The GeeksverseWeekly Reviews For 01/16/13

Weekly Reviews For 01/16/13
Published on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 by

It’s a new year and that means DC is changing creators, canceling books and publishing new books, the same as last year. This week we take a look at Threshold #1, Wolverine getting Savage and a return to pulp with The Black Beetle.

Threshold #1 ($3.99, DC Comics)

Threshold #1, cover by Howard Porter

  • Writer: Keith Giffen
  • Artist: Tom Raney
  • Colorist: Andrew Dalhouse
  • Letterer: Dezi Sienty
  • Assistant Editor: Kate Stewart
  • Editor: Joey Cavalieri

I have to be honest, my main motivation in picking this up was Tom Raney’s art. I’ve always been a big fan of Raney’s work. Although his most recent stuff, this issue and Avengers Academy, was not his best stuff. His best was doing Stormwatch with Warren Ellis. I know next to nothing about the DC cosmic characters, so the reinterpretations don’t affect me. I’m going into this blind, so to speak.

And going in blind, I wasn’t that impressed. It was decent. Interesting premise of having these characters be hunted and by an entire planet. But the execution was a bit off. I normally like Giffen and well this issue was technically solid, the story was just plain. Nothing exciting about it at all. Nothing really that interesting.

I do like that DC continues to try to make the two-story format work. The New 52 started with DC Universe Presents, which recently got canceled and they are doing the fantasy side with Sword Of Sorcery (Amethyst as the main and a changing back-up). Threshold will be the cosmic side of things. It’s a good way to cover alot of the cosmos and get alot of the characters out there.

But I fear there won’t be any development and having them show up here will prevent future development.

The Larfleeze back-up was actually annoying. I don’t like the character at all.

3 out of 5

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Savage Wolverine #1 ($3.99, Marvel Comics Comics)

Savage Wolverine #1, cover by Frank Cho

  • Writer/Artist: Frank Cho
  • Colorist: Jason Keith
  • Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
  • Assistant Editor: Jennifer M. Smith
  • Editor: Jeanine Schaefer

On one hand you have to respect that Frank Cho knows what draws fans to his work. But on the other you’d think, when given the opportunity, he’d want to branch out and show that he’s capable of more.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about the first issue of the Savage Shanna. Oh wait, this is supposed to be the Savage Wolverine.

Shanna takes up half the issue. I know she’s a personal favorite of Chos, but he’s given the chance to write/draw Wolverine. Why not show Wolverine doing Wolverine-y stuff? This is a chance to draw ninjas, action, Wolverine slicing people in half. But instead we get more of Cho doing women. Don’t get me wrong, the book looks good (mostly) and Cho is one of the best at drawing women. But I was hoping for more, for something different.

Add in the fact that this reads as a mini-series. Like much of Marvel Now, it sounds more storyline driven then ongoing book driven. What happens to SAVAGE Wolverine, when he’s no longer in the Savage Land?

The story is decent enough. Cho, because he’s writing it as well, can play with the layouts. There are some nice pages, but one that isn’t so nice. When Shanna sneaks up on Wolverine, he’s in the foreground and she’s coming behind him on the right side (his left) but when she stabs him she is now in front of him and he’s being stabbed in his left side. It doesn’t flow smoothly and looks awkward. But other then that scene, and the SHIELD agents that somehow only number 3 but Shanna says there are more, the issue looks great.

The script is hit and miss. The tense is present, which reads awkwardly in a couple of spots. But overall it’s just okay. Nothing special about this story at all. It doesn’t feel like it’ll have lasting affects and really just reads like Marvel told Cho to do a Wolverine story. First issues are supposed to be building blocks for the run of the writer. There’s nothing here to build a run off of. It’s a 4 or 6 issue story and that’s it.

Disappointing for an ongoing title.

2 out of 5

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The Black Beetle #1 ($3.99, Dark Horse Comics)

The Black Beetle #1, cover Francesco Francavilla

  • Writer/Artist: Francesco Francavilla

There have been attempts at doing “new” pulp comics (modern comics in a pulp vein) but they haven’t really hit the right notes. DC Comics tried with the First Wave comics (Doc Savage and others). Now Francavilla gives it a try.

And nails it. Which isn’t surprising. I can’t be the only one that sees pulp whenever see Francavilla’s work.

This is his creation. He writes and he draws it. That gives him a freedom he hasn’t had before. His style is interesting and he does some great page layouts but with this title he really gets to show his stuff.

The story is great. Real pulpy feel to it. The Black Beetle would fit in alongside the Shadow, the Spider and so many others.

This is the first time I’ve encountered his writing and well it’s got some minor issues, it’s a strong effort and can only get better. There’s some twists to the story and he does a good job keeping the main character interesting. We don’t know anything about him or his motivations, just what is told, and it works very well.

5 out of 5

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