Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Reviews de Guzman - Angel and Faith, Star Wars: Crimson Empire III, Invincible, Savage Dragon

Our own CBNAH-er, Oliver de Guzman, has some in depth reviews of some new comics released today. Check'em out before you head to the store, or head back to your store and pick up some recommended books you missed..!

Angel and Faith 5, Star Wars: Crimson Empire III, Invincible 86, Savage Dragon 177

Review: Angel and Faith #5

To be honest, I have never really been into the Buffy-verse. The original premise was awesome. Slayer that hunts vampires to save the world. But as the series went on, I stayed away the more convoluted it became. Angel and Faith are two characters spinning onto their own title from that world...and Angel, at least has been a massive success with his own TV series, comic book, and now, a twin bill with "that other famous slayer" Faith.

It was a pleasant surprise finding two names of creators that I am fond with on this comic. Namely Christos Gage of Avengers Academy fame and Phil Noto. As this series falls under the umbrella of "Buffy Season 9" and Josh Whedon, Gage does a good job of keeping the light hearted tone set by that other comic, from what I have seen of it. This issue, an old friend in the person of Harmony Kendall makes a visit to ask a personal favor from handle something that might make or break her career as the "Kardashian" of Vampires.

This is a good, light-hearted done in one that is a satisfying read. Good but not great, which is kinda slightly disappointing as i have expected the latter lately from Mr Gage. I feel that Faith is all but left out in the whole deal. She could've used more screen time. Art-wise, I always consider Phil Noto as a great artist...when it comes to splash pages and pin ups. But, at least for me, I think he needs to develop a little more when it comes to his backgrounds and the fluidity of his interior work. It is not too evident in the final outcome, but that is the overall vibe I got when I read any book hes involved with. Good issue. good for passing the time. 5/10.

Review: Star Wars: Crimson Empire III

Let me start by saying that I am a huge fan of the Star Wars Universe. I have a huge collection of novels and related video games , as I guess most fans of the franchise do, so I consider myself quite the fan. However,This is my first time reading a Star Wars comic, published by Dark Horse and Immediately, I fell in love with it. The story by Mike Richardson focuses on Kir Kanos, one of the last surviving followers of Emperor Palpatine as he is being manipulated by hardliners to try and overthrow the new Empire under the leadership of Commander Pellaeon.

I like the flow of the story as it also involves the Solo family, which is always a good thing. For me though, the real selling point of this comic is the art from Paul Gulacy which is really beautiful! And at only $3.50, this ones definitely worth getting for any true blue Star Wars fan. It stands up to the mythos fairly well. A couple of things that I'm having a problem with here is that, I wish we could get more back story from the main protagonist, I hope they manage to do that in the remaining 3 issues, and that the main baddie is somewhat a little generic and cliche. But otherwise, a solid good read. 7/10.

Review: Invincible 86

Its been a while since I have last read an Invincible comic. I became a HUGE fan of it when I found the first few volumes in my local library. I became so addicted to it that I couldn't really stop begging for more. Coming into this comic, I am happy that it stands out against the earlier issues and quite pleasantly surprised at the major improvement in the quality of Cory Walkers work. I have associated Invincible with the artist that replaced him, Ryan Ottley, for the most part and I have loved his work more, but seeing this issue, Walker definitely made me eat my words.

This issue focuses on 3 characters from Invincibles world in a role reversal of sorts. I am surprised as to how powerful Allen, The Alien has become. And the drastic measures that he is willing to take to finally end the Viltrumite threat becomes the focal point of this story. This issue stands out well, even though Invincible did not even appear...a testament to the strength of the supporting characters. Ive always loved Invincible because for me, it is a perfect mix of Spider Man, Superman and Dragon Ball Z! But they can only take this Viltumite thing too far. Im worried that when they are finally taken care of, the series might collapse in upon itself.
Good Quality comic, but some heavy back issue reading required. 7/10

Review: Savage Dragon 177

Easily my most favorite read among my pile for this week. I have always been a HUGE...HUUUUUUGGGE fan of Erik Larsen's work. And the level of quality and care that he put into his output here is just absolutely astounding. This issue is not too hard to grasp for someone such as I, who have not visited the world of Savage Dragon too often. It's fairly easy to understand...and Larsen even makes fun of his own work via the Editor box (Oh how I love Editorial Boxes!) The panels involving the origin of Radioactive Osama Bin Laden are my favorites. In only a few panels, he explains how Osama became what he is in the story. It all makes perfect sense if you think about it after....which is a master stroke on Larsens part.

The cover for this issue is nothing short of genius and I definitely enjoyed Dragon's children in first time reading about them, and I am definitely interested for more. This issue features a Vanguard backup that stands up to the main story...and might even crossover soon! For the price point of only $3.50, this issue is definitely a pickup! Fun vibe, hip art, its something that stands out among the racks. 9/10.

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