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Prattling Panels: 2/14/14

Welcome back. I have no theme post. But hey in between episodes of season two of House of Cards, why not read up on what’s what in comics this week here on Prattling Panels! Note: Behind on Deadpool, Fatale, and Green Lantern Corps so no reviews of those this month.

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All-New X-Men #23
Written by Brian Michael Bendis; Drawn by Stuart Immonen

So after about two basic issues of set up, The Trail of Jean Grey gets going and its a fun start. The majority of the issue is the X-Men and Guardians if the Galaxy getting to know each other and its very fun. Nicely written and we do see how Jen herself is holding up being held captive by the Shi’ar. That’s where the meat of the drama is and its really well handled. This takes a turn towards the end with the return of someone’s relative. This is a dark but funny issue.

Bendis continues to show he still has some the best writing chops in the business with both these titles and that he can still weave a good story together but Immonen’s art is very nice here, well drawn, and he’s able to do great double page spreads and manage to have pages where there is a lot going on in them seem readable and easy to look out. This mini-event is off to a good start. 4/5

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Batgirl #28
Written by Gail Simone; Drawn by Fernando Pasarin

So there’s a new guy, Silver. He’s got a nice mansion, loyal lady butler, seems to do good for himself, goes around protecting Gotham from vampires and is going after the main vampires the Batfamily. Wait…yeah Simone introduces yet a new chatacter in her fantastic run of Bagirl, Silver. He actually sees the Batfamily as vampires ruling over Gotham and stakes “victims” of their attacks once they seem to turn. This is an interesting idea and concept I’m interested in given Simone’s great writing as well as Pasarin’s wonderful and dynamic art. Also a great joy is the return of mute Talon, Strix from the current Birds of Prey and she and Batgirl continue to make a great team together. There is a myster here as well that ties into Silver himself guaranteeing this will keep on going into #29. This was as entertaining and fun as the majority of Simone’s run. 4.5/5

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Coffin Hill #5
Written by Caitlin Kittredge; Drawn by Inaki Miranda

Coffin Hill by Vertigo has been an oddly fascinating series so far with the story of Eve Coffin. In the fifth issue of the series, we get some much needed character development instead of story, we get story, but there wasn’t too much a mix that I felt this could have used. Eve and Nate are so gonna be together by the end of this series or arc, guarantee. This issue’s highlight is Inaki Miranda’s at which has been stellar throughout the series. Its dynamic and just so pristine and finished. I also credit this to the inking and coloring team. We get the flashbacks as usual, progression of what’s going on concerning Eve, Nate, and Melanie. This is basically a supernatural, cop procedural, soap opera. Its an enjoyable one but this penultimate issue to the first arc left me wanting a little more. 3/5

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All-New X-Factor #3
Written by Peter David; Drawn by Carmine Di Giadomenico

Well I was impressed by the first two issues of the All-New X-Factor, but I wasn’t so hot on the third. We open up on Havoc and Quicksilver talking about their own arrangement for Quicksilver to keep an eye on half-sister Polaris and we get her and Gambit talking about the pussy Gambit has. Cats, you perverts, and of course the mission. None that was too interesting until the mission begins which takes them to the island holding the Thieves Guild which Gambit runs and we meet daddy Gambit. The issue wasn’t interesting until the end and the reveal of who is on the island at the very end. Peter David does fine here, but yeah a lot of it wasn’t so engaging. Di Giadomenico is still great. Its fine and great to look at, but there needs to be more than the art to engage me for a story in a comic book. 2.5/5

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Nightwing #28
Written by Kyle Higgins; Drawn by Russell Dauterman

PENULTIMATE issue of Kyle Higgins’ run of Nightwing starts strong and ends strong. Dick is in the middle of a battle of Spinebender and the art fucking rocks here with how fluid and dynamic it is. Higgins writes these action sequences with care but Dauterman executes it perfectly! The positioning, what to put in the frame of the panel, keeping it alive and full. Man its a ball to watch especially with Dick confronting people of his past via Spinebender. The issue also wraps up some of what Higgins has set up, even Dick realizing his pursuit of Tony Zucco having ramifications for the woman he loves, Tony’s daughter, Sonia. Of course the end of the issue hits home to Dick and things get worse as he discovers that one his most dangerous foes is back and gonna be some trouble. Higgins has made Nightwing since day one of The New 52 one the best most fun titles. I’d say this is my Daredevil equal of DC right now, some really fun adventures that lead to a bigger narrative. Alright Nightwing is a little more over arching than Daredevil but its still a ball to read and I can’t wait to see how Higgins ends things next month. 4.5/5

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Winter Soldier: The Bitter March #1
Written by Rick Remender; Drawn by Roland Boschi

With Captain America: Winter Soldier ready to release in a couple months, make sense Marvel makes a push to get the Winter Soldier character more notice outside of releasing a new trade collection of the main story itself. So here we get a limited series by current Captain America scribe Rick Remender and art by Roland Boschi. This is a 1960s spy comic with Nick Fury and Ran Shen that is a big ball of fun to read. Remender crafts things nicely and when Winter Soldier comes into the comic itself, its cool. This is gonna be an enjoyable read as long as the series can keep up the fun momentum made here by the first issue. I’m a sucker for 60s era spy stories and man this hit all the sweet spots for me. 4/5

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Thor: God of Thunder #19.NOW
Written by Jason Aaron; Drawn by Esad Ribic

The .Now issue of the exciting and adventurous Thor: God of Thunder opens with future Thor looking over a dead, empty, Earth. Then we come back to the now and we see S.H.I.E.L.D. Environmental Agent Roz Solomon for the first time since issue 12. She’s on a mission for S.H.I.E.L.D. that goes tits up and is recused by Thor meanwhile Roxxon CEO, Dario Agger AKA The Minotuar is presented as the latest threat for the Midgard protector, a corporate man who’s above all the laws. The writing here as usual with the series is exciting and with what’s done and show, this title is raising its stakes up. I mean with the opening and the jaw-dropping cliffhanger at the end as well as the title of the arc, The Last Days of Midgard, big shit is coming now. The story is a mix of exciting action, great dialogue, and some fun humor, especially the bits between Solomon and Coulson.

Also Esad Ribic’s art. What else can I say that no one has said? This is one the best looking books out on the shelves. He use of pencil and direction really works and he fills each panel wonderfully. Coloring by Ive Svorcina is spectacular. Just gives the book a great look. This does feel like a very good and interesting jumping on point. Pick this book up. 5/5

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The Mercenary Sea #1
Written by Kel Symons; Drawn by Mathew Reynolds

A brand new Image #1! Yes the best comics company around has a new thing to offer, an old-school pulp adventure set on the high seas! Writing here is fine, I’d say its kinda the weakest aspect here and its not good for a first issue. The motley crew of characters feel poorly introduced and defined. I didn’t get a sense of who they are and wasn’t terribly invested in what’s going on with them. We get mostly archetypes here and well I wouldn’t mind that if again, they were well defined. This is the weakest Image debut since the recent EGOs title. I’m interested in what the book could be and hope Kel Symons can improve on this for the second issue, but Mathew Reynolds art here is gorgeous. His stylized art here feels like he could be the perfect artist for a comic book based off the excellent FX series Archer. The characters stand out and stand out. Again I wish the writing here was a little bit strong or else this could have been my book of the week. 2/5

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The Fuse #1
Written by Anthony Johnson; Drawn by Justin Greenwood

Now for a much better debuting Image comic, The Fuse which instantly hooks me as being described as this by writer Anthony Johnson, “The Fuse is a big mash-up of a lot of things I fucking love. Detective stories; dirty, lived-in sci-fi; American cop shows; and, duh, comics.” I love that. I love me some detective stories, but a detective story set out in space? Fuck yea I’m on board. The issue starts strong and keeps me hooked. The detective influence is all over as Johnson handles it so well and it does read much like a detective story. We have a mystery and its time to get on the case. The characters are important to the beginning of anything and more so than Mercenary Sea #1, Fuse #1 is far more engaging in that sense. Klem and Dietrich are a fascinating pair to follow and I’m interesting in how this suddenly put together team is gonna solver a murder case. This could be like Homicide: Life on the Streets in space and I’m cool with that. Justin Greenwood’s art is also fun to look at and adds to the fun of this book. I say this is one the better books of the week. 5/5

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Batman #28
Written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV; Drawn by Dustin Nguyen

So while it is jarring to interrupt the great Zero Year storyline for a look into the upcoming Batman Eternal weekly series, its a great look. First off, Dustin Nguyen is drawing a Batman related book again and its great. I always loved his art style, but I think him on Batbooks are great, especially the excellent Heart of Hush by Nguyen and written by Paul Dini, his art works here. I love it a lot. Now to gush again over Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV. Oh my Odin again these guys are fantastic. Tynion has climbed up fast as a fantastic writer and someone who can craft together a great story and keep things exciting but you also have Batman writer of the past two years Scott Snyder who is just terrific. Harper Row is back and her role here is spectacular. I’m not going too into the story since its foreshadowing and I’m afraid I’m gonna go into spoilers given how excited and giddy I got over the ending of the issue because of who’s involved. I’m more than ready for Batman Eternal. 5/5

BOOK OF THE WEEK!
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She-Hulk #1

Written by Charles Soule; Drawn by Javier Pulido

Marvel wins comics for the second week in a row and with a sensational lady. That’s right, Jennifer Walters herself gets a new book that starts off great. Jennifer quits her law firm after realizing they just wanted her for her super hero connections in a fantastic opening that sets things up wonderfully and then takes on a case for a woman that has Jennifer going at odds with friend and teammate Tony Stark. Soule is a lawyer at first and his law knowledge is on full display here and he has great snappy, energetic, fun writing and gives She-Hulk a great voice. She is a hero, but she’s also a damn fine lawyer.

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Javier Pulido’s art is the same thing I say about Soule’s writing. They work so well here. Pulido first came across my eyes for his two issue arc on Fraction’s Hawkeye and man the colors help this book just pop. There’s an aesthetic here that works perfectly for this book. This does something a few Marvel books are doing, fun one-and-done stories that leave you happy and satisfied. Marvel is king of this right now. The book is just full of fun and excitement and had me laughing out loud at points. I think this book is just fantastic and you need to be reading it! 5/5

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