Another week, another slate of comics need reviewing in the (slightly belated) Sunday Stash, and we’re here to highlight the best–or, at the least, the newest. This week we’ve a slate of great ladies covering some titles featuring some great ladies, and it all kicks up with the continuation of DC Rebirth, and the reintroduction of familiar names within, and behind, the titles. There’s also a great new title wedged in here as well, so let’s take a quick look at what’s worth reading…
We’re getting the band back together!!
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey makes it post rebirth debut in its first issue wonderfully handled by writing team of Julie and Shawna Benson. This is a girl gang that’s always needed a fair sense of parity and I wasn’t let down. What’s enjoyable about the these super heroines past history is that they’re portrayed as equals; one doesn’t outshine the rest. The Benson sisters clearly understand this. Babs, Dinah and Helena are back with the relationship nostalgia that Rebirth has been giving the fans, but also with an updated story incorporating the characters’ recent history.
Despite a great script, the art also has to compliment and tell the story along side it. Unfortunately artist Claire Roe goes all over the place — sometimes feeling lost and out of league. While some of her backgrounds and in-motion panels are vibrant and lively, a few of the closeups and facial expressions are just flat-out ugly and terrible representations of well known characters.
Overall, it’s a passionately written issue and it has great potential. The Benson sisters have made mention that you can have strong female leads without portraying them as “bitchy,” and these women can have different objectives towards fighting crime yet remain friendly, and in issue one, they’ve proved it. 3.75/5 Four Fried Chickens and a Coke.
This incarnation re-reboots Amanda Waller from her “new 52” babe makeover back to “The Wall”, large and in charge of Task Force X aka “Suicide Squad”. She tasks Rick Flag and Katana with Belle Reve Penitentiary’s worst, a cadre of supervillians persuaded to perform super duper black ops missions, via helpful explosive devices. The squad again features the characters that even the most casual DC fans associate with this title, thanks to movie marketing–Harley Quinn and Deadshot who play leading lady and gent to back up crew Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc, and Enchantress this time. They have a job, it’s complicated, and someone isn’t going to make it back. Deadshot gets the little humanizing back story this issue, but it is still hard to care about the folks in this issue. I say this as an avid fan of the “New 52” version.
Everyone is written flat and restrained, the dialogue seems awkward, and the panel drawings aren’t very exciting or interesting viewing. Rob Williams (Martian Manhunter) pens the plot, while living legend Jim Lee (X-Men) heads the art team that brings it to visual life. With these two at the helm, it should be way more awesome than it actually is. It is a disappointing part one, but I’ll stick around for part two because I’ve enjoyed the “Squad” and hope Williams/Lee will make the necessary improvements. 2.5/5 Bibles.
I was a little worried that Supergirl Rebirth #1 would be like my last review of Wonder Woman Rebirth (tedious and confusing) but I was very wrong. Supergirl Rebirth #1 is refreshing and gives a beautifully drawn view into what is to come for Supergirl. While it started off a little rocky, you get more into a plot and character development.
Supergirl Rebirth #1 is a =fantastic comic book to get into for all flavors. It has beautiful (why is everyone blonde?) women, violence, red furious monsters and an actual story that I would follow. I’d even recommend this to people that have never read a comic before and are looking for somewhere to start or for more of my advanced friends — who have read everything from The Great Gatsby to the Sausage Party’s end credits. If only CW’s Supergirl could be as good as Supergirl Rebirth. Maybe it wouldn’t have had to switch networks?
Steve Orlando does a great job bringing to life Supergirl Rebirth and I think readers will see his dedication to make something that is entertaining, enticing and full of fair-haired beauties. Orlando gets right to business with the violence and action in this issue, and really has made an entertaining piece that will leave people wanting more. The art squad consisting of Emanuela Lupacchino, Ray McCarthy and Michael Atiyeah infuse this issue with vivid colors and well proportioned, fairly real looking characters. 4/5 Bibles.
“They all are. Get used to it.”
Disclaimer: Sometimes you casually read a comic book because you’re a geek and that’s what we do (or your editor tasks you with writing a review for one), and out of nowhere you get that awesome surprise of something that just kicks your ass! This was one of those times.
New from Dark Horse comics comes Briggs Land, about one hell of a complicated family that you will most likely not find down at the local Cracker Barrel. The leader of this family, Jim Briggs, is a white supremacist who is husband to Grace, and father to three sons. He is incarcerated for trying to assassinate the POTUS, but through his wife still runs the family criminal empire as she makes routine visits to him in prison. But apparently Grace has had enough and she says she’s taking control of their vast 40,000 plus acre village known as “Briggs Land.” They are self-sufficient and off the beaten path to wear they govern themselves. This comic is what the WGN show The Outsiders wishes it was. Grace leaves Jim in prison and on her way back deals with talking to each of her sons about how things are gonna be from now on. Suffice to say, the sons warn her that Dad is not going to go quietly away with this.
This comic grabs you buy the collar of your shirt and demands you pay attention immediately. The best part is after the first scene you sit patiently and have no problem being a captive audience. Writer Brian Wood (The Massive, Demo) brings a fast-paced story to represent the dire consequences of Grace trying to undo a whole organization and put it in under her control. The supporting cast of the three sons are well crafted in a small amount of time with rich character traits to establish their relationships to the parents and their own individuality. There is an easy comparison to Sons of Anarchy here (it is easy to imagine Katey Sagal playing Grace) but with the inner turmoil of the Jim Briggs character looming I think they’ll be safe from that trap. The cinematic ending to the first issue was not only exciting, but a good sign that there is some intense drama to come. 5/5 Bibles.
Bruce Banner is dead and it’s incredibly important, for some reason another, to show his weak funeral and the “riveting” reading of his last will and testament. The biggest waste, The Fallen fails to make use of is the fact that Deadpool is at their disposal, and they do absolutely nothing with him. The Uncanny Avengers attend the funeral, and no one from the team has anything to say; not even Captain America. It seems as though Silver Surfer was just thrown in there as a means to make everyone go home. Thank goodness the power cosmic is being put to good use. Galactus would be proud.
Korg, Elloe, and No-Name known as Warbound from planet Sakaar feel like it’s their duty to take care of the remaining four Hulks on earth since they consider themselves to be part of Banner’s family. These four Hulks are Hulk’s son Skaar, his cousin She-Hulk/Jen Walters, The Red Hulk/General Ross, and the current Hulk, Amadeus Cho. While the majority of the issue is devoted to heroes who have become associated with Banner over the years grieving for a lost friend, the events that occur mostly feel like a filler issue that caters to teasing the current Totally Awesome Hulk series.
There’s really nothing else of value here. Be amazed to read that Betty Page is seriously pissed off! Marvel at Banner’s oldest friend Rick Jones having a massive boner for both big guns and guitars owned by Jimi Hendrix! Watch in thrilling amazement that Skaar can pout in the middle of the forest better than James Howlett ever could! Why Matt Murdock introduces a hologram of Banner to read his own will seems absurd. Remember that guy who said a few words before the Tupac hologram came out at Coachella? I’m guessing no…
The Fallen is just this weak bridge attempting to link one Marvel title to another during the events of Civil War II. Forget ending things with a bang, or a whimper; The Fallen concludes with the ticking of a kitchen timer, which instantly makes the issue an easy target for a comparison to the burnt skin that casseroles get whenever they’re left in the oven for too long. 1/5 Bibles.