Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Oliver's Reviews: Saga, Fatale, Invincible and More!

68 scars #2
Nice concept. Zombies used as WMD's during the Vietnam war.  Thing is, the execution is what bothers me.  Truth to tell, I didn’t really like this issue at all.  There’s just no oomph to hold my attention.  The pacing, the characters and the action were all....boring.  I was slogging through most of the issue.  There’s none of the freakish fun that comes along when you read any zombie material.  There was no sign of any dark comedy anywhere.  The art, for me was the only saving grace and even that was not all that.  It sort of reminded me of Scott Kolins, whom I don't really consider as one of the top tier artists.  Also, it would have been better had they not chosen to stereotype Asians when it came to the dialogue.   I don’t really know what the writer was
going for in that gaffe when he could have easily used the tried and tested captionized translation technique in comics.  I'm sure this comic has its fans but it just didn't do it for me.  Like I said, it has potential.  But it could be better.

Alabaster Wolves #5
When I saw the cover, I was blown away.  It was really beautiful and it had me pumped up to start reading the comic.  Unfortunately, my interest dwindled considerably the further i went along with the book.  For one, the dialogue was too wordy, worthy of a Claremont or a Byrne.  Second, the interior art was too different from the cover and it jarred my interest significantly. I'm never really much of a fan when it comes to horror but there’s the odd thing or there that usually makes an exception and I was hoping this would be one of those times....but no.  The visuals and designs were not interesting enough and from what I observed could be quite bland.  The action scenes near the end was somewhat interesting but not nearly enough to keep on capturing my attention.  I wanted to give Dark Horse a boost because most of their Buffy and  Star Wars books are a joy to read, but so far, outside those lines, no Dark Horse book has ever truly captured my attention.

Fatale #7
I was so pumped to read this one because I've heard from word of mouth, message boards and internet hype that this was a very good comic.  I know its from Brubaker, a fan favorite, perhaps that’s where all the hype actually comes from, but....I'm sorry to say, this book greatly disappointed me.  My expectations were not met.  It was pretty average in my eyes, storywise.  Too ordinary.  But the art though, was great. Its the one thing that held my attention. Perhaps a few issues more, my tone would change.  But for now, I am  not as invested in this series as much as the rest of the comic book population is.

Revival #2
I was surprised by this book.  Its a completely new take on zombies and i'm loving it.  Now this is what being creative is like.  We need to see more ideas like this explored in the comic book business. I was seriously surprised at how much I enjoyed this issue.  The flow of the story is seamless.  Built heavily on the books premise, (which is, a huge number of dead people coming back to life)it stands on solid footing.  And the characters that we have explored so far are interesting and not boring.  They have personalities.  The issue was evenly paced with drama, a bit of action, humor and an overall air of mystery that hangs in the air.  Solid effort.  Truth to tell, I would not be surprised if this book lands a movie deal somewhere down the road.  

One of its greatest strengths of course, is the art.  Its dynamic and engaging and doesn't distract from the story.  Good start to a good book.

Saga #6
I have heaped so much praise into this book time in and time out whenever i do my reviews and i sure ain't stopping now.  This issue, we encounter a bit of a downtime for our heroes (and villains) and yet, the story is still as exciting as exciting can be.  We are introduced to new characters, new concepts that I have never thought I would see anywhere in my life.  I don't want to spoil it, but my favorite part of this issue was when they were trying to figure out how to get off planet.  The solution that they arrived in was something really creative.  You can tell with the way that he is writing this series that BKV really spends a lot of time and effort and putting in as much love as he can into the book.  And as always, Fiona Staples has been doing excellent defining work I might add.  Her character and concept designs are flawless and the same with the way that she tells a story.  Overall, very satisfactory output from the creative team.  The ending in particular, leaves me wanting more.  Looking forward to the next issue!

Victories #1
Michael Oeming's art is an acquired taste almost similar in tone to Phil Hester and Scott McDaniel.  While I may not be such a big fan of said style, I do realize that it is beautiful and is in a class of its own.  

Having said that about the art, I actually have problems with this book.  Yes problems.  Plural.  
For one, the design work.  I do not know if it was done intentionally, but The main protagonist, Faustus looks almost exactly like, and packaged like Batman and  has the attitude of Spider Man.

You'd think that that could have been avoided since this is creator owned work and you have carte blanche authority  on what you could come up with.
Unless, of course, as I said earlier, unless this was done intentionally. To probably catch the eye of fans of both heroes so that they would snatch the comic up.

Another problem that I have is the very graphic way that the story was told. I have said before, numerous times, that I am against such violence shown in comic books as you can tell a story or have your point across without having to resort to such a brutal manner.  I have mentioned Carte Blanche so I hope authors of Independent books would show some more discretion in the future.  Also, I do not see any warning on the cover.  The art style and the previously mentioned similarity to established characters might attract kids.  Although, I am looking at a preview copy and not the final book so if that is addressed in the finished product, I do apologize.

The story is good enough as the hero villain relationship between Faustus and the Jackal is established.  Same with conflict as our hero gets to struggle with his failures and shortcomings in this issue.  The pacing is brilliant and the story flows quite nicely.  A little bit standard super hero fare. Overall though, aside from the weaknesses I stated above, this issue is pretty decent enough for you to pick up.

Invincible #94
Alas, a pretty stellar effort from Kirkman and co.  Invincible rarely, if ever, disappoints.  Its a comfort book outside of the big two thats  for sure.  The whole gang is here, not only with the characters populating the Invincible-verse as they suffer yet another beatdown from a much more superior force, Hmmm, I guess I do have a minor quibble.  This happens so much, so often, that it has been routine for this comic.  Kirkman should refrain from using it at least for awhile as most of the supporting characters are appearing more and more useless as the issues go by.  Heck, the new Invincible, Bulletproof, was not really very impressive in this issue.  I'm hoping for a breakout moment for him so that he would not be regarded only as a cliche token replacement character and that he would stand on his own.

Sorry, I got distracted there for a moment.  I also meant to say that the entire gang, the creative team involved for much of this titles evolution, are out in full force here.  Kirkman, Walker, Ottley.  and your in for a treat when that happens.  
Of course, art-wise, no problem as we have often gotten used to with both artists.  Story-wise, I love the use of Flashback to move the story forward.  The momentum builds up and just about explodes on the final page.  I am so looking forward to what happens next.

I mentioned the use of background characters above, but this issue, two of my favorite supporting characters get to shine significantly. I hope that Kirkman makes this a regular thing as Robot and Monster Girl are two excellent characters that shouldn't just  be relegated  in the side.  Spin them off to their own title I say!

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