By NICK SCHIFANI
I don’t' know what I have gotten myself into with adding more comics to my weekly buy. But, I have to say….I kinda like it. It was definitely fun getting in a few new comics too. Those being from DC. Like I said the Rebirth of the DC comics was going to be a way I jumped into them. That being said, I'm still a bit lost in that world. I enjoyed the stories, but have some catching up to do. So, this week I have two DC and three Marvel comics. I will say that there will be spoilers for the Civil War II comic that I am featuring. So, as always don’t read that review if you intend to read. I should note that with their being so many tie-ins for this arc that I will probably not be able to keep up with all of them. I am going to try, but I doubt I will be able to get around to all of them. I mean seriously, there is a metric shit ton coming out soon. Hope you guys enjoy the five comics I have this week. Let me know what you think and if you are reading anything fun too.
Batman Rebirth #1
It's obviously no secret that I have not kept up with the DC characters in their comic book incarnations. Though there is one thing I feel like I can always bank on for a Batman comic. That is for it to have a dark setting and an interesting villain. Sure enough that is how this comic read. The villain, Calendar Man, was extremely spooky. If you aren't familiar with Calendar man, he basically reincarnates every week. He ages super quick and by Friday has died. Then over the course of a couple days he comes crawling out of his life-less body ala cocoon. That is where the darkness feel comes from though. It seems like Calendar Man may have some awful things planned.
One would think that it is Batman himself that the dark points come from in this issue. That is not the case. I'm guessing over the New 52 era, Bruce Wayne found a more appreciation on life. It shows in the comic. When Bruce is not in the cape and cowl the colors are alive and bright. Thanks to artist, Mike Janin, it makes those panels like a bit more upbeat. The other aspect that Bruce Wayne is trying deal with his new take on the sidekick, Robin. That new take is not having a traditional robin. The new sidekick, Duke Thomas, is not in normal red and green Robin gear. This time around it is a black and yellow type of gear. Duke is a young African-American man that was invited to the Batcave. I hope in the future issues it does a better job of showing how Duke differs from the other Robins. It does not make it too apparent in this issue. Granted, I am not sure who Duke is at this point. Though I am sure I will get caught up in a Google search soon.
Overall, I enjoyed this first issue of Batman Rebirth. I have some catching up to do, but I think I can stick with it a bit longer. The tone is pretty good of the comic and I look forward to rekindling my love for Batman.
Superman Rebirth #1
I didn’t really know what to expect from this comic. I went into it pretty damn blind. Probably more blind then any other comic I have ever read. Which turns out, was a bit refreshing. I had no expectations into what I was going to read. I think that worked out for the best. I really enjoyed this issue. Apparently I missed a good chunk though. There is a classic Superman, wearing a darker suit. It is black and grey. The New 52 Superman is dead. So, yeah there were two Supermen flying around in the world. I'm sure that never got confusing. New 52 Clark Kent gave his life to save the world. In this issue the classic Superman is found hovering over what is becoming the memorial for the dead Kent. He knows that he needs to take up the mantle of this world's Superman, but is reluctant to do so. The issue does a good job of illustrating how this Superman became who he is today. It flashbacks to the classic battle with the monster Doomsday. He defeated Doomsday, but in doing so gave his life. He eventually came back to life with a kryptonian crystal. Classic Clark Kent was hoping to do the same with New 52 Kent. In the end that can not happen. This Superman starts to realize that he is now going to have to be the protector of the world again, and from the storytelling of this issue it is going to be fun. I really think the Superman: American Alien short series got me back into the Superman story. I am hoping this rebirth will keep my interest as well.
The Amazing Spider-Man #13
I will start off with saying that this may be the least enjoyable issue of the current Spider-Man series that I have read. I get that everyone over at Marvel is in Civil War mode, but to have another issue that involves Spidey and Iron Man beating the crap out of one another is growing old. The only good that comes from it, are the great quips and one liners. Their fighting leads right to Miles Morales being kidnapped by Regent. That is just annoying to me. Two of the most beloved Marvel characters right now acting as children can get old. The villain is taking a bit to grab attention too. That isn't saying that Slott is giving him everything he can to make the character interesting. It is going to take a bit though, for Regent to become a villain of importance. With that being said I don't mind the story line he is getting. If you are not familiar with Regent, he is a large CEO of the new villain holding area, The Cellar. Little does anyone know that he is draining the villains for their powers to become powerful himself. Later in the issue Morales becomes one of his targets for the same reason any reason a villain feels the need for power….the good of the people. Yeah right, we've heard that one several times before. Where I may not have enjoyed too much of the storytelling this issue, as always the art and coloring of these issue is superb. It really brings the characters to life. Hopefully, Slott and team can get a bit more on tack next issue.
The Punisher #2
series is slowing becoming one that I am enamored by, and that is solely on the storytelling. Here is the funny thing about that. The writer Becky Cloonan is able to do that with hardly any words throughout the panels. Her direction, accompanied by artist Steve Dillon speak for itself. You can get all the points they are trying to make just by looking at the panels. It is so much fun to read. Not to mention the gore and brutality of the series. I am normally a believer that a comic, movie, or show doesn't need a lot of blood or violence to get its point across. Thought with The Punisher that is an exception. Mainly, because that is what Frank Castle is all about. Blood and brutality. I've seen more head shots in this series alone, than I have a game of Call of Duty. I was on the fence about continuing this series, even with a strong first issue. Now after the second issue, I am certainly convinced that I will be sticking with it.
Civil War II #1
Here it is folks Civil War II is here and starting off with a tragic twist. So here is your friendly reminder of spoilers. Do not stick around if you plan to read in the near future……………Alright still here? Good, here it goes.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the prologue issue Civil War #0. I asked the question about why it focused so much on She-Hulk and not so much on Captain Marvel. I wondered how much She-Hulk was going to play in this series. She is a good character, but not one strong enough to help carry a huge arc like this. I mean, hell her comic series was cancelled after about 10 issues. Well, my questions were answered about her involvement. It was short lived, as we were lead to believe that she dies in the very first issue of Civil War!! Hey! I said there would be spoilers. Don't get mad at me. Oh and while I am here in the realm of deaths, I'll touch on one more too. War Machine perishes as well! Yep, that is right beloved James Rhodes, best friend of Tony Stark met his end too. So, that is the important stuff out of the way first. It happened, now we can move forward to why and how it happened.
The ability to see into the future. Is it a gift or is it a curse? Well, as I said in the last review for this new Inhuman, Ulysses, is soon to find out. The issue starts off with an ensemble of Avengers fighting a large, inter-dimensional being. Next thing you know all of the current Avenger teams show up. The whole Marvel hero cast is on site. They find a way to defeat the foe and certain apocalypse. They discover that the way they knew about the villain and how to defeat it was with the help of the Inhumans. Especially, from the future seeing Ulysses. Let the arguments of using his powers for "good" start!
It wasn't hard to see this conflict coming a mile away. From, finding about the gifted Inhuman the battle lines are drawn between Iron Man and Captain Marvel. Iron Man siding to not use the kid for his powers. That, sure he is futurist, but he respects the future. Knowing that it is best to not tamper with it. Captain Marvel argues that if they know about future threats, they can cut it off. Things like the foe they faced a couple of days ago would never happen again. Even though battle lines are drawn, in this first issue we are unsure how most of the Marvel heroes feel about it. I figure we will learn that in future issues and the tie-ins to go with it. It is becomes obvious that War Machine and She-Hulk are on the side of Captain Marvel. As they go into battle with Thanos later in the issue. This is the how Rhodes and She-Hulk die. Ulysses sees the future. Thanos is back on Earth looking for one of the Infinity Gems. Carol Danvers(Captain Marvel), She-Hulk, War Machine, and a few other heroes decide to ambush Thanos. Unfortunate for them things go South in a hurry. Thanos strikes Rhodes with a killing blow, that leads to a missile hitting She-Hulk. It puts her in critical condition. This all leads to Stark being pissed of course. Blaming Danvers for the death of Rhodes. He decides that it would be best for him to "talk" to the new Inhuman himself. I'm sure things will not end well at all.
Where this issue came fast with the gut punches, they didn’t all hit. War Machine and She-Hulk are very much "B" level players. Their deaths do not hot home, maybe as much as they should. I'm sure writer Brian Michael Bendis did not want to copy the same story as the original Civil War ten years ago, and have hundreds of innocent people die. But, having what feels like useless deaths of "lower" heroes to take help drive an emotional point home, feels lost. Overall, though I want to see which heroes pledged their alliance to which side. I am also curious if there will be some defecting, like the first Civil War comic arc. I enjoyed the first issue enough to stick with it, but did feel like wanting a little more. I'm sure the next issues and tie-ins will help weed some problems out. I look forward to reading more.