11/25/09 Reviews

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Hello, loyal readers! November is almost over; man, 2009 is really flying by. But the month ended on a strong note, highlighted by major developments in the event that has dominated the comic book landscape over the second half of 2009: Blackest Night.

Reviewed this week (shorter reviews again, but still footloose and spoiler free):

Blackest Night #5 (of 8 )

Green Lantern # 48

Justice League: Cry for Justice #5 (of 7)

Justice Society of America #33

Uncanny X-Men #517

 

11/25

Green Lantern #48

Written by Geoff Johns; pencilled by Doug Mahnke.

RATING: 5/5

The War of Light ramps up as the principal players start to fall into place. Atrocitus in particular shines in this issue. Doug Mahnke, whose art on GL has been great during this event, has a bit of an off-issue compared to his past few, with a couple weaker panels despite being solid overall. The highlight is how Johns superbly develops the tensions between the Lanterns. Note: Read this issue before Blackest Night #5.

Blackest Night #5 (of 8 )

Written by Geoff Johns; pencilled by Ivan Reis.

RATING: 5/5

More Blackest Night! Here, Johns delivers what I think has to be the best issue of the entire crossover so far. This issue flows nicely and naturally out of this week’s Green Lantern, with reference to Blackest Night: Titans, as well, as this really is starting to feel like a true crossover and not just a Green Lantern story. Like Mahnke, Reis’s art isn’t quite as good as it has been recently, but it’s still very effective. And, of course, this issue features the moment most of us have been waiting for since Blackest Night began. Great stuff.

Justice Society of America #33

Written by Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges; art by Jesus Merino.

RATING: 4/5

Willingham and Sturges’s first arc on JSA ends with a bang, but leaves readers with more questions than answers. That’s intentional, of course, as the writing duo is trying to develop some long-term subplots, but it also keeps this from being a fully satisfying conclusion. That said, it was a strong first story that has me fully convinced this group is in for a truly classic run. Plus, Merino looks like a star being born before our eyes. Next month, the team splits up into two groups with the debut of the new ongoing, JSA All-Stars. You’d do well to try both books, but if that’s too much, at least be here for this one when the next story begins.

Uncanny X-Men #517

Written by Matt Fraction; pencilled by Greg Land.

RATING: 4/5

It was a long wait for Part 2 of “Nation X,” but it was pretty worth it. Land’s art is mediocre and has grown old, but other than that, it was a very good issue. Fraction has added Namor and Magneto to his already considerable cast, but he manages to put both characters in smaller roles without cheapening either one. The action here was good and gave several characters a chance to shine, particularly Rogue. Looking forward to seeing where this is going.

Justice League: Cry for Justice #5 (of 7)

Written by James Robinson; art by Mauro Cascioli and Scott Clark.

RATING: 2/5

Another issue that required a lengthy wait, but I can’t say Cry for Justice was as worth it. Nor can I say I was terribly surprised, given the miniseries thus far. Cascioli’s painted art is still good but not as awe-inspiring as it was at the start of the mini; some panels seem more like pin-ups than art. There are a few good moments, but a lot more weak ones and not enough plot advancement until the very end. Plus, Black Canary was written particularly poorly. It was interesting to see some of the characters Robinson surprisingly incorporated (such as Batwoman and Guardian), and I wonder if he’ll use them in JLA, which I still plan to try again in January, but have increasingly low expectations for.

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3 Responses to “11/25/09 Reviews”

  1. spiffyithaca Says:

    Goddammit, I should have at least kept reading GL and Blackest Night. It is the only thing going on in comicdom right now that makes me completely and utterly miss reading books every Wednesday.

    Good stuff AA, as always.

    Why bother with this Robinson mini series? You’ve given it crappy reviews since #3, if I remember correctly. I know you feel committed, but save the 6-8 bucks my friend.

  2. davidry214 Says:

    Wow, you really have been paying some attention. Yeah, Cry for Justice has gotten pretty bad, and you’re probably right that I should just save the money. My thought process was that James Robinson seemed to be referencing the miniseries in his Justice League run, and I might be lost if I didn’t finish the story. Now, however, I’m thinking a little confusion might be better than continuing to read this.

    And you should really buy some Blackest Night. Five issues isn’t that much to catch up on if it’s all you’re buying. And it’s become so worth it.

  3. Gokitalo Says:

    It really, really has. Man, issue #5 ended with such a huge twist! Great stuff. Blackest Night is also pretty accessible, so you can hop onboard even if you’ve fallen a little behind on Green Lantern. In fact, most of the Green Lantern stories that lead up to Blackest Night are in TPB now, so maybe you could pick those up…

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