HEROES IN CRISIS #1 AND MORE! [Mini-Reviews]

Domino Annual #1 CoverDOMINO ANNUAL #1/ Script by GAIL SIMONE, FABIAN NICIEZA, DENNIS HOPELESS & LEAH WILLIAMS/ Art by VICTOR IBANEZ, JUAN GEDEON, LEONARD KIRK, NATACHA BUSTOS & MICHAEL SHELFER/ Colors by JAY DAVID RAMOS & JESUS ABURTOV/ Letters by VC’S CLAYTON COWLES / Published by MARVEL COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

There’s quite a lot to take out of Domino Annual #1, which seems like a throwback to the “good old days” when annuals usually held several stories rather than one big one. That’s the case here, with monthly Domino title author Gail Simone telling the tale of how Domino first formed “The Posse” (i.e. her team with Outlaw and Diamondback).

Probably the weakest of the stories is Fabian Nicieza’s “The Good Fight” but that’s largely due to it seeming more like a Cable story than a Domino one and being far more serious in tone than the rest of the book. It isn’t bad but a story about Cable thinking about his past while sharing a bathtub with Domino sticks out like a sore thumb amid stories of Domino trying to cheer up Colossus after his dream wedding fell through and Domino helping Nightcrawler organize a support group for mutants who can’t pass for human. Still, the artwork is excellent across the board and there’s nothing explicitly wrong with standing apart from the crowd, as Domino herself proves.

Bottom Line?  This annual has a little something for everyone who is a fan of Domino – old school or new school, there’s great art and good stories aplenty.

 

The Flash #55 CoverTHE FLASH #55/ Story by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON/ Art by SCOTT KOLINS/ Colors by LUIS GUERRERO/ Letters by STEVE WANDS/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

It’s Halloween in Central City but the ghosts haunting The Flash are all too real. It seems The Sage Force – the latest of the powers unleashed by the breaking of The Speed Force – has found a host in the pyromaniac Heatwave. Now Mick Rory’s nightmares of his victims dying in fire are threatening to leave everyone burned.

Joshua Williamson continues to explore the mystery of the powers hastening the destruction of the DC Universe. While I’m personally far more interested in the return of a classic Rogue revealed at the end of the last issue, I must admit that Williamson spins a riveting tale, even it wasn’t what I’d hoped to see this time around. His story is brought to life by Scott Kolins, who is known as one of the quintessential Flash artists for good reason. The colors of Luis Guerrero and Steve Wands’ letters provide the perfect finishes to the book.

The only real weakness to The Flash #55 is that while a new reader could jump into the story with this issue, there’s enough subplots here so that only the established fans can truly appreciate everything that is going on. Regardless, this is still a solid book with good art that will give fans of The Flash everything they could hope for.

 

Heroes In Crisis #1 CoverHEROES IN CRISIS #1/ Story by TOM KING/ Art by CLAY MANN/ Colors by TOMEU MOREY/ Letters by CLAYTON COWLES/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

There is a secret place called Sanctuary – a trauma clinic that offers superheroes the specialized care that their injuries require. Unfortunately, that secret safe space has come under attack and a killer is on the loose.

Those who thought Tom King couldn’t possibly annoy audiences anymore after the debacle of Batman #50 and the wedding of the year that wasn’t will be stunned to find he has managed that task with Heroes In Crisis #1. Rather than the tribute to real-world heroes and the pains that soldiers suffer as viewed through the lens of a VA Hospital for superheroes that this series was promoted as, we are given a set-up to a half-hearted murder-mystery that kills characters purely for the sake of publicity. It is a cynical ploy, unworthy of the sense of Hope that DC Rebirth was meant to have restored, and it is burdened by terrible characterization to boot – something that will not surprise anyone who remembers how King mismanaged Booster Gold for the sake of a joke in an earlier Batman arc.

Artist Clay Mann really deserves better than to have to illustrate this story. Mann’s work is beautiful and perfectly complemented by Tomeu Moorey’s colors. Seeing Mann’s talents wasted on this book is like opening a beautifully wrapped present with shiny paper only to discover a box filled with dog poo.

Beyond that, I have little to say about this book beyond two words: Stay Away!

 

The Terrifics #8 CoverTHE TERRIFICS#8/ Story by JEFF LEMIRE/ Art by DALE EAGLESHAM/ Colors by MICHAEL ATIYEH/ Letters by TOM NAPOLITANO/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

The Terrifics have rescued the dimensionally-displaced super-scientist Tom Strong and freed themselves of the energy bond that forced them together in the bargain. Unfortunately, there’s no time to celebrate, as the super-villain Doctor Dread has abducted Tom Strong’s family and scattered them throughout different worlds. Naturally, The Terrifics will help their new friend to rescue his loved ones, but can they contend with all the dangers Doctor Dread has set against them?

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed The Terrifics and I can’t recall why beyond this being such a reliable read that it defies easy discussion. While Fantastic Four may be up and running again at Marvel, The Terrifics offers the same combination of awe and weird science that made the original Kirby and Lee books a delight. Lemire and Eaglesham capture that same creative spirit here, with a high-energy story and amazing artwork well-matched by the vibrant colors of Michael Atiyeh. If you haven’t been reading this book already, this is the perfect issue to start with and see what you’ve been missing. It is, dare I say it, Terrific!

 

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.

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