Sunday, January 23, 2011

Capsule reviews: Comics from 1/19

Legion of Super-Heroes #9 (DC, $2.99, Paul Levitz, Yildiray Cinar, Wayne Faucher) - The Legion's struggle with the Durlan extremists continue.  The plot moves along nicely, but there's no real resolution as of yet.  Levitz's writing continues to entertain, but I really wish he would start working some subplots into the book; with it's huge cast, LSH is a title that practically demands a few subplots sprinkled throughout, here and there.  The art by Cinar and Faucher is clean and clear, for the most part, with some very nice panels as Tellus telepathically explores Dawnstar's subconscious.

The Spirit #10 (DC, $2.99, David Hine, Moritat) - A done-in-one story (a nice change of pace, given current industry standards), told from the POV of a small-time criminal whose delusions and paranoia chisel away at his psyche after he has committed what should be an untracable murder.  Hine does a good job of letting us get into the killer's head, and while the destination is easy enough to guess, the trip along the way is entertaining enough.  Moritat's art probably won't appeal to a large percentage of fans, but I think his particular art style works for this story.

Doorways #3 (IDW, $3.99, George R.R. Martin, Stefano Martino) - The penultimate issue of the storyline that adapts Martin's TV pilot from many, many moons ago.  We see yet another alternate earth, and Thomas finally starts to buy the clue.  Cat gets them into trouble, just about the time Thane and the Darklords (that would be a great name for a heavy metal band) show up.  Martin's plot is well-crafted, the secondary characters introduced are entertaining, and his pacing here is excellent.  Martino's art has several nice artistic flourishes, without losing any sense of clarity, and helps in conveying the new earth Tom and Cat find themselves in.  If you like alternate earth stories, and aren't reading this already, be sure to pick it up when it comes out in trade paperback form. 

Battlefields vol 6: Motherland (Dynamite, $12.99, Garth Ennis, Russ Braun) - A sequel to the earlier Battlefields story The Night Witches (and if you like war stories but haven't yet read 'Night Witches', go out and pick up a copy ASAP), 'Motherland' continues the story of Lt. Anna Kharkova, who has been promoted to a single-seat fighter squadron.  Due to the mental scars she bears from her earlier experiences, she wants nothing to do with her new comrades, simply desiring to kill as many Germans as possible.  Complicating matters are the attentions of a secret police operative.  Oh yeah, she's also having extended conversations with her dead friend.   Despite her misanthropy, and contrary to her wishes, she finds herself with a teenage mechanic who idol-worships her, and a group of rookie female pilots who look to her for leadership.  Overall, the story works to Ennis' strengths as a writer, and Braun's art conveys both the horrors of war, and the quieter, more human moments equally well.  If you like war stories with a human touch, this is well worth getting.  My only complaint is that Dynamite, contrary to industry standards, prices its TPB collections more expensively than the individual issues collected.  A TPB this size (the original storyline only ran three issues) should be priced closer to $9.99 than $12.99.

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