Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.
Lady Mechanika Collected Edition #0-1 by Joe Benitez (story and art), Peter Steigerwald (colors), Josh Reed (letters), Vince Hernandez & Frank Mastromauro (editors), Benitez & Steigerwald (cover)
I remember when I saw this in Previews back in 2011. I hadn’t seen the single issues (#0 or 1) before this collected edition, but there was something about the art style and steampunkish look that got me interested, so I ordered it. Then, #2 came up for order, but I didn’t get because I hadn’t read this yet. Once I did, I wanted #2 and beyond. Thus would begin a long journey of finishing issues and waiting for new ones. In fact, it would be almost four years before the first story arc would conclude. I’m not sure why I stuck with it because I normally don’t for titles that take years to come out, but there was something about the book.
I really liked #0. It introduces us to Lady Mechanika and a bit of the world in which she inhabits. #1 starts the “Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse” where the Lady investigates the death of another creature like her, part human, part machine (the term cyborg is never used). Now that I have the final issue of this story (#5), I should reread the whole thing to see how it holds up in one go as opposed to the several year interruption.
If this comes out in trade (I can’t imagine why not), I suggest you try it, especially if you’re into steampunk.
Here’s a cover image from a comic in my collection, chosen at random.
Getting this issue was a weird experience for me. I ordered the #0-1 collection from Previews, but when I saw #2 solicited a short time later, I didn’t order it because I hadn’t yet received and read the #0-1 issue. By the time I read that issue, I was hooked. It took me months to obtain issue 2.
Now for week 3 of my quickie December 2011 comic reviews.
Batman #4: Usually I don’t care for adding new stuff to an established character’s origin as if it’s been there all along, but I did enjoy the addition of Bruce Wayne, Lil’ Detective. The Greg Capulo art is getting better (or better with me at least, save for how all of his dark-haired characters look the same sans masks) and that last page incorporating the credits into the maze was neat.
Batman, Inc.: Leviathan Strikes! #1: Does anyone know why DC delayed the release of these two Batman, Inc. issues (what would have been #9 & 10)? Was it just the New 52 launch? Regardless, I got to see Stephanie Brown as Batgirl one last time and was by far the better story of the two in this $7 collection, though, speaking of the second story, was it really a surprise just who Leviathan was revealed to be? I was actually a little disappointed. Despite that, I will be getting this series when it returns later this year.
Daredevil #7: Love love love that cover–it’s so elegant in it’s simplicity. This issue is a nice change of pace from the story that’s been developing, but it was the Nelson & Murdock office party that was the best part of this. 1) Matt comes into the party wearing a “I am not Daredevil” shirt along with devil horns on his head. 2) When Kirsten McDuffie says hello, Matt offers to get her wine but “accidentally” knocks the bottle over so that when they both catch it, they end up touching hands (I bet Matt does this bit all of the time–he’s such a player!). The A story is fine, but really is just a respite before the next big plot.
Fantastic Four #601: Ok, bone picking time. This is how Marvel keeps down cost? A flimsy cover stock? As for the issue, there are some nice moments in it: Spidey’s reaction to seeing Johnny back, Sue’s tears of joy at the same, Ben shedding a tear as well, and Reed (of course) being able to tell Johnny exactly how long he had been presumed dead (2757 hours). By the way, just how much more can Earth-616 take? After the events of Fear Itself, and now this (and who knows what other apocalyptic events that have happened in other Marvel books), the poor populace has taken quite a beating.
Justice League #4: More lovely bits! Cyborg makes a full-on appearance, as does Aquaman, who quips to the assembled almost Leaguers, “I don’t see a leader.” To which Batman replies, “Then you’re not looking at me.” Later, when dick Hal accidentally (or is he copping a feel?) touches Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth and reveals he’s really just trying to impress people, Batman laughs (though not on panel). Oh, yeah, and Darkseid arrives. The art this issue seemed less clean, or maybe it’s just because there are a lot of explosions.
Nightwing #4: Just when I was enjoying the thought of Raya sticking around long-term, the first few pages spell it out: she tells Dick that their fling is just that, nothing more (and that sentiment is reinforced at the end as well). But to complicate matters for the former Boy Wonder, Batgirl shows up, but she does apologize for the way she treated Dick in Batgirl #3, so I liked that bit of continuity. And can we have a moratorium on using the body double trope? That is so hackneyed.
Wonder Woman #4: Cliff Chiang’s Diana is gorgeous! I love his rendition of the Amazon Princess more and more each issue. And Brian Azzarello’s take on the Olympians has grown on me to the point that I love them all so far. How refreshing to see War portrayed not as a megalomaniac bent on utter destruction? At the end though–did Hera do that to the Amazons? Based on how she was treating Hippolyta earlier, it doesn’t make sense, but then, Hera is known for her mood swings.
I also read Birds of Prey #4 (still liking this book, and the ending to this issue has me intrigued), Blue Beetle #4 (yawn), Catwoman #4 (why does Selina like wearing the red wig so much? And holy cow that last page!), DC Universe Presents #4 (we really have one more issue of this thing?), Lady Mechanika #3 (I love the look of this book, but the jokes are really lame), LSH #4 (yawn), Supergirl #4 (yawn), Thunder Agents #2 (I liked the Frazer Irving cover. The story is so-so.).
Alpha Flight #2: I was so excited to see Alpha Flight back, but this issue was just a little disappointing.
Batman, The Dark Knight #3: Not much actually happens in this, but it’s nice to look at. However, it bugs me when the artist gives me a two-page spread of just some random bad guy’s head. That just tells me that Finch needed to fill up two pages, but there wasn’t enough story.
FF #6: Wow, after the first five issues, and especially after the wonderful Barry Kitson art, this was a huge disappointment. I know Hickman is building a larger story with this interlude, but I want to read about the FF, not the Inhumans. Plus, I just don’t care for Paul Tocchini art (though it does remind me a bit of Gene Colan’s work).
Green Lantern #67: Holy cats, the ending! Unfortunately, the news from San Diego ComicCon spoiled this for me, but still, what an ending to the final issue of Green Lantern before the September relaunch. But first, Hal shows what an awesome GL he really is by killing a major Green Lantern universe character. And by awesome, I mean powerful and scary (at least to the Guardians). If you don’t read the comic, but still want to know, select the next bit of text to reveal the spoilery bit: a GL ring chooses Sinestro as a ring-bearer, and then the Guardians fire Hal and transport him back to Earth, no longer a Green Lantern. I can’t wait until September 14 to see how this all works out in the GL universe!
Guarding the Globe #5: If you like the larger Invincible universe, read this, but the long release schedule between issues is just irritating me.
Lady Mechanika #0-2: This is an interesting book in a couple ways. 1) When it came out: I ordered this back in February, plus issue #2 came out on the same day as this. What is up with that? *shrug* Maybe only I find that interesting. 2) I absolutely could not stand Joe Benitez’s work on the Titans title a few years back, but it works here very well. I also like the world to which I’m introduced. Something about the steampunk genre appeals to me, and Benitez’s art suits this comic very well. If he continues to put it out (hopefully on a more regular basis), I’ll buy it.
Teen Titans #97: The whole Solstice storyline is surprisingly good, and much better than the previous storyline by J. T. Krul.
I also read:
Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #2
Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #2
Flashpoint: Frankenstein & the Creatures of the Unknown #2
Birds of Prey #14: No Gail Simone, so what?
I’m enjoying the Flashpoint second issue tie-ins more than the first issues, and if you want to keep up on the world of Flashpoint, these are a must buy. Batgirl is always a joy to read, as is Unwritten, and are two titles you should have been reading from the start. :)