Flash: Rebirth #1 Review

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Ethan Van Sciver
Publisher: DC Comics

I was a long time reader of the Flash. I read from the issue #82 of Wally’s series through the Waid issues, the Morrison and Millar year and through the John’s issues where my interest wained, and I eventually dropped the Flash after the much-maligned “Fastest Man Alive” series started. Having started reading comics in the early 1990’s, I’ve never read a Barry Allen story except for the odd guest appearances he had through Wally’s series. To be quite honest, I would’ve quite happy for it to stay that way. Why bring back a character who has been dead for over twenty years?
Well he’s been brought back and his first issue is quite pedestrian, in fact for a whole 30 story pages I really expect a lot more the reminiscing and idolatry of Barry Allen that occurs. Yes the reminiscing comes from a variety of the Flash Alumni and other lasting DC Characters, how Barry has affected their lives and hero careers, but the actual page count left for story advancements is incredibly low. The few portents that are apparent do intrigue, and the snippets that link back through all the Flash’s previous adventures do pique the interest. It’s nice to see how the Flash lineage links together but I need more to get me coming back.

Proof #18 Review

Writer: Alex Grecian
Artist: Riley Rossmo
Publisher: Image Comics

We’ve stepped back to London in the mid nineteenth century, a time when this comics’ lead Bigfoot, Proof, goes by the name of Gulliver and resides with a circus / freak show. It’s a time in London when the Metropolitan police only have Ten detectives and therefore not a time when you want the mysterious Springheel Jack to be on a spree, murdering women. Detective August McKraken goes to the circus looking for help, and it’s through his words we’re guided through the recent happenings of London Town.
We’re also presented with some other residents of the circus, some tragic, some familiar, some with a deal of intrigue involved with their presence all part of Proof’s previously unrevealed past.
This is all wrapped up in Riley Rossmo’s unique artwork. You can look at a couple of individual lines or areas of his work, and it looks loose and scratchy, but his vision makes these parts of a whole come together in amazing ways creates an incredible ambiance across the book.
To tie up the package, Proof not only features a letters page, but a back up story, newspaper clippings a guest article and Pin-ups. There is not one ad in the book, not even a house ad.
Proof #18 is a good jumping on point, and well worth the look.

Irredeemable #1 Advance Review

Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Peter Krause
Publisher: Boom! Studios

So, I’m writing this review after the ‘sugar rush’ effect of reading the first issue Irredeemable. You get this feeling rarely in comics, when you go in not necessarily expecting anything from a comic, but getting everything.

Mark Waid has come out with an incredible first issue, an introduction to a world where the ‘Plutonium’, a Superman archetype has turned from his heroic ways. What would happen if the most powerful person on the planet started murdering women and children? Well the vicious killings happen in the first few pages, and the shocks go on from there.
True to comic convention, the Plutonian had once banded with his super-powered peers, but they can’t escape his murderous ways either. Now, they’re on the run in fear for their lives. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen heroes with this sense of panic, this sense of fear, and that fear oozes off the page causing the momentum to build exponentially.
Peter Krause’s detailed artwork brings the world to life and without his immense skill with the little things from the characters facial expression’s to lobotomy scars, this couldn’t work as well.
I must also mention Andrew Dalhouse’s colouring perfectly finishes off the mood. The flashbacks, which give us insight into the Plutonian’s heroic beginnings, are bright and bathed in light. This stark contrast with the darkness of the present scenes ramps up the tension.
When you see this on the shelf of your local comics store, when you see the tick box on your online order form. MAKE SURE YOU PICK THIS UP.
Irredeemable is unrelenting in it’s flow, it’s shocks, it’s power and it’s pure brilliance.

My Change in Comic Buying

Firstly, I must apologise for the lack of updates, My Wife and I have our second child due in the next month, and sorting things out has gotten rather hectic.

Also this week, my comic reading life has undergone a radical change, mainly due to this Lying in the Gutters post. After a previous December ’08 increase in Diamond UK’s wholesale prices, they had announced a further rise. I spoke to my high street comic shop, and double checked what their new prices would be. From April I would have been charged £2.55 for a $2.99 comic or £3.45 for a $3.99 comic.
After the December price rise I had already reduced my standing order comics. I had to get rid of DnA’s fantastic Marvel Cosmic books, they had one no wrong and were consistently excellent, but the onslaught of the $3.99 tastic War of Kings forced me out. Other books I was on the fence with had already gone, I was essentially already down to only the books i was consistently finding fantastic.
I had one choice, mail order. The exchange rate and postage prices killed the option of services like DCBS, and eventually a Google search found 86th Floor, who have answering my questions and given superior service already.
From now on, the majority of my comics will hit the Door Mat once a month. I’ll still traipse to the LCS to pick up books to review, but reviews might be less current, but no less valid.
Thankfully, I, and especially my Wife are looking forward to the extra money that is well needed in this current climate.

Super Zombies #1 Review

Writer: Marc Guggenheim & Vince Gonzales
Artist: Mel Rubi
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment

Dynamite are being very bold in bringing Super Zombies onto the comic racks: firstly, it can’t help but evoke thoughts of Marvel’s successful Marvel Zombies line, and secondly, not many companies have been successful bringing new powered individuals onto the market place.
I’m glad to say that, tonally, Marvel Zombies and Super Zombies share little in common. Super Zombies is set not too far in the future and is a tale of science gone wrong, of a corrupted mind seemingly going too far, and of powered individuals (it’s not yet clear whether they’re heroes) fighting for the future.
The books premise holds well throughout, but this premiere issue gets slightly bogged down by the size of it’s cast. It introduces so many characters that you can’t quite connect to any one.
Hopefully, as the book progresses it will gain more focus in this aspect and if it does, this will be a book to watch.

THE NEWs for… March 4th 2009

Every week there’s a plethora of new comic releases vying for your attention.

Here’s your guide to what will be new on the comic rack on Wednesday 4th March. What are you going to try?

Jersey Gods #2 Advance Review

Writer: Glen Brunswick
Artist: Dan McDaid
Publisher: Image Comics

Jersey Gods #1 set off to a flying start, it was one of the best opening issues I’d read in a while and left me really wanting to get my hands on issue #2. But there can be one main problem when a series start off so strongly: can it possibly live up to expectations?
Well I can tell you now, Issue 2 broke the expectation barrier down with a sledgehammer in it’s opening pages. It’s not just as good as issue #1, it’s better.

I think the main thing that sets this comic apart from it’s peers is that the characters are contagiously likeable. You’re instantly rooting for the good guys, smiling at their interactions and burgeoning relationships, laughing at their small talk. Part of this is from Brunswick’s use of switching the narrative device between characters, the other from seeing the words just ‘fit’ with each member of the cast.
Again, like issue #1, this issue the backdrop is switched seamlessly from the Cherry Hill Mall, to the God’s world of Neboron. The change from the benign to the wondrous is something that Dan McDaid handles so well and really adds to the ambiance.
I cannot understate just how much I recommend this series. It’s a pure joy to read.