Tuesday, May 18, 2010

This week in trite reviews.

Daredevil: Cage Match -- One Shot
Written by Antony Johnston
Pencils by Sean Chen
Inks by Sandu Florea
Colors by Matt Hollingsworth
Letters by VC's Joe Caramagna
Published by Marvel Comics
Review by Lan Pitts

"You and me, Fogwell's Gym, tomorrow night. A grand each, winner names a charity. What do you say?" -- Matt Murdock, Daredevil

This issue harkens back to some nice 1970's nostalgia, so readers who aren't reading the current series under Andy Diggles direction, fear not. Though saying that, this isn't the brooding rooftop hopping, ninja clan-leading Daredevil now, the one in Cage Match is bit more fun-loving, but still street tough.

So, on a nightly routine, Daredevil and Power Man Luke Cage quickly take down a gang of street kids, but Luke feels Daredevil has lost a certain edge and feels like he needed the help. Daredevil being on the defensive, challenges Luke to a boxing match and the loser pays the winner's charity of choice. Matt confides to his partner Foggy about the deal, as Luke tells Iron Fist (in the middle of a brawl no less) about the situation and both partners agree it's a bit odd to do that, but Luke and Matt understand there's a bit of pride at stake.

The notion that these two heroes would duke it out paints both characters as something different from what they are perceived now, especially Daredevil. It's nice to see his portrayal as not just a Batman archetype but as something not so brooding and to see him do an act like this is a nice change of pace. It's neither better or worse than what Diggle is doing on the main Daredevil title, it's just great to see what the character can also be.

Sean Chen does a great job with the posing and showcases old Hornhead's flexibility and agility and makes Luke Cage come across as the powerhouse he is. Sandu Florea's inks are touch and go, but for the most part excels in making Chen look good with crisp clean lines. Matt Hollingsworth is on coloring duty and adds a playful tone to the book by using a brighter pallet in contrast to the main title. Even in the night scenes, nothing is overshadowed and feels like a breath of fresh air.

All in all, it's a it's a solid book, but nothing outrageous. It would be a good introductory book for a young reader to the characters since Daredevil is a bit heavy at times. Johnston shows us that a man without fear isn't exactly a man without some fun.


Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time #2
Written by Robert Jordan
Script by Chuck Dixon
Art by Chase Conely
Colors by Nicolas Chapuis
Letters by Bill Tortolini
Published by Dynamite Entertainment
Review by Lan Pitts

"A locked door. No one in the Two Rivers had ever locked their doors. There had been a need...until now at least." -- Rand al'Thor

Coming from a perspective as a "Wheel of Time" fan, I'm really liking the series so far, especially with Chuck Dixon gets to do his stuff and is just let loose. This issue sheds a bit more light on Rand al'Thor's and his father's, Tam, home life. In addition to things to come, such as the revelation of Tam's heron-marked blade and how he uses it so well against a talking Trolloc.

How this read in the book is again pretty close to what happens in this issue. Dixon might have added a bit of dialog here and there to expand the events, but nothing outrageous where fans will cry foul. I think Dixon improved a few things, especially when trying to paint a picture on Rand and Tam's relationship, as not just father and son, but how they have just each other. Especially when their house is destroyed by hellish beasts and monsters. Nothing says father and son bonding like endangerment.

I'm still not sold on the art. The page layout reminded me of somebody just dropping random photographs on the ground and just traced the design from there. It's a bit scattered. In addition to the fact that I feel that sometimes the facial expressions were a bit either over done and cartoonish, or just too flat and boring. In contrast, the backgrounds are great, and the coloring detail is the perfect partner for Conley's style. Also, as a fan, I have to praise Conely for nailing down the imagery I've had in my mind for the past sixteen years of my life.

I'm enjoying the book so far, and since it's just the beginning of the series it might seem slow, but it's about to get into some good stuff.


The Unwritten #13 (Published by Vertigo; Review by Lan Pitts): What can one say that hasn't already been said about this series? Hell, what can I say that I haven't already said? In my opinion, page for page, it is the best series on the shelves these days, and after a year it still holds true. I've questioned Mike Carey's direction of the story from time to time since it seems to be going multiple places at once, but in fact he's just layering like a club sandwich. So, in this issue we have Tom, Liz, and Savoy hiding out at an apartment downtown so they can keep an eye out for Tom's father who may, or may not, appear at the debut of the new book...that he did not write. It's all a trap and Tom and Co. are none the wiser. New revelations are revealed, a cliffhanger ending, and a trap set in motion. Simply put, the story never stops until you put it down. Peter Gross is back on full art duties, colors aside of course. The layouts remain sharp and with a dialog-heavy book like this can be at times, Gross always makes sure the pages are still interesting and never boring. It's creative and inspiring without being avant garde. Chris Chuckry does a great job on colors, as usual, with his muted tone that adds a layer of realism to a fantasy story that makes it all that more intriguing and captivating. Everything is lining up for this book to be the stuff of legend and is already my "must-read" book.

No comments: