Thursday, April 10, 2008

Comics from April 9

This was a disappointing weak for me as a DC fan. And that is heightened considering two of the strongest series from DC came out this week. Both Booster Gold and JSA suffered from slow pacing, and no movement of plot. As before I review two comics that I was impressed by among the bunch I have read till now.

Wonder Woman 19 - Gail Simone continues her run, rejuvenating the character of Wonder Woman from the mess it had become earlier. After the 4 issue arc The Circle which introduced new antagonists that actually measured up to the standard of Wonder Woman, this 2 issue arc Ex-Patriate sends her on a space adventure.

Gail has been highlighting the warrior aspect of WW throughout her short run, and last issue showed that her renown as the same is not limited to earth. Khunds, whom I have no previous exposure to, are supposed to be a tyrant, warrior race with the sole aim of conquering other civilizations. Wonder Woman is called upon to save the same race from genocide, by appealing to her compassionate side. Last issue ended with Wonder Woman discovering a Green Lantern out to stop her. This issue continues with that fight and we go straight to battle mode. Reading WW's thoughts show her as a shrewd strategist. War is not her first choice, but when driven to it, she fights to win. WW defeats the Green Lantern with a very new use of the lasso, the lasso being something Gail has been highlighting in her run. But the scene after that, where WW offers her hand in peace, shows her resolve towards peace. Brilliant writing. The last scene is characteristic Gail humour, something that defines her writing, and shows that if given the chance Gail can be a solid Green Lantern writer.

There were a few Tom Tresser scenes where he goes through an internal monologue, but it seemed largely irrelevant to the main plot here. Clearly it is supposed to pay off sometime in the future but for now, it is clear Tom Tresser is not the strongest part of the cast in this book.

The art by Bernard Chang was impressive, though suffering from the rather bland inking throughout. Chang is clearly more comfortable drawing characters rather than backgrounds but his fight scenes were well drawn. All in all, a Good Read

Gamekeeper V2 02 - The first volume of Gamekeeper had thoroughly impressed me. Both Andy Diggle's writing and especially Mukesh Singh's art had made the series into a Must Read every time it came out. That they were going to do a volume 2 had both filled me with dread since neither of the creative team were returning but also anticipation since I like Jeff Parker's writing.

I need not have worried. The transition is smooth, although after Mukesh Singh's art, Ron Randall's art in the present series seems to be a step down, but its very competent. Jeff Parker shows that he has the chops to deliver an enjoyable and action packed story. And one fact that I notice is that Parker writes it in such a way that you don't have to remember who each of the characters are. He expertly weaves the threat levels of each of the antagonists without having to go into any exposition and the same time he paces the story well to both highlight the expertise of the Gamekeeper as well as the main antagonist.

Parker's Gamekeeper is still Diggle's Gamekeeper. Very dangerous and with a sharp mind. At the same time he builds up the character of Raven as a foil for the Gamekeeper. What lies ahead promises to be an exciting read. And for now, like Diggle's series, this is a Must Read.

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