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General Mills Presents: Justice League #4 [Review]

Breakout!

Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Bruno Redondo
Colors by: Tony Avina
Letters by: Wes Abbott
Cover by: Dan Jurgens, Sandra Hope, Carrie Strachan
Associate Editor: Kristy Quinn
Group Editor: Ben Abernathy
Senior Art Director: Larry Berry

So…Atlanteans are just like normal humans, except they live underwater. That’s ‘interesting.’ And Batman’s determined that no other family will ever be destroyed by crime. Penguin instigates a prison breakout to keep Aquaman busy, but the rest of the Justice League show up to help Aquaman and Batman. And we get several of the common “nicknames” such as “Big Blue” (Superman) and “Caped Crusader” (Batman).

This issue continues the trend of feeling rather generic, as well as having some stuff that feels a bit ‘forced’ in the course of dialogue or story.

The art’s not bad…also as with the other issues of this “mini-series” I’m not familiar with the artist…but, the art overall isn’t anything I actively dislike, which makes it good in my book.

The story is pretty basic, but it DOES have simple stuff worked in that would help inform someone on aspects of the characters–namely, that Batman’s all about not seeing another family destroyed as his was. This issue’s nothing special in the grand scheme…but as a comic that’s likely to be read by someone much younger than me…this isn’t a bad starting point to get someone interested in pursuing more about these characters.

And as a whole, this issue–and the whole “mini-series”–serves as a very basic introduction to the Justice League and several of the individual characters that doesn’t really contradict what I’m aware of about the characters, but this also makes the “real” comics look that much better.

Best of all, these comics are 24 pages of story–making them 4 pages (20%?) longer than current $3-$4 comics. And while totally separate from actual continuity…these even work a lot of “standard” elements in that give a “physical structure” like that of any contemporary comics–varied panel sizes, and even double-page spreads.

If these issues were to be collected as a full size 96-page one-shot in the $5 realm, I’d probably buy it for the novelty–and it’d be interesting to see if it would attract younger readers.

Story: 7/10
Art: 7.5/10
Overall: 7.5/10

Tales of the TMNT #57 [Review]

Quick Rating: Decent
Story Title: Gangs All Here

The Turtles all have different ideas when it comes to what they should do about their housing situation.

talesofthetmnt057Script: Dan Berger
Art: Jim Lawson
Lettering: Eric Talbot
Frontispiece: Michael Dooney
Editor in Chief: Peter Laird
Managing Editor: Dan Berger
Design: Eric Talbot
Cover: Jim Lawson and Steve Lavigne

This issue gives us a glimpse into a time after the color TMNT series from the mid-1990s and the series from the early 2000s, where the turtles were trying to figure out where to live. The argument involved safety–of April, Casey, and Shadow; of the turtles keeping themselves secret from society around them, and so on. Of course, the turtles also find themselves involved in goings-on they’d rather not be a part of, as they encounter a new gang–the Madhattan Maulitia, battling it out with the Purple Dragons for turf.

The art for this issue is classic Lawson–very much “the” visual style that I associate as the “standard” version of these characters…it’s a bit stylistic, and won’t be for everyone, but with these characters, it works quite well.

The story is fairly standard, and felt a bit short. It’s really very enjoyable getting to see the turtles interact this way, seeing some of what happened between series. But the major hangup I have on this issue is that there’s an eight-page “silent” fight sequence–I understand there’s an atmosphere or even “cinematic” effect probably being conveyed….but I just felt like I was turning page after page of action panels trying to find where the story itself with dialogue and such would pick up again. Multiple-page silent action/fight sequences would be fine in a single volume of a manga series, but as something that takes up a quarter or so of an entire issue, not so thrilled.

All in all, an issue that has a lot of potential, but isn’t all that dense or deep. “Worthwhile” for the more hardcore readers. For newer readers not all that steeped in TMNT history, this issue’s probably one to pass on.

Ratings:

Story: 3/5
Art: 3.5/5
Overall: 3/5

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