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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Waid’

Irredeemable #37

June 8, 2012 Leave a comment

June 5, 2012

Writer: Mark Waid
Art:
Diego Barreto
Letters:
Ed Dukeshire
Colors:
Nolan Woodard
Cover Art:
Matteo Scalera
Editor:
Matt Gagnon & Shannon Watters
Publisher:
Boom! Studios

The Plutonian’s rampage has come to this. The governments of the world, in an effort to stop him, have unleashed a radioactive cloud that could kill a third of the people on the planet, maybe more, and only Mallus knows how to stop it… a procedure that will take everything the Plutonian has. If this is the end for the fallen hero, is it possible he could somehow find redemption?

Despite the title of this series, this final issue really does drive home the point of the story. The Plutonian has fallen about as far as any comic book superhero ever has. In this issue, as it appears the only way to save the world will cost him his life, the question is raised: is that enough? After all, if it wasn’t for him the world would never have been in jeopardy in the first place? Mark Waid floats these questions out in front of us, but doesn’t supply us with any answers. Perhaps the best thing about this book – which was very good throughout its run – is the way the finale leaves things slightly open, the way the readers will be able to debate for some time whether or not Plutonian finds redemption in the last few pages.

And let’s talk about the last few pages for a moment. Without spoiling anything, Waid takes a very unexpected turn right at the end, spinning this story into the realm of metafiction, and showing that whatever very public issues Waid may have with the people currently running DC Comics, his love for the DC characters seems to continue unabated. It makes for a strangely sweet sentiment, right at the end, and it’s very welcome.

Diego Barreto finishes up this series in style – the tragic, final moments of our heroes and villains alike comes across with real power and drama, and the final panel is just magnificent. It’s a relatively simple image, but striking in its iconic nature, and something that will stay with the reader for a long time.

This finale really wasn’t what I expected, but that’s not at all a complaint. I really enjoyed the end of this series, and it’s nice to come across an ending that justifies the journey.

Rating: 8/10

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

Legion of Super-Heroes (2005 Series) #4

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

March 28, 2005

Quick Rating: Great

The Science Police make a play for the Legion – and one member holds the key.

Writer: Mark Waid
Co-Plot: Barry Kitson
Pencils: Leonard Kirk & Dave Gibbons
Inks: Mick Gray & Drew Geraci
Colors: Chris Blythe & Paul Mounts
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher & Phil Balsman
Editor: Stephen Wacker
Cover Art: Barry Kitson
Publisher: DC Comics

The United Planets finds a way to crack down on the “dangerous” Legion of Super-Heroes activity, and one unsuspecting member holds the key to the attack. This issue covers more of the team than usual, but the focus is very solidly on a few characters. Cosmic Boy is justifiably outraged at how a member of the team hid the past from them, and equally outraged that Brainiac 5 went along with it, and it all works well in character.

It’s hard to say much more without spoiling the secret of the Legionnaire who’s at the heart of this issue. Suffice it to say, it all comes together well, and furthers the overarching plot of this title, the mysterious “war” that seems to be approaching.

Filling in on the art chores is the always-welcome Leonard Kirk, who has almost as good a handle on this book and its characters as regular artist Barry Kitson. There’s a lot of action this issue, more than we’ve gotten used to seeing in this title, and he handles it all really, really well. The book, overall, amps up the level of intensity and the interest in this title, while still managing to serve up a complete story in a single issue.

In fact, they manage to serve up two complete stories. The second, with art by Dave Gibbons and Drew Geraci, is a quieter story about Karate Kid and Phantom Girl. As the Kid tries to get closer to the biggest heartbreaker in the Legion, Mark Waid explores a really interesting application of her power that, to my knowledge, has never been touched upon before. What makes this series work so well, I think, is the new twists Waid and Kitson have put on this title – the new twists on Phantom Girl, Colossal Boy, Chameleon and others has made this a really great reimagining of the series.

I’ve loved this book from the day the first new issue hit the stands. I still love it. This is one of the best periods the Legion has ever had.

Rating: 8/10

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #26

October 24, 2011 Leave a comment

January 25, 2007

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #26 (DC Comics)
By Mark Waid & Barry Kitson

Mark Waid and Barry Kitson continue their excellent reimagining of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Last issue, the hero called Mon-El was pulled from the Phantom Zone after a millennium in exile. This issue, the Legion confronts the strikeforce called the Wanderers as they reveal their plan to protect Earth from an outside threat, but with a great cost. What makes this series work so incredibly well is how Waid has managed to use classic pieces of the Legion’s history — Mon-El, the Wanderers and Mekt Ranzz, specifically — and put these old pieces back together in new but totally logical ways. What’s more, the addition of Supergirl hasn’t taken over this book the way some people feared it would. The story is coming together beautifully, and it’s one of the books that floats to the top of my read pile every month.

Rating: 9/10

Irredeemable #10

October 7, 2011 Leave a comment

January 30, 2010

Irredeemable #10 (Boom! Studios)
By Mark Waid, Peter Krause & Dan Panosian

Gilgamos and Bette Noir finally have it out over the Plutonian’s fixation on her. It’s clear that something was going on — but what? And will they have a chance to discuss it before a demon from the past attacks? Charybdis (now calling himself Survivor) and Kaidan, meanwhile, are looking for someone important, but the Survivor’s own instabilities are bubbling to the surface. Oh, and Tony? He’s hooked up with an old friend. As this series progresses, it’s becoming obvious that the Plutonian’s insanity is only the most visible sign of what’s wrong here. Bette’s infidelity, the Survivor’s sense of entitlement, and even the nasty things that happened long before the Plutonian snapped are each coming to light, one at a time, making the whole world look like a much darker place than any of the superhero worlds that may have inspired it. Peter Krause‘s artwork continues to impress, blending the light and the dark beautifully, and the Dan Panosian cover (there are two others, but this is one one I got) is fantastic. The stolen moment between Tony and Bette is one thing, but the look she gives to the camera casts the entire image in a different light, making it clear that although she may be with the world’s most powerful hero, her mind is elsewhere. There’s something else going on. I’m very anxious to find out what that secret is.
Rating: 8/10

The Incredibles: Family Matters #3

September 10, 2011 Leave a comment

July 10, 2009

Quick Rating: Great
Title: Family Matters Part Three

Powerless, Mr. Incredible watches his family go into battle without him!

Writer: Mark Waid
Art: Marcio Takara
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Letters: Jose Macasocol, Jr.
Editor: Paul Morrissey
Cover Art: Marcio Takara
Publisher: Boom! Kids

A monster attack at the mall sends Helen, Violet, and Dash into action, while a powerless Bob sits and home with the baby. As he watches his family fight on television, Bob stumbles on a clue that just may unlock the problem of his power loss.

The hook here is really fantastic. Mark Waid has put together a story that really suits these characters, and the subplot collides with the main story perfectly here. Everything that’s been bubbling up, including the use of the new characters, comes together. It’s hard to say too much without spoiling it, but things work just as they should here.

Getting away from the plot, Waid also has to be commended for the emotional punch we get from this issue. A big part of the story consists of Bob sitting at home, tortured over how he’s lost his powers. Again, though, he throws us the curveball. Most superhero stories would feature the powerless hero worrying about his family, in battle without him. Bob doesn’t go down that route, though. Instead, he watches and roots for them, which isn’t something I can ever remember seeing in a comic before. Sure, he wishes he was there, and he tries to contact the family with advise, but you don’t get the feeling that he doesn’t trust them. He’s got faith in his family. He just wants to be with them. It’s such a great take on the character, and it really makes the series.

Marcio Takara’s art is, also, very good. Waid writes some good, emotional moments, but Takara is the one who has to sell them through the poses, the posture, the faces, the mood. He nails it on every panel. You can look at Mr. Incredible and tell exactly how he feels in any given panel. There aren’t nearly enough artists working right now who have that kind of skill.

One issue left, I’m loving this book.

Rating: 9/10

Incorruptible #20

August 30, 2011 Leave a comment

August 28, 2011

Writer: Mark Waid
Art:
Marcio Takara
Colorist:
Nolan Woodard
Letterer:
Ed Dukeshire
Cover Artist:
Garry Brown
Editor:
Matt Gagnon
Publisher:
Boom! Studios

Max Damage has been captured by Coalville’s newest true villain. Alana and Safeword, meanwhile, seek out the help of Armadale – only to find he’s fallen himself in recent days. As Max struggles to free himself, Alana struggles to cope with the shocking secret Armadale reveals to her.

Both storylines in this issue hinge in large part on the worst crime Max committed in those days before he reformed. Bellamy, the man who’s torturing him, seems to have an interesting perspective on Max’s psyche, and while the man may be evil as anything, it’s hard to argue with his analysis of our would-be hero. The scars Max is left with this issue are deep and may be lasting. How do you come back from something like this? In a book like this, is that even possible? Very much to his credit, Mark Waid wastes no time trying to answer such unanswerable questions. He’s crafted a dark world, and he’s having a good time picking apart the characters even as he explores how dark the world can get. Marcio Takara tells the story well, putting some real horror on the character’s faces, and getting gruesome when necessary. Not too gruesome, fortunately, but just enough to get the point across. It’s appropriate that Garry Brown’s cover for this issue is pretty much just a puddle of blood with Max’s reflection in it – the issue is bloody enough to warrant it.

Harsh issue, but it’s a good one.

Rating: 8/10