Month: October 2014

Gotham Academy #1

Gotham Acadamy 1A while back, there were 3 young character books that I was purchasing.  They were Young Avengers, The Green Team, and The Movement.  Each month, I would look forward to reading all 3 of those titles.  The writing was good, characters were being developed, and there was the promise that anything could happen with these characters.  There were not any preconceived notions about what these characters should be doing that would limit their development.  Life was good.  And then, within the span of a few months, all 3 titles were cancelled.

This week, I was in my local comic shop, and saw Gotham Academy #1 sitting on the shelf.  I had not really heard much about it, other than it existing.  I thought why not give it a chance.  Just maybe, this could be the young character book that I had been missing.

In short, the issue follows Olive, a girl in her second year at Gotham Academy.  She is paired with a first year student nicknamed Maps, who happens to be the younger sister of Olive’s soon-to-be, or possibly already, ex-boyfriend.  Throughout the issue, we get brief introductions to the side characters, her fellow classmates.  Most of those relationships seem to be adversarial.  We keep hearing that something happened that changed Olive, but it is unknown to the reader what that event is.  The only clue given is that she does not like Batman.  This leads to the assumption that Batman is somehow involved in what happened.

This being the first day of school, there is supposed to be an assembly, but Olive and Maps skip it.  Instead, climb the belfry to try to get a better look at the North Hall, which is supposedly haunted.  At the top, Maps leans on some loose bricks, and falls over the side.  Olive uses the rope attached to the bell, and swings down to pull Maps from the ledge she had grabbed.  Unfortunately, the swinging comes to a stop in front of the large glass windows where the assembly is happening, and Bruce Wayne is talking to the students.  He recognizes Olive. Later, Bruce comes to check on her, and she initially freaks out because she thinks it is Batman.  Back in her room, Olive finds that her roommate is freaking out, because she thinks something is watching her through the window.  Olive looks out, but doesn’t see anything.  However, we see an eye peering through a crack in the wall.

Overall, I enjoyed this issue enough that I plan on getting issue #2.  I thought the writing was pretty good.  I do not remember reading anything written by Becky Cloonan or Brenden Fletcher, but I thought they did a fine job in giving introductions to the characters, the setting, and established the tone for the series.  It is exactly what you need to do in the first issue of a series.  First issues should be open to new readers, and not bogged down with history that the reader is expected to know.  Karl Kerschl does the art, and it really works for the title.  What really stuck out to me was the ability to convey facial expressions.  It may seem like a small thing, but being able to enhance the writing with accurate expressions can make or break a book.

So, if you liked any of the 3 titles I mentioned at the beginning of this entry, I encourage you to check out this book.  I just hope that sales are good enough that it will continue for a while.

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Weekly Viewings

Welcome to this week’s installment of Weekly Viewings.  We’re now up to four shows, with a fifth to be added when Constantine premieres on Oct. 24.  It’s not looking good for The Walking Dead to be added anytime soon.  Maybe I can work in a few episodes each week during the midseason break and catch up.  But we’ll see.  Anyways, here is what we have this week.  Of course there are spoilers after the break.

Gotham “The Balloonman,” in which we have a balloon using vigilante.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D “Making Friends and Influencing People,” in which we learn what Simmons has been up to.
Arrow “The Calm,” in which a new person is trying to use Vertigo to establish themselves.
The Flash “City of Heroes,” in which Barry Allen becomes the Flash, and takes on the Weather Wizard.
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Guardians 3000 #1

Guardians 3000 1I found the first issue of Guardians 3000 in my pulls, and thought, ‘why not, I’ll give it chance.’  I was told it was just the original cast of the Guardians of the Galaxy.  And it was written by Dan Abnett, so it seemed like it was worth a chance.  Sure, it is the fourth Guardians book on the market (Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocket Raccoon, Legendary Star-Lord), but so long as the books are entertaining, I do not really care.  However, I did not find this book entertaining at all.  In short, I won’t be continuing to buy this fourth Guardians book.

This was a big, dumb, action issue.  Now, that is not an insult I often throw out there, because I do believe that there are times when you need to have a big action issue.  If you are building to a war, then you need to have an issue with the war.  But this is not the climax of a grand build up.  This is the first issue.  This is the issue that is supposed to introduce new readers to the characters.  In the first issue, you need to show who these characters are:  their motivations, their personalities, a taste of their history.  This had none of that.  In place of personality, you had made up words and sayings, because it is the future, or something.  That is fine if you want to do that for the one character you want to make the token sassy one.  However, when everyone does it, then it is no longer personality that you are showing.  Instead, it is just common vernacular.  You want to make future words?  Fine, but you then cannot also ignore personality.  (more…)

Weekly Viewings

Another week gone means it’s time for another edition of Weekly Viewings.  We still only have Gotham and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on the schedule.  That will all change with the premieres of Arrow and The Flash.  Yes, I know that The Walking Dead also premieres on Sunday, but I haven’t gotten any further into Season 4 still.  Besides, it wouldn’t go on next week’s anyways.

Here’s what we have this week:
Gotham “Selina Kyle,” in which a couple is kidnapping homeless kids.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Heavy is the Head,” in which the team search for the Absorbing Man and the Obelisk.
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Why I’m not interested in Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman

Having fallen behind my monthly readings yet again, I finally read the first issue of Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman.  I went into the issue already thinking that I wasn’t going to continue on with the series, having gotten this issue because the main story was written by Gail Simone and drawn by Ethan Van Sciver.  This first issue did nothing to change my mind.  Here’s why.

My main reason is that it’s an anthology series.  I am not a fan of anthologies.  I’ve previously complained about them in the 80-page giant issues that sometimes get released.  Sure, sometimes the stories are nice, but most often they are never long enough to really go in depth into a story.  Let’s take the Simone story from issue #1 as an example.

In Gotham City, most of Batman’s Rogues Gallery teamed up to immediately take out Batman, Nightwing, and Robin.  Oracle, yes Oracle, calls in Wonder Woman to help.  Wonder Woman comes in and doesn’t have much success at first, trying things Batman’s way. That is through fear.  I’m not entirely sure how she was doing things Batman’s way, other than not killing anyone.  She goes through a moment where she thinks about just taking out the villains for good, but decides to do things her way.  Which is by putting the lasso around the villains and making them see their inner most…fears?

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