Monday, February 14, 2011

Capsule reviews: Comics from 2/9

Adventure Comics #523 (DC, $2.99, Paul Levitz, Phil Jimenez) - I had been passing on this title, mainly because I didn't want to pay full price for a title with a back-up feature I have no interest in.  However, the back-up feature has been dropped, and Phil Jimenez has joined the creative team as the artist, so it seems as good a time to jump in as any.

This is part one of a new storyline revolving around the Legion Academy, a concept I have something of a soft spot for.  We see a mixture of old and new faces, and our primary POV character is the new Glorith, a young magician who has led something of a secluded life and has trouble adjusting to her new surroundings.  Along the way she falls in with some of the troublemakers among the students, which leads us to our cliffhanger ending.  Along the way we get your required training sequence, and everyone gets just enough characterization to help move the story along.

It's a decent story, though not a great one... but Jimenez's art is nice enough that for the moment I really don't care.  Seriously, the Legion is a setting pretty much custom-made to play to his strengths as a storyteller.  Overall, this isn't the best place to for the uninitiated to jump into Legion lore, but neither is it the worst.

Doc Savage #11 (DC, $2.99, Ivan Brandon, Brian Azzarello, Nic Klein) - The penultimate chapter of the 'Doc and crew goes to the Middle East' storyline.  We get to see what Ronan's plan is, and a little more of his reasons for it.  Oh, and there's the obligatory non-shocking cliffhanger.  At this point, I'm just biding time until the new creative team takes over in a couple of issues.

Cinderella: Fables Are Forever #1 (of 6) (DC/Vertigo, $2.99, Chris Roberson, Shawn McManus) - Fabletown's master spy is back in another mini-series.  The first issue bounces back and forth between early 80's Soviet Russia and the post-Fabletown modern day, as it becomes quickly apparent to Cinderella that her current mission involves a loose thread from the past one.

There's what at first glance might be considered a continuity error, or a mischaracterization - we've seen a  version of Cinderella's opponent in an earlier issue of Jack of Fables, with a very different portrayal.  Also, the appearance of some of that character's secondary minions doesn't quite jibe with what we've seen in a recent issue of Fables,  That said, this is just the first issue, and we have five more issues to go to hopefully explain away any discrepancies. 

That aside, the actual story is pretty good.  The portrayal of our title character is entertaining without being cloying, Roberson's plotting is solid enough, and our main antagonist appears to be very much a credible threat.  McManus isn't necessarily my favorite artist, but he does a good job with the layouts and structure of the art.  Overall, this is a very good start, in what promises to be a story just as entertaining a espionage/action thriller as the previous Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love mini-series.

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