Feb. 19, 2014 Comic Reviews

Animal Man no. 28 by Jeff Lemire and Rafael Albuquerque | DC | $2.99

I miss Steve Pugh. I'm sorry he had to leave the book for personal reasons, but I truly miss his storytelling technique as, though Albuquerque's style may appeal to some, it's completely lost on me. While he provides some decent imagery and absolutely nails a few of the issue's important moments, its loose sketchiness removed me from others. The reliance on Dave McCaig's differing colors to signify conflict certainly didn't help matters, either.

Lemire's key moments were rather beautifully handled from a writing perspective, however. The climatic action scene blew me away, while the "return" of one particular character, though very "comic book" in its turn, was rather sweet and worth a whoop. 

And I must say, the ending has me quite curious.

Hobby Hole score: 8.1/Great
Previous issue's score: 7.8/Alright

Ghosted no. 7 by Joshua Williamson and Davide Gianfelice | Image | $2.99

I am not into this series right now nearly as much as I was the first five issues. I can't blame it entirely on the art, which simply doesn't boast the same gravitas as Goran's did in the previous arc, as the writing doesn't hold up in comparison either, but I can't help but wonder how this current plot would look with a more noirish flavor.

What this series feels like now is that Williamson had a great idea for a single arc and, after realizing the book's popularity, scrambled to continue the story somehow. As such, it lacks the depth and emotional nuance, while blatantly ignoring (or forgetting) to address other issues. I mean, one character almost died last issue but here, he's perfectly fine. In fact, he actually grows sad when one of those responsible for his near-death is shot. Emotionally, it doesn't line up and reflects only poor execution.

Hobby Hole score: 7.3/Alright
Previous issue's score: 8.1/Great

Harley Quinn no. 3 by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti and Chad Hardin | DC | $2.99

The first book I read this week, as I was really feeling a good laugh, Harley Quinn's third issue fails to hit the mark as strongly as the first two books, as its lack of wit and flair left me hardly cracking a smile. Despite several nods toward seminal horror classics, including one of my personal favorites, nothing hit the mark and while this standalone entry, which altogether failed to push the plot forward, could have been a fun distraction, it felt more like an underdeveloped chore.

Thankfully, at least the art was great. The opening pages in particular were nice, alternating single-panel imagery with black cutaways to produce a checkerboard pattern over twenty panels. While some of the long shots were lacking in fine detail, the overall visual fluidity more than made up for these oversights.

Hobby Hole score: 7.8/Alright
Previous issue's score: 8.4/Great

Justice League no. 28 by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Scott Hanna | DC | $3.99

I've never heard of the Metal Men outside a few issues of Justice League, but based on this issue, I think I would like them. In fact, this single issue did more to introduce and attract me to these characters than whole series have done for others under different writers--a testament to Johns' style.

Reis' designs certainly helped, as each character was given its own unique appearance to match the individual personalities. Okay, so the issue's Big Bad was extremely generic in both penmanship and looks, the flashback's structure makes Platinum's previous cameo within this very series (and also written by Johns) nonsensical, and the tie-in did nothing to further the plot of "Forever Evil," but it was truly enjoyable as a one-off sidebar.

Hobby Hole score: 8.6/Great
Previous issue's score: 7.9/Alright