Neorama Entertainment

Comic Book Blog and Geek Entertainment

This Week In Comics

Well, this is the first of comic review posts, so I guess I should explain what you can expect. Each week I will review three books (one from the powerhouse publishers, DC and Marvel, and one independent title). I will give you the lowdown on the plot, the writing, the art, and the entertainment. Then I will rate it 0-5 stars. Zero stars means leave the book alone, it is the suckiest piece of crap to ever suck. One star means it is really bad, the only reason you should get it is if you are a diehard fan of the title. Two stars means the book is below average, with a little work the creative team could have made it better. Three stars means it’s average, you won’t see anything groundbreaking but will be entertained. Four stars means the book is really good, buy it. The coveted five stars means the issue is amazing, there is no reason you should not own it at all. That said, let’s take a look at this week’s titles.

First on our list is Marvel’s first issue of Secret Invasion: Thor, a mini that ties Thor into the Marvel Universe’s current Skrull crisis. It starts off with something crashing towards the Earth as Dr. Blake (Thor’s human alter ego) makes a house call to a pregnant woman. An explosion catches the two off guard and sends the woman labor. Blake knows that something has happened to Asgard (his floating castle of a home) and leaves the woman in the care of a nurse to investigate. This leads to the return of Beta Ray Bill, Thor’s longtime friend and brother in arms, who Thor puts in charge of the impending assault against the Skrull so he can go back to the pregnant woman and deliver the baby. We also have the now sexy Loki getting into people’s minds and making them wonder if their aren’t enemies amongst them even as they make their plans. Oh, and the Skrull have Beta Ray Bill’s hammer, which is just as powerful as Thor’s.

Matt Fraction is scripting the series and the writing is alright. It’s not too deep, but not stupid either. Doug Braithewaite provides the artwork, most of which feels like sketches, good sketches, but sketches none the less. The colors are done by Paul Mounts and they go well with the style of art provided.

The writing in this issue could have been a better, especially since I am loving his Ages of Thunder Thor mini. The art is a bit skeletal to me. After all, I am a diehard Thor fan and am used to the majesty of the current ongoing being drawn by Coipel, so this is a bit of a downgrade for me. Overall, the issue was an okay read, earning itself 3 out of 5 stars.

Simon Dark #11

is our DC title this week. Simon, a Frankenstein monster-styled hero, who has found himself in a battle with magically mutated monsters. This issue starts off with Simon soothing the monsters and we get a flashback tale of how they were made. At the end of it, he garners their help in his attempt to save Gotham City from an impended evil. After a less than spectacular fight scene through a mob of hooded cultists, he finds himself at a door that “only a master” can go through. Once inside the room, Simon find himself face to face with the ghost of Dall Moss, a former mayor of Gotham City. What ensues then is half an issue of back story about Simon as told by Mr. Moss and the end of any and all action.

Written by Steve Niles, the genius behind 30 Days of Night, I was expecting more from this series (especially after reading the first two issue when they first came out). The title is drawn by Scott Hampton with artwork that is very minimalist. Most of the panels have little more than white backgrounds and when there are backgrounds they are usually super simple. Daniel Vozzo colors this issue and the colors are very minimalist as well. There is a bleakness in them that boarders on bland.

Having read the first two issues, I have to say that I like Simon Dark more as street level character fighting and decapitating cultists rather than traveling into the realm of the supernatural. The art is way too simple for my tastes, even for a gothic-styled superhero title. Granted, I did drop the title for about eight issue to make room for others in my pull list, so I’m a little behind on the story’s continuity. Still, I feel obligated to rate this issue 2 out of 5 stars.

Our final title tonight is Welcome to Hoxford #1, from IDW. We are introduced to Raymond Delgado through a series of traumatizing events in his life which leads him to become a walking encyclopedia of psychosis and a cannibal. After killing yet another cellmate, he and a few other less desirables are transferred to Hoxford, an institute for the criminally insane. This place is being kept pretty top secret too. They won’t even let a young psychiatrist in to see her patients. The guards and the warden also seem to have a taste for raw meat. Once checked in, Raymond takes a chunk out of another inmate and gets everyone sent back to their cells… except for the poor sap bleeding all over the place. The guards take him on down to the meat locker where he makes a gory discovery before meeting a delicious end.

Written, drawn, and colored by Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night and Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse), this guy is a comic book triple threat. The writing is good, moving along at a steady pace that doesn’t feel rushed. The artwork is an acquired taste, but if you liked 30 Days of Night, you’ll like this too. The same goes with the colors. While monotonous and bleak, they still somehow seem to add to the story.

This is the first time I’ve read anything written by Templesmith and I was not disappointed. The book seems like a demented version of Oz. Again, the artwork is an acquired taste, but right up my ally for the type of story being told. In the end, I give this issue a 4 out of 5 stars.

August 14, 2008 - Posted by | Comic Books, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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