MASSIVE Wednesday Comic Review: Fantastic Four #600, Batman: The Dark Knight #3, RASL #12, and The Flash #3

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What a great week for comics! In addition to DC’s New 52 releases, Marvel’s HUGE Anniversary Issue, Fantastic Four #600 , hits  shelves, as well as various independent titles. This week’s comic reviews will cover Fantastic Four #600, Batman: The Dark Knight #3, The Flash #3, and the latest from the independent publisher Cartoon Books, RASL #12. Enjoy!

 

Fantastic Four #600

Jonathan Hickman and several different artists join forces to bring us this spectacular 50th Anniversary issue of Fantastic Four, which consists of a five part story arc that means big trouble(and big change) for Marvel’s First Family. The issue turns out to be just as big and exciting as promised, with plenty of action, surprises, and thrills to satisfy readers. While a lot happens in this issue, it is nothing compared to the events about to unfold.

Enemy forces converge on New York City, and the Fantastic Four, with the help of the Avengers, must step up and fight to protect the innocent. Meanwhile, the evil Annihilus and his army work tirelessly to escape from the Negative Zone and wreak havoc on Earth, while the Inhumans decide their next course of action.

This issue is tons of fun to read. Surprises await around every corner, and the way everything is tied together works very well. Jonathan Hickman continues to prove he is an expert storyteller, bringing multiple subplots together in a brilliant, unexpected way. Steve Epting, who provides the art for the first of the five stories, does a great job, as expected, and it’s a shame he did not do all five parts, because his art is by far the best in the issue. The other artists do a good enough job, but Epting’s art still stands out.

The main problem some might have with this issue is that readers will have to have kept up with FF to understand what is happening. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it definitely turns potential readers away who don’t have a passable knowledge of what’s going on and as a result won’t get into the story.

But for those who have been following the series, Fantastic Four #600 is a rewarding read. A lot of big things are coming to the Marvel Universe, and this issue only teases at what is really in store for us.

 

Batman: The Dark Knight #3

By far the best of the Batman New 52 titles, The Dark Knight is a fun, engaging read, and with the third issue, it gets even better. David Finch and Paul Jenkins gives us the Batman we know and love, and Finch’s writing makes it clear he knows the character inside and out.

This time around, Batman faces off against another one his enemies affected by the deadly drug that Two-Face got a hold of. After the fight, he further investigates the origin of the drug, leading him to suspect another old foe.

David Finch proves yet again that he is a superb writer, and his take on the Dark Knight is the most believable. Paul Jenkins does a great job with the art yet again, and I hope he stays with this series for quite a while.

The  combination of David Finch and Paul Jenkins have made this Batman title a winner. If you are looking for one Batman comic to pick up and stay with, The Dark Knight is the one most worth your time and money.

 

RASL #12

 

The latest series from the award-winning creator of Bone, RASL is a fun, interesting sci-fi adventure that brilliantly incorporates science, history, and mystery into an original plot that will grab readers’ attention and hold it until they turn the final page.

RASL is a dimension jumping art thief who strives to shut down the St. George Array, a government project that could prove catastrophic for the universe should it become a reality. But the ruthless government agent Salvador Crow works tirelessly to stop RASL, chasing him across dimensions and threatening the lives of everyone he holds dear.

 Jeff Smith writes and draws his comics, and everything he’s done so far, most notably Bone, Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil, and now RASL, has been brilliant. He still stands as one of the best artists in the industry, and his writing is definitely up there as well. If you prefer independent comics, RASL is definitely worth picking up.

 

The Flash #3

 

 The Flash, written by Francis Manapul and drawn by Brian Buccellato, was one of the most anticipated New 52 releases prior to its launch in September. It’s a shame, because it turns out that this series starring The Fastest Man Alive is disappointing and a chore to read.

Barry Allen(The Flash) finds himself up against a brand new villain, Mob Rule. But the stakes are getting higher, and for the first time in his life, The Flash might just be running out of time!

Now, it may just be the story arc, but I’m really not a fan of the New 52 Flash series. Francis Manapul is a fantastic writer, and Brian Buccellato does a great job with the art. But this is just a hard series for me to get into. It has taken three issues for the story to really go anywhere, which is a shame, because the plot has potential. The execution just needs work.

While The Flash is a series I’m really not invested in at this point, hopefully in the near future I’ll find it worth picking up.

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