Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 23

In which, after a dragon refuses to fight us, we start clearing out our quest log by clearing out some bandit camps. We also learn of the word of Talos and play delivery boy for a friendly alchemist.

Injustice: Ground Zero #16 - A Review

Sent forth from The Tower of Fate, Harley is stuck struggling with the revelation that her soul is bound to The Joker across all of time and space. Will she be able to use the magic word Fate gave her to free herself when her army is threatened by Joker's madness? And what of the jailbreak to free the Batman of another world from the tyrant Superman?

Injustice: Ground Zero continues to be a solid read. Christopher Sebela's command of Harley Quinn as a character is impressive, but the story's pacing is hampered by the continual cutaways to retell the events of the Injustice game. The artwork is wonderful, with Marco Santucci turning in a fantastic showing, backed by J. Nanjan's vivid color art.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #9 - A Preview/Review

The Doctor has little love for slavers. Yet as the saying says, "misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows." There is misery aplenty in 17th century Brazil when The Doctor and his companions stumble across a conquistador camp besieged by monsters.

As The Doctor and Tara - a UNIT medic who stowed-away on the TARDIS after their last adventure - look into the monsters, Captain Jack Harkness and Rose Tyler go off investigating a link to Jack's forgotten past. A past that apparently involved his posing as a Jesuit priest on behalf of The Time Agents!

Even in the comics it is a rare thing to see Doctor Who tackle historical stories outside of a European setting. For that reason alone is this first chapter of Slaver's Song notable. Brazilian artist Adriana Melo teamed with writer Cavan Scott on plotting the story for this issue, presumably suggesting a story based on the rich and troubled history of her own nation.

Ignoring the novelty, this is a damn fine comic. Scott remains one of the strongest writers to tackle The Doctor and his friends since Titan Comics took over the license. Melo's artwork - while losing some detail in the far distance shots - remains largely excellent. And my only complaint about colorist Marco Lesko is that the shade of brown-gold he uses for Rose's eyes leaves her looking like a Cheetah Person from Survival.

Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #9 releases on Janyary 18th, 2017. 
Ask for it at your local comic shop or purchase it on Comixology.com.

The Flash #14 - A Review

Master thieves armed with fantastic tools and led by the formidable Captain Cold, The Rogues are the greatest enemies of law and order in The Flash's town, despite their occasionally playing the hero. Absent from Central City since before The Speed Force Storm that changed so much, finding where they're hiding has become Barry Allen's first priority now that things have calmed down somewhat. What he uncovers, however, is evidence of a heist to end all heists in another country, suggesting that The Rogue's Reformation was short-lived...

This first issue of the Rogues Reloaded storyline is surprisingly slow-paced for a Flash comic. Joshua Williamson spends a little too long trying to establish the status quo of Central City.  While this may be a necessary evil given how much back-story there is regarding The Rogues, Iron Heights prison, the new Kid Flash and Barry's newfound romance with Iris West, this is still a case of telling rather than showing the story and we wind up hearing precious little about The Rogues in all of it. Hopefully the pace will quicken in upcoming issues.

Carmine Di Giadomenico is similarly off his game this time around. There is something inexplicably sloppy about the artwork in this issue, with several pages - particularly in the opening fight between The Flash and Papercut's gang - where the figures are disjointed and the inks muddy the artwork rather than enhancing it. The artwork doesn't look bad, as such, but it's a step-down from the usual level of quality for all involved.

All-New Wolverine #16 - A Review

Intercepted by Bellona - another of Laura Kinney's clones, who lacks her healing factor but feels no pain - the all-new Wolverine is back in the clutches of the mad scientists who created her! Laura's only hope of rescue lies with Gabby - her adopted "sister". Even armed with no sense of pain and her own set of bone claws, can Gabby hope to save the day?

All-New Wolverine #16 is an enjoyable action-packed issue. Tom Taylor does a fine job of explaining Laura's past as X-23 for newer readers who might not be familiar with that time of her life, not slowing the story down a moment while allowing for this exposition. The action sequences are illustrated amazingly by Nik Virella and finished well by Michael Garland.