If your an “art person”, there’s a little behind the scenes for this comic. But yeah, nobody voted one way or the other on the poll. I even put it in the sidebar in case someone missed the review. Oddly, it usually takes a while before someone catches a review. I still have people reading my Free Comic Book Day review. Go figure. I may leave the poll up another week or two so folks have an idea how it works. The strangest part is that I’m using the Jake and Leon strips as an open because I have trouble coming up with things to discuss in the open. Except, ironically, the first week I bring it out! Talk about defeating the purpose!
I only had two new comics this week, and I didn’t have enough available funds to liberate one of the graphic novels in the folder. So I put some money towards the Voltron omnibus that’s been sitting in the folder since I was in the hospital…last year…which is almost paid off and just met my three comic minimum with another back-issue of Marvel Adventures: The Avengers. You can guess one of the other comics from Leon’s line at the end. (I was going to show how big a Knuckles fan Leon is, but decided this strip amused me more. I’ll save it for next month.)
Speaking of old posts that get a lot of attention, you’d be amazed how many hits I get on the Voltron motion comic announcement after the latest one airs on Sci-Fi Channel SyFy. Once they’ve all aired, I may review it, if only to kick my numbers up. But for now, motionless comic reviews.
Spoiler-free versions appearing at ComiXology.
Sonic Universe #9
Archie Comics (December 2009)
WRITER: Ian Flynn
PENCILER: Tracy Yardley
INKER: Jim Amash
COLORIST: Jason Jensen
LETTERER: Teresa Davidson
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Paul Kaminski
EDITOR: Mike Pellerito
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Victor Gorelick
Knuckles, Mighty, and Julie-Su of the Chaotix are summoned by the Dingo leader, Helmut Von Stryker, because a mutual threat, Dr. Finitevus, may have been located. They arrive at an old ruin village where Knuckles makes some interesting discoveries…before ending up in a trap! Meanwhile, as Angel Island floats over it’s old home in Downunda, Vector and Ray are guarding the Master Emerald when an army of flying dingo robots appear looking to take the Emerald.
What they got right: Those of us who haven’t been following Kunckles and his friend for a while (I missed when the “Floating Island” was renamed “Angel Island”, although I know that’s what the games call it now–or at least that’s what they called Knuckles’s home on Sonic X) aren’t dropped in the middle of storytelling nowhere. There’s a brief catch-up told during the story itself in a way that feel natural. I may not know the details of Knuckles battles with this Finitevus guy, but I know enough to follow what’s going on. As the first part of a four-part arc, they set up the cast for the story properly. The art is up to the usual heights I’ve come to expect from the Sonic titles, and you sometimes forget your reading about a bunch of talking animals. They just feel like characters.
What they got wrong: The only complaint I could make here is that Knuckles and the gang deserve their own comic back, but it’s nice to see the Chaotix get their own story again.
Recommendation: You’ll have to judge for yourself how it stands as a “jump-on” point, but if your a Knuckles fan (at least the Archie Comics version), it’s not a bad place to return
Transformers: Tales of the Fallen #3
IDW Publishing (October 2009)
WRITER/LETTERER: Chris Mowry
ARTIST: Carlos Magno
COLORIST: Moose Baumann
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Carlos Guzman
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Denton J. Tipton
EDITOR: Andy Scmidt
COVER “A” (shown): Alex Milne
COVER “B” by the interior art team
[Time placement: Transformers: Defiance #1 and Revenge of the Fallen according to the inside cover–I’d actually put it before any of the current comics, since it takes place during the Fallen’s final visit to Earth depicted in the second movie.]
It’s the tale of the Fallen’s first visit to Earth from the eyes of Jetfire. It seems the future ex-Prime was convinced that finding power for Cybertron was more important than innocent life on other worlds, which his fellow Primes disagreed with. So the mechanoid convinces his best “Seeker”, Jetfire, to join him and a drone army (what we know as the Movieverse Constructicons today) he calls “Decepticons” to use the Star Harvester to take out the star of a system where life exists–namely prehistoric Earth. Jetfire decides his master has slipped a few gears and opposes him. The other Primes arrive–and we know what happened to the Fallen after that–and Jetfire’s damaged warp system shoots him through time to maybe late 20th Century Earth.
What they got right: The origin of the Movieverse Decepticons works about as well as anything that came out of the second movie, so your mileage may vary there. Mowry does a good job of fleshing out (pardon the expression) Jetfire as well as his motivations for both joining and turning against the Fallen.
What they got wrong: I wish I could either compliment or complain about the art, but the coloring is the real villain here. You know how people complain that you can’t tell one robot from another in the movie? Well, it’s worse here than most of the comics set in the Movieverse and the Movie itself. Not only is there nothing distinguishing the Constructicon drones from each other in robot mode (and barely obvious in vehicle mode), but any of the Primes as well as Jetfire. Thanks to the coloring, I can’t tell which limb belonged to a Constructicon (or even which Constructicon) or Jetfire during the fight scene. Baumann may have been the wrong choice for this comic.
Recommendation: If for some reason you were a fan of the movie’s story, then this is a good comic. Otherwise, while not the worst Transformers comic I’ve ever read, the art–or at least the coloring–makes recommending this comic rather difficult.
And now it’s time for the back-issue to meet my three-comic minimum. This comic won’t make “Best Scene” because it’s a few years old.
Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #17
Marvel Comics (December 2007)
WRITER: Ty Templeton
PENCILER: Ig Guara
INKERS: Norman Lee & Jay Leisten
COVER: Grummet, Pallot, and Sotymayor
COLORIST: Val Staples
LETTERER: Dave Sharpe
PRODUCTION: Brad Johansen
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Nathan Cosby
EDITOR: Mark Paniccia
During a thunderstorm, Storm decides to use her powers to absorb lightning bolts to keep Manhattan from experiencing a power blackout. However, she knocks out the power to Stark Tower, while at the same time (combined with other factors) altering one of the training robots, who attacks the Avengers. Although they’re able to stop this “Vision”, they only lock it up until they can find a way to shut it down.
What they got right: I didn’t know anyone other than Jeff Parker or Paul Tobin wrote for this series, so I was a little concerned that Templeton wasn’t going to live up to the crazy they’ve done with the title. While I was right, it was still a pretty good done-in-one story featuring the Avengers. I’m not sure that Ty’s “Storm” matches her in other stories (although I can see some hints in a later story when she and Thor were discussing lighting) but I like his Storm. It’s nice to see the Vision in use. I also like seeing a cover that has something to do with the story inside and might make potential readers interested in what goes on between the pages. Marvel in general and MA specifically haven’t done that for a while, getting poster-style stock covers or cute gimmick variants instead.
What they got wrong: While I like that the Vision is pulled away from Ultron and Pym in his origin, I hope if he was ever used in a further issue that he came closer to the Vision we know today. Sure he started out as a threat to the Avengers in the main series, so that was right. However, he later becomes a superhero in his own right, and I’m hoping further usage of the character (like in the upcoming MA: Super Heroes revamp from Tobin) reflect that. Also, I’m not sure I like Logan’s face in this one, even if the other character models I happen to like.
Recommendation: A bit toned down compared to what I expect from this series, but still a fairly enjoyable story. Worth trying to find.
Best Scene Cover of the Week
Sonic Universe #9
Yeah, with MA: Avengers out of the running due to not being a “new” comic, neither of the other comics had a scene that really stood out for me (especially with Tales of the Fallen‘s bad coloring job. But even as a “stock-shot” cover I usually complain about (right in today’s MA:A review, in fact), it’s a cool shot of Knuckles, so it’s the best I can do this week. Hopefully we’ll have better luck (and some feedback about the Jake & Leon open..hint, hint) next week.