Daredevil 15

Mark Waid credibility has been cast in stone many a year ago and his current run on Daredevil has been credit to this. His writing is clear, succinct and well paced.  Matt Murdock has undergone cognitive behavioural therapy with Mark Waid. His endless psychoanalysis, which seemed to go nowhere but back to the status quo has gone. Matt is upbeat and positive and has lost his self-pitying. This is welcomed as it has been a DD staple for many a year!

This story of Matt trying to escape Dr Doom’s castle in Latveria is well told. What is most elegant is trying to explain how Matt uses his powers and how he tries to regain them as they have been nullified by a Dr Doom serum. Heavy amounts of internal monologue in this issue but they are accompanied well by the artwork.

Javier Rodriguez cover of DD entangled in barbwire is a dark and gripping picture. Chris Samnee artwork works very well in this issue, especially in the sequences from Matt’s perspective, where we are seeing what he sees. The escape scenes of Matt outside scaling the castle walls are beautifully drawn and engaging. It falters somewhat with heavy pencilling around characters close up facials but this does not spoil the overall feel.

This is an excellent issue with a great story of revival and escape. The plot is well paced and has good twists and turns with a surprise cameo ending and payoff. I love Mark Waid’s writing because he seems to keep things simple. There are not many words, he lets the artist do the work and what he does say is important to the plot or emphasises the characters turmoil.

An excellent issue – 9/10

Justice League 11 

Geoff Johns is king of DC. I’ve always loved his ability to tell the grand blockbuster story. The plot is generally played out well and he is quite humorous, but he lacks subtlety to his writing. Jim Lee is a renowned artist and has a beautiful delicate style. He draws gorgeous faces, somewhat samey, well delineated and sharp. He draws an impressive male physique but all women have massive breasts and a fulsome bottom, which I dislike. His fight sequences are dramatic and are good at emphasising a painful blow. He is well suited to drawing a flagship comic like the Justice League.

This issue sees the Justice League try to find out what David Graves is actually doing to them and Wonder Woman’s special gentleman friend. It appears he is feeding off the negative emotions of people as he consumes them and transforms them into a purgatory state. This is not explained well and it’s a little confusing.  This then leads to a Diana guilt scene where she tries to go at it alone and beats anyone trying to help her! Including Clark! She is a little insulting and sassy which isn’t really a trait I associate with Wonder Woman. I think this was needed to lead to a fight scene in the issue as otherwise it is an issue of inaction and dialogue. A minor side plot of broadcasting the dissention is also presented as an excuse for Jim Lee to draw his dramatic double page fight scene, which I do love! It ends with the team at Graves cavern in the valley of souls with a small reveal and twist. It’s a short issue, starts with clue finding, then a big unnecessary fight and ends with further investigation.  Jim Lee is good and draws a creepy armoured façade for Graves, especially when he sits on the couch with ghosts of his kids sitting with him.

The Shazam story continues at the end of this comic and remains strong. It’s a completely different type of story for Geoff Johns as he rewrites Billy Batson’s origin in becoming Captain Marvel, who will be renamed Shazam. The angst ridden kid struggling with foster families is played out well with fantastic artwork by Gary Frank. He is a favourite of mine since he drew Superman and I love how he draws facial emotions. This is no different as he also draws a mean face for Black Adam who makes his appearance in this issue. This story is generally stronger than the JL plot.

A solid issue – 8/10

X-factor 240 

Peter David is a stalwart in the comic arena. He has been writing X-factor since issue 1, well he’s actually up to around 90 issues but it was renumbered to 200 to include the old run. Not that numbering means anything anymore. He carved out a particularly unique book involving a large cast of mutants who get into all sorts of adventures focused around fantasy and magic. It’s a much loved book, especially by me and Peter David is great at building a solid story and dealing with character developments incredibly well. This book is about Layla Miller.

Initially a cast off from House of M, Layla knows stuff. Or rather she used to, now she has used her powers for evil and she has lost control. She no longer sees the future but she sees parallel outcomes. The comic is titled Run Layla Run, a play on the movie Run Lola Run. Its an introspective dialogue of Layla running to prevent a teenagers death. She sees different obstacles and outcomes on her run and cannot choose which is the best outcome. Hence the monologue is a little detached but the artwork tells the story.

Neil Edwards is a solid artist and I like how he draws Miller and Madrox. The colour palette sells the issue here. The sliding door parallel universes on her run are coloured differently and give the reader an insight into how Layla sees the world. It is a lot of fun and it’s a fast paced issue. Layla and the teenager end up in scenarios they were not expecting. Layla is left confused as ever. This issue is a great insight into Layla’s mind and her development since knowing stuff. There are a couple of soppy moments in the writing but on the whole it is a solid issue and interesting for the avid reader.

Another solid issue – 8/10

Others

Catwoman 11       Catwoman makes a mess again – artwork solid                      6/10

AvX 8                    Lots well drawn action, Namor beaten, not much else           6/10 

Batwoman 11       Average plot progression, not enough JH Williams art             5/10

GL Corps 11        Lots of action, nothing much happens                                    5/10

Silk Spectre 2      Well progressing plot, good artwork                                       7.5/10

Uncanny X 16     Unique Sinister AvX battle, artwork dodgy at times                  8/10

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