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Watchmensch [Review]

Writer: Rich Johnston
Illustrator/Letterer: Simon Rohrmuller
Cover Colors: Matthew Vega
Publisher: Brian Kirsten
Published By: Brain Scan Studios

I wasn’t sure what to expect of this going in, but found a rather amusing spoof of Watchmen–the second such spoof I’ve picked up in the last few weeks. Unlike Whatmen?! though, this one was more to my liking with less of the Family Guy flavor of spoof.

This take on Watchmen follows the spoof-versions of the characters as they deal with events unfolding as related to Watchmen being released as a movie despite the troubles between the author and the publisher of a lot of his work.

There are a number of fun sight-gags (I especially liked this take on the visual/reasoning of the Dr. Manhatten character’s appearance) “borrowed” from the source material. On the whole, the art works really well and I have nothing that jumped out as complaint-worthy to me.

The story was more engaging than in Whatmen?! and worked a lot better for me. While this is a take on Watchmen, it also has its own story to tell, issue to be brought to attention. Other than the writer’s weekly rumour/gossip column, I don’t believe I’ve read anything he’s written as far as actual comics go–having read this, I now plan to seek out some of his other work.

This issue felt rather thin, and so when I flipped through, I counted 23 story pages and 1 page of mid-story material. Normally I’d consider that unacceptable for a $3.99 book…however, having the pages in the 9-panel-grid made each page feel like it had loads more content than the average mainstream (DC/Marvel) comic and thus feels like a far better value despite the price. Additionally, I was rather disappointed that we only had that one page–I found myself reading it, and would have read another couple pages in its vein if they’d been included.

All in all, if you enjoy Watchmen, and know much of anything about the history of the DC/Alan Moore goings-on, this ought to be a fun issue for you…and certainly comes off as smarter than other spoofs I’ve seen.

Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10
Whole: 8/10

Tales of the TMNT #56 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Supergirl #39 [Review]

Who is Superwoman? part three: Ticking Clocks

Writer: Sterling Gates
Pencillers: Jamal Igle & Talent Caldwell
Inkers: John Sibal & Talent Caldwell
Colorists: Tom Chu & Nei Ruffino
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Asst. Editor: Wil Moss
Editor: Matt Idelson
Cover: Joshua Middleton
Publisher: DC Comics

This issue picks up on and deals with the ramifications of the “reveal” regarding Superwoman’s point of origin last month. We see her retrieve Reactron (who was earlier menacing his ex), and leave a scene that shows Supergirl that the stakes are quite high in this conflict. Supergirl converses with her mother and with Lana as she ponders her current place in things, and we begin to see the reaction of those who expect Superman and “get” Supergirl instead. Finally, Agent Liberty’s killer seems to stand revealed, prompting Supergirl back into action.

I’m not a big fan of Reactron–newish character I’m not all that familiar with; I wasn’t reading this title when he was introduced. However, I am quite glad to see that we continue to have all parts of Kara’s series/continuity recognized and not simply discarded. Though not a fan of Reactron, I can see how this character can come to be quite the menace for Supergirl, perhaps even on an ongoing basis (depending on how all the New Krypton stuff shakes out, ultimately). It’s interesting to see the continuing relationship between Kara and Lana, as well as the development of Kara’s relationship with her mother of late. I have no real complaint in terms of the story itself.

The art for this issue comes from two sources, and while that’s often not a big deal with me, it was quite noticeable, which is something I’m not all that thrilled with. Neither batch of art is bad or anything; it’s just that each is different enough that it’s a bit of a distraction (especially in catching myself curiously looking to see how Caldwell draws characters’ ears, since ears are the only thing I’m not all that thrilled with from Igle’s art).

The issue’s story holds true to the characters involved, and continues to build on stuff not only from New Krypton but also from stuff going on in the other Superman books, and makes for a nice, satisfying read. You need not be following the other books to “get” this one as this series’ stories can work on their own. There’s a lot more to “get” and enjoy out of this with knowledge of the other books, and having this as just another part of the much larger ongoing story being told across all the Superman books.

Story: 7/10
Art: 6.5/10
Whole: 7/10

Azrael: Death’s Dark Knight #1 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Ender’s Game: Battle School #4 [Review]

Creative Director & Executive Director Orson Scott Card
Script: Christopher Yost
Art: Pasqual Ferry
Color Art: Frank D’Armata
Lettering: VC’s Cory Petit
Story Consultant: Jake Black
Pasqual Ferry & Frank D’Armata:
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Beginning this issue, I feel like I’ve missed something. I’m not sure if I simply missed an issue…or if there was a story jump that’s alluded to in the opening text, or what–but I found myself wishing there was a bit of a recap page for this issue. I’ve read the novel this is based on, so know what’s happened…just no memory of seeing everything in this visual format.

We pick up with Ender having been transferred out of Bonzo’s army and into another army, which opens up different dynamics between Ender and the other kids. We move through the incident of the younger kids getting away from the larger bullies in the battle room, and finally to where Ender–in the computer simulation game–throws the snake through the mirror and is set upon by many smaller snakes.

On the whole, the art continues to be good and fairly stylistic. The visuals are different than what I have in my head for these events, but I can let that slide with no real trouble.

The story holds up as well–though again, I’ve read the novel and so can fill in any gaps that I’d otherwise find myself missing. This definitely continues to feel–both visually and the story–like an adaptation. Yost and Ferry do a good job of holding to the spirit of the source material, though, which is indeed a plus in that department.

For the point of the story we’re at 4 issues in out of 5, I can only assume that we are indeed going to hve a series of mini-series adapting the entirety of Ender’s Game. However, I wonder at the same time if we might get a longer series combining both Ender and Bean for the next segment, as it seems likely that this mini will end not long after the two are introduced.

If you’re not already familiar with Ender’s Game or interested in beginning with something that is an “adaptation of” the work, this probably isn’t for you–especially for the price. Otherwise, this isn’t bad, and one could do much worse than revisit the story in this format.

Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10
Whole: 7/10

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