Monday, July 27, 2015

The Flash: Season Zero #24 - A Review

Caitlin and Cisco's investigation in to the death of one of Caitlin's old professors has revealed an even greater mystery than a perpetual motion engine. It seems the particle accelerator explosion has transformed Caitlin's old mentor, turning her into half an energy being that can absorb the essences of others! Thankfully, Caitlin knows just who to call when dealing with a rogue metahuman. But can even The Flash save the day this time?

At first I was disappointed that The Flash showed up for the second half of this story.  After Issue #23, I rather liked the novel idea of a story focused on Caitlin and Cisco as they went off an adventure without Barry. Thankfully, the battle turns out to be a true team effort and Barry's contributions do not overshadow those of his friends.

Sadly, the artwork of Ibrahim Moustafa isn't quite so strong this week. Some of the character expressions look odd and seem incredibly forced. Thankfully, the action sequences are well-blocked and flow smoothly. And Nick Filardi's colors are as fine as ever.

Starman Plays Blade Runner - Part Five

In which I make the most difficult physical challenge in the game look easy, seek out the last of the original cast cameos and find a disturbing picture of myself that does not involve an alpaca or tequila.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

John Carter: Warlord of Mars #9 - A Review

The good news is that Dejah Thoris has solved the mystery of what has been happening to the disappearing townsfolk of a distant village. The bad news is that she discovered this by being captured by the golem-like creature that was abducting the missing people! Now, as John Carter gives chase after the beast, Dejah must free herself and the captive women before the golem forges them into his perfect mate!

In all honesty, this book should be titled John Carter and Dejah Thoris, rather than giving John Carter solo billing. The scripts by Ron Marz and Ian Edginton treat the two as equal partners in adventure. Indeed, recent issues have seen Dejah playing the hero more than her husband!

While she may be a captive in this issue, Dejah is no damsel in distress and she uses her knowledge of science to free herself and her fellow prisoners.  As Dejah notes at one point, while she will always need John Carter, she doesn't need him to rescue her. Nor does she allow John to send her off with the rest of the women, staying behind to fight by his side with a sword in hand. It's a refreshing change of pace from the usual pulp tropes.

The artwork for the issue is equally excellent. Ariel Medel's only weakness is an occasional tendency towards forcing some poses, such as Dejah's unusual fighting stance in the page above. Thankfully, these moments are few and far between. The color art by Nanjan Jamberi is also impressive, as is the lettering by Rob Steen.

Sons Of The Devil #3 - A Review

Travis Crowe faces a jail sentence if he doesn't continue his court-ordered therapy-sessions. Unfortunately, the support group for orphans that he signed up for isn't doing much to help him control his anger-management issues. Worse yet,Travis' attempts to keep the therapy a secret is starting to drive a wedge between him and his girlfriend. And there's a woman in his group who seems to have an unusual interest in him...

The best bits of Sons of The Devil #3 are those that don't focus on our main character. A flashback at the start does far more to advance the plot than the sections focused on Travis. Most of the book does little more than reaffirm what we already know - that Travis has issues with his temper and trusting others. Still, one scene near the end offers some suggestion as to just where this story is going.

Thankfully, the artwork by Toni Infante continues to impress. Infante has a rough, angular style that is a good match for Brian Buccellato's scripts. The book's final pages promise a major game-changing moment next month, making this book well worth picking up though it does seem like the issue is treading water at times. Still, the pay-off at the end is worth it.

Rick And Morty #4 - A Review

It's District 9 meets Grapes of Wrath as Morty goes undercover at a non-profit farm that Rick runs for aliens left orphaned by the wars of their home planets. If that sounds unusually altruistic for Rick, congratulations - you've been paying attention! But the goings-on at this farm are twisted even by Rick's standards... or lack thereof. And there may be more to the alien's planned mutiny than meets the eye...

Once again, Zac Gorman perfectly captures the spirit and dialogue of the original Rick and Morty cartoons. This issue is a laugh riot from start to finish, with Rick obsessing over little details like why a teenage boy like Morty uses a suitcase instead of a backpack and how his insectoid butler should be called a bugler.  The ending is a little weak but the ride to get to that point is an amazing one.

C.J. Cannon and Marc Ellerby continue to rock the art on this series. Every panel looks like an animation cel taken the TV show. Or it would if they still used animation cels.  Wait - does Rick And Morty use animation cels? Or is it all computers now? I don't know. But the artwork looks like just like the TV show, however they animate it, so that's good enough for me!