Comic Review: Catwoman #5, Wonder Woman #5, and Lord of the Jungle #1

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Catwoman #5
The New 52 are moving into their second plot arcs with lovely fluidity. Catwoman is no exception. Selena is on the prowl and still pissed over the loss of her best friend, Lola Macintire. Unfortunately that’s the last thing she can think about as she’s falling a half of a mile to the ground with a mutant chick on her heels who just happens to be able to fire anti-gravity beams out of her arms. In the typical Catwoman way, Selena falls, rips her shoulder out of its socket, then keeps on fighting with style.
The object of the fight is, of course, a bag of money. But not just any bag of money – we’re talking over $400k here (not that she knew it was that freaking much when she picked up this gig). Anything involving this much money has got to be dirty on the big scale. And it is – involving the Gotham City Police Department. Catwoman finds herself on their radar before she could say ‘catnip’ – and quickly becomes overwhelmed by sheer numbers.
Ok – so there was initially a lot of talk around this series – but I can’t help but not care at all. Is THIS Selena Kyle true to the original? Is the series TOO sexy? Too violent? Too generally gratuitous? I personally find it entertaining as hell! (*Shrugs* I have a propensity to like both sex and violence. So sue me.) I certainly wouldn’t be choosing this as the comic I pass onto my 11 year old nephew though. This is a comic for adults. Women can enjoy it for the smart, witty, and tough main female protagonist. Men can like it – well, let’s just be honest. There’s still lots of boobs getting thrown around.
Ok, I’ll admit that the obnoxious amount of the exposed and idealized female form is annoying – it really is. But at the same time, the writing and rest of the artwork is so awesome, I just kind of don’t care.

Lord of the Jungle

When I first heard that there was a new #1 book coming out featuring Tarzan, I rolled my eyes and thought who buys that crap! But I picked it up because I always like the chance to review #1s – and you know what? It was kinda good….
No really. The first frame is of a skeleton – as is the second. All we see of the adult Tarzan himself is his back, his hand, and his shadowed outline … ok, I’m intrigued.
Then the story moves into the background of how Tarzan’s parents came to be on the jungle island in the Congo. The story gets a wee bit …. Incongruous. The first and biggest misstep was that we initially see Tarzan’s mother, Alice Greystoke, and she is skinny as can be. “Three weeks later” she looks like someone shoved a down comforter under her shirt. You would think that one of the 4 men working on this series, or the 8 men in the Dynamite Entertainment publishing house would have experienced a pregnant woman in their lives before. I have never knows a woman to go from nothing to giant in three weeks. Did they mean three months? How about six months?
The second thing that threw me off was kinda still awesome in its own right. We see a tribe of some sort walking through the jungle dropping us readers helpful information that the white man under the leadership of Leopold has been taking over the Congo and that we are currently looking at one of the last unsettled regions. Unfortunately, that’s all we really get from this group of travelers because they shortly thereafter get literally destroyed by a band of “not apes, not men” – we have yet to find out exactly what these creatures were. I was intrigued enough to honestly wonder, though. And the killing scene? – awesome in a gross way. The purpose of the victims was a little too literarily obvious – but I’ll forgive them (throw them a bone if you will) because they basically provided the rib special at all you can eat buffet for the man-apes.
I really enjoyed this more than I thought I would. The art was totally solid – Roberto Castro did an amazing job putting all the drama of the Tarzan tale into a visual format. While the writing had its blips, the storyline was engaging. I recommend this series to those comic lovers who like to get off the beaten path. For those sick of the big names in the industry – give Lord of the Jungle a go.

 

Wonder Woman #5
It’s a sad day for Wonder Woman – no I’m not talking about the Hera’s wrath destroying the amazons. I’m also not talking about her finding out that she is the daughter of Zeus and not born from prayers and and clay. I am talking about the Cliff Chiang not doing the art in issue #5. The sophisticated, dramatic, regal feel to the new Wonder Woman comic is just plain gone. Now Tony Akins is at the helm. While the art isn’t bad – it just plain doesn’t fit the feel of the gods and their children in this story. Diana no longer exudes the sexy strength that Chiang embodied with her illustration – she just looks like a pretty raven-haired chick with blue eyes and a thick pair of thigh muscles. *sigh*
Art aside, the story continued to be a well-played intrigue of a missing Zeus and the havoc he has caused because he can never seem to keep his little lightning bolt in his pants. Now that Zeus seems to be out of the picture, his siblings are eyeing up that throne on Olympus – and so are some of his many children. Diana is pulled into this family drama both by the fact that Zeus is her father, making her another target of Hera’s vendetta, as well as by her vow to protect Zola and her unborn child (also conceived from those over-active loins of Zeus).
We see various parties all forming and plotting – Apollo, War, Hera, Poseidon, and Lennox Works. Lennox Works? We have yet to figure out how this other son of Zeus plays into the picture.
All in all, the writing quality is maintaining a high level – I think I’ve said my peace about the art, though. I’m still going to continue the series and see where Brian Azzarello takes us.

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