Comic Book Reviw: Batwoman Issue 34

I had found Batwoman rather interesting, I arrived in this comics life when everything had changed, new writers, new artists and so the comic has been on shaky ground, yet I personally feel – again having not been part of the Batwoman fan group for very long – that this issue pretty much takes the cake of them all.

This issue pretty much takes away the set up that had been made by the creators before these guys, this issue is rather dull and although in a way sad, it’s also frustrating.

Batwoman, or Kate Kane, is a woman who for all her issues is an enjoyable character, there is something to her that is relate-able and is more human than many other characters, yet at the same time this issue crops up and I hate it with a passion.

This issues has Kate break away from her long time partner Maggie, she breaks away from her for some noble reasons and then other not so noble reasons.  One of those reasons is her using her own money to make someone back off, then take a break from her lover.  This is just so bad I can’t even begin to explain it without spoiling this issue for you.

But I have to because it’s literally that bad.

Kate Kane decides that, given that Maggie’s ex won’t let her have custody of their daughter because her lover is a bad influence, she breaks up with her, but not before she calls Maggie’s ex to arrange a deal, which of course involves a pay off and Kate agreeing to stay away from Maggie and her daughter for a certain length of time.  This is the part that annoys me, she paid her lovers ex off, she bribed him, agreed to stay away from her lover so that she could have her daughter back full time.  It sounds noble, yet at the same time it wasn’t a battle for Kate to fight, Kate should have stood by Maggie, supported her, helped her when she needed help, not get so far involved that she bribes the ex into giving up his daughter! She knew that Maggie didn’t want her to get involved in this case but she did so anyway, because she believes that she knows best and yet she did something that she shouldn’t have, she took the battle away from Maggie and although she believed she was doing the right thing, she has left Maggie broken hearted.  Kate is Maggie’s love, from what I have seen they have argued like many couples do, they care for each other, they look out for each other, they point out the problems they are having and most importantly of all they respect each other.  In this moment, with Kate doing what she did, she made it seem like she didn’t respect Maggie, she didn’t believe Maggie couldn’t win this battle to get her daughter back.  She used her money and made a promise to stay away from the daughter and broke up with Maggie.

The rest of the comic deals with a vampire, we have seen her about in the past couple of issues now, but this time it’s her against Kate Kane, not Batwoman.  It ends on a cliff hanger and we will see the next issue being about Futures End, five years into the future.

I am disappointed with the comic for being like this, there was so much more potential to be had if Kate didn’t use her wealth to fix things and let her lover take control over what needed to be done for the court case.  The rest of what was going on in the comic was essentially background nose to what was happening there.

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Comic Review: Original Sin: Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm

I have done 3 reviews for this series, welcome to issue four!

To recap from my past reviews of this mini series, I enjoyed issue one and a little bit of issue two, issue one was very much the brother’s bonding and getting together to find Thor’s – although Thor sees Loki as his brother and Loki does view Thor as his, but this case something makes our trickster keep this kind of reveal at arms length – sister.  We learn about angels and their hatred of Odin and Asgard.  We also learn that the art in this series is not the best, given that it changes when it’s in Heven and when it’s on Midgard.

Issue 4 of 5 is the one where we actually get things going, we learn Loki really isn’t that bad and as always he has many tricks up his sleeve, we also see that Thor isn’t at the mercy of the angels as the Queen had first thought.

I really dislike the art work in this, I really dislike the missing faces so that you see the eyes and body and that’s it, the part where Loki actually loses her legs so she just has a torso and head floating around and no one seems to have eyes until there is a close up.  The art work just seems rushed in the Heven scenes and it just makes reading it seem like a chore.

The sad thing with this mini series is that it just isn’t enjoyable, the art work isn’t great -although yes time scale is indeed a factor, yet the parts where Loki was with the Angels out with Heven should have looked bad too, but they didn’t – the plot is rather obvious and the story in general is just lacklustre.  I wish I could praise it as I did at the start, but sadly this series is just not gripping me, I just want issue 5 to be out so that it will be over and I can read Agent of Asgard again and see exactly how Old Loki is going to come about.

The issue here doesn’t have much focus on Angela, indeed the last  3 issues didn’t have much or any real focus on her, she’s just placed there because it suits the writers, she isn’t used that well and to be honest if people don’t know who she is in general – Guardians of the Galaxy readers would – then there really should be a slight background story to her and her reason for not being able to return to Heven, or at least what she believed was the reason.  Here Angela is nothing more than a prop device, she has not real impact on the story apart from the obvious and really we learn nothing about her, nothing that I am seeing on these pages is making me want to read Angela: Asgard’s Assassin; which will be out in November 2014, which is a shame because I have seen the moments Angela has had with Gamora – thanks to the people I follow on tumblr – and she seems a rather interesting character there that I want to know more about.  Yet here, there is nothing, there was no ‘oh my god I am home’ nothing of that nature.  Now I have no idea how long Angela has been kept from returning home, but I know that to be able to do so, she would feel relief, she would find her place there or not; there was a scene between her and Loki that probably reflects on how she felt about being home and being given a high ranking title; yet it was so little it did nothing and again the art work didn’t help matters either.

I know, I am moaning, but this series just came out rubbish and it could have done so much better.

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Comic Review: Magneto issue 6 and 7

This is another comic I am late to the party with.  I was never going to read it because… Well Magneto was never a character I was that interested in, his backstory is tragic but essentially everyone can see that he became the one thing he hated the most, but he was too blind to see it himself.

In this though Magneto has changed, he’s been reformed for sometime in the Marvel Comics world and he has got his own series!  – lucky him – I have managed to pick up issues 6 and 7, because a gentleman at my local comic store told me that it was a good run and something in preparation to the whole Axis line that Marvel Comics is going to roll out later on this year – hopefully the Axis will go better than the Original Sin.  Because of him telling me that, I figured I should read up on these comics, obviously I haven’t gotten the start of the series, however the one thing Marvel is good at, the first page gives you a rough idea of what happened in the last issue.

It was interesting to read about Magneto aiding mutants, however I also found that in a way he really hadn’t changed, issue 6 is the one that really tells you that Magneto hasn’t actually changed, he just wants to try and cover it up that he is saving his own kind, when really, he’s not.

Magneto will never be like Charles Xavier, everyone knows that, Magneto doesn’t want to be like Charles Xavier, again everyone knows that; however Magneto wants to help mutant kind, the only problem is that Magneto doesn’t seem to know how to help mutant kind without returning to what he used to do and turning it on it’s head.

Issue six was the one that made you see him clearly and issue seven was the one that made you realise exactly what road he is going to take.

Magneto is an interesting character, he’s evil but he has a background story that kind of makes sense as to why he is like that; the story makes you feel sorry for him, his past is tragic and it has clearly left a lot of emotional scars that he has kept hidden for a long time.  That said it doesn’t really excuse him from all that he has to the world, he has made many mistakes and caused many deaths both human and mutants, in a way this is him trying to redeem himself, but can a man like him; who has been so bitter and had so much hatred pent up; really change?

I suppose this is what this comic series is going to draw out, or indeed let the readers come to their own conclusions in this matter.  Is Magneto going back to his old ways? Or will he redeem himself and be part of the hero’s?

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Comic Review: Storm issue 2

I am slightly late to this party, but not as much as I was with issue one of the Storm series.  The weather goddess is back in her second issue and finds herself wanting to help people who have gone missing, which is all well and good, we also see some of her past being brought into this issue, along with some romance.  All of this is rather good for those who aren’t fully aware of Storm’s history and background.

The comic is good, the only problem with it? Its very similar to the first issue.

Storm goes out of her way to save a girl who has been missing, the girl is indeed in trouble, so Storm sets off to find her, with the help of Hank McCoy – poor Hank, surely this man also needs his own mini-series*? – once again Storm learns that she has been too brash, although it was someone else who literally started the fight.

Am trying to keep from any spoilers being made here.  I am enjoying this series, it’s good for those new comers to the comics to learn about Storm, to learn about her background, although it’s not painted so obviously in these issues, they do give a sense of who she is within them, they do make the reader realise exactly who she is in these pages.

I just wish the first two issues weren’t about Storm making mistakes in a dramatic fashion; aka jumping to conclusions.  This one was more lacking in any real fights compared to the first one.  Part of me feels for Storm, but another part of me wonders why she would have acted as she did when really it was a mystery she was trying to unravel, not start a fight, I would expect this from Wolverine but not Storm!

I am wondering how good the next issue is going to be, I really hope it’s a departure from this load of rubbish – Storm wants to save a young person, she goes out looking for them with the aid of Hank/Beast, she jumps to the wrong conclusion and learns a valuable lesson – because right now it feels like an after school special.  I want to see Storm deal with other things apart from trying/attempting to save young people who don’t need or don’t want to be saved.  I want to learn about her romance with Wolverine, how she balances out her responsibilities with being an X-Man and a head teacher, I want to know who her friends are currently, who she is close to and what kind of trouble do they get each other into.

I want something this isn’t essentially the same two lessons in these issues, I would like for something different and new to happen.

I know I sound like I am just moaning, perhaps I am; but Storm is an amazing character, all that power she has and she has so much wisdom as well, she has been a thief in Cairo and she has been worshipped as a goddess, she has been a leader of the X-Men and she has been a Queen; all of these roles have provided her with a lot of wisdom, with a lot of lessons learned and seeing her comrades, her friends, killed before her eyes in missions.  Does she suffer from PTSD? Does she wish to change the past? How much guilt does she carry if any for certain actions?

She could be so much more in this comic and not just some weather witch, she is Storm and she should be shining in these, things should be learned more about her character, about her friendships about her in general and out of these two issues, I am not really seeing it.  Or maybe I am missing it completely.

 

* I am probably alone in thinking that Beast deserves a comic of his own, probably a mini series at least.  He’s a genius after all and Storm goes to him for advice, he’s smart and knows technical stuff, not at much as Reed Richards or Tony Stark but still he’s got the know-how.  Plus it would be interesting to learn how hard he has had it and how hard it is for him now.

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Comic Book Review: All-New X-Factor

I began to read All-New X-Factor from about issue 10 and I really couldn’t enjoy the characters that much, how ever issues 12 and 13 are very much worth reading if you are after more character development.

As perusual I arrive to the party late – as I always am with comics, it’s like a hobby I don’t realise I have! – and at the time when i finished reading issue 11 I decided that I didn’t want to continue to read the rest of this series.  But I went back to it, because again tumblr showed me that the next issue was interesting and builds a bit more on the characters.

The start of issue 12 focuses on Pietro/Quicksilver and how he is told to leave the X-Factor and rejoin the Avengers; these issues are very much his own character development, he makes his choice much to the surprise of his companion.  This issue focuses on the team and a press conference, to show that the X-Factor team that Serval Industries is more proactive than passive like many of the other superhero teams out there – though in no way trying to take away there thunder.  You get a glimpse in this issue that things really aren’t as they seem, yet Lorna/Polaris holds her own against the head of the company in an arguement.  The end of the issue is rather sweet, there is no action here but it’s good seeing the team interacting as people rather than just using each other in a fight.

Issue 13 is still about Pietro/Quicksilver and his daughter Luna, this is where the action happens and you learn a little bit about Luna and a lot more about Pietro too.  Here we see that Pietro acts more like a father to Luna than he has before and Luna really wants to spend more time with him, it’s a lovely family bonding moment that you know is going to go wrong because it’s in the Marvel Universe and that’s how things tend to roll there.  We see Polaris come and aid Quicksilver in his fight, where she states he is her brother; which is a lovely cute moment.

There was another moment in the comic as well, with Gambit kissing Lorna without permission – this could easily be by passed and thought very little of but I found it interesting – Lorna slapped Gambit for doing it and then apologised for doing so, Gambit is the one who told her she shouldn’t apologise for doing it and that he deserved it.  That scene, though short was actually nicely done, I really did think they were going to pair the two of them up, thankfully it was just a small build up of characters there.

So I am going to be giving the All-New X-Factor another chance, I want to see how things go now, how Luna gets along with everyone on the team and if she learns to stop tampering with people’s emotions.

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Comic Review: Thor/Loki: Blood Brothers

I know I am doing a lot of reviews this week on books and a comics, mainly comics, but this is due to me being really lazy in the past couple of months.  So here is another review!

Thor/Loki: Blood Brothers is an interesting read, showing what would have happened should Loki win against Thor.

The idea seems to have gone through a lot of Marvel Villians, I have read somewhere that Doctor Doom had won against the Fantastic 4 but the victory wasn’t what he wanted because he needed the hero’s, without them what is Doom?

It’s the same idea here, Loki has finally defeated Thor, you can tell from Loki’s features that it has been a battle hard fought, the trickster god looks so much older than the god’s he grew up with, such as Sif and Bauldr. But there are aspects that show that although Loki wanted to win, he wanted to defeat Thor, he isn’t a King. Loki isn’t the type to take responsibility for his own actions, so why would he do so for his new kingdom?
Those who helped him in his quest to defeat Thor are asking for their reward, Hela even makes an appearance in his chambers for her reward, which is simple – she wants Thor’s soul.

Those words are the things that make Loki wonder about his position, although he remember the childhood slights that he receives as a youngster, he says ‘without Thor what is Loki?’

He is a villian who has gotten what he wanted, a defeated Thor, a kingdom; yet to kill Thor would mean that Loki has nothing. Thor is what keeps Loki going, in a sense Thor is always going to be needed to keep Loki entertains, to challenge his skills, his plans and magic.

The book also delves into the other characters like Sif, who managed to scare Loki and fight him even when chained up; Bauldr is another, along with Odin who asks Loki how he would kill Thor when he has tried so many times in the past.

This is a dark book, so younger readers probably shouldn’t read it; but it’s also interesting to see how Loki’s mind works, or at least Old Loki – as the fandom is calling him. Old Loki is in two minds, one just wanted to humiliate Thor as Thor has often done to him and another part just wants him out of the way.

The art work in this book is stunning, I know there is a live comic of this that you can buy the DVD for, but from the trailers I think it doesn’t do the art any favours.

This is a book that is rather hard to find, but once you have it, it’s well worth it, plus there is extra sketches in the back along with other Loki related tales, some classic and other’s in relation to the Siege of Asgard.

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Comic Review: The Trials of Loki

The Trials of Loki was a four issue mini series focusing on Loki, it is also called Thor: The Trials of Loki, however it has nothing to do with the mainstream Thor or Journey into Mystery.  It’s essentially a standalone series that was written just before the movie Thor came out.  

Here we have Loki’s side of the Edda’s, the famous Norse poems about the gods that put Loki in a negative way and casts him as being a menace to the other good gods on Asgard.  These issues, although only four of them really do tell the tale of Loki and his downward spiral into being evil an causing the fall of Asgard.

Although the Edda’s are being followed this is Marvel, they are going to take the Edda’s a twist it a little bit to make it something that they like, which actually works rather nicely.  Not all of the Edda’s are used, some are and other’s are set aside because it’s difficult to use – the horse one would be a good example really.  

The book starts out with Loki in hiding, given that he looks worse for wear you can guess this is his last stand, and when Thor shows up, claiming to want to hear the truth from Loki; well the trickster has nothing more to lose than to tell his side of the tale.

So it begins with Bauldr and Loki riding through a field where Thor and Sif are sparring – this is where we see that Loki cares for Sif as he gazing longingly at her, though he knows it will never happen.

The art work in the book is beautifully done, Loki is made to look more menacing in each issue, issue one he is seen more of the trickster and causing mischief, in the next volumes you seen him wearing heavier furs, his eyes are the things you should focus on because they tell you a lot more about how he is feeling about certain situations.

With this being Loki’s tale, you expect the reader to be biased and agree with all his decisions; but the writer has done a very good job of it.  The reader doesn’t believe that everything that Loki has done is of great benefit to himself, so the reader is unbiased to Loki, although they can certainly see why he did certain things, there are other times when they probably wonder how right in the head was Loki when he decided to do that.

It’s a well written mini series that I personally feel should have been longer and included more of the Edda’s than what was already there.  However what we got it a brilliant work with beautiful art that I keep returning back to read because it is that enjoyable.

 

 

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