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Prattling Panels: 6/28/14

Last weekly Prattling Panels for a while as July will be a monthly wrap up of the comics of July so hey yeah. Also no Saturday posting again, was too bust enjoying my birthday yesterday. 25 and feeling fine! Let’s talk comics!

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All-New Ultimates #4
Written by Michel Fiffe; Drawn by Amilcar Pinna

Its a girl’s day out on the beach as the lovely ladies of the Ultimates as they do some bonding and this is the strongest issue since the debut! I love the chance to get to know them a little more and explore their mind, especially Jessica Drew who is the best thing of this issue. There is follow up from last issue with Bombshell, Miles’ kiss, and what Cloak is up to. Fiffe has a lot of fun with the premise here and the way its done. He understands them very well here and I think is solid at writing the women of the book than the men at points, mostly here of course, but he does good here with the men when they show up and the set up for what’s next is really good. I’m enjoying this a lot more than I have since it began. Please keep this up! Book still has a lot to overcome, but hopefully it does. 4/5

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The Flash #32
Written by Robert Venditti and Van Jensen; Drawn by Brett Booth

Well we get more looks into Barry Allen’s awful future as he has what is this issues best moment, visiting Captain Cold who is dying in a hospital of bone cancer, which is what happens when you combine your DNA with a freeze gun ain’t such a great idea! Its really some touching stuff as Flash deep down has some appreciation for his Rogues, as they for him deep down. This has been explored many times before but when its done well, its so good and it is good here too. the present stuff, its pretty good. I mean it got better as it went and got good towards the end with Barry facing off against Merge in the present which only is good for the art really by Brett Booth and how it ends with Barry and Patty’s relationship starting to show cracks. Booth’s style, I’m liking better as the issues go and he does action and characters pretty good, but his style is action is better honestly, though still worth checking out. Barry and Wally at a baseball game start off of course, not liking each other but bond over how good the game of baseball is, and I’ll agree as it is the best sport, about how you should slow down and see all that’s good in life. When the Fastest Man Alive says that you listen to him. 3.5/5

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Trees #2
Written by Warren Ellis; Drawn by Jason Howard

This issue is more about the people below the trees and its a great look into our characters and that’s a good focus to take after the set up that was the debut issue and seeing their different points of view on the trees themselves. It works really well and takes a nice slow-burn approach to the book and revealing all there is to this mystery. Its wonderful to see that happening and reminds me a lot of another great Image series, Morning Glories. Both have a great mystery going on with intriguing characters and lots of build up to what it will reveal. I’m excited for this book and what’s to come. 4/5

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Justice League Dark #32
Written by J.M. DeMatteis; Andrew Guinaldo

Nightmare Nurse is possessing Zatanna and well fucking shit up. Its an interesting issue for one the most underrated books on the shelves today. The mystery behind Nightmare Nurse and the reveals that come out are wonderfully done. J.M. DeMatteis writes these characters well and the art of Andrew Guinaldo works well with the weirdness of the book and make everything so vibrant. The book play with it settings greatly since issue one and that’s a huge part of the charm and wonder of this book. JLD is unique and just a joy to read. Honestly, you need to pick this book up! 4/5

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Deadpool vs. Carnage #4
Written by Cullen Bunn; Drawn by Salvador Espin

We have reached the finale of this mini-series and man its fun, minus a underutilized role of Shriek, but this delivered what it promised! Deadpool and Carnage made for a memorable battle over these four issues, even adding in a symbiote shape-shifting war dog was awesome! Bunn’s writing and Espin’s art worked together to bring this batshit insanity together and honestly, it just focuses on the battle here mostly, but a nice bit of insight to each character too, again mins Shriek since she was just here honestly. I liked this a lot and it didn’t disappoint! 4/5

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Sinestro #3
Written by Cullen Bunn; Drawn by Dale Eaglesham and Rag Morales

Sinestro’s quest for redemption continues as we see more insight and development into his relationship with his daughter, Soranik. Sinestro is a proud man, often too proud for his own good, it especially shows here in this issue as Bunn gets deep into the psychology of Sinestro and his scenes with Soranik is the best parts of the book as well for however deep Bunn can get, Sinestro can often fall into being one-note and not that interesting, but still worth a read. Eaglesham is still the main artist here with great action and character beats that help really sell the book but also veteran Rags Morales bookends the issue with his amazing art style setting up the next part of the story to follow. This book is still one of DC’s impressive debuts in a while and hopefully it can keep up momentum. 4/5

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The Fuse #5
Written by Antony Johnson; Drawn by Justin Greenwood

the first case of the book comes to an end and hey, nice ending that, I’ll own up I didn’t see coming as to who did it, but promises and exciting new case when it returns in November. Johnson explores more of the underworld of our space setting and its really intriguing stuff with more pasts explored of the characters and of course ho the case is solved. Johnson really knows how to do his detective stuff as much as Greenwood provides damn good art and great storytelling with the excellent facial expressions. 4.5/5

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The Mercenary Sea #5
Written by Kel Symons; Drawn by Mathew Reynolds

I’m dropping this book and reading it in trades. I feel like it’ll read better that way like an anthology format in the trades. This book is good but monthly, I kinda forget things and lose a little focus on the story, its not feeling too connected reading it that way, so that way, it might work way better in. Symons and Reynolds are a dynamic team together, I still recommend this, but it goes to the trade pile. Story wise here its pretty fun stuff and a nice little adventure as the book is.  3/5

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Guardians of the Galaxy #16
Written by Brian Michael Bendis; Drawn by Various

Guardians are still split and while #15 was okay, 16 does a much better job with the divided and tortured Guardians as Bendis feels like he has a second wind getting back into things and evening getting Captain Marvel involved as she’s a team member, and even into her own story maybe, but this issue feels stronger than last time and we get follow ups that pay off and various art styles that make for a nice eye festival. The storyline is slowly improving, but still needs room to work. 4/5

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Fantastic Four #6
Written by James Robinson; Drawn by Leonard Kirk and Dean Haspiel

Man this issue is a mess and officially concerns me a lot more of this run of Fantastic Four. This is as you see an Original Sin tie-in as it seems Johnny had a hand in keeping Ben in his rock like state but damn it I feel so uninterested in it. The stuff with the Avengers appearing is bullshit because they would never be against the Fantastic Four, it feels so out of character for everyone involved. It just doesn’t match well at all. The saving grace is Kirk’s art transitioning to Haspiel’s Silver Age style of drawing for the flashbacks and that’s very good, but overall, this still feels like a mess. The first arc will make of break if I still wanna care about this book at all, and I do cause I love the Fantastic Four, I don’t wanna hate it. 2/5

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Furious #5
Written by Bryan J.L. Glass; Drawn by Victor Santos

The finale of this series had slipped under my radar, that’s on me, its a great ending. This is the strongest and best issue of the whole run which I found pretty damn good as an exploration of a real-life superhero, but from a different angle with a disgraced child/teen star. We get her true origins here as well as her connection to former best friend turned super-villain. Glass’ exploration is great on both sides of the coin and it just shows so much insight on a truly changed person. The art work by Victor Santos was fun and hard at sometimes, but it needed that for this time of story and the level of violence it goes to. I found it a great book and hope you pick up the trade! 4.5/5

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Aquaman #32
Written by Jeff Parker; Drawn by Paul Pelletier

After having an exchange with Swamp Thing, Aquaman gets a ride back from Batman, obviously set after the events of their own issue, to find the Triton Base has had an experiment gone wrong that’s a bog threat t him and as well as set up for the upcomig issue. The design of said creature is excellently done and Paul Pelletier works so well. Its scary, different, works within the settings of the book and actually does present itself as a admirable foe for the king of the sea. Meanwhile, the attempted assassination of Mera, who becomes even more of a badass, gets a huge spotlight here. Mera holds her own against her attempted killers and its pretty goddamn badass to see as again, she’s a badass! She’s fantastic and this is the most entertaining aspect of the issue itself and is well worth reading, also cause, going back to art, Paul Pelletier is actually able to draw a whole issue himself again. 4.5/5

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All-New Ghost Rider #4
Written by Felipe Smith; Drawn by Tradd Moore

First arc is nearing an end and man I’m still impressed by how well this book has just worked. Felipe’s risk to make a new Ghost Rider has paid off in spades with how developed Robbie is and the amazing to look at highly hyper-stylized art of Tradd Moore is the perfect fit for the balls out insanity here, I’d love to have seeing what he’d do with Johnny Blaze. The craziness of this book from down-to-earth, well developed people, a nicely done version of an old tale for the villain, to awesome over-the-top villains make this a memorable treat from month-to-month. They have a truly respect and love for the mythos and man I can’t emphasize how much this book is a new favorite! 4.5/5

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Outcast #1
Written by Robert Kirkman; Drawn by Phil Azaceta

Image mainstay Robert Kirkman adds yet another book to his workload with the new horror title, Outcast, which deals with Kyle Barnes and his past involving demonic possessions and exorcisms. Once again, a new book, is only as good as the main character we have to follow, and Kyle is solid! We get a great detailed look, with not too bad exposition, as his life has drastically changed when possessed by the Devil and the exorcism that helped has scarred him in almost every single way. Kirkman helps get everything out there in the forefront and makes the book creepy and scary in memorable ways thanks to Azaceta’s painted art style with the marvelous colors of Elizabeth Breitweiser. This is a haunting book that really seeps into your mind and skin, giving a memorable 44 page horror experience. Pick this one up! 4.5/5

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Ms. Marvel #5
Written by G. Willow Wilson; Drawn by Adrian Alphona

The mythology of Kamala Khan is shaping together as she truly has her first heroic moment here and its so goddamn earned. Ms. Marvel has been nonstop amazing since #1 and Kamala has been memorable since the first panel she’s in. I love her heart, power, determination, and just how good she is. This is the best issue of the run so far as Wilson ends her first arc with Alphona’s art soars even higher here as this is the most action heavy issue and he works it as well as he does the character work and the design of her first true villain, The Inventor, is memorable. Wilson and Alphona are going to make this a continuous must read for comics fans all around. I just love Ms. Marvel. 5/5

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Dexter Down Under #5
Written by Jeff Lindsay; Drawn by Dalibor Talajic

Dexter’s adventure down under comes to an end with a satisfying conclusion. This doesn’t toy around, we get right to the nitty gritty here and it doesn’t let up. The characterization is really good and fleshed out among the great action of Talajic’s art that has blended in well with Jeff Lindsay’s writing. This mini-series has been a nice little detour with out favorite serial killer and was way more satisfactory than the ending to the show, so if you’re still hurt from that, I recommend getting the trade when it’s released. This was just a damn good read. 4/5

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All-Star Western #32
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray; Drawn by Staz Johnson and Fabrizo Fiorentino

We get a centralized focus story here on Jonah and Tallulah and yee-haw its exciting! Just a good ole, throw down, drag out fight…oh wait they find the bounty early and get drugged and in a heaping mess at the end. Either way, it was good to have a central focus this time and have a fun story as this series reaches its end soon and Palmiotti and Gray and still having a ball doing this. Its just great western fun and the art by Johnson and Fiorentino that is just great and fits right into how dirty and gritty this book and setting is. All-Star is a book I wish more checked out but goddamn, hopefully you guys get them trades! 4/5

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Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #6
Written by Zack Whedon; Drawn by Georges Jeanty

TONIGHT THERE’S GONNA BE A JAILBREAK!

Now that I have finally made a Thin Lizzy reference in this column, as I planned from the beginning of Prattling Panels, the story reaches it finale, and seems to become a new ongoing, judging by the ending, which is interesting. The main focus is wrapping up the main story with the jailbreak and escape of Zoe which is awesomely done! I like the tension from the action, the planning, character drama, and it just all works. There is a brilliant moment between Zoe and The Operative at the end that is one my personal favorite Firefly moments. It was executed greatly and Jeanty’s art, in addition to good character reference, made it better with the expressions used. This comic has been everything I wanted of this and a great follow up to the most lovable crooks in the verse. 4.5/5

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C.O.W.L. #2
Written by Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel; Drawn by Rod Reis

C.O.W.L. #2 continues the strong debut the book had last month with a more methodical character work approach here with Grant and how his lack of powers and a superhero call-sign leads his son to have an image as his dad being the most useless member of C.O.W.L. and Grant’s reaction and desire to prove himself is greatly explored and executed very well and let’s get to know more of this new world. Even the stuff with Agent Pierce is very good with his approach to the current investigation. Higgins and Siegel are truly invested as any writer should be but with the background given last month, they love this idea like it was their own child they had together. Rod Reis’ art style keeps being amazing with his painted style is simply stunning with the bleeding lines and smudgy lines, its just great to look at. Please read this book. 5/5

 

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Batman #32
Written by scott Snyder; Drawn by Greg Capullo

PENULTIMATE(!) issue of Zero Year and man again, I turned around on this since #24, I found Zero Year entertaining but there is a fatigue that has come from this long a story going on, but again when its this good from talented people. Batman, Gordon, and Lucius are tossing a Hail Mary in an attempt to take down Riddler but oh guess what, he fucks their shit up via his expansive intelligence. The pacing set by Snyder’s writing and Capullo’s cinematic art is great in how we quickly get ready for the finale and the confrontation between Batman and Riddler is fantastic. The writing and art are just spectacular here with special notice to Danny Miki on inks and FCO Plascenia on the colors which keep the book so vibrant and eye-catching! DC just keep Batman the way it is, we’ll be fine! 4.5/5

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Saga #20
Written by Brian K. Vaughn; Drawn by Fiona Staples

Saga reaches the big 2-0 and keeps proving its one of the best books around!

The book has yet another what the fuck opening page as custom to Saga at this point and for the first time features Alana and Marko completely separate as we see their hiding leads them to living completely different lives and makes sense given the big ending reveal of last issue. It works well to help set the stage for that upcoming event. Things are being shaken up for the better and I feel this is going to change the whole book.

Vaughn’s writing is still strong but Staples’ art is what really helps make this book a major draw. The major scope of this book and world is just so captivating that I just can’t help but love everything about this book. EVERYTHING!  If you’re one the few people not reading Saga, you’re just not right in the mind. Saga is comics greatness! 5/5

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Superman #32
Written by Geoff Johns; Drawn by John Romita Jr.

Ah Superman! The Super books of DC are kinda all over the place, I haven’t read Superman recently cause Scott Lobdell took over and I don’t like Lobdell’s writing a lot. I was only reading Action Comics and Superman/Wonder Woman, Supergirl is on/off for me, and Superboy is just poor. So man was I happy to see I can read this book again with a dream team of Geoff Johns and making his DC Comics debut, John Romita Jr. This book begins anew and much like his previous run on Action Comics, Geoff Johns has interesting set up and very good character work with the opening and ending to help bookend and establish, Ulysses, a mirror of Superman of sorts it seems. The look for him is great and outstanding, as Romita Jr.’s art which was damn good and fits into Superman pretty well for me.

Romita Jr. has mostly been Marvel based and with Kick-Ass but he does good work here, sure his tradition facial style is all over here but I like it myself, its wonderful to see some good art. He works well with Johns to move the story at a good pace and have fun doing this. First Superman issue I have read in a while and its just damn good. But back to Johns and his character work, his character work here is still excellent as noted but its more contemporary and based in New 52 with references to his relationship with Wonder Woman, Forever Evil, and leaving the Daily Planet, where his Action Comics, pre-52 was more Richard Donner based from the films, it still feels amazing. I think my favorite part, besides Superman fighting Titano, is his talk with Perry White which I just found so damn good. Please do pick this up, the Man of Tomorrow is back on track baby! 4.5/5

BOOK OF THE WEEK!
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Deadly Class #6
Written by Rick Remender; Drawn by Wes Craig

The first arc of Rick Remender and Wes Craig’s creator owned series comes to a conclusion with questions answered, new arcs being set up, and about as much sexual tension, teenage angst, bad drugs, and murders as you expect with teenage assassins.

Remender has made this just instantly memorable with his sense of deep writing into the characters minds and how they think and with the distinct and weird style that Wes Craig’s art can provide, its absolutely amazing. Underneath the hard exteriors of hardened assassins are these scared as hell teenagers and Remedner’s understanding of them is too on the nose as to this character exploration. The fallout of events here guarantees more misadventures of Marcus and crew and hopefully, deeper development of these amazing characters.

Deadly Class is a mixture if a whole shitload of things that come together and make a wonderful piece of art and storytelling. This is a great story, a great comic book, a great Image book, and just a great piece of high quality entertainment. READ THIS BOOK! 5/5

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