Movies & TV / Columns

411’s Comic Reviews: Red Skull #1, Lando #1, More

July 9, 2015 | Posted by Steve Gustafson

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Hello and welcome to 411mania’s weekly Comic Book Review Roundtable! Each week we’ll beserving 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. We’re looking for reviewers! If you can write at least one review a week, consistently, email me at [email protected]! Join the team!

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Yesterday we talked about The Creator War Over the New Spider-Man!

Now on with the show!

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Red Skull #1

Review by RobF

The Red Skull a hero? Not really, just the lesser of 2 evils. Joshua Williamson and Luca Pizzari present the story of the man who dared to stand up to god-and survived and the team (?) that was captured/persuaded to find out his true fate.

In Red Skull #1, Johann Schmidt is spoken of far more than he’s seen, but Williamson successfully builds an entire issue around this so-called legend who once opposed the omnipotent Doom. One of the Skull’s former associates is tasked to put together a group of villains to learn his exact fate and to earn their freedom in exchange. Apparently Doom is not a fan of loose ends. It’s reminiscent of Escape from New York (in the best possible way).
There are many unanswered questions here which makes for a tasty little story. What is the true story behind Crossbones helping Doom? Why did the Winter Soldier volunteer for such a mission? What did the Skull do to anger Doom and how is he alive? And the biggest question: Who will survive to tell the tale?

The gray and red color palette used by Rainer Beredo compliment the artwork of Pizzari perfectly. It gives the story a gritty, dirty feel that it so richly deserves. Pizzari’s facial expressions perfectly describe the mood of the characters.

In my opinion the crossovers connected with this event have all been strong with the exception being Armor Wars. (Conversely most of the Convergence crossovers were terrible, again my perspective.) Whereas they are loosely tied to the main event all together they create a complete picture of all things Battleworld. I will be back next month for sure.

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Lando # 1

Review by Edward Tripp

The coolest smuggler in all the Galaxy is back for “one last” score but is it more than he can chew. Lando Calrissian is back in an Ocean’s 11 style adventure in a new five issue mini-series by Charles Soule. Lando #1 opens with a scene that would make a great Colt 45 back in the 80’s. The scene plays to the smooth talking nature of the character who uses his wits more than his brawn. It is near impossible to read this book without hearing the voice of Billy Dee Williams. Soule does a great job capturing the suave style that has made the character a fan favorite.

Getting back to the plot, the story plays out like your classic heist movie. Lando must recruit a ragtag team by promising them each the score of a lifetime. While the heist goes off without a hitch the last pages reveal our buddy Lando may have stolen something from one of the most ruthless in all the galaxy. It’s the kind of deal that keeps getting worse all the time.

Visually the book is anchored by the talented Alex Maleev. Maleev’s character models are spot on to their movie counterparts, especially with Lando/Billy Dee. The scenery is rendered beautifully as the book transitions from location to location. Paul Mounts adds to the book’s visuals with his complementary color work, all be it too dark at times. While many of the scenes occur in dark, seedy settings, the team does a great job bringing out the small details in each panel. Together the team works well in producing quality visuals for this first issue.

Lando #1 sets the stage for what should be an entertaining adventure with the smoothest talking man in all the galaxy at the helm. The series is a welcomed addition to the ongoing Marvel line of Star Wars titles.

For those too young to remember please YouTube Colt 45 Billy Dee Williams to get another taste of the man behind Lando.

Overall Rating: 9 out of 10

Good: Lando is back, Maleev’s beautiful artwork

Bad: some scenes come out as too dark

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Fight Club 2 #2

Review by Scott Brown

Previously… Sebastian is heavily medicated to keep Tyler Durden under control. Ten years ago he married Marla Singer and they have a son. Sebastian got in a fight with a neighbor after Marla cut his meds, so that she could have sex with Tyler. Tyler has been making appearances with the help of Sebastion’s counselor and Project Mayhem has their dirty little fingers in everything, world wide. Sebastian and Marla’s son has been in contact with Tyler and blows up the family home in an attempt to kill his parents.
This issue opens with Marla in group therapy with the kids suffering from progeria and Sebastian is talking to his counselor. Both are telling how the house burning to the ground was discovered to be arson. The investigators found a body and their son’s chemistry set. Sebastian gets back on his meds and refuses to go under hypnosis (which is how Tyler was able to make appearances the past ten years and run Project Mayhem).

We cut to the couple talking to the insurance adjuster. They are informed that it looks suspicious since Sebastian took out a policy for 5 million dollars a couple days before the accident.

In the next scene we discover that the FBI visited Sebastian at work. During questioning we learn that both his father and mother were killed in fires,when he was a child.

Later, we see Sebastion and Marla speaking with the fire marshall who confirms that it was arson. They are told of Raul K. Seymour, a second year med school student who botched his midterms, was working feverishly to raise his GPA and disappeared two weeks ago. His body was the one discovered in the fire. Their son is alive and has been kidnapped.

We see scars on the back of the FBI agent’s hands. They tell the couple to stay put in the motel they are living out of. Meanwhile, Sebastian undergoes hypnotherapy.

Tyler emerges. The therapist warns that Sebastian knows what’s going on. Tyler admits to killing his parents.

We see Sebastian ride the bus by the old house on Paper Street. Men, dressed in black, are on the porch. One is hitting another with a broom. “Get off my porch!”

That night he dreams of his dad’s funeral. Him and Tyler are both there. They discuss his dad’s numerous wives and step-children.

Sebastian sits, awake, in bed for hours. When the alarm rings and Marla gets out of bed, he gives her a list of things he needs. She admits to her affair with Tyler. She says she knows a group of hackers that want to help save their son.

Sebastian admits to being too pretty to carry out his plan and convinces Marla to bruise him up. She does so in a spectacular few pages where Chuck Palahniuk’s writing and Cameron Stewart’s art meld together perfectly to give the story wings and moves it to the staging area for next month’s issue. What does Sebastian have planned?

Both issues, the first time I read them I was underwhelmed, and thought the plot was full of holes. But, that’s Palahniuk. It turns out in the end the man is a crazy genius and I just wasn’t able to see the forest through the trees. After re-reading the first two issues I decided I was fool, this is the best comic out there this week and that I should go vandalize something in the name of the greater good.

Cameron and Dave Stewart’s art is fantastic. They are every bit a part of the story telling as our favorite author is and much like the movie, they make the visuals pop and tell massive chunks of the story. David Mack and Francesco Francavilla’s cover art continues what the first issue started with a piece of art worthy of framing.

That’s it for this week. Before you go, please visit the Ashley Trautwein Memorial Fund at http://goo.gl/slrkvQ to help fund suicide prevention program and research through the National Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Don’t forget to read my “Around the NWA” at NWARingside.com and sign up for the best pro wrestling streaming service out there, NWA Classics 24/7, while you’re at it! Thanks for reading and see you next week!

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Steve here! That’s all the time we have. Tell us what you’re reading below and see you back here next week!