HOUSE OF WHISPERS #2 & MORE! [Mini-Reviews]

Hawkman 5 CoverHAWKMAN #5/ Written by ROBERT VENDITTI / Pencils by BRYAN HITCH/ Inks by BRYAN HITCH & ANDREW CURRIE/ Colors by JEREMIAH SKIPPER/ Letters by STARKINGS & COMICRAFT/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Hawkman’s search for answers regarding his past lives and the threat he was reborn to face lead him into The Microverse and an encounter with his old friend Ray Palmer. Naturally, Carter Hall’s quest must take them into the most dangerous part of The Microverse and pit them against a sentient planet possessed by a ghost wizard.

That last sentence tells you everything you need to know about Hawkman as a comic and Robert Venditti’s writing of it. Superheroes are perhaps the only genre where one could talk about a man who shrinks and a man who flies and hits things with a mace facing a planet possessed by the ghost of a sorcerer as if it were the most ordinary thing in the world. Of course in the classic Hawkman and The Atom team-ups of The Silver Age, such an idea wouldn’t be unheard of and Venditti perfectly captures the essence of the characters.

The artwork is a bit uneven, but such is usually the case when Bryan Hitch has to depend on another inker.  Some pages seem overly dark, with thick lines that add an unnecessary level of shade to the proceedings.  Still, the artwork is largely excellent in spit of this minor flaw and the colors suit the classic aesthetic of the story.

Bottom Line: If you only read one comic about a sentient planet possessed by a ghost wizard this week, make it Hawkman #5!

 

House Of Whispers 2 CoverHOUSE OF WHISPERS #2/ Written by NALO HOPKINSON / Art by DOMINIKE “DOMO” STANTON/ Colors by JOHN RAVUCH/ Letters by DERON BENNETT / Published by VERTIGO COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Erzulie and her houseboat have become trapped in The Dreaming. With the connection to her followers severed, it will be the death of the Vodoun love goddess if she doesn’t escape soon. Meanwhile, Latoya’s girlfriend and her sisters are with her in the hospital, praying she’ll wake from her coma soon.

I find myself confused by House of Whispers #2. The central idea of gods starving in The Dreaming makes little sense given that all gods are allegedly born in The Dreaming and the minds of every mortal in reality are connected to it. It’s a small but minor point that distracts away from the core of the issue, despite Nalo Hopkinson creating some engaging characters and writing some fantastic dialogue. Unfortunately, the plot is still dead in the water and we’re just now getting to a connection between Latoya’s and Erzulie’s stories. The artwork is also another strike against this book this month, seeming far more sloppy than in its first issue and colored with bright neon shades that hardly suit the story.

Like a slow boiling gumbo, House of Whispers is taking its time to get properly prepared. It remains to be seen, however, if readers will stay around long enough to see what it is cooking up.

 

Supergirl 23 CoverSUPERGIRL #23/ Story by MARC ANDREYKO & KEVIN MAGUIRE/ Script by MARC ANDREYKO/ Pencils by KEVIN MAGUIRE/ Inks by SEAN PARSONS & WADE VON GRAWBADGER/ Colors by FCO PLASCENCIA & CHRIS SOTOMAYOR/ Letters by TOM NAPOLITANO/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Traveling to the archives of The Green Lantern Corps on Oa, Kara Zor-El seeks information on Rogol Zaar – the being who claims to have been responsible for destroying Krypton. The good news is Kara uncovers evidence of a vast conspiracy against her people. The bad news is it implicates at least one of The Guardians of the Universe and Kara got caught in a forbidden section of the Green Lantern library when she found it!

I wanted to like Supergirl #23 far more than I did, as I usually enjoy the work of Marc Andreyko and Kevin Maguire.  Unfortunately, not even Andreyko’s writing can liven up the gloriously dull conceit of Brian Michael Bendis’ Rogol Zaar. Worse yet, Andreyko has to write the Green Lanterns as complete idiots for Kara to have any chance at all of escaping them. This, coupled with Kara being uncharacteristically sneaky leaves the whole story feeling oddly off-kilter. The artwork isn’t much better.  Maguire’s pencils are as fine as ever, but his work being finished by two inkers and two colorists just leaves the whole thing looking odd.

All in all, there’s nothing here to drive off those who are interested in the continuing mystery of Krypton’s destruction. Fans of Supergirl, however, may find themselves hard-pressed to care about a story that is competently handled but largely lackluster.

 

Wonder Woman 56 CoverWONDER WOMAN #56/ Written by JAMES TYNION IV/ Pencils by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO/ Inks by RAY MCCARTHY/ Colors by ROMULO FAJARDO/ Letters by DAVE SHARPE/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Wonder Woman and her allies in Justice League Dark travel to the island home of Circe in search of answers regarding the strange magic power that seems to be contained within Diana that is tied to the Greek goddess Hectate. Circe has answers, of course, but can the heroes afford the price of her help even if she doesn’t have an agenda of her own?

It is a credit to James Tynion IV’s talent as a writer that he’s managed to make Circe’s sudden desire to help Wonder Woman in the wake of the death of magic seem plausible, even as I’m counting the minutes to the sudden but inevitable betrayal. Tynion is good at crafting logical stories and has a terrific grasp of these characters.. He is well matched by the artwork of Emanuela Lupacchino, who I dare say draws the cutest Detective Chimp I’ve ever seen, for what that is worth.  With a great story and artwork, this chapter of The Witching Hour is quite bewitching.

5-5

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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