by Aaron Lightfoot, Comic Columnist
Batman Arkham Knight #6:
Written by: Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Ig Guara, Julio Ferraira, and Andrew Dalhouse
Taking place before the events of popular video game Batman Arkham Knight and after the events of Batman Arkham City, this series shines light on the events that unfold to lead to Scarecrow’s ultimate takeover of Gotham City. After reading the first issue, I was certain that I knew the identity of the Arkham Knight. Although the series is named after him, he hasn’t made too many appearances.
This is not indicative of a lackluster comic, however. With the power struggle that happened after the Joker’s death, there are many famous Batman villains the series could include. With a primary focus of Bane, Poison Ivy, and spurts of Harley Quinn, Scarecrow, and the Penguin, the series has a chance to develop into something that can become appreciated over time. The main drawback in the series is now that the Arkham Knight game has been released and with many people knowing the identity of the Arkham Knight, part of the mysterious element has been wiped away.
Batman Beyond #2:
Written by: Dan Jurgens
Art by: Bernard Chang and Marcelo Maiolo
Batman Beyond has appealed to many people, especially those who grew up watching the television series. With this being the first comic series I have read over the non-traditional Batman, one that is not Bruce Wayne, I didn’t really know what to expect. With the writer being Dan Jurgens, who is responsible for the death of Superman in the early 1990’s, I was happy to read something that had such an iconic name on it.
What really gets to me about the comic is that although the artwork is fairly good, with one of the best portrayals of Inque, the story so far has left me in the middle of caring and not caring what happens to Jerry. It seems like a decent comic and although it is only issue number two, I haven’t really felt a draw that has made me impatient for the next issue to come out. With a good team behind the series, I hope that they can turn the series into something that will make people interested in one of the more unique takes on Batman.
Red Skull #1:
Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Luca Pizzari and Rainier Beredo
Recently, I gave a bad review to Squadron Sinister #1 for many reasons. One of those being that it failed at making a bunch of villains work with one another in a cohesive way. In contrast, Red Skull #1 is a good example of how to bring villains together in a comic – including villains like Magneto, Electro, and The Winter Soldier. The series does well making sure that everyone has some time to shine.
With the reveal of Red Skull not occurring until the last panel, it allows the characters time to develop and in turn allows the readers to invest in them before the title character takes center stage. What will be interesting in the next issue is to see how the group of six villains react to being saved by Red Skull. Overall, the comic has good artwork and a good start to what seems like a solid series.
Future Imperfect #2:
Written by: Peter David
Art by: Greg Land, Jay Leisten, and Nolan Woodard
The massive sizes of The Thing and Maestro is enough to make people want them to “drop the gloves” and just go after each other. That is exactly what happens in this issue. Both of them land blow after blow against one each other, but one question remains: what happened to the story? A lot of people are drawn to fights like this, but with this being only the second issue, a lot of the meaning behind the fight is removed.
Although an action packed comic, the biggest flaw is in the immediate fight between the two stars. This could lead to some sort of revenge fight later on, but there are no clues that really point in that direction. The writing is good and so is the artwork, but making the two fight early on may lessen the reader’s likelihood of wanting to invest in something that is all about meaningless action.
We Stand on Guard #1:
Written by: Brian K. Vaughan
Art by: Steve Skroce and Matt Hollingsworth
Brian K. Vaughan has become an important writer at Image. Best known for his work with the series Saga, he brings his talents to a new project in which the United States of America is at war with Canada. Portraying the side of the Canadiens, the story starts from the beginning of the war and then jumps forward twelve years, where you follow the main character, Amber, as she sets out to find her lost brother. She encounters an American drone that looks like a wolf, and she is then saved by a group of fellow freedom fighters. Amber teams up with them as they attempt to take out another American drone, this one with resembling a gorilla.
In the end, the amount of storytelling that is done doesn’t seem like much, but the amount of potential that the comic has is astounding. I can allow Vaughan time to develop a story that will fit the feel of the comic because I know that he does a good job of doing so, and in turn, it helps reassure me that the story will blossom soon. Mix that with some of the best artwork I’ve ever seen, and it’s a recipe for a comic that is a must read.