Fallen Angel #15
writer: Peter David
artists: Kristian Donaldson & Rhonda Pattison
IDW Publishing, released 4-25-07
Although I haven't reviewed an issue of Peter David's Fallen Angel for LowBrowMedia until now, I've been an avid follow of it since its inception. In fact, issue #1 during its DC run was one of the first comics I bought when I began reading the medium seriously a few years back. Volume two's issue #15 brings the third artist to draw the world of Bete Noire, Kristian Donaldson. He's a nice choice, reaching a comparative middle ground between of previous artists David Lopez and J.K. Woodward. I don't think I ever would have tired of Woodward's work on FA, but the life-like detail of his work had to be one of the reasons the book would take a month off here and there. In any event, Donaldson art is excellent, instantly catapulting longtime readers into territory they have already been in, albeit with a fresh twist. As for the story, David once again delivers an intoxicatingly delicious new character to the book: the self-appointed protector of Bete Noire before Lee ever stepped foot into town. I'm a bit disappointed that a story I enjoy has a main character teetering between the world of the book and the "real world" inside a mental institution (there's even a panel referencing an episode of Buffy where she was told her world was all in her head -- one of worst episodes of the show's run in my opinion), but this does seem to be headed in a new path compared to most sci-fi, mental-patient stories. This is not a book for everyone, but it's definitely a book for me. Go out and pick up the trades to catch up on this one. You won't be sorry.
8 out of 10
writer: Andy Diggle
artists: Leonardo Manco & Lee Loughridge
Vertigo/DC Comics, released 4-18-07
This issue concludes Diggle's first arc on the title. It was only a two-parter, but it looks as though the Vertigo editors have found yet another strong writer to take us on the journey of John Constantine. In the great tradition of many other Hellblazer tales, I never knew quite what to expect on the next page, but there was still an undeniable familiarity with this story. Perhaps that was due to Manco's artwork being just as gritty and dark as the previous arcs that he's been a part of, but I also feel as though Diggle has a dead-on conection with Constantine. Another two-part arc is on deck. Hopefully we'll get more of the same.
8 out of 10
B.P.R.D.: Garden of Souls #2
writers: Mike Mignola & John Arcudi
artists: Guy Davis & Dave Stewart
Dark Horse Comics, released 4-11-07
I always have the most difficult time trying to sum up an issue of Hellboy or B.P.R.D., more so than any other title. Part of that is due to being a huge fan of all things Mike Mignola, and it is also partly because of the sheer depth of mystery surrounding every story in this series. Just the littlest things can mean so much in this book. Take the little girl on page 5 -- Davis' depiction of her may be the creepiest little girl in a comic I've ever seen, and when you keep in mind the sort of things I read, that's saying something. There is pure death in those eyes, but it's unlike any other evil-kid eyes I can recall; she's somehow soulless and emtional at the same time. In any event, Garden of Souls is delving deeper into the history of Abe Sapien, which considering he was created almost 15 years ago, it's about time. But judging on how intricately and delicately this mystery in unraveling, it's going to be completely worth it in the end. Just an absolutely stunning comic.
10 out of 10
Green Arrow #73
writer: Judd Winick
artists: Scott McDaniel & Andy Owens
DC Comics, released 4-11-07
With news breaking recently that the Green Arrow solo series is winding down, I realized that I don't care that much about it any more. It happened rather quickly, too. A few months ago I loved this book. It was hands-down my favorite offering from DC, full of action and surprises each month. All I can guess to why is that Ollie as Star City mayor has just gotten old. At first, I had hoped Winick was going to make Ollie battle just as hard in the political realm as he did on the rooftops and in the streets. Instead it seems as though everything is being laid to rest as quickly as possible in order to make way for the inevitable Green Arrow/Black Canary book that will be coming our way in a year's time. Who knows if this was Winick's plan for Green Arrow all along or if DC editorial has forced him to wrap everything up in one fell swoop, but I say it stinks of corporate interference, which is flat-out sad and all too common with that company these days.
4 out of 10
New Avengers #29
writer: Brian Michael Bendis
artists: Leinil Yu & Dave McCaig
Marvel Comics, released 4-11-07
Man, am I digging this book. I thought I liked it pre-Civil War, but with this new lineup, I am just floored. The reveal of the new Ronin can't come soon enough for me (which will be with #30). The dialogue is off-the-charts good in this issue, particularly the Danny Rand and Jeryn versus Iron Man and Ms. Marvel conversation, but not excluding the team's banter throughout the remainder of the issue. Bendis is just running on all cylinders with this book right now, which makes the presentation of his companion title The Mighty Avengers come across as annoyingly dull. Plus, I can't speak highly enough of the addition of Dr. Strange to the team. Bendis is making great use of him thus far, although Yu could try to draw Wong look like he's younger than 70. One other minor complaint: where the hell is Night Nurse?!?! I know you love her, Bendis. If you can squeeze Jessica Jones in each issue, you can plop Night Nurse in there, too. I'm just saying...
9 out of 10