AQUAMAN #47 & MORE! [Mini-Reviews]

Aquaman #47 CoverAQUAMAN #47/ Story by KELLY SUE DECONNICK/ Pencils by ROBSON ROCHA/ Inks by DANIEL HENRIQUES/ Colors by SUNNY GHO/ Letters by CLAYTON COWLES/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

A long-dormant ocean goddess lies ready to destroy all life on Earth. “Andy,” as the people of the Village of Unspoken Water call him, is ready to face her alone… but he will not, as other gods of the sea long sleeping rise to join the fight!

I haven’t been entirely sure what to make of this series at times, but Kelly Sue DeConnick’s story has been a fascinating one, if hardly typical of the Aquaman series of late. It will be interesting to see how the water flows now that the opening arc is over and “Andy” stands ready to remember that he is truly Arthur. The artwork by Robson Rocha is strong enough, though the inks by Daniel Henriques could be thicker at times, as too many pages have a sketchy quality to them that seems unfinished somehow. The colors by Sunny Gho are similarly muted, leaving the artwork looking less than dynamic. Still, this is a more than serviceable issue of a solid comic, though it’s not the stuff of grand sagas.

 

Justice League #22 CoverJUSTICE LEAGUE#22/ Script by JAMES TYNION IV/ Art and Colors by FRANCIS MANAPUL/ Letters by TOM NAPOLITANO/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

As the Legion of Doom continue in their plans to awaken the sleeping goddess Perpetua, we learn the secret origins of the universe and how the goddess who created all that is was put to sleep and imprisoned by her three sons, in a story that forever redefines the DC Universe.

By my reckoning this is one of four series right now that are examining and altering the fundamental building blocks of the DC Universe and this is the only one of them that is worth reading. James Tynion IV’ spins a wild story here and it is one I will not spoil. The script is well-matched by Francis Manapul’s artwork, which is equally bombastic and appropriately world-shaking. Mere words cannot describe this issue. Just buy it.

5-5

 

Spider-Man Life Story #2 CoverSPIDER-MAN: LIFE STORY #2/ Story by CHIP ZDARKSY/ Pencils by MARK BAGLEY/ Inks by DREW HENNESSY/ Colors by FRANK D’ARMATA/ Letters by VC’S TRAVIS LANHAM/ Published by MARVEL COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

The year is 1977. The Vietnam War is still rolling along and Peter Parker, now 30 years old, can’t help but wonder if he made the right choice in devoting his life to protecting the home-front as Spider-Man and finding other ways to change the world through science as part of the Future Foundation. He is content, however, and still happily married to Gwen Stacy, but an old enemy may put an end to that forever!

Part of me thinks that Chip Zdarsky buried the lead with this mini-series, talking of an alternate Vietnam War in the Marvel Universe where Captain America turned on the American military when they started attacking innocent villagers. Maybe we’ll see a spin-off centering on Cap in this world if this series does well?

Regardless, the main story centered on an older and wiser Peter Parker is entertaining on its own, thanks to a welcome “What If?” idea. Zdarsky clearly did his homework and while it would have been easy enough to make this a 1970s story just by throwing Peter into a party Harry is throwing at Studio 54, the focus here is on Peter’s relationships and how Harry fell into the wild party lifestyle since he and Peter never became the close friends they were in the original timeline.  Fascinating stuff, if you’re a classic Spider-Man fan.

The artwork is of similar high-quality, but that’s to be expected with Mark Bagley on board. As in the first issue, Bagley alters his usual style to look more like the Marvel house style of the time and you’d almost think this was a lost 1970s Amazing Spider-Man issue to look at it. Drew Hennessy and Frank D’Armata offer up some fantastic finishes to leave this book looking marvelous.

Bottom Line: This is the best Spider-Man mini-series to come out in the last ten years. This is a must-read for anyone who loves classic Spider-Man or alternate history tales.

5-5

 

West Coast Avengers #10 CoverWEST COAST AVENGERS #10/ Story by KELLY THOMPSON/ Art by MOY R./ Colors by TRIONA FARRELL/ Letters by VC’S JOE CARAMAGNA/ Published by MARVEL COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

With the team trapped in a vampire cult’s lair, Kate Bishop’s new Avengers team may be doomed before they’ve truly made a name for themselves.  Their only hope of salvation may lie with Kate’s estranged mother… who is part of the cult and apparently working for the new Masters of Evil. Which makes this all even more awkward.

All good things must come to an end and, sadly, that includes this wonderful little book, which was too good for this world. Fun and funny in a way that few comics manage thanks to Kelly Thompson’s writing, this could have been a cult comedy classic had Marvel had the patience to give it time to develop a following. Alas, with books now being cancelled before their first issues come out thanks to draconian pre-order policies by certain monopolies, there is little room for quirky comedy books built around teams of misfits.

Mourn this book, all ye who still seek quality. We shall not see the likes of BRODOK ever again and the world is much poorer for this book’s passing into limbo. Hopefully we will seen this series again in the next world. Or, alternatively, fighting the Great Lakes Avengers for page time in some future crossover.

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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