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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sneak Peek Reviews: 02/17/09

Amber Atoms #1

Story & Art by: Kelly Yates

Colors by: Michael E. Wiggam

I know that I have a reputation with people who know me, even those who only know me as that guy at the comic shop. I'm the guy they all say "He likes everything though" about. I'm the comic store equivalent of Mikey from the LIFE Cereal commercials. But I think it's just that I choose to not read bad comics ... also I can find something about every book that I read that is likable (well almost ... I mean ... I've never given a good review to a book drawn by Rob Liefield ... but I understand and respect that he has fans).

Now I realize that many people think that I am saying all of that in order to position myself to be able to say something about Amber Atoms #1.

Fooled you.

This book is great. It's just the right kind of space opera that we need right now. Evil kings trying to overtake the intergalactic government from within, a deceptively smart and undeniably scrappy young woman who longs to experience more of the universe than her father's junk yard, assassin androids that jump up out of nowhere to grab hold of your ankle. And all with artwork that is a mix of the styles of Mike Wieringo (may he rest in peace) and Cully Hamner. Kelly Yates has a whole lot going for him. I think that he has a great sense for story pacing and that he's got the idea of giving you just enough to make you come back for the next issue down pat.

If you like stories like Star Wars (I know that's lofty and that many people would probably laugh at my comparing the two but ... take it for what you will) and Flash Gordon then you're in the right place. I think that this book has a lot of promise and that when you take into account that Yates is writing and drawing the book himself you know that the creative vision will be singular and exciting.

Outsiders #15

Written by: Peter J. Tomasi

Art by: Lee Garbett

Who remembers 1983? I don't ... I was 2 ... I wasn't even two when Batman & The Outsiders made their first appearance in the final issue of The Brave and The Bold. Sheesh ... C'mon ...

Who remembers last week? I DO! REALLY, I DO! When Batman & The Outsiders Special came out last week I was convinced that the book was going to have to do a whole lot to win me over, even with the killer creative paring of Peter J. Tomasi and Adam Kubert ... but I was wrong. It didn't have to do a whole lot. It just had to be the subtly crafted masterpiece that it was. It was a tear jerker and it introduced me to the team that I was going to want to love for the next decade.

And then smartly DC followed up their stellar release the following week with Outsiders #15. Written by the same Peter J. Tomasi as the Special and drawn by Lee Garbett who pencilled the two issues of Batman that tied into Final Crisis.

This book will knock your socks off. I was glad that I wasn't wearing socks to be honest because I would have felt a little uncomfortable having them knocked off while I was at work, it's just not something that strikes me as professional. The team that was originally formed is well represented here with Halo, Metamorpho, Black Lightning, Geo-Force, and Katana all being members but the addition of Owl Man and The Creeper add an interesting aspect to the team, not to mention the leader of the team: Alfred Pennyworth. If there has ever been a time for Alfred to take the spotlight in the comics industry now is the time. In a time where more and more focus has been placed on the supporting casts of titles it is finally time for the gentleman's gentleman to get some page time. Alfred has been, for all intents and purposes, a superhero for a very long time and now it's time for him to show it. Think of him as the Barbara Gordon to the Birds of Prey, guiding the strike team on their campaign against evil.

Is there any task you'd rather have Alfred doing? Be honest with yourself.

Read this book.

X-Factor #40

Written by: Peter David

Art by: Valentine DeLandro

I know I have said this before and I fear that I might have to say it again sometime in the near future (too near to be comfortable) but ... X-Factor is BACK!

The book that has been essentially about Jamie Madrox for 40 issues (and a 5 issue mini-series) has finally found it's heart and soul again, not to mention it's footing. Peter David is a writer that I haven't always loved but whom I have always had a great deal of respect for. There is something about this character and this series though that has managed to keep me reading through good times and bad. Madrox is the kind of character that makes you want to read comics, he's complex ... and not just because he is the living embodiment of multiple personalities. He is a character who can fall in love and does so convincingly (mostly because David knows how to write realistic human emotions) and can also hate convincingly.

But the series kept getting sidetracked.

But it seems like it's finally found it's way back to the path of ... awesome. I can't tell you too much about what happens in this issue without ruining some really epic moments and without ruining a great, great story. What I can tell you is that Jamie has returned to the parish overseen by one, John Madrox. Yes the dupe that became a father and a priest makes his return in this issue and essentially acts as Madrox's confessor. There is something incredibly surreal about the idea of the conversation that they have considering that Jamie is talking ... to himself. But not once did I think it was silly, at all. As a matter of fact I thought it was brilliant. Peter David had figured out a way to have an entire issue of introspection without having to worry about overuse of narration boxes or silly talking outloud when there is no one else in the room.

I honestly think that if you worried that X-Factor had fallen off of the tracks that you'll kick yourself if you don't read at least this issue.

And if I'm wrong tell me, email me at ComicDorksCast@gmail.com

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