OLYMPIA #1 & MORE! [Review]

Aquaman #54 CoverAQUAMAN #54/ Script by KELLY SUE DECONNICK/ Pencils by ROBSON ROCHA & JESUS ERINO/ Inks by DANIEL HENRIQUES & VINCENTE CIFUENTES/ Colors by SUNNY GHO/ Letters by CLAYTON COWLES/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Black Manta and the new Mecha-Manta lay siege to Amnesty Bay. Can Aquaman stop his greatest enemy from destroying his home town, as the sigil of Doom shines in the heavens above and everything he loves is placed in peril?

Kelly Sue DeConnick has adjusted her story masterfully to accommodate the Year of the Villain crossover and proves as capable of writing a city-wide fight scene as she is the glorious mystic epic Aquaman has become under her pen. The artwork is equally impressive, with two teams doing a splendid job depicting Black Manta’s life in flashback and the action in the current day. One of DC Comics’ best books, and a secret treasure that deserves more exposure.

5-5

 

Conan The Barbarian #11 CoverCONAN THE BARBARIAN #11/ Script by JASON AARON/ Art by MAHMUD ASRAR/ Colors by MATTHEW WILSON/ Letters by TRAVIS LANHAM/ Published by MARVEL COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

King Conan is dead and his blood will fuel the rise of a dark god of blood upon the Earth. Crom cares not for the fate of the world, nor for the fate of one of his children, king or not. But Conan does care what his death will bring about and if Crom will not act to save the world, Conan will and damn his god for trying to stop him.

On the one hand, the Howard purist in me wants to scream bloody murder about a Conan story that depicts the Cimmerian afterlife. On the other hand, this is a story where Conan tries to kill his own indifferent god out of sheer spite, which is about the most Conan thing Conan could ever do. In this case, I think I’ll err on the side of awesome, though I’m fairly certain this story is being used as the impetus for the immortal Conan we’re soon to see in Conan 2099. But whatever. This story, for what it is worth, pleases me, with a bold story and strong artwork. I’ll be eagerly awaiting the final chapter next month, though I’ll be sad to see this story end.

4-5

 

Firefly #11 CoverFIREFLY #11/ Script by GREG PAK/ Pencils by DAN MCDAID/ Inks by DAN MCDAID & VINCENZO FEDERICI/ Colors by MARCELO COSTA/ Letters by JIM CAMPBELL/ Published by BOOM! STUDIOS

Review by MATT MORRISON

The War of Unification is about to flare up again and Malcolm Reynolds is caught in the middle of both sides. Running is the smart move but not all of his crew is behind that idea. Neither is Mal, come to that, especially when a figure from his past shows up that he can’t rightly ignore.

It seems that Greg Pak’s story is about to peter out, as all the various subplots are rushed in this penultimate chapter to bring everyone together, despite hardly anyone being anywhere close to each other for most of the past few issues. The artwork is also going downhill in a hurry, with Dan McDaid abandoning any attempt to caricature the actors from the show. Throw in a lot of out of character behavior (A commanding Kaylee and an Inara openly kissing Mal in front of everyone) along with the muddy colors and art that can’t decide if it wants to be gritty or cartoonish and this has gone from being a comic only a Browncoat could love to one that will be eagerly nitpicked for every gorram thing it gets wrong.

2-5

 

Olympa #1 CoverOLYMPIA #1/ Story by TONY PIRES & CURT PIRES/ Script by CURT PIRES/ Art by ALEX DIOTTO/ Colors by DEE CUNNIFFE/ Letters by MICAH MEYERS/ Published by IMAGE COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Elon is a nerdy kid who loves comics, especially his favorite hero, Olympia. He’s often dreamed of fighting alongside the warrior prince of Olympus, but he never dreamed that his hero would crash into his world, wounded and weary. Now Elon must find a hero within himself and protect his world from the evil that followed Olympia to Earth!

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that’s the case, then Jack Kirby would be deeply flattered by Olympia, which I will call a spirited love letter to Thor since the alternative would be calling it an unashamed rip-off with the serial numbers filed off.  It is an enjoyable book, despite it making no effort to hide its source material and it captures the classic aesthetic of Kirby’s art well. As far as imitations go, this is a good one and there is enough here to encourage Kirby devotees to continue reading.

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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