CAPTAIN MARVEL #1/ Written by KELLY THOMPSON/ Art by CARMEN CARNERO/ Colors by TAMRA BONVILLAIN/ Letters by VC’S CLAYTON COWLES/ Published by MARVEL COMICS
Review by ROY BUCKINGHAM
It is only fitting that with the upcoming MCU film that Marvel Comics relaunch Captain Marvel. There are many out there who may not be familiar with the character, in the same way Guardians Of The Galaxy was unfamiliar to many. What better way to tap an anticipated interest from newcomers than to relaunch, eh? Usually with relaunches like this, they tend to not be as strong as they should be. Thankfully, this Captain Marvel relaunch is amazingly good.
Instead of swimming in exposition, elements of Carol Danvers’ history are interwoven into the intense action sequences, with crisp dialogue that keeps you turning the pages in delight. My personal favorite moments of the issue involved the sass Carol throws at Tony Stark. I only hope the rest of the series keeps up this momentum, because this issue provided some mighty fine storytelling and artwork. Those who do not know Carol’s character will get a crash course on why she is one of the most powerful and respected super heroes in the Marvel Universe, while veteran Carol Corps members will get more of what they love.
DIE #2/ Written by KIERON GILLEN/ Art by STEPHANIE HANS/ Letters by CLAYTON COWLES/ Published by IMAGE COMICS
Review by MARCUS HAMMOND
The greatest thing about Kieron Gillen is his ability to provide consistently intriguing, well-paced storytelling from issue to issue. I absolutely loved the first issue of Die and its fantasy gaming concept and Gillen does not take his foot of the pedal for Issue Two. Stephanie Hans does absolutely amazing work in this issue as well. Her artistic style sets the perfect tone for a fantasy theme, and I found myself needing to look at each page and panel all the way through to the end, and then go back and reread it. If you want a book that marries perfectly-paced, well-written narrative and visually captivating art, check out Die.
GREEN ARROW #48/ Written by COLIN KELLY & JACKSON LANZING/ Art by JAVIER FERNANDEZ/ Colors by JOHN KALISZ/ Letters by DERON BENNETT/ Published by DC COMICS
Review by MATT MORRISON
Count Vertigo has escaped from prison! Worse yet, he’s apparently found some way to enhance his powers so that he twists reality rather than perception. Can the Emerald Archer save Seattle from becoming one big Mobius strip?
From the very first page of this book, in which Black Canary is singing to Green Arrow over his comms, I knew it was going to painful. There are few things more agonizing in a comic book than seeing song lyrics written out with no clue as to the tune. Adapting an audio medium into a visual one does not work in this manner. It never has. Indeed, the only thing more painful in this sequence is the idea that Black Canary would stay at home and work on a song rather than going out on patrol with her boyfriend. Or that he would have to goad her into action later in the same comic!
Yes, Kelly and Lanzing are back on Green Arrow and are proving as inept at writing Dinah Lance as they were at writing Oliver Queen during their last outing on this series. And that is only the beginning of the stupidity of this issue, which seems to have been based entirely around Kelly and Lanzing having seen the Doctor Strange movie and saying “Hey, you know that bit where the wizards make Manhattan into an ever-shifting, three-dimensional maze? Let’s make an entire comic about a guy who can do that!” Unfortunately, rather than make a new guy who can do that, they decided to change Count Vertigo around… even though now his power has nothing to do with vertigo.
The heck of it is I had to reread this book twice to figure out that’s what was going on. It isn’t clear from Javier Fernandez’s art if reality actually is changing or if our heroes just think that’s what’s happening. I suppose one could make the case that Fernandez does a fantastic job of making the reader doubt their senses in the same way as the characters in the story, but it’s just as hard to tell what you’re looking at in all the scenes where Vertigo ISN’T using his powers.
Green Arrow #48 is a creative failure on every conceivable front. Bring back the Bensons, DC Comics! Give us Daniel Sampere and Juan Albaraan! Save us from this dreck!
WEB OF VENOM: VENOM UNLEASHED #1/ Story by RYAN STEGMAN/ Pencils by KYLE HOTZ & JUAN GEDON/ Inks by MARC DEERING, SCOTT HANNA, LIVESAY, ROBERTO POGGI, VICTOR OLAZABA & JUAN GEDON/ Colors by DAN BROWN, MATT YACKEY, ANDREW CROSSLEY & CARLOS CABRERA/Letters by CLAYTON COWLES/ Published by MARVEL COMICS
Review by MARCUS HAMMOND
As the latest installment in the series of Web of Venom one-shots, this issue is chaotic, strange, and a bit disjointed. The chaotic and strange is just fine. I want my Venom stories to be horrific. Stegman provides us with creepy Carnage-born parasitic brain worms and a Rottweiler-shaped Venom symbiote willing to remove them in fantastically cringe-worthy fashion.
However, despite the novel concept, the pacing throughout the issue is disjointed. Most pages are dialogue free, as we follow Venom the Dog through subterranean San Francisco. Then the narrative and visuals changes direction five pages away from the ending. The best way to describe the abruptness of this issue is to introduce John Carpenter to the end of the horror film Audition. The issue feels like a quick read, and then -BAM!- out of nowhere, there are parasitic worms, Carnage, and a soliloquy on Carnage’s new philosophical life view.