Sunday, February 26, 2012

Renaldo's Reviews: GI Joe, Mondo, Wolverine and the X-Men, Catwoman, Fantastic Four

GI JOE – Retaliation Prequel #1

Not a bad offering considering the travesty of the first film. Roadblock is taken for a high road as he and Snake Eyes go through the early days of encountering Ninja in war. It’s no shock to see the mission orchestrated by Zartan and Storm Shadow as a trial run to see the effectiveness of the Arashikage in missions, but it plays out nicely as we see an enraged Roadblock, that the Rock seems a fit for. It’s casualties and it’s inner turmoil as we see an intense few panels where General Hawk is speaking to a superior, under much duress as
constraints and restraints have Hawk questioning his leadership. Contrition has no place in the war and the last page shows why…and makes Snake Eyes and Hawk a much bigger piece of the origins of the Joes than we all first thought thanks to John Barber’s script and Salvador Navarro’s  art. Intricate stuff yet elegant and coarse! (8/10)

Mondo #1 –
Ted McKeever does well with the black and white art. It’s like Mellon’s HEART but smoother and less grainy. It works well but the plot is a bit baffling. By that I mean, absurd. Don’t get me wrong it is fun and I’m not shocked that Image gave it a go, but I’m a bit shocked. Yeah. I guess. Well, I’m still trying to absorb it. I think it’s anti-bullying a stance? Oh, well…decent art, weird story. That’s Image for you sometimes (7/10)

Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha and Omega #1, 2 –
Brian Wood brings elegance, class and that crass, brash, hubris that Grant M wanted for Kid Omega. This is a Quire book and nothing more, nothing less. Armor gets a play as a foil and basically, it’s Quire mindfracking Logan and it’s hilarious yet deeply unsettling as we see how much hate Omega harbors for Logan, especially since Logan hijacked him after Schism to be a prisoner and school-kid. The rivalry with Rachel Summers, the way that Omega broods and condescendingly dismisses all other classmates is a joy to watch as it’s more exposition into the character that we get a great insight to in Aaron’s work. It’s a different Quire in both books but somehow they mix together well into a seamless cohesion, as Wood’s is more conniving and manifests this cunning, astute yet manipulative fiend of a mind with a world he created for Logan – entrapped and imprisoned in THE CONSTRUCT. Armor is a tool here but in doing this fun and game antic; Logan’s Berserker body comes bereft of his sanity…and has his eyes set on wreaking havoc. While Logan’s mind is stripped down to bare essentials, a bit repetitive as seen in Aaron’s HELL arc, it’s fun to see Quire think he’s in control only to see the deck of cards come crumbling down. It’s retentive mind-games…at the best…and at the worst. When he loses control, the dominoes are gonna fall hard…and I can’t wait to see where this ties into Aaron’s title. Boschi and Brooks split art duties for both realities and it’s a godsend as both have a subtle gentle style to their craft yet it’s Brooks grit for action scenes that speaks infinite volumes. Both art divisions are perfect here. Also, I think we’ll see Omega interacting with more girls than usual, and I bet he’s all mind and no talk! Some action though…definitely! I tremble at the thought of Brian writing Quire vs Emma Frost duel! (8/10)
Catwoman #6 –
Being a fan of March’s art helps make this story so much better as Winick isn’t at his strongest here, and while it seems a redundant tale of Selina gets in mess, barely escapes and then Batman lets her off the hook in a sexual tension-filled battle atmosphere, Winick does throw in nice little curveballs here and there. Examples are a detective who seemingly has a good-natured infatuation with this criminal sans vigilante as well as Selina doomed to repeat mistakes that cost her her loved ones, and which may well cost her her own life. It’s all kosher when she reveals her suicidal tendencies amid the Evil Kneviel death traps and trips of fallacy, but to say this book is poor because of unadulterated gore, violence and sex is quite juvenile. It’s adult-themed and a serious take on Gotham’s plight, from a criminal perspective. Sure, it has some derp pages but which comic doesn’t. overall, Winick builds and deconstructs Selina’s world quite well and showing Batman as someone who doesn’t consent but allows her antics makes a more human feel appeal. Whether it’s sex or love, it’s a nice overtone. Selina stole money from dirty cops and they hire muscle to make her squeal…with a twist as to how she hides her identity even when unmasked. It’s a thrilling concept and clearly, Winick, like he does with Jason Todd, has a grand handle on Miss Kyle (7/10)
Fantastic Four #603 –

Hickman is consistently classy, cohesive and sublime in his storytelling. While intricate at times, he weaves his tangled webs and lets them adjoin with grace. While I’m missing Epting, Kitson suffices well as they bring Galactus to his celestial doom, under a Voltron/Transformers format and it’s a storytelling stroke of brilliance. This big battle is remarkable as is Reed’s struggle where the FF4 are rendered virtually helpless if not for the aiding and assistance of the Future Foundation. The intrusion and urgency of these kids protrude onto a plateau that Hickman built so well…one where Reed is fallible and constantly reminded that there are versions of him out there in the universe – smarter, greater and more sinister intent. While 616 Reed is not selfish, it may prove his downfall, until the foil of what his kids’ true destiny is. It’s revealed a bit…or more so…teased. Either way, stopping the Celestials is even much harder than anticipated and all gloves come off in this boxing match. The final page gives a huge expectancy to fans and could well prove a timely intervention and a fresh breath of air in an already fast-paced and rasping story. Hickman can do no wrong at this point (7/10)

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