June 4, 2013

Crisis of Infinite Reviews 05/29/13

btdka1Batman: The Dark Knight Annual #1
Writer: Greg Hurwitz
Artists: Szymon Kudranski and Hi-Fi
Cover Artists: Alex Maleev
Publisher: DC

This is a prime example of how a well written and illustrated book can still end up being a bad read. Greg Hurwitz does a fantastic job with this issue. The plot is well paced, the story is interesting and even quite humorous, and best of all it showcases Batman’s intelligence and lighter side without having to display his physical prowess. Szymon Kudranski’s art is perfect for this story. His gritty, sketchy linework was well suited for this fear-filled story. Certain panels did end up looking too sketchy, leaving the subject a tad unclear, however for the most part he does a great job here. The biggest problem with this issue is timing. This “Annual” could not have been published at a worse time. First of all, it’s nowhere near Halloween, which is when this story is set. Admittedly, that’s more annoying than problematic, but nevertheless it’s strange. Most of all though, the most recent issue of the ongoing Batman: The Dark Knight series had Mad Hatter killing Batman’s girlfriend. This issue had Batman sitting around, playing three of his villains like puppets, but in more of an amusing manner than an angered one. This issue should have been great, but instead it was just a little weird. 4/5

catwomanannual 1Catwoman Annual #1
Writer: Ann Nocenti
Christian Duce, Aaron Lopresti, John Livesay, Andrew Dalhouse, and Matt Yackey
Cover Artists:
 Emmanuela Luppachino
Publisher: DC

This book comes as a bit of a surprise, because it is actually a very good read. The story is clear, concise, and a great direction for this book. A gang war works well in this title, because Catwoman’s roots have always been much closer to the lower, seedier parts of Gotham, and she is constantly walking the fine line between hero and villain. She does good things, she helps people, but she’s also a criminal, so the constant power struggle in Gotham is something that affects her life in more ways than anyone else. The art in this issue is also well done. Christian Duce draws a fitter, stronger looking Catwoman who immediately appears to be a more formidable opponent. This issue works as a great intro to the brewing gang war in the ongoing title. However, as good as this issue is, it does not negate the fact that the ongoing series has been terrible for months. Would it be nice if this was the start of a turn-around in quality for this series? Yes; whether or not that is likely, only time will tell. 3/5

rhato a1Red Hood and the Outlaws Annual #1
Writer: James Tynion IV
Al Barrionuevo, BIT, and Javier Mena Guerrero
Cover Artists:
 Ken Lashley and Matt Yackey
Publisher: DC

What makes comics such an amazing medium, is the combination of literature and art. For a comic book to succeed, neither should be dwarfed in quality by the other. This issue is an example of where a great story is marred by inconsistent artwork. James Tynion IV does a fantastic job with this issue, making sure to divide the focus on all three characters. The introduction of Green Arrow and the League of Shadows was a great mixture of action, history, and humorous banter. Unfortunately, all of this was overshadowed by the artwork. While the entire issue was illustrated by Al Barrionuevo, the style and quality changed so often it felt like there were more artists. Most of the problem was due to the strikingly different styles the two colorists decided to incorporate into this issue. Overall, what could have been a great issue ended up being just a decent read. 3/5

Be sure to check out previous editions of Crisis of Infinite Reviews by clicking here!

Arnab Pradhan


One Comment

  1. Going to have to get the Dark Knight Annual just because Kudranski drew it and he’s been awesome on Spawn for the past year!

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