Reviews: February 29th 2012

Published on March 5th, 2012

Monday has come around again and with it is this weeks edition of COMPACT. Here at Comic Impact, each of our weird and wonderful writers bring you two reviews each of comics ranging from the challenging to the essential! We keep it bite-size for you as well so you can browse whilst you eat your breakfast! Who knows, you might see some good write-ups of a comic you weren’t planning on buying and fall in love with it.

So get the run down of what stood out to each of us here on the site this week and be sure to come back every Monday for the brief, weekly round up.

Sheldon Lee:
Sheldon@comicimpact.com

The Walking Dead #94 – Robert Kirkman, Robert Adlard

The Walking Dead suffers from “Seinfeld” Syndrom. Each issue seems to be about nothing as well as moving at a slower than snails pace. While you could argue that it is building up or that it will be better when read in a trade, should we have to wait that long to just get some where? I say no. This issue was no different and seemed to end with only more build up. Come on Kirkman!! At least finish me off. Why then am I still reading it? Because while it moves at a snails pace each footstep has the excitement of a tied ballgame with seconds left on the clock! The Walking Dead is the very best example of a modern day running serial. Every issue is a can’t miss and every panel keeps you guessing.

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Venom #13.4 – Rick Remender, Lan Medina

Marvel is many things but you can’t blame them for being opportunists. With the advent of their ‘point one’ issues they have decided, and wisely in my opinion, to make stand alone stories within stories, point issues. This allows for Marvel to move forward with its current story while telling a completely different one. This point mini issue basically is a team up between Ghost Rider, Red Hulk, X23 & of course Venom. The main premise is that Blackheart has turned Las Vegas into Hell on Earth, which isn’t much of a stretch, and of course it is up to our heros to save the day. Flash Thompson as Venom continues to bring new life to a character that could easily be one note. While this point mini series wont be for everyone it is certainly fun to watch this rag tag team work together to bring Las Vegas back to its… uh hmmm pristine and wholesome image.

Matthew Todd:
Matthew@comicimpact.com
Justice League #6 – Geoff Johns, Jim Lee

After five issues of build-up we finally see the Justice League vs. Darkseid.It should’ve worked on every level. It’s the biggest book featuring DC’s biggest characters and creators. But Justice League #6 felt surprisingly…small. Now granted this book has never been particularly deep since the relaunch but still… for this being the conclusion to the opening arc I still felt like I knew nothing about Darkseid or his motivation. He just shows up through a boom tube, says he’s looking for his daughter and is essentially pushed back into another boom tube, that’s it. That’s the point where issue three should have ended not issue six. Now even rushed as it was you can’t turn away from Jim Lee’s art, it’s great, but you can tell the pages he felt the deadline approaching. I’m still sticking around but for such a promising start I’m not sure what went wrong.

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Scalped #56 – Jason Aaron, RM Guera

Well that issue didn’t go the way I expected and I couldn’t be happier. Writer Jason Aaron continues to surprise us. As we get ever closer to the sixtieth and final issue, and after the shocking events of the last issue Scalped #56 has a tone that is surprisingly…happy. But I have a feeling this moment of peace is just that… a moment. Scalped has never been a series where anyone has gotten away clean and I don’t see that changing but if it does Jason Aaron would be the one to pull it off. RM Guera is bringing his A-Game and just keeps getting better. Scalped is a master class in crime fiction and nothing short of a masterpiece. I recommend that everyone should be reading it.

Simon Daoudi:

Simon@comicimpact.com

Hellraiser #11 – Clive Barker, Robb Humphreys, Mark Miller, Janusz Ordon.

When I was 9 years old, I saw a film which made a big impact on my life. That film was Clive Barker’s “Hellraiser” and I’ve been a fan of it ever since. Last year, Boom! Studios released an on-going series based on the film but I stopped reading at #4.

In this story we saw Pinhead ‘The leader of the Cenobites’ leave hell and return as a human. Now it is Kirsty Cotton who has taken Pinhead’s old job in hell. At the same time, Captain Elliott Spencer (Pinhead) is in this issue remembering his path to becoming the all-powerful Pinhead and we’re here to see it.

If you are a fan of the “Hellraiser” franchise I highly recommend you pick up this story-arc because it’s full of official continuity, probably helped by the fact is is co-written by Clive Barker as well. Pick up one of the most disturbing comics on sale now.

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Justice League #6: Geoff Johns, Jim Lee

For some time now we’ve known that Darkseid would show up in the pages of Geoff John’s and Jim Lee’s Justice League. Being a fan of both Darkseid and his creator, Jack Kirby, I was more than excited to see what DC had to offer us in the show down of this historic first arc of the Justice League.

We got great artwork by Jim Lee, whose art was just visual masturbation. But this was one of the most disappointing scripts by Geoff Johns. The dialogue was forced and unnecessary. The jokes between Flash and Green Lantern felt like I watching a bad children’s cartoon.

There was a backup story with the infamous woman in red who we first met in Flashpoint last year. This was more interesting than the main story in the comic. Overall, Justice League‘s first arc was not that amazing after the first issue in my opinion.

Rob Andrews:
Rob@comicimpact.com

Invincible #89 – Robert Kirkman, Ryan Ottley

I imagine I was not the only person to have felt horrifically misled by what was written on the cover of Invincible this week. It boldly states that it is ‘the first issue in a bold new direction’, which as a matter of fact it is, but I read this as a way of  promoting itself as a good jumping on point for new readers too. Regrettably, this was a terrible place for anyone unfamiliar with the story to jump on.

I’ve read Invincible before many times but havn’t currently been reading it for about a year. I didn’t understand much in this issue at all, aside from being able to remember a few of the other characters.

The issue felt incredibly short, but it did have some great dialogue and fantastic artwork by Ryan Ottley. Do avoid this comic if you’re thinking it’s a good place to start reading. It really is not.

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Hack/Slash #13: Tim Seeley, Dan Leister

Hack/Slash continues to be a fantastic horror comic. I’ve been catching up on the series since it moved to Image Comics from Devils Due a while back. Tim Seeley always writes such fun stories and this one is no exception. It’s wacky, has colourful dinosaurs (colourful talking dinosaurs I might add) with big pink brains and Gorillaconda which is exactly what it sounds like.

Dan Leister provides some fine artwork and together with Seeley’s classic writing we are presented with a shining example of how good Hack/Slash is and has always been. Not to mention that a Hack/Slash comic is never complete without an acceptable level of sexy, which this issue does deliver on, but at one point comes dangerously close to being… er, quite awkward. Regardless, it’s a great series and this issue was top notch. Sexy, wacky, horror. Read Hack/Slash.