Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New Release Reviews For IDW Publishing, for 6 February. 2013

It's February. And the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl. Sure, they had to do some of it in the dark but it's not like anyone was really surprised the lights went out in New Orleans. At least I wasn't but it was a fun game.

IDW Publishing is back this week with a wide mix of new issues.And, impressively, this was a pretty solid week from them. As always … titles are scored on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the very best possible. We take the time to read these books so your time isn't wasted.

Doctor Who Season 3 - Issue 5

This is part one of a two-part storyline and it was light and fluffy, much like many moments of this series and the television show. The creative team manages to capture the tone and feel of the show and absolutely nails the voices of the characters.

It's not all fluff, though. Once the reader gets past the shock of seeing a character from the Russell T. Davies era we thought we'd never see again, it turns into something altogether different. A progressive view-point is brought forward about workers' rights and the exploitation of indigenous beings. The ethical aspects will leave you buzzing long after.

The drawn cover is much better than the photo cover, as has been typical of most licensed properties that IDW Publishing has been producing. The photo covers must help bring casual fans in but they really cheapen things. The interior art is OK. It moves the story along even if human faces are not handled well.

Score: 7 out 10

G.I. Joe Snake Eyes Storm Shadow - Issue 21

Twenty-nine years ago, Marvel Comics published the first comic book with no words in it's pages. That was Issue 21 of G.I. Joe : A Real American Hero. Today, IDW releases another Issue 21 about G.I. Joe that has no words. A rather exciting issue without words.

The original was called Silent Night but this issue has no name. One of the things important about that first issue was it was the first appearance of Storm Shadow. The current issue is the last issue of that series but not the end of either character.

Probably. The story was a bit confusing at parts. Partially because of the artwork which was OK, but wasn't spectacular at keeping characters straight. Partly because the story jumped around in non-G.I. Joe related matters like ancient swords. Lastly, it seems like the strange looking guy was Snake Eyes but it isn't clear.

Score: 7 out of 10

My Little Pony - Issue 3

The first thing that jumped out was that there appeared to only be about a dozen different covers. The creative team must be slacking because there were (seemingly) about 100 covers for the prior issue and this feels like a let-down.  Still, all the covers are excellent in style and design and are matched by the interior artwork's presentation which is outstanding.

The old-timey recap was one of the better recaps of the week and was easily deserving of its own spinoff series.  Essentially, an entire comic book that solely recaps the prior issue. It would be brilliant. The issue had a few grammar errors but it was tolerable.

The best part may have been "Wuvy-Dovey Smoochy Land."And the hideous fate it befalls by the bad guys. Oh, the horrors. Still,  unity seems to be found as the Ponies move towards the end game. Will they survive?

Of course they will. They're all friends. And friendship is, indeed, magic.

Score: 8.5 out of 10

Star Trek - Issue 17

This was a great one and done story that spends a nice chunk of time delving into Dr McCoy. This issue adds some seriously interesting detail into his background and personality. This sort of story is useful because it allows the character to become more than a one-dimensional cranky-pants and turns him into a passionate, and frustrated healer.

There is no real action but the comic burst with conflict and emotion. Losses drive him to great heights. Great knowledge and skill drive him away from the creature comforts of life. Tragedy drives him to explore the universe. All of this makes everything that's come before far more meaningful.

The cover is impressive as it shows skill and manages to evoke a mood seldom found in comics. The interior artwork is just as solid. The story is presented clearly and it has a flow to it. The artist manage to nail his look but add a little something.

Score: 9 out of 10

Transformers More Than Meets The Eye - Issue 13

This is a funny issue that is told from Swerve's POV. Every issue should be told like this. Swerve is a fun character and everyone else becomes more interesting around him. Even Ultra Magnus was pretty darn funny. Seriously, Ultra Magnus getting drunk was worth the price of admission. And the singing. Oh, the singing.

There is a wide mix of cover options available and they seems to be of mixed quality. The artwork is alright and has a playfulness to them. This is keeping with the themes of the story. It was was one of the more enjoyable Transformers comic books in some time.

Score: 8 out of 10

The Transformers Spotlight : Megatron - One Shot

This is the sort of story that will seem annoying at first. It's very chatty and heavily focused on Megatron's return from the dead. At some point in time as it's not overly clear where this falls but that is a fault of many of IDW's Transformers comics as they seem to be happening all over time. It's not really a complaint but this is common with a lack of editorial focus.

The conflict with Starscream was frustrating at first. It just seemed never ending. That is until the story gets further in and Megatron's thoughts guide the reader to his conclusion. It's excellent and it's not so cookie-cutter of a display of Megatron. IDW has worked very hard to make  the Decepticon's goals not just be about villainy but noble in a certain way.

Megatron sells this, even if he's only talking to himself. It does a great job of expanding the dynamics of the warring factions. This one-shot has a decent look. There is a fair amount of detail in the art and the coloring is skillful. The covers are cool and menacing.

Score: 8.5 out of 10