Little spoiler-free capsule reviews of comics I’ve tried out!
Starfire #1 – I was intrigued by this new series. I’ve always liked the general visual of Starfire without knowing much about the character herself. The art is gorgeous, but some of the dialogue felt a little awkward and the humor didn’t always land with me. Generally likable, but with a very full pull list right now, I think I’ll sit out future issues. If I hear good things after the first arc is done, I might jump back on board.
Batman Beyond #1 – I’ve been a big fan of Batman Beyond for a long time. In some ways, I was probably a bigger fan of that series than Batman: The Animated Series. I just loved the fresh take on Batman and the visuals. The new book is really almost a reboot of the BB story with a new person in the suit instead of Terry McGuiness. But Terry’s time still happened. It’s an interesting choice to take a well known character from the present day DCU and put him into the future as the new BB. It works well, and I was drawn into the story quickly. I do wish the artist would tone down the size of Batman’s eyes, though. There are times it looks a bit weird to me. But, that’s a small nitpick.
Past Aways #1 – So… uh… I really thought this was “Past Always” when I first picked it up. And kept thinking that for the last month or so that I had it in my possession, waiting to be read. But it’s Past Aways. Like cast aways. Get it? I clearly didn’t. Anywho, about the book… I’m intrigued to see where it goes. I actually picked up the first three issues at a time, so i have two more to read. I’ll give them a go. The set-up—a group of characters from the future stuck in the past and apparently unable to be killed because of this—is intriguing and, as with most first issues, this is mostly set-up. The characters are given distinct, pencilled-in character traits. So how those get filled out will determine a lot. The art is nice. It has a pleasingly chunky feel, supported by some bold coloring.
JLA #1 – I was a huge fan of HItch’s artwork from his Ultimates run. I’ve never really read anything written by him, though. That being said, this new book starts off intriguingly enough and over the course of this super-sized issue sets up what looks like to be an interesting run. Hitch’s artwork feels a lot less detailed and sketchier than it used to, somehow. So some of the texture and awe that it used to elicit isn’t quite there. But it’s still nice art and he’s a very good storyteller visually. I can see myself picking up some more issues of this to see how it goes.
Black Canary #1 – I bought this on the strength of Fletcher’s Batgirl run. I was not disappointed. BC as the lead singer of a band (and the trouble that follows her) is a fun idea. It’s supported by some lovely graphic and bold art and colors by Wu and Loughridge. I pretty much took to this book in an instant. Looking forward to the next issue a great deal.
Mad Max: Fury Road – Furiosa #1 – The latest in a series of (expensive) one-shots from DC’s Vertigo imprint, this features the character who was really the start of Fury Road, despite the words “Mad Max” in the title. It’s Furiosa who captured the imagination of the movie-going public, though there’s a lot to love about the movie in general. So it’s clear this was probably the most-awaited of all these prequel comics. It’s all gone horribly wrong. A story on i09 by James Whitbrook illustrates where the comics goes wrong in regards to the characters very nicely. But, beyond that… it’s just not that interesting or good of a story, and a real disappointment after the Nux & Immortan Joe one-shot.
Fury Road is a success not just for what we seen on the screen but for what we don’t. The film is one long action scene, really, at the exact moment when everything is the most interesting. What the comic offers up is something that is implied in the movie but never shown. With good reason, beyond the problematic reasons brought up in the i09 article. It’s very boring on top of being cruel and un-needed. The comic is named after Furiosa but she does little in the story but stand around most of the time. Her “turn” from enforcer to (yeah, maybe I’ll be a) savior is so vague that it’s hard to pin down what might cause the change. Or if, in fact, a change even took place or she was just biding her time. Whereas the first one shot gave interesting little nuggets of info and shades to the characters of Nux and Immortan Joe, this really does nothing for Furiosa. If anything, it actually makes the character less interesting.