Hello faithful readers! GL Gent is back this week for another round of reviews. I have finished my finals and am raring to go. I was pumped to review Justice League of America for everyone this week but evidently that one is not being released until later. I am replacing that choice with this week’s issue of Aquaman. Coming to you this week I will be reviewing Aquaman #19, Batwing #20, and Shadowman #0. Don’t forget to follow the Comic Gents on Twitter, both myself (@GL_Gent92) and DC Gent (@dc_gent).
Author: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Paul Pelletier
Inker: Sean Parsons
This issue continues with the Death of a King story line. Arthur is continuing his chase after the Scavenger who holds Atlantean weaponry that he is trying to prevent from making it to the surface world. Meanwhile, Tula and Murk are continuing their quest to free Orm from the surface world’s custody before he faces the death sentence. They take refuge in the abode of Swatt who seems to be an Atlantean that cannot breathe underwater and makes frequent trips to the surface. While Arthur and the Drift are chasing down the submarines operating under the Scavenger’s control, one explodes and they find an Atlantean on an operating table in the other. Mera also is a captive of an old former king of Atlantis who is plotting his own schemes. On the way, she finds a man named Nereus who claims she is his wife. What could all these things mean for the future? This is only the second issue in the Death of a King story line and it has been teased that we will see the return of The Others in the next issue. If Johns continues to do what he does best, this story line could be promising. As it stands though, I felt this was sort of a slow issue and it was being used to set the pins up to knock them down later. As always though, the art of this book continues to amaze. The image of Topo, a big, Cthulu-looking undersea monster was truly awesome.
Authors: Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Artists: Eduardo Pansica & Júlio Ferreira
This has probably been one of the best Batwing issues of the New 52 so far. Way to go creative team. Anyway, to continue, Luke Fox has taken the mantle and become the second Batwing for the New 52. The costume changes are completely astounding. I love it. I love the new attitude of confidence and sarcasm he is bringing to the character. It really lightens the mood of the comic because David Zavimbe was way too serious. The comic begins with Luke facing the Marabunta soldiers that dress up as ants to do their evil deeds. He defeats them and takes Lady Marabunta to interrogate her using a derivative of the Scarecrow toxin, which I thought was extremely intelligent. All along the way he has Batman leading him and telling him what to do. Batman reveals that Luke was passed over for the role of Batwing in favor of David because Batman still has his doubts about Luke. One of the main factors that would have hindered Luke from working with Batman, Inc. is his father. Lucius Fox is a hard working strict man that works for Wayne Enterprises and though he may not go about it in the best way, he wants the best for his children, especially his only son Luke. Luke doesn’t let his father stop him and creates a false story about seeing the world after his early graduation from college. This leads him to the big baddie. I believe Lion Mane is one of the most badass villains I have seen so far. I don’t even know what his plans are but the artists really blew it out of the water. I mean who thinks of doing a lion centaur?!? That was awesome. This creative team has really set themselves up for what promises to be a great comic. Let’s hope it stays that way.
Author: Justin Jordan
Artists: Roberto De La Torre and Mico Suayan with Lewis LaRosa and Neil Edwards
Color Art: David Baron
I have been wondering since I began reading Shadowman why Master Darque was so powerful and where he came from. Lucky for me and anyone else that was wondering it, Shadowman #0 delivers in the wonderful way it has been delivering since the series started. Master Darque was born in Louisiana in 1812 and he had a twin. Their birth names were Nicodemo and Sandria. Their father taught them the Art from an early age. While studying one day, Nicodemo made Sandria’s rabbit explode because she wasn’t studying. He tried to bring it back but their father reveals that once something is dead, it cannot be brought back to its original form. He told them that there is a way to learn that though at the Lyceum. This is the source of all of the Art and the place where one can truly learn to control all aspects of it. The twins promise to help their father reach this place together. They had the grand veves drawn on them to better connect to each other and their gifts and on their 18th birthday, they were ready. During the ceremony, they realize their father was just betraying them to get to Lyceum himself using them as the necessary sacrifice as with all thing in the Art. Nicodemo stops him by drawing all the life force from everything around him and restores his sister to a shell of what she formerly was. That is when she knew how truly powerful he was. Shadowman was thrown at me as a bit of a surprise and I have loved every minute of it. I can’t wait to see more struggles between Shadowman and the Abettors against Master Darque as they try to keep him from crossing the Deadside into the world of the living. The art is dark and edgy making it the perfect iteration of Shadowman and this world. It is highly recommended that you read this series.
Writer: Gail Simone
Penciller: Freddie Williams II
I can’t understand why DC wasn’t promoting The Movement very much for the past few months, because I feel like this first issue of the series is one of the strongest first issues I’ve read since the beginning of the New 52. I guess there’s something to be said for letting quality work stand on its own, but since this book isn’t titled Batman Presents: Superman and the Movement, I think it needs (and most definitely deserves) more publicity. But that’s enough of an introduction, let’s get into the issue itself.
The concept of The Movement echoes sentiments of political unrest without choosing a side between the left or the right, and for that I applaud Simone. Instead of being a story about Occupy or a Tea Party fever dream, Simone presents us with a story about a “movement” that anyone and everyone can get behind: fighting back against oppression. What I really enjoyed about this first issue is that The Movement (as the actual movement is known) isn’t composed of only metahumans, but features normal, everyday people as the majority of the group. This aspect of the group is vital, because it means it isn’t a bunch of super-powered teens abusing their powers, but rather its normal people, rallying behind heroes, standing up for what is right. That being said, I loved the metahumans introduced in this issue. In one issue, I already care about Burden (a kid who is either has schizophrenia or is literally possessed) and his past, and want to see him fight to regain control of himself and his powers. Another standout is Virtue, an “emotion rider” that shows promise as a steadfast leader. But outside of The Movement itself, I actually found myself caring about someone they’re fighting against. The captain of the police force proves himself to be an enemy of corruption as well, but also someone who believes in doing his job and protecting his city the only way he knows how. I think its a testament to Simone’s writing skills that with one issue, I already feel attached to members on both sides of the conflict.
On the art side of things, Williams provides some truly stunning scenes. Of particular note are the opening scene, in which dozens of Movement members stop some dirty cops from engaging in sexual harassment of a minor, and the scene in which Burden enters the church. The opening scene in the alleyway is drawn in such a way as to demonstrate the true power of The Movement without having to use any actual “powers,” but instead relying on a truly intimidating presence. And Burden’s “transformation” in the church…completely haunting.
Simone’s and Williams’ The Movement is on pace to be a new favorite of mine within the New 52, and comics in general. Hopefully this title will get the attention and recognition it deserves so that we’ll get a long and stunning run from this creative team.