BATMAN #49, AQUAMAN #37 & MORE! [Mini-Reviews]

Aquaman #37 Cover

Buy Digital Comic – $3.99

AQUAMAN #37/ Story by DAN ABNETT/ Art by RICCARDO FEDERICI/ Colors by SUNNY GHO/ Letters by STEVE WANDS/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

The war for the soul of Atlantis continues, as King Rath becomes further warped by the power of The Abyssal Dark. The only hope left for the resistance may lie with Arthur Curry’s trident – the one artifact that has done anything to hurt the empowered Rath. But will it be enough?

Little changes in the on-going storyline this month, but Dan Abnett writes compelling action sequences like few others. The art by Riccardo Federici and Sunny Gho is also as beautiful as ever. Those who are already reading this series will find this issue to be typical of the high quality they’ve come to expect. All others would do well to start where the current storyline began and catch up as quickly as possible.

Batman# 49 Cover

Buy Digital Comic – $2.99

BATMAN #49/ Story by TOM KING/ Art by MIKEL JANIN/ Colors by JUNE CHUNG/ Letters by CLAYTON COWLES/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

It’s The Cat vs. The Clown, as The Joker tries to save his arch-enemy from Catwoman. Confused? It will all make sense from a certain point of view.

Much as I loathed Tom King’s three-part story with Booster Gold (which totally mangled Booster’s character for the sake of a joke that wasn’t worth it), I did like this issue despite it being as steeped in metatext as most of King’s Batman run. There’s something fascinating about The Joker interacting with other characters beyond Batman and discussing how they all relate to his arch-enemy in a surprisingly civilized and downright cordial manner. The artwork by Mikel Janin and June Chung also impresses. I’m still of two minds about the wedding (cue the Two-Face jokes) but this Prelude To The Wedding issue is brilliant and stands on its own quite well.

 

Justice League #2 Cover

Buy Digital Comic – $3.99

JUSTICE LEAGUE #2/ Story by SCOTT SNYDER/ Art by JORGE JIMENEZ/ Colors by ALEJANDRO SANCHEZ/ Letters by TOM NAPOLITANO/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

As the new Justice League attempts to recruit Green Lantern John Stewart to aid in the battle with The Totality, The Legion of Doom move to take control of seven hidden forces needed to save all reality.

I’ll say this for Scott Snyder – he does not do things by half measures. There’s more off-the-wall comic-book concepts introduced in this issue than I think Grant Morrison managed during his last Red Bull and mushrooms binge.  Chief among these are The Still Force – an inertia field that is the true opposite of The Speed Force – and an emotional spectrum made of feelings that are kept hidden, that fuels Lantern rings manifesting invisible light.

Ignoring the high concept, this is an engaging read. The artwork by Jorge Jimenez is less satisfying, with character designs that just look odd past the middle-distance. The close-ups, however, are compelling and the action sequences are well-blocked. Alejandro Sanchez’s colors are fantastic throughout.

Bottom line: This is a solid comic and a must read for anyone who likes superheroes.

 

Man of Steel #4 Cover

Buy Digital Comic – $3.99

MAN OF STEEL #4/ Story by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS/ Art by KEVIN MAGUIRE & JASON FABOK/ Colors by ALEX SINCLAIR/ Letters by JOSH REED/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Rogol Zaar has arrived on Earth and he’s out to destroy Superman and Supergirl. Can they stop him and prevent countless civilians from being caught in the collateral damage?

I didn’t bother reviewing this series last week because Man of Steel #3 was so dull. I am bothering to review it this week because Brian Michael Bendis has done the impossible and crafted a story that cannot be improved by Kevin Maguire’s usually amazing artwork.

You’d think they’d be a natural pairing, given Bendis’ tendency for writing length dialogues and Maguire’s skill in drawing animated faces while people stand around talking. Unfortunately, Bendis’ verbosity tests even Maguire’s ability to craft a compelling conversation scene. It also raises some questions about how well Bendis knows these characters, given that he has the hot-headed Green Lantern Hal Jordan calmly asking people about the super-villain that just destroyed a good portion of downtown Metropolis rather than, say, using his ring to track and chase down the hostile alien? You know? Like a Green Lantern would?

The on-going subplot regarding what happened to Lois and Jonathan continues to drag on in the typical Bendis fashion, with no resolution in sight, though the artwork by Jason Fabok is fantastic. If this is what we are to expect from Superman comics from now on, the future is looking bleak for The Man of Tomorrow.

Buy these comics digitally or from your local comic book store!


About Matt Morrison

Matt "Starman" Morrison is The Grand Exalted High Macha of Raspur - a non-existent but real-sounding country. He has been writing about comics since before the word "blogging" was coined. He enjoys acting, role-playing, movie-riffing and sarcasm. You can follow his adventures on Twitter, @GeekyGeekyWays.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *