This Week in Comics—November 6, 2013

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A new writer takes over for Earth 2 while a new artist starts the second arc of Quantum and WoodyThe Emerald City of Oz nears its end and the journey into space takes another twist in Trillium.  Meanwhile Batman, Luthor, and the Crime Syndicate have plans in Forever Evil.

Though none of the comics in this week of comics were awful, none of the comics really jumped out as the “winner” of the comic of the week.  I don’t have any “drops” in this week’s comics, but many books that are on the fringe.

The issues included in this week’s comic reviews are:  Earth 2 #17, The Emerald City of Oz #4, Forever Evil #3, Quantum and Woody (2) #5, and Trillium #4.

Earth 2 #17

Publisher:  DC Comics

Cover Price:  $2.99

Writer:  Tom Taylor

Artist:  Nicola Scott

Date:  January 2014

Title:  “The Dark Age Begins!”

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Earth 2 #17

Superman has returned with Darkseid’s power and Earth has fallen.  The Wonders have gone on the run and realize Dr. Fate’s magic might be their only safety.  With Batman joining the battle with unorthodox plans, and the restoration as Lois Lane as the Red Tornado, the battle to save Earth-2 is just beginning!

Earth 2 #17 represents a change in the comic.  Tom Taylor steps in for James Robinson who abruptly left the title last issue under still murky reasons.  Earth 2 was a pet project for Robinson who has always dove into DC history with titles like Starman so it will be interesting to see if Taylor will be able to follow-up.

The issue starts a new storyline with Superman now being the threat to the world.  Previously believed dead, the hero is now the villain.  With this change, Earth-2 is feeling a bit more like Earth-3 where the good were evil…or just like Forever Evil at this moment.  I will wait to see how the story progresses before making judgment call on this.

The Superman/Dr. Fate aspect of this issue was pretty weak, but I did enjoy the storyline involving General Lane and Lois Lane.  I look forward to seeing Lois Lane as a “superhero” now that she’s in the body of the Red Tornado and her interaction with the possessed Superman could be good too.

With Batman and Superman becoming big focal points in a series which previously had been about DC lower characters, it kind of could hinder the series.  I worry that Earth-2 could become a Batman book or a Superman book which is exactly the opposite of what it was proposed to be.  I like Earth 2 so I will continue to get Earth 2, but I do worry about its future.

The Emerald City of Oz #4

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Cover Price:  $3.99

Writer:  Eric Shanower

Artist:  Skottie Young

Date:  January 2014

Title:  —

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The Emerald City of Oz #4

Dorothy, Billina, and Toto travel from Bunbury to Bunnybury where they meet a town populated by rabbits.  When they rejoin with their group, they travel to meet the Rigmaroles and the Flutterbudgets before meeting up with two of Dorothy’s oldest friends…unfortunately beneath Oz the danger is growing as Nome King prepares his invasion…and the end of Oz forever!

The Oz books where favorites of mine when I was growing up.  They were simple (each book pretty much involved someone from our world ending up in Oz and travelling around meeting people.  In this book, Dorothy makes the big jump to living in Oz and brings her nonbelieving Aunt Em and Uncle Henry to see the new world.

This issue kind of drops Aunt Em and Uncle Henry for a Dorothy adventure and also brings back the always popular Scarecrow and Tin Woodsman for the end of the issue.  Oz expert Shanower does a smart job in this adaptation despite only being five issues total.  The sometimes repetitive nature of Baum’s stories are a bit rushed, but extending them also does no good.

Skottie Young is the real thrust of this series and each character really is given life by Young’s fun art.  Each issue, I look forward to his interpretations of Baum’s work especially since much of John R. Neill was rather iconic.

I have to say that I’m really worried about this series.  The next issue’s cover shows Dorothy and Toto skipping down a disappearing Yellow Brick Road.  Baum originally intended The Emerald City of Oz to be the last entry in the series, but continued on after this.  With slipping sales, I hope that the comic isn’t ending since the next series would be one of my favorite books in The Patchwork Girl of Oz…only next month will tell…

Forever Evil #3

Publisher:  DC Comics

Cover Price:  $3.99

Writer:  Geoff Johns

Artist:  David Finch

Date:  January 2014

Title:  “Prisoners”

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Forever Evil #3

Batman tries to find a way to break the Crime Syndicate’s control of Earth, and Superman’s archenemy Lex Luthor plots his own attempt to stop the killers.  With his new creation Bizarro, Lex Luthor realizes he needs his own team of villains to defeat something more evil.

Following Forever Evil #2, Geoff Johns continues to maintain the better-than-average-but-not-great level of Forever Evil.  The comic reminds me a lot of older crossover series (which is fun), but unlike older crossover series, not enough happens each issue.

This is the third issue of seven issues, and I feel little has happened in Forever Evil.  The first issue had the big Crime Syndicate take over, but the issues following it have had little or no activity.

I think the series also is a bit unbalanced.  I’m not sure what the thrust of the series is yet.  I think it should follow the Crime Syndicate, Batman, or Luthor…it doesn’t feel like any of the characters are getting their full attention (I’d vote for Luthor’s team if I had to pick a focal point for this series).

With Forever Evil running at DC and the more complex but less readable Infinity running at Marvel, both big crossover events seem a bit more low-key than the previous years’ big crossover events.  I have to say that since Forever Evil is more of a stand-alone series, I’m leaning toward Forever Evil in winning the battle.

Quantum and Woody #5

Publisher:  Valiant Comics

Cover Price:  $3.99

Writer:  James Asmus

Artist: Ming Doyle

Date:  November 2013

Title:  “In Security” Part 1

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Quantum and Woody #5

Quantum and Woody are finished with their first big adventure…now, they have some decisions to make.  While they are forced to stay in close contact with each other and find themselves babysitting a clone named 69 and the Goat (which Woody has named Vincent Van Goat), Eric learns that his job is threatened when he discovers his secret identity.

Quantum and Woody is Valiant’s second “funny” team-up book (behind Archer and Armstrong), and I still see it as second tier to Archer and Armstrong.  This issue took away most of the action and focused more on the comedy.

It is this focus on comedy that I feel weakens Quantum and Woody a bit.  Though there are some good jokes in the story, I like that the story in Archer and Armstrong lends itself to comedy instead of the reverse (as seen here).  With the jokes flying one after the other, I feel that they are hit and miss.

I do really like Ming Doyle’s art for the series.  She takes over for Tom Fowler who illustrated Quantum and Woody (2) #4.  It is pretty basic but in this format it kind of reminds me of Archer.  The comic is so ridiculous and the art really adds that extra touch of comedy that does help the jokes which fall flat.

Quantum and Woody is worth checking out.  I can’t recommend it over a number of other Valiant titles, but I do enjoy it.  The series is fun and different and that is something that is lacking in comics, and it might just win you over.

Trillium #4

Publisher:  DC Comics/Vertigo

Cover Price:  $2.99

Writer:  Jeff Lemire

Artist:  Jeff Lemire

Date:  January 2014

Title:  “Entropy”

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Trillium #4

Nika finds herself trapped with William on Earth as her commanding officer tries to find out what William’s brother Clayton knows about the temple and the strange energy flowing from it.  When the temple is deemed a threat, its destruction could lead to a world ending event.

Written and illustrated by Jeff Lemire, Trillium is at its halfway point.  The series is turning into a fun, and different comic that showcases Lemire’s unique writing and art.  Opposed to Trillum #3, this issue is streamlined and reads left to right like a normal comic without any trick stylistic approaches.

The story of Trillium thus far doesn’t really seem that deep.  There are matching temples on different planets that open portals to Earth…this essentially is just Stargate.  What is interesting is that this is combined with a strange love story between William and Nika who seem like complete mismatches, but have found a connection throughout the story.  I am anxious to see where this goes especially now that William’s brother Clayton has thoroughly become involved in the tale.

Lemire’s art is also fun though I can see how people could dislike it.  I like the toned back style but I also like his compositions which are unique and different.  This issue doesn’t feel as desperate at Trillium #3 since it is a straight forward comic book and the art is more highlighted here.

I like that Lemire is experimenting with the format of the comic book in the series, but I have preferred Trillium #2 and Trillium #4 to the more experimental Trillium #1 and Trillium #3.  I am unsure if this is the format that Lemire is following for the series and if so, what it means for Trillium #5 when it is released next month.

Preceded By:

This Week in Comics—October 30, 2013

http://basementrejects.com/latest-news/this-week-in-comics-october-30-2013/

Followed By:

This Week in Comics—November 14, 2013

http://basementrejects.com/latest-news/this-week-in-comics-november-13-2013/

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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