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Old 10-14-2007, 08:05 AM   #1
Dr.Finger
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[Comics] - Evil Avatar's Weekly Comic Book Reviews - Year 3 - Week 42

EvAv Week 42
Welcome to Week Forty-Two of the Official Evil Avatar Comic Book Reviews

Remember, these are NOT spoiler-free reviews.


Evil Avatar’s Weekly Comic Book Reviews – Year 3 – Week 42


Simon Dark #1 (an ongoing series)
Reviewed By: Michael Chauvet (Doctor Finger)
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Steve Niles
Artist: Scott Hampton
Colorist: Chris Chuckry
Letterer: Todd Klein
Editor: Joey Cavaleri
$2.99



What Simon Does

I picked up this book in my local comic shop and I almost passed out from shock.

A wholly new character, starring in his own ongoing series. Not a new character in an old persona. Not an old character with a new persona. A brand new character, from DC Comics! Something like that happens and you begin to expect the sun to start rising in the west.

Simon Dark feels more like an 80s horror lead than a modern comic book character. He’s hulking, silent and very creepy. He wears a mask of what may be human skin stitched together. In fact, the mask is very apropos because more than anything Simon Dark seems like a pastiche of horror clichés stitched together like that very mask. He’s super strong (he decapitates someone with garrote so cleanly that the Medical Examiner assumes it had to be done my a machine), he’s amnesiac, he skitters around Gotham like a spider, and he kills with little hesitation. Even the secondary elements of the story are old hat. A cult that spews Latin idioms while executing innocents in an old graveyard. A medical examiner that thinks she’s a detective. Hell Simon Dark even has a simple little song that the locals song about him (and by locals I mean the radios in that area). Pretty much the only difference between Simon and the star of a Saturday Night special on the Sci-Fi channel is their choice of victims. It’s made pretty clear that Simon only kills those that need killing, which is pretty obvious when you consider that he’s the lead in an all ages comic book. What about the art? When you can see it, it’s suitably creepy and evocative. Unfortunately it’s so Dark that you can’t make heads nor tails of what’s happening on half the pages. Ultimately there isn’t a whole lot to recommend about this book. I know that Steve Niles is better than this, both as a comic writer and a horror writer, but I felt nothing here. The hook is supposed to be the mysteries surrounding Simon – who or what is he, why does he have super-strength, what’s his story – but since I don’t care a lick about the character, I don’t care a lick about the mysteries.

Bottom Line:
A wholly new character gets his own book, unfortunately he’s just a mash-up of established horror characters and clichés. And an uninteresting one at that.

Rating: Only if you’re a fan of the creators. (2 out of 5 EvilEyes)


Atomic Robo #1 (of 5)
Reviewed By: Michael Chauvet (Doctor Finger)
Publisher: Red 5 Comics
Writer: Brian Clevinger
Artist: Scott Wegener
Colorist: Ronda Pattison
Letterer: Jeff Powell
Editors: Paul Ens & Steve Chitwood
$2.95



The Will to Power

Every now and then you see a comic cover that just screams “Buy Me!” Atomic Robo was one of those covers, and I’m glad I gave it a try.

More than any other comic, Atomic Robo reminds me of Hellboy, in both artistic style and retro feel. The eponymous star of the book is an artificially intelligent robot created by Nicola Tesla. He’s got a dry wit but seems to love cracking jokes. In 1938 he’s offered a mission by the US Government to shut down a Nazi scientist named Helsingard’s secret super-lab in the Himalayas. Atomic Robo’s reward for taking the mission? Full US citizenship and, more importantly, full status as a human being. Robo takes the job and is dropped on the doorstep of the base. And I do mean dropped – he lands in a modified bomb casing. He’s bullet proof, so the bullets of the Nazi guards have no affect on him. They soon try to just dog pile on him, but he just keeps chugging along, eventually using a grenade, or more precisely the threat of a grenade, to dislodge his passengers. He finds Helsingard, but not until he’s been implanted with the Vril Organ, a still beating blue heart that apparently came from an ancient civilization underground. Helsingard bursts out of the ground, now a being of blue energy with the Vril Organ clearly visible. Robo blasts him with an electricity gun (what else would a robot created by Tesla use?), shearing off an arm. The arm grows back, and Helsingard gloats about how he got his power. Robo’s response? “Thanks Baron Von Blabs About his only Weakness.” He than blasts the Vril Organ out of the Nazi, with the resulting explosion leveling the lab and throwing Robo into the surrounding snows.

Fun. Fun. Fun. That’s the best way to describe this book. From the art, which reminds me of Mike Mignola with a brighter palette, to the story, of which greater depths are hinted at, every part of the book is just flat-out fun. Atomic Robo is funny and instantly likable. He cracks jokes like an 80s action star and dresses like the star of cliffhanger serials. Another aspect I love is the sense of a greater world waiting in the wings. The Vril organ came from a subterranean super-civilization. The title page mentions Robo’s adventures in the space program and with some of the 19th century’s greatest scientific minds. The only bad part? It went too quickly.

Bottom Line:
One of the best issues I’ve read this year.

Rating: A must own! (5 out of 5 EvilEyes)


Green Lantern #24
Reviewed By: Michael Chauvet (Doctor Finger)
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Ivan Reis
Inkers: Oclair Albert & Julio Ferreira
Colorist: Moose Baumann
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Editor: Eddie Berganza
$2.99



The Sinestro Corps War, Part 8 - Home Invasion

I'll say this right now - The Sinestro Corps War would be the coolest comic book movie ever made. It has it all. Big, sprawling space battles, interpersonal conflicts, and an overwhelming feeling of menace. And like all great movies, a tension filled third act, of which this is the first part.

The Sinestro Corps has attacked Earth, en masse, and the effects are devastating. Cyborg Superman and his Manhunters lead an attack on the Justice League. Superboy Prime leads a detachment to battle the Justice Society. All of New York City seems to be under siege by the wielders of the Yellow Rings. But the meat of the fight takes place in Coast City, between the yellow fear cockroach, Parallax, and the Greatest Green Lantern, Hal Jordan. Parallax is still inhabiting the body of Kyle Rayner, and Hal's ring is almost out of juice. Hal gets drawn into Parallax as John Stewart comes to back him up and Guy Gardner goes to Kyle's home to fetch something that may save Kyle. Guy is ambushed by a veritable wave of Corpsmen, but before he can be overcome he's rescued by an even larger wave of Green Lanterns. John had managed to keep Parallax at bay, but even he's about to be overcome when Guy arrives with the item - a painting from Kyle's childhood, made by his mother. That spark of emotion is enough impetus to make him overcome his fear, and both he and Hal tear free from the Parallax entity. However, they're all either out of power or soon to be so, and they still have the Yellow Fear Cockroach to deal with. That problem is solved when Ganthet and Sayd, the two expelled Guardians arrive and dissect Parallax, imprisoning him in the power batteries of the four human Lanterns. They recite their oath, recharge their power and prepare for the end game of the war.

Again, this is what big events should be. Almost non-stop action, but balanced with character moments and the pay-off to several story threads that have been payed out for months and in some cases years. The whole 'Parallax defeated by an old painting' deal is a little lame, but not enough to detract from the story. The Green Lanterns, particularly the Earthly ones, are primed to take the fight to those Yellow Bastards, and this issue just gets me more excited for the resolution of this story.

Bottom Line:
War is Hell. The Sinestro Corps War however is very, very cool.

Rating: Worth your time and money. (4 out of 5 EvilEyes)



Quick Hits
Green Arrow/Black Canary #1 - The dead Ollie? It was Everyman, like most people expected. The real Ollie is a prisoner of the Amazons for some reason. Not great, but not awful
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #24 - I give JMS some grief, but he's as good as anyone at drawing you into a story, emotionally.
Stormwatch PHD #12 - The last issue of a very good book could also be considered the first victim of the botched Wildstorm Relaunch.
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Old 10-14-2007, 08:39 AM   #2
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I'm waiting for Steve Niles to be better than any of the average stuff I read by him already. I don't think I've read much by him that I've liked. Did I miss something good he wrote?

I'm loving the Sinestro Corps War. Not only has it just been stellar, but we have a 54 page finale to look forward to as well! It's no lie, Johns is writing my two favorite DC books right now.
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Old 10-14-2007, 08:45 AM   #3
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I actually like Simon Dark's potential. Especially since it's an on going series instead of a limmited. They could have some good stuff if they take full advantage of the Gotham setting and it's characters.
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Old 10-14-2007, 08:52 AM   #4
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A #1 comic I missed?? I have an unhealthy addiction to wanting anything new out...just cause I am overly curious and keep hoping something will be different enough. I know you are kinda lukewarm on Simon but i'm going to hope it gets better. The premise sounds interesting enough...ok, so i'm a sucker for a #1 comic...is there a help group out there for that? So glad I saw your review...I would of missed it otherwise...now if I only find the time to read this huge pile of comics that i'm amassing...
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Old 10-14-2007, 09:48 AM   #5
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Yeah, I've been following along with the Sinestro Corps story as well, and this really was a fun issue. I really enjoyed the arrival of the Guardians Ganthet and Sayd at the end, even if one could say that was rather convenient. I'm looking forward to seeing how the story finally plays out.
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Old 10-14-2007, 10:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Green Arrow/Black Canary #1 - The dead Ollie? It was Everyman, like most people expected. The real Ollie is a prisoner of the Amazons for some reason. Not great, but not awful.
Really? Didn't that yutz get pitched off a roof in 52?

Ah, I see. Wikipedia reveals all. But look at this head-scratcher:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
His deception is not discovered until a month later when Batman and Dr. Mid-Nite perform an autopsy.
That seems like a long time to wait to perform an autopsy in a suspicious/non-accidental death. Of a superhero, no less! Trying to kill his wife on their wedding night!
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Old 10-14-2007, 11:47 AM   #7
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The Green Arrow story is still brutally stupid in idea and execution. ZOMG! DEAD HERO! And the next issue revealed to be false, totally fucking pointless and completely based on causing drama.

I am skipping the story... well, not like I read 99% of DC stuff.

I might go pick up Atomic Robo, as I used to be a fan of 8-bit Theater which is the comic of the writer. I stopped being a fan because I missed like 16 pages in a row... then a few hundred more, now the archives are so big it scares me.
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Old 10-14-2007, 11:47 AM   #8
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I didn't even hear about Simon Dark until I was reading the comics I was getting this week. It looks interesting, but I thought it was a Vertigo book, not something set in the DCU. Interesting...

And that Atomic Robo sounds awesome. I'll see if I can find a copy when next I venture into my shop.

By the way, I really enjoyed the Punisher: WJ tie-in with WWH. I hope he keeps that new suit. It's very cool.
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Old 10-14-2007, 12:42 PM   #9
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I didn't even hear about Simon Dark until I was reading the comics I was getting this week. It looks interesting, but I thought it was a Vertigo book, not something set in the DCU. Interesting...
Before you even think of buying it, just see if you ever enjoyed anything Steve Niles has written, and then compare that to everything he's written. If you've enjoyed less than 33% of his work, don't pick it up unless people who are not, um, "Niles-ists" enjoy it.

See, for me it was reading City of Others and something else I can't remember the name of that turned me off of reading his other stuff. Reading those things made me wonder how he got writing gigs.
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Old 10-14-2007, 12:47 PM   #10
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I don't think I've read any of Niles' work. The only thing I know of his is 30 Days Of Night (he does write that, right?)

Speaking of 30 Days, why did nobody tell me that Templesmith drew it? I almost bought it this week because I love Templesmith's art. Sigh.
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Old 10-14-2007, 12:53 PM   #11
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I don't think I've read any of Niles' work. The only thing I know of his is 30 Days Of Night (he does write that, right?)

Speaking of 30 Days, why did nobody tell me that Templesmith drew it? I almost bought it this week because I love Templesmith's art. Sigh.
It's the only thing I've heard of by Niles that interests me, partially due to Templesmith.
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Old 10-14-2007, 04:51 PM   #12
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You know when Winick got the idea to kill Ollie? When Captain America was killed. I'd put money on that fact.
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Old 10-14-2007, 05:00 PM   #13
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's cover reminded me of
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Old 10-14-2007, 08:02 PM   #14
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Its supposed to
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Old 10-14-2007, 08:11 PM   #15
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You know when Winick got the idea to kill Ollie? When Captain America was killed. I'd put money on that fact.
I'd put my money on Winick not working in comic in a couple years.
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Old 10-14-2007, 08:19 PM   #16
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I'd put my money on Winick not working in comic in a couple years.
I don't know. As much grief as he gets, his books tend to sell fairly well. Whether that's due to his writing or the fact that he's written a lot of high profile characters is up for debate.

When he's just writing, not going off on crusades, not trying to be controversial, he can be very good. I really liked his pre-Infinite Crisis Outsiders, and his Green Arrow has been good more than not. But he gets into ruts where his work is just annoying and almost all of his characters sound alike.
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Old 10-14-2007, 08:20 PM   #17
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I'd put my money on Winick not working in comic in a couple years.
I'd pay money for that to happen, his stories suck so hard.
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Old 10-14-2007, 09:20 PM   #18
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Atomic Robo #1 (of 5)
Reviewed By: Michael Chauvet (Doctor Finger)
Publisher: Red 5 Comics
Writer: Brian Clevinger
Artist: Scott Wegener

You guys know that the Brian Clevinger who wrote this and the Brian Clevinger who writes 8 bit theatre are the same, yeah?

very much looking forward to this

And Ben Templesmith is probably my favourite artist at the moment - sort of like Ralph Steadman meets HR Giger.
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Old 10-14-2007, 09:30 PM   #19
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You guys know that the Brian Clevinger who wrote this and the Brian Clevinger who writes 8 bit theatre are the same, yeah?

very much looking forward to this

And Ben Templesmith is probably my favourite artist at the moment - sort of like Ralph Steadman meets HR Giger.
Holy shit, really? Good for him. I haven't read 8-bit for a while now (it got a little drawn out for me, no end, kinda repetitive), but that makes me want to read this. Dang, wish I had know that sooner.
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Old 10-15-2007, 05:58 AM   #20
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I don't know. As much grief as he gets, his books tend to sell fairly well. Whether that's due to his writing or the fact that he's written a lot of high profile characters is up for debate.

When he's just writing, not going off on crusades, not trying to be controversial, he can be very good. I really liked his pre-Infinite Crisis Outsiders, and his Green Arrow has been good more than not. But he gets into ruts where his work is just annoying and almost all of his characters sound alike.
I actually liked his Green Arrow back in the solo book. That said, I don't care about his wedding and I don't like the art in the new book like I did in the OYL stuff, so Ollie can stay dead to me!
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