411’s Comic Reviews: Elektra #1, Animosity #5, More
Hello and welcome to 411mania’s weekly Comic Book Review Roundtable! Each week we’ll be serving up a warm dish of reviews from Marvel, DC, and anything else that captures our interest. What did you pick up this week? Let us know in the comments.
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Yesterday we asked, “Could DC Survive Without Batman?”
Now on with the show!
Review by RobF
Elektra is one of those characters that can never seem to find an audience. After several series she still hasn’t been able to sustain an audience, only one series making it past 20 issues. Writer Matt Owens and artist Juan Cabal are next in line but in this case they aren’t breaking any new ground.
Elektra is on the seemingly never-ending quest for peace of mind. This time, it takes her to Vegas where she finds herself defending the weak from some high rollers who messed with the wrong person. In her act of vengeance she attracts the attention of Arcade, who is running his own exclusive murder club.
My biggest criticism is that this story has all been done before; all the action movie clichés are present here. Gangsters in Vegas? Check. Evil casino owner? Check. Abused woman, etc. After all she has been through this seems like a step down for her, especially after the last mini-series.
The one thing this issue has going for it is the artwork. Juan Cabal’s visuals overtake the plot. The clean, vibrant look fills in some the deficiencies this issue suffers from. Antonio Fabela and Marcio Menyz’s color palette add to the beauty of the book.
As much as I enjoyed her previous series I feel this one is a misstep. It feels too formulaic, like all the boxes were checked in order to create the story. I think Elektra deserves better.
Rating: 5.0 out of 10
Review by Jonathan Durden
Intrigued by the concept alone, I decided to give Animosity a try. If you’re unfamiliar, it entertains the idea of “what if all the animals suddenly became self-aware?” This issue finds our main characters Jesse (human) and Sandor (dog) with their friends (all animals and one human) travelling from Maryland to San Francisco to find Jesse’s brother in the wake of her parents’ murder by scavengers.
We are five issues in now, and writer Marguerite Bennett has made it feel that way with how far the story has come. The transitions between scenes to make the story flow as seamlessly as it does is a unique talent to have and I am glad she has it because it works so well with this story.
Rafael De Latoire is the artist, with colors by Rob Schwager and letters by Marshall Dillon. Latoire is perfect for this book and Schwager and Dillon do a great job of making the art pop like it should. With this creative team, it’s hard to find flaws in this title.
I do, however, have one complaint. The longevity. Will this be a book that can sustain several arcs? Could it possibly stand the test of time like other titles such as The Walking Dead? If not, what is the end game here? There’s so much you could do with this premise, it’s hard to say how far Bennett will take it. If it isn’t designed to last longer than a few arcs, I hope that someone else can pick up the mantle and see what they can do with it. I think this book has a lot of potential and I hope that we get to see it meet it.
That said, I enjoyed this issue the most so far out of the ones that we currently have, and look forward to the next one. Aftershock Comics has proven to be a good publisher in my eyes, between this and Black Eyed Kids I think they’re doing some good and underrated work.
Rating: 8.7 out of 10
The Fall and Rise of Captain Atom #1 & #2
Review by Stephen M. Lyon
The Rise and Fall of Captain Atom follow’s Captain Atom’s destabilization, travel back in time, and efforts to continue to live a fulfilling life without disrupting the timeline. With this offering, DC continues its run of stellar mini-series, following in the footsteps of Raven and The Death of Hawkman (PSA: Check out this week’s The Death of Hawkman variant cover – the art is amazing!). Captain Atom has always felt like an underdeveloped, underutilized character in the DC Universe, and it’s nice to see him get a bit of the spotlight. I’m usually a skeptic when it comes to time travel story lines, as I have a hard time suspending my disbelief. However, the writers of this series deal with time in a very skilled and educated manner, definitely leaving the “science” in “science fiction,” as is often forgotten. The story deals with scientific, technical challenges (mixed with fun, superhero antics), but also tugging at the heart strings through showing the emotional struggle of the characters. I highly recommend this series, and I can’t wait to start issue #3.
The story begins in the year 2013 with Captain Atom trying to save a cruise ship while dealing with some abnormalities in his powers. He starts to fluctuate rapidly, giving off energy bursts, which alerts the Justice League. They try to bring him back to an underground base where his scientist handler believes is the best way to keep everyone safe, but they cannot contain the explosion for long enough, resulting in damage to the city surrounding the base. When he arrives, he falls into a state of depression, which appears, along with his power fluctuations, to result in an self-annihilating explosion. However, book 2 reveals that he’s actually been sent back in time to the 1990s, without his powers, where he’s working to make sure he does not alter the timeline. He is enjoying living a normal life, and winds up falling in love and marrying a woman. Everything appears to be going well, until the cliffhanger ending when his nuclear structure appears to be showing some changes, and then violent event in his life turns into a catalyst to send him to another time or location, to be revealed in book #3.
Again, I highly recommend these two issues. I love a good mini-series, because it allows me to read a whole story from beginning to end, without a huge time commitment. DC has proved to be adept at creating stories that fit into 6 issues, but do not feel shallow, and this appears to be heading in that direction. If you see these in the recent back issues section of your local comic shop, pick them up.
Rating: 9.0 out of 10
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