Sunday, May 31, 2020

A Sunday Comic Books Review

Here are quick and simple reviews of some comic book series that I've gotten around to reading:
  • Four and a half StarfishAquaman #43-49 - Reading and rereading through this storyarc was fun. It definitely has a different feel when reading it all at once. I'm not sure I like the whole dying and rebirth thing. I'm kind of tired of Aquaman dying. But I can overlook that and enjoy the tale for what it is. I like the introduction of the sea gods and the mythology presented there. I don't think Arthur's reaction to learning about the pregnancy was particularly correct for his story, and Mera's reaction was over-the-top stupid, but again, I'll overlook it for the sake of the story. Everything else seemed pretty spot on. Having him return with a whole new set of super-powered beings to his home in Amnesty Bay was an interesting twist I really wasn't expecting at all, so I'm looking forward to seeing how this works out with the locals. Good stuff.
  • Three and a half StarfishAquaman Giant #1-3 - Almost no new material, but a very good selection of old material. I notice the new stories are also being reprinted as "digital first" in Aquaman: Deep Dives. The new stuff is mostly standalone, but the older stories are connected, which might make them difficult for new readers, which I'm guessing these are aimed at. I'm not sure how I feel about it all, but I applaud DC for the effort of making these.
  • Three StarfishHeroes in Crisis #1-9 - A mini-series with a mystery at its center. I liked the mystery, but the rest of the series - especially the deaths - was not really my cuppa. As a superhero story, I felt it lacked a lot. It's a good concept - superheroes are as vulnerable to PTSD as anyone else and a place for them to recover is good. But the very very very slow revelation of the story didn't work well for me. The first three or four issues were almost unneeded and could have been combined into one book. The series really didn't pick up until the reveal of the true culprit. The very strange "team-up" of Harley Quinn and Booster Gold was one of the few things I actually liked about the series, as the two of them do play off each other nicely. But the relationship alone wasn't enough to really sustain the book. I didn't hate it, but I didn't feel I gained much from reading it.
  • One StarfishMartian Manhunter #1-12 - Wow, I really hated trying to read this book. The art was very much not my bag, and the way it was written turned me off immediately and kept me from enjoying the story. There were some great concepts presented, but I couldn't get past the art, which (apologies to the artist) looked like a caricature artist fell off a truck and then kept drawing with a broken hand. Not a style I enjoy at all. Add in a color palette that made me nauseous just looking at it, and I just did not like this series at all. I struggled to read it and was relieved when I was through it. I only finished it in the hopes that it would get better. It didn't.
  • Four StarfishScooby Apocalypse, last few issues/series as a whole - There were moments I didn't like this series, and moments I really enjoyed it. Overall, it was a mixed bag but a lot of fun to take characters that I was familiar with for all my life and turn them into Elseworlds versions that actually endured drama and pain instead of simple mystery solving. Was it standard Scooby-Doo? Heck no. But it was a fun ride for all that. I enjoyed it for what it was and not for what it was based on. The ending was decent, although a little pat. The sheer trauma of the whole event would certainly cause more problems in the future, so the optimism seemed a little thick. But overall, an interesting experiment in storytelling. Not bad at all.
  • Three StarfishThe Green Lantern #1-12 - I'm afraid I've never been a big fan of Grant Morrison's writing. His ideas are lovely, but the execution often leaves me a bit cold. This series follows the usual pattern. I like the concepts, but the writing and the flow bother me a bit and I'm just not as into it as other folks. The art was gorgeous for most of the series, but the writing - meh. I would love to say it was mind-blowing and all that, but I couldn't connect with the story enough at times for it to actually blow up my mind. This is not the fault of Morrison - this is just an incompatibility between myself and his writing. I'm guessing a lot of other people loved this intensely. Good for them.
  • Two StarfishGreen Lantern: Blackstars #1-3 - Morrison. Not really my thing. I can't really say much more without being mean, I think. Fun little concept, but I just could not get into the story. I think I'll move on to the next series.