Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Renaldo's Reviews: Debris, Grim Leaper, Star Wars and MORE!

Debris #2 –
I struggled with the first issue from Kurt Wiebe, and despite the enthrallingly simplistic art of Riley Rossmo, there was an urge to drop the title. But a second issue in, and our heroine, Maya, journeys through perilous landscape in hope of finding valuable resources and commodities for her tribe in these dystopian times. Given the robotic threats ravaging her surroundings, her partnership with Kessel, who seems to have a grand intuition of the world today, fits well with the story and while the pace doesn’t pick up too much, it balances the story well and offsets that frenetic and jumbled attempt of a debut. The story remains linear, precise and is as compact as it now needs to be. It’s now I can empathize with the characters’ struggles and agony to prevail. (8/10)
Grim Leaper #4 –
Wiebe’s culmination here with our body-swapping lovers kind of fizzles here and the underwhelming feel ricochets from page to page. It’s a disappointing reverberation for a book that started so well and it felt like a Millar title with a rushed ending. The mire that perpetuated in this dysfunctional romance and the comedy of errors that was manipulated into the book didn’t manifest into that grand a finale to me. However, don’t discount Santos’ art…it’s as pristine as ever. I must add that Ed Brisson’s totally non-related script and artist, Jonnie Christmas’ backup teenage love story is highly entertaining in its own dark way. I’d love to see this expanded as it’s twisted and encompasses that alluring dementia we all have in our inner selves. Quite lovely! (6/10)
Star Wars: Darth Maul Death Sentence #2 –
Tom Taylor’s dialogue is iffy but he makes up for it with a stunning story about Darth Maul and his brother Savage Oppress as they use their wiles and rage to go after those who wronged them. This lands them in hot water as they end with their backs to the wall as the Jedi join the race to take the brothers down. Maul’s revival now comes at another loss but what transpires is a deft turn of events that just may give Maul the upper hand to revenge. Bruno Redondo’s art conspires to maintain an instilled confidence in a book that keeps flowing at a good pace with strong momentum. It’s times like these were the cunning Maul is well-placed in the spotlight. (9/10)
Star Wars and the Ghost Prison #4 –
Haden Blackman’s story focuses on Thom as he evolves from a lieutenant to a confidant and trusted ally of Vader. Agustin Alessio extrapolates the power and scourge of Vader with his magnificent art while Blackman carves out a fresh take on Vader’s recruitment to protect Palpatine from insurgence in the ranks. This dissidence truly makes Tohm shine out with a sincerity and profound clamour for vengeance when Blackman puts pen to paper. Tohm finds solace in another new recruit that also adds a new dimension to the book as it redefines terrorism and political undertones where one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter. Blackman dissects these railings and rantings pretty well without raving like a stark mad lunatic…and his story is subtle yet extravagantly powerful and telling. (10/10)
Higher Earth #4 –
The previous issues showed the woe of a renegade soldier jumping through the multiverse to rescue a young girl whose destiny lies upon greatness. When the concept of Higher Earth and its ‘subsidiaries’ unfolds in this issue, and there’s much clarity gained, it’s apparent what the girl is meant for…and this builds well on the foundation of the renegade soldier and the alternate Earths that bear repercussions on each inhabitant. There are alternate versions of the soldier on the hunt and again, there’s a lot of Cable and Hope mixed in by Sam Humphries as he weaves some intricacy to the tale a la Grant Morrison. It’s a story of flair with some spice added in by the multitude of covers from Phil Noto, Garry Brown and Frazer Irving among others. It sparkles further with Francesco Biagini’s interiors and adorning Humprhries’ story really proves the icing on the cake from a creative duo that seem brilliantly in sync. (8/10)

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