Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Steven's Reviews: GI Joe, After Earth plus More!

Snake Eyes & Storm Shadow #18

There are all kinds of action going on this issue only none of if it is exactly what you think it would be.  Sure Storm Shadow hits a Cobra vault only to find it empty and just emptied at that with a small Viper guard unit.  So was this a trap laid by Cobra and if so who was the intended victim?
            Meanwhile over in Budapest Hightower and Spearhead encounter a group from the Arashikage and aren’t heard from anymore.
            The Baroness is seen not exactly buying a country per se just the leading Royal of that country.  See he gets to keep his title and all the trappings that come with it and Cobra gets a legitimate seat at the World table.  So now they are Tryolvia whose capital city of Fineske is now on everyone’s radar.
            Serpentor’s dreams haunt him as the Soft Master whom he thought was locked away for his own use inhabits them.  The Soft Master allowed himself to be captured and now he’s wanting to leave thanks to the boy who has come to his rescue.  Another loss for Serpentor whose guards are being slaughtered by Arashikage world wide as they try to steal from Cobra.
            I’d say follow the money but it’s all being spent, on said nation.  The Arashikage is trying to steal it but before they are able to Cobra moves it en masse so no one is really able to disrupt its flow.  Which is somewhat ironic that Cobra is still one step ahead of both the Joe’s and the Arashikage.  The Joes’ don’t trust Snake Eyes anymore nor Storm Shadow and have no idea what is going, typical.  It’s all a big circle as if the image of the snake chasing and swallowing its own tale were indeed true.
            Helix once again has gone off on her own to find Snake Eyes friend the Hard Master.  She’s found him alright so what comes of this remains to be seen and quite honestly I cannot wait for that.  Oh yes and the dialogue throughout this issue remains incredible but page twenty one takes the cake for me!   This book is phenomenal and in all honesty if I were only able to read one of the three I’d choose this one.
After Earth One Shot
Dynamite Entertainment 2012
Written by Michael Jan Friedman & Robert Greenberger
Art & Colour by Beni Lobel
            When the Earth becomes too toxic and can no longer support human life man decided to colonize the stars instead.  Man builds star ships and heads out find a planet suitable for habitation and they finally find one Nova Prime.  Only it took about one hundred years to find it. 
            At first I thought this was going to be a standard type of story and then well things took a turn.  Suddenly as a father tells his a bedtime story we learn the history of mankind on Nova Prime and it isn’t always pretty.  There were two factions of people when the world was colonized the Kincaids and the Primus they were “policed” by the Rangers who were charged with keeping the peace.
            Only when science is at odds with religion peace is unobtainable.  It’s an age old story which if you at human history throughout the globe you’ll see just how startling real and dangerous these wars can be.  The Rangers tried keeping the peace and before any true truce could be called the planet was under attack.
            When two sides are in conflict it takes an even greater threat to bring the two sides together.  In this case an alien threat whose weaponry made their own insignificant.  A child, son of a Ranger, actually comes up with the solution as he finds a crashed ship.  In it they find that alien technology to disrupt their shields. 
            As it turns out the boy is a descendent of both father and son.  Live by example and all that jazz.  Give the boy a role model from his own ancestry to live up to. 
            This was more than I expected it to be.  An uplifting story of hope and courage amid fear and destruction a tale that gives a child peace of mind.  The artwork on the interior pages was pleasant nothing absolutely spectacular but nothing bad either.  Backgrounds were nice and it did seem as if the art took a back seat to the story.  I would have preferred to see it enhance the words but all in all the book is a nice heartwarming experience.
Dorian Gray #2
Bluewater Comics 2012
Darren G. Davis & Scott Davis –Writers
Frederico De Luca –Artist
            Dorian has found a box of items, or antiques that belong to his family as a sort of legacy one might say.  Another might claim they are junk while still others yet would pay top dollar for such a morbid collection of items.  Yes morbid for some of these things are meant to cause intense pain.  We see just how dangerous these items can be and by accident too, though no damage is done.
            The Picture of his ancestor with the face that is peeled and his skull and muscle showing is rather disgusting but he’s proudly hanging it.  The picture of Dorian Gray is important to pay attention too though.  We do see a demon reach out of it as Dorian leaves the room.  The Boy has no idea of his history or who or what he is and that makes him an innocent from a family that is anything but. 
            So during some down time and experimenting with items from the box he puts on these weird glasses and opens a book and viola weirdness ensues.  He gets pulled into the book by none other than Oscar Wilde himself.  Explanations are definitely in order here and while some answers are explained the mystery itself deepens almost to the boiling point.
            What does young Dorian desire most, the girl who spurned him?  Well he gets to meet the Demon from the painting and the offer is made all he has to do is sit back and watch what happens as things in life go better than planned.
            I have to say I was a bit biased before I mean Bluewater to me was kind of cheap looking and focused on some weird people, political or pop stars and I stayed away until this.  The artwork here is beyond incredible, it truly some of the more beautiful work being done today.  The adaptation and the writing here are phenomenal to say the least.  Seriously I don’t think I’ve seen a better adaptation of a novel or an updated version that works as well as this one does.  This book is responsible for changing how I see the Bluewater company. 
Peter Cannon Thunderbolt #2
Dynamite Entertainment 2012
Written by Steve Darnall & Alex Ross
Illustrated by Jonathan Lau
Coloured by Vinicius Andrade
            We get a quick recap of his origin this issue and I do mean quick.  His parents did a missionary type deal and while they were gone a plague struck taking his parents lives.  So yes a good hero needs tragedy and that seems to be the loss of his parents.  Fortunately he was taken in the Lamasary as the Chosen One where he was raised to adulthood and given the ability to utilize ninety five percent of his brain.
            Peter is disillusioned with the world around him.  He thinks the people frivolous, ignorant, wasteful and whole slew of other derogatory words.  It isn’t that I disagree with him because if truth be told I do agree with him it’s just that those around him see the good that could be once again including his mentor as well as his friend and traveling companion Tabu.
            Because of his current feeling about society he’s become tense, lost adrift even and he takes a journey back to Lamasary where once again tragedy is to strike Peter’s life.  It would appear that nuclear testing is once more given the nod of approval and the Lamasary is caught in the aftermath of a blast destroying it.  Tabu is greatly injured but alive.
            This act reinvigorates Peter and his determination to fulfill his destiny and save mankind from their own negligence.  His power over illusion, thanks to use of all his brain, of the dragon creates real consequences that he didn’t expect.  He now returns to America with a new mission to the United Nations and wishes that the world go through with disarmament of their nuclear arsenals. 
            Instead of hiding in the shadows and working from the dark he reveals his identity to the public so they may trust him more.  So now we have a direction for the series and a plan of action for Peter.  All in all it’s a wonderful set up for the series and the characterization we’ve gotten in just one issue is amazing.
            We also get a set up for the next story arc.  A wonderfully lost and ancient mummy which is quite the important find.  I look forward to what is to come.
            Of course Jonathan Lau is doing the illustration here and his work continues to be of remarkable quality.  Here’s hoping he stays on this project longer than it takes to just launch it as he did with the Bionic Man.  Dynamite has this wonderful habit of taking a character or franchise and breathing it new life into it and this one is no exception. 

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