Action Comics #15:
Superman at the End of Days
Grant used some interesting perspective in this story that, for the first read over, was almost too jarring. The story jumped a lot in this issue to give the feeling that Vndyktvx was and is distorting and playing with different parts of time, more importantly Kal-El’s life. I enjoyed the story from the 5th dimension, particularly how it intertwined with Superman and his origin. Though due to all of the jumping the pacing the of the issue got a little thrown out the window. Which wouldn’t have been bad considering the context of the issue, but it certainly stole some thunder from the unfortunate ending. I simply didn’t feel the impact as much, but I could definitely feel the tension closing in. Morrison did a wonderful job with that in this issue. It really felt like time was closing in on Superman and that an impossible enemy was surrounding him. I liked the reveals, but it didn’t seem to carry enough of a punch.
Rags Morales did a great job as per usual, with steady lines and even proportioning. He mostly depicted an apocalyptic future with a red sun and Superman on the run. These scenes flashed back and forth with scenes by Brad Walker. He brought a nice traditional, Christopher Reeves style Clark Kent and the crinkliest Mrs N we’ve seen yet. His bold lines were found in flashbacks from Smallville, and some scenes from the present. Chris Sprouse, on the other hand did a contrastingly cutesy interpretation of the 5th dimensional planet Zrfff. I didn’t really enjoy it, but I didn’t hate it either, I will say it did create a distinct other worldly atmosphere. Overall each artist’s style contributed a unique feeling to their scenes which complemented the narrative nicely.
Three artists with varying styles, were coordinated well, with a writer that creates scenes that are very difficult to imagine, much less draw.
Brian Michael Bendis is doing a good job with this new series and by that I mean he hasn’t done anything to screw it up yet. At the moment I’m still on the fence as too how much I enjoy this plot. Beast has always been one of my favorite original X men, and his plan to fix Scott just seems way too short sighted. For now, it doesn’t sit well with me. Some Interesting dynamics between Summers and Magneto are beginning to develop, which makes the story a little more interesting, especially since Scott killed Xavier. Overall this issue was alright, but the final confrontation reveal in the end, didn’t even get me too excited (beyond the natural excitement of seeing the original X men suited up in modern pencils and inks).
Stuart Immonen did a phenomenal job with the pencils on this issue. His style is absolutely amazing, dare I say almost flawless. I suppose some of his proportioning and lighting falters, but for the most part he provided some top quality art and paneling. Over all his thick, dark and bold lines brought an appropriately realistic and sinister atmosphere to this darker issue of the All New X men.
Jonathan Hickman has set up quite an epic tale. A very interesting villain stands center stage and with that a very interesting set up (almost a David and Goliath feel with Captain America and Ex Nihilo). This story seemed very balanced and the stylistic repetition and symmetry was great. I thoroughly look forward to seeing how the rest plays out, I just hope these new avengers are worth watching.
Jerome Opena and Dean White did a beautiful job on this issue. White’s soft coloring and Opena’s perspective and dynamic positioning throughout the issue really contributed to the legendary atmosphere. This issue felt vibrant and alive, and it really conveyed a lot of mood and emotion, mostly due to both of these artists’ superb lines and shadowing. Overall the art direction on this book is top notch.
Hell Boy in Hell #1
Mike Mignola delivers the next phase of Hell Boy’s journey, after Nimue’s ghost has stolen his heart from his chest. A very ambiguous first issue that didn’t build up too much, but never the less, piqued my interest.
Art 8 /10
Mike Mignola’s art is very stylized in a simplistic and crude way. His style is distinct and too me, makes a Hell Boy story feel authentic. This issue had great lines, and shadowing combined with some contrastingly vibrant and dark coloring by Dave Stewart.
Mike Mignola both writes and draws Hell Boy in Hell.
Justin Jordan introduced Strode in a thrilling, but overdone and slightly uncreative way. This issue played out in a lot of typical over top action ways, without adding anything too fresh to the genre. The ultra violence in this issue was however mediated with some nicely choreographed sequences. Overall this issue was a good start, but didn’t really hook me in as I’d hoped it would.
Tradd Moore has a very unique cartoony style with a really gritty feel to it. At times the faces can get a little too exaggerated and wrinkly, especially for younger characters. Overall it is a great style though, it adds a certain level of humor to the large amount of extreme violence. The paneling was a little more basic, but almost all of the scenes were action packed and exciting. The action was well drawn and kept the excitement of this issue very high. The art in this book’s very unique and because of that, it almost carves out its own niche amongst other gritty action books.