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Reviews - Page 4

‘Section Eight’ Shows Ennis and McCrea Will Still Lovingly Bite the Hand That Feeds Them

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Anyone can make fun of DC comics. Don't believe me? Go ahead and look around the Internet. I'll wait. The publisher's long life, huge catalog of characters and hundreds of thousands of pages of material have certainly provided a target-rich environment.

But it takes a very special mindset and skill set to make fun of DC comics within the pages of a DC comic – and I'm not just talking gentle ribbing or affectionate teasing, but fairly scathing satire. That Garth Ennis and John McCrea were able to do so on such a regular basis for so long in the pages of their 1997-2001 Hitman is pretty remarkable; almost as remarkable as the fact that DC invited them back for All Star Section Eight, a series that necessarily focuses on and amps up the superhero parody of the pair's Hitman series.

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You Won’t Believe Who Gets Voted In Next: ‘Prez’ #1 Nails the Satire [Review]

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There’s probably no better time for a biting, trenchant and smart political satire comic than right now, as candidates in the United States start up their presidential campaign machines a full 18 months before anyone heads into a voting booth.

The good news is DC Comics’ relaunch of Prez, written by Mark Russell and with art by Ben Caldwell, accomplishes that, and with style. It’s a powerfully clever, not-all-that-far-fetched prediction of what U.S. politics could easily become in a few more cycles. It shines a light on a system that’s hollow, shallow, and deep in the pocket of corporations without being heavy-handed about it (at least most of the time).

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Filed Under: , , Category: DC, Reviews

The Transformed Man, Act 10: City On Fire

The Transformed Man, Act 10: City on Fire

I've never liked the Transformers. The franchise didn't get its hooks into me as a kid, and while I've tried to give it a shot as an adult, it never really clicked. But now, with a recommendation from almost everyone I know and a well-timed Humble Bundle sale that left me with three years worth (and counting) of IDW's More Than Meets The Eye and Robots In Disguise comics, I'm going on a quest to see if these comics can turn me from someone who has never cared at all about Optimus Prime into someone who uses words like "Cybertron" and "alt-mode" with alarming regularity. And Primus help me, it's working.

This week, Megatron returns to launch a... devastating master plan. Get it? Get it?

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On The Cheap: Everything You Need to Know About 1973′s ‘Prez’

Prez #1, DC Comics

I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record every time I say this, but this week's DC Comixology sale has some really fantastic comics in it. The Justin Gray/Jimmy Palmiotti/Amanda Conner run on Power Girl is an absolute hoot, and John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake's Martian Manhunter has a lot of really fantastic stuff if you're into seeing how the pieces of the DC Universe can fit together.

But if you're tapped out from all the deals they've been throwing at you for the past few weeks and you can only get one comic in this week's sale, if all you have is one thin dollar bill to spend on comics, then you need to get Prez #1. It might just be the weirdest thing you can buy.

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Filed Under: , , , Category: DC, Reviews

Familiar Villains, Intriguing Heroes in Waid and Jones’s ‘Strange Fruit’ #1

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Period piece comics can be precarious if not handled with care, but when done properly they make for inventive narratives drawing from a rich historical backdrop. Enter Strange Fruit, the upcoming Boom Studios series from the heavyweight creative team of J.G Jones and Mark Waid. Set in the fictional town of Chatterlee, Mississippi, issue #1 of Strange Fruit begins with the arrival of the Mississippi Flood of 1927, one of the most destructive natural disasters in US history. Heralding a much more significant anomaly, the flood plays as a secondary plot device to brewing racial and classist tensions in what appears to be a former plantation town.

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Why ‘The Wicked And The Divine’ is Worth Losing Your Head Over

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Fandemonium, the second arc of The Wicked + The Divine, is the work of creators at the top of their games. Jamie McKelvie gets more room than ever to showcase costume designs that tell you everything you need to know about a character at a glance, and expressive facial acting that tells you everything else. Kieron Gillen writes dialogue packed with wordplay and puns – and if they don't make you groan, the plot's gut punches will. Clayton Cowles' letters grant each god a distinct visual voice to match the way they're written and drawn, and Matt Wilson's colors add unique pyrotechnics, at one point reinventing his style between pages to create a convincing drug trip.

The sheer talent on display in these pages is enough to make you jealous and, if you haven't read previous Gillen/McKelvie collaborations Phonogram and Young Avengers, you might wonder where this team got their powers. What makes The Wicked + The Divine especially interesting is that this is exactly what the comic is about.

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On The Cheap: Get All Of ‘Snake Eyes: Agent Of Cobra’ For Five Bucks

Snake-Eyes: Agent of Cobra

If you went to Comixology yesterday to check out the week's new releases, you wouldn't have seen a GI Joe sale featured on the main page, but there's one going on right now that features a whole lot of great comics. The main attraction here is probably the six issues of Tom Scioli and John Barber's senses-shattering Transformers vs. GI Joe on sale for a buck each, but let's be real with each other: If you are the kind of person who takes this site's recommendations on what comics to buy, there's a good chance that you've already got those.

What you might have missed, though, is one of the best Joe stories in recent memory: Mike Costa and Paolo Villanelli's Snake Eyes: Agent of Cobra. It's compelling, character driven, features one of the best fight scenes of the year, and, perhaps most importantly, it has Destro and Snake Eyes teaming up to take on the world. If you haven't read it, you should pick it up - even if you've never been a fan of GI Joe.

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The Transformed Man, Act 9: Last Stand of the Wreckers

Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers

I've never liked the Transformers. The franchise didn't get its hooks into me as a kid, and while I've tried to give it a shot as an adult, it never really clicked. But now, with a recommendation from almost everyone I know and a well-timed Humble Bundle sale that left me with three years worth (and counting) of IDW's More Than Meets The Eye and Robots In Disguise comics, I'm going on a quest to see if these comics can turn me from someone who has never cared at all about Optimus Prime into someone who uses words like "Cybertron" and "alt-mode" with alarming regularity. And Primus help me, it's working.

This week, we head back to last days of the war for an assault on a robot space prison!

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On The Cheap: ‘Hitman’ #1-40 Are Currently 99 Cents Each

Hitman, DC Comics

This week's DC Comixology sale features one of the best lineups of dollar books that the publisher has ever done, with great comics like JM DeMatteis, Keith Giffen and Shawn McManus's highly underrated Dr. Fate, Mark Waid and Bryan Hitch's all-too-brief run on JLA, and Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham's Batman Incorporated — including the issue Burnham wrote about Batman Japan fighting Lady Tigerfist, a lady with tigers for fists — but really, those books are all tied for second. If you don't already own Garth Ennis and John McCrea's Hitman and you take this as anything other than an opportunity to get as much of it as you can, then you're doing something wrong.

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Thumbnail: Theme And Motif In ‘The Sandman: Overture’

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The things about The Sandman that I recall the most fondly aren't what most others think of. In my experience, an overwhelming percentage of readers are quick to talk about the characters, or the strength of writer Neil Gaiman's voice. I definitely can't argue against either of those, but what I really appreciated about The Sandman was Gaiman and his artists' ingeniously subtle tricks with symbolism and structure. The big points were always echoed in some very clever ways that never disrupted the natural flow of the story to point out how ornate the plot actually was.

Gaiman and J.H. Williams III have managed to condense pretty much all the major themes of the seventy-five issue run of The Sandman into The Sandman: Overture.

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