Sunday, May 06, 2007
Quick Take Reviews: Free Comic Book Day Edition
Who Wants To Be A Superhero? Feedback (Dark Horse/Sci Fi Channel): I thought this short story penned by Stan Lee was pretty cute. It was nicely illustrated by Will Conrad and had Stan’s signature flare. My biggest issues were that it was very short- some teases for season two of the show would have been nice, and that I would have appreciated this much more right after the first season ended. Grade: B. Kid Acceptable: Yes.
Lone Ranger/Battlestar Galaactica Flip Book (Dynamite Entertainment): This is the book I picked for myself. I love the Lone Ranger, so it was a no-brainer. The stories were excellent quality productions that were like a little extra reward for a fan like me. I wouldn’t hand it to a small child though. It was a bit violent. My nephews are 10 and 13, and I would hand it to the 13 year old, not the younger one. This book felt like it was done for me, an adult. Grade: B. Kid Acceptable: Teen or older.
The Astounding Wolf-Man (Image Comics): This was the book that I had seen the most hype on so I wanted to get a copy. With Robert Kirkman doing a big PR tour, and having the entire first issue of his book free, I figured Image and he were betting quite a bit on it. For the most part, I thought the story was interesting. I liked Jason Howard’s art, because it gave the story a cartoony edge that saved the violence from being too nasty for Free Comic Book Day. Of course, I still wouldn’t give this book to my younger nephew, but the older one would probably do alright. Would I buy the second issue of Wolf-Man? Yes, sure. It was good enough to merit another look. The second story with Brit and the preview for Spawn Godslayer surprised me a bit. They were definitely not kid friendly. The Top Cow First Born preview was gorgeous, but didn’t have a lot of substance. I did like the advertisement in the back for Image Comic’s website. Wolf-Man grade: B+. Overall grade: C. Kid Acceptable: Not really.
The Amazing Spider-Man (Marvel Comics): All I had to see in this book was two names- Dan Slott and Phil Jimenez, and I was there. I am a total slave to Phil’s art, so this was a must-have. The story was a tad corny, featuring a new villain in a car. For the most part, the adults I talked to rolled their eyes, while the kids thought it was cool, so what do I know? In my mind, children were more of the target for this book anyway. The last few pages of the book featured a peek at this summer’s story arc in Amazing Spider-Man so I figured that was the adult portion. I liked this book a great deal for overall appeal. Grade: B+. Kid Acceptable: Yep.
The Umbrella Academy (Dark Horse Comics): This was my least favorite offering to be sure. I like the band My Chemical Romance so I wanted to try lead singer Gerard Way’s work. It didn’t do anything for me. It was a tad corny as well, and I would have liked to see a different style of art. The second story, Pantheon City never really had a chance to warm up. A lady that I would guess is the lead character doesn’t show up until the last page. The final story ZeroKiller was alright, but it didn’t catch my attention in any special way either. This book was not a kid’s book, and it seemed more aimed a narrow crowd of readers, so I was really disappointed. There was no real stand out here. Grade: D. Kid Acceptable: No.
Marvel Adventures Iron Man & Hulk (Marvel Comics): This book reminded me of Tales to Astonish or Tales of Suspense back in the day. One book featuring two characters in solo stories worked well here. I do have to admit that my favorite part of the whole thing was the Franklin Richards back up. My younger nephew thinks it is funny stuff, and who am I to argue? I really liked this book for younger readers and I enjoyed it myself. After living in a world full of Marvel Continuity that I dislike, it felt good to escape into a safer, gentler time. Grade: B+. Kid Acceptable: You bet.
Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century (DC Comics): This was my favorite offering of the day for kids. I loved J. Torres’ story and Chynna Clugston’s art. I took the book for what it was and really enjoyed it. It was cute while telling an interesting story. Maybe it is the chick in me, but I could have read it several times and gotten the same reaction. It made me want to watch the television show. It doesn’t get better then that. Grade: A. Kid Acceptable: Definitely.
Those are the books I was able to pick up. I appreciate Free Comic Book Day and love the fact that I can pick out books for my nephews. I just wish there would have been more of a labeling system for kids. The last thing we as an industry need is for a kid to take home a book only to discover it is not what they wanted while their parent is unhappy with the content.