Archive for Francis Manapul

This week in comics /27 Oct

Posted in Comics, Fantasy, Superhero with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2012 by Cara Marie

So I am not going to talk about Journey into Mystery in this post. Because it really deserves its own. But, in other comics I am following:

Batwoman #13, JH Williams III + W Haden Blackman

If I didn’t have this on standing order in print, I wouldn’t be making the effort to read it anymore, and I’m thinking I should just drop it altogether. Issue #12 was a mess; this is a bit better, because at least I know Wonder Woman’s meant to be there … but I am struggling to care about any of it. Even JH Williams’ art seems less wonderous than it usually does.

Justice League Dark #13, Jeff Lemire + Mikel Janin, Vic Drujiniu, Ulises Arreola

Okay, maybe reading this on account of Tim Hunter was not such a good idea.

The things that make me sad about Justice League Dark:

  • not actually using Tim Hunter
  • undermining Zatanna – in this issue, she gets kidnapped voluntarily sacrifices herself by going off with an old ex enemy who John Contantine stole her from … look, it really just seems like this turn of events is more about John than it is about Zatanna! And I’m as fond of John as anyone, but please, not at her expense.

The Flash #13, Francis Manapul +  Brian Buccellato

Panel where the Flash has used his super-speed to tie up a bunch of gorillas. Glider is skating in the air and says, 'Well done, Red. If you ever wanna take off your goody two-shows, we could use a guy like you.' Flash says, 'You wish.'

Luckily The Flash is here to keep me cheerful. There are gorillas in Central City! Flash’s enemies are forced into teaming up with him! It’s all very exciting, and the art is charming as always. I think the lesson is that I should only read DC comics if they’re child-friendly.

Captain Marvel #5, Kelly Sue DeConnick + Emma Rios, Jordie Bellaire

I really really want to love this comic but sadly I do not. It’s not that there’s anything in it that bugs me, or that it’s not written decently. It’s just that it’s not to my tastes. On the other hand, the preview is pretty interesting, so hopefully it will pick up. Maybe it’s just my innate loathing of time travel pulling things down.

Or it may just be that DeConnick is interested in different aspects of Carol than I am – always a risk with a new writer.

Or it could just be that the first arc in a new series is always the least interesting one. (That’s what I thought about Brian Reed’s Ms Marvel, at least.)

Anyway. Maybe next month I will love you, Captain Marvel.

Gambit #4, James Asmus + Leonard Kirk, Clay Mann, Seth Mann

This issue went by very fast. It’s pretty much the boss battle for the plot arc we’ve been following so far – so it’s not especially satisfying in itself, but it will work just fine once I reread the series. Plus, lookatthesedragons!

Full-page panel featuring some really stunning Eastern-type dragons.

Also, there is a lot of gratuitous shirtlessness.

A series of panels where Gambit has had his shirt torn to shreds. He uses what's left on the shirt to make himself a face-mask so he can go through some weird portal. What actually happens isn't really relevant, it's just the shirtlessness we're interested in.

Gambit is just a really fun series. It has gorgeous art and slinky, morally dubious attractive people. I have no idea what’s going to happen next and I really don’t care. In the good way :)

Off in the DCU

Posted in Comics, Manga, Middle fiction, Superhero with tags , , , , , , , on May 24, 2012 by Cara Marie

I always feel like Supergirl is way shorter than any of the other comics I read. Even though I’ve counted and it’s not. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because I am all for more panels showing less time, but it does make it rather frustrating to read issue by issue.

Last issue introduced Siobhan, whose super magic learning abilities meant she could actually talk to Kara … and thus that she immediately adopted her. It was adorable. I was rooting for bff-ery and epic hi-jinks, and would’ve been quite happy if that was all the issue had given us.

But then: reveal! Siobhan is actually heir to a magic power she doesn’t want, and her evil father has shown up and she has to fight them. Which was at the end of the last issue, which made me feel tired. It’s like back when I was reading Sailor Moon for the first time, and the senshi would just have defeated the big bad and I would be like, yay, time for hang-outs and Usagi getting some downtime!

Which would never actually happen – there would always be a new league of villains popping up to make life difficult for the senshi.

I suppose I did get nearly one entire issue that wasn’t plot-plot-plot, but I guess I was hoping for Siobhan to be a companion on Kara’s adventures, not a plot point.

But hey, maybe Siobhan will survive the next issue and not get overwritten by her own magic and Kara can have a friend.

I’m not very hopeful, though. That doesn’t sound like something that would provide Kara with much angst, and I suspect it’s the angst they’re going for.

I had a similar feeling of wanting the plot to slow down in the latest Flash. I don’t think giving your characters time to breath between enemies is going to stop people reading the next one! We don’t need a hook at the end of every issue!

Or maybe people do? It just feels too hectic, like they don’t have faith that we’ll want to keep reading next month if they don’t keep throwing plot! at us. (It’s not even like I’m not a narrative-driven reader.)

But I’ll forgive Flash because it’s so pretty. The splash pages especially are such a thing of joy, I’d probably buy it just for them. (It’s not that I don’t like the stories! Just that the rapid-fire of arcs is overwhelming.)

Many issues in quick succession

Posted in Comics, Fantasy, Superhero with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2012 by Cara Marie

The Flash

I find the speed force kind of bewildering. How does being able to go really fast result in all these different abilities?

Random bystander says, 'Thanks for thawing us out, Flash. How'd you ...?' 'Friction,' Flash says.

But, I find Barry kind of adorable and I really like the art. I never intended to read The Flash? But it was apparently my mother’s favourite when she was young, and the covers were pretty …

All the good characters are really decent people, which is a refreshing change. Particularly when some characters you don’t expect to have a nasty streak end up having one …

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman I have yet to get the latest issue. The first couple of issues were great but it’s rapidly gone meh for me. Also I expect Wonder Woman to be a superhero, not a Vertigo heroine. And I’m not opposed to Vertigo heroines, but Wonder Woman going to shows and smashing glasses into people’s hands (gods or no) and having an identity crisis is not really what I signed on for.

I’m just going to blame it on Brian Azzarello. It was his run I stopped reading Hellblazer the first time I was reading it. (Which I think is a pity now – because I was so close to Mike Carey’s run! Which I loved! But hey, the comics aren’t going anywhere.)

Demon Knights

Demon Knights is still fun. The dinosaurs are still wtf. I enjoy the tone of it, the mish-mash of high fantasy and all the things Paul Cornell thinks are awesome. I’d quite like to be consuming it in larger chunks.

Batwoman

Amy Reeder is good, but I feel a bit sorry for her, taking on Batwoman. Because she’s no JH Williams III. Some people might find the layouts easier to follow though! And Kate doesn’t look quite as anaemic.

Journey into Mystery

JiM is still charming. I like Hellstrom better here than anything else I’ve read him in.

'So,' Loki asks, 'Why the leather trousers and the lack of shirt?' And Leah says, 'I like the lack of shirt.' Me too, Leah.

Also, Leah has a lot of nice moments. Even the ones when she’s not there. ‘Even in a dream, Leah wouldn’t be nice!’ Loki says. Yup. Also, the bit where Thori’s  asking Hellstrom to be his master … it’s just great :D

Avengers Academy

I may be going off Avengers Academy. But then, I dislike time travel so it may just be this particular plotline. And Gage has a lot of characters to juggle now. (I just want my Finesse + Quicksilver bonding.) I’m not sure how well that’s going to work out? I would have preferred sticking to a smaller group. More time for character development. Less forgetting people exist (Sentinel boy).

Supergirl

I am a sucker for felt-tip colours at the moment. Still quite enjoying this, ignoring how on earth Kara managed to survive this issue (other than the power of love). There are some rather touching moments, where you see how young and on-the-verge-of-living Kara is.

Also, I have always been biased towards Supergirl :D