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Weekly Comic Book Reviews #5

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All the previous weekly comic book reviews can be found here!

It’s ‘part 1’ but feels like a stand-alone story

Batman #61

Written by: Tom King

Drawn by: Travis Moore

Batman has been on a roll for months now and although there has been a disappointing issue over the past couple of years here and there, overall the comic book series has been constantly excellent with strong, engaging and emotional story lines.

Sadly this issue does fall in to the rare disappointing category of the series. While the story is competent enough, it is a very slow paced and bland issue.  Once readers have finishing reading this issue, they are left wondering what the actual point of the issue actually was, which is something that they should ever feel after spending their money on a comic.

The story centres mainly on a teen boy, who desperately wants to live the life of Bruce Wayne, dressing, acting and living as Bruce did at that same age, all the while he makes many references to the real Bruce Wayne, his history (particularly with his parents) and he even has as ‘version’ of Batman alongside his dark troubled mind.  

The new character (who actually debuted in #38 in a single storyline), is a twisted deranged version of Bruce Wayne and is basically an introduction as a new addition to Batman’s Rogue Galley.  Sadly the way the story reads doesn’t lend itself well to making readers realise or understand this.

The last page reveal does hint at more to come but if this is supposed to be the start of a new subplot, sadly King did a bad job of pulling the reader in and giving a reason to be invested in the script.

Art is strong throughout with a nice use of dark colours that help set the moody and twisted parts of the story and Moore can really draw great facial art and gives real believable emotion in them. Inks too are good, giving a clean look to the pencils.

Hopefully #62 will lead to much more development in unresolved cliff-hanger of #60 but this issue feels very flat and is sadly a big let-down.

Score out of 10:-

Story – 4

Art – 8.5

Overall – 4.5

The cover to issue 1 of the 3 issue event!

Hulkverines – 3 Issue Mini Series

Written byGreg Pak

Drawn by: Ario Anindito

Hulkverines is a fun action filled comic book mini-series with a simple but effective script with a big dollop load of action.

This is, in some ways, a swan song finale, following the cancellation of the recent Weapon H, 12 issue run (which was also written by Greg Pak).

It’s not often writers get a chance to tell an additional story to tie up loose ends and tell a story that wasn’t given the chance in a former series but here Pak gets that chance and it’s a win, win for the Pak and for the fans of Weapon H.

The story centres on Hulk, Wolverine and of course Weapon H (aka – Hulkverine) with the villain The Leader devising a master plan to pit all three against each other that would allow The Leader to be the one who defeated them with a little help of his corrupting chemicals.

You get every character fight scene combination you can think off for the three heroes, with Hulk vs Weapon h in issue 1, Weapon H vs Wolverine in issue 2 and at one point, all three pitted against each other until the big finale in issue 3.

In some ways the plot is very weak and all very predictable, to the point that the mini-series really shouldn’t be as good as it is but thanks to the talent that is Pak, he manages to write a really good ,all out action script with great characters and using fun dynamics between the trio.  Adding Cortez’s <Weapon H> family in the story also helps adds a nice (if thin) layer of human emotion to the story.

The Leader plays his role magnificently with some humorous lines thrown in, despite his manipulative evil agenda.  The story has a great book end feel to it, especially for those who have stuck with the series through to the end.

Readers don’t need to worry about any confusion if you haven’t read the Weapon H series in the past, as Greg Pak does a great job of making this story accessible for new and current readers (Something the current Immortal Hulk series sadly doesn’t do very well, which I referenced in my weekly reviews #2).

The art is very good, with no real complaints other than some of the character faces can appear a little to sketchy and as a result can give a slight unfinished feel, mainly in some of the smaller panel art but overall it is neat enough and artist Anindito has the most fun when drawing the big fight scenes with the three heroes (there’s a fantastic double page spread of Hulk fighting Weapon H that is a real visual scene stealer).

What this story lacks in depth makes up for in bombastic superhero action with a great villain.  Hulkverines isn’t a game changer or standout title of the year contender but it sure is an entertaining read.

Score out of 10:- 

Story – 7

Art – 8

Overall – 8

The battle continues with Terrax in issue 2 of Superior Spider-Man!

Superior Spiderman #2 – 4 (Terrax stortline)

Written By: Christos Gage

Drawn by: Mike Hawthorne

Superior Spiderman’s new ongoing comic book series continues to find its feet and its place within the Marvel universe as Otto’sadventures in San Francisco continue to be a fun read and this issue particularly is heavy on the action.

Issue 2 and 3 continue the storyline of the ‘Superior’ Spiderman continuing to do battle with Terrax and his cosmic powers.  It is a fun read and watching Otto try to masterfully outwit and outsmart Terrax with intellect is beautifully played out.

Issue 4 deals with the fallout of the battle and the emotional battle within Otto’s own mind as part of him wants to be the selfish Otto of old, while battling the new conscious he has developed and how he now has to handle consequences.

The script is very well written and I particularly like the way the human emotions of the man behind the mask is handled as the Octavius of old wants to be supreme but at the same time the power and responsibility also want to make him a better person.

The art continues to be a bit of a mixed bag which is a shame and too much art in one panel continues to be problem for artist Hawthorne and as a result, doesn’t lend itself well to the writing.  There is good pencils in places but overall it needs less use of thick inks and a more vibrant colour would really help the pages look better visually.

The cast continues to grow but there is still no clear direction where this story is heading and the series is still struggling to figure if it wants to be a straight up superhero comic or a villain pretending to be the good guy?  I guess for now it’s a combination of both but I would like a deeper layer of plot threads to make Superior Spiderman a more must read each issue.

For now though we will have to make do with waiting to see where this comic book series goes but stronger development is definitely needed for issue 5 and beyond if this series wants be a superior title.

Score out of 10:-

Story7

Art: 6

Overall: 7

The dark and disturbing Professor Pyg is spotlighted in Batman #62

Batman #62

Written by: Tom King

Drawn by: Mitch Gerads

Yes there are two single Batman comics being reviewed this week.  

The reason I reviewed this issue separately is because they both act as single storyline rather than part of an ongoing arc.

This issue would have been better suited following the unresolved cliff-hanger of #60 rather the out of place andconfusing story continuity of issue of #61 as at least in this comic there a small amount of reference to the events of thatcliff hanger, which is more than the last issue managed to do.

This story only features two characters throughout the whole book (bar the final page) and there is no spoken dialogue until the final 3rd of the comic.  

The story starts with Batman tied up and captured byProfessor Pyg who is armed with a deadly butcher’s knife.  The only dialogue is that of the thoughts of Batman, as he has to act quickly to come up with an escape plan before Pyg can do the unthinkable.

The lack of spoken dialogue does not harm the story, as the writing is well scripted and despite a very weak storyline, it is still fun, as the reader to learn as each page goes by, Batman’s plan and watching it play out, seeing if it is successful or not.

Art, particularly in an issue like this needs to be strong and luckily, artist Gerads does a great job of telling the story through his drawing.

The colours can be a little watery looking but his pencils do give a nice detailed look to all the scenes. 

The cliff-hanger from #60 is still left unresolved and again, barely referenced but this issue does at least give readers hope that it won’t be long until we return to that chapter of thestory.

As <another> standalone story it is a good issue but sadly, it’s another issue, that if you missed it, you’re not really missing anything in terms of plot development, leaving readers to scratch their heads wondering why the cliff-hanger from #60 seems to be forgotten about.  Fingers crossed for #63.

Score out of 10:-

Story – 6

Art – 7.5

Overall – 6.5

That’s all for this week comic book fans!

Feel free to add any feedback and comments! Bye for now – Thwip Thwip!

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