Rapid Fire Reviews #5

The Sheriff, Dusty Good, brings you Rapid Fire Reviews #5

All-Star Batman
Story: Scott Snyder
Art: Tula Lotay

Snyder is back to doing what he does best, which is taking the world of Batman and turning it on its ear. This time it’s Batman tracking down Poison Ivy in the desert, as Bats searches for the cure to a deadly plant born disease; one that is spreading throughout the Northwest. It’s the reveal of how this deadly virus got its start that will put a lump in your throat.

Lotay’s artwork is mesmerizing. From the barren wastes of the Arizona desert to the big woods of Washington, there is not a panel that doesn’t fully connect the reader with the story.

There is plenty here for fans to enjoy. This comic is well worth a read.

Final Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Detective Comics #950
Story: James Tynion IV
Art: Marcio Takara, Alvaro Martinez, Eddy Barrows

The final line in this book says it all, when Red Robin asks Batman, “Why are you preparing for war?”

Although there is action throughout all three stories in this issue, there is the creeping feeling that it is all building to something larger; something just on the edges of the reader’s awareness. 950 issues is a milestone to be sure, but you can’t escape the feeling that we are getting ready to see a Batman unlike anything we have encountered before.

Bruce is different. He approaches being Batman differently. He has built a team that is intertwined in the highest ranks of government and the lowest crime bosses. He is preparing for something… Perhaps this summer event from DC will have the answers.

The highlight of the book is the story of Orphan. I’ve always loved the character of Cassandra Cain. Getting a chance to get inside her head as she moves through the streets of Gotham was a welcome surprise.

The entire issue was a solid offering all the way around.

Final Score: 3 ¾ Stars

Dr. Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme #5
Story: Robbie Thompson
Art: Nathan Stockman

It’s here that we get the backstory to Sir Issac Newton, the villain of this issue. (No, I’m not making that up) We get a brief history on who Newton was and how he became the Sorcerer Supreme in his own time. Then it’s a tale of how Newton first met Dr. Strange fighting Dr. Doom.  All of these events were in an effort to learn “The Word of God”; a spell that Newton used to screw over our group of magicians.

Unless you are hell-bent on keeping up with this series or the adventures of Dr. Strange, this comic comes off weak. The story and the art serve their purpose, but little else. This title lacks the artistry and brilliance of Dr. Strange’s solo title. All in all, I’d say pass on this one.

Final Score: 2 Stars

Kingpin #1
Story: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Ben Torres

Wilson Fisk is a man of two worlds. He is a thug that can move through the NYC elite. Money and power can often wipe away the stink of dirty dealings—then there is the kid who grew up rough on the streets, who fought and killed for everything he owns; both men are two sides of the Kingpin coin.

Rosenberg sets up this series with a subtle introduction to the man reader’s think they know. Fisk is going about the business of acquiring the talents of journalist Sarah Dewey to write his biography. It’s through his efforts to convince her to write the story that we begin to see deeper into the mystery of Fisk.

I’m very interested to see where this series is going. The writing is very solid and the art is a blend somewhere between Joe Quesada and early Howard Porter.

Final Score: 4 stars

New Super-Man #8
Written by: Gene Luen Yang
Art by: Billy Tan

I am completely new to this series. I picked this book up on a whim and I am completely confused by the concept. I knew that the title was launching a Chinese Superman, but then I read pages devoted to a Batman and Wonder Woman knock off as well… is this supposed to be a JLA far-east ? The book reads like a comic/anime hybrid, sadly missing the strengths of either. Perhaps a devoted reader can make heads or tails of this comic, but I’ll pass this one up next time.

Final Score: 2 Stars

Red Hood and the Outlaws #7
Story: Scott Lobdell
Art: Mirko Colak

I really like the way that this series has handled the introduction of Bizarro. Lobdell has found a way to bring back the charm of Superman’s evil clone. Gone are the opposite and backward sentences. The book has done away with the notion that this clone is just some random idiot that is the DC universe’s joke. DC has brought back the subtly and innocence of a child’s mind trapped inside the body of the strongest being on the planet.

While Colak’s world is a shift away from the previous artistic style of the book, it works. I really enjoyed the last few pages of this issue. A very strong offering from the new artist.

Final Score: 3 ½

Unworthy Thor #4
Story: Jason Aaron
Art: Oliver Coipel, Kim Jacinto, Frazer Irving, Esad Ribic, Russell Dauterman

Odinson is locked in battle with Black Swan, the Collector, and Proxima Midnight for the hammer of Ultimate Thor. We bounce back and forth between the past and present as we see Thor’s relationship with his hammer. It turns out that Thor has always questioned his worthiness to lift the hammer, but now he has moved beyond doubt and has become obsessed.

The art in this issue is incredible from all of the artists that contributed. While the visuals may be stunning, the story is cluttered and confusing. There seem to be too many players on the stage of what should be a simple story of Thor and his journey to redemption.

Final Score: 3 Stars

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