Hobby Hole: Feb. 5, 2014 Comic Reviews

Forever Evil no. 5 by Geoff Johns and David Finch | DC | $3.99

Though it took four issues longer than I expected, we finally received an issue of Forever Evil that felt as exciting and eventful as the opening chapter, if not possibly more so. There were no pointless, distracting mysteries or baseless conversations; everything here worked to further the plot, with meaningful developments, deaths and reveals. Thankfully, nothing felt overwritten or unneeded, either, which has been the bane of this series since its inception.

Finch’s art, while perhaps not as refined within the splash imagery as earlier issues, manages to tell a finer story this time round, with an emphasis on more dynamic layouts and focuses. While this didn’t always work, such as in one contrite panel wherein Batman is looking away from the reader, altogether it’s quite effective.

Hobby Hole score: 9.4/Fantastic
Previous issue's score: 9.2/Fantastic

Green Arrow no. 28 by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino | DC | $2.99

Many comparisons have been made between Sorrentino and David Aja (currently part of the art team on Marvel's Hawkeye), and for good reason, as Sorrentino excels in adventurous layouts and framing. However, there's one thing Sorrentino has on Aja: he continues to deliver his book on a monthly basis. 

Typically, the book is just as easy to follow as one of Aja's as well, though the overuse of text in this issue to frame the action proved a modest misstep, as the single spread dedicated to such was overwhelming. The previous spread, on the other hand, detailing the fight between Oliver and his father, was far more detailed and a sight for sore eyes, while easily navigable.

Speaking of Oliver's father, what a dick that guy is, eh? Seriously, this has to have him ranking right up there with Darth Vader. That's some messed up stuff and, honestly, I don't think the story justifies his actions short of declaring the man certifiably insane.

Hobby Hole score: 8.7/Great
Previous issue's score: 9.4/Fantastic

Swamp Thing no. 28 by Charles Soule and Javier Pina | DC | $2.99

I grew immediately sad as this story opened and I didn’t find any dinosaurs. Thankfully, the story nonetheless proved quite intriguing (plus, I’ve got Turok: Dinosaur Hunter today for all my dinosaur needs) if not as entertaining or surprising as previous issues, in that it was mostly exposition. It was fun, though—especially the stroll through Mardi Gras—something the series has not overly been known to be.

What continues to get me about this series is its art, which, even through rotating artists, manages to remain consistent and emboldened by Soule’s new creative approach to the omnipresent Swamp Thing. The two new designs of note this issue, particularly the latter, worm-like version, were simple delights in every panel, while the cameo later in the issue proved, unlike the Demon Knights version, rather chilling. I’m hopeful, as Capucine is explored further, we’ll see even more of that demonic favorite of mine.

Hobby Hole score: 9.2/Fantastic
Previous issue's score: 9.5/Fantastic

Trillium no. 6 by Jeff Lemire | DC | $2.99

Eight issues may have been a little too long for this comic.

While I enjoy Lemire’s experimentation with the comic narrative, particularly the insistence on rotating the comic to properly view the storyline (God knows how digital readers are faring with this), it now seems a little much. The panel-by-panel flip near the end of this issue had me practically dizzy and was certainly not required. I continue to wonder how the collected version will appear; will we need to rotate a hardbound copy in order to read the story? How will that fare with the general reading public?

The art, though, continues to fascinate me and while the “mum” man looked as though Lemire used The Goonies’ Sloth for a photo reference, it stole the show this issue as the plot churned unnecessarily. This issue in general felt mostly like filler, with the main characters simply moved like pawns across a chess board in service to the larger plot. While one moment toward the beginning was exciting, the rest was far less-so and, as I mentioned at the start of this review, perhaps that wouldn’t be the case were this book a few issues shorter in execution.

Hobby Hole score: 6.8/Meh

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter no. 1 by Greg Pak and Mirko Colak | Dynamite | $3.99

Now THAT is how you deliver a Turok book with a fresh taste. I've been a fan of the Turok comics since stumbling upon the original Son of Stone run as a kid, and have read every volume since (and played the videogames as well), and I must say this is the best start to a series I've read. 

What makes this debut strong is how different it is from previous volumes. Each of those took Turok, a confident, older Native American, and threw him into a world not his own (sort of like another favorite of mine, Howard the Duck—I'm sensing a theme here). But this, this is fun, teenage-angst drama of the best kind—you know, not the Twilight kind.

The art, meanwhile, was just as great, with Colak drawing the book in a vein similar to Sean Murphy and the result is little short of brilliance. Though there's one fairly weak scene in the middle involving a bridge that is difficult to follow, the interiors are much better than the Rob Liefeld variant cover would have you believe. On the point of covers, why, oh why are there so many to this comic? Four pages worth of variants are at the back of this printing, and I'm certain we'll see a second coming soon, if not a third. 

But who cares? I'm a Turok fan for a reason, and I can't wait until next issue.

Hobby Hole score: 9.2/Fantastic