Exciting isn't it? I can feel the electricity in my. . . computer.
No covers, no panels (unless I really think it's stand-out). This blog is going to be propped up by writing mainly, and I'd like to try it out. Today we review Guardians of the Galaxy #1, Green Arrow/Black Canary #8 and Bloodrayne: Tokyo Rogue #1.
So let's get ready to rrrrrrreeeeaaaaaddd!
Guardians of the Galaxy #1
by Abnett, Lanning and Pelletier
This was awesome. Great team banter, great dialogue from everyone, strong characterization.
I love Rocket Raccoon's sense of camaraderie, and you can't forget about his wit, and then Gamora is really getting looked at as a character. She's not just "the deadliest woman in the universe," and that gets somewhat explored here, as she talks to Richard Rider. I just hope the two of them hook up, as they should be, eventually.
Some other awesome things are how each character has a role within the team. It's Mantis' job to tend to everyones' mental well-being, as it's Cosmo's job to be their transport conductor, as it's Warlock's job to be the team leader. Drax the Destroyer even has his own different style of humor from Starlord or Rocket Raccoon. The individuality of these characters come out even when they're in the team, and that's the best kind of team book you can write.
A note about the art: I think Pelletier's curves are too soft for Guardians. Also, I don't think Drax should look that buff. Mitch Breitweiser had a much better design for Drax.
All in all though, a great jumping on point for anyone who thinks that Guardians is nothing but a niche book. You should really Check This Out. It looks like a great team book with strong individuals and equally strong dynamics between individuals. I only wonder if Richard Rider (the Nova Prime!) is going to appear here, because he and Gamora are totally meant for each other.
Green Arrow/Black Canary #8
by Judd Winick and Mike Norton
So, last issue, I was really whiny about the art. It was partly due to the fact that I loved Cliff Chiang so much that I wanted him to stay on GA/BC, and it was partly due to other facts.
That's not the case today. I feel like Norton's done a little polishing on the many things that irked me last time, particularly Dinah's face/eyes, and even the feet. There are still things that irk me, such as Ollie's beard, which is too exaggerated to look realistic, and his hair, which could look better, but I'm glad that Norton is improving himself. That's more than I can say for some other artists.
So if I'm not complaining about the art, what am I complaining about?
It's the Winick. Oh dear god help us all, it's the Winick.
The dialogue isn't too bad in this issue, actually, but that's because it was so scant here. The real problem I have is that the characters aren't getting proper attention. The title is more about Action! and Explosions! and Action-style Humor! then it is about Dinah and Ollie.
I swear, in eight issues, we've had so little character beats. So Ollie is trying to be a father figure. Okay, that was in, what, one issue? So Dinah is kick-ass. That was in one panel??? This is a big problem that I have with Winick's writing. Anyone could be doing these stories; it could be any generic superhero team. Anyone could be teaming up with this dodger guy, and anyone could be searching for Ra's Al Ghul. Hell, Chuck Dixon is writing Ollie better than Winick is, in Batman and the Outsiders. The characters aren't so much the focus as it is the action.
And action is not what I want. And no, neither is explosions or the jokes here. Anyone could be making these jokes. What I want is the jokes that can be told only with Dinah and Ollie. As long as you can tell me about Dinah's penchant for food, or for Ollie's need to be a father figure, or Dinah's technology peeves, or Ollie's sense of superhero camaraderie, I'll be happy. I only want to read about the characters I love, and I want to get the sense that Winick actually knows who these people are.
Is that too much to ask for three dollars?
Rant over. I'm disappointed with this issue, and I'm actually very bewildered why I didn't drop it last issue. If I were you, I'd definitely Run Away from this book.
Bloodrayne: Tokyo Rogue #1
by Troy Wall and Jake Bilbao
You know, for someone who has an innate fear of anything that mews, I read way too many horror comics. Bloodrayne is one of them, focusing on a half-human half-vampire (AKA dhampir) and her adventures working for the Brimstone Society.
In Tokyo Rogue she visits some friends in Japan to get some help against the ancient "gods" who just recently destroyed the Brimstone Society. The Brimstone annex in Japan has also been recently destroyed, thanks to a guy called "Hicharo" and his "samurai immortal," AKA Ayano.
I'm trying to figure out if Hicharo is the villain, but this Lord Noburu guy also seems villain-esque, because he hangs men atop a pit of lava and has a few agents called shrikes who "revel in their talents for creative torture."
Anyways, there's a fight between Rayne and Ayano at a strip club, and yes, THIS is how you do action right. Winick, please take a look at the page on the left.
Rayne fights. Yes, that is true, but that isn't so important as what is revealed in the fight. Namely, Rayne's character. Her wit and her sense of snark. Have you heard of that Winick? A little something called character? HM?
Anyways, Rayne loses, as is mandatory in the first issue, and she finds herself inside a Japanese hondo, and "the last hope for the survival of the Brimstone Society." CLIFFHANGER!
The dialogue is well-done, and although I think Bilbao's covers are hit-or-miss, I'm getting a liking for the way he pencils Rayne.
This dialogue is so great that I have to reproduce it for you guys: Rayne is riding a motorcycle with her British friend Severin who says:
Severin: I feel so . . . inadequate.Hah! This month's issue of Bloodrayne sure was enjoyable. If you like fun vampire action, you should really Check This Out.
Rayne: Poor boy. I'll let you drive on the way out if it'll make you feel like more of a man.
Severin: As a matter of fact, it will. So what are we doing here?
. . .
Rayne: I'm going to burst in on the scene and kick some ass. You are going to stay here and do what you do best -- run recon.
Severin: I hate you.
Rayne: You love me. Now be a good boy and do your job.
The next batch of Four-Color Bonanza will be coming out this week. I got way too many comics today.
On a final note, I'd kind of like some help from you guys. What do you think of the rating system? I hate doing a star system, because a book can do a two-star writing-wise, but if it's full of fanservice, I can't just write that off. Sometimes I read a book that I really like personally and give it three stars, while a book that I pretty much didn't like but was generally okay gets three stars as well! A star system is way too ambiguous unless you're giving a one-star or five-star, and that's just too rare.
Mainly I do the rating system for you guys, so what do you think? What kind of ratings would you like to see from me? Stars or my overall opinion, or what I just did today ("check this out," "run away"), or some fourth thing?