Thursday, September 21, 2017

Aquaman #28 - A Review

As the deposed Arthur Curry and his new ally, Dolphin, evade the minions of the Atlantean crime-boss Krush, Mera recruits the former Aqualad (now called Tempest) to try and penetrate the magical barriers around Atlantis. At the same time, the former Chief Elder, Vulko, makes his own play to bring down the corrupt regime of the new King, leading a clandestine raid on the royal treasury.

The most miraculous thing about Aquaman #28 is how accessible it is to new readers. Despite having one of the more involved mythologies of the DC Rebirth tiles, this book passes the Stan Lee test for every comic being written as if it was going to be someone's first exposure to the characters and their world. Dan Abentt's script manages this exposition smoothly and naturally, fitting it in between some stunning action sequences.

The artwork by Stjepan Sejic proves equally astonishing. I'm not sure if Aquaman has been officially bumped to a monthly-release schedule or is running late due to Sejic requiring more time for his intricate, beautiful and unique style of art. In either case, Aquaman has never looked better and it is well worth the wait.

The Final Analysis: 10 out of 10. Flawless. Absolutely flawless. 

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 144

We're in the army now, as I (and, by extension, Mjoll) enlist in the Stormcloak Rebellion, to save Skyrim from the corrupt and incompetent Imperial regime.

Of course the fall of Alduin won't stop the random dragon attacks or my new brothers and sisters in arms being decidedly unimpressed after they help me kill a dragon...

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Nightwing #29 - A Review

Lost within a ring of snow and ice - the second circle of the labyrinth formed out of Gotham City - our heroes find themselves contending with a twisted version of Mr. Freeze and an army of frost giants! Thankfully, Nightwing has arrived on the scene to join the search for Batman, but he faces his own inner-conflict regarding the menace they face. Meanwhile, The Teen Titans meet up with The Suicide Squad, forming a reluctant alliance to get into the maze themselves...

The unfortunate thing about comic-book crossovers is that new readers, attracted by the linking story line, may find themselves turned away from a single chapter due to unexplained references to the book's regular story. This problem plagues Nightwing #29 which makes repeated mention of a villain called Dr. Hurt and Dick Grayson's connection to The Court of Owls. While I am vaguely familiar with this plot-line from Scott Snyder's Batman, Tim Seely doesn't do a very good job of explaining it and it's largely incidental to the action of the issue in any case. Even that much might be confusing for those readers who haven't already read Batman: The Red Death #1, which is more efficient in explaining the basic idea of The Dark Multiverse.

Thankfully, this issue's script makes up for this shortcoming in other ways. Seely's grasp of the characters, for instance, is top-notch. I was particularly gratified to see Killer Croc as being written as something other than a complete idiot, though Damian Wayne is back to being a spoiled brat. Your mileage may vary on if this is an accurate assessment of his character, but it doesn't jibe with what we saw in Teen Titans last week. But whatever - I can forgive a lot simply for the revelation that Harley Quinn and Green Arrow are both pen-and-paper RPG players.

The artwork is a similarly mixed bag. Paul Pelleiter is a good artist but his detail-driven style suffers in the small panels that the story requires. This frequently causes the panels to be cluttered and only the fact that Andrew Hennessy applies his inks so sparingly saves the issue. Even then, the fine details are often lost in the more heavily-shaded panels with a higher saturation of darker colors.

The Final Analysis: 6 out of 10.  Decent enough but it could have been so much better.

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 143

In which we enter into Sovngarde to save the souls of the honored dead, fulfill our destiny and slay Alduin The World-Eater! But first we must best the doorman in honorable combat (yeah right) and resist the lure of stealing the booze of the gods!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 142

In which we raid the temple of Skuldafn, seeking a way to the afterlife that doesn't involving being killed by dragons or death-lords.