Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Mini New Comics Wednesday Featuring Green Arrow and the Defenders

Over winter break I had forgotten how annoying it can be to find comics in Conway. While I could easily find every comic I was looking for in the Chicago area, Conway has roughly one and a half comic shops. The Batcave is a nice little shop if you are into several nerdy things (we have Pokemon league there), but demand for certain comics can outweigh the supply. Conway also has a Hastings, which has a wide selection of comics, but is incredibly inconsistent with what they carry and how organized the racks are.

Little Rock has a few comic specialty shops, but the city is a half hour drive from Conway, and since I am trying to stay true to my nerd budgeting, I can hardly justify regular trips to those shops. The predicament I am left in is one where I would like to have readily reviewed books the day they come out, but that doesn't seem feasible. So, my resolution is to do an update every Wednesday of the recent comics I have read in the past week, some books may be a week or two old but it is what I can do.

I will also be adding a standard grading system to my reviews, just a simple rating out of 5.

The second arc finally comes to an end. My favorite hero, and my least favorite book of the new52, Green Arrow, ends its second arc and final issue before the new creative team of Ann Nocenti and Harvey Tolibao. In this issue, GA fights and ultimately defeats what appears to be a toxic sludge version of Solomon Grundy (Midas) and the Red Spandex Ninja (Bloodrose). Their motives for hunting Oliver Queen, GA's alter ego, were hinted at but never fully explained, and I hope they never are. From what I can gather, they were both created  or harmed by the company owned by Oliie Queen known as Q-Core.

This series so far has been an interesting mix of clear but generic art with lazy writing. Despite my criticisms of this title, I certainly hope it gets turned around with the new creative team. GA needs some development outside of the mask, and I hope Nocenti and Tolibao can deliver. I give this issue a 2 out of 5

What I have found since I began really reading comics is that the more DC comics I read, the more I am disappointed. To counteract this, I have picked up a few solid titles from Marvel, one them being "The Defenders". The Defenders are a pretty nifty lineup varying in both physical ability and personality. The up front Red She Hulk and Namor are easily balanced out by the more charming Dr. Strange and Iron Fist (Silver Surfer is cool too, but he hasn't caught my eye yet). but all these characters in a post- "Fear Itself" arc and you have a great cast of characters following up on a great event.

The Defenders have been hunting down Nul, Breaker of Worlds, that scary looking black thing, and have encountered a strange reality altering cult. If there is anything these first few issues have shown me, it is that the lesser known Marvel characters tend to out-perform the sideline DC characters. I have really been digging this book and would suggest to anyone with or without a deep understanding of the Marvel universe, but  who is willing to read "Fear Itself". By the end of the issue the cult appears to be defeated and Nul has been neutralized, leaving the Defenders with an alternate reality machine, which seems to be right up Dr. Strange's alley. I give this issue of "The Defenders" a 4 out of 5