BLACK CAT #1 & MORE! [Mini-Reviews]

Black Cat #1 CoverBLACK CAT #1/ Scripts by JED MCKAY, NAO FUJI/ Art by TRAVEL FOREMAN, NAO FUJI & MIKE DOWLING/ Colors by BRIAN REBER & NAO FUJI/ Letters by FERRAN DELGADO & TODD KLEIN/ Published by MARVEL COMICS

Review by ROY BUCKINGHAM 

Felicia Hardy (aka Black Cat) is here with her own comic and her own crew of thugs. I have never read anything of her exploits outside of Spider-Man, so I was interested to see this debut comic.

It’s honestly what I expected…and yet NOT what I expected. I was expecting a heist comic that was a little on the campy side and maybe a chase scene with Spider-Man coming after her. Instead, we get a straight forward espionage/heist story, no Spidey and no real goofy gimmicks.

That surprise heightened my enjoyment of this issue, though I think the chase scene we do get ended a bit too soon. It  would also have been interesting to see what happened with Black Cat after she and her goons split up. Still, the escape is fun while it lasts.

I am iffy on the artwork in some places, especially during the gala event at the beginning. There’s little sense of continuity between panels but I do enjoy the overall design of Black Cat herself. If you are a fan of Felicia Hardy and her exploits, you will not be disappointed by this book. And if you’ve never heard of the Black Cat, this isn’t a bad way to be introduced.

4-5

 

DCeased #2 CoverDCEASED #2/ Script by TOM TAYLOR/ Pencils by TREVOR HAIRSINE/ Inks by STEFANO GAUDIANO/Colors by RAIN BEREDO/ Letters by SAIDA TEMOFONTE/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

The Anti-Life plague continues to spread across the Earth, as millions succumb to the zombie virus. Can the Justice League save the world? Can they even save themselves?

No writer consistently surprises me like Tom Taylor and this issue managed to stun me multiple times. This was not only due to the jump-scares Taylor somehow works into this superhero zombie film on paper but also because of what his characters do and say. Taylor has a tremendous grasp of these characters and manages to make them sound true to their essential selves, even as they are thrown into an unbelievable situation.

The artwork is much stronger here than in the first issue, presumably because there is now only one art team trying to depict the action instead of two. Trevor Hairsine finds the perfect balance between classic horror illustration and a four-color heroic house style to craft something truly unique. The colors by Rain Beredo reinforce the thematic concept of a bright and cheerful world falling into decay. If you’re any kind of fan of the DC Universe or horror, you need to be reading this book. Highly recommended.

5-5

 

Deadpool #13 CoverDEADPOOL #13/ Script by SKOTTIE YOUNG/ Art & Colors by NIC KLEIN/ Letters by JEFF ECKLEBERRY/ Published by MARVEL COMICS

Review by ROY BUCKINGHAM 

I have not been reading any of the War of the Realms books. It was not a storyline that interested me. However, having Deadpool sum it up (complete with a hilarious retelling of The Book of Creation from The Bible) not only gave me a good sense of where the story is now, but made me laugh hard.

Scottie Young and Nic Klein not only tell us how Katherine Heigl is a Nation Treasure (a sentence I cannot believe I am writing but hey, it’s a statement that involves a great joke in the comic), but shows Deadpool going to Australia as a favor to Captain Marvel to fight the trolls that are taking it over. Of course, Deadpool thinks this fight will be like something from Lord of the Rings, but of course it will not be.

The humor flies fast in this issue, which sets up an epic battle to come. The design on the trolls are fantastic, and the new heroes we meet are fun parodies of other comic characters we know from other books not published by Marvel. What else can I say? This is everything a Deadpool comic should be.

5-5

 

Justice League #25 CoverJUSTICE LEAGUE #25/ Scripts by SCOTT SNYDER & JAMES TYNION IV/ Art by JORGE JIMENEZ & JAVIER FERNANDEZ/ Colors by ALEJANDRO SANCHEZ & HI-FI/ Letters by TOM NAPOLITANO/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

A word of warning to newcomers. While the cover says this “extra-size anniversary issue” is the prelude to the Year of the Villain event, that is literally only half the story. The first part of this comic is the conclusion of Justice League‘s current storyline, The Sixth Dimension, which sees the Justice League fighting their future selves from a reality in which they’ve achieved world peace and created a universe run by Justice.  And all they had to do to do it was eliminate free will.

This is all as high-concept and trippy as you’d imagine, given Scott Snyder is writing. Those who enjoy Snyder’s work (which seems to be most of us) will enjoy the proceedings and how well illustrated they are by his co-plotter Jorge Jimenez and colorist Alejandro Sanchez. Unfortunately, the new readers brought in by the promise of a new beginning will be utterly lost by this.

Thankfully the other half of the book is easily accessible and does a better job of setting up the Year of the Villain event than Brian Michael Bendis’ original introduction. The short, short version is that Lex Luthor endears himself to the world before seemingly sacrificing himself and leaving parts of his fortune to anyone willing to devote themselves to being true to their inner-self (i.e. villainy). The illustrations of this section, executed by Javier Fernandez and Hi-Fi, are fantastic.

Justice League #25 may not be what it was sold as, but it is a solid issue of one of the best books on the stands right now. Just be warned that newcomers should skip the first half of the book and this is a great introduction to what has been going on in the DC Universe and what comes next.

4-5

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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