Saturday, February 12, 2005

Saturday Night Comic Bites

Blade of Kumori #3

This series following Kumori, a young female samurai in the present day who has started questioning her role in life. After her failure to kill a superhero as ordered by her samurai clan and father, she's given a different assignment this time.

A nuclear scientist is seeking to sell his knowledge and skills to Mideast terrorists, which is an easier target not only in terms of skill required. Yet also morally since he obviously has no scruples for how much death and destruction his actions would bring.

Despite not getting much in Kumori's mind in the series so far. The stories have still managed to focus on her actions and feelings. She's very good at meeting out death and destruction, yet as most young people do she is questioning whether the life is right for her. Which has made this an interesting story to follow so far.

Darkness/Superman #1

I don't know a lot about the whole Darkness world from Top Cow, but this issue gave me the basics for what I need to know so far.

Jackie Estacado is a Mafia boss with a little more humanity to him than normal Mafia bosses. He just wants to run his operations and not hurt any innocent people. He's just moved into Metropoils to take over its crime scene where he runs into Metallo, who he's able to scare off with his power to call upon little elf looking monsters to fight for him.

The Superman parts are some of the better uses Lois that I'd seen in a while. Lois is shown as the best reporter in town, as she's driven, witty and takes offense when anyone (including her husband) thinks to horn in on her story.

The art style is your typical "Image house" style of slick inks, tight clothing on everyone that doesn't seem like it would really fit on an actual human body. Yet then that's what's been popular on the Superman books for the past year or two, so fans are probably used to it.

Except for the Lois parts there isn't anything spectacular here, but it is a very workmanlike effort from the team involved.

Hero Squared: Extra Sized Special #1

I had high hopes for this book, since I love the writing team of Keith Giffen and J.M. Dematteis work on series like FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE JUSTICE LEAGUE. Yet this book for large parts of it was dreadfully dull, because it just focused on the same joke of the lead and his alternate universe alternate self for FAR too long.

That kind of take is okay on a team book like the Justice League where you get multiple takes on that kind of centered plot. Yet with only two characters here it got old rather fast, though was almost saved by the exciting action at the end.

Yet then just as I got interested the book was over, and I was left not feeling very satisfied by the purchase.

Samurai Heaven and Earth #2

I generally find action comics a bit of a let down these days, because they lack any emotional impact. For action to be compelling I have to care about seeing the protagonist win, and sadly that is a rare thing in this day where fights are generally just violence for its own sake.

Not so with this book, after issue #1 where samurai Asukai's whole world was taken from him by the death of his whole clan. He has become a ronin with only one purpose the rescue of his kidnapped love who he promised to always be there for.

His journey takes him to the home of a Chinese warlord who was responsible for the death of his clan, but more importantly the abduction of his lady love. The passion Asukai puts into his battle with the Warlord and his army is incredible, I found myself rooting for him to conquer them all.

Luke Ross's art takes another step forward, as his battle scenes depict the fighting in a bloodthirsty but almost dance like way. His attention to detail from uniforms to facial expressions an beyond is just a joy to behold.

The next step on Asukai's journey takes him to France, where he'll battle the Musketeers. I can hardly wait to see the literal culture clash!

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