IRON MAN 2020 #1 & MORE! [Reviews]

Aquaman #56 CoverAQUAMAN #56/ Script by KYLE HIGGINS/ Pencils by AARON LEOPRESTI/ Inks by MATT RYAN/ Colors by ROMULO FAJARDO, JR./ Letters by CLAYTON COWLES/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

It’s Arthur and Mera’s engagement party and it’s meant to be a night of high spirits. Even Batman is in a jovial mood. Unfortunately, a sudden fire on a drilling platform and an attack by the sea-dwellers known as The Trench cut a lovely evening short.

An interesting flashback story, what sells this issue is Higgins’ development of Mera and Arthur’s characters and their tackling the sudden question of their having children together. This proves far more interesting than the action sequences and I could have done with more of the party with Wonder Woman and Batman and less of The Trench.  I will, however, credit Higgins with trying to develop them into a more interesting monster than the savage beasts they were written as before.

Thankfully, the artwork salvages the generic battles. Admittedly, I may be biased as I’ve enjoyed Leopresti and Ryan’s work together since Wonder Woman/Conan and I’d love to see them on a regular monthly series. Their style also seems to work well with the colors of Romulo Fajardo, Jr. This book is gorgeous and the story flows smoothly from panel to panel. If you’re looking for a good place to start with Aquaman, this is it.

4-5

 

Iron Man 2020 #1 CoverIRON MAN 2020 #1/ Script by DAN SLOTT & CHRISTOS GAGE/ Art by PETE WOODS/ Letters by VC’s JOE CARAMAGNA/ Published by MARVEL COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Arno Stark took control of Stark Unlimited after the being the world knew as Tony Stark admitted that he was Tony Stark’s consciousness uploaded into a robotic body after the apparent death of Tony Stark’s body. With the world now leery of Stark Unlimited, Arno has also taken control of the Iron Man name, in order to give people a hero they can believe in, as he begins to wage war on all artificial intelligences and robots. Because an enemy is coming to Earth that has already begun to turn technology against humanity and Arno Stark may be the only one who can save them.

I hadn’t expected to enjoy this issue. I generally don’t like anti-hero stories built around characters who are meant to be unlikable bastards who do what is necessary without considering what is right.  Thankfully, Iron Man 2020 does give us someone to root for – it just isn’t the title character. I can’t say more than that without spoiling the surprise but fans of Dan Slott and Christos Gage’s works on other titles will be well-pleased by the writing.

The artwork is far stronger, with Pete Woods proving his diversity as an artist. He changes styles at several points, with what seems to be a satire of 90’s “extreme” art and coloring giving way to a more traditional Marvel house style for the majority of the issue.  Whatever else may be said about his comic, it isn’t your typical Iron Man book and it’s sure to keep things interesting for some time to come.

4-5

 

Rick and Mory Vs. D&D 2 Painscape #4 CoverRICK AND MORTY VS. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: CHAPTER TWO: PAINSCAPE #4/ Script by JIM ZUB/ Art by TROY LITTLE/ Colors by LEONARDO ITO/ Letters by CRANK! & TROY LITTLE/ Published by ONI PRESS & IDW PUBLISHING

Review by MATT MORRISON

Bardrick and his demonic hordes have broken into the Material Plane. Will Rick escape from the Painscape realm in time to save his family? Will he have some ludicrous Deus Ex Machina ready to bring sanity to the world? Better hope so. Otherwise we won’t see Rick and Morty vs. D&D 3!

To the surprise of no one who follows his work, Jim Zub has written a hilarious conclusion to this mini-series. Nobody writes comedic fantasy quite like Zub and more is the pity. Troy Little does a masterful job bringing the story to life, capturing the aesthetic of the Rick and Morty cartoons while also drawing the various D&D baddies true to form.

While not quite as satisfying as the original in terms of being an educational tool, Painscape is just as funny and well-illustrated as the original Rick and Morty vs. D&D comic. That being said, I want a trilogy! 100 years of Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons and Dragons….

4-5

 

Second Coming #6 CoverSECOND COMING #6/ Script by MARK RUSSELL/ Art by RICHARD PACE/ Finishes on Sunstar Pages by LEONARDO KIRK/ Colors on Sunstar Pages by ANDY TROY/ Letters by ROB STEEN/ Published by AHOY COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Sunstar is going off on his honeymoon, leaving Jesus with the apartment to himself for a week. Unfortunately, what was meant to be a simple meeting of new followers discussing their experiences over a veggie tray quickly goes south when The Devil crashes the party.

The Talmud asks us who shall bring redemption if not the jesters. I thought on this truth reading the conclusion of Second Coming and how Mark Russell and Richard Pace have created one of the best graphic novels in recent memory. Like many comedic examinations of faith and society, it proves far more efficient at deconstructing the problems with organized religion and the world and posing solutions than more serious theses. The fact that this analysis comes through well-crafted artwork and funny one-liners does not diminish the power of its message.

The only bad thing about Second Coming #6 is that it leaves you wanting more. Thankfully, it looks like we’ll be getting a second helping, as a press release earlier this week revealed Patton Oswalt is writing the introduction for the collected edition of what has been dubbed Second Coming: Vol. One. Logically this means that a Part Two will bless our subscriptions someday in the future. I will have faith that this will be.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *