Thursday, June 13, 2013

NCN - 6/13/13

I was one day late for New Comic-book Night this week, because I have had to spend a great deal of time, including yesterday afternoon, at the new home, getting it ready for move-in. I wasn't able to get to the comic shop before they closed yesterday, so I went today.  I also picked up some digital stuff, including one that came out this week.  In the shop I picked up Katana #5, Thor, God of Thunder #9, and Batgirl #21. Digitally,  I picked up Worlds' Finest #13, plus some older back-issues (of Red Sonja and X-Men). There are no pictures this time -- my camera is in the new house and I'm still typing this in my apartment.

Katana #5 - I had already decided before picking up #5 that I would go no further with this series unless this issue was a substantial improvement.  It wasn't.  Although this issue was slightly better than #4, the story-line remains a haphazard mess with no sense of organization or forward momentum.  Random stuff just happens from page to page, with no clear cause-and-effect relationship among events.  It's entirely possible that writer Ann Nocenti is going to explain things later on, but as I have said before of other series that I've dropped (like Morrison's Action Comics and Remender's Captain America), if there is an underlying order to the chaos here, it has taken too long to be revealed.  I'm not going to wait half a year for the plot to start making sense.  To add insult to injury, the art in this series has just been downright awful -- sometimes I can't even tell what is happening in the panel, because it's drawn so poorly.  There's just not enough to recommend this series, and there are too many other potentially good ones coming out that I see no reason to continue wasting my time with it.  I give this issue a 5/10. Thus, I have now officially dropped Katana from the "potential pull list."

Thor, God of Thunder #9 - This series continues to pleasantly surprise and delight me.  Although I am not a fan of over-the-top violence, which Thor has in spades, it is handled well here, and the underlying story is compelling.  Despite the enormous potential for confusion that could result from telling a story with "Thors" from three different timelines, Aaron makes it work seamlessly, and the interaction between Thor's different selves is enjoyable to read. Ribic's art continues to look fantastic, more like oil paintings than pencil and ink drawings.  I have really enjoyed this title to date, and it continues to be solid. 10/10.

Batgirl #21 - Gail Simone turns in another wonderful story-line.  As usual, Gail's strength is characterization, and she does another outstanding job with Barbara in this issue.  Batgirl continues to struggle with the aftermath of (possibly) killing her brother James.  Her parents part company again.  And in the middle of all this, Batgirl has to battle the Ventriloquist in a rather gruesome fight.  Gail definitely has a taste for the macabre.  The art is decent in this issue, but I sorely miss Adrian Syaf, who did a much better job on just about every aspect of the art.  9/10.

Worlds' Finest #13 - Levitz turns in another decent issue about Huntress and Power Girl.  Desaad is going after them, apparently believing they may hold the key to getting back to Apokolips.  There's some great action as a giant blood-hound of Desaad's keeps attacking the two girls, and Helena does a great job of using the environment to fight him.  The dog can take Power Girl's best punches, which prompts her to wonder if she might be getting weaker on this earth.  I'm hoping this is not the case, at least long-term, because I see no reason why DC should want to weaken Power Girl.  The art in this issue was decent, but nothing spectacular.  7/10.

Overall, a pretty good week of comics.  Three of the four were quite enjoyable. And at least now I have made my decision about Katana, which I have bee vacillating over for the last couple of months.  This means there will be some room on my pull list. Katana's place will be taken next month by the new Red Sonja, written by Gail Simone.

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