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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Splash Page Volume 1


For Comics Released June 5, 2013

Welcome readers to The Splash Page!  This is a new weekly comics column I will be writing here on Geek Rex!  The reason for this series' existence is simple: a lot of comics come out every week and I am only covering a very small percentage of them in my weekly reviews.  With The Splash Page, I will be reviewing various comics which I pick up every week in a shorter form, thus increasing the number of comics I can cover!  Now, if you have been enjoying my weekly reviews of various comics, don't worry; I will still be doing longer reviews on select titles every single week.  These reviews will be published separately, but linked to in The Splash Page every week through a spotlight section.  By doing this, I can still give certain comics the amount of attention I want to, but also allow myself to be able to give some love to comics I have normally had to ignore for this site.  Comic reviews for The Splash Page will be organized by publisher.  As this is the first volume of The Splash Page, things may change every now and then with the format, but I hope to keep this a consistent article every week.  Hopefully you guys enjoy reading The Splash Page (and my longer reviews!) as much as I enjoy working on it.  So, without further ado, you can find reviews for comics that came out last Wednesday after the jump!

Marvel

Iron Man #11
Written by Kieron Gillen, Art by Dale Eaglesham

As "The Secret Origin of Tony Stark" continues, we get a chance to see just how much control 451 has over Tony and his suit.  What will really leave readers talking after this issue, however, are the flashbacks.  After rescuing 451 from the Greys, Tony and Maria Stark learn a startling revelation: there are far worse beings in the universe than the Greys and Earth is ill-equipped to handle any attack from said beings.  What follows is a plan devised by 451 to save both Earth and the Stark's unborn child...it just involves doing something which will upset many a fan.  Gillen does a decent enough job with this issue, but there is no doubt that the revelations being made in this arc are going to anger so many fans they will forget Dan Slott and Superior Spider-man.  It will be interesting to see the way this arc continues to develop.  Eaglesham provides some decent art, but nothing to write home about.  Rating: B



Thunderbolts #10  
Written by Daniel Way, Art by Phil Noto  

Tensions continue to rise with the Thunderbolts, which is not very good when you are trying to prevent an attack of Crimson Dynamos.  Things become just a little bit more confusing when Elektra's brother Orestez mysteriously re-surfaces, seemingly behind all of the things the Thunderbolts have been dealing with lately.  Orestez is definitely an interesting villain and Daniel Way does everything in his power to make him a completely awesome one at that.  Perhaps the best part of the entire issue is the teaming up of Deadpool and Venom.  Through the series thus far, Venom has been too angsty of a character, rarely doing anything but blend in with the wallpaper, so it was nice to see him get a little bit more attention with that team-up.  It will be interesting to see the way the continued public sightings of the team effect future missions/stories.  Decent enough story with a very intriguing twist.  Phil Noto's art, while not perfect, is so much better than what we have been getting on this book.  Rating: B+



DC

Action Comics #21
Written by Andy Diggle and Tony S. Daniel, Art by Tony S. Daniel

With this being the last issue "written" by Diggle before Superman scribe Scott Lobdell takes over the book, this is likely the last Action Comics worth buying until Villains Month in September.  Even then, it is a bit of a stretch to say that this is a comic worth buying.  To say the story is bad would be an understatement.  Certainly Diggle has some seeds of good ideas here: the Hybrid is a good villain in concept, but not in practice; and it was nice to see Luthor be an antagonist in the issue.  Setting this a year in the past, however, takes away any sense of stakes as we already know Superman lives on.  It is sad to see the way this book has quickly devolved after Grant Morrison stepped away.  Big, dumb superhero action done poorly.  Tony Daniel's art is the absolute only major positive this book has going for it.  The back-up is equally terrible and uninteresting.  Rating: D+


Earth 2 #13
Written by James Robinson, Art by Yildiray Cinar  


This issue of Earth 2 is really two separate stories: one focusing on the Earth 2 origins of Captain Steel and his investigations of a fire pit in Brazil, the other on Hawkgirl meeting the new Earth 2 Batman for the first time.  Captain Steel's story is not nearly as intriguing as the Hawkgirl story, but it is still written incredibly well.  Perhaps Robinson's strongest asset in writing this comic is taking characters who are not very well known to new readers and making them fun, interesting, and engaging.  It is a bit disappointing that a new Batman is being forced into this title as it has done perfectly fine thus far without one.  Sadly, DC has put their foot down and believes the only way to sell Earth 2 is to bring in a new Batman.  Though his engagement with Hawkgirl is interesting (and a nice tie-in to last week's annual), her investigation into the death of Alan Scott's lover is much more fascinating.  Captain Steel's story may not be fantastic, but it does end with a twist that leaves one foaming at the mouth for the next issue.  Rating: A-


Green Lantern #21
Written by Robert Venditti, Art by Billy Tan

Now that Geoff Johns has taken his leave of Green Lantern, we have a new man behind the helm in the form of Robert Venditti.  So how is Venditti's first outing with Hal Jordan and friends?  Just okay.  It is not an outstanding comic by any means, but it is not terrible either.  Venditti does a few things narratively that help to ease the passing of the torch from Johns, but the story driving this first issue is ultimately just not too terribly engaging.  For starters, the issue pulls the all too common trick of showing you the cliffhanger of the story arc before flashing back to show you what lead to that point.  It is a tiring gimmick that comics really need to get rid of.  With this issue we see some of the new recruits to the Corps who recently installed leader Hal Jordan must put together to fight an on-coming invasion from Larfleeze.  Things are hopefully going to improve as Venditti gets his sea legs, so to speak.  Billy Tan's art is much better than expected.  Rating: B


Vertigo

Fairest #16
Written by Sean E. Williams, Art by Stephen Sadowski

The previous issue of Fairest dropped a huge bomb by revealing that the Maharaja Nalayani was seeking was, in fact, Prince Charming.  For Fables fans, this was huge news as Prince Charming had been presumed dead for quite some time.  While this issue does not seek to answer any questions as to when it takes place in terms of Charming's death, it does continue Nalayani's adventure to save her village.  It is nice to see the old womanizing Prince Charming come back (giving some indication as to when this story happens).  He may be a jerk, but his name is accurate, he is a very charming character.  Sean Williams does an excellent job of weaving Nalayani's story thus far, making her a very strong, independent female character.  Though Charming challenges her more dominant role a bit, it will be interesting to see the ways she answers that challenge in future issues.  Sadowski's art is great and right on par with anything Mark Buckingham has done in Fables.  Rating: A-


Image

East of West #3
Written by Jonathan Hickman, Art by Nick Dragotta

East of West #3 continues from the cliffhanger of the previous issue by looking more in-depth at the character of Death's wife Xiaolian.  It would seem Xiaolian has a few family issues, which is to be expected when it would seem your father is the still-living Mao Zedong of this alternate timeline.  While there is no denying that Hickman does an excellent job writing and Dragotta does an even better job providing art, it is still hard to say if East of West is a great comic.  The more fascinating aspects of this issue are the questions asked simply by Mao Zedong's presence as well as the fact that China is in what used to be San Francsico, but these things are not directly addressed in the story.  What would be nice would be a sense of a more over-arching story to carry this entire series.  Thus far, however, all that can truly be said is that this is a comic about Death being angry at his fellow Horsemen.  Interesting, but hardly foundation to build a long-running series on.  Rating: A-


Spotlight Issues

So you have come to the very end of the first volume of The Splash Page!  Hopefully you have enjoyed our first outing in this mini-review column.  If you like what you see here, please don't hesitate to leave a comment.  If there is something you would like me to improve upon or a series you would like to see me cover in the future, please do not hesitate to comment as well!  With that I leave you with our two spotlight issues:

As this Splash Page was done on a Tuesday, you will be getting TWO Splash Pages this week!  I am hoping to establish a permanent day for this article to be posted (most likely Wednesdays or Thursdays) so keep a look out for Volume 2 of The Splash Page!

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