This week on the GeekNation Pull List: DC’s villains-centric Forever Evil event races toward it’s conclusion, the claw-wielding, berserker raging X-Man we all know gets a new #1 issue, and a comic book tie-in for an upcoming cinematic remake gives an advance look at the world of the film! Check out the reviews for these books below!
From DC: Forever Evil #5 by Geoff Johns (Script) and David Finch (Art)
Continuing in true fashion from the issues that have come before it, the latest part of Forever Evil very much feels like a big DC crossover event. There’s scale to the conflict (even if in this issue that part is somewhat muted), there’s a wide spectrum of characters from all across the DC Universe (I’ve been waiting for an interaction between Batman and Sinestro for a while), and there’s a distinct feeling that the stakes are certainly very high. The latest issue of the series, though, feels a bit weaker than the rest, but I think that’s mostly due to the fact that the elements of this plot from the fifth issue feel like necessary smaller steps toward a larger conclusion.
While there’s certainly a hint of the wide variety of characters and their personalities being displayed here, Forever Evil #5 is an example of an instance of plot driving story. It still kind of amazes me how Geoff Johns can manage to fit in certain nuances and absolute vintage elements to many of the characters here (particularly Lex Luthor, Captain Cold, and Sinestro), but those nuances aren’t really given any time to shine since the events of the plot are starting to get kind of frenetic. This isn’t all that surprising, since in many cases comic book crossover events can manage to screech to a halt rather quickly. While this issue feels a bit like it’s within some normal comics trappings of filling up the pages and servicing the plot in time for properly setting up the conclusion, something still manages to feel a little different about the way the story of Forever Evil is unfolding.
I can’t begin to tell you how overjoyed I am at the fact that Lex Luthor seems to be the main protagonist here. The modern Luthor, particularly in the hands of Johns, makes it very clear just how antiheroic and manipulative the character can be. Johns often excels at giving some of DC’s most timeless villains the ability to be not sympathetic, but worthy of a reader’s cheers. The greatest example of that in Johns’ work is Sinestro from his Green Lantern run, but with recent confirmation coming that Luthor will be joining the Justice League in the coming months, he may be applying that sentiment to, perhaps, DC’s most recognizable villain. (At least next to that guy with green hair, who still has yet to show up in this series all about DC’s villains.)
David Finch’s work is still awesome. The action choreography and the “wow” moment between Sinestro and Power Ring really show how his work can stand out. Overall, while Forever Evil #5 may not be the best of the series, it’s still good enough to warrant a solid recommendation. 8/10
Honorable Mentions from DC This Week: Adventures of Superman (digital edition) #41 (The conclusion to Max Landis and Jock’s “The Sound of One Hand Clapping” is a MUST READ! Pick it up at ComiXology for .99 cents!), Detective Comics #28
From Marvel: Wolverine #1 by Paul Cornell (Script) and Ryan Stegman (Art)
Although it’s been less than a year since the last Wolverine #1 came out as a part of Marvel NOW!, it seems as though the so-called “House of Ideas” felt it was time for a new one. By the same writer. Logan’s costume is a little bit different in this series, but largely that’s about the only major change made from a conceptual level between this series and the last one. Writer Paul Cornell is one of the most imaginitive writers working in comics today, so even if the idea of yet another number one is rather annoying, it at least feels like it’s worth a shot because of Cornell and artist Ryan Stegman’s work.
And Wolverine! Who doesn’t like Wolverine?
Well, at the end of the last series, Logan lost his healing factor. So, the new costume is actually a specialized form of ablative armor that protects him in lieu of his mutant healing factor, which is now gone. He also apparently doesn’t naturally have his claws anymore, so instead he wears gauntlets equipped with claws that he uses while engaging in combat. You may also have noticed in the cover image at right that Logan’s carrying a gun. Well, if you thought it might not make sense for Wolverine to do something like that, knowing that he’s lost his healing factor should provide some logical reasoning for that. Wolverine’s a killer, and has no qualms about ending a bad person’s life if he feels it serves the greater good. So, a gun it is.
The issue itself feels a bit disjointed. If you’re planning on jumping into this series cold thinking that the big “#1” on the cover symbolizes a jumping-on point, you’re kind of mistaken, which calls into greater question the necessity of having to start over yet again. This is Wolverine’s third number one issue in five years, and the story seems like more of a continuation of the last series than the beginning of a new chapter.
Ryan Stegman is a fantastic artist, but his Wolverine feels almost too stylized for me here. Overall, I was a little disappointed in the aims and attitudes of this issue, and hope that it can find a more balanced approach between story, character, and continuity as the rest of this opening arc unfolds. 6/10
Honorable Mentions from Marvel This Week: Ms. Marvel #1, Loki: Agent of Asgard #1
From BOOM!: RoboCop: Hominem Ex Machina #1 by Michael Moreci (Script) and Jason Cooland (Art)
I know that a lot of people are rather…divided on the prospect of remaking RoboCop. It has a unique place among the sci-fi of the 1980s, and really, a unique place among partially irreverent social commentary. The original RoboCop created a fertile and vibrant world that is perfect for expansion and exploration, but unfortunately, the two sequels that followed the original film failed, rather miserably, to meet anyone’s expectations. In an age of cinematic reboots popularized by the success of 2005’s Batman Begins, why not reintroduce Officer Alex Murphy? While we’re still about a week away from the movie bowing in theaters, we get the first comic book tie-in to the reimagined world of the new RoboCop. Is it promising?
Well, in short, yes. The world of the film is promising, but that’s really more than I can say for this comic book. I think I know what the writer was trying to go for here, but the story is driven by so much coincidence and outright randomness that it’s quite a mess by the time you get to the end. Part of the confusion comes from where this story takes place in relation to the movie. While certain characters from the film besides Officer Murphy appear, we have virtually no idea on picking up the book cold if this takes place during or after the events of the film. Maybe seeing the film next week could clear these questions up, but it seems like it would’ve made more sense to just release all of the tie-in books after the release of the film. Oh well.
The book really does try and get the point across that Alex Murphy’s mind and RoboCop’s hardware probably don’t mix very well, but the problem with the exploration of that theme in this book is that the onset of the character’s anxiety is triggered by events with little to no context, outside of some very vague and somewhat arbitrary flashbacks to earlier moments in Murphy’s life. It’s just such a hodgepodge of events, crimes, emotions, and characters that it feels incredibly disjointed as a final comic book product.
Jason Cooland’s artwork, thankfully, is a highlight. His action is well defined and clean, and the sequence of events is relatively easy to follow (it’s just that the events themselves don’t make much sense). Overall, this tie-in to the upcoming film will likely prove altogether forgettable, but maybe after seeing the film I’ll “get it.”
Nah, I doubt it. 5/10
Honorable Mentions from Independents This Week: Lazarus #6, Turok #1
That’s it for this week. Be sure to come back to GeekNation next week for a brand new edition of the Pull List! If you feel like something in these reviews was either way off or spot on, feel free to leave a comment and continue the conversation below!
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