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Posts Tagged ‘Alex Sinclair’

Earth 2 #1

May 15, 2012 Leave a comment

May 6, 2012, 2012

Title: The Price of Victory

On Earth 2, a different trinity of heroes fights… but what happens if they fall?

Writer: James Robinson
Pencils:
Nicola Scott
Inks:
Trevor Scott
Colors:
Alex Sinclair
Letters:
Dezi Sienty
Cover Art:
Ivan Reis, Joe Prado & Rod Reis
Editor:
Pat McCallum
Publisher:
DC Comics

The Multiverse is back with this new title, the first book set in a world outside of the universe of the New 52. Five years ago, the Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman of another universe fought fiercely to save their world from an invasion by Steppenwolf and his Parademons. The world survived, but at an incredible price.

This issue is a lot of set-up, but it’s the most action-packed set-up you could possibly ask for. It’s clear that the classic DC trinity, although they’re in center stage here, will not be the stars of this title. Their appearance, in fact, is mostly here to set up the return of some other classic characters, albeit in new forms. It works nicely for that. This is the sort of all-out war you probably couldn’t get away with on “New Earth” (or whatever they’re calling the universe of the New 52 these days). Plenty of devastation, plenty of death, too much to deal with in 50 or so titles linked together in a single, current continuity. But as this book takes place on an alternate universe, and there are no other books set there (Worlds’ Finest is a spin-off, but that’s not quite the same thing) James Robinson could theoretically have a pretty free hand to go nuts, make major changes, and drastically alter the world as the story dictates. He’s done it before, but in things like The Golden Age. I’m really looking forward to seeing what he does with a book like this on an ongoing basis.

I’ve been a fan of Nicola Scott for some time now, but with Trevor Scott and Alex Sinclair joining her on the art for this book, we’re seeing some of the greatest work she’s ever done. The battle scenes here are incredible, and she gives us depictions of DC’s three biggest guns that look very familiar, but just different enough that we accept them as alternate versions of the characters.

This first issue was great, even if it felt more like a “zero” issue. It doesn’t really matter that much what the number is, though. It’s a fine way to start, and I can’t wait to see where this newer universe is going to take us.

Rating: 9/10

Stormwatch (2011 Series) #4

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

December 17, 2011

Title: The Dark Side Part Four

Writer: Paul Cornell
Art:
Miguel Sepulveda
Colorist:
Alex Sinclair
Letterer:
Rob Leigh
Cover Artist:
Miguel Sepulveda & Alex Sinclair
Editor:
Pat McCallum
Publisher:
DC Comics

A monster has fallen to Earth from the moon and absorbed the Stormwatch team. On the outside, Apollo and Midnighter are left to face the creature, while the team inside struggles for freedom. Some interesting stuff in this issue. Paul Cornell begins the hinting at the future that readers already know is waiting for Apollo and Midnighter, while showing off the rather strange abilities some of the characters have. All of the heroes are used well, here, particularly Apollo and Jack Hawksmoor, whose basic premise (being the “God of Cities”) makes him a far more interesting character than I would have expected. He’s the sort of character that can be really handy to explore a universe, and with the New 52 being so relatively uncharted, there’s a lot of potential here for him to do exactly that.

I like the artwork here a lot. Miguel Sepulveda can do sci-fi action really well, and Alex Sinclair’s work on the colors is outstanding. He does a few different effects here, but doesn’t take it overboard. The last page in particular really stands out – a very nice piece of work.

I’m sorry to hear Cornell will be leaving this book after the first story arc. He’s given it a solid start. But whoever takes over, I hope they can keep it going strong.

Rating: 7/10

52 #16

December 16, 2011 Leave a comment

August 23, 2006

Quick Rating: Great
Title: Uhebbuki & The Origin of Black Adam

The Marvels unite at last, as Renee and the Question chase a tragedy in the making.

Writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka & Mark Waid
Breakdowns: Keith Giffen
Pencils: Joe Bennett
Inks: Ruy Jose
Origin of Black Adam Art: J.G. Jones
Colors: David Baron & Alex Sinclair
Letters: Pat Brosseau & Nick J. Napolitano
Editor: Stephen Wacker & Harvey Richards
Cover Art: J.G. Jones
Publisher: DC Comics

I suppose I shouldn’t be, but I’m pretty surprised that the Black Adam storyline of 52 has honestly turned into my favorite in the series – and this issue is a big one. Adam and Isis are planning a very special event with some very special guests – the Captain Marvel family. Billy is (apparently) feeling better since the last time we saw him, and Isis is acclimating nicely to her role in Khandaq. In fact, her very presence seems to be changing Adam for the better.

As their ceremony begins, though, Renee and the Question – fresh out of Black Adam’s prison — undertake a frantic chase of their own. The search that brought them to Khandaq in the first place has led them to a bomber, and if they can’t find it soon, the ceremony may well turn into a bloodbath.

This issue is a fantastic mix of these two related but separate stories. The writers shift seamlessly from the more quiet, tranquil story of Adam and Isis to the fast-paced search sequences. We also get a brief glimpse at one of the other ongoing storylines, one that’s been somewhat arrested lately, but this issue things really take off. I’m expecting it to really go places soon.

Joe Bennett’s artwork (over Keith Giffen’s breakdowns, of course), is just fine. There were a few scenes with such facial expressions (particularly on Mary Marvel) that I had to check to make sure Kevin Maguire wasn’t handling the issue. The issue is broken and choreographed very well, and Bennett has a nice, light touch on the faces that works very well.

To go with the lead story, this issue’s origin backup is Black Adam himself, with art by cover artist J.G. Jones. Like all of the “origin” back-ups, Mark Waid has done a really good job of distilling the character’s basics down to two pages, with a handy recommended reading list at the end for new fans who want to check in on his major storylines.

The best issue of 52 yet? Well, that’s arguable. But this is definitely in the running for my personal favorite.

Rating: 9/10

Batman (1940 Series) #628

October 1, 2011 Leave a comment

June 22, 2004

Quick Rating: Good
Title: Scary Monsters (As the Crow Flies Part Three)

As Jonathan Crane continues his work for the Penguin, a horrifying new Scarecrow terrorizes Gotham City’s underworld.

Writer: Judd Winick
Pencils: Dustin Nguyen
Inks: Richard Friend
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Clem Robins
Editor: Bob Schreck
Cover Art: Matt Wagner
Publisher: DC Comics

I didn’t expect Judd Winick to spend so much of his Batman tenure focusing on the villains, but that’s just what he’s doing, and it’s working well. For a long time now, the Penguin has been portrayed as a sort of bumbling snake oil salesman, at best a washed-up kingpin who’s unable to reclaim his past glories. Here he finally feels like a mob boss, like a nasty bad guy to be reckoned with.

The Scarecrow, meanwhile, is a man who is both confused and torn. He seems to have a real emotional attachment with his assistant, Linda, and truly disdains being in the Penguin’s employ. Still, he has a warped duty to perform, and he keeps going.

Our heroes aren’t absent, of course. Batman sends Robin (Tim Drake, this clearly takes place before Robin #125) off for his regularly-scheduled weekend with the Teen Titans, clearly glad to get his young partner out of harm’s way, and then sets out to find the creature that’s driving mobsters insane. There seems to be a fairly obvious culprit in the creation of this nightmarish Scarecrow substitute, and I’m hoping Winick is either fooling me by looking in the wrong direction or has a really original backstory that is yet to be revealed.

Nguyen and Friend have a wonderful style in this series. They have a fine traditional rendition of Batman and a great big, nasty monster. The creature comes out like something out of L. Frank Baum’s nightmares, a real Scarecrow from hell.

The Winick/Nguyen Batman may not go down in history as the greatest run of all time, but it’s a good, solid run that should be satisfying any mainstream Batman fan. If the mystery turns out to have more to it than it seems, it’ll be better than solid. I’ll just enjoy it while it lasts.

Rating: 7/10

DC Universe: Last Will and Testament #1

September 21, 2011 Leave a comment

August 30, 2008

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Conversions

What would you do the night before the end of the world?

Writer: Brad Meltzer
Pencils: Adam Kubert
Inks: John Dell & Joe Kubert
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Rob Leigh
Editors: Eddie Berganza & Dan Didio
Cover Art: Adam Kubert, Joe Kubert & Nei Rufino (Cover A); Adam Kubert, John Dell & Laura Martin (Cover B)
Publisher: DC Comics

Since Brad Meltzer is the one who started the DC Universe in its current direction way back in Identity Crisis, it’s only fitting that he come back to make his case as line reaches the end of that road with Final Crisis. It’s the night before the last battle, the night before the heroes of the DC Universe expect the world to end, and everyone is preparing in their own way. What they do, who they choose to be with, how they spend their final night… these are the choices who make the characters who they are.

Much of the book is made up of short vignettes. Powerful father-son moments with Clark and Jonathan Kent and Batman and his two true sons, sister moments with Wonder Woman and Wonder Girl, and tender moments between husbands and wives are plentiful, and are to be expected. There are unexpected moments, too. A villain almost chooses to be a hero, a hero almost chooses to be a villain. Those heroes who seek spiritual guidance find it in a surprising but highly satisfying place. One hero spends the night pining for a lost love, while others spend it with their soul mates.

The core of the book, however, is Geo-Force. In his Justice League of America run, Meltzer established Geo-Force’s drive to get revenge against Deathstroke for the death of his sister. On his last night on Earth, he chooses to make good on that vow. Even at the height of the Outsiders’ popularity, Geo-Force has never been more than a B-list hero, but this issue he’s a B-lister who steps up and delivers a powerful, emotional punch that even the top heroes in the DC Universe would have trouble matching.

Adam Kubert’s pencils are good as well, and John Dell’s inks compliment them very well. The real shocker on this book, however, comes in when several of the pages (as well as the variant over) are inked by the legendary Joe Kubert. His pages have a wonderfully classic look to them, as though they fell right out of the war comics of the silver age… and for a book like this one, a war story look feels wonderfully appropriate.

It’s not entirely clear why this isn’t specifically labeled as a Final Crisis crossover. Although they don’t specifically refer to the events of that book, the thumbprint of the series is obvious. I can only think of two real reasons the book is marketed the way it was. First off, there’s a clear effort in the company to make DC Universe a brand in and of itself (as evidenced by the zero issue from a few months ago, the several reprint specials we’ve seen, and the upcoming Decisions miniseries). Second, although the book clearly deals with the Crisis, you don’t really need any knowledge of that larger crossover to understand, appreciate, and get absorbed by this wonderfully emotional story. It’s part of something larger – something that goes back to Identity Crisis itself – but it stands on its own. And it’s well worth the read.

Rating: 8/10

Sleeper Season Two #1

September 9, 2011 Leave a comment

June 29, 2004

Quick Rating: Good
Title: Faith, Hope and Charity

On the run, trying to escape his past, Holden Carver gets a new “assignment.”

Writer: Ed Brubaker
Art: Sean Phillips
Colors: Strachan With Sinclair
Letters: Jared Fletcher
Editor: Scott Dunbier
Cover Art: Sean Phillips
Publisher: DC/Wildstorm Universe

Okay, before I get into the meat of this review, allow me to voice a complaint about a practice I see way too often in comics. Why on Earth would anyone, rather than providing a proper credit box, simply run a list of names (just last names, mind you, not even first and last), not detailing who did what job and forcing anyone interested in such a thing to play detective? It’s not like a movie with big names where everyone recognizes everything. (Spielberg! Hanks! Zeta-Jones!) These people have worked damn hard to put out a good comic book – give them the full credit they deserve.

Okay, on to the actual book. While I was at a slight disadvantage, having only read the first issue of “Season One” and the prologue to this series that appeared in the Coup D’etat Afterword, this issue was very accessible, setting up the situation for even those with only a modicum of prior knowledge about the title.

Holden Carver has gone from being a deep undercover agent posing as a supervillain to an agent that feels betrayed by his agency and his former commander, John Lynch (whom Holden believes is still in a coma). When someone approaches him with an offer that will allow him to gain a measure of satisfaction, it’s clear that this “Season” of Sleeper will be quite different from the first.

This makes for a quite satisfying spy/espionage action/drama, and the story would probably work just as well without the superhero trappings, which is what holds me back from being the first book I’d recommend to someone looking for “superheroes with a twist.” It’s a solid book, don’t misunderstand, but for someone looking for a different take on superheroes I’d be more likely to recommend something like Powers, where it’s actually a new take on superheroics, as opposed to a book in another genre that happens to have superhero incidentals.

Sean Phillips is the perfect match for Brubaker’s story. He serves up good action and drama and the occasional appearance of the guy in spandex doesn’t look silly or jar you out of the story. (In fact, the look reminds me very much of Dark Horse’s The Escapist – Phillips would be a fine match for one of those short stories.)

So while I’m not exactly wild about this book, I did enjoy it and I think it does a fine job of setting up the new storyline. If you’ve been thinking about Sleeper and looking for a place to jump on board, this is the issue to do it.

Rating: 7/10

Justice League (2011 Series) #1

September 5, 2011 Leave a comment

September 4, 2011

Title: Justice League Part One

Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils:
Jim Lee
Inks:
Scott Williams
Colorist:
Alex Sinclair
Letterer:
Patrick Brosseau
Cover Artist:
Jim Lee
Editor:
Eddie Berganza
Publisher:
DC Comics

The new DC Universe begins here! Five years in the past, the world has recently experienced the unveiling of its first public superhero, Superman. Suddenly, superhumans are crawling out of the woodwork, and Hal Jordan – Green Lantern of Space Sector 2814 – is summoned to Gotham City to hunt for an alien threat. He winds up encountering the mysterious figure known as the Batman, and together they begin the hunt for an alien that flees with an ominous cry… “For Darkseid!”

What we get here is great. The interaction between Batman and Green Lantern really feels fresh and new, while still being true to character. The scene where Hal realizes Batman doesn’t actually have any powers is really funny as well. It’s easy to read and accept this story as the first encounter of the greatest heroes of the DC Universe.

The problem with this issue is in the case of what we don’t get: namely, “enough.” It’s the first issue of an all-new Justice League and, in fact, the beginning of a whole new era for DC Comics, but all we really see here are Batman and Green Lantern. Sure, there’s a Superman cameo, and there’s a minor B-plot involving the boy we all know will become Cyborg, but there’s not a sense of scale here yet. If this had been an issue of Brave and the Bold it would have worked just as well. It seems like Johns could have tried to work in at least small moments for the other members of the team, something to give us a sense that they’re all coming together (like we know they are) instead of this merely being a chance encounter between two heroes.

It’s hard to believe Jim Lee has been turning out such great work for such a long time, but that’s certainly the case here. The book looks fantastic. I’ve always liked his rendition of Batman, and he does a very good Green Lantern as well. The last page of this book is the first time I’ve seen Superman in his new armor where it doesn’t really look out of place, and I hope other artists follow his lead.

I did like this issue, and I liked it quite a lot, but it felt like it was missing a little bit. I’m sure the next few issues will change all of that.

Rating: 7/10