Friday, July 25, 2014

Fox Tales

Hello, everyone! This week, we're very excited to be bringing you our first reviews from a very special guest blogger: Antarctic-Fox!!

Having known the director/producer all of her life and hawkguy and The Intern for about four years, Antarctic-Fox is a dear friend of the Robots team. When she's not baking delicious goodies or doing some kick-ass cross-stitching (she's working on a scene from Howl's Moving Castle right now), she enjoys reading comics such as Ms. Marvel, Saga, Harley Quinn, Southern Bastards, and The Wicked + The Divine. She's also one helluva bartender. Tell her the director sent ya. Antarctic-Fox hopes to (occasionally) bring her unique opinions to these Send More Robots reviews and let her lady geek flag fly. Girl Power!!

Without further ado, here are Antarctic-Fox's reviews...

Saga #21, Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

Ok, so. I’m a big stickler for artwork, and Fiona Staples’ art is what initially drew me to Saga (having read the first trade of Y: The Last Man and not being as enamored of it as most other people, Vaughan wasn’t as well-known to me).  The settings and the character designs are vivid and different, and who doesn’t love Hazel?  And can we just talk about the cover? I love the social structure of the Robot planet, and how that is visually illustrated by the television robot heads. Actually, the robot part of this issue may be one of the more exciting parts, as the other part just breaks your heart.  And don’t even get me started on Prince Robot IV.

That being said, this issue further illustrates the space growing between Alana, with her job in the Circuit, and Marko, the stay-at-home father who has to hide his face in bandages.  After the bombshell on the last page of issue #19, you can’t do much but follow the train tracks to its final destination.  You see the downward spiral, and know you can’t do anything about it but hope it doesn't end up such a downer.

Rating: 8/10

Wonder Woman #33, Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang

I will miss Cliff Chiang’s Wonder Woman.  I love how he’s played around with her outfit (and how her lasso is tied into her hair? Gorgeous!) and the overall style of this book, reminiscent of the Golden Age but unmistakably modern.  It’s clean, it’s streamlined, it’s minimalist.  And for me, it’s matched well with Wonder Woman, particularly the Wonder Woman of Azzarello.  It’s wonderful to see the Greek gods and goddesses, and the Amazons’ design is perfect for the women warriors they are.

This issue is the beginning of the end.  You can tell it’s the start of Azzarello’s and Chiang’s last arc, or at least where the last arc picks up steam.  You can feel the permanence of it, the finality. There are only two more issues left for these two, and that knowledge depresses me to no end.  Pair that with the carnage the First Born wreaks in this issue, and you’re just left with darkness.  Aleka really redeems herself and becomes a great leader (complete with a Stacker Pentecost Pacific Rim-esque call to arms).  And Diana has a great exchange with the First Born about names and titles.  It shows her strong character, that she worked so hard to figure herself out and now knows who she is.  Just in time for the boss battle.

It’s a lot like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: you know it’s the end, but it’s a good wrap-up, complete with a fantastic return on the last page which is the perfect cliffhanger for the next issue.  You care about the cast of characters and their plight almost as much as Diana’s.  I’m sad to see it end, but this looks like a proper send-off.

Rating: a straight up 10/10. Chiang is KILLING IT with his art

Storm #1, Greg Pak, Victor Ibanez

You had me at mohawk.  Storm is maybe my favorite X-Man (partly because I cannot for the life of me figure out where to start with the X-Men and there’s so much backstory to sift through).  I love the mohawk, probably for the same reason I like that Cliff Chiang’s Wonder Woman has her hair up when in that classic throwback armor.  It’s different.  It’s fun.  It’s striking.  It’s strong.  And, as evidenced on the first page, it makes for a gorgeous profile.  It immediately establishes what this Storm will be.  And the narration doesn’t hurt either.  

This is everything a first issue should be.  It sets the tone of the comic, it introduces the characters, and brings some conflict, but not necessarily the main conflict.  It’s a perfect entry point.  There isn’t a whole lot of backstory necessary to understand this book, which was my problem with the Brian Wood all-female X-Men: it was hard to get into if you didn’t already follow the other X-Men lines.  It introduces themes I love seeing: when an action is selling out or when it’s politics and finding a place in the world, a purpose.  I love Marisol’s character and how she challenges Storm and how culture comes to be so definitive, so important to these two. It’s lovely and wonderful and I am so excited for more.

Rating: 10/10. Let me reiterate: you had me at mohawk.

Thanks again to Antarctic-Fox for these reviews. Let us know what you thought of these titles and how much you're digging this guest blogger. Also, look forward to hawkguy's reviews coming soon.

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