Nothing to really Marvel at
Published: 27 Aug 2013 07:000 comments
Batman: Zero Year (#23)
Zero Year presses on as Snyder and Capullo try to make Batman history in more ways than one.
This issue has a real feeling of calm before the storm as Bruce deals with the fallout from his attack at the hands of the Red Hood gang at the end of last issue.
This issue, as with every other, looks fantastic. Capullo draws Bruce Wayne better than anyone else in the industry, and the addition of a vast number of emotionally charged panels was very welcome indeed (see Alfred and Bruce's encounter later in the issue).
This arc has reached its real turning point now after three issues, as Snyder finally lets us know that the coming of the Bat is upon us in a very effective (albeit reused) fashion. We see Bruce brought down to his very lowest in order for us to see him rise to become Batman (all very poetic, I know, but also very engaging).
This issue shifts its focus away from the intrepid adventures of Bruce Wayne's fake faces, and places more focus on his situation. He's out of luck, he knows what he wants to do, but he doesn't know how to. This leads to a good level of character building for both Bruce and Alfred, whilst also leaving enough space for the Red Hood to have his character fleshed out even further in a chaotic sequence of blood and fire.
Verdict: Zero Year embraces the darkness and lets us know that the Dark Knight is indeed rising.
Halo Initiation (#1)
I love Halo. It's a great franchise with a deep and engaging mythology that takes all the best elements of sci-fi and moulds it into a great big bundle of multimedia joy. As a fan, I bought the first issue of the new comic named Halo: Initiation. Much to my surprise, it was quite good.
The book's art was very well done, and true to the franchises current art style, blending futuristic armour and ships with gritty battlefields, big explosions and lots and lots of firepower.
The ODST's are drawn brilliantly, fitting perfectly with the pre-established ODST appearance. This was also aided by a good level of grounding in the character's physical abilities.
Unlike in some Halo work, the human's aren't seen flipping around and performing feats of acrobatics unmatched by any other, but they are depicted as what they are: more than human, but not superhuman.
There is also a fairly welcome sense of familiarity in the book, with Halo 4 character Sarah Palmer heading up the protagonist role and a cameo from Halo Reach survivor Jun.
However, there was something lacking. The action was fun, but it wasn't Halo. The story was interesting, but it wasn't £3 worth of fun. It just didn't have the sort of crunch that I've come to expect from a Halo story.
Verdict: Whilst not a Master Chief, this issue still has enough in it to bring me back for another go, but it still needs that killer element to seal the deal.
Infinity has been hyped quite severely for some time now.
It was billed as Marvel's big summer event - six issues that featured a vast number of heroes from the Marvel Universe, as well as the infamous Thanos, known by many as the purple smiley guy from the Avengers post-credits teaser.
With its own Free Comic Book Day issue, this was to be the one to beat all. Sadly, the first issue wasn't quite the masterpiece we'd all hoped for.
I can't fault the art, by no means can I fault the art, as this is a great looking book (it's also a very large one by normal standards). I specifically enjoyed panels that involved the villainous drones named Outriders whose shiny craniums and drooling, teeth infested mouths were drawn consistently well, but this was almost guaranteed to be the case considering how much ad space Marvel has given to Infinity.
So with that being taken into account it's a real shame to see that the execution of the book's storyline wasn't quite as crisp as we had all hoped it would be. Conversations dragged to the point of boredom and the attempt at scale felt messy and, at times, bewildering. That isn't something I expect from a book as hyped as Infinity was.
Verdict: Although there were some very entertaining sequences, the characters were written very well and it was something very unlike a normal Marvel event, there just wasn't enough to pull Infinity out of my average box.
Villains Month approaches, so in September we'll be having a DC only event. To help you out, here's my picks; Joker #1, Count Vertigo #1, Lex Luthor #1, Black Adam #1, Sinestro #1, and Forever Evil #1.
For more reviews and news, follow Jamie's online blog at blackwatcherreviews.blogspot.co.uk.