Saturday, December 13, 2014

Black Bat Omnibus

Writer:  Brian Buccellato

Artist: Ronan Cliquet

Source:  Net Galley

First Publication:  November 2014

Publisher:  Dynamite

Collects issues 1-12

Graphic Novel Challenge #63

From Amazon:  The classic pulp vigilante, reimagined for a new generation! Tony Quinn is a brash defense attorney to the mob who compromises his ethics for financial gain. When he refuses to cross the line and commit murder, he is tortured and blinded by his gangster employers. When a fortuitous meeting with a covert agency gives him a chance to make amends, Quinn transforms into the Black Bat and embarks on a redemptive quest to right the wrongs of his past. Collects the complete story from issues #1-12 of the Black Bat comic book maxi-series.

As in many cases, it is easy to see where the inspiration for many of the modern super-heroes can be found in the pulps.  I imagine that some of the origin of Daredevil came from this character.  A brash attorney becomes a blind hero.  Daredevil took a different path after starting with some of the same concepts.  Daredevil never became a lawyer for the mob for one thing.  And the Black Bat was given a way to compensate for his blindness by a shadowy organization.
Brian Buccellato impressed me with his work on the New 52 reboot of “The Flash”.  His writing, in conjunction with Francis Manapul, helped to make that title a success.  He continues to turn in good work with “Black Bat”.  I have enjoyed many of the Dynamite series based on the pulp characters.  I am adding this to the Dynamite list that includes “The Shadow”, “Doc Savage”, “ Green Hornet” and others.

This is a great collection to pick up since it contains all of the issues of the maxi-series.  If you are a fan of pulp characters or just good storytelling, definitely buy this one.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Teen Titans Earth One

Writer:  Jeff Lemire

Artists:  Rachel Dodson Terry Dodson

Source:  Net Galley

First Publication:  November 2014

Publisher:  DC Comics

Graphic Novel Challenge #62

From Amazon:  

A new original graphic novel in DC's popular "Earth One" series, TEEN TITANS: EARTH ONE follows in the tradition of SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE and BATMAN: EARTH ONE, both of which were #1 New York Times bestsellers. 

The Teen Titans never felt like normal kids... but they had no idea how right they were. Their seemingly idyllic Oregon upbringing hides a secret -- one that will bring killers, shamans, and extraterrestrials down on their heads, and force them into an alliance that could shake the planet to its foundations! 

The Creators:

Jeff Lemire caught my attention with his work on various DC titles.  One of the first that I remember was his stint on SUPERBOY before the start of the New52.  One of the most interesting titles he has written was the FRANKENSTEIN AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E.  Definitely worth following.

The Dodsons have worked on numerous titles for various companies.  Their smooth lines show some of the same rendering styles used by Adam Hughes.

The Story:

I had mixed feelings about this one.  On one hand I could see where this would appeal to younger fans.  The storytelling is solid but not up to the quality  I have come to expect from Lemire.  It did not have the innovative ideas of his other work.  A younger fan who is not as familiar with Lemire or the Titans would enjoy this one.  For me, I will stick with the stories written by Marv Wolfman and Geoff Johns.  Both did Titans stories more to my liking.

The high point of the story was the art.  The Dodsons consistently turn out good work but I thought this was some of their best.