Though Uncanny X-Men have officially restarted the number system of their series, going from #544. to #1, the feel of the comic still have the same uncanny vibe. This could have been issue 545. easily. But, for the dramatic sake of what the Regenesis event ultimately is meant to stand for (and perhaps a little New 52 jealousy?) this long-running title has relaunched.
The problem with making it feel like it could have just been the next issue in the old series, is that they missed a great opportunity to invite new readers to this title! Psychologically, new readers like starting with #1. But new readers would certainly be confused by the lack of background information and the innate plot continuation of this story.
That being said, for primed readers who can catch-on quickly, this story contains an immediate boom of action and mystery that promises to continue in future issues. I’m a little torn as to my decided “side” of the Schism. While I feel myself somehow more agreeing with Cyclops at this point (I can’t believe I just publicly wrote that sentence), Wolverine’s team is chalked full of characters a lot closer to my heart than any of the powerhouse, power-hungry (Storm excluded) mutants on team Scott.
The appeal in this series is in the mystery. Sinister has shown up with a … well, honestly I don’t know what it is. It is sort of a big robot with a detachable head that destroys things. As always, Sinister likes to keep his intentions to himself until he has everyone in his pocket. We had been teased with the beginning of this mystery in #544. In typical fashion, we know Sinister’s current obsession has something to do with the Summers/Grey gene pool. But Sinister certainly seems to have upped his insane research-based conclusions to a whole new level – we’ll find out how later.
Oh, and Emma and Namor still seem to be having a bit of a tension-filled undercurrent behind Scott’s back. Drama, drama, drama. Kieron Gillen’s writing here promises both action and character development in this first issue – hope he keeps it up!
Blood Red Dragon #0 and #1
It isn’t often that I just plain don’t know what to say about a comic book. Usually I am brimming with opinions one way or another – but these two issues left me with a big old question mark bubble floating out of my head. Blood Red Dragon is a creative team effort from the minds of Stan Lee and Yoshiki. First off, I’ll admit that I had no friggin’ clue who Yoshiki is (though apparently I was the only person left in the world – aside from my Lytherus co-worker Lauren who also was clueless). So I looked him up (yeay google!). He’s a musician from a wildly popular band in Japan who, though perhaps a little unorthodox (and sometimes I plain don’t get artistic-unorthodoxy for the sake of artistic-unorthodoxy), is quite amazing at what he does. (Youtube him here)
In this comic book Yoshiki is both an artistic force behind the plot as well the main character within. How many of us have pictured ourselves super heroes? Yoshiki actually gets to witness himself turn into a superhero in these pages. I’m not really exactly sure how it happens. He’s performing for a large venue during a thunder storm when all of a sudden a bat shoots him with some kind of bat-juice while they both get struck by lightening (say wha???).
This book has a rock n’ roll metallic/ demonic horrorish fantasy feel (did I just make-up a genre?). The art work fluctuated. Sometimes it seemed rather good, other times it just looked awkward. Overall, the Carlo Soriano and Crimelab Syndicate’s combined artwork felt like an old anime cartoon (think Robotech. Nothing wrong with that. I loved Robotech.).
Overall the premise of the story is somewhat interesting, but the actual product is rather hokey. At one point Yoshiki gets saved by three groupie hot chicks who actually turn out to be cleavage-loving viking-like warriors with little in the way of personality or character description.
So I completed these two issues with that question mark bubble in bold print above my head. Not worth picking up issue three for me personally, but if you are a fan of Japanese culture, rock music, and boobyliscious viking babes, go for it!
I had absolutely no intention of continuing this series when I picked up the #1 issue. But it’s just so damn good and so damn well-written that I can’t put it down. Detective Comics is fascinating me with this morbid plot surrounding the new Dollmaker and the odd endings that keep me wanting more pages to magically appear.
Tony Daniel is a spectacular writer. His pacing and tone are spot-on, like, all the time. At the end of the last issue we saw a human constructed from the the parts of three dead bodies into the shape of Commissioner Gordon. But does that mean Gordon is dead? Is he mutilated somewhere? Is this body actually him? We find out these answers and more in this issue. If the point of the New 52 is to take worn-out, long-running plots and make them shiny and new again, I have to say this series is doing amazingly well. I really have very little criticism of it. If I had to pick out anything that seems a bit weak it is only that the progression of this issue was slightly predictable. That did not deter my interest in the slightest, though.
Lastly, I’d like to make a note that the art is still superb. The colors are still darkly appropriate but not so dark I can’t tell what’s happening (a big pet-peeve of mine). The artwork completes the mood of the storytelling
Simply said, this is a must-read for Batman fans and highly enjoyable reads to those who might be Batman fans and don’t know it yet.