Weekly comic reviews ahoy! Avengers Assemble, Long Live the Legion, and all that good stuff. Whether you find it exciting or retrogressive, happy Avengers Day you big nerds. I didn’t actually pick up Avengers #1 (only ever heard not-so-good things about Bendis and Avengers titles) or Legion of Super-Heroes #1, but I did get a cool haul today with stuff like Zatanna and Joe the Barbarian. Also picked up some slightly older stuff like the first volume of Sweet Tooth. I’ll save my review of that for a separate post. I don’t know if I’m just in a good mood today or if it was just a good week, but expect a lot of praise (well, aside from one particular comic).
Zatanna #1 – score: ***** outta five
Mobsters, magic, and a girl in fishnet stockings – what much else can you ask for in a first issue? My only issue with this issue (sorry) was that it felt slightly predictable, but being the very first, I couldn’t really knock a whole point off for that. This book gets straight to business, setting up a major arch-nemesis right off the bat in the mystic mobster Brother Night, who decides to take over San Fransisco’s human underworld the same way he already did with the mystic underworld. Zatanna won’t stand for that, obviously, so what we get is a back-and-forth between Zatanna and Night as they threaten each other and provide exposition to establish our players and their motivations for the series to come. All the while we get magical fireworks flying as Zatanna makes mince meat out of unlucky henchmen, providing plenty of fun and creative magic and action, almost as a teaser to what’s in store when the real battles begin. And sprinkle in, of course, some of Dini’s humour, which sets the upbeat tone for the book – despite the rather bloody imagery. None of this would have worked as well without the great art of Stephane Roux and co. I did think the colouring felt a little flat in places, but otherwise there’s little to fault. Roux draws great (and sexy!) characters and faces, but did anyone else notice how characters rarely appear on panels with their mouths completely closed? A weird quirk of the artist, something I didn’t notice straight away. Also, I do think Brother Night looks too much like the Joker, which is distracting.
Don’t expect something too dark and complex with this book. I think it’s just Dini having fun with a character he loves, one that’s been at the fringe most of the time and thus never really got a chance to develop much. Hopefully this series is her chance to stand in the spotlight. Hopefully her asshole brother pops up too. And hey, DC is definitely lacking in occult character books, so I’ll be following this, and I suggest you give it a chance. Read more of this post