Robin #1

The month ends with a review of Robin #1.

Robin #1 takes place sometime after Azrael took Bruce Wayne’s place as Batman. The book begins with Robin (Tim Drake again,) being choked out by Azrael in the Batcave. Azrael loosens his grip after getting a hold of his sanity and Robin escapes in his car, Redbird. Now that he’s alone, Tim Drake must deal with average teenager problems. He has a girlfriend and a bully to deal with. Like always there is a criminal group, the Speedboyz, who jack car parts.

I think the key word today for this book is “bland.” Tim is bland, the plot is bland, and the supporting characters are bland. Without Batman, this version of Robin is lame. I liked Damian Wayne, Red Robin, and Nightwing when they work on their own, but this just doesn’t work for me. Being a generic high school story takes away a lot of the action and extraordinary possibilities. I do have some pros and they would be the art, which is pretty good, and the opening scene with Azrael is cool. The cons outweigh the pros but I can’t say this is rubbish, just above it.

Writer: Chuck Dixon

Artist: Tom Grummett

Rating: Borrow From a Mate

Justice League Task Force #1

The reviews keep rolling with today’s comic, Justice League Task Force #1.

Justice League Task Force follows the same idea as Marvel’s Secret Defenders, where a group of heroes are put together to solve certain missions. The book also follows the ideas of Justice League International and Justice League Europe by having the team be government sponsored. The way it finally differs from those three books is by being garbage, in at least the first issue.

The book begins with Martian Manhunter fighting crime in a scene that’s just here to show off his powers. We cut to some Caribbean island where some British guy (You can tell he’s British because he says “Mate” and “Blimey” all the time) and a blond guy in a power suit named Blitz are bartering with some rebels who want to use Blitz as a threat to free themselves from a dictator. We cut to the Pentagon, where the government wants to protect that dictator and assign some guy called Martin to create the Task Force. Martin finds Martian Manhunter and tells him to pick the best members of the JLE for this mission.

Martian Manhunter picks Flash, Aquaman, and Gypsy. After the team is together, Nightwing arrives but no one on the team except for Flash wants him around. The book falls apart at this moment. I can understand picking someone no one wants around to create drama within the team. However, the character they chose doesn’t work. Aquaman doesn’t trust him because he’s a Titan and not a Justice League member and Martian Manhunter says he has a reputation for grandstanding. Both are dumb reasons and someone like Booster Gold or Blue Beetle would have filled this role much better.

The art’s nothing special and characterization isn’t there. I don’t know Martian Manhunter’s reasons but many people better than Aquaman and Gypsy could have been on the team. Green Lantern is seen at the JLE HQ and he’s much stronger than any of them. But that’s nitpicking, and at the end of the day this is still dumb in many other ways.

Writer: David Michelinie

Artist: Sal Velluto

Rating: Rubbish

Cover for Justice League Task Force #1 (1993)

Young Justice #1

The marathon continues with a look at Young Justice #1

Three sidekicks: Superboy, Robin (Tim Drake,) and Impulse are hanging out in the Batcave. They’re bored and they bicker back and forth over actually being a team until they awaken Red Tornado, who had withdrawn from society because he believed he had lost his own humanity. Red Tornado says that they annoyed him and that made him realize he still had some humanity.  A crime at an archaeological site gets the team’s attention and they go after it. There’s a lot more here but I don’t want to spoil it.

One of the key elements of any superhero team is establishing a reason for the team’s existence. This first issue of Young Justice manages to do that, while not spending a lot of time dwelling on it. Red Tornado reveals that each member of the team falls into the three Freudian archetypes. This helps set up the origins of each character, while giving some kind of relation to each other. The writing gives every character a unique voice and manages to make each teenage character (who can and usually are written annoyingly,) more depth.

Another big thing in the book’s favor is the comedy. There’s a lot of meta commentary, but it doesn’t break the fourth wall or get distracting. Red Tornado saying he has 19 different files about Hawkman’s origin is pretty funny to me. They also play with the “random person touches an artifact and gets powers” cliche. The banter back and forth is worth a chuckle. In conclusion, it’s a solid, funny start to a series that I look forward to reading.

Writer: Peter David

Artist: Todd Nauck

Rating: Vintage

Swamp Thing (1972) #1

The marathon begins with the first issue of Swamp Things’s very own comic, written by Len Wein.

Swamp Thing #1 serves as the origin story for the character. Two scientists, Alec and Linda Holland, are assigned to work at a lab in a Louisiana swamp. Their work on Bio-Restoration makes them valuable people to the governments of Earth. While under police protection they are still threatened by Ferrett, a crime boss trying to buy their Bio-Restoration potion. Multiple problems occur leading to the Swamp Thing rising from the muck.

This is a great example of a number 1 issue. It sets up all the characters and leaves multiple questions and plot lines to get interested in. Len Wein’s script is top notch, with his skills at imagery really setting the tone. The art is also high quality for the year this comic came out. The use of shadows and darkness with the swamp presence makes for great reading. The artist also does a good job at conveying emotion, even when drawing a swamp monster. My only con is the one typo where they spell “surprise” as “suprrise.” Other than that it’s a high quality issue that makes me want to hunt down the rest of the series.

Writer: Len Wein

Artist: Bernie Wrightston

Rating: Vintage

 

 

 

Vintage Bullet 1 Year Marathon

To celebrate the one year anniversary of Vintage Bullet on March 3rd I have decided to do another marathon. This will be a special #1 issue marathon. From today, February 26th to March 3rd I will review 1 #1 issue a day.

Day 1 – Swamp Thing #1

Day 2 – Young Justice #1

Day 3 – Justice League Task Force #1

Day 4 – Robin #1

Day 5 – Sensation Comics #1

Day 6 – JSA #1

Day 7 – Superman #1

 

 

Angel: Revelations

As an X-Men fan I know some stuff about them. But out of the original 5 X-Men: Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Beast, and Angel. Of the five Angel is the one I know the least about. I know he’s got wings and sometimes he turns blue and fights the team but who doesn’t now a days. So when in 2008 a 5 issue miniseries titled Angel:Revelations came out I picked it up to learn all I needed to know. And this is when I learned that there wasn’t much to the story.

My main problem with this miniseries is how cliche it is. Warren Worthington the Third is a rich kid in a private, religious school so already he’s not relatable to me. He’s got a rival who is a jock, a cheerleader girlfriend, and a loser of a best friend. It’s like they grabbed every teenager story and tried to graft it onto one character, so Warren is a good athlete and he has a girlfriend but he hangs out with a loser. There’s also a pedophile priest, who abuses the loser kid, and the way the story just kinda brushes this off later is lazy. Warren was only a likable character when he was worrying about his wings and near the end when he becomes Angel.

On the pros side I really liked the villain. He’s an unnamed psychopath who disguises himself as a priest to gain access to places he needs to go. He kidnaps a little mutant girl after killing her parents. The girl has the power to locate other mutants so the psycho uses her to hunt them down. The guy’s got an imposing presence and they manage to make him a looming threat throughout the story.The art is a style I haven’t seen before. The character designs are all wonky because everyone’s got elongated limbs and stubby faces. The shading is pretty dark too, which I don’t mind in the darker parts of the story. The coloring is a bit dull though.

Final Thoughts: All in all it’s a generic story, but I must admit I did start to like the characters at the end.

Rating: Borrow from a mate

 

Watchmen (Comic)

Like I said before: 1985, Cold War, Superheroes, The Comedian is dead and Rorschach is on the case. There’s a lot more differences in Watchmen and its movie than V for Vendetta and its movie. Therefore, I won’t do that bullet point thing again. I will still talk about the differences.

1st, there’s a lot more history about the original Minutemen in the comic. Dan Hollis, Nite Owl I, has a book, Under the Hood, and it is interspersed into the first couple of chapters and  helps provide backstory for these characters. Another member, Captain Metropolis, was one of the Crime Stoppers who were replaced by “The Watchmen” on the movie.

2nd, the Crimson Corsair comic inside of the comic. It was taken out of the movie, and put into the ultimate edition. This is actually a change I was all for as I found the comic within the comic to be unnecessary. I understood the symbolism later but it’s still a lengthy part of the book.

3rd, and the biggest difference is the ending. Because it was changed parts of the comic are removed that foreshadow this ending. Both endings have similar ideas and the same outcome, they’re just executed differently.

With that out of the way, the review. Watchmen is still amazing, with detailed art and panel layouts that only comics can give. Being a comic we can hear their inner thoughts now which helps build the characters even more. The lines are infinitely quotable and Moore has a great philosophy and message in this book.

Final Thoughts: Once again there is a lot to this book and I just recommend reading it for yourself. I am torn on if the movie or the comic is better,they both have their own strengths.

Rating: Vintage

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