by Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque
Issue 25 is the conclusion to the four-part "Death Race" storyline, and it couldn't come sooner. The fight/chase scene that started four issues ago comes to an end, and it turns out to be a disappointing one that draws on prior knowledge from another storyarc. That's a big problem: when I jumped on with issue 22, I expected a self-contained story. Instead, I got a four-issue fight scene that ended in a stalemate with a hook that depended on my reading the previous storyarc.
I've dealt with this enough to drop the title. American Vampire expects the reader to be reading it as a trade, so it's a title I don't need to be picking up serially.
by Bendis, Aaron, Cho and Keith
I picked this up on the strength of the free preview -- and I'm glad I did! Bendis pens a story with Frank Cho, on the Scarlet Witch, while Aaron takes on Hope Summers, with Frank Cho. What results is a solid introduction to these two ladies of Marvel. I'm not exactly sure how this leads into the Avengers beatin' on the X-folks, but I'm willing to read more.
Cho's storytelling is really stunning, and he's so creative with the way the characters pop out of the panels. Even at $3.99, this issue is not to be missed.
by Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera
Dig that cover! It looks like a dime novel, or a pulp magazine. Daredevil finishes his tour of the underground in this issue -- and it's a doozy. That fourth page, where he escapes the trench monster is undeniably brilliant.
What follows is Matt's confrontation with the Mole Man, as well as his confrontation with the mortality of the human body. It's an emotionally tough scene, and Matt deals with it in a cathartic, positive sense.
A few highlights:
- Daredevil questions Mole Man, expecting the guy to do something with the corpse, but Mole Man admits: he just wanted to spend one more moment with her, even dead. This being comic books, Daredevil figures Moley's up to something, maybe to even resurrect her, but he's not. This time, the Mole Man is the reality check, because heknows that dead is dead.
- Daredevil carries back Lorna's corpse to the surface -- ignoring all the other corpses, because he knows he can't take them all back. He doesn't have the strength. Instead, he takes pieces from the Valley of Diamonds, and makes new tombstones for the dead, with those pieces embedded. It's a beautiful compromise that respects the fallen.
- There's this excruciating page of Daredevil, holding Lorna's body, walking through the bed of corpses that the Mole Man unearthed. Totally broke my heart.
by Dan Abnett and I.N.J. Culbard
Is there enough room for another vampire story, let alone a vampire comic? I think so: Abnett and Culbard take us to Victorian England, in which the upper class are vampires and the lower class are mindless flesh-eating zombies. Abnett excels at the world-building here, and you get a good sense of George Suttle, Scotland Yard's sole homicide detective (because everybody's already dead!).
The murder mystery comes from the death of a "young," a teenage vampire, who hasn't been decapitated, who hasn't been incinerated and who hasn't been impaled and who hasn't been gobbled up by a restless (zombie), but is dead nonetheless. It's a head-scratcher, and I'll stick with it for the rest of the seven issues.
The Flash #7
by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato
This is the conclusion to Captain Cold's two-part return, and it's not bad. The writing still has to catch up to how amazing the art is, but I think it's getting there, a step at a time. Captain Cold's storyline ends pretty much how you expect it to, but there's a lot of other things to juggle, specifically what people think the Flash did, what he really did, where people think Barry Allen is, where he really is. I can see why readers would be lost.
There's this part where Patty Spivot breaks down in tears, because she never got a chance to tell Barry that she loved her -- because she thinks he got sucked up in the wormhole that the Flash created -- because that's what happens when the Flash runs too fast -- that part comes off as a little disingenuous, because we all know that Barry's all right! Don't worry Patty!
Otherwise, I love the cliffhanger, I love holding the two-page spreads at arm's length, and just looking at them and I love The Flash. It's only going to get better.
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