Sunday, April 17, 2011

Capsule reviews: Comics from 4/13

Adventure Comics #525 (DC, $2.99, Paul Levitz, Phil Jimenez, Geraldo Borges) - Our would-be heroes manage to survive and turn the tables on their captors, with a little help from the Black Witch, even though she's not there with them.  The main story bounces back and forth between the newest Legion Academy trainees on Chemical Kid's homeworld, and some of the older trainees taking their 'final exams', battling some animal smugglers at a spaceport.  Levitz seems to be hitting his stride here, moving back and forth between the two storylines with ease, while Jimenez's art continues to amaze and delight.  My only real complaint is that Levitz is a little unclear with what may or may not be an ending for the main storyline - the end of LSH #10 was also equally vague.  Perhaps Levitz is feeling a bit cramped by the multiple addressed storylines in this issue, but a certain amount of denouement would be appreciated.

The back-up feature concentrates on Mysa, the Black Witch (a.k.a. the former White Witch) holds vigil against Mordru, who it seems was partially awakened by that funky blue energy that showed up in the recent LSV one-shot.  The art by Borges is quite nice here, with some nice coloring (credited to 'Hi-Fi') accenting the atmospheric and moody art. Minor quibbles aside, this is overall a strong issue, with the main storyline of the newest Legion trainees holding up relatively well as it moves along.    

Doc Savage #13 (DC, $2.99, J.G. Jones, Qing Ping Mui) - A new creative team and a new storyline, one that will hopefully entertain more than the previous ones did.  It starts out at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, with Doc fighting an oversized Mummy, quickly makes its way to Egypt, and ends the first part with an underwater journey off the shores of Alexandria .  Not everything is as it appears, of course; we get hints of what opposition Doc and crew will eventually be facing, but of course at this early stage int he story nothing is made overly clear just yet.  Part one of this story doesn't knock it out of the park, but it does seem to hold out the hope that this storyline will work better than the previous ones.

Unfortunately, the art here just doesn't work for me.  It's not awful, by any means, but it seems to be stylized in ways that might work better on another title, perhaps a more superhero-oriented book. Also, the colorist seems to have forgotten that Doc is the man of, well, bronze. Here, he's portrayed as pretty much just another Caucasian. Overall, the story is a step forward, but the art has taken a step back.

Cinderella: Fables Are Forever #3 (of 6) (DC/Vertigo, $2.99, Chris Roberson, Shawn McManus) – Cinderella and Silverslipper continue their ongoing battles, as shown in both the present day and in flashback. We learn a little more about Silverslipper's past, as well as perhaps a little of what makes her tick. A trip to Africa reveals yet another Fable from both Cinderella's and Silverslipper's past, and in the end, sometimes the best way to deal with a trap is to walk right in. Roberson continues to slowly weave the threads of this plot together, interspersed with just enough characterization to keep our interest, and just enough globe-trotting to help move things along. The art by McManus continues to be quirky but serviceable. We're half way in with this series, and so far things are looking good.

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