Review: Wonder Woman, Vol. 4: WAR by Brian Azzarello and mostly Cliff Chang

Wonder Woman, Vol. 4: WarWonder Woman, Vol. 4: War by Brian Azzarello
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Finally, we get some resolution to what’s dragged on for the first TWO YEARS of this title. I think maybe if Azzarello had condensed the first 3 into 2, that would have flowed better and moved forward at a better pace. Instead, it really seemed like:

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Yes. A slow mo punch in the face.

Luckily, this volume picks up; though I’m still not confident enough to give it 4 stars…3+ then?

This is War. Literally. Old Man War is a washed up God, but don’t count him out…

First Born looks to have defeated his uncle Poseidon, and happily marches on his way to take what he thinks is his…

Cue throw down between Wonder Woman Posse and First Born’s Army…again, Zola, just go away.

They’re getting their asses handed to them when BOOM…Orion arrived in the nick of time…and takes them away to…a New place…unfortunately, one of the team must sacrifice themselves to stop First Born from following…

Diana beats up Artemis again…yawn.

War shows up, and though he looks to be over-matched, pulls a VERY cool move that’s possibly the best of the book.

This is to back up Diana, who ends up going full Demi-God, removing her restraints that keep her power in check…

How does it work out? Guess you’ll have to read to find out. The ending is pretty solid actually, and sets up a very cool way forward.

That being said, there’s some issues: 1) If Orion and Wonder Woman are hooking up (sorta) where does that leave Superman???

2) Why is it some of these crossover events have everyone show up all the time, yet the First Born of Zeus is destroying the world, and Supes/Bats/JL are nowhere to be found?

3) Diana’s solution to the problem of First Born is an important distinction made between her and the other 2 members of the Holy Trinity, and I actually like how it’s done here.

So good work, but the whole story arc to so damn LONG to get to the resolution, I’ve kind of tired of it, and am worried about investing in the next one.

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Review: Wonder Woman Vol. 3 – Iron; by Brian Azzarello and Not Really Cliff Chang so much…

Wonder Woman, Vol. 3: IronWonder Woman, Vol. 3: Iron by Brian Azzarello
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’ll give it this: It’s better than Vol. 2, for sure.

I’m still up in the air about this one, but I think I’m leaning towards there was just enough good to outweigh the bad stuff. Can I give it 2 and 3/4 stars? It’s better than 2.5 but not quite 3…

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My thoughts seems somewhere closer to Anne’s Review mixed with Sam’s than it is with Kris’…but that’s the beauty of our gang, we can all have different opinions yet still get along!

Honestly, Zeus has way too many kids. Like seriously, is this guy the Octomom of Olympus? I’ve studied Classics a fair bit, and know some things, but this comic just takes it to insane levels. OK so pretty much this is a very long, drawn out Jerry Springer/Maury episode:

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I really didn’t care for a lot of the artwork here, which I know some of my Shallow Budz will agree with…Cliff Chang is the artist credited for most of the work (ie. on the Cover) but he only really draws 3 of the issues. His stuff in #0, the Flashback/Origin issue is some good stuff, and he gets to draw the first appearance of the New Gods, and Orion in particular, that we’ve seen in New 52. However, the other stuff feels hobbled together like someone ran out of time, or Cliff didn’t answer his phone in time for the deadline, so some dude sitting around DCU was told to draw.

As if there weren’t enough going on, we’re introduced to THE FIRST BORN who is, of course, Zeus’ first child. He was sooo evil that he was buried in Antarctica’s ice 7000yrs ago…Um..ok sure.
He’s of course dug up by scientists, because what else are scientists good for in comics, but ushering in great lost evils from the past (bit of a clich├ęd crutch here). Oh, and on top of it? One of the scientists is yet ANOTHER child of Zeus’ (so half-sib to WW, First Born, the New Baby, and the rest of them).

Had enough yet? No? OK well, we’re going to throw in the Soothsayer child of Zeus, a homeless blind man who can summon swarms of insects and see EVERYTHING. Turns out he’s besties with Orion, before anyone else on Earth knew who Orion was.

What would you say if I told you…there’s another child of Zeus we get to meet as well?

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Ya, that’s what I figured. Me too. Can you imagine how many stockings Santa has to fill at the Zeus Household every year? Jeebus! (Apparently, there’s ONLY 7 of Zeus’ bastards around…from the 20th Century!!! and new baby makes 8 (the only 21st Century one…so we think!)

So anyhowzers…New Baby is going to destroy Olympus and the world…but so is this First Born fella…and they’re broheims! Maybe they can work together? No? OK.

There’s a cool panel in #0 where War (who’s actually Diana’s half brother…I know right? Didn’t see that one coming…) yells about how awesome he is, and it’s actually the titles of the first 4 volumes of this series:

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Subtle little plug there Mr. Azzarello…I see what you did there…

There’s also what appears to be a burn on Dr. Strange…Lennox (the Stone Gollum-like brother) finds Milan (the seer/blind/homeless vagrant one) and comments that his place is a regular “Sanctum Stanktorum”…I kid you not….don’t really know if that’s a knock, or an in joke? Odd for New 52 titles to reference the (vastly superior) competition, especially when they’re trying to get new readers…but oh well, DC never made much sense anyhow.

Art complaints: First Born changes his appearance from Chang to the other artists to such a degree, it’s almost another character. I HATE that.
Dio – Dionysus, another of the Gods, is drawn to look like Gambit’s younger metrosexual brother.

Other problems: Orion is a Jack Kirby original, but here, he’s made to look like a sort of sex-obsessed airhead model. Don’t get me wrong, he can kick ass, but ya. Zola, the Trailer Trash Dimwit, is an entirely unnecessary character. She loves her baby, but she’s only there because Zeus knocked her up. Hera has my vote to wipe the floor with her (when they fight, it’s pretty white-trash catfighting…I half expected a wading pool of pudding to show up). If they’d killed her off, I’d have far more interest and motivation for Diana to avenge her and protect the baby. Also, it is pointed out what a big motley crew she’s got with her, if she’s so wonder-ful, why does she need so much help? It doesn’t really help her case to be seen on the same pedestal as the other 2 members of the DC Holy Trinity (Supes and Bats).

Of all the stuff going on here, the most compelling story is that of War, the one who trained Diana as a child, and is now an old man, and what his motivations are and where his loyalties really lie.

So, you can see I didn’t like a lot of things here, but I felt like this is where we bottomed out (or last volume) and started to get better by the end. I’m hopeful for Vol. 4

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Review: Captain America: Red Menace, Vol. 2 by Ed Brubaker

Captain America: Red Menace, Vol. 2Captain America: Red Menace, Vol. 2 by Ed Brubaker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Now that I have the ladies’ attention…

Volume 2 does a fine job finishing out the Red Menace story arc. If you read the last volume, the flashback about Bucky’s first love and the Red Skull’s giant robot monster, might have seemed like a tacked-on issue.
Not so.
That issue turns out to be a pivotal part of this book. But I’m not gonna spoil it for you, so get to readin’!

The majority of this one take place in London, which means you get a team-up with Union Jack and Spitfire.
Brubaker does a good job with both of these characters, so they’re actually pretty cool in this one.
Whodathunkit?!
The Master Race dorks are back, but (again) the writing is good enough to make them seem more like scary skinheads, instead of a punchline.
Well, not as much of a punchline, maybe?
Anyone who spouts the aryan race stuff is going to automatically sound a bit…
slow. No amount of excellent writing can fix that.

General Lukin and the parasitic Red Skull are still bickering about who’s in charge, but they’re starting to make progress in their relationship.
Adorable couple. Really.
Bucky is still lurking in the shadows, all guilt-ridden and angsty, but if anyone can draw him out of his shell, it’s Cap. The bromance those two have can weather any storm!
At this point in the review, feel free to scroll up and take another peek at Marvel’s movie hero.
You’re welcome.

This is good stuff, people! Go read it!


*This review, and the above GIF is dedicated to Sesana.
Someday we’ll get that unmarked white van, and go on a road trip!*

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Review: Deadpool, Vol. 2: Soul Hunter by Brian Posehn

Deadpool, Vol. 2: Soul HunterDeadpool, Vol. 2: Soul Hunter by Brian Posehn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars


Liquor? I hardly know her!

That’s the title of one of the issues, by the way…
Deadpool is on a mission (from Hell) to get Tony Stark to take a drink, so get your mind outta the gutter.
Kidding! This is Deadpool, after all. Might as well leave your mind where it is for a little while longer.

I’ll admit I was a little pissed when I read the thing in the front that said they were printing an old issue of Deapool.
I mean, I just finished Astonishing X-Men, Vol. 7: Monstrous, and they had re-printed a Fin Fang Foom origin story in the back.
Needless to say, it totally sucked ass.
Then I realized I was reading Deapool, and they lied.
LIARS!

I blame lack of sleep, due to a small child and a nightmare, for not catching on to the joke sooner.
The bags under my eyes right now are almost touching my chin.
Mommy isn’t a robot. Mommy needs sleep.
Why the hell can’t you wake up your father for once!

Anyway, this magical old inventory issue they ‘found’ was hilarious. Possibly my favorite part of the entire volume.

Long story short, Wade needs to get the sassy S.H.I.E.L.D agent (from Dead Presidents) out of his head, and back into a body.
He also needs to save the necromancer (also from Dead Presidents), Michael, from the demon he made a deal with to get his powers.
Except he’s gotta kill a lot of other people in order to save Michael’s soul. And since Michael is the best shot they have at getting Agent Preston out of his head, those other suckers gotta die!

Superior Spider-Man, Dardevil, Iron Man, and Peter Parker all make guest appearances in this one. And (bonus!) none of the cameos are wasted!

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Even the letters to Deadpool made me giggle.
The entire thing was funny, and this time around it had an actual plot worth following.
‘Cause to be honest, I wasn’t that big a fan of the first volume.

Unfortunately, my library likes to screw with me.
So, I’ll be reading volume 4 next…while I wait on them to order volume 3.
Oh well, some things are worth reading out of order. Deadpool is one of them.

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