was in and he’s always just filled with huge blocks of expository dialogue, and I feel that Tomasi relies too much on exposition in his books. Is his version of Scarecrow a psychological character who gets in your head? I can’t tell, because the character hasn’t been written with a solid definition of who he is yet.
A couple things I also didn’t like was the over-use of Professor Pyg, who I feel has had no relevance since Grant Morrison’s introduction and the fact that he was basically just used as a stepping-stone for the story and took up way too much time. Also, I feel as though ever since DC Comics have introduced talons and the Court of Owls, they’re basically the “go-to” villains for Gotham City stories and criminals as Bane plans to use the sleeping ones to his advantage. The only Talon I like is the one who stars in his own comic book, but even then I feel as though the concept needs to be laid to rest as soon as possible because they pretty much have no place now, in my opinion. Tomasi also briefly skips over Bane’s forces intruding the Gotham districts which leaves me wondering what actually happened during those scenes as they’re all just one-panel long each and most of the panels are crowded with gunfire and explosions from sub-par pencils by Scot Eaton. But overall, this is a great issue for Bane fans and it’s really fun to see Bane doing something these days, but I can’t help but to feel that this event could be in better hands…
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