Written by: The CinCitizens
CC2K Comic Gurus take a head first dive into the most hyped up books of the week, and let you know if they're worth a damn. This week: Gotham Gazette: Batman Dead? #1, Superman: World of New Krypton #1, and more!
Superman: World of New Krypton #1 Review by Kevin Hunter
Has Kal-El, Superman, really renounced his life on Earth as we know it for that on his new home planet Krypton?
Say it isn’t so Superman! Say it isn’t so!
It’s going to take 12 issues to find out where Superman calls home as DC Comics has unveiled another behemoth of a series in Superman: World of New Krypton.
Written by James Robinson and Greg Rucka, and drawn by Pete Woods, with Brad Anderson as colorist and lettered by Steve Wands, this new series picks up where the crossover "New Krypton" left off. Kal-El is back home on new old Krypton. Or is it the old new Krypton on the planet Kandor with 100,000 other Kryptonian transplants from earth.
Either way, he’s back and the citizens do not exactly roll out the red carpet for him.
Just take a look at the cover by Gary Frank. It portrays a Superman who really feels like he’s back home on Krypton. Why not welcome him?
But you know what they say, don’t judge a book by its cover, no matter how good it looks.
As Superman first arrives, he is told by a Commander Gor that he is not welcomed and should go to back to that puny little blue-green planet where he came from. But, this is Superman we’re taking about. Do you really think he’s going to take orders from some two-bit commander on a new planet calling itself Krypton? He’s then told that General Zod, who Superman banished to the Phantom Zone sometime ago, wants to see him, and again Supes will have none if this order taking stuff. His agenda is to check on his family first.
That’s where he runs into good old aunt Alura, who looks more like a hot, young cousin than an aunt. Anyway, she thinks she has made Kal-El an offer he can’t refuse – a life on New Krypton in exchange for him renouncing his life on Earth. Surprisingly, Kal-El accepts the offer without even blinking as long as he lets bygones be bygones and forgets about some of the ugliness that happened on Earth. Kal-El soon finds out that things are very different from the Krypton he new and loved. The citizens and their powers and intellect are practically amateurish compared to his, and he’s faced with a new planet with enough military, labor guilds and unions to drive any earthly politician crazy.
After seeing this and after a meeting with Zod, Kal-El informs aunt Alura that this is not for him. She then tells him that she will eventually get what she wants, thus setting up the first of what I’m sure will be many showdowns in this series. The last page in Superman: World of New Krypton #1 is pretty cool, so I’m not going to give it away.
I was genuinely intrigued with this latest Superman escapade. And I think I might finally learn a thing or two more about Krypton and the Kryptonian culture.
But quite frankly, this looks like a story and a series that could have been told in six issues instead of 12. But you know the fine folk at DC. They can take a story and milk it for everything they can get. Having said that, my worst fear is that, like a Saturday Night Live skit, Superman: World of New Krypton may drag on too long until it’s no longer interesting.
And adding more fuel to the fire, we’re left wondering, what about Earth and Metropolis? What will they do without Clark Kent and Superman while he’s in for what looks to be another battle with Zod on his supposedly home planet? You’ll have to turn to the pages of the other Superman titles to find the answers to those questions as the "World Without Superman" fills in those gaps.
That’s where DC gets you. They can drag out a story like nobody’s business.
That may be the problem here. I was very impressed with the first issue of Superman: World of New Krypton. Great artwork, great beginning and the end had me wanting more. But I’m going to have to wait a year from now to find out how it all turns out, as well as shelling out more money on the other Superman titles to find out how Earth deals with his absence?
And just how many more stories and origins of Superman, Kal-El and Krypton do we need? Haven’t they all been told over and over? This is precisely one of the reasons I’ve strayed away from most of them over the years.
But alas, Robinson and Rucka had me at hello with this one. This first issue and the story are impressive enough where I will be reading the next 11 issues. I just hope the series doesn’t indeed go the way of a bad SNL skit.
4.0 out of 5.
Gotham Gazette: Batman Dead? #1 Review by Kevin Hunter
Batman’s dead. Or so the good folks of Gotham City are led to believe.
The city’s major daily newspaper, the Gotham Gazette, has a special with the headline titled “Batman Dead?” meaning they don’t even know if he’s dead. If he is, then the city has to come to grips with it and find ways to move on without it's great detective.
Gotham Gazette: Batman Dead is a one-shot book, tying into Battle for the Cowl, which will be starting up this month, putting the main Bat-books on hiatus until June. In Gotham Gazette: Batman Dead, we are treated to four stories all through the eyes of four very ordinary and minor characters in the Batman universe. Each has to decide what to do now, facing the probable demise of the Batman. All are women except for the last story seen through the eyes by Harvey Bullock. Fabian Nicieza writes each story with a different artist. That’s a lot for a 32-page book.
Gotham Gazette: Batman Dead is well done, but a little confusing and boring. I read this a couple of times, and I’m still trying to figure out who the ghostly-dress woman is narrating it at the beginning and throughout in "The Veil" with art by Dustin Nguyen, who also does the cover art. She sort of looks and is dressed like Raven of the New Teen Titans.
On the very first page the Raven-like figure is standing on top of a roof with the Bat-signal shining eerily bright in the Gotham City night sky. It looks and sounds like the eloquent narration is her own.
But the next page, introduces us to the first story – "Vicki Vale" with art by Guillem March. Vale, the on and off again Bruce Wayne squeeze, is being congratulated by her Gotham Gazette colleagues for her front page story, which made me think that’s what the Raven-like gal was reading.
There is a cameo by Robin in "Stephanie Brown" (art by ChrisCross) as she walks through Gotham City reflecting on the chaos around her. She later meets up with Robin as The Spoiler and decides to join him to try to fill the crime fighting void left by Batman.
In "Leslie Thompkins" with art by Jamie McKelvie, it’s business as usual in Gotham City as she realizes that without Batman in town, maybe it’s time for her to go back into the Urban Jungle and do a little of her own to help to the good citizens.
"Harvey Bullock" featuring artwork by Alex Konat and Mark McKenna is probably the most useless story. All we see is Bullock (yawn) on yet another case. But this time he gets no help from the missing or dead Batman.
There is good pacing here, and would be a great issue if it were about the death of a minor character. I wish that this was longer and Nicieza would have gone a little deeper into the four stories and what the characters were really going through. This is Batman for crying out loud, and without him the entire city of Gotham is about to go up in flames.
Also, the choice of characters was a bit odd too. We’ve seen and read the stories and reactions from Robin and Nightwing in their respected series, but I wish they could have come up with someone other than these four. A point-of-view from a criminal would have been cool.
Vale’s story is the most interesting as she’s starting to put two and two together – both Batman and Bruce Wayne are missing at the same time! She’s also trying to get a hold of Bruce Wayne to see if he’ll invite her to charity ball. It's very clear that she’s no Lois Lane. And instead of doing more with her story, all she’s interested in is resurrecting her career and trying to get Bruce Wayne to invite her to a ball?
The Gotham Gazette is no Daily Planet either. Haven’t we been down this road with the death of Superman years ago? We did, and the death of the Man of Steel was treated better than how Batman is treated with this underachieving title.
was interesting at best. But in the end, it should have been longer with more detailed stories and betteGotham Gazette: Batman Dead?r characters told so we could feel the full impact of a possibly dead Caped Crusader. Bruce Wayne, Batman and the fine folks of Gotham City deserve better than this.
3.0 out of 5.
Grimm Fairy Tales #36 Review by Tom Sanford
Writer – Michael Dolce
Artist – Jeff Zornow
Colorist – Garry Henderson
Lettering – Bernie Lee
Design – David Seidman
Since I don’t get to immediately read Zenescope books after I pick them up anymore, I asked my thieving girlfriend how it was after seeing a look of not-quite-disgust on her face. “I don’t know, it’s kind of like an Are You Afraid of the Dark (episode), or something” she said with a giggle. That didn’t really help my anticipation for the issue, but pretty soon I cracked it open and took a look. A sequel to the "Ugly Duckling" take from issue #28 of this series, issue #36 follows Ted, a fashion designer who’s sick and tired of women moving on to bigger and better things that aren’t him, gets a flashback this time around. Jumping to his days of being a college wiener, he meets a hottie with a purple streak in her hair who is all over him. Enter the super-smokin’ RA, played by who else but Belinda, warning him against getting too attached, because she’s still going to realize he sucks eventually and will turn her back like all the others. This is a big ouch for Ted, who just can’t seem to catch a break from awkward, intellectual whore laden undertones. Eventually he gets close to scoring but goes overboard and gets psychotic, making a massive mistake thanks to the seductive convincing of Belinda. Not much is different here than what we’ve seen in the past few issues of Grimm, and done a bit better. This was the second half of what was already a fairly forgettable issue, though.
As far as my girlfriend’s weird scrunched face goes, I was pleasantly surprised to find that, barring any spoilers, a major character that I haven’t seen or heard from since I first started reading these books around the 21st issue. The return’s timing is great, as nothing really helps ongoing series more than getting a shot in the arm when you’re already mostly fresh every issue. So, that having been said, I look forward to next month, and while this wasn’t quite an essential issue unless you wanted to close up your Ugly Duckling questions, it’s exciting to see the series’ returning characters get some more attention.
3.0 out of 5.
Locke & Key: Head Games #3 Review by Tom Sanford
Writer – Joe Hill
Artist – Gabriel Rodriguez
Colorist – Jay Fotos
Letterer – Robbie Robbins
I love, love, love this book. Cliché shows of emotion aside and out of the way, this is not only one of my favorite comics of all time, but it’s one of my favorite things I have ever read, ever. I have yet to read an issue that disappoints me from beginning to end, this issue being no different. I have spent so much time now experiencing the lives of the Locke family, from the emotions that enable them to be read as living, breathing human beings, to their wide, beady eyes welling with tears and smiling faces. Even the secondary characters, good and bad, carry this aura of acceptability, but after this issue the bar, at least for me, personally, has been raised.
After the bizarre event that has taken place at the end of issue two, the Locke kids attempt to cope with the situation at hand with a healthy dose of humor, bizarre disbelief, and the realization that they are amongst a mysterious, unexplained situation. All this, and still in the back of their minds, with their mother being the most obvious reminder, they still grieve.
It was no challenge in the beginning to latch onto the grief that Tyler and his family were feeling, simply because each panel, be it a frame of him alone, head down in a funeral home, to the kids fishing together in Lovecraft, not much of the books’ detail easily goes unnoticed. The series’ realism and relatability make the supernatural aspects it is laced with that much more acceptable, and enjoyable. Now, Joe Hill has pushed much further the surrealist ideals that have only been either briefly explored or teased in the previous issue and turns them into a wonderful, enjoyable experience. To see into the mind of a child with such detail, it’s hard to turn the page without wondering if you’ve missed anything, or maybe, hoping you have so you can continue your examination. It is easy to imagine ones own mind being a cornucopia of colors and clashing likes and dislikes sandwiching memories of all kinds.
To think that this is only the third issue in something that will be polished into a three act structure only makes me happier. So many things, book series, films, other comics, are plagued with going on far too long. This seems to be something that will remain fresh as it builds to a solid, respectable, and excellent piece of literature that, I think, and can only hope, will help skeptics further accept comics as a legitimate medium.
5.0 out of 5!