Tagged: Esad Ribic

Troy’s Toys, But with Comics: Summer events edition

Hey look, me writing about books within a week of their release date again!

secret-wars-1-112759-116869Secret Wars #1

Jonathan Hickman, Esad Ribic, Ive Svorcina

Marvel $4.99

CHRIS FACT: Chip Zdarsky drawing all of my favorites on a variant cover is a surefire way to get me to buy your 5 dollar comic.

Secret Wars is the big 2015 Marvel summer event, and arguably its biggest crossover in sometime. It’s the end game to Jonathan Hickman’s massive Avengers run, AND IT IS BLEAK AS HELL! Marvel has been selling this event with the “EVERYTHING DIES/END!” slogan, and it’s very much the case in issue one.

If you’re looking to pick up this issue and are kind of new to Marvel/Comics, let it be known that Secret Wars is not the most accessible event. If you don’t have some passing knowledge of Hickman’s Avengers run/his body of work at Marvel, there’s a chance you’ll be lost when this issue drop. This doesn’t come as a complete surprise, as Hickman’s always been a writer that play the long game and Secret Wars #1 throws you in the middle of a war and never lets up. It’s easily the least accessible Marvel event in a while, but also one of the strongest starts for one. Hickman’s writing is solid, nailing the voices of it’s large cast perfectly, and handling the dramatics and action well.  His contributions as a designer are also welcomed, even though it’s not much different from what he’s doing over on the Avengers book. But still, the constant clean designed is to be applauded.

Esad Ribic is on art duties for this incarnation of Secret Wars, and he’s a perfect fit for it. His issues on Jason Aarons Thor run were nothing short of perfect, and he’s off to a great start for Secret Wars as well. It’s not flawless (some character appear off model, or change in the book for no reasons), but it’s still damn fine art in the end. The action pieces are incredibly strong, especially come the final pages of this book. Ive Svorcina is back coloring Ribic, and his grainy style is perfect for Ribic’s style. Secret War continues the tradition of a Marvel event looking gorgeous with these creators attached to it.

Secret Wars is an unapologetic Johnathan Hickman book sold as a Marvel event. And it feels like an epic, given the scale and the stakes, and how cinematic Ribic’s art is. Even with the event fatigue setting in with Big 2 comics, Secret Wars feels plenty fresh thanks to the creators involved.

mf6jfizaCa2fZqtvN0b1q-gConvergence: Nightwing and Oracle #2

Gail Simone, Jan Durrsema, Dan Parsons, Wes Ozioba

DC $4.99

This may be the most Gail Simone comic that Gail’s penned for DC. That’s not a problem mind you, as that’s what I signed up for when this book was announced. The Convergence tie ins are suppose to be a celebration of the various eras of DC, and this book genuinely feels like that.

My main complaint about the first issue aren’t to be found with issue 2. Gail script is action packed, and Jan Durrsema‘s is definitely stronger this time around. Her art is great all throughout the book, and doesn’t burn out towards the end like issue 1 did. And because of that, Dan Parsons inks and Wes Ozioba’s colors looks stronger in this issue. It’s a great looking book, filled with fun character moments and some smart twists. And the ending is pretty swell, especially if you’re a fan of the title characters.

I don’t have much else to say about this Convergence tie in, but it definitely sets out what it’s meant to do. If this is the final Gail Simone penned Barbara Gordon story for the time being, I’m more than okay with it. It’s an ending fans of Simone’s Babs will love. It’s also nice to see Dick be Nightwing again (even with Grayson as good as it is), and there’s a appearance by another Simone penned DC A-lister that just as great to see. Convergence: Nightwing and Oracle is the best type of fan service, and a fun comic well worth the $4.

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Review: Thor the Dark World and Thor: God of Thunder volume 1

Thor-The-Dark-World-Wide-ImageTHIS WEEK IN CONFESSIONS: I’m not exactly the biggest Thor fan out there. Might as well get that out of the way early. It’s been established a number of times that I’m a Clint Barton guy, so I wasn’t exactly super hyped going into Thor the Dark World this past weekend, aside from the fact that we were promise TWO whole post credit scenes. I enjoyed the first Thor movie well enough ( which had a Hawkeye cameo!), but I’ve been riding that Captain America The Winter Soldier hype-train since that trailer dropped a few weeks back.

That TL:DR review of Thor: 2 is that it’s fun and a nice step up from the original movie. All the pesky origin stuff is done with, so we get a lot more Thor being Thor and hitting stuff with Mew-Mew this time around,  all while Loki gets that Tumblr crowd money filling seats for repeated viewings. And most of this movie take place in Asgard/the non-Earth realms so there’s a very cool Star Wars/Lord of the Rings vibe to the whole thing that comes across as a giant love letter to Jack Kirby. All of the key players deliver, as Hemsworth’s more mature Thor is easier to root for, Kat Dennings remains a blessing and Tom Hiddleston is still perfect as the trickster god. This movie isn’t exactly the deepest thing playing in theaters, but it doesn’t pretend to be. Marvel has a winning formal for these movies, and The Dark World follows it to a T.

I do have 2 problems with the flick though. The first is the pacing. It starts off slow, but after the first 30 minutes, it takes off at breakneck speed and doesn’t slow down until the ending. And while could have been much worst, it could have been a tad better if certain scenes got a chance to breathe more. My other issue is Christopher Eccleston, and actor I adore from Doctor Who, isn’t utilized properly as the film’s big bad Malekith. I don’t understand why you would  cast an awesome actor like Eccleston and not take advantage of his talents, or flesh out his character more? Any schlub could have played him the version of Malekith portrayed in the film for a fraction of what Marvel paid Eccleston, who’s an ultimately forgettable villains once the credits start rolling/

Despite my issues with the film, it was a fun popcorn film overall, and the mid-credits scene was AWESOME and sets the stage for another Marvel film dropping in 2014 (2 guesses). So go check it out, it’s not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

thor_0

Now what if you’re fresh from the theater and want to pick up some Thor comics? “Where to start” you may ask, especially with a character as rich as Thor with great runs by a variety of talents creators like Kirby, Lee, Simonson, Fraction, Gillen, Jurgens and Romita and Copiel (also JMS). Assuming you can read, you’ve probably figured out that I’m going to suggest Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic’s Thor: God of Thunder, one of the BEST books to emerge from the plenty-strong MARVEL NOW relaunch over the last year.

You may remember me tossing some shade at these creators 2 weeks ago when I was discussing the ending of Battle of the Atom. While I still think critique was justified, Aaron and Ribic are operating on a different level here on Thor:GoT. Volume 1, The God Butcher. It is a very different monster from said event, and quite frankly, the results are much better for it. The elevator pitch for this 1st collection is simple, it’s Thor vs. a serial killer of gods. The hook is that this isn’t the first time Thor’s thrown down with this dude, and this book gets into some Doctor Who level timey-whimey stuff, only a lot more violence. A. LOT. MORE. VIOLENT.

This is the usual level of insanity for a Jason Aaron book, complete with a title that’s a KISS reference, but it’s Esad Ribic who really shines in this book. This title FEELS like a epic fantasy story, with the sort of beautiful brutality you get from Game of Thrones. You many cringe once or twice reading this book, because it does not pull back the punches when the fists and hammers are thrown, and Ribic does a fantastic job of drawing violence. The beautiful imagery is only strengthened by Aaron’s awesome heavy metal scripts, that give Esada a ton of awesome stuff to work with. With little knowledge needed to get into this run, I can’t recommend this series enough. There’s currently 2 volumes of Thor:GoT out now in hardcover, each priced at $24.99 each.

 

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I have bought some comics, also eaten wayyy too much candy.

Halloween is a hell of a thing y’all, and this year’s beer and candy diet was not the best plan. Probably should have thought that one out a bit. :: snorts a crushed-up Kit-Kat bar , because YOLO ::: Woo, comics talk time.

Saga #15, Saga Bryan K. Vaughan, Fiona StaplesSaga #15

Brian K Vaughan. Fiona Staples

Image Comics, $2.99, 20 pages

Remember last week when I was complaining about how it’s hard to critique flawless comics. Here were are again, this time with the newest issue of Saga, which I’m sure surprises no one.  Also damn, that cover is hot, despite also being sort of ridiculous if you’re at all familiar with the book’s leads.

Without diving into spoilers, in this issue Staples and BKV introduce a new character, catch us up with several other characters, answer some questions about an alien planet, and end it all with a killer cliffhanger. The later comes as no surprise, because the book ends on a cliffhanger 90% of the time, which results in me cursing 100% of the time. Other norms for this title seen in this issue include Staples’ fantastic art and colors, and BKV’s hilarious and heartful dialogue. Also vulgar at times, which we all know I’m okay with because I love Sex Criminals. Also damn, that ending, really makes one long for the next issue (less than 30 days away, ha ha crap). So yeah, Saga‘s still perfect in case you were wondering.

SANDMAN-OVERTURE-MCKEAN-600x924Sandman Overture #1

Neil Gaiman/ JH Williams III

DC Comics, $4.99, 20 pages

Speaking of incredibly difficult comics to review…..

Let me say something. If you think Overture is going to be your introduction to the Sandman universe, you’re wrong. So wrong even. This book is fan-service in a way, and if you’ve yet to read arguably one of the BEST comics series of all time, this is not for you. You will be lost, even if you wiki it like a sucker-punk.

But let’s say you’re like me and LOVED the original series. Is this book worth $5? I’ll say YES, it most certainly is, but don’t expect a game changer. This is an incredibly DENSE read, because that’s how Neil Gaiman rolls, and it’s kind of slow paced, because again, Neil Gaiman. WHICH IS FINE, BECAUSE HOLY HELL, J.H. WILLIAMS IS REALLY GOOD AT THIS ART THING EVERYONE. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book William’s drawn (yeah I dropped Batwoman 8 issues in, sorry not sorry), and his skill meets Gaiman’s wonderfully trippy script makes for an fantastical end result.

Now is this book worth buying now, or worth holding out for the eventual deluxe hardcover may be a question you have if you’re a hardcore Sandman fan. That’s entirely up to you. Chances are I’ll double dip on this, assuming it’s a good read. Again I REALLY liked issue #1, BUT your mileage may vary. And again, it’s kinda fan service-y, not in a pandering way, but more of a you need to be up on your Sandman lore to get this book way like I said earlier. And who knows,  it may end up not be completely necessary at all by this all said and done, not unlike Before Watchmen (only you know, not scummy). But it’s hard to imagine that will be the case, especially with the quality of the debut issue.

 

X-Men_Battle_of_the_Atom_Vol_1_2_TextlessX-Men Battle of the Atom #2

Jason Aaron, Esad Ribic, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Andrew Currie and like 6 or 7 other dudes.

Marvel, $3.99, 30 pages

You had one job X-team. One job.

Looks like I’m repeating myself again when it comes to reviewing an X-book. Jason Aaron, as well as Brian Wood and Brian Michael Bendis for the epilogues, wrap up a fairly fun X-event. But once again, the art on this event falls apart.

I don’t mind Kris Anka, Chris Bachalo and Stuart Immonen swinging by to draw some of the epilogues, because they all are great artists who make the ending of this book look really good. But the main story by Esad Ribic, and 2 or 3 others dudes? Not so great. It’s sloppy, looks rushed, the characters are extremely off model-looking at times and you couldn’t have chosen artists whose styles clash any more it seems. It once again ruins Aaron’s solid script, which to be honest, could have toned down the snark in some parts.

But yeah, this event is kind of a mixed bag now that it’s all is said and done. Some really cool stuff happens,  including some fun fan servicey stuff for X-readers, and some new plots to work with going into the 2nd year of the Aaron/Bendis/Wood era of X-books. I just wish some of the questions raised were answered now opposed to down the line (if at all!), and that the art delivered in the last 2 chapters.

 

Up next, an advance look at Vaillant’s Comics Unity #1, the end of Captain Marvel volume 1 and LONGSHOT, SAVING THE UNIVERSE!

 

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