4-SENTENCE REVIEWS (AUG 1-7)

Animal Man #12
(Lemire, Snyder, Pugh)

DC promoted Animal Man #12 as a recap of the series for new readers before Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder dive into the “Rotworld” story arc in October. Buddy Baker does reminisce about some things that have happened to him in this run, but the idea that this is a recap is somewhat of a mislead – indeed, this issue spends most of it’s time uniting Animal Man and Swamp Thing, giving them each a visceral and concrete reason to help the other. It’s nice that Lemire and Snyder are working together on these issues – you can even see Swamp Thing’s artistic influence throughout Animal Man – for the sake of cohesion and general story advancement. Along with Swamp Thing #12, the “Rotworld Prologue” does a fine job of getting us ready for the event readers have been waiting for since each of these series started last September.

GRADE: A


Before Watchmen: Nite Owl #2 of 4

(Straczynski, Kubert)

Brian Azzarello’s Comedian aside, this whole Before Watchmen thing is coming along pretty well, and Nite Owl has been giving readers a lot of insight into the Watchmen’s earliest days. J. Michael Straczynski’s palpable take on Dan and Rorschach’s relationship is spot-on, playing their different methods and pathologies against each other while also showing how their situation gets results; both Nite Owl and Rorschach had traumatic lives growing up, but it’s their choices in how they dealt with that trauma that defines their adult selves and how they view the world. Kubert & Son falter this month, unfortunately, as Joe’s pencilling looks severely rushed, coupled with Andy’s apparent obsession with facial line work that makes characters in their mid-twenties look like they’re ready to move into a home. However, the story more than makes up for awkwardly shaded breasts and Were-Nite Owl (seriously though, those face lines are everywhere!), meaning Nite Owl gets a pass this week in hopes the Kuberts can step it up next time.

GRADE: B-


Red Lanterns #12
(Milligan, Sepulveda)

For a series that’s supposed to be all about rage, Red Lanterns has been wallowing in it’s own pity for quite some time now – lot’s of “poor me”s and “we are victims!” talk going around. Fortunately, things are looking up this month for Atrocitus and his Red Lantern Corps, as Peter Milligan finally delivers the rage-filled ones to their rightful place as a fully-powered Corps. Atrocitus’ first experiment in creating the Red Lanterns, Abysmus, is finally throwing down and Atrocitus isn’t taking to kindly to the beating, until Jack Moore (a.k.a. – Rankorr) shows up and ignites the spark of rage in Atrocitus once again. The Red Master grabs a ‘rage seed’ (or something. It’s honestly not that important) from the belly of his first, hideous mistake, and uses it reboot the Red Lantern battery.

GRADE: A

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