GREEN ARROW #16 (DC, $2.50)
Brad Meltzer, a best-selling
fiction writer, makes his comic book debut as the new writer for Green Arrow,
replacing fan-favorite Kevin Smith. Meltzer impressed me with his characterization
and seems to really have a solid take on Quinn, not to mention some pretty funny
bits with Superman. The art by Hester and Parks is as strong as ever. The only
thing that concerns me is that Meltzer is starting his run on the title with a
six issue story arc which might be a bit too long to retain the loyal Smith fans.
We'll just have to wait and see. You can check out Brad Meltzer's site
(8 out of 10)
- Jason Shayer
HAWKMAN #7 (DC, $2.50)
While the first story arc of this series really didn't do much for me, issues
#5 and #6 did manage to kept me on board long enough to get to issue #7 which
finally got my attention. In the same vein as the Times Past stories in Starman,
James Robinson and company give us a glimpse into one of Hawkman's former lives
as the Western hero Nighthawk. The inking by Timothy Truman (Jonah Hex, The Kents)
was a great touch ensuring a distinctive gritty and tough atmosphere. I'm really
enjoying how Robinson is building the history of Hawkman's city, St-Roch. (8 out
- Jason Shayer
HELLBOY: THE THIRD WISH #1-2 (Dark Horse, $2.95)
Hellboy is a wonderful treat to read. Hellboy's creator, Mike Mignola, only puts
out a couple of issues every year as he's been busy with the upcoming Hellboy
movie, but the wait between issues is certainly worth it. The Third Wish is a
great self-contained story that's a perfect jumping on point for those of you
out there that haven't been picking up this series. This miniseries gives you
a great taste of what makes Hellboy such a great series.
Hellboy features spectacular art, great characters, dialog, and story all within
an atmosphere that's a pleasant blend of the mystical and the fantastic. (10 out
- Jason Shayer
PLANETARY/JLA: TERRA OCCULTA (Wildstorm/DC, $5.95)
While I no longer hit the stores weekly for my fix, I do stop in to pick up trade
paperbacks once in a blue moon. While there, I usually pick up a book or two,
one from my old pull-list (hey, you ever seen an alcoholic in a bar? It's a sad,
sad sight). This time around, there were a couple of books, but one in particular
that I had waited for for months: the first (and likely last) ever meeting of
the JLA and Ellis' seminal super-team study, Planetary. Perhaps it was too much
hype, but . . . I am a tad disappointed.
Don't get me wrong -- there's a lot of good here. Jerry Ordway's art is phenomenal
-- the man hasn't pencilled with this much life and style in . . . well, maybe ever.
David Baron throws in some great coloring to complete the picture (no pun intended,
honest). Ellis, as expected, delivers dialogue as no one else does, and sets a
great idea in motion.
The disappointment is in the plot -- or, more to the point, the rushed development
thereof. This is the first time in memory that I have really had a problem with
Ellis' pacing. It feels like he initially set it up as a four issue mini-series,
then decided about a third of the way in to wrap it up and move back to his non-spandex
stuff (though, to be fair, he handles the super-heroes less like comic book characters
and more like science fiction specimens). The beginning starts to develop nicely,
but then suddenly you are looking at the last image, wondering what exactly happened,
wanting to know more about the characters you were just introduced to. There are
some nice surprises scattered throughout, but too many unanswered questions and
not enough closure.
Worth a read, if for no reason other than to see Ordway at the top of his game.
Sadly, a let-down in the end, especially given the foundation Ellis started. (5
out of 10)
- Kenn McCracken
THE PRO (Image, $5.95)
Like I said, you ever see an alcoholic in a bar, get out of the way. It's dangerous.
But it all the fault of the creators, I tell ya . . . Between Ellis and Ennis, the
world is a finer place.
Well, okay, more entertaining. But keep me entertained, and the world seems brighter.
Ellis writes mindboggling concepts; Ennis pushes the envelope. Where Ellis hands
you a batch of primo homegrown mushrooms, Ennis pushes your face into a pile of
cocaine big enough to give Pacino the sweats. He's skirted issues like religion,
extreme sexuality, cannibalism, all the while giving Tarantino nightmares . . . and
now, he mixes heroism with the world's oldest profession, and manages to produce
some of the most biting, multi-layered satire ever to see print.
Let's give credit where credit is due, and remember to tip the artists, as well
-- Amanda Conner's cartoonish style keeps the book light-hearted enough to keep
the reader from feeling perverse, simultaneously bringing a sincere humanity to
the title character. Jimmy Palmiotti's inks are excellent and blend beautifully,
enhancing the pencils as inks should, and David Mounts colors are just right for
the parody feel. If nothing else, Conner and company nail the Green Lantern character
(and his powers) better than anyone ever hoped to.
NOT FOR KIDS -- but damn, everyone else needs to read this twice. (10 out of 10)
- Kenn McCracken