GODDESS MODE #1 & MORE! [Mini-Reviews]

Batman Annual #3 CoverBATMAN ANNUAL #3/ Written by TOM TAYLOR/ Art by OTTO SCHMIDT/ Colors by OTTO SCHMIDT/ Letters by A LARGER WORLD’S TROY PETERI/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Everyone knows that Batman watches over Gotham City, but who watches over the Batman? More than a mere servant, Alfred Pennyworth was Batman’s first ally in crime-fighting and remains The Dark Knight’s most steadfast squire. But tonight will see the former actor taking on a different role when Batman needs more direct aid in stopping a mad bomber.

Granting my inherent bias toward anything by Tom Taylor or Otto Schmidt as individual artists, this is one of the best Batman comics I’ve ever read. If you’ve ever liked Alfred Pennyworth as a character or, like me, miss Otto Schmidt’s work on Green Arrow, this is a must-read. There is little else to be said beyond that.

5-5

 

Detective Comics #994 Cover DETECTIVE COMICS #994/ Written by PETER J. TOMASI/ Pencils by DOUG MAHNKE/ Inks by JAIME MENDOZA/ Colors by DAVID BARON/ Letters by ROB LEIGH/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Homicides are common enough in Gotham City that it takes something special to merit Batman’s attention. Of course he’d insist on taking a personal interest when the case involves two people surgically altered to resemble Thomas and Martha Wayne, who were killed in the exact same way as Bruce Wayne’s parents before having their bodies dumped at Gotham Aquarium. Could somebody be out to get Bruce Wayne’s attention? Someone who knows that he is Batman?

Peter Tomasi throws out one hell of a hook with the first issue of this mystery and I’m thrilled to have no idea what to expect next. Dough Mahnke and Jaime Mendoza present a horrific vision of Gotham City, which well-suits the macabre tone of the story. David Baron’s colors further seal in the dark aura this story demands,  A solid book for those who like a good ripping yard that is equal parts horror movie and murder mystery.

5-5

 

Fantastic Four Wedding Special #1 Cover FANTASTIC FOUR WEDDING SPECIAL #1/ Written by DAN SLOTT, GAIL SIMONE & FRED HEMBECK/ Pencils by LAURA BRAGA, MARK BUCKINGHAM & FRED HEMBECK/ Inks by LAURA BRAGA, MARK FARMER & FRED HEMBECK/ Colors by JESUS ABURTOV, MATT YACKEY & MEGAN WILSON/ Letters by  VC’S JOE CARMAGNA & FRED HEMBECK/ Published by MARVEL COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

There’s a wide variety of stories in this special and not a dud in the bunch. First, we have Gail Simone and Laura Braga, telling the story of Alicia Masters’ bachelorette party. It will come as no surprise, to those who know Simone’s style, that there is ribaldry and shenanigans aplenty, which Braga displays in a fashion that is both appropriate and yet horribly inappropriate. The second story by regular Fantastic Four writer Dan Slott and artists Mark Buckingham and Mark Farmer shows the ever-lovin’ blue-eyed Thing making a pilgrimage to prison to formally ask Alicia’s papa, The Puppet Master, for his daughter’s hand. Again, the artwork is top notch and the story will surprise you. By contrast, the Fred Hembeck comic will not surprise you – it will be as amusing as you could hope given Hembeck’s talent as a cartoonist. All in all, this is one wedding special that, for once, actually is special.

5-5

 

Goddess Mode #1 Cover GODDESS MODE #1/ Written by ZOE QUINN/ Art by ROBBI RODRIGUEZ/ Colors by RICO RENZI/ Letters by SIMON BOWLAND/ Published by VERTIGO COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Cassandra Price is a low level techie who dreams of something better, like most young tech wonks who inhabit her dying world. Her manager’s notice of her unlicensed hacks give Cassandra a contact with The Powers That Be. And that opens a gateway into a whole new world within the Network that runs all of reality!

There are many reasons to give Goddess Mode a try. An excellent script by Hugo Award nominee Zoe Quinn. The amazing artwork by Spider-Gwen co-creator Robbi Rodriguez. The vivid colors of Rico Renzi. Put all of them together and you have a book worthy of the new Vertigo revival.  Unless you just plain don’t like cyberpunk dystopias, you have no reason to miss Goddess Mode #1. Even then, this is still worth a peek to make certain, as this is unlike any comic you’re likely to have seen.

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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