Wednesday, May 15, 2013

New Release Reviews For IDW Publishing, for 15 May, 2013

Welcome back to another edition of New Release Reviews for IDW Publishing. It's an interesting week from IDW with the brand new series by comics legend John Byrne. Best known for his runs on Uncanny X-men, Fantastic Four, and revamping Superman, Byrne's series covers the pleasant topic of global armageddon. One of his prior works has been in the news of late and that's the new Superman movie coming this summer.

News has trickled out about the change in gender of Jimmy Olsen. Sort of. It seems that Jenny Olsen will now be Superman's best friend. That was always a strange title to hang on a person. What's not strange are good comics so let's get to the reviews. 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.

Doomsday.1 - Issue 1

Let's first get this out of the way. What a depressing topic for a story. However, creator John Byrne doesn't spend a lot of time wallowing in the spectacle of armageddon.  Very quickly, he dives into the human aspects that drive people through cataclysmic events. In a short order we're introuduced to numerous survivors and we can see the collision course they're set on. In lesser hands, this would turn into a The Stand knock-off. Byrne has the chops to explore the social commentary that comes with something like this.

A long the way, there is interesting science at play. Like his recently completed project The High Ways, Byrne is doing a wonderful job of conveying the science aspects of Sci Fi. In particular the destructive capabilities of the sun and what happens to our atmosphere in events like this. Additionally engaging is that the United States doesn't mostly survive. Only small parts of the South West as most of the story will be shifting to Latin America which is a location underrepresented in comics.

At the end, this is an adventure and a morality tale which should be a lot of fun. Though only a normal issue's worth of story, huge amounts of emotion are conveyed. Stakes are high and losses are great. This is presented with Byrne's fantastic artwork. What's fantastic about his style is that everyone looks different. Characters, visually, have their own personality. The cover, as well, is excellent. Though the coloring is very unusual but it will definitely pop.

Score: 9 out of 10

My Little Pony - Issue 7

Hot on the heals (hooves?) of Equestria LA comes the latest issue of My Little Pony. Apparently, it was a quite an event as reports seem to confirm the fun and friendship that was front and center, even if there weren't a lot of kids there. Even if you couldn't make it, this issue should satisfy any pony-cravings you might have. As usual, this is a gentle, harmless adventure involving heroes who do the right thing and are, ultimately, rewarded for their choices. The themes present involve being brave and staying true to yourself as well as your friends.

There's lots of humor in this issue, like the prior one. The Sigh Stallion comment was particularly amusing. As was the banter about the Cutie Marks. The Camouflage Slugs were very inspired. The villain is about as menacing as the primary audience is geared for. The interior art is as good as it usually is with just the correct amount of detail and vibrant coloring. And seven covers?! They're slipping. Most were solid while the prisoners one was the best.

Score: 7 out of 10

Transformers Regeneration One - Issue 91

This is the first time that this series felt like it was part of the rest of comics being published by IDW. Though, it's still not quite caught up with the other books. This story was more coherent than prior issues a swell, though it doesn't really add much. It has a dramatic cover, that conveys a sense of the metaphor of what's happening. The interior art is alright. The layouts are decent. The robots are handled better than humanoids. The coloring and shadowing are rather flat and heavy which detracts from the art. The word balloons are interesting.

Score: 6 out of 10

G.I. Joe : Special Missions - Issue 3

This is odd comic to read and review. The look and story in the pages is kind of inconsistent. Some aspects are very good and others are kind of not so good. For instance, the resolution of last issue's cliff-hanger was both scary and anti-climactic. Good science lesson in there but handled so matter of factly that it lost its impact. And the whole thing on the ship with the Baroness was sort of nerve-wracking yet sort of silly. Especially after she kills some guy and the next time you see her is in her cabin in lingerie. It looks great but seems impractical.

The worst part was how the team was lamenting how they were outgunned and then all of a sudden there is a new group of Joes nearby. It seemed odd. However, the arrival of the COBRA troops gurantees a major conflict next issue. It just feels like this could have been told in two issues instead of four. The art work is mostly solid on the interior with some odd moment here and there.The main cover is alright, with uncomfortable poses and everyone having the same height. The Baroness cover was more fun and better quality. The toy cover is excellent.

Score: 7 out of 10

Most of the releases this week were middle of the road. Not awful enough to trash, not good enough to take home. Except for Doomsday.1 which is excellent.Stop on back next week for more New Release Reviews.