FIREFLY #6 & MORE! [Mini-Reviews]

Aquaman #48 CoverAQUAMAN #48/ Script by KELLY SUE DECONNICK/ Art by VIKTOR BOGDANOVIC/ Addition Inks by JONATHAN GLAPION & DANIEL HENRIQUES/ Colors by SUNNY GHO/ Letters by CLAYTON COWLES/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

“Andy” has proven his strength and resolve to the old gods of the sea, but before he can recover his memories he must face he mightiest of them all  – the god known as Mother Shark!

An excellent jumping on-point for those looking for a good entry point into the world of Aquaman, which seems to finally be returning to something resembling the world of Atlantis as seen in the movie. DeConnick’s script lays out everything new readers need to know while establishing the current status quo for those who entered this book five months ago when the amnesia storyline started.

I must confess a slight preference for the style of artist Viktor Bogdanovic over Robson Rocha, whose style was a bit too busy for Aquaman, in my opinion. Bogdanovic has a more streamlined aesthetic that suggests the smooth tranquility of the ocean setting and you’d never know that three different inkers worked on this book. Sunny Gho does the usual stellear job on the colors. All in all this is one fine book that may make some more people into Aqua-fans.

5-5

Firefly #6 CoverFIREFLY #6/ Script by GREG PAK/ Art by DAN MCDAID/ Inks by DAN MCDAID & VINCENZO FEDERICI/ Colors by MARCELO COSTA/ Letters by JIM CAMPBELL/ Published by BOOM! STUDIO

Review by MATT MORRISON

Still on the run from a group of former Alliance soldiers convinced that Mal and Zoe committed war crimes, the crew of Serenity try desperately to fix their ship, as Mal is captured and Jayne contemplates a push to take over as the new Captain. Of course everyone’s plans fail to go smooth as Zoe is recognized while trying to gather information at the local bar.

If you’re any kind of Firefly fan, you should be reading this book, which may be the closest we ever get to a second season. Greg Pak has perfectly captured the voices of the individual characters and you can hear the voices of all the actors as you read the dialogue. The artwork is a little rougher, but this oddly seems to suit the story even if Marcelo Costa leans a little too heavily on the sepia tones, making everything look muddy. This is a solid book, but strictly for those recruits who have already signed on to the Browncoat army. Newcomers will be totally lost and are advised to check out the TV show first.

4-5

 

Spider-Man Life Story #3 CoverSPIDER-MAN: LIFE STORY #3/ Script by CHIP ZDARSKY/Pencils by MARK BAGLEY/ Inks by JOHN DELL/ Colors by FRANK D’ARMATA/ Letters by VC’S TRAVIS LANHAM/ Published by MARVEL COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

1984. Mary Jane is pregnant with twins, Aunt May keeps calling her Gwen and Peter has been dragged off world to fight in the ultimate war between Good and Evil. It all adds up to a lot of big changes when Peter gets home, even before he discovers that his new costume is alive and an old enemy comes out of hiding to prove his superiority to Spider-Man once and for all!

I’m still loving every moment of this series and how it plays with the ideas of real-world conflicts being introduced into the life of a Peter Parker who ages in real time. Chip Zdarsky’s script has developed such a rich world I want to see more of what happens in the background of Peter’s story, such as this issue’s take on how the Cold War shifted when most of America’s superheroes vanished for several months.

The artwork continues to be as astonishing as the story. Mark Bagley is rightly regarded as one of the most definitive Spider-Man artists for a reason and his work is perfectly completed by John Dell and Frank D’armata. You may have to wait for the trade at this point if you’re not already reading this series but this should be mandatory reading for any fan of Marvel Comics, Spider-fan or no.

5-5

 

Star Wars Age of Rebellion Lando Calrissian #1 CoverSTAR WARS: AGE OF REBELLION: LANDO CALRISSIAN #6/ Script by GREG PAK/ Art by MATTEO BUFFAGNI/ Colors by TAMRA BONVILLAIN/ Letters by VC’S TRAVIS LANHAM/ Published by MARVEL COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Faced with a serious shortfall after a bad year of gas mining, Baron Administrator Lando Calrissian is forced to dip into his own “runaway” fund to see his people paid. When the bills come due and he’s still short, Lando starts looking for one last scam to take care of himself and his workers. But what will jinx the deal first? His infamous bad luck or his unique code of honor?

Most of Marvel’s Star Wars books have been hit or miss with me but I love a good scoundrel story. Unfortunately, this book is merely adequate. Pak does a fair job emulating Lando’s voice but the story doesn’t give him much chance to show off the wit or charm that makes him famous and the challenge that is placed before Lando is all to easily resolved. The scenario also lacks the humor that most of the good stories involving Lando have featured.

The artwork isn’t much better. Many of Matteo Buffagni’s characters suffer from Youngblood’s Diseease and there’s a certain grittiness to his art that doesn’t seem to fit the Star Wars aesthetic, though I think it might have fit the grittier nature of a Noir Star Wars story if that were the kind of story Pak were writing. The colors by Tamra Bonvillain are okay, but seem oddly muted in this outing. This isn’t a bad comic but only die hard Star Wars completeists and Lando fans need bother.

3-5

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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