Saturday, August 13, 2011

Comic Reviews from 8/8/11


Writer: Brian Azzarello

Art: Eduardo Risso

Publisher: DC

Reviewer: The Writing Rambler

                With the month of August upon us, we find ourselves heading toward the finale of the entire FLASHPOINT story and the impending reboot/re-launch of the DCU. With the end so near, we are also getting the final chapters of some of the tie in books, which for many fans have been the best part of the whole FLASHPOINT event. This week we see the close of arguably the best tie in with BATMAN KNIGHT OF VENGEANCE #3.

                After the setup of the first issue, which showed the reader the kind of Batman that Thomas Wayne was and the emotional sucker punch of the Joker reveal in the second issue, I was anxiously waiting to see how Brian Azzarello would close out this wonderfully told Batman story. To my delight, Azarello yet again creates a classic Batman tale and finishes up the story near perfectly. It stays dark and continues providing us a backstory of just how this world’s Batman and Joker came to be. It really is a thing of beauty to see a classic Joker/Batman fight seamlessly intertwined with a tragic backstory of a parent’s loss (told through flashbacks during the battle). As the book closes we see not only that we have been given a fully fleshed out Batman tale but also a motivation for Thomas’ actions in the overall FLASHPOINT story. It left me satisfied and really looking forward to what Batman will do in the final issue of FLASHPOINT.  

As the battle and the overall story come to a close its quality is only exemplified by Eduardo Risso’s artwork yet again. All the pain and loss that both Batman and Joker have suffered in this world are able to be felt in each panel through Risso’s work. His style perfectly blends with Azzarello’s writing and together they present a Batman story for the ages. As good as Azzarello’s writing is I honestly think this book could have contained no words and still conveyed one of the best Batman stories in years. One other thing I would like to mention in regard to the artwork is a commendation for Dave Johnson and his work on the cover art. He has done a great job throughout these 3 issues of setting the tone of the book with great covers for each and especially on this third and final issue. The image he presents here of a husband and wife mourning the loss of their child is both haunting and beautiful and it is one of my favorite Batman covers in a long time.

                My only real problem with this final issue has nothing to do with the book in any way. It is simply the fact that I don’t want to give it up and would love nothing more than to continue reading stories based in FLASHPOINT’s version of Gotham. Everyone involved in BATMAN KNIGHT OF VENGEANCE should be proud as they have crafted not only a fantastic Batman story but truly a unique universe on its own. I don’t know what the future holds for Batman and the DCU as a whole but I can only hope somehow, someway we get to revisit the world of BATMAN KNIGHT OF VENGEANCE again.

Writer: Jonathan Vankin
Art: Renato Arlem
Publisher: DC
Reviewer: The Writing Rambler

                A little over a month ago we were given a pretty weak start to BRIGHTEST DAY AFTERMATH: THE SEARCH FOR SWAMP THING. Sadly with issue #2 we are given more of the same. What we have here is basically a book full of questions with no answers in sight. The only real difference in this issue from the last is that John Constantine is interacting with Superman instead of Batman.
                This second issue, much like the first, is all over the place. We have Constantine trying to use Superman to help him find Alec Holland while were also being given a story of Alec Holland trying to piece his life together in his old lab. Much like the first issue seemed more aimed at force feeding DC readers who may be unfamiliar with John Constantine his general bio, this issue seemingly does the same for Alec Holland. While I get that the company wants new readers to know these characters I feel that they are doing more of a disservice to longtime fans who are looking for a good three part story before everything is reset come September anyway.
The art in the book outshines the story much like the first issue and the transition from Marco Castiello to Renato Arlem works just fine. The main difference is in how Arlem’s work has a more “old school” vibe to it, especially in the way he captures Superman. Overall I didn’t mind the change though it didn’t make or break the issue in any way.
                Once again though, I have to comment on the cover art for this series which has now become a sore point for me. Last month I mentioned how the cover seemed poorly executed and included Superman when he didn’t even appear in the issue. This month while we do actually have everyone’s favorite Kryptonian in the issue, we are basically given a rehash of the first issues cover! The cover is literally an alternate take of the last one minus Batman and Zatanna being included. I understand the cover doesn’t make the story but in this case it seems reflective of the content; repetitive and somewhat pointless.
I really hate being negative when it comes to a title but so far this short series seems like a complete waste of time for readers. I don’t know how this story will be wrapped up in issue 3 (if it even can be) and while I look forward to seeing what’s in store for Constantine and Swamp Thing in “The new 52” I fully assume the finale of this series will leave us all scratching our heads much like the first two chapters have.  All in all I wouldn’t recommend this series as there are much better things happening in the DCU but as a completest myself I’ll be there to see how it all wraps up.

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