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review 2017-05-21 20:50
Extremely hot
THIRD (DC After Dark Book 1) - Robin Cov... THIRD (DC After Dark Book 1) - Robin Covington

Wow this one is hot. Robin Covington turned up the heat on this one. Dr Carla Androghetti has a kink that and she doesn't hide it. Aiden Cross crosses paths with her because her and there is sparks between the two of them but can they work through the kink factor and their jobs. These two have great chemistry and are great together plus you get to see some characters from past books. Robin again did a great job.

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review 2017-05-20 00:40
Batman and Swamp Thing team up
Batman (2016-) #23 - Tom King,Mitch Gerads

When Batman and Commissioner Gordon find a body on the 84th floor - with no way in except for the window - they think that will be the most odd thing about the murder.   Y'know, until Swamp Thing shows up suddenly behind them, causes Gordon to make a WTF face.  


Even odder, at least to me, was not only Swamp Thing's revelation about his connection to the dead man, but his whole philosophy.   Does all of Swamp Thing get that weird?   Oh, man, I might just have to read the older series now, because I was laughing out loud at some parts.   (Gordon's reaction to seeing Swamp Thing, and Alfred's reaction to having to clean up after Swamp Thing come to mind.)


Most of what I've read of Swamp Thing has been, embarrassingly, in the new Hellblazer series, and only a couple issues of that.   I say embarrassingly because this is clearly a hole in my comic book reading, a hole that's due to me being a Marvel fanatic.   (Read as I only read Marvel when I started getting into comics.   While I've expanded since then, my teenage-fueled fanaticism along with a slight hiatus, mostly during college, means that I'm still sadly behind.)    I loved King's take on Swamp Thing.   It felt different than Hellblazer's take, although not conflicting with that take.   Different circumstances, different writers, and different aspects of the same character.   Hellblazer didn't feel quite as philosophical and quite frankly bizarre to me, although there was an aspect of oddness that was just taken for granted: it was weird, the characters had lived with that fact for a while, and just accepted it.   But then again, Constantine would.   Batman, who deals with science and detective work, questions this a little more, pokes at it, and I think this is where the completely and utter weirdness comes from.   When put up against a character who thinks purely logically, instead of metaphysically, it seems even more odd due to the contrast.   While people in Hellblazer questioned Swamp Thing on his history with Abby, and why he couldn't trust her, they simply accepted rather than trying to force his, or her, story into a little box.   (Batman doesn't really poke as much as he could, but even his inability to completely understand or accept some of the things Swamp Thing says creates a contrast.)   Or maybe I'm reading this wrong, because, y'know, I don't really read much Swamp Thing - or I haven't in the past.  I plan on doing so in the future. 


Something about the hint of humor, and the whole bizarreness of Swamp Thing wandering around Gotham just struck me.   Not as anything in particular, it just made this an incredible read for me.   The balance of those two elements, the ending in which Batman futilely tries to hold Swamp Thing accountable, the need he has to believe in what Swamp Thing says without truly having the faith that others in this universe do?   It all made an impression. This has a lot more than I expected, not because I haven't enjoyed this run of Batman.   And certainly not because I didn't know King could handle this.   (I do.   I reread the run of Vision all the time, and I keep finding new things.   Vision is what sold me on King, and made me want to read Batman: I was in it for the writer.)   It's more that while Batman has been saying a lot of things, it hasn't quite hit the balance this issue has.   While I've loved King's Batman so far, I'm finding this issue just is a high point for me as a reader.)


A slight aside then back to this issue: I don't always mention the art, by the way, and I'm trying to rectify that.   While I think it's important that the art and writing work together, I follow writers more than artists.   (That is, I will start buying a series for a writer, and it's rarer for me to do that for an artist.)   I think this tendency has caused me to not mention the art, or not saying much about it, but I've recently read a tweet by a comic book writer asking us reviewers not to  completely bypass the artist.   Fair enough!   If he was doing it on his own behalf, I'd side eye it.   But I actually think he has a good point: I, in particular, don't really give enough shout out to the artists.   (And it's not King, and I'm not saying who it is just in case he gets harassed for this.)   It wasn't punitive, it wasn't angry, it was just asking us to remember the artists since I'm apparently not the only reviewer who does this.   And I'm only taking the advice because I feel like I'm shorting the artists, and I don't want to do this.  


I've also, quite frankly, been afraid that by saying that some art is more typical of the comic book style, I'll offend someone.   While there is a general style - penciled, inked, then colored - there are some artists who paint their work or who used multi-media, and there is some purely digital art out there.   None of which is a better style than any other, it's merely different.   The real test is the artist's ability.   And Gerard does an excellent job, the more so the more I think about it.   Much of the humor is not merely in the writing, but in the way that Gerard presents the faces.   This issue would be sorely lacking without those small touches.  Not only that, the intro scene is grittier than the rest of the issue, which matches the scene perfectly.  (Which is helped by the coloring; as the issue gets relatively lighter, so do the actual colors.)


Just lovely all together.

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review 2017-05-12 00:51
Loving this new team
Suicide Squad (2016-) #17 - Rob Williams,Tomeu Morey,Tony Daniel,Sandu Florea

And when I say 'new team' I mean they added a new team member, and boy, does he change the dynamics.   Not so much between the already established characters, but the dynamics of the team itself.   It doesn't just change it for the characters themselves, but for the reader as well: General Zod is not only a massive power player, but he brings a little bit of that 'fuck you' attitude as well.   The question is not if he will escape the Suicide Squad, but rather when.   Until then, Harley Quinn will most likely remain impressed by not only his willingness to jump into dangerous situations, and his instability, but his gusto.   He's not just willing to dive into a suicidal situation, but he relishes the chance - at least for his people.   It doesn't matter that everyone keeps telling him Kryptonians are dead, because he seems to be deluded into thinking they are not, or will somehow make a resurgence. 


And how can he help them if the Kryptonian bomb implanted in his head goes off?  Knowing this, he very reluctantly complies with Waller and her team, all the while letting everyone know just how reluctant he is.   


And I don't know why, but Tony Daniel's artwork is speaking to me more than Jim Lee's at least on this book.   Don't get me wrong, Lee is a true master of this art form, but I'm enjoying Daniel's artwork more, possibly because it feels less busy to me.   As intricate as Lee can go, it can distract me from the way the words and art work together.   This is something that I read hoping for a lot of action, and this feels  more streamlined artistically to me.   And that works better in this series.  I had no complaints while Lee was illustrating, and I would have none if he continued most likely.   It's only in retrospect that I see that this works better for me. 


As always, I'm looking forward to the next issue. 

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review 2017-05-11 23:29
Cyborg Vol 1
Cyborg Vol. 1: The Imitation Of Life (Rebirth) (Cyborg (Rebirth)) - John Semper,Will Conrad,Paul Pelletier

Disappointing. We get a recap in memories of Cyborg's origin story. Then Cyborg discovering that his father is worried whether he saved his son or has simply created a machine with no humanity. This thread is quite an interesting idea, but I don't think it was fully explored before it was buried under the story of the machines that want Cyborg to denounce his humanity and join them. There are several story threads here that aren't finished in this collection, in fact nothing is really resolved, which is a disappointment. I like to have some part of the story arc resolved even if we are left on a cliffhanger on another part.


Artwork: This started off well (although Vic looked older than 21 to me). A different style to the type that I really like but it seemed to suit the story and characters. Then the artist changed and in the last two issues (especially the second half of the final issue) the artwork got much more carton-like and didn't even try to emulate the style in the first four issues.


Will I pick up the next collection? yes, probably, but only because I want to know what happens. 

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review 2017-05-08 00:46
I know just enough about Green Arrow to make some of this confusing
Green Arrow, Volume 1: The Death and Life of Oliver Queen - Nate Piekos,Benjamin Percy,Otto Schmidt,Juan Ferreyra

I can't quite tell when this is placed.   It seems like it's earlier on in Oliver Queen's life - but I'm not sure.  I also didn't realize Diggle was a character in the comics, and he may not have been until around the time Arrow premiered.   (I think he might have been integrated after, but I'm not one hundred percent sure on the timing.)  Just for those who don't watch Arrow or read the comics: Oliver Queen is the Green Arrow, or just Arrow, on the show and Diggle is his bodyguard on the show.  


Having Emi as part of this made me think of Queen's sister on the show, and I did some research and found out that Emiko - a character I didn't recognize  from the show - was in earlier comics.   Shado, who is in Arrow, is in fact in this volume, too.   Having read very little Green Arrow - some but very little - and having watched Arrow?  I knew just enough to confuse me as to the timing, especially since I thought all of Rebirth was set post The New 52.   This, however, is establishing Black Canary as a popular singer, from her previous series, and so I'm confused as to if they're incorporating any New 52, especially since they mentioned going back to their legacy.   I assumed this meant all of The New 52 was wiped away, especially with the missing ten years that has something to do with the Rebirth issue.   (Which I haven't read.   But even before Rebirth came out, I'd been reading about Wonder Woman exploring the missing ten years or knowing that they'd been stolen from them, and something weird going on in that series with that whole thing.)


I suspect that Batgirl and Black Canary were critically praised and popular enough that it would seem like a waste not to incorporate some of that history into Rebirth.   But again, this is confusing.   You're picking and choosing which elements to incorporate without telling us?   Why?   And while U disliked much of the previous runs, I did happen to like the parts they're keeping: Batgirl and Black Canary.   So I'm not complaining about Canary's role, but rather about how her history was incorporated, how all the histories seem to be incorporated in a rather random manner, and the lack of explanation forthcoming due to this.   


Still, it didn't effect my comprehension of this storyline.   It was distracting enough to knock off one star, although my irritation was rather minor.   (And if the author was told by DC to use Canary as was, I can't quite fault him, especially since I don't know how he was told how to incorporate this tackling.   As it is, it's simply glossed over, which is why I have questions and minor complaints.)


Hell, I wouldn't even be talking about this long enough if I didn't care about the source materiel - and I do.   From Dinah (Lance, aka Black Canary) needling Oliver for his liberal stances while he lives in a penthouse, to him overthinking his liberalism, there's a lot here in that relationship.   She's not afraid to call him out on his bullshit - and tell him that she likes the relationship better when he doesn't talk, and he's both willing to listen to what she has to say although he tries to convince her otherwise.   And even while she can see the hypocrisy in his situation, she knows he has his heart in the right place.   For all the light hearted teasing, all the needling, she truly cares about him, partly for the reasons that she points out as hypocritical.   It's that he cares so much about what she thinks that what she says bothers him, and while she might not change his mind, I think him directly meeting her points proves that he's willing to listen, think things through, and that he takes her point of view seriously.   What I'm trying to say is that this is just a fantastically layered relationship, even if it is small moments that flesh it out the most.   


While Queen is balancing his relationship with Lance, he's also taking care of his younger half-sister, Emiko.   When Lance and Queen discover missing homeless people, and that Queen industry is involved in their trafficking, Ollie gets his own hands dirty as he tracks down the people he needs to talk to in the office.   When he's betrayed, he puts his life in danger, and then those that he cares for most.   Luckily, both Emiko and Canary can take care of themselves, although even they may not be enough to take down those responsible.  


I wasn't sure how involved Diggle was in the end, and was surprised given his introduction.  Still, it fit perfectly while leaving a whole lot of questions, like what exactly Oliver did, and what will happen between them in the future given their vaguely hinted at past.   I'm eager to find out.   Despite the inconsistency in legacy versus New 52, this laid a solid ground for this series.   I kinda love it all.   

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