Saturday, January 19, 2008


DMZ #26
Random Fire
Writer/Cover: Brain Wood
Art Team: Nathan Fox & Jeromy Cox
Grade: B-

DMZ continues it's single issue spotlights on the citizens of the DMZ. This time DJ Random Fire. Random Fire is looking forward to his headlining gig at the local club until he's bumped by international DJ Grendal. However a former Trustwell employee tells Random Fire about a certain Trustwell plot to make this set unforgettable.

These stories have been hit or miss with me. So far the one that I liked the most was one first ones focusing on tag artist Decade Later. This one was good but nothing I'd ever come back to and just makes me ache for another arc with Matty. However it seems that's going to be a little while off.

Nathan Fox does guest art here and his style reminds me a lot of Becky Cloonan and Paul Pope. I like the art but had I not known it was Nathan Fox I would've figured it to be Cloonan at least. Brain Wood's stories are painting a very detailed environment and culture to the DMZ. It's very much a living world. DMZ is a tough series in the tone and subject matter. I don't mean it's depressing, though it is quite often, but the story shows a future all too realistic. It's good but every month I wonder to myself, is this the right series for me? And every month I look for that issue to fully grip me, and pull me in. Yet still I read it, and though I enjoyed it, once over I forget about the book until the next issue.

Wolverine Origins #21
Deep End Part 1
Writer: Daniel Way
Art Team: Steve Dillon & Matt Milla
Cover: Simone Bianchi & Simone Peruzzi
Grade: C

Woverine vs. Deadpool. That's it. Just a Loony Toons short hopped up on superhero machismo and extended a tad too long. However I... well... I kind of liked it.

I never read this book before and hear mostly negative things about the title. Reading through it, it's not like I see anything special about what Daniel Way is doing however sometimes in this issue he captures Deadpool in his comic glory. yeah, the gags are a little too cartoony but to see the uber-cool Wolverine getting hit with almost cartoonish pranks by a character I have a fondness for in Deadpool did make me chuckle. Way is presenting the more psychotic version of Deadpool rather then the type of character he's become and that turns off a number of fans and I understand. I don't think this is a good book, but I liked it at times. Though Steve Dillon is not my choice of Wolverine artists. Loved his Preacher work but this... no. However his deadpool looked fine.

In the end, just a guilty pleasure issue. Hopefully the upcoming Deadpool series will get Marvel off their asses and release Deadpool collections. Essentials? That would be awesome.

Checkmate #22
Le Vie En Sang
Writers: Greg Rucka & Eric Trautmann
Artists: Chris Samnee & Santiago Arcas
Cover: Kalman Andrasofszky
Grade: A-

The spotlight on Black Queens knight Josephine Tautin aka Mademoiselle Marie continues as she continues on her mission to save the daughter of a French politician and former lover. This issue also, like the previous, contains glimpses into the past mantle holders of the title Mademoiselle Marie and shows the new white Queen assembling her Bishop and Knight. But the star is Josephine Tautin.

This short arc was intense. Very fast paced, hard hitting and engaging. Checkmate continues to get better and better. Having just reread the entire run the series started coming together at Pawn 502 and has been speeding uphill ever since. This spotlight on Josephine was much due as the character as we haven't yet gotten to really know the character. Her past and dedication to her mantle and job make Josephine one of the most bad ass women in the DCU. On the other side of the story, Valentina Vostok bringing in fellow Russian Rocket Red soldier as her knight and the former Soviet spy and villain Bad Samaritan as her Bishop was a twist. Especially as Bad Samaritan belongs to an ethnic group in Russia that have problems with those in powers. His presence in the organization is going to be interesting to watch.

Chris Samnee provides great art. If Joe Bennett was to leave this book he'd be my choice for fill in. Though, to be honest, I don't want Joe Bennett to leave. I was rather annoyed with Jesus Saiz being pulled from the book. DC keeps moving around the artists I like.

Buy Checkmate.

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