Debris #1 by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Riley Rossmo - Okay, so like Star Wars, this is a fantasy story wrapped in the trappings of Sci-Fi. I'm not saying it's like Star Wars, it's not, I'm just trying to point out that machine monsters and big guns do not make something Sci-Fi. Not much is really explained in the issue. We are introduced to Maya, a young warrior, and her mentor Calista. It's hard to tell if she is supposed to have special powers or if everyone can jump around and fight like Maya. Calista is the Protector of their village. I guess it's supposed to be the far future, or is it another planet? Honestly, that doesn't really seem to matter to the story. I just expected a bit more back story to be filled in because this is not the first issue of an ongoing book, it's a four issue mini-series. So I guess it will all be filled in along the way? Who knows. They are protecting their village from some robotic (I'm guessing) beasties. Apparently water has to be manufactured and this is the last of the human strongholds or some such. This is a story that's been told many many times. Which wouldn't be a problem if they were bringing something new to the table. So far, that doesn't seem to be the case. At the end of the issue our heroine sets off on a quest alone for some fabled thing that also isn't really explained. Some of the dialogue is pretty clunky. The art however is pretty good. It looked great and I liked the coloring. Some of the pages could have flowed better, but the line work was pretty good. I can't really recommend it, but I think this is another book that might have been better served being produced as a graphic novel rather than a comic book. Unfortunately as a stand alone chapter, this issue simply doesn't work.
Insufferable Week 12 by Mark Waid and Peter Krause - This week's installment was the quickest read of the bunch due to some action that ate up a few pages right at the start. Even with that, this is still one of the more satisfying reads in comics. Waid and Krause are building an ongoing story that is full of drama, thrills, humor and is changing the way comics can be produced and read. The way the panels open up and shift and are revealed is perfect. No more turning the page and having the reveal at the end of the page spoiled. What you need to see is what you see. You can scroll or click back and forth all you want, you are still in control of your reading, bu the creators now have very precise control over how it comes at you. Marvel has been using the same techniques for their Infinite Comics issues of Avenger vs. X-Men and they are equally as impressive. Now back to the review! More reveals this week building up the animosity between Father and Son former super team Nocturnus and Gallahad. Their interactions are always priceless, and this story is building towards something steadily and progressively week in and week out. Waid has always been one of the best comic book writers in the business. Now he is one of the best and leading everyone into the true potential of the digital comics frontier. Pay attention, someday everyone's going to look back and say it started here. Oh and by the way, it's free. Every week at thrillbent.com. And all the previous weeks are archived right there for you to read on the website. You can download it, or just view it there on the site...for free.
So, I saw The Dark Knight Rises this week. I can't say it was the amazing piece of perfection I was hoping for. Maybe the bar was just set too high with The Dark Knight. Maybe it's just the nature of trilogies. Godfather: great. Godfather II: amazing. Godfather III: had some great stuff in it that was surrounded by some problematic bits. And so goes DKR.
There was a lot I did love. There's bit of a twist near the end for one character that pretty much made the movie for me. Anne Hathaway was great as Selina Kyle. Bane, one of my least favorite characters from the comics, I quite enjoyed and (no surprise) Tom Hardy was fantastic. The story tied very tightly into the first and second movies, which was great. It really creates a nice payoff for both stories. I also was having fun spotting all the people that I knew from various TV series. Huge movies like this usually get the best selection of actors even for the smaller roles. So I did a lot of: "Oh there's Owen from Torchwood! Hey, it's Franco from Rescue Me! Look! Quinn from Dexter!" However, the middle of the movie drags so much I wanted to check the credits to make sure the movie had been made by the same people as before (it had). There were also some bits of pretty ham-fisted dialogue that felt offensive in the context of the previous movies. Therein lies the problem of following up one of the greatest comic book adaptations of all time. You can't help but pale in comparison.
Again, there was a lot of stuff to like, but when I'm rolling my eyes while watching a Christopher Nolan movie there's something wrong. For a series that was so steeped in realism, despite being about a superhero, this just got very overblown and larger than life to a fairly ridiculous point. I wanted to love it, and at best I liked it. Maybe it will grow on me with repeat viewing, who knows. For now, it wasn't bad; and that's just not good enough. A lot of people took issue with the ending, and honestly that didn't bother me all that much. It's not the choice I'd have made, and it doesn't jive with the Batman I've been reading for the last 30+ years, but I just told myself that this is movie Batman and let it go. If you are going to see it and there is an IMAX theater near you, that is definitely the way to go. They shot quite a bit of the movie in IMAX, much more than they did with The Dark Knight. It's worth the slightly higher ticket price for the visuals.
So, that's it for this week. I'm thinking of doing reviews of past storylines. Ones that are widely liked, or perhaps notorious for something that might be worth taking a look at. In general I would try to do it with things I haven't read yet. Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions? Let me know.
Sean Stoltey, writer, raconteur and retired rabble rouser, hails originally from California's Central Coast but currently resides in Southern California's BEAUTIFUL--San Fernando Valley. Screenwriter, Comic Book author, these are things he does because he's too poor to be a Producer or Publisher.
Sean has been reading comics, watching movies, reading books and selling his soul (or at least his hearing) to Rock'n'Roll for as long as he can remember. He has been discussing and arguing about these things for almost as long.
So now he has come here to throw his opinions in your face as well and hope that, even if you don't agree, hopefully you will enjoy them. For the record: Kirk was the greatest Enterprise Captain, Han was the only one that shot, Led Zeppelin was the greatest Rock band to walk the Earth and Keith Richards is the coolest undead person to walk the Earth. Coolest living people are my sons and my Mom and Dad. My Dad F---in' rocks, and my Mom can kick your ass.
You can ask Sean anything at http://www.formspring.me/WWest3001 contact him via twitter @WWest3001 or boring old e-mail at SeanStoltey@yahoo.com