FLASH FORWARD #1 & MORE! [Mini-Reviews]

Firefly #9 CoverFIREFLY #9/ Script by GREG PAK/ Art by DAN MCDAID/ Colors by MARCELO COSTA/ Letters by JIM CAMPBELL/ Published by BOOM! STUDIOS

Review by MATT MORRISON

The good news is Mal has finally come to an accord with the crazed Alliance soldier who turned him into her own Moby Dick. And her mom likes him!  The bad news is the Alliance just declared her an outlaw as well and every other plan that the rest of the Serenity crew put into place to save him has come crashing down around their heads. The really bad news is that all of this may start a second War For Independence all around The ‘Verse…

I’ll give Greg Pak this – when he gambles he doesn’t bid low, and this first chapter setting up his third “book” for this Firefly storyline definitely has high stakes. We don’t get to see most of the series’ regulars in this issue, but that’s for the best as everything involving Mal, Zoe and Inara is big enough for three comics and this series’ biggest problem to date has been balancing its huge cast as the story split in six directions. This issue doesn’t have that problem.

The artwork is also solid enough, though Marcelo Costa’s efforts to muddy Dan McDaid’s artwork in the name of grittiness only serve to make it look too dark most of the time. Still, when it works, it perfectly suits the tone of the Firefly ‘Verse. This series will satisfy fans of the original series quite well, though it’s unlikely to make comic fans not already familiar with the show into Browncoats.

4-5

 

Flash Forward #1 CoverFLASH FORWARD #1/ Script by SCOTT LOBDELL/ Pencils by BRETT BOOTH/ Inks by NORM RAPMUND/ Colors by LUIS GUERRERO/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

The Dark Multiverse is surging out of control and Tempus Fuginaut is powerless to prevent the corrupting influence from infecting all reality. Only one man is fast enough to find those responsible and stop them, but can Wally West be convinced that he’s still a hero, much less the one the multiverse needs?

My hopes weren’t high going into this one – partly because it was Scott Lobdell writing  it and partly because it’s based on Heroes In Crisis. Ignoring that, however, this issue does a surprisingly fine job of explaining away a lot of continuity taken from at least five different comics and setting up its story. There’s a lot of small things I want to nitpick (such as why Gotham City’s Blackgate Penitentiary is now being used to hold superpowered criminals. when it usually holds ordinary convicts) but overall the story isn’t bad.

The artwork is similarly mixed. Brett Booth’s tries to cram a little too much into each page, but the splash pages look fantastic and the inks by Norm Rapmund are solid throughout. The color art by Luis Guerrero is also impressive. All in all, Flash Forward is what it is – an editorial mandated event with little heart behind it, though it does look good enough.

3-5

 

Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons & Dragons II #1 CoverRICK & MORTY VS. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS II #1/ Script by JIM ZUB/ Art by TROY LITTLE/ Colors by LEONARDO ITO/ Letters by CRANK! & TROY LITTLE/ Published by ONI PRESS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Suddenly, Dungeons & Dragons is the biggest thing in the world. People are watching professional dice-rollers like they were football players and entire malls are devoted to LARPing costumes, gaming supplies and vintage game books. Weirdest of all, the Smith family are getting along, bonding over their mutual love of RPGs. Clearly something has gone wrong with reality and Rick Sanchez is determined to get to the bottom of it, but could Rick be facing a threat even he can’t outsmart?

If you’ve read the original Rick & Morty VS. Dungeons & Dragons series, get ready for more of the same. This kind of comedy is an acquired taste, but Jim Zub does a fantastic job of depicting gamer humor through the lens of Rick & Morty, with Rick insulting nerds by calling them bard-lovers. Troy Little’s art captures the look of the show well enough, while bringing in some suitably nightmarish creatures straight from the Monster Manual, boldly colored by Troy Little. While this may not be easily accessed by those who missed the first mini-series, fans of both Dungeons & Dragons and Rick & Morty will enjoy this series.

5-5

 

The Weather Man Vol. 2 #4 CoverTHE WEATHERMAN VOL. 2 #4/ Script by JODY LEHEUP/ Art by NATHAN FOX/ Colors by DAVE STEWART/ Letters by STEVE WANDS/ Published by IMAGE COMICS

Review by ROY BUCKINGHAM

Last month, our gang was on their way to get Ian’s original memory back into Nathan, The Weather Man, so they can stop the terrorist group known as The Sword of God from destroying humanity. The journey takes them to the Canadian frozen tundra, brings them face to face with an aquatic monitor…and sets off a few shocking twists. Twists that you will not see coming. At all.

Jody LeHeup, Nathan Fox, Dave Stewart and Steve Wands continue to bring us an exciting monthly title, filled with action packed artwork that tricks your mind into thinking it is moving on the page. The story continues to pull the reader deeper into the world of The Weather Man, leaving us wanting more after the issue is over. This is one of the best stories I’ve ever read in a comic.

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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