Comic Review – Detective Comics #965

Detective Comics #965 CoverTim Drake was something of an anomaly among the many people who came to work alongside The Batman in protecting Gotham City. Unlike Dick Grayson and Duke Thomas, he was not chosen as a protege because of a tragedy. Unlike Barbara Gordon and Stephanie Brown, he did not choose to don a costume because of some desperate desire to help while rebelling against a parent. He had not been trained from birth to be a living weapon like Jean-Paul Valley or Cassandra Cain. In the end, Tim became a superhero because he realized the truth that no one else had – that Batman needs a Robin to keep from giving into the darkness completely – and in the absence of any other candidates, Tim had to become Red Robin to save his city and The Batman’s soul.

Had it not been for that fact, Tim would never have chosen the vigilante’s life. Indeed, he planned to leave it, thinking he could do more to help the world by going to college. Yet when a madman’s plan to kill millions of people almost came to pass, Tim Drake chose to make the ultimate sacrifice without complaint. Unable to shut down the killer’s lethal drones, Tim hacked them and sent them after a single target – himself!

That should have been the end of Tim Drake. Everyone, even Batman, thought it was. The truth was far more shocking. Tim had been pulled from reality just seconds before his certain death, imprisoned by Mr. Oz – a mysterious figure with an interest in Superman, who had been interfering with the lives of The Man of Steel and everyone around him. Mr. Oz explained that Tim was far too close to connecting threads that must remain severed and had to be taken off the board.

Who is Mr. Oz? What secret was Tim Drake about to uncover that Mr. Oz had to act to cover up? Why did Mr. Oz bother to save Tim Drake at all, when Tim’s death should have ensured his silence? All these questions and more will be addressed, as the tale is told of a boy who solved the mystery that defied Gotham City’s greatest criminal minds and became the hero his city deserved in the bargain.

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When DC Comics rebooted their universe in 2011, creating what became known as The New 52 Reality, there were several oddities as various creators began to pick and choose which parts of the old universe would remain as a new five-year timeline was created. One of the bigger incongruities was the fact that Batman had acquired four Robins in this five-year span. It was unclear, given the origin stories unique to each Robin, how this was possible. As a result, the story of just how Tim Drake had become Robin in the new reality was completely ignored… until now.

James Tynion IV’s script for Detective Comics #965 draws deeply on the original Tim Drake origin story by Chuck Dixon, updating the details sparingly while keeping the focus firmly on Tim’s character and unique personality. Those unfamiliar with Tim’s backstory can relax, however, as this story is as friendly to new readers as it is conscientious in acknowledging what came before. The details of the events leading to Tim’s “death” are also explained with a minimum of exposition, so those who haven’t been reading Detective Comics can easily jump into the action with this issue. Like, say, those Action Comics readers anxious to learn the identity of Mr. Oz?

Regarding that mystery; the reveal is well-handled and a bit of a stunner that truly will change things in the Superman books. The revelation is largely meaningless within the context of the on-going story of Detective Comics, however, but does hint at big things to come regarding the DC Rebirth story-line as a whole.

Detective Comics has some of the best artists in the business working on it and the team of Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira and Adriano Lucas continue to impress with every passing issue. Barrows’ pencil-work is crisp and clean. Ferreira goes beyond merely outlining Barrow’s pencils, crafting stunning shadows around the original art without drowning the page in ink. Lucas’ colors showing amazing variety, using different tints to subtly note the switch between flashbacks and the present.

8/10


Written by The Critic The Internet Deserves, but not the one it needs right now…. Matt Morrison. He’s a smart-ass guardian. A sarcastic protector. A Snark Knight.

Comic Review – Wonder Woman/Conan #1

It all began in 1940 in All-Star Comics #3, when All-Star Publishing joined their most popular superheroes together as The Justice Society of America. The logic was that kids would be more likely to spend their shiny dimes on a story featuring all their favorite characters working together than a book focused on a single hero or an anthology with multiple, unrelated stories. Logic won out in this case and thus was born both the first superhero team and a long tradition of comic book team-ups.

Hither now comes Wonder Woman/Conan #1, which on the surface might seem the most unlikely pairing in comics’ long history. The popular wisdom is that these two characters could not be more different. Most imagine Conan as an illiterate berserker – a man of few words and swift action. Wonder Woman, comics’ most famous feminist icon, is seen as a calmer presence, given to long thoughts and preaching peace. The truth is quite different in the case of both characters.

While frequently portrayed as dumb muscle in the wake of the Arnold Schwarzenegger Conan movies, the original character was quite different. Described as “strong and supple” in the original pulp fictions by Robert E. Howard, Conan was frequent compared to a panther or a wolf in battle. While he found little use in “the arguments of theologians and scholars”, Conan did understand them, having “squatted for hours in the courtyards of the philosophers.” Conan was also a surprisingly egalitarian character, respecting any who could prove their worth in war, man or woman. And everyone who has seen this summer’s Wonder Woman movie can vouch that The Amazing Amazon is hardly some hippie harridan who shies away from a fight!

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Gail Simone proves the perfect writer to pen this tale. Simone has extensive experience crafting sword-and-sorcery tales, having written a 12-issue arc on Red Sonja that fan-demand expanded to 18 issues. Her Conan/Red Sonja mini-series with Jim Zub – the first team-up between the characters since Marvel Comics held the license for both – was loved by Conan purists as well as fans of The She-Devil With A Sword. Simone is also one of the most respected Wonder Woman writers in the business, having co-written the 2009 animated Wonder Woman movie and a beloved run on the monthly Wonder Woman comic.

Simone’s former partner on the comic, Aaron Lopresti, provides the pencils for this issue. The entirety of this book showcases why Simone and Lopresti’s partnership drew frequent comparison to that of Marv Wolfman and George Perez in terms of the writing and the artwork being of equal eloquence.

10/10


Written by The Critic The Internet Deserves, but not the one it needs right now…. Matt Morrison. He’s a smart-ass guardian. A sarcastic protector. A Snark Knight.

Comic Review – Angelic #1

Angelic #1 Cover

Science-fiction frequently acts as a parable for real-world problems, examining big issues through the lens of a familiar yet different world. Logan’s Run explored the perils of ageism and the worship of youth in a society. Soylent Green built itself around the problem of overpopulation. Even Planet Of The Apes was truly about racism, government corruption and class warfare.

Angelic – a new comic by Simon Spurrier and Casper Wijngaard – is the latest work to join this pantheon of science-fiction masterpieces. What appears to be a simple “talking-animal” comic book at first glance hides a story as complex as any Margaret Atwood novel. The fact that it involves flying monkeys and cyborg dolphins with British accents proves completely incidental.

 

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It is sometime after the fall of Man. The animals of Earth live on, though altered by the science and technology of those who came before. Quantum cats prowl for prey in the wild, demanding attention and love. “Dolts” hunt other animals for the sheer sport of it, flying through them at supersonic speeds. The closest thing to the civilization as it once was lies among the winged monkeys and gibbons.

Our window into this world is Qora – a young “girlmonk” whose questions are a constant source of annoyance to those around her. She questions why only “boymonks” are allowed to be warriors when she is just as fast or smart as any of them. She questions the need to perform the holy rites to “the holy strings… the divine lights… and the sainted glowbox” – artifacts from The Makers that no one understands or even tries to understand. She questions much of The Lore that informs their society.

Such questioning cannot be allowed to stand, particularly when repeated punishment and extra “response-abilities” prove insufficient to stop Qora from saying the elders’ least favorite word – Why? For this reason, the chief warrior selects Qora as a “lowwife” – a girlmonk assigned to the duty of breeding, whose wings are ritually broken so they cannot fly. The highwife speaks of this being a great honor but Qora sees it as the worst punishment ever.

Blasphemous as it may be to call Angelic a fusion of The Wizard of Oz and The Handmaid’s Tale, the comparison to both books is apt. Simon Spurrier’s script brilliantly tackles the conflict between progress and tradition and the conflict between generations among other issues. Indeed, this may be the first story in any medium to address the controversy of female genital mutilation using talking animals.

Casper Wijngaard’s artwork for this first issue looks fantastic throughout. The characters are all illustrated with expressive faces and body language that speaks to their personalities as much as their dialogue. The few action sequences are well-choreographed and the story flows easily from panel to panel.

Skillful an artist as Wijngaard is, the cuteness of his characters is often at odds with the darkness of the script’s subject matter. This may be an intentional choice, as the horrific scenes are all the more shocking given the general bright and cheerful appearance of the book. It remains to be seen how effective that choice will be in the long run, but Angelic #1 is an enjoyable and thought-provoking read.

8/10


Written by The Critic The Internet Deserves, but not the one it needs right now…. Matt Morrison. He’s a smart-ass guardian. A sarcastic protector. A Snark Knight.

Comic Review – The Flash #30

The Flash #30 Cover

Barry Allen’s life is a shambles – romantically, professionally and in his secret life as The Fastest Man Alive… The Flash!

Barry’s girlfriend, Iris West, might not be his girlfriend anymore. She hasn’t spoken to him since his secret identity was revealed to her by his arch-enemy, Eobard Thawne. The battle with The Reverse Flash which followed this revelation ended with Barry just barely escaping the trap that Thawne had set for him with The Speed Force – the otherworldly realm of pure energy that empowers them both.

That freedom came with a price, however, and Barry is now drawing off of the negative pole of The Speed Force. Barely able to control his speed now, Barry’s every quickened step releases destructive vibrations that shake the ground under his feet. Worse yet, using his powers now leaves Barry feeling drained, both physically and mentally, making the usually upbeat and hopeful Barry Allen feel constantly depressed.

This attitude hasn’t helped Barry at work, where Barry was assigned to a secret taskforce charged with finding a dirty cop tampering with evidence. Now officially on the Captain’s last nerve for his continuing absence and refusal to work with his partners, only Barry’s years of good service are preventing him from being fired!

Somehow, things are about to get worse. A new Rogue called Bloodwork has revealed himself and a horrifying power unlike any The Flash has ever encountered before. How can The Flash overcome an enemy who can turn Barry’s own body against him, armed with powers that Barry can’t fully trust?!

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This first chapter of Bloodwork is written in the same vein (pun very much intended) as the classic Flash comics of The Silver Age, with a new villain smack-dab in the middle of the cover and alliterative text urging the prospective buyer to pick up the book. This seems ironic, given that Bloodwork, from his name to his costume to his concept, seems to be born of the Dark Age aesthetic. Of course the phrase “macabre murderer” seems quite appropriate to both eras.

Joshua Williamson’s script balances these contrasts well enough. He also does a fantastic job of subtly portraying Barry’s newfound depression, depicting Barry as increasingly secretive and paranoid. Given that depressives in comics are usually only portrayed as being miserable jerks or suicidal loners, it’s refreshing to see the condition being shown in a more accurate light in addition to it creating a new, relatable angle in regards to The Flash’s altered powers.

Neil Googe’s artwork isn’t quite up to the same standard. There is little consistency between individual panels, with Barry going from looking like John Wesley Shipp with blonde hair in one close-up to suddenly having a thin, elongated face with a pointed chin in the next. Many of Googe’s character expressions just look odd, with a shouting Barry Allen looking look he is about to unhinge his jaw to swallow a live pig, as his eyeballs attempt to escape his head.

The artwork isn’t bad enough to distract from the story completely, but it does render some scenes looking goofier than was intended. Despite this, The Flash #30 is a fine jumping-on issue for new readers and those fans of The Flash TV series looking for a good place to start reading the source material.

7/10.


Written by The Critic The Internet Deserves, but not the one it needs right now…. Matt Morrison. He’s a smart-ass guardian. A sarcastic protector. A Snark Knight.

Grand Opening Guest – Emily Rose Romano

Illustrator, photographer, designer, herder of cats. Emily Rose has been a freelance artist since 2011 and currently lives near McKinney, Texas. Using a wide variety of styles, she draws everything from her “Squishy” style cartoons to realistic portraits. Her favorite subjects are comic and videogame characters as well as family portraits. You can follow her on Instagram @texaswolf or see more of her work at www.emilyroseart.com!
Come out to meet Emily all weekend:
Friday 11:00am-5:00ish pm
Saturday 11:00AM – 5:00ish pm
Sunday pending…

Grand Opening Guest – Izzy “Talin” Collier

Izzy “Talin” Collier has worked as a concept artist with Reaper Miniatures for over two decades, helping produce colorful characters and creatures to help bring tabletop games to life. Known for (or perhaps notorious for, depending on who you ask) her attention to detail, culture, history, ecology, and costume design, she often works alongside some of the industry’s top sculptors to give each design personality, depth, and attitude. Alternatively, “Izzy ‘Talin’ Collier was born a while ago. She hasn’t died yet. Instead, she sits around and draws things.”

Come out and meet Izzy for a Paint & Take event on Friday, 9/15 from 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Comic Review – The Runaways (2017) #1

WARNING: The following review contains spoilers for the original Runaways series and links to spoilers regarding Runaways #1. Abandon this review here and now, and click not upon the preview images below, lest ye be forever spoilered!

Once, there were six kids who mostly couldn’t stand each other. Thankfully, they only had to hang out with each other once a year, while their parents – who were apparently business partners – had a dinner party.  One year the teens discovered that their parents were dangerous super-villains, who had planned for them to take over the family business! The kids did the only thing they could do. They ran away.

In time, The Runaways learned how to make use of the powers and resources that were their inheritance. Despite the vast odds against them, they returned to face down their parents and bring them to justice…

 

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With Marvel Entertainment developing a Runaways series for Hulu, it was inevitable that Marvel Comics would attempt to revive the series as a  monthly comic. It was also inevitable that steps would have to be taken in order to make this new series as much like the original Runaways as possible.

This is problematic for a number of reasons – all of which make the new Runaways #1 a tricky comic to discuss. The basic plot is impossible to relate without revealing some major details regarding the original Runaways comics. Marvel Comics hasn’t made that discussion any easier, as their solicitation for this issue spoils the entire story and makes it plainly clear just how they plan to go about restoring the status quo of the original series.

This begs the question – without revealing anything that would spoil the story for old and new readers alike, is Runaways #1 worth reading?

Well, it depends. If you’re unfamiliar with the previous Runaways series and these characters, there’s a few things in this book that will go over your head. If you are familiar with the previous Runaways series and these characters, there’s a few things in this book that will annoy you.

Taken on its own merits, however, there is a lot to admire about Runaways #1. While half the cast on the cover is absent from this issue, the Runaways who are present are written true to form and instantly recognizable as individuals. It helps that writer Rainbow Rowell is a beloved young-adult fiction author and her take on the characters does make them sound like real teenagers – a shocking rarity in comics based around young heroes.

The artwork is less clear-cut. Artist Kris Anka drew some early criticism for his character designs. While not sexualizing his teenage charges as badly as the likes of Frank Cho, Anka does draw the characters in clothing that seem inconsistent with their previous personalities. Despite this incongruity, Anka remains a fantastic visual storyteller and the action flows smoothly and naturally from panel to panel.

So what’s the verdict? Despite a certain level of mystery for old and new readers alike, this book does conform to Stan Lee’s stipulation that every comic should be written as if it were someone’s first. Despite some issues with the character designs, the art is delivered competently. It may take another issue or two to find its footing but there is enough good in Runaways #1 to encourage giving it a chance.

6/10


Written by The Critic The Internet Deserves, but not the one it needs right now…. Matt Morrison. He’s a smart-ass guardian. A sarcastic protector. A Snark Knight.

Comic Review – Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor: Year Three #9 (The Lost Dimension – Part 3)

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor: Year Three #9 - Part 3 of The Lost Dimension CoverOnce upon a time at a science-fiction convention, legendary writer Neil Gaiman was asked how to simply sum-up the television series Doctor Who to someone who had never seen it, before they sat down to watch any random episode. One might think this a daunting task given the show’s infamously complex continuity. After all, Doctor Who is over fifty years old and has spawned innumerable media including novels, radio plays and stage plays. And comic books, of course!

Undeterred by the questioning conventioneer, Gaiman spake thus.

“…There’s a blue box. It’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. It can go anywhere in time and space and sometimes even where it’s meant to go. And when it turns up, there’s a bloke in it called The Doctor and there will be stuff wrong and he will do his best to sort it out and he will probably succeed ’cause he’s awesome.”

It is a simple yet elegant summary and Titan Comics’ current Doctor Who crossover mini-series, The Lost Dimension, is born of the same easy accessibility. The title page opens with a description of The Doctor as an immortal alien, who can regenerate a new body in moments of great stress and notes that The Doctor’s various incarnations are only allowed to cross their own timeline and interact with one another on the “dire days” when “the fabric of the universe is threatened.”

This, clearly, is one of those dire days.

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The issue opens with The Tenth Doctor having a vision of one of his past incarnations in pain, before he and his current companions (aspiring artist Gabby Gonzales and her best friend, Cindy Wu) are pulled from the time stream and forced to land on a futuristic power plant. A power fluctuation in the space station turns out to be responsible for the turbulence but it’s nothing The Doctor can’t fix. What proves trickier, however, is a sudden manifestation of the strange energy that seems to have attacked The Doctor’s past self…

Despite being the third part of The Lost Dimension, a new reader could easily jump into the Tenth Doctor series with this issue and follow the action of the story without difficulty. This chapter also neatly fits into the on-going action of the series’ regular storyline, without disrupting anything as is frequently common in comic-book crossovers. Fans of The Tenth Doctor who have never read the comics before will appreciate writer Nick Abadzis’ command of the character and hear David Tennant’s voice in their heads as they read the dialogue.

The artwork shows an equal level of care and craft. Though artists Carlos Cabrera, Mariano Laclaustra and Fer Centurion usually work on The Twelfth Doctor series, they prove just as capable of caricaturing David Tennant as they do Peter Capaldi. The action sequences are as thrilling as anything you’d see on the show and the colors by Hernan Cabrera look fantastic throughout.

Sadly, the issue is not without flaw. The fast pace of the story doesn’t allow any time for Cindy and Gabby to be revealed as characters to new readers. As a result, neither of them show their usual spirit. A larger problem is that The Doctor doesn’t really do anything in this story except type on a computer, which – while causing things to happen – doesn’t speak to the usual hyper-kinetic tone of The Tenth Doctor, who usually runs around shouting “Allons-y!” as all heck breaks loose.

Still, if this is your first trip on The TARDIS in comic-book form, Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor: Year Three #9 will prove a satisfying adventure. The artwork is great and the story, despite a bit of flatness in the characters this time around, is good. Fans of the TV series, however, might want to see where it all began in Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor: Vol. 1 – Revolutions of Terror.

8/10


Written by The Critic The Internet Deserves, but not the one it needs right now…. Matt Morrison. He’s a smart-ass guardian. A sarcastic protector. A Snark Knight.

Comic Review – The Realm #1

It has been fifteen years since magic found its way back into the world and, in doing so, destroyed it. Orcs, trolls, dragons and all manner of beast mankind did not have names for stepped out of the mists of legend and into reality, laying waste to civilization.

Now, what remains of humanity struggles for survival in a world they no longer control. While many have descended into barbarism and built small fiefdoms based on strength of arms and banditry, some people still work to maintain some semblance of the old ways.

Will Nolan is such a person. A soldier before the end of the world, Will has turned his gifts for scouting and survival into a lucrative career as a problem solver. Need someone to rescue your kid from the slavers or escort you to the next big city?  Will is your man.

Unbeknownst to Will, his latest assignment will prove to be more than a simple guide gig. The people who have hired Will seek a means of saving their world from the evils that threaten it and Will Nolan may find himself thrust into the most unlikely of roles – hero.

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Modify your Fallout 4 game with monsters from Skyrim, and you might have something very much like the world of The Realm. Of course the idea of a magically-facilitated apocalypse is hardly original. S.M. Stirling explored similar ideas in his Emberverse series. And who could forget the movie Reign of Fire, in which the return of dragons heralds the end of humanity’s dominance of The Earth?

Thankfully, The Realm #1 suggests a far bigger world than is apparent at a casual glance. Writer Seth M. Peck does a masterful job of defining and expanding the setting by showing it to us rather than having the characters tell each other things about the world around them that they logically should already know. Indeed, the dialogue is smooth and natural, with even the so-called kings of the wasteland sounding like real people rather than characters in a story.

What truly makes The Realm stand out among other dystopian fantasy stories, however, is its protagonist. Will Nolan is a man of war and a pragmatist, but he hasn’t allowed Armageddon to dull his sense of what is right. There is something about Will that grabs the reader’s attention immediately, making him into a likeable and sympathetic figure.

The artwork by Jeremy Haun matches Seth M. Peck’s script in complexity and fluidity. There is a remarkable paradox at play in Haun’s work, which portrays the grittiness of the end of the world with a unique sense of clarity. The line work is clean, yet subtly suggests the decay and dinginess of the setting. The color art by Nick Filardi helps to complete the illusion.

The Realm #1 might not be the most unique idea for a fantasy or post-apocalyptic comic ever but it is certainly one of the most well-executed books to grace the genre. Seth M. Peck, Jeremy Haun and Nick Fildari have created something truly magical and a wise reader will hire on with Will Nolan to take this journey now.

10/10


Written by The Critic The Internet Deserves, but not the one it needs right now…. Matt Morrison. He’s a smart-ass guardian. A sarcastic protector. A Snark Knight.

Grand Opening Guest – Jessica von Braun

Jessica von Braun is a Mixed Media Artist, traditional artist and digital painter, photo-manipulation // photo collage illustrator, sketch artist. Most pieces include all of the above techniques combined for a finished piece of artwork. Her traditional pieces vary in medium, crayon, colored pencil, watercolor, ink and acrylic. Most of her traditional pieces include all of these mediums.

Born and raised in San Diego, CA she now resides in Fort Worth, TX. Her work is sometimes cute and and sometimes melancholy, sometimes both.

Her published cover work includes The Greystone Valley Series (Grey Gecko Press), Dollface issue 10 (Action Lab Comics) and Extra Mojo (Hidden Charms Press). Her pinup work is published by Image comics (Moriarty hardcover, Red City issue #3) and Action Lab (Zombie Tramp issue #4). Her illustrations have been featured on the Hulu original series ‘Deadbeat’, and she has published work for The Stan Lee Foundation, So So Happy as well as art for performers mc chris and Rhyan Sinclair (All the Little Pieces), illustration work for Doom Ranch 5000 and is a regular designer for Chibi Essence. Her illustrated story starter book titled ‘The Dreams of the Invisible Girl’, authored by Chuck Huber, was published with Hound Comics. She is also a resident artist at the PoP Gallery, located in Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) in Orlando.

She used to think that if you rode in a hot air balloon you could catch clouds in a jar, but you can’t. When she was a child she aspired to be a tree frog and would hop around her house with olives on her fingers.

Come out and meet Jessica von Braun on Friday 9/15 11:00am – 1:30pm!

 

Comic Review – Green Arrow #30

Image result for green arrow #30Despite only lasting a paltry 14 issues in its original run, Green Lantern/Green Arrow changed American comic books forever. Written by Dennis O’Neil with art by Neal Adams in 1970, the series paired Justice League allies Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen on a mission far greater than thwarting any bank robbery. The two heroes – one a career military man turned intergalactic space cop, the other a bankrupted billionaire turned modern-day Robin Hood – set off in a beat-up truck on a soul-searching journey to heal the broken heart of America.

The series introduced realistic problems into the world of superheroes. It also grounded the high-flying Hal Jordan and forced him to examine his role as a hero in a new light while simultaneously forcing the idealistic Oliver Queen to realize he couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

Green Lantern’s power ring allowed him to do anything his will allowed, but what good was it when it came to feeding the hungry? What use is a system of laws when evil can twist those laws into a shield and what is legal is more of a concern than what is right? What difference could one good man with a noble spirit truly make when faced with uncountable cold hearts with unlimited resources?

These questions still remain with us nearly fifty years later and they lie at the heart of Green Arrow #30. This is the first book since the start of DC Rebirth to team Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen together. It is also the first comic in several years to capture the classic friendship between two heroes that were once best friends and brothers in arms despite their political differences, as well as the mystique of the classic O’Neil and Adams books.

Artist and colorist Otto Schmidt’s style is almost a complete 180 from that of Neal Adams. Schmidt’s pencils are rougher and sketchier. His colors are darker and moodier. Yet both artists share a sense of complexity and dynamic action that seem perfectly suited to the adventures of Green Arrow.


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Benjamin Percy’s script taps into the spirit of the classic O’Neil stories almost immediately with a timely montage that speaks to the current zeitgeist of America. This sequence also doubles as an effective piece of exposition, smoothly detailing the story so far in Green Arrow since the start of Rebirth. Despite this issue being Part Five of the Hard-Traveling Hero storyline, a new reader could easily jump in on this issue and feel like they were missing nothing.

Well, almost nothing. The one exception to this feeling of approachability is a quick sequence detailing Black Canary and Red Arrow’s continuing efforts to thwart a human trafficking operation in Green Arrow’s home-town of Seattle. The sequence, while as effectively handled as the rest of the script, comes out of nowhere and isn’t as easily accessible to new readers as the main plot with Hal and Ollie.

Despite this, Green Arrow #30 remains an enjoyable comic. It will prove a welcome slice of nostalgia for classic Arrow-heads as well as an excellent introduction to one of the great classic heroic duos in comics. The Emerald Allies are back and it’s like they never left!

9/10


Written by The Critic The Internet Deserves, but not the one it needs right now…. Matt Morrison. He’s a smart-ass guardian. A sarcastic protector. A Snark Knight.

Comic Review – Elsewhere #2

Amelia Earhart is having the mother of all bad days.

It started when she and her navigator, Fred, started having engine trouble over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to fly around the world. Forced to use their parachutes, Amelia had Fred jump first only to see him being drawn into some strange flash of light! Amelia barely had time to bail out of the plane herself, before she too was pulled into the portal.

Strung up in her cord lines from a tree, Amelia was saved by two men, Cort and Tavel. It was obvious to look at them that they weren’t exactly human, let alone American! They, in turn, were confused about her insistence that they were speaking English when it was perfectly clear she was speaking their language or her ignorance regarding Lord Kragen – the tyrant whose dungeons Cort and Tavel had just escaped!

As the three traded information, two interesting facts emerged. Just before they liberated themselves, Cort and Tavel had heard mention of one of the “planes” that Amelia spoke of flying like a dragon. Apparently Lord Kargen’s forces had captured a plane as well as a man with skin like Amelia’s.

The two rebels proved surprisingly agreeable to helping Amelia break back into the dungeon to rescue her friend. The bad news is “the man like you” turned out not to be Fred, but a man named D.B. Cooper. The worse news is that Cooper claimed to be from 1971 and that as far as the world knew, Amelia Earhart was lost at sea back in the 1930s…

Elsewhere #2 continues to weave the spell-binding fantasy epic promised by its first issue. This chapter begins to move beyond the base premise of the series – Imagine Amelia Earhart as John Carter – and starts to develop itself into something with a little more depth than a one sentence synopsis. The pulp influence remains strong throughout and fans of classic action/adventure tales will find a lot to enjoy in this series.

The highlight of this issue is the interplay between Amelia and her new companion, D.B. Cooper. There is an immediate tension between the two, with D.B. questioning Amelia’s priorities in the wake of everything that has happened. Amelia doesn’t get a chance to question D.B. about his past (not that he’d give a straight answer) but those who know their aviation history can see that pairing these two together cannot end well.

The artwork by Sumeyye Kesgin and Ron Riley proves as astonishing as in the first issue. Kesgin has established the world of Elsewhere as being truly unworldly, with people that look vaguely humanoid and animals that are oddly familiar. It is the similarities that are as jarring as the differences and truly make it seem like we are looking upon an alien world with a unique aesthetic. Ron Riley further adds life to this world with his vivid colors.

The only real weakness to this issue is the sedate pace. Writer Jay Faerber takes his time in establishing the world and the protagonists so there’s relatively little in the way of action apart from the sequence where D.B. and Amelia escape from the dungeon. Thankfully, the cliff-hanger conclusion promises action aplenty when Elsewhere #3 opens.

9/10


 Written by The Critic The Internet Deserves, but not the one it needs right now…. Matt Morrison. He’s a smart-ass guardian. A sarcastic protector. A Snark Knight. Read his review of Elsewhere #1 here.

Grand Opening Guest – Hector Rodriguez III

Meet the creator of El Peso Hero, and Cofounder of Texas Latino Comic Con Hector Rodriguez. El Peso Hero has been one the most internationally talked about Latino superhero in decades. ​With modern social issues such immigration, human trafficking and institutional corruption, El Peso Hero has garnered attention and praise from the Latino community and been featured on Univision, CNN, Telemundo, Fusion, NBC, CW, La Reforma, PRI The World and countless of other media sites worldwide. It has even won the prestigious Emmy Award for best news story by Univision news anchor Angel Pedrero and has won the 2016 Innovator Award by the Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce!

Come out and meet Hector Rodriguez III Sunday 9/17 12:00pm – 4:00pm.