My final paper is finished and so I have some time before the actual exams to bring you some more reviews and news. So let’s get right to it with a review of the latest Buffy and Angel issues.
Buffy’s season eight is still going strong with issue #24. This time the story focuses on Faith, who we last saw early on in the series. She is still with Giles and together they are looking for young slayers in order to train them. When they hear of a slayer sanctuary, they decide to visit an meet one of the few remaining members of the Watchers’ Council Duncan Fillworthe (allthough he seems familiar, he was never introduced to the Buffyverse before). It is said that a group of slayers are hiding out in Hanselstadt, a small town in the mountains and they are at a stalemate with the vampires. What Giles and Faith don’t know however is that nothing is as it seems and the real reason why the vampires won’t attack the town lies hidden under a wall of silence. That’s all I can say here without giving away too much. All in all the issue had the right feel. Faith was spot on, sporting a few typical one-liners, we all love so much (for example when she helps a slayer the girl cries out: “You’re her… You’re BUFFY!!!”, and Faith replies, “She’s calling me names, G.” Classic!) and the action is not too over the top. #24 was a good one, but I am starting to miss the main storyline about Twilight and his goons. The strongest point of the issue however is the way it establishes Giles and Faith as the new slayer-watcher dreamteam. Writer Jim Krueger and artist Cliff Richards also seem to be such a team, so I would love to see more of them.
Story 8, Art 8, Re-read 7, Overall Rating 8
Let’s move on to Angel #19, a series that has turned from a strong challenging comic book to a real train wreck in only 2 issues. First off all, I have to say that I can’t get used to Dave Ross’ Art. The characters don’t look like their human counterparts and the rest of it looks like it’s from an early 90s X-men comic and is overall just bad in my opinion (just look at panel 4 of the uploaded pictures. Angel looks like a dumb brute… horrible). The story of the issue is not even worth mentioning, as it only focuses of Angel and his new “ally” Desdemona, a shapeshifter who can turn into a leopard. The thing that bugs me most is however how callous Kate Lockley has been reintroduced to the continuity. Angel and her were not exactly friends when they parted ways and now she is back, immediately on his team and does the whole “my friend is a vampire and I’m fine with it” routine. I really hope that the team on Angel will soon change direction or I will probably lose interest.
Story 4, Art 3, Re-read 3, Overall Rating 3
For those of you who have been wondering, why there haven’t been any reviews, nor news on this page, I have an announcement to make. My final paper is due in a few weeks and so I have to focus all my time on this work in order to pass the first part of my exams. This means that there will not be much going on here on this page, but I hope to be back for good around the end of April. So please be patient and I hope you stay tuned!
Here is the proof that collecting comics can make you rich. The New York Daily News reports that this Sunday the first issue of Action Comics was sold in an Internet auction for 317,200$. The importance of this particularly comic book lies in the fact that it features the first appearance of Superman the Man of Steel and his alter ego Clark Kent. Only aroud 100 copies of this issue are still in existence, so check your attick and hope your grandfather was a collector too. Source
I won’t make any excuses for the late post, saying that exams are keeping me busy should be enough. So let’s get to the review of Buffy and Angel’s latest comic books.
Once again (sigh) we get a single issue story in Buffy’s issue #23 and this time our hero slayer gets backup from Andrew, former criminal mastermind and now a watcher for the Council. This means tons of nerd- and geek-speak for the readers and the chance to see Buffy herself have moment of geek weakness. Story wise, Buffy and Angel have to fight an obscure rogue slayer (I think she is mentioned in issue #11) that has gone bad and has taken over an island in Italy as a base of operations. There is not much happening in the issue and I have to say, had it not been for the funny nerd references this issue would have been abysmal. Once again an issue of minor quality, and I’m sadly starting to lose interest in the series. Also check out this other review: click!
Story 5, Art 6, Re-read 4, Overall Rating 5
Much of the same can be said about the last issue of Angel. Since the vampire with a soul has returned L.A. from he has been struggling with his new found celebrity. This first “Aftermath” issue features a new creative team namely artist, Dave Ross and writer Kelley Armstrong and they are doing a decent job, although I think that the art sometimes suffers from Ross’ attempt to capture the former actors’ likeness which makes the characters look stale and undynamic. Concerning the reintroduction of Kate I have to say that I’m still not sure what I should think of this. She had been gone way to long and on a really bad note so that her sudden reappearance is questionable, not to comment on her immediate chumminess with our lead hero. Hopefully the series will soon be back to the initial dense storytelling and maybe Armstrong will get the tone of the story right next time.
Story 6, Art 6, Re-read 5, Overall Rating 6
Yesterday the day I had waited for had finally come. Watchmen hit theaters this week and with this one of the most anticipated superhero movies of the year was released. Could it live up to the expectations? Would all the hype be justified? Well these questions can be answered with a small and simple word: YES!
Without talking too much about content I can honestly say, that it is one of the most respectful and true adaptations of a graphic novel I have ever seen. Zack Synder follows the comic books page by page, which gives the viewer many 1:1 snapshots which immediately bring the exact panel from the book to mind. There was a lot of discussion about some of the scenes from the comic book that were initially deemed to be to strong for a film (the rape scene comes to mind). But the director managed to leave everything in and as a big fan of the original I can say that this really surprised me (in a good way). There were no: “Awww why the hell did they change this” moments and even the slight change in the ending (and it really isn’t as big of a change as some people had thought in the weeks leading up to the movie) works perfectly. It is also for that reason that it is not a typical superhero movie, which tend to be all about the action and less about the characters as such. All of the important character developing parts where left in and as such, there are no leaps forward in time which would distort the experience, just so that the movie would be shorter. I must say that I’m looking forward to the BluRay / DVD release to see if they really include the real ending.
While watching the movie you will see so many Easter eggs, little details and allusions to scenes that had to be left out (although there are not many) that you will probably have tears in your eyes (at least if you are a real fan). The actors were perfect for the roles, especially Nite Owl II and Rorschach, and the musical choice was just pure genius. Special effects wise there are no complaints and the slow motion effects really make it feel like you are reading an action sequence panel by panel. That is in my opinion the strongest point of the film: it feels like a comic book the whole time you watch it. I’m still not sure if I would call it the best superhero movie ever made, but it is definitely up there. In my opinion, everybody who like good storytelling should see it. Alan Moore could be proud (although we all know he won’t be). And as for the comic book fans out there: what are you waiting for? Go see it already!!!
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. is planning to make a movie out of the DC comic franchise The Suicide Squad. It will interesting to see, which installment of the team they will choose, as a lot of different villains have been a member at some point or another. Let’s cross our fingers for Deadshot!
Good news everyone! Samuel L. Jackson has just signed a nine movie deal with Marvel Entertainment, garanteeing his return as Nick Fury for future movies. A few weeks ago negotiations were apparently going slow, but it is nice to hear that he will be back to lead the Avengers. More infos here.