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The 99 #4

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

January 11, 2008

The 99 #4 (Teshkeel Comics)
By Naif Al-Mutawa, Fabian Nicieza, John McCrea, Jason Dennis & Ron Wagner

This issue, Nawaf gets a taste for heroism — saving some construction workers from disaster and leaping into battle — while a new villain called Blackwolf begins to hunt the 99. Al-Mutawa and Nicieza continue to deliver just what I want from this book, namely old-school superhero action. The book is a little light on character development, however. Nawaf’s continuing transformation into Jabbar isn’t exactly subtle, but then, a guy with a build like the Hulk isn’t a subtle character to begin with. And when you get right down to it, there wasn’t a lot of subtletly to those Silver and Bronza Age comics. That, I think, sums up what I like about this title. It has the feel of a Silver Age book without feeling like it’s just a pastiche (like Big Bang Comics, for example). It has a classic feeling, but the flavor is modern and unique. It’s a fun book.
Rating: 7/10

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The 99 #3

March 20, 2011 Leave a comment

December 21, 2007

The 99 #3 (Teshkeel Comics)
By Naif Al-Mutawa, Fabian Nicieza, John McCrea, Jason Dennis & Ron Wagner

Here’s why I’m loving The 99 in a nutshell: although the book is rooted in Arab mythology and represents an attempt to push comic books forward, the way writers Naif Al-Mutawa and Fabian Nicieza have chosen to do this is by looking back at the way old-school comics were written. At its heart, The 99 is an old-fashioned superhero adventure, and it makes no secret of that fact. This issue, another Noor Stone holder is tracked down to an Underground Fight Ring, where she’s fighting her way up to the championship. Only one of the heroes we’ve uncovered so far can face “Shadow Cloak,” a.k.a. Mumita the Destroyer… but will he be able to do so withuot being destroyed himself? This is such a pure, simple superhero tale, and the morality lesson we get in the fighting ring reminds me of the sort of thing we would have enjoyed from Stan Lee in his prime. This really is a fun comic, and just the thing for people who feel like superheroes ain’t what they used to be.
Rating: 8/10

The 99 #1

July 22, 2010 Leave a comment

November 2, 2007

The 99 #1 (Teshkeel Comics)
By Naif Al-Mutawa, Fabian Nicieza, John McCrea, Stuart Moore, Steve Yeowell

After a few free specials to set the stage, the real “first issue” of Teshkeel Comics’ new book The 99 is on the stands. The story sort of jumps in sometime after the first several people have activated the powers of their Noor Stones and been recruited by Dr. Ramzi Razem in his quest to use the power of the stones to usher in a new age for mankind. The story itself — about Razem and the Noor “bearers” coming in to New York and encountering another of their kind — is fine, but really rather suited for a second or third issue rather than a first one. The issue somewhat presupposes the reader will have read the free specials, which no doubt many have, but this still could have been stronger as a jumping-on point. Al-Mutawa and Nicieza definitely get points from me for avoiding a big cliche of this type of comic that I thought for certain they were heading straight for (specifically what do you when you encounter a child with super-powers). This isn’t a bad first issue, but if you haven’t read the free prologue issues, it would behoove you to track down at least one of them, as they’re all decent starting points.
Rating: 7/10