Friday, 17 October 2014

Confessions of an Awesomntic Blogger


Here’s the thing;

I know that in a world of around seven billion people, only a miniscule amount are actually comic fans. But not all of them think the same. There are a few misconceptions that the comics industry kind of takes for granted; We all want to see another rendition of Batman beating up Superman (my only problem with BvS so far is that it will probably be a Batman victory); we all love Deadpool, we all wanted Superior Spider-Man to end.

The comic fanbase is diverse enough to have different opinions. Unfortunately, most of them get drowned out by a very vocal group who dominate conversations in comics. So consider this my stepping out and admitting some things that, it seems, comic fans aren’t supposed to think (at least, if the IGN message boards are any indication).

 
Yay... Batman beats Superman... No way is DC
gonna force THAT down our throats...
for the next 30 years Right?
Neither Frank Miller, nor Alan Moore have done all that much for me.

I tried Watchmen, but had to stop reading before I threw up. I really wanted to like The Dark Knight Returns, but ended up having to force myself through it.

I know, I know, Watchmen is a classic, and The Dark Knight Returns established Batman as a dark character. But you know what? Both books were pretty boring. Sure, there were scenes from both that I didn’t hate, but that doesn’t make them enjoyable.

I’m aware that, according to WB, I’m actually supposed love at least Frank Miller’s work, but honestly, it does nothing for me.

I actually DON 'T hate these designs, though I wish
Wonder Woman kept the pants.
 
I actually like the New 52

Dead set; the New 52 got me into reading DC. And I’m not even talking about the highly acclaimed ones like Snyder’s Batman. It was Kyle Higgins’ Nightwing. There are plenty of people who really want the New 52 to be a failure. People who don’t want anyone to know that some people enjoy the new status quo in the vain hope that it will mean that they get their white Wally West back along with underwear on the outside, but I can’t help it; I’m just as invested in this status quo as others were in the old ones.

I’m under no delusions that every New 52 book is a gem. I have a bit of buyer’s remorse with Teen Titans, am glad I only borrowed Batman- The Dark Knight from my library and am proud of myself for never having picked up Savage Hawkman. But there are plenty of New 52 runs that I have loved- Grant Morrison’s run on Superman- Action Comics, Buccelato and Manapul’s run on The Flash and Geoff Johns’ Aquaman are amongst my best-loved books. Getting rid of it all so that older fans can go back to their comfort zones feels a little like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

These guys are genuinely shocked that I didn't like this movie.
I wasn’t a fan of The Avengers movie! There, I said it.

I heard the hype, I wanted to like Whedon’s take on the team, but ultimately, it fell flat.

Not that it was a bad movie- it wasn’t. But after hearing everyone harp on and on about how great it was, I saw the uneven focus (“let’s make it all about Iron Man, since Iron Man 2 was such an awesome movie!”), the throwaway explanations (“I’m always angry… I’m not always the Hulk, who I turn into when I’m angry… but I’m always angry!”) and the boring, unintimidating aliens (who, to my memory,  blew up nothing and killed nobody; seriously, was New York being invaded by Canada?). I came away thinking the same thing that I thought about Eminem, Jonny Depp films and people’s love/hate for Justin Beiber; “Really? That’s what we’re on about? That’s the big thing?”

I’m not saying that the DC movies are necessarily “better” (I did enjoy Man of Steel, but that was pretty much an opposite experience to The Avengers- everyone was talking about how bad it was, and it wasn’t as bad as people claimed), but I would consider them on par with each other.

Either way, give me a comic over the film any day.

So those are my current confessions. If you run a comics blog, I’d love to see you write a post where you put down your confessions. Let me know if you do.

Talon Vol. 2: Fall of the Owls (The New 52) Review


Talon Volume 2: Fall of the Owls (The New 52)
An accurate representation of books that
guest star Batman.

Writer: James Tynion IV

Artists: Miguel Sepulveda, Szymon Kudranski and Emanuel Simeoni.

Collects: Talon #8-17 and Birds of Prey #21

Background information:

Fair warning: This isn’t a new reader’s book. Understanding it requires you to know the first two volumes of Scott Snyder’s Batman run, as well as the first Talon volume, Scourge of the Owls.

But basically, the Court of Owls, a secret society that has been ruling Gotham for centuries, has been knocking off people they don’t like with assassins called Talons. For years, there had only been one Talon at a time who would be recruited from young performers at Haly’s Circus. Calvin Rose is one such Talon. An escape artist, Calvin’s first mission was to kill Casey Washington, the new CEO of her dead father’s security company and her daughter, Sarah. Calvin refused to kill the girls, and instead went on the run with them. Six years later, the Court of Owls has revived the Talons, giving them Wolverine-like healing powers and sending them after Calvin. Thus began his mission to bring the court down; a mission that eventually saw him betrayed by his mentor, Sebastian Clarke and killed by Bane.

And yes, there’s still a story here.

Review

There were really only three things going through my head as I read Fall of the Owls

1)      I really like Calvin Rose as a character.

2)      Bane is so, amazingly boring. How do people like this guy?

3)      This should have been two volumes, not one.

And that last point is really what spoils an otherwise enjoyable read.
This is your Talon on drugs!

See, there are no less than four story arcs in Fall of the Owls. In the first, the Court of Owls revives Calvin into one of their own, undead Talons and sends them after Stryx, a fugitive Talon who currently rolls with the Birds of Prey. In the second, they send Calvin after Bane on his military-state island of Santa Prisca in search of Sebastian Clarke (which fails). In the third, they take on both Clarke and Felix Harmon (the big bad of the previous volume) as the two psychos try to destroy Gotham and in the fourth, Calvin searches for a cure for his immortality.

None of these stories are particularly bad, even if the first arc is the weakest point of the book, but there are so many of them that the whole trade just feels bogged down under the weight of its own cancellation. It really should have been two trades, with two story arcs apiece. I realise that would mean making one trade only five issues (something I hate when it’s done by Marvel), but it would actually be better here. You need that break in a series like this and having everything collected into one is really too much to take in.

Which again, is a pity, because there’s no real bad story here. Tynion manages to, again, capitalise on Calvin’s skill set as an escape artist (making it a weapon in some places, a plot device in others), the characterisation is still fun, and the over-the-top action is entertaining. On that last point, the last issue features Calvin THROWING A SHARK at a villain.

Yep, he done did that!

And it’s the kind of ridiculous moment that makes this book weirdly fun. It’s not something you tend to expect from a book this dark, but some of Calvin’s tactics in this trade really come out of left field. For example, the dude lights himself on fire so a freezing cube doesn’t affect his healing factor, but does take out the other three Talons around him.

I now present to you, the most stupidly-
cool moment in Talon.
That’s what there is to like about Calvin: he’s clever. He’s insanely resourceful, skilled at what he does and morally conflicted. I realise that I probably just described Batman to most of you, but the difference here is that Calvin’s still a nice guy. He’s obsessed with protecting those he loves and that often leads to some great moments for him.

I do have to talk about that Bane story arc, though. I rolled my eyes when I first read Bane’s appearance in Volume 1, and this arc really didn’t change my mind. It’s a good Bane story, but that’s like saying that you had a nice spew- it’s a really a matter of relativity. See, the last Bane story the New 52 had, to my knowledge, was in Batman the Dark Knight, which was awful. Even though the Bane story here is better, it’s still not great because it’s Bane. Talon confronts Bane. Cue Bane talking about his plans to take Gotham. Cue Bane standing over the guy who’s paying him. Cue Bane talking about how he was moulded in Santa Prisca. Essentially, cue everything Bane does in The Dark Knight Rises. As good as the story arc is, it’s not good for Bane’s presence.

It’s hard for me to go one way or the other in rating Fall of the Owls. If you like Calvin Rose, you’ll probably like the second volume of Talon, if you don’t, haven’t heard of him, or feel indifferent, you’ll want to stay away from a book that gets a three out of five shark-throwing contests.

***

+ Calvin is awesome

+ Action is weirdly fun.

- Bane… Bane…

- Way too many story arcs.

Alternate Option: Talon: Scourge of the Owls

Don’t even think about reading Fall of the Owls until you’ve read this one.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Real Relevance: The Fantastic Four


Seriously? Cancelled?
 
Yep, Marvel’s done it again. In a childish bid to shore up nothing but their cinematic properties, Fantastic Four is officially cancelled.

I know, I know; it was selling poorly, Mavel’s a business, it makes sense to the bottom line, blah, blah, blah…

The problem isn’t that Marvel is trying to make a buck; they’re entitled to make a profit. The problem is one of relevance. Something that goes beyond sales; beyond the bottom line. The First Family should matter to Marvel, even if Fox do have the movie rights.

A Matter of Legacy


It's almost hard to believe how many people
lost their minds over this.
If you spoke to newer fans like me, I imagine you’d be hard-pressed to convince them that the only reason Marvel made it off the starting line is because of Fantastic Four, but that’s the fact. Fantastic Four was really the first book of what became known as the Marvel universe.

Yep, you heard right; the reason we have Avengers, X-Men, Spider-Man or Guardians of the Galaxy is from what Marvel has, for years, been calling “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine.”

Despite what the sales figures leads us to believe, despite what Marvel seems to believe, legacy matters. The Fantastic Four are symbolic of Marvel’s success, and to deny what made Marvel successful in the first place is stepping into what, I think, is very dangerous territory.

A Matter of Adventure

But it’s more than just a symbol of Marvel’s success. Fantastic Four, more than any other book in Marvel’s line up, is about adventure- the kind of adventure, moreover, that doesn’t necessitate violence. I read the first volume of Matt Fractions Fantastic Four the other day and was amazed at how much I didn’t mind that the Fantastic Four issues didn’t feature, or need to feature a central villain. It was fine just being about exploring new worlds and getting into trouble- even if that trouble didn’t have a name. Nobody got punched in the face, decapitated, webbed-up or killed and I was more than okay with that.

That’s pretty significant. The world, young men especially, need to know that excitement doesn’t necessitate violence. Think about some of the greatest adventurers in history; Amelia Rinehart, Lewis and Clark, and many others. Who did they punch? Adventure, more often than not is about the triumph of will rather than muscle. That’s important too.

A Matter of Family

Seriously, who hates these guys?
The real reason that Fantastic Four matters though, has to do with family. It’s been a habit in comics for many years to do as much as they can to keep their characters youthful. If they’re married, get them unmarried (Spider-Man) and if they have kids, get rid of them (Ant-Man and Animal Man)- they ruin a character’s youthfulness so.

Not so with Fantastic Four not only are Sue and Reed Richards married, they’ve also had two, so-far-not-dead children. See, Fantastic Four is a family book- family is what it’s about and family is glorified. I’m a teacher by trade and I see too many kids from broken homes enter my classroom. I’m not going to go so far as to say that Fantastic Four will save the family, but anything that puts family in a positive light is more encouraging than the media world that constantly counts family as unimportant unless they’ve died (here’s looking at you, Batman).

The cancelling of Fantastic Four is a sign that Marvel doesn’t understand the power of its own properties. We’ll see them again, no doubt. But for now, it should be a sad day for Marvel fans.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic Volume 1: Commencement


Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic Volume 1: Commencement (Dark Horse Comics)


Ummm... guys?
Writer: John Jackson Miller

Artists: Brian Ching and Travel Foreman (that’s a name? Seriously?)

Collects: Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic #0-6

Background Information:

A long time ago in…

Actually, forget it. I’m not using that intro. In fact, y’know what? You don’t get background information this time. NO BACKGROUND FOR YOU!!!

Review:

There are three Star Wars movies.

There are only three Star Wars movies.

Anything made between 1999 and 2013 isn’t a Star Wars movie.

Yet, here we are, with a comic that’s essentially a prequel to anything made between 1999 and 2013. And, y’know what? I think it’s a Star Wars comic. But that would be impossible, because then I’d have to admit that anything made between 1999 and 2013 might be Star Wars movies. I don’t know if I could do that.

When I finish this review, I plan on sitting in the corner, rocking, singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow to myself and eating my hair.

Nothing remotely witty to say about this one... too much
going on...
This one focuses on Zayne Carrick, a Jedi padawan with absolutely zero prospects. He is the least accomplished padawan in his group and constantly messes up in the most embarrassing way. His life is turned more or less upside down when he enters his local Jedi temple and finds the local masters standing with sabres drawn over the bodies of other padawans, and so begins a very long, drawn out chase scene. It’s a fugitive story I’ve seen done better in DC’s Talon, but it suffices and it definitely gives everything a purpose.

One of the real saving graces for this comic is that it’s more Star Wars-y than the Star Wars prequels. One of the things that bugged me about the prequels was the “all-too-shiny” look of the ships and buildings. It was something that they slowly got rid of throughout the trilogy, but it still wasn’t dirty enough. The Original trilogy looked dirty. Ships looked cool, but they also looked ready to fall apart at any minute. It was an underground galaxy and that’s thankfully something we see in Commencement.

I also appreciate the fact that writer John Jackson Miller opted away from having many lightsabre duels here. Zayne gets by on his wits and help from his friends more than his ability to cut the other guy up. It makes for a book that feels closer to the original trilogy than the prequels.

That said, this is a book that feels like nothing is happening. The escape process takes the entire book to do, and by the end, you’re left wondering exactly what has happened. For all that occurs in the book, it still feels like we have a non-story here.
Yep... I got nothing today.
Thankfully, the art here does its job just fine. There’s not a lot to say about it- it looks like any of the millions of Star Wars books out there. Not bad at all, but fairly standard stuff.

And at the end of the day, that’s my biggest criticism of Commencement. It all feels too… standard. We’ve seen these characters in Star Wars-related media before (with the exclusion of one character that is too underutilised to matter). There’s the underrated young Padawan with the potential to kill us all, the seedy dealer, the tough angry female and the corrupt leader. It’s like they practically lifted these characters out of other Star Wars media for this book, and that’s just not very interesting. Even the action and humour is very stock-standard. It makes for a book that, while entertaining, is nothing amazing.

Commencement gets a two and a half out of five culinary bowls of hair.

** ½

+ Light on lightsabres.

+ Looks more like the original trilogy that the prequels.

- Too much that’s stock-standard stuff.

- Not much actually happens.

Alternate Option: Star Wars: Legacy

A far better book. This is what you should be reading if you want a Star Wars book.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Avengers Vs X-Men Review


Avengers Vs X-Men

When you're showing teeth it's either a
smackdown or a massive overbite... not
sure which one this is...
Writers: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonathon Hickman, Matt Fraction, and Jeph Loeb

Artists: Frank Cho, Ed Mcguinness, John Romita Jr., Oliver Coipel and  Adam Kubert.

Collects: Avengers Vs X-Men #0-12 and portions of Point One #1

Background information:

The X-Men have had it tough over the years. In House of M, the mutant population was culled to only 200 and the X-Men became desperate survivors. They saw a glimmer of hope (no pun intended) in Second Coming, where a possible messiah emerged in the form of Hope Summers, and separated in Wolverine’s and Cyclops’ X-Men in Schism.

So now we have a situation where Wolverine is trying to raise X-Men who are ready to live in the world, and Cyclops is preparing for war.

This should be interesting.

Oh, there are Avengers in this book too.

Review:

Dear readers;

Please stop liking X-Men as we no longer have the movie rights to them. Like The Avengers instead. Look, here they are fighting the X-Men and they’re totally going to win because they make us more money they’re the better heroes.

Sincerely,

Marvel.


"Sorry, I can't. You're burning my face off with space-bird fire."
At the end of the day, Marvel might as well have done this. Don’t get me wrong, Avengers Vs X-Men is still good to read, but the very explicit agenda behind the book (that I already raved about in my last RealRelevance article) hurts what is otherwise very entertaining.

Okay, so the phoenix force has come to Earth and now the Avengers and the X-Men have to fight. That’s basically the plot. Sure, there are machinations and motives that add volume to the story, but that’s basically it.

It’s not a deep story by any means. As Noel Thorne, a blogger that I’ve come to respect has said (albeit about another book) "I know my brain was eating junk but sometimes a Whopper is just what you want!" And that’s pretty much the way you can sum up the plot here. There are some great interactions between characters; Hope Summer and Scarlet Witch are stand-out great ones, and Professor X was done well as the attempted voice of reason to a militant Cyclops. The rest of the characters, though, are same-old-same-old.

And pretty bland.

Captain America has pretty much no personality in this book. Spidey is fun, but no more than Spidey normally is. Wolverine is very… stabby. Cyclops is a twit. Emma dresses like she has a second job during the nights, and that’s her entire personality. Namor is very angry. Colossus and Magik… actually, who cares. And Iron Man uses smarty-smart talk. It’s not bad by any means, but none of these characters really develop beyond Scarlet With and Hope, and we get a lot of everyone else.

Thankfully, you don’t read event comics for character development (excluding Civil War, which I really loved). You read them for action and world-changing moments. Thankfully, Avengers Vs. X-Men delivers in that area. The action is plentiful and the results of this event changes a lot in the Marvel universe in preparation for Marvel NOW!


Why is there no Hawkeye initiative for Emma Frost's new costume?
EDIT: My mistake, there is one.
If you’re a new reader; consider yourself warned: the only reason you will want to read this book is to give context to the X-Men NOW! book you’re currently reading. Understanding what’s going on here requires knowledge of a LOT of X-history. Thankfully, you don’t need to know much about Avengers, but consider yourself warned.

Art here is done by a number of artists that somehow manage to all look the same. That would be bad if there were multiple titles that I was reviewing, but here, it helps the book to feel coherent. It looks like standard comic art, but that’s fine, because what these artists draw tends to be more impressive than how they draw it.

At the end of the day, though, it’s hard to get over that feeling that there’s a marketing agenda here. Marvel loves the Avengers now more than it ever has, and those that aren’t keen need to get used to it. Thankfully, Avengers Vs X-Men is a fun marketing ploy even if it is nothing more than that. It gets three out of five movie rights.

***

+ Hope and Scarlet Witch are great

+ It’s junk, but enjoyable junk.

+ Does what an event comic is meant to do.

-  Not-Scarlet Witch and Not-Hope are bland and all-too frequent.

- DO NOT BUY THIS AS YOUR FIRST COMIC! I CANNOT STRESS HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS.

Alternate Option: Any Avengers or X-Men Volume 1 in Marvel NOW!

Event comics aren’t meant to be jumping-on points. That what first issues are for (and hey, Marvel does heaps of those).

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Real Relvance: The X-Men


If you don't like any of these guys, I don't care you as a person.
 
A while ago, I wrote an article on why Superman was still relevant. I used a slightly different definition of relevance to what is generally used by the comic-reading community. See, the community see relevant, and takes it to mean “good comic” or even “cool character”.

I’m not satisfied by that definition. For me, something’s relevant if it matters to society. If it encourages us to seek something outside of ourselves and become better for it. Today, I’m going to aim that definition on the X-Men.

Now, this comes not long after I’ve read Avengers Vs X-Men for the first time. I won’t go too much into it least I spoil the review, but it seemed to me that Marvel were very much trying to downplay the significance of the X-people because, y’know, Marvel no longer owns the movie rights. I can’t blame Marvel for trying to capitalise on the now insanely lucrative Avengers franchise, but they’re ignoring just how important the X-Men are not only to business, but to readers. Below follows a few reasons why the X-Men are relevant enough to earn respect.

A real community

We're all friends here.
The X-Men, more than any other Marvel franchise are more than a superhero team- they’re a society. There are groups within the team and those teams don’t always get along, but they all share a common goal; protect mutantdom. Sure, these guys may sock each other in the mouth more than once, but when it comes to, they’ll band together and do something great together. That’s not really something that I’ve seen in Avengers, which currently go the opposite way; a few groups that mostly get along, but will get mad at each other very easily.

We need to be reminded of that. In Australia, where I live, there is talk about taking rather oppressive legal action against Muslims following a botched attempt at terrorism by extremist sociopaths (because it's totally reflective of all Muslims- just like the Ku Klux Klan is reflective of all Christians and Stalin is reflective of all Atheists). We need reminders that it isn’t what separates us that matters, it’s what draws us together and the X-Men do this better than any other franchise.

Idealism

Remember when it was okay to have
ideas.
This is particular for Bendis’ engrossing All-New X-Men, but also applies to X-Men: Legacy (regardless of what you thought of Spurrier and his work), but it’s something that makes X-Men worth keeping around. You see, if All-New has been about anything, it’s been about how innocence isn’t a weakness. The currently un-jaded younger X-Men aren’t being pushed around by the new world they’re in, they’re changing it, and they’re changing it because they’re idealistic. Hope Summers’ role in Avengers Vs X-Men is another great example of this, trumping conventional “wisdom” with will and determination.

We need people who still believe they can change the world; people who are willing to stand up to injustice and make changes. There is too much out there designed to quench that spirit, and X-Men, to me, is a symbol of how radical change can happen.

You are there

For me, this is the biggest one. Unlike the Avengers, the Justice League or any other superhero team out there, the X-Men are highly discriminated against. The pure amount of hatred that society gives these “muties” is incredible.  They’re called names, attacked, made to suffer disgusting jokes, they even have their character called into question simply for being a mutant (something I always found strange in a world that seemed to think that superpowered beings in the Avengers were okay).

Go on, keep a straight face and tell me that someone who feels marginalised for being of a different race, religion, sexuality, or even being a little bit “nerdy” can’t find something that applies to him or her in this kind of story. Myself, I’m a Mormon. While that doesn’t necessarily mean that the challenges I face are even close to the same level of many other minorities (religious or otherwise), you may be surprised just how much hatred my religion gets, even from other Christians (sadly, sometimes it’s especially from other Christians). If it matters to me that people who are hated and feared can be a force for good, as they are in the X-Men books, I can only imagine how much it should matter to those in worse-treated minorities.
Actually, this is a thing.

We talk a lot about diversity in comics, as though characters having the same skin tone is somehow going to relate better to certain readers. What I don’t think many of us realise is that the X-Men speaks to everyone. They send the message that no matter what your challenge; you can be powerful. You can change the world around you. That message is important. It’s highly relevant and it means more to people than yelling “Avengers Assemble” or simply being snarky.

So that’s my argument for the X-Men’s relevance. Who do you think I should go for next?

PS. For the record, I don’t hate the Avengers. I’ve actually been loving the Marvel NOW! Avengers books. I do, however, fell that Marvel are loving their Marvel Studios properties a little too much and leaving the Fox-owned ones by the wayside a *little* bit.

Monday, 29 September 2014

The Flash Volume 3: Gorilla Warfare (The New 52) Review


The Flash Volume 3: Gorilla Warfare (The New 52)

"We are not monkeys! We are apes!"
Writers: Fancis Manapul and Brian Buccellato

Artists: Fancis Manapul

Collecting: The Flash #13-19

Background Information:

Readers who have been put off by the New 52’s “Dark and Gritty” approach, may find that The Flash offers an appropriate remedy to their affliction. Most of the action happens during the day, humour is more present here than in any other DC book and the action has generally been less about decapitations and more about showing off what the Flash can do.

This is a series that has come under fire since the beginning of the New 52 for starring Barry Allen as the Flash and not the highly popular Wally West. But, in all respect, those critics can go jump because The Flash has been one of the more consistently good books in the New 52.

Review:

In case you haven’t caught on, I’ve really been enjoying The Flash, and Gorilla Warfare feels like the final touch on a long first story arc. There’s still another volume to come in Manapul and Buccellato’s run with Barry Allen, but this so far has been the highest point in a series that’s already highly enjoyable.

So the Gem cities have been invaded by talking Gorillas led by their King, Gorilla Grodd. What makes these monkeys so dangerous is that this time, their powered by the speed force- the extra-dimensional energy that give the Flash his powers. Faced with this threat, Flash has to team up with the Rogues- his foes from the previous volume- to drive the invasion back.

The story is a great excuse for Buccellato and Manapul to call the gorilla’s “damn filthy apes”. Planet of the Apes FTW!
Yep, add this to the list of dumb ideas.

There’s been a LOT of set-up to this story in the previous two volumes, so readers hoping to come in fresh with Gorilla Warfare aren’t going to have a lot of fun here. The story relies heavily on knowing that the Rogues are all angry at Captain Cold, their former boss, knowing that Iris West (one corner of Barry’s love triangle) is trapped in the speed force and knowing that most people are convinced that Barry is actually dead. But it’s the way all of these elements are brought together that makes Gorilla Warfare so enjoyable.

Even better is the way that Manapul and Buccellato manage to walk that fine line between “light and fun” and “dark and gritty”. I don’t know how they pull it off, but this book somehow manages to be both without making either one fell neglected. One minute I’m having a chuckle at the inability of the Rogues to get along, another moment I’m cringing as the Trickster’s arm gets ripped off. It’s a great duality that somehow happens without Gorilla Warfare feeling like it’s at odds with itself (something that’s not easy to do- watch The Amazing Spider-Man 2 if you want proof).


Seriously, who doesn't like this couple?
I can’t really go on without talking about Patty Spivot, Barry’s love interest in this and the last two volumes. When I first read about her, I was aware that Iris West was Barry’s love interest before the New 52, and didn’t expect Patty to last this long. Yet, third volume, and here we are. What’s more, she’s really become a likeable character in this volume, and in many ways seems an excellent match for Barry. We know that he’ll end up with Iris eventually, but Barry’s relationship to Patty seems just a relevant.

The art here returns to its former glory. In the last volume, there were some moments that were taken by other artists and that hurt the book. This time the art is firmly in the hands of Manapul, and it’s awesome again.

My only real problem here is that… actually, I have no real problem with this volume. It’s just what I want out of a Flash story, so it gets a five out of five damn filthy apes.

*****

+ Brings the last two volumes together perfectly.

+ Balances “light” and “dark” elements really well.

+ Art back to being excellent.

Alternate Option: The Flash: Move Forward and Rogues Revolution

You need to read these to understand Gorilla Warfare.