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Archive for October, 2011

Reviewed By: Emma Coverdale

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Jim Lee
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Inker: Scott Williams
Genre: Comic Book
MSRP: $4.99 USA (Digital Copy included)
Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: Available Now

It’s official … The New 52 was not only a success in terms of sales but also as a major turning point for the entire DC Universe and its iconic list of characters. Among all of the impressive titles that were given a reboot, it is the Justice League series that must assemble the big guns that include Superman and Wonder Woman in a new beginning that started off interesting enough. Justice League #2 re-introduces us to a familiar hero who is not very happy to meet the Dark Knight and his new friend called the Green Lantern.

The entire DC Universe has changed in a dramatic way that in the first issue of Justice League, the Green Lantern wasn’t even sure if Batman was real. As the Green Lantern finds Batman, he’s in the middle of pursing an alien intruder while evading the bullets of Gotham City’s finest who do not see him as a hero. Banding together to face off against the alien in the sewers, it perishes during the confrontation leaving only a mystery in the form of a strange cube and a name … Darkseid.

Figuring the only person who might know anything about alien business is an alien who made the city of Metropolis his home, the Green Lantern and Batman head to the City of Tomorrow only to find that the Man of Steel is in no mood for visitors. In fact, he attacks them the minute they step foot in Metropolis. Meanwhile, not too far away, a rising football star named Vic Stone is disappointed that his father didn’t make it to one of the biggest games of his life.

As we can see from Justice League #2, though, Batman and the Green Lantern have their hands full with an enraged Superman who will not even listen to reason. Batman has already used just about every device on his utility belt to calm him down while the Green Lantern was sent flying after being hit by Superman. It seems that Superman was attacked by a similar alien. On top of that, both heroes are carrying around a similar cube so the Man of Steel assumes they are with the aliens.

Seeing no other choice, Hal Jordan dials a very familiar face from Central City to lend a hand. It’s very clear – judging by their lively banter – that both Hal and Barry Allen (better know to us as The Flash) having not just met in person but has developed a friendship. Barry still works in the crime lab and is good at what he does but – with the entire crime lab unit focusing its attention on The Flash – he feels that the department is losing track of what is actually more important. Since super humans are still considered a threat, the Green Lantern made Central City aware of The Flash’s existence.

The Flash’s arrival on the scene turns the tables on the one-sided fight as he zips around Superman but it’s certainly not enough. However, they finally manage to calm Superman down enough that the Man of Steel is comfortable enough to take them to his base of operation that isn’t what it seems. As they wonder what to do about the alien cube it activates.

Meanwhile, Vic Stone, having visited his father in his lab, is given a not so warm reception from his father who purposely did not show up at his son’s game. Despite the fact that he knows his father thinks football is a waste of time, he wanted his father there for obvious reasons but Doctor Stone is not one to win Father of the Year. Then, something happens that will change everything for Vic Stone. For those who have been wondering how he will be transformed into our favorite Cyborg, baby, this is but the beginning.

Geoff Johns and Jim Lee continues to make the story flow flawlessly whether it’s Lee’s gorgeous artwork of Johns’ great storytelling style. I love the friendly camaraderie between Hal Jordan and Barry Allen … both who recognize that Bruce Wayne is a tool and Superman is actually something of a jerk who has yet to know his true role.

Justice League #2 takes its time building up the formation of a team of heroes but that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy a great story that just keeps getting better. With Superman and The Flash finally joining Batman and The Green Lantern, this story is just getting started and you can bet we will definitely keep an eye on even more so when this issue hints at the existence of Wonder Woman.

COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN

STORY: A-
The Green Lantern and Batman finally find Superman but the Man of Steel is enraged after a visit from the alien invaders and attacks both heroes. Seeing no other choice but to call for back-up, the Green Lantern calls none other than The Flash to help them out. Meanwhile, Vic Stone visits his father in the lab when the alien cubes Doctor Stone was studying changes his son’s life forever.

ART: A+
Once again, Jim Lee does not fail to make his work stand out and – thanks to Alex Sinclair and Scott Williams – each panel look awesome. The cover for this second issue is definitive proof of that. The Sketchbook section at the end is also a wonderful addition, especially since this is a new beginning with updated costumes.

OVERALL: A-
While the series has yet to kick into high gear, Justice League #2 still continues to make the introduction and formation of the Justice League just as enticing as the first issue. So Superman and Batman don’t come off as too likeable, Geoff Johns does make them interesting enough to gives us a very different beginning to what will surely be a Justice League worth watching.

Review copy provided by DC Comics

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Reviewed By: Emma Coverdale

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Gregg Hurwitz
Artist: Szymon Kudranski
Colorist: John Kalisz
Genre: Comic Book
MSRP: $2.99 USA
Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: Available Now

Gotham City … you just have to love a city so far from grace that it needs a man dressed up like a bat to save it from a collection of freaks and criminally insane foes. Among the number of Gotham’s Most Wanted is the Penguin yet what do we really know about him or his past? Penguin: Pain and Prejudice #1 is a character study of a very dangerous man who – up until now – reveals a troubled childhood that is but the tip of the iceberg.

Born into the world as Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot to a mother who so affectionately calls him a beautiful boy despite the fact that the physicians that helped deliver the infant see the obvious physical abnormalities, the only real warmth came from the infant’s mother. While the mother only sees the beauty in her child, the father is another story altogether as one look at his son has him dropping the baby! Oswald’s father doesn’t even want his infant son on his bed, coldly pushing the baby aside to be intimate with his wife.

Unfortunately, after that, Oswald’s early childhood is something of a nightmare for a boy born with an unusual beak-like nose and short stature. He was isolated by his “normal” brothers who did not want to play with him and all his classmates seem to consider him a disgusting freak. Naturally, he was bullied in the most awful of ways as he eventually grew angry and vengeful. How could he not when friends and family would do unpleasant things to him?

It is through these quick peeks into his early childhood that we come to understand how Oswald Cobblepot grew up to become the Penguin. When we see him, it is the Penguin we all know as he has put together a party for an unknown investor. The Penguin immediately recognizes that people respect him out of fear. He is indeed a mean-looking man who is now use to getting what he wants with the snap of a finger or simply just a glance in the right direction.

He’s the type of man who lives in both his business worlds at the same time. Sure, he sets up cool events, one of which will feature a certain Irish rock band. However, the way he gets this famous rock band to attend is dirty. During the party, he takes care of his criminal endeavors.

Oh, he is indeed a man to fear as we can see when a young man bumps into him and quickly insults Oswald without even turning around to see who he bumped into. When the young man realizes who he had offended, the Penguin very calmly and casually has said young man come back up to his office just so he could tell him all the nasty things he had his thugs do to the young man’s family. Oh yeah, money brings the power to do things like this as the Penguin thinks.

On top of that, we get a glance at the Penguin’s relationship with his mother now as he has a group of thugs violently take a rare necklace from an heiress just so he could give it to his mother. He’s clearly very affectionate towards his mother, taking care of her himself in such a delicate that should have been endearing but is just creepy. In the end, the Penguin gets a visit from the Dark Knight himself.

Gregg Hurwitz pens an excellent first issue to this short series and keeps our interest as he paints a picture of painful memories that haunt a man who has turned to wealth and power to create a person you must fear and respect. Then there’s Szymon Kudranski’s art that stands out beautifully just like the cover itself.

Penguin: Pain and Prejudice #1 is a revealing and intriguing look at a character we thought we knew well through all the Batman titles. While this is but the first issue in this five-part series, it already reveals a troubled past that has led Oswald Cobblepot down a criminal road. We just can’t wait to see more of his past in the next issues of this well-told story.

COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN

STORY: B+
A glance into the birth and childhood of Oswald Cobblepot shows us that life dealt him a very bad hand since his appearance has alienated him from friends and family. It is because of this that he has become the Penguin, a man with money who is vicious enough to ruin a man’s life just for giving him the wrong glance. He is a man who cares for his elderly mother and willing to give her an heirloom taken from the corpse of a known Gotham socialite.

ART: A
Szymon Kudranski’s artwork and John Kalisz’ coloring compliment each another to the point of making this a comic that looks really damn good and the cover is simply stunning. The Penguin never looked this good or menacing.

OVERALL: B+
Penguin: Pain and Prejudice #1 is the start of a fascinating and beautifully crafted character study and this is just the first issue of this five-part series. As we get a deeper look at Oswald Cobblepot’s birth and upbringing, we come to understand what led him to become one of Batman’s most interesting foes. We wish all the other Batman villains got the same treatment in the near future.

Review copy provided by DC Comics

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Reviewed By: Frosty McKenzie

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Brian Azzarello
Artist: Cliff Chiang
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Genre: Comic Book
MSRP: $2.99 USA
Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: Available Now

We have seen Wonder Woman in a number of unusual predicaments and thanks to a certain blockbuster summer comic book event we have seen her in a very unlikely role but a new beginning is something else altogether. As it turns out, though, Wonder Woman #1 is a new beginning that is every bit as epic as her fantastic beginning so long ago. Wonder Woman fans, you really do need to pick this one up no matter what.

On the top floor of a penthouse building in Singapore, a mysterious man of obvious wealth and power who tells three striking human girls that he considers himself the rightful heir to a throne that should be his despite the fact that his father has other children since the king does get around. The trouble is that the mystery man’s father is missing and he intends on find them using his power that transforms the three women into some form of all-seeing oracles.

Meanwhile, in a farm in Virginia, a mysterious figure slices the heads off a pair of horses as something grows out of the bloody stumps. On the other side of the farm, a young woman named Zola is holding a shotgun on a very unusual home intruder. This mystery man seems to know Zola by name and tells her that assassins are after her. Unfortunately, it’s too late because centaur assassins suddenly appear and injures the mystery messenger who has come to help Zola.

It is then that Zola obtains a special key from the one who tried to warn her and said key instantly whisks the young woman to a bedroom in London, England where she awakens a statuesque beauty who just so happens to be Princess Diana … better known to the world as Wonder Woman. It is our favorite Amazonian who takes it upon herself to see what went down back in Virginia clad in her new costume (more on that later). Obviously, the key is magical and belongs to a world more familiar to Princess Diana.

The problem is that Zola also grabs a hold of Wonder Woman as they are both teleported back to Zola’s farm only to find the centaur assassins still there. It is Wonder Woman who identifies the unusual man that tried warning Zola as none other than Hermes himself. It is Hermes that brings Wonder Woman up to speed and tells her the reason she has come to warn Zola. I won’t reveal what it is because this surprise is a big one.

Meanwhile, Wonder Woman deals with the centaurs that will stop at nothing to slay Zola and it’s quite an exciting fight. This leads us to the end that is but just the beginning to what is already shaping out to be something quite extraordinary. Brian Azzarello certainly knows how to tell an interesting story and he manages to capture our attention immediately with this story so we are certainly looking forward to what he has in store for us in future installments.

Then there’s the art by Cliff Chiang whose original artwork is perfect for the series. He manages to take Wonder Woman’s new costume and make it even better and yes, she looks amazing in battle. Adding Matthew Wilson’s coloring to the artwork definitely makes for a book that is easily a great-looking one for a first issue.

Without a doubt, Wonder Woman #1 is a stellar first issue that doesn’t fail to surprise and live up to the expectations that fans of the series have been anticipating since the announcement of this intriguing “reboot.” Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang make a brilliant team and, as a result, the book ends up being everything you can want in a Wonder Woman series. I am definitely considering myself a new fan and will most definitely keep my eye on this woman of wonder.

COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN

STORY: A+
A mystery man sets the wheels in motion as he looks into his future to discover the identity of the person who can stop him from becoming king. Meanwhile, a pair of centaur assassins is sent to kill a young woman named Zola who is carrying an important child. By way of a magic key, Zola is transported to London where she finds Wonder Woman who defends her against their attackers.

ART: A
We’ve been in love with Cliff Chiang’s artwork for a long time now and is definitely the right choice to kick off this series. Even the cover is unique and easy on the eyes.

OVERALL: A+
A surprising and monumental first issue, Wonder Woman deserves a title that is as impressive as her Wonder Woman #1 is just that title to live up to the hype. Magnificently executed by both Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang, this is already turning out to be a series that all Wonder Woman fans new and returning should pick up right away.

Review copy provided by DC Comics

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