Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Copperhead #10

It's been quite a quick weekend in my opinion. It's also been a busy one, as I complete some tasks in my life so that I can prepare for an important..... project I have planned for early next year.

As always, image taken from Comixology.
But that doesn't mean I can't fit at least one comic into my days off and that one comic happens to be Copperhead #10 which was finally released last week.

This issue of Firefly on a planet (because, come on, it totally is in tone) caps off the current arc with Bronson and her posse sneaking into city of crime Bastion to find and rescue deputy Boo, who isn't exactly endearing himself to Zolo and his gang as they hold him hostage.

Although it took me a minute to catch myself back up on what was happening (it has been quite a while since #9 came out), I really enjoyed this issue and how it finished this story. A couple of scenes made me chuckle, how Ishmael partook in bar fight for information as well as the Sheriff Bronson impersonating a whore in a brothel in order to catch Zolo's brother and get a hostage of her own.

That said, I did find the issue felt very quick to tie up this particular arc. I was also kind of disappointed regarding Zolo's exit from the title as I thought he'd have been a rather interesting reoccurring bad guy going forward.

However, I still really enjoyed this book, as I thought it sort of solidified the relationship between Bronson and Boo, reinforcing any mutual respect between them.

As with most of the books I read (naturally), I really can't wait for the next issue, especially as the prison escape plot from earlier in the series looks set to finally impact the main characters in the here and now (starting with a final shock regarding the Mayor).

It's just a shame that the final page is a letter detailing a delay in issue 11's release. I guess I'll have to learn patience.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Lazarus #19

The week has come to an end (well, almost. Still have a half day of work remaining) and so to has the catch up of my September Comics I picked up last weekend. But after Daredevil and the surprise which was Earth 2: Society #4, I was confident my week of reading enjoyment wouldn't be spoilt with the final issue on the list.

And, boy, Lazarus #19 certainly did not disappoint!!!

Issue 19 picked up straight from the prior instalment, with Forever still dead on the floor as her resurrection power no longer seems to work. This results in Casey Solomon and her team to continue their mission with their Lazarus' assistance while, back at the labs, James and Bethany try to figure out what has gone wrong with the youngest Carlyle. Meanwhile, as this happens, wayward Carlyle Johanna is putting her own plans in motion, recruiting her brother Jonah's right hand, Mason, to arrange a meeting between her and someone currently in the labs.

I've said it many times before but I'll gladly say it again; this is an amazing comic and this issue once again confirms it. However, it isn't the action as I read which I love, but the machinations which are subtly forming in the background. I now need the next issue like air to my lungs just to find out what Johanna and her stooge are planning.

Of course, that doesn't take anything away from the here and now as Forever's death causes so many characters to crumble, which is superbly portrayed by Lark and Arcas (I've seriously got to get Gotham Central). From the squad she was leading to big brother and current boss Stephen, it's almost like the Lazarus is the only thing which gives their lives meaning. Now, I didn't think for a second that Rucka would actually kill off his main character, but I loved seeing everyone's reaction to their perceived loss of her.

I'm already suffering the withdrawal of having to wait another month for the next instalment here, this is a fantastic book which is pure fan service, what with all the custom adverts, back filler and letters pages, which just makes me need to know what will happen next every single month.

So, it's safe to say I'm glad that Lazarus capped off my September reads, although I strongly suspect it'll have to be first in my reading list come the time to collect Octobers comics.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Earth 2: Society #4

I decided to continue my catch up of all of my September comics last night, after reading the Daredevil finale earlier in the week. This time came a choice between Lazarus, a Sci-fi/political book I'm loving, or Earth 2 Society, a superhero book I'm just not feeling.

The choice was simple: Earth 2 Society as then I wouldn't finish the completion of all books on a low note. Start good, finish good, leave the bad stuff in the middle!

Well, I read it and, surprisingly, Earth 2 Society #4 was a lot better than I anticipated.

This issue focused on Val-Zod, the Earth 2 Superman, as he builds and maintains a new city on Earth 2 during his self-imposed exile. When he is approached by Batman who is wanting answers about what happened last issue, the Man of Steel tells the story of why he is in hiding, the reasons for his actions and why Power Girl can't stand him.

I really enjoyed this issue, which is quite a shock because I've struggled on the last three and that's why it's been cut from my pull list. However, it's almost like the book wants to fight as the story focused more on explaining some of the things which happened between Convergence and the present day, giving me a better effort of getting me invested in the world this story inhabits. Of course, it's better that it is Superman's story as I think Val-Zod is the best creation of this series.

However, while it is a better issue, I still found a lot of problems with it which kept me from fully enjoying it. These include the big bad which, while is not the main focus here, still looms in the background. The problem I have is, while a villain has been provided for this story, I was kind of hoping for this book to be more about the world building than 'New World, same stopping villains' mentality. Instead it feels like I've been dropped in the middle of a story with little explanation as to the why these things are happening.

And then, as a side note, there is Batman. I'm starting to think that there must be a corporate mandate to making all versions of the character have identical personalities because the Dick Grayson Batman feels less like Dick Grayson and more like every other Batman I've read.

For me, the draw of this book continues to be Jorge Jimenez's art, which is totally out there and away from superhero standard, but still makes the book look epic(ish). That said there were a few flaws in it here and there this time around which dropped it's greatness (though not enough to dismiss it entirely).

As a whole, issue 4 was a better issue to me than the past three. However, it still might not be enough for me to change my mind on the series when my final mandatory pick up (I had to order issue 5) comes along. That said, if the fifth issue improves upon this one, then at least I'll get a good send off from the book.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Daredevil #18

This weekend was a bit of a treat for me (well, actually, two treats as I got to go to a Lego convention. Totally awesome!!!) as, for the first time in quite a while, I got to go into my local comic book shop and pick up my books myself. It wasn't many books, only three (as well as two back issues), but it was just nice to have new reading material.

The final issue of Waid and Samnee's
awesome run. Photo taken from Comixology
And so, on Monday night, I got started on my new goods by reading through Daredevil #18, the final issue of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee's run, as well as the final new Marvel issue I will be picking up for the foreseeable future (back issues don't count in my opinion).

This issue, saw the current storyline come to an end with Daredevil coming face to face with the Kingpin to play one final gamble to save his friends and tie up all his loose ends (including his autobiography.

Now, I've admitted a couple of times in the past that this volume of DD wasn't my favourite (as it seemed to lose something from Waid and Samnee's previous volume). However, this finale was absolutely fantastic from start to finish. It really felt like Waid was finishing the story on his own terms rather than setting up for the next creative teams start and that really helped it as the story progressed at the right pace.

Meanwhile, I realised in this issue that Samnee draws a fricking incredible Kingpin, who looks as the Kingpin should with a little Vincent D'Onofrio in his face. It was also nice that Samnee's 'DD vision' showed up, albeit intermittently, in the issue as that has always been a major draw to the book for me from month to month.

What was best about this issue though is that not only did Kristen MacDuffie survive (I really expected her to die here) but Matt maintained (mostly) the more optimistic personality right up to the last page. That was a good call because this run worked best with the lighter tone.

So, a good way (for me) to see this book off. While I was a little tempted to see what Charles Soule did with the character (his She-Hulk run is one of the back issues I picked up), seeing him in a black suit put me off and, in truth I'd rather finish with a good memory of the character.

Of course, with Waid and Samnee now moving to Black Widow, Marvel might still be able to sell me at least one of their books.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Silver Surfer: Requiem

It's been a bit of a slow week for me. Long hours working coupled with fitting in a couple of comic reviews for Pipedream Comics has meant finding little time to on comics just for me (although those books I have read weren't exactly a chore) or even getting the chance to talk about them here.

However, I decided early on that I would try and at least read one thing and so, over many nights before going to bed I decided to re-read Silver Surfer Requiem.

Photo taken from Comixology
For those not in the know, this is a book which charts the final days of Norrin Radd, a.k.a. The Silver Surfer, who after discovering that his powers are fading and he is dying, says a final farewell to the Earth before travelling the galaxy to reach Zenn-La, his home world, before his time runs out.

I love this title and as soon as I began reading it again on Monday night, I was reminded about why I love it so much. Requiem is an true epic in every sense of the word (although I think epic might be underselling it a bit) which not only shows the grand beauty of the Marvel Universe but also makes me realise just how awesome the Silver Surfer actually is.

And he is awesome!!! J. Michael Straszynski portrays Norrin Radd as an incredibly wise person who, despite the destructive reasons behind his origin, comes across as immensely peaceful (I wish I could feel as at peace as the Surfer comes across throughout this book). JMS does such beautiful work charting Norrin's journey that I often think that it is the best work he's ever done (and I read his Thor run).

Then, there is Esad Ribic's art, which is like a cross between Alex Ross and a fairy tale. In fact, his art adds to the epic nature of the book so much that upon reading it this time I wondered if it was book depicting a god more than a superhero.

Having read it before and now reading it again, it struck me this time how heroic the Surfer really is, like he was destined to save people. From a flashback to his original offer to Herald for Galactus through to his sharing his cosmic power with all Earth's population and even his ending a long-suffering war (in what is a truly incredible set piece), Norrin Radd is shown as a man who looks to save lives because it's his nature and not as some redemption for past actions.

I could maybe go on and on about what I love about this book (including a Fantastic Four appearance, which helps elevate it higher in my opinion) but I have to go back to work in a second. What I will say is this; with seriously dream-like art and great writing with some memorable lines (the "let all places be holy" speech will stay with me for a long while), this book has made me want to see more of the Silver Surfer taking part in such grand events.

If Marvel could give me an ongoing book that's even a tenth of the greatness this is, then I'd come back to them to read it. But, regardless, whether they do or don't I have Requiem on my shelf to read as often as I like.

Because it was the best cosmic book I read when I bought it and still is to this day.