MAN WITHOUT FEAR #1 & MORE! [Mini-Reviews]

Conan The Barbarian 2019 #1 CoverCONAN THE BARBARIAN #1/ 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

Many are the tales of how Conan of Cimmeria has cheated death, crushing enemies and slaying monsters. This is the tale of how Conan dies! Or rather how the circumstances which eventually bring about his death began. Allegedly.

Skeptical as I am that Marvel Comics would kill off one of fantasy’s biggest heroes so soon after reacquiring the license to Robert E. Howard’s greatest creation, it must be said that Jason Aaron spins a good ripping yarn. Apart from a few awkwardly framed panels here and there, Mahmud Asrar delivers a fine portrayal of Hyboria in all its barbaric splendor, with colorist Matthew Wilson using faded tones to suggest that the story before us has come from ancient times on some manner of scroll or woodcut. While this series probably won’t win over readers who aren’t already fans of sword-and-sorcery comics, Conan fans will find this book fit for a King of Aquilonia!

4-5

 

The Flash #63 CoverTHE FLASH #61/ Written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON/ Art by CHRISTIAN DUCE/ Colors by LUIS GUERRERO/ Letters by STEVE WANDS/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Teamed with a newbie heroine named Fuezra, who has set herself up as the protector of the underclass of Corto Maltese, The Flash is no closer to finding the source of the new powers unleashed by the breaking of The Speed Force. Worse yet, the Strength Force that Fuezra taps and the unrelenting goading of Corto Maltese’s military police have turned his new ally into a threat to everyone around her!

It’s an odd thing that I don’t hear many people talk about The Flash, as this has been one of DC Comics most steadfastly enjoyable comics since the start of The Rebirth Era. Joshua Williamson manages a neat trick and makes every issue of this book accessible to new readers, even if they haven’t been keeping up on the whole “Force Quest’ storyline that’s been moving along over the past few months. Christian Duce’s artwork is equally detailed, while restraining a streamlined sense of clarity that leaves the artwork moving as smoothly as the story. All in all, this is probably the most underrated title DC Comics is publishing today and one of its best.

5-5

 

Man Without Fear #1 CoverMAN WITHOUT FEAR #1/ Written by JED MACKAY/ Art by DANILO S. BEYRUTH/ Colors by ANDRES MOSSA/ Letters by VC’S CLAYTON COWLES/ Published by MARVEL COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

As Foggy Nelson watches over his injured friend, a comatose Matthew Murdock finds himself trapped in a battle between his pain and his fear. He has used the one to avoid the other, but can Matt Murdock truly be a man without fear?

I wanted to like Man Without Fear but there’s so little to admire about it. Jed MacKay’s concept has been done to death and done better in countless other comics where the hero must fight himself or some aspect of his personality. Danilo S. Beyruth’s artwork is pleasing enough, evoking memories of the the old EC horror books. Unfortunately, the colors by Andres Mossa leave the finished art looking washed out, like the book was left out in the sun too long. There is something to be said about this kind of psychodrama, however – chiefly that it stinks on ice.

 

Obi Wan Kenobi #1 CoverSTAR WARS: AGE OF REPUBLIC: OBI-WAN KENOBI #1/ Written by JODY HOUSER/ Pencils by CORY SMITH & WILTON SANTOS/ Inks by WALDEN WONG/ Colors by JAVA TARAGLIA/ Letters by VC’S TRAVIS LANHAM/ Published by MARVEL COMICS

Review by ROY BUCKINGHAM

When I heard we were getting a comic book series to continue the adventures of Obi Wan Kenobi, I got excited. I was curious to see what stories they would tell with this great character from the Star Wars Universe. My excitement for this comic soon transformed into a Phantom Menace level of disappointment as I began to read.

Set shortly after the events of The Phantom Menace, we see Obi Wan training young Anakin, as the two are sent to recover a Jedi Holocrom and wax philosophically as they have long discussions. EXCITING STAR WARS ACTION!

Writer Jody Houser captures the essence of the characters from the movie, writing dialogue that evokes Jake Lloyd’s acting ability. I do have to commend the artists for creating some good imagery but I found the basic story lacking. Compared to other comics that Marvel has released to expand the Star Wars Universe, this is one part of the canon that I think we could have done without. Like Jar Jar Binks.

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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