Thursday, February 17, 2005

Quick DC Super-Hero GN Reviews

Superman/Aliens 2: God War
by Chuck Dixon, Jon Bogdanove & Kevin Nowlan
The story is a fairly simple premise: After a spacehip infested with Aliens crashes on Apokolips, Darkseid allows an army of parademons wo be infected and then sends the army to New Genesis. Superman just happens to be visiting New Genesis at the time, and he joins with the New Gods to fight off both the hordes of Apokolips and the Alien menace. In fact, despite Superman's name in the title, this is much more of a New Gods story with Superman along for the ride. I've never been a huge fan of Bogdanove's, but this is some of the best art I've ever seen from him, as he and Nowlan manage to evoke a Kirby-esque look without being a blatant pastiche.
Rating: 3 (of 5)

Batgirl: Year One
by Scott Beatty & Chuck Dixon, Marcos Martin & Alvaro Lopez
Beatty & Dixon turn in a decent story that attempts to bring together the disparate parts of Barbara Gordon's origin as Batgirl to bring it in harmony with the current Batman mythos while also including some winking forebits towards her later Oracle & Birds of Prey days. Barbara is presented as young and a bit naive, and over the course of the nine issues collected here grows in her role as a fledgling crimefighter and comes to understand the seriousness of her undertaking. The real attraction with this book though is the art by Martin & Lopez, a cross between Tim Sale & Steve Rude that is stunning in the plentiful action pieces and smooth in the downtime moments. Without the contribution from the artists this would be simply another competent retelling of a super-hero origin, but with the art it becomes a compelling visual treat from some of comics brightest new talent.
Rating: 3.5 (of 5)


Kevin Church said...

Nowlan can turn artists I actively despise, like Dan Jurgens, into near-geniuses with his great placement of blacks and heavy, heavy inking. I've been meaning to read God War because A) motherfuckin' Darkseid in the hizzle and B) depiste myself, I loved the hell out of the first Superman / Aliens book.

(B may well be related to the art, eh?)

Gordon D said...

Definitely have to agree on that Batgirl trade (although I would score it higher) - manages to not only make Batgirl much less sexist than her 60's origin suggests, but actually makes Killer Moth less goofy.

Dave Carter said...

A 3.5 is a perfectly good grade under my system (see the sidebar). Remember I grade on a curve, so a 3.5 is above average. I gave Vinanarama a 4 for example, and while Batgirl: Year One is a good super-hero comic with fine art, it doesn't really meet 4-hood in my estimation.