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Prattling Panels: 1-24-2014

Hello and welcome to the first installment of Prattling Panels, the part of the week where I like to discuss, talk, and review the comics I have read for the week. This will mostly be single issues but I will through in trade collections either on here or separately from time to time. I’ll start off talking about some issues in no real particular order and end with my pick of the week.

These will be out every Friday or when I can should my schedule be disrupted for some reason, as well I can’t read everything on my list in one day and well I need to start writing after them so they stay fresh to me. Also if there is a book you’re upset I didn’t talk about on here, well I’m either fallen behind on it, or I just don’t read it. For instance, all DC books this week are Batman related since I’ve fallen behind on Wonder Woman and Animal Man. Also I’m not reading Forever Evil.

All the books talked about and discussed here are available for purchase at your nearest and fine local comic book store or digitally through services such as Comixology.

That’s all that needs to be said. Let’s get going!

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Wolverine and the X-Men #40
Written by Jason Aaron; Drawn by Pepe Larraz

Well Bricklemoore Twins, Squidface and Tri-Joey have be outed as undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. Mutant Task Forces agents and well they aren’t too happy about being discovered and hold Kid Omega, Idie Okonkwo, and Bro hostages while Wolverine and Cyclops recover from a surprise Sentinel attack from S.H.I.E.L.D. and find the one thing that truly matters when you’re on the end of damn near dying. Your secret stash of beer that you keep hidden in a school for gifted child mutants! That was honestly the part part of an already fantastic comic, the dynamic between Wolverine and Cyclops is fantastic and shows what a damn good writer Jason Aaron is. Even in the scenes among the students, it really shows. Aaron has been just so consistent, this is still such a funny and enjoyable book and the art here by Pepe Larraz just makes the book really pop out and your eyes are just hooked to the pages. Such an enjoyable book. 4.5/5

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Batwoman #27
Written by Marc Andreyko; Drawn by Jeremy Haun and Francis Manapul

Two issues into Batwoman’s new arc, its good. This hasn’t blown me away like J.H. Williams III and W. Hayden Blackman blew me away. That said this is fun so far, simple story of Batwoman after an art thief. Marc Andreyko’s writing is very good and he seems to get these characters and can do cliffhangers pretty well. Jeremy Haun’s art is also really good but the highlight here is Francis Manapul’s double page spreads of Kate’s hallucinations. Truly amazing, beautiful, and incredible work going on there that makes me excited for the upcoming run he’ll do on Detective Comics with Brian Buccellato. Its a good book, worth a read. 3.5/5

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Green Lantern: New Guardians
Written by Justin Jordan; Drawn by Andrei Bressan

One the most underrated books at DC, GL: New Guardians has been just a fun romp and it is here as Kyle and Carol bring Exeter the Keeper home to his planet and well his people are attacking a race of passive people so yeah they have to intervene. Again a fun romp, the issue is one big battle after another and its a fun battle to watch with Justin Jordan’s damn good writing and Andrei Bressan’s fantastic art and its outstanding thanks to the coloring of Hi-Fi. This has color all over the place, which is by now something you expect out of a Green Lantern titled book and man I wish this book was getting more notice. Its so damn good. 4/5

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All-New X-Factor
Written by Peter David; Drawn by Carmine Di Giandomenico

Hey kids, want a new X-book? TOO BAD! You’re getting a new one anyway! Now this isn’t the X-Factor we all loved. IT’S ALL-NEW! Yeah its in the title so, yeah. The fun detective agency but now a team ran by Serval Industries who own the X-Factor name. We got Gambit, Quicksilver, and Polaris clad in yellow uniforms with little touches of themselves on the costumes. What helps is that Peter David is still writing and his writing is still good. Gambit and Polaris especially. I like Quicksilver here as well, but no mistake he is front and center (also on the cover) as he’s about to be in two different Marvel films this year so Marvel wants to get people to like him now. The first two issues are really good and have a corporate superhero team thing its building up to. David has good dialogue among everyone, especially Gambit who is poised to become the standout star of this title. Carmine Di Giandomenico’s art is wonderful as well and just great to look at. Its drawn excellently and feels energetic. Just gotta get past that the X-Factor we know and love is gone. 4/5

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All-New X-Men #22.Now
Written by Brian Michael Bendis; Drawn by Stuart Immonen and Wade von Grawbadger

Speaking of X-books, All-New X-Men #22.Now is the beginning of its transition into the All-New Marvel Now, is a good first start for a book that’s great. Good issue, but very continuity heavy, just not new reader friendly. The Guardians of the Galaxy appear towards the end to bring Jean Grey on trail for her crimes as the Dark Phoenix. There’s great art here as usual and the highlight here again involves Cyclops in his bickering match with Jean Grey as poor Angel just sits there trying to eat his damn lunch. He just really wants to munch on that burger. Its hilarious and its a majority of the issue which is great. Still such a great book, but please go get the collected trades if you wanna keep up. 3/5

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Batman and Two-Face #27
Written by Peter J. Tomasi; Drawn by Patrick Gleason and Mick Gary

Batman continues to try and talk Two-Face out of his huge personal vendetta against Erin McKillen for making him Two-Face. Oh and also killing his wife right in front of him. That’s a good reason for revenge. Batman and … has been its strongest and best here as Batman and Two-Face. Also we finally get a bigger reveal unto why Erin and her family have it out so much for Two-Face. Its such a damn good book and this is a pretty action packer issue with loads of great dialogue and as usual great art. I’m excited for the upcoming guest such as Aquaman and Wonder Woman. Maybe after Two-Face its gonna be Justice League guest stars. Though I’m so ready for Damian to be back! 5/5

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Harley Quinn #2
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner; Drawn by Chad Hardin and Stephane Roux

After a rather interesting and fun first issue, issue #2 is not so good. Its a downgrade in quality. The opening bit with Madam Macabre is fun back and forth, the art by Chad Hardin and Stephane Roux is very good and pretty to look at, and I like the animals. So cute. But what the real problem is and why I don’t enjoy the issue so much is the interaction between Harley and Poison Ivy. It feels out of character, the antagonism, yet true love of friendship is gone, I don’t mind them being straight-out friendly but it does depend on execution and its not so great here and they wanna seem to make it that they wanna hook up. I’m not a fan of it here, and I LOOOOOOVE Palmiotti and Conner, but its just not working on this book. I’m sticking with it for a while, just hope it picks up again. 2/5

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Black Widow #2
Written by Nathan Edmondson; Drawn by Phil Noto

Black Widow #2 is a hell of a second issue. After a very impressive first issue, Black Widow gets a lot better here as she has a mission that takes her over to Shanghai while Isaiah takes care of things over in the states. The issue is spectacular. Edmondson has a great narrative going on here with Natasha counting down the only mistakes she’s made in life while performing a job all too similar to a past one. This leads her to face the Iron Scorpion who I’m very interested in seeing again. Phil Noto’s art is outstanding here and I’ll say the best art this week. Its just truly magnificent and something I loved looking at. Pick this book up. 5/5

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Hawkeye #16
Written by Matt Fraction; Drawn by Annie Wu

Kate Bishop’s adventures out in L.A. continue in a rather good issue of a great series. I loved Kate’s adventure out to L.A. in the Hakweye Annual and #14. But now with #16, its a story I think shouldn’t last too long as the strength of the book is both her and Clint. Also the creative teams which kill it. Kate Bishop, P.I. is fun to read. She’s not afraid to go after the hard answers and do what it takes for the case!

Oh and yes issue #16 was published before #15 due to scheduling conflicts so…hey Annie Wu! Annie Wu’s art is very good and fits among the round table of artists that book has had from regular David Aja, Steve Lieber, Francesco Francavilla, and Javier Pulido. Her art is very good here and series colorist Matt Hollingsworth again kills it with the greatly muted pallet. I’m not saying anything new among comics people by saying this is one of the best books out there and its so much damn fun. I’m highly enjoying this. 4/5

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Batman #27
Written by Scott Snyder; Drawn by Greg Capullo

Zero Year continues in an action heavy first half and really story and character based second half. The issue is very good and continues on what is so good about this run that makes me love them so much. Batman is getting all shot up by Gotham’s SWAT and man its some breathtaking action beautifully drawn by Capullo with distinct character faces and looks and the way he movies it fluidly, its as if he was the cameraman on a film. He can also do great little moments.

The real backbone of the issue is Gordon and Alfred in their long takes with Batman and Bruce. Gordon’s is the best with his origin of the coat expanded upon and the realization of how Bruce’s return has given him hope when he though he had broken Bruce’s so long ago as a child. Alfred wanting Bruce to accept Gordon’s help, saying Alfred’s is all the help he needs but Alfred wisely calls out that’s not true. He needs their help. Scott Snyder again just dives deep into what makes Batman go, what’s inside his head. Its a fascinating read. Though enough with the cliffhangers, Snyder. Its a prequel story. We know Bruce gets out this alive. 4.5/5

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Hacktivist #1
Written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly; Drawn by Marcus To

The first issue of this four part miniseries is an interesting one that sets up the premise nicely. Nate Graft and Edwin Hiccox are the founders of social media website Yourlife and are hackers who at the very beginning of the book, help set up a revolution in Tunisia where we see a main character there who we’ll hopefully follow for as the series goes on. The big thing here is that the story was created by actress Alyssa Milano. Its a interesting premise about the world of social media and hackers and how they can crossover.  I was really intrigued by and Marcus To’s art is good but everyone looks like their on a CW show. All pretty people. I dunno why that bugged me so much but it did for a bit. I’m on for this miniseries and hope it maintains good quality. 4/5

BOOK OF THE WEEK!
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Deadly Class #1
Written by Rick Remender; Drawn by Wes Craig

Image Comics continues impressive streak of amazing books with Deadly Class and its something already I was hooked by given its a Rick Remender book. set during the late 1980s in San Francisco, and we meet Marcus. When setitng up a new comic universe, its important to set up an interesting main character to follow and understand it and Remender does that wonderfully here with Marcus who is homeless and soon discovers he’s been looked at for a school of young assassins. This reminded me much of the excellent Image series, Morning Glories. Great main character to start off with and we soon will discover the other people given its a school setting. I’m highly optimisticfor this series going in. I was hooked right away which is what a good first issue should do. Supporting character Saya might get some major love as she’s the character we follow most next to Marcus and she helps him find out what’s going on. The art my Craig is wonderful and only highlighted so much more by the colors of Lee Loughridge. This is a wonderful book. So dmn good and one I really recommend. Go pick it up. 5/5

That’s that for our first edition of that. Hop you continue to join me and discuss in the comments below.

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