FANTASTIC FOUR #6 & MORE! [Mini-Reviews]

Conan The Barbarian 2 CoverCONAN THE BARBARIAN #2/ Written by JASON AARON/ Art by MAHMUD ASRAR/ Colors by MATTHEW WILSON/ Letters by VC’s TRAVIS LANHAM/ Published by MARVEL COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

After the first issue ended with King Conan apparently on the way to face his predestined death, fans were anxious to see how Jason Aaron would continue the story in the second issue. Pity he didn’t, instead telling a wholly original story that is a follow-up to the classic Robert E. Howard story Beyond The Black River.

Ignoring the sudden shift and disappointment, it’s a solid enough issue, as Conan is recruited by a Pict shaman to fight the one monster his people fear more than the Cimmeria. Think Dances With Wolves with Conan in the Kevin Costner role, as he and the savage people he’s been taught to hate come to respect each other. Of course this being Hyboria, the respect comes because Conan is just as uncivilized and brutal as the Picts and has far more in common with them than the civilized men who employ him as a ranger. So don’t expect this to be all touchy-feely. The emphasis, as in all good Conan stories, is on action.

That action is well portrayed by Mahmud Asrar, whose rough style feels more appropriate here than it did in the first issue somehow. Matthew Wilson’s colors are well chosen and Travis Lanham’s word balloons do not obscure the art, despite some lengthy speeches. As a follow-up to the first issue, it’s a disappointment, but as its own story, Conan The Barbarian #2 is a much stronger comic.

5-5

 

Fantastic Four #6FANTASTIC FOUR #6/ Written by DAN SLOTT/ Art by AARON KUDER/ Colors by MARTE GRACIA & ERICK ARCINIEGA/ Letters by VC’s JOE CARAMAGNA/ Published by MARVEL COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Remember how way back in Issue #1 there was a back-up story that had Doctor Doom, newly inspired by a revolutionary still loyal to his rule, going off to face the armies that had taken over Latveria in his absence with no armor and no plan?  Have you been eagerly awaiting a resolution to that story?

Too bad!  We finally get back to Doom with this issue, and he’s already taken back his country off-panel. He’s also empowered the revolutionary with the Power Cosmic, making her into Lady Victorious – The Herald of Doom!  Now, with Galactus on his doorstep and the Fantastic Four charging in after Doom made an announcement to the world that he had things under control and would not put up with anyone getting in his way as he saved the world… well, the Fantastic Four look like idiots and manage only to destroy a small goat farm as Doom handles things.

I’d like to credit Dan Slott with having taken the bold step of writing Doom as the hero he is and Mr. Fantastic as an incompetent boob with all the ego he claims Doom has, but I’m not entirely sure that was intentional. Still, the artwork does a great job of conveying the story, despite there being some forced posing and odd expressions along the way. This is an interesting start to the new storyline and I must admit Slott has me hooked.

4-5

 

The Flash #62 CoverTHE FLASH #62/ Written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON/ Art by CHRISTIAN DUCE/ Colors by LUIS GUERRERO/ Letters by STEVE WANDS/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Continuing his search for the powers beyond the Speed Force, The Flash arrives in the rogue nation of Zandia, where he finds a master of the telepathic Sage Force. Calling himself Psych, he claims to be an ARGUS agent whose cover is on the verge of being blown. To complete his mission and get out of the country alive, he’s going to need the help of a certain speedster… but can he be trusted?

The only flaw to this book is that the cover gives away the twist ending that Psych isn’t the good guy he claims to be. While this is obvious in retrospect, Joshua Williamson does a fantastic job of building the tension and selling Psych’s cover story so that we believe him along with Barry. The artwork by Christian Duce is equally impressive and pops on the page with Luis Guerrero’s colors completing it. If you haven’t been reading The Flash, this is a good place to start.

5-5

 

Justice League Dark #7 CoverJUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #7/ Written by JAMES TYNION IV/ Pencils by ALVARO MARTINEZ BUENO/ Inks by RAUL FERNANDEZ/  Colors by BRAD ANDERSON/ Letters by ROB LEIGH/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

An interesting throw-back to the horror comic anthologies of olde, Man-Bat is our intrepid narrator this month, reading accounts of the strange tales of magic and mystery he has recently chronicled on behalf of his teammates. James Tyion IV perfectly captures the feel of the old House of Mystery series and the artwork by Alvaro Marinez Bueno and Raul Fernandez is perfectly suited to this spooky collection of scary stories. A perfect jumping on issue for new readers, or anyone who enjoys horror.

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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