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Weekly Comic Book Reviews #8

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

Couldn’t agree more with Superman’s opinion of Heroes in Crisis!

Heroes in Crisis #4 – #8

Written by: Tom Kingv

Drawn by: Clay Mann

As the DC comic book mini-series nears its conclusion the slow paced story finally reveals interesting plot twists but sadly it’s a case of too little, too late.

The pace of the Heroes in Crisis comics has been incredibly slow, as each issue is released.  For such a big event it’s very low on drama, plot and progression.

King continues to write in the same style as the rest of the mini-series with current day events following the attack at Sanctuary, while continuing the flashback panels from the Heroes who checked in to Sanctuary. 

The premise, as mentioned in earlier reviews of this series, is a plausible one and in theory should make an excellent story, sadly the pace runs at a snail’s pace and at the end of each issue the reader is left scratching their head, thinking what, if anything actually happened to progress the story.

With issue 8 the plot does finally show signs of life in terms of progression, and there is a reveal that was a genuine surprise and does make the final upcoming issue, something that should be of a more enjoyable read.  Sadly though, the entire run on this series has been due to bland writing, an unexciting story and the 9 issues could have been told in 3 issues at best.

The art continues to be the saving grace for the comic with every issue delivering outstanding art with wonderful fine crisp pencils and a great palate of colours that are a joy visually with great renditions of the DC cast.

If the writing matched the art this would have been a masterclass in storytelling but unfortunately Heroes in Crisis’ main crisis right now is not the villains but King himself due to the writing and plot.  It will be interesting to see how issue 9 wraps this slow overly long story, but I for one will be glad when this series is over.

Score out of 10:-

Story – 3

Art – 9

Overall – 4

Cyclops has his difficulties in Uncanny X-Men #15

Uncanny X-Men #11-16 – 6 issue storyline – This is Forever

Written byMatt Rosenberg

Drawn by: Salvador Larroca

Following the events of the 10 issue weekly storyline, Uncanny X-Men has now gone fortnightly with Matthew Rossenberg becoming the main writer for the comic book series. He is an excellent choice and he’s fast proving why he is one of Marvels rising stars (he is also doing excellent work on the current Punisher run).

This story is putting the X-Men, (or what’s left of them) intheir most depleted and grittiest beat down situations in a long time.  

Following the destruction of the X-Mansion in the events of previous storyline ‘Disassembled’ and the current 5 month story arc ‘Age of X-Men’ in which the majority of the X-Men are presumed dead or missing, (pick up that title to find out more), it is left to Scott Summers and Logan to bring a group of mutants together to continue to fight for a world that fears and hates them.

This storyline has been receiving critical acclaim, mainly for the fresh approach to the X-Men and it really does feel different with core X-Men and also new and surprising additions who all help give good depth to the story and team status quo. 

The story of fighting for a world that hates mutants isn’t particularly new and plot does seem to reply of the phrase a little too often during the 6 issue story arc but overall the situations the X-Members are put in really does deliver a moredarker serious tone and makes a more intense story because of it and really shows the X-Men in a different perspective.  For example seeing them take refuge in the basement of bar is a lot different than the surroundings of the Xavier School for the gifted.  

Having the recently returned Cyclops Wolverine working together with the excellent choice of team members works really well and there are some really well played out character dynamics between all the members with just enough humour added to help liven the otherwise gritty plot.

The story itself is a fun ride throughout the 6 issues, though I was a little disappointed with the overall lack of enemies and it did feel slightly anticlimactic in the final issue but overall the pacing of the story was very good and it the writing keeps you entertained right to the end.

Art is excellent throughout with some superb battle scenes.  The characters are very detailed and hats off to the great work of the talents for the pencils, inks and colourist, who all do their work exceptionally well.

This story didn’t break the mold as much I was expecting but was good to read a fresh approach in this comic series with a great use of X-characters particularly Cyclops, who has been missed and is great to see him back and front of centre of this new look X-Men team.

Score out of 10:-

Story – 8

Art – 9

Overall – 8.5

There’s more fun on this cover than parts of the Knightmares Storyline of Batman

Batman #61 – #62 and #65 – #69 – 6 Issue storyline – Knightmares

Written By: Tom King

Drawn by: Various Artists

Knightmares is a big let-down, there I’ve said it.  Now I’ve got that off my chest let’s get this next comic book review underway.

Following the excellent previous storyline that delivered an excellent cliff-hanger, fans pick up the next issue to be greeted with Chapter one of ‘knightmares’, a story that had nothing to do with the previous storyline ending and readers are plummeted into what felt like the middle of a storyline.

This leaves fans feeling confused and King does little, to no effort in explaining what is going on and why the previous ending has been ignored.

Sadly this trend continues in the entire run of the ‘Knightmares’ storyline.  It does feel almost like King is enjoying his story himself but forgetting to explain to the reader what is going on.  

It is not until the final chapter that the story starts to make any kind of sense.  Each issue plays out some kind of nightmare in Batman’s head but the problem with this is that it does not explain the over arcing details and plot and having readers puzzled for five issues, leaving readers confused and it actually gets to a point where you’re left wondering what parts of the plot are real and imaginary and only really issue six that does any attempt in explaining anything.

King has tried to script a plot, cleverer than he actually is in his writing style with a quirky type of story that left me bored and eager for this story to end as a result – very much like his run on Heroes in Crisis mini-series.

The story arc is basically 7 one shot comic book stories with a different artist for each, but nothing flows or gels together as an overarching story and comes across as a mess.  It doesn’t help that #63 – #64 ignores the storyline for a separate Batman and Flash team up (reviewed in weekly comic book reviews #7) which was a fantastic story but oddly placed in-between the Knightmares story.

Art is also a mixed bag and it doesn’t help that various artists pitch in to help draw the 6 issues and as a result, the pencils don’t flow throughout each chapter and also some the facial art looks very bland and expressionless.

Overall I didn’t see the point of the storyline, or at least the length of the story arc, that could have been told in a single issue instead of being dragged out for 3 months.  (Again a problem I also had with Kings ‘Heroes in Crisis’).

The cast are good, there are moments of enjoyment and thefinale to the 6 part story does slightly redeem ‘Knightmares’ but sadly this storyline title is very apt but for the wrong reasons.  Hopefully the next story arc will be much more enjoyable featuring Bane and Arkham Asylum.

Score out of 10:-

Story3

Art: 5

Overall: 3.5

Doctor Doom and Galactus continue to do battle in Fantastic Four #7

Fantastic Four – #6 – #9 – 4 Issue storyline – ‘Herald of Doom’

Written by: Dan Slott

Drawn by: Aaron kuder

Dan Slott continues his successful run on Marvels favourite Family with a new 4 part storyline ‘Herald of Doom’.

Doctor Doom returns to the limelight following his stint as being a worthy successor to Ironman for 12 months, now that Tony Stark is back in action.  

This time Doom is not the hero and decides to make Latveriaa Country to be feared and more respected and to show this, he decides to do battle with the world eater, Galactus with Victor Von Doom hoping to show his power and superiority by defeating him.

Caught in the middle of all this are the Fantastic Four and what follows Is four issues of an entertaining if slightly underwhelming fast paced story that also features new characters that add additional depth to the plot. 

Part one begins with the battle between Doom and Galactusbut is sadly over far too quickly with the champion winning far too suddenly and easily.  The battle really should have had played out much longer with more depth to action.

The rest of the story does improve and is well written by Slott.  Despite a fairly large cast, the comic never gets tooconvoluted in characters and all of the main players manage to get plenty of the spotlight.

The story does wrap things up a little to conveniently and quickly and as a result makes the final chapter feel slightly rushed but I think this is due to the next issue taking place during ‘The War of Realms’ Marvel crossover epic but it’s a shame Slott wasn’t given more time to flesh this story out as another issue would have really helped with that.

The art in this comic is competent enough, although some panels came come across less detailed than others but on the whole it is fine work. Highlights are the carefully crafted pencils, if a little rough around the edges in places, with some facial expressions looking to sketchy, particularly on Reed Richards for some reason.

For those who always wanted to know how a Doom vs Galactus fight would play out, this storyline does give you that, just not as exciting as it could have been due to the rushed scenes but overall this comic book story is enjoyable but just not as fun as Slotts first story arc on this series.

Score out of 10:-

Story – 7

Art – 6.5

Overall – 7

That’s all for this week.

Be sure to leave feedback and opinions in the below comments and until next week… Thwip Thwip!

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