Tuesday, March 19, 2013

mini Reviews (Mar 13-19, 2013)

---------- mini DC reviews

Demon Knights #18
(w) Robert Vendetti     (a) Bernard Chang

Demon Knights #18 suffers from being the penultimate issue to Robert Vendetti's first run of the series -- Cain's invasion of Themyscira has been built up so much already that emotional drama is the only thing going for the Demon's Knights this month, and it's just barely enough to satisfy. While I thoroughly enjoy Vendetti's character development, the plot stalls terribly and that accounts for the dragging feel throughout the issue. Moments after Jason Blood and Xanadu are finally reunited, a simple miscommunication gets blown out of proportion, causing Jason to throw a temper tantrum and hide out in Hell. The final pages set everything up for next issue's explosive battle between the Amazons, Cain's army, the Demon's Knights, and Vandal Savage's horde, raising the anticipation significantly.

GRADE: 7/10

Batman and Robin #18
(w) Peter J. Tomasi     (a) Patrick Gleason

Robin is dead, and Peter J. Tomasi offers up the most haunting and emotional depiction of Batman's grief in Batman and Robin #18. As a silent issue, the "writing" has to come through the art, which is does so in spades -- every action, every moment in this issue is framed by Batman's emotions and that comes through over and over again. Patrick Gleason's artwork is simply incredible, which is to say he seems to have stepped it up even more beyond his already phenomenal monthly work -- the close up of Batman's frown conveys so much in one panel. It makes sense that Batman and Robin would be the most emotionally impactful of the Bat-titles, and Tomasi pulls it off with aplomb.

GRADE: 9.5/10

Superboy #18
(w) Scott Lobdell, Tom DeFalco, and Tony Lee     (a) R.B. Silva

With Tony Lee on dialogue, Superboy #18 is a noticeable step up from the past...every issue of Superboy. Now that all that "H'el on Earth" stuff is over and done with, Lobdell, DeFalco, and Lee take Kon-El back to Manhattan to take responsibility for stealing all those millions of dollars from a bank back around issue ten or so. While much of the writing is still very cringe-worthy -- like the retelling of Superboy's origin that seems to be a permanent fixture in any issue of the series -- Lee manages to make the most of what he's been given and makes Kon-El more relatable than he's been thus far in the 'New 52'. The back-up story featuring Krypto the Superdog falls flat because, unlike Superboy in general, there's no context for Krypto's appearance let alone his actions; hopefully it's building into something more substantial.

GRADE: 6/10

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