SPAWN #300 & MORE! [Mini-Reviews]

DCeased A Good Day To Die #1 CoverDCEASED: A GOOD DAY TO DIE/ Script by TOM TAYLOR/ Pencils by LAURA BRAGA & DARICK ROBERTSON/ Inks by RICHARD FRIEND, TREVOR SCOTT & DARICK ROBERTSON/Colors by RAIN BEREDO/ Letters by SAIDA TEMOFONTE/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by ROY BUCKINGHAM

The DCeased mini-series has shown us how the Justice League fell apart as a zombie apocalypse broke out and the world descended into total chaos. But what about the DC Universe’s other heroes? That is the question DCeased: A Good Day To Die sets out to answer.

Featuring the likes of John Constantine, Booster Gold, Mister Miracle and more, the events of this catastrophe are seen through their eyes as they play out in deadly and, occasionally, hilarious ways. Yet the story is as full of unexpected plot twists as it is action, and there are also some sly pop culture references, including a nod to Cher of all people.

Tom Taylor (who also writes the main DCeased mini-series) does a fine a job here as he does there. The artwork by Laura Braga and Darick Robertson is lovingly detailed, full of visceral imagery that is perfectly colored by Rain Beredo and suitably shaded to the point you’d never know three different inkers worked on it. All in all, DCeased: A Good Day To Die is an excellent companion piece to the main story.

5-5

 

Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy #1 CoverHARLEY QUINN & POISON IVY #1/ Script by JODY HAUSER/ Pencils by ADRIANA MELO/ Inks by MARK MORALES/ Colors by HI-FI/ Letters by GABRIELA DOWNIE/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

The Mistress of Mountebanks and The Princess of Plants are together again, but things are far from fun. Poison Ivy is finding it hard to pull herself together after her recent rebirth and Harley Quinn is thinking that maybe they should make a honest effort at being heroes. That may prove difficult with both the heroes and the villains gunning for them after the Sanctuary incident and Lex Luthor offering Ivy just what she needs to become a better villain.

Despite being tied to a number of other series, Jody Hauser does a formidable job of explaining away everything with a minimum of exposition and references to Year of the Villain, Justice League Dark and Heroes In Crisis. There’s little time to establish the status quo for Ivy and Harley amid all this and precisely how Ivy has changed emotionally since she regrew into an honest-to-goodness plant-based life form – the only flaw in an otherwise excellent script.

The artwork is similarly strong, but I may be biased as a fan of Adriana Melo’s work since her days on Birds of Prey and Doctor Who. Her work should be familiar to Harley & Ivy fans, however, as she also drew their recent crossover with Betty & Veronica. This mini-series may not win Pam and Harleen any new fans, but it will certainly satisfy their existing fan-base and it’s a fantastic tie-in to Year of the Villain and Justice League Dark.

4-5

 

Legion Of Superheroes Millennium #1 CoverLEGION OF SUPERHEROES: MILLENNIUM #1/ Script by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS/ Pencils by JIM LEE, DUSTIN NGUYEN, ANDREA SORRENTINO & ANDRE LIMA ARAUJO/ Inks by SCOTT WILLIAMS, DUSTIN NGUYEN, ANDREA SORRENTINO & ANDRE LIMA ARAUJO/ Colors by ALEX SINCLAIR, JOHN KALISZ, DAVE STEWART & JORDIE BELLAIRE/ Letters by DAVE SHARPE/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Perhaps I am old-fashioned, but when I see a character’s name on the cover of a comic book, I expect to see that character in said book. Imagine my surprise then that the Legion of Superheroes don’t show up in this, the first issue of a two part story, that was reportedly meant to reintroduce them into the DC Rebirth reality!  Instead, we’re treated to the story of Thorn (aka Rose Forrest), who has somehow become immortal and somehow reverted back to the character she was two reboots ago and how she survives 1000 years into the approximate time of the Legion.

Bendis’ script is a muddled mess in which things happen but nothing is explained and far too much is assumed of the reader given that this is a first issue. That’s ignoring the fact that this book is meant to be reintroducing a beloved team that doesn’t show up anywhere in the comic!

The best thing about this issue is its art, with four solid teams providing the artwork for the four different time periods, offering a visual distinction to the story that the writing itself fails to deliver. Reportedly the most recent issues of Supergirl, Superman and even Doomsday Clock were delayed to accommodate this issue’s release and it’s unclear why. In the final analysis, this issue is a well-painted cow-pie and Legion fans hoping for the return of their favorite superhero team in some form or fashion would do well to wait for the release of the monthly book. If this is any indicator of what Bendis has in store, however, they’ll probably have to wait even longer for a Legion comic worth reading.

2-5

 

Spawn #300 CoverSPAWN #300/ Script by TODD MACFARLANE & SCOTT SNYDER/ Pencils by GREG CAPULLO, TODD MACFARLANE, J. SCOTT CAMPBELL, JASON SHAWN ALEXANDER & JEROME OPENA/ Inks by TODD MCFARLANE, JONATHAN GLAPION, J. SCOTT CAMPBELL & JASON SHAWN ALEXANDER/ Colors by FCO PLASCENCIA, BRIAN HABERLIN, PETER STEIGERWALD & MATT HOLLINGSWORTH/ Letters by TOM ORZECHOWSKI/ Published by IMAGE COMICS

Review by ROY BUCKINGHAM

In May of 1992, writer/artist Todd MacFarlane helped revolutionize the comic book industry by introducing Spawn with the newly formed Image Comics brand. With his renowned pedigree behind him, he not only made Spawn a household name, but helped make Image a major contender against the Big Two of the comic book industry. A toy line, celebrated animated series and so-so movie adaptation came from this property that has managed to entertain comic fans for years. And now here we are, celebrating the landmark 300th issue!

Divided into five parts, featuring events that directly and indirectly effect each other, Spawn #300 emerges to be just as noteworthy as the first issue. While there is not much in the way of an actual plot, many revelations are revealed and unexpected events occur that will change the shape of this comic forever. It amazes me how MacFarlane is still able to keep things fresh with his creation after all these years. The look and feel of the artwork – from both MacFarlane and his collaborators – is simply amazing to look at, with each page dripping in artistic valor, even in moments where the art seems simple. The hype is real, folks. All hail Spawn!

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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