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Daily Dose: What Makes A 'SUPERGOD'?

Strange #1, SUPERGOD #1, The Unwritten #7 and Red Robin #6 Reviewed!

Strange #1, SUPERGOD #1, The Unwritten #7 and Red Robin #6 Reviewed!

 

Strange: 'A Whole New Ballgame' #1 of 4

Written by: Mark Waid
Art by: Emma Rios
Colors by: Christina Strain
 
It must be pretty humiliating to go from being the most powerful man in the mystical universe and holding the title of "Sorcerer Supreme," to barely being able to conjure up some hocus pocus in your pinkie finger to save yourself from a sticky situation! At least you still recall your incantations, right Doctor? Mark Waid pens this book and does a fantastic job dealing a still recovering Stephen Strange who still happens to be suffering from being a bit too arrogant for his own good. Nothing like the old "Sorcerer Supreme" we knew from before, this new Doctor Strange will be taking on the role of mentor and hanging up the cape; at least for a little while. 

"I'd forgotten how terrific it felt to simply relax and not have to feel responsible for every little thing that goes wonky in the-"

There is a lot of great dialogue in this book. Waid does a phenomenal job with the characterization of Doctor Stephen Strange who is still coming to terms with the fact that he has been embarrassingly demoted. The interaction between he and ' Tul'uth,' the evil demon who has possessed the baseball team is fantastic. The story seems to be setting up Casey to be Strange's protege, particularly considering her grandfather's death so early on; a scene which felt a bit rushed even after being "dealt with" towards the end.  The art work is impeccable, and the colors are brilliantly vibrant; managing to capture emotion, expression and plot progression perfectly. While I did personally find Casey's character to be somewhat obnoxious, I am willing to overlook it because Stephen and Tul'uth were so perfectly captured. 
 
4 out of 5 

 

SUPERGOD #1

Written by: Warren Ellis
Art by: Garrie Gastonny
 
I really have few words for this book aside from "wow." I almost feel intimidated having to review it, not a surprise since it is after all written by Warren Ellis. I will start off by saying first that I do not recommend the book for the immature or casual comic reader (being that it deals with some very adult issues,) not solely because I feel there should be an age discrepancy with this book, but because I feel that younger readers would not appreciate the sheer depth and beauty of the plot. If you are a fan of sci-fi and you happen to be the least bit politically aware, I really recommend this book. In short, Warren Ellis has developed a masterpiece with the first issue of SUPERGOD, dealing with thought provoking and intricate concepts, he has managed to intertwine religious, political, and social issues with elements of science fiction perfectly. A task which, I imagine, is not exactly easy to accomplish. It is an original story that deals with the idea that man is inherently prone to look to religious deities to save them from the mistakes they have forced upon themselves.  Based on the plot thus far, I would imagine that it is a post apocalyptic tale told through the eyes of Simon Reddin, who appears to have witnessed the self inflicted death and destruction of humanity and civilization. While the first issue did read like an issue #0 in that it gave a lot of background information, I would imagine that it is vital to the reader's understanding of the progression of the story. The art is unbelievable. Detailed, intricate, dark, gritty and jaw dropping. The fact that I read this issue three times (and discovered something new every time) should be an indication of how good it is.
 
5 out of 5 

 

The Unwritten #7

Written by: Mike Carey
Art by: Peter Gross 
 
While the story may be difficult to understand at first if you are new to it, it can be very easy to become quickly engrossed in the tale. I feel as though I almost can not do the book justice in a review being that I picked it up so late in the game, but I digress. I found myself wondering whether I should finish the issue, or wait to pick up the previous six comics as not to spoil anything for myself. Carey writes a truly captivating story centered around some mystical and fictional characters which certainly leave you wanting more.

"I understand your dilemma. It is frightening to think of the world as having no firm foundations. Frightening to meet one's maker...You. And Myself. We have that in common. We are creatures. Made things. And those who made us do not Love us."

Carey writes a thought provoking and intellectual "Frankenstein" character, but moves swiftly from that scene to another in the very beginning leaving it hard to follow. The language, however, is gorgeous. Carey does a great job capturing the dialogue of the characters in the story. The dialogue reads smoothly as though he put a lot of effort into it; so much so that the characters read the way they speak without any breaks. The language of the story flows effortlessly. While this does seem to be one comic that I would recommend for more mature readers in that it deals with violence, language, as well as clever and risque inuendos; I do highly recommend the title. The writing is fresh and invigorating, and readers that enjoy other Vertigo titles ( Fables) will enjoy this one. 
 
4 out of 5
 

Red Robin: 'The Council of Spiders' #6

Written by: Chris Yost
Art by: Marcus To
 
Being that I had dropped the series around issue four, I decided to give it another go. While the organization and flow of the story seem to have improved with this issue; I felt that I disagreed with the interpretation of some vital elements in the story and erego found myself slightly disappointed. To me, Ra's al Ghul's ' League of Assassins' is supposed to be the most threatening and intimidating evil international organization in the bat-verse, period. Yost writes them to be somewhat non-threatening. This bothers me. While the book does draw on the importance of the 'League of Assassins,' it seems to dilute their capacity as a morally threatening organization. For years, Ra's' "assassins" have been more than just a group of hired guns and hit men. They have represented moral change (based on Ra's al Ghul's moral code). That characteristic does not exist in this series. Yost's "League" seems to exist as a group of hired assassins that waste their time on adulterous Hungarian wives as opposed to being the extended arm of Ra's whose purpose is to change the world by any means necessary. As a result of not having some unanimous consensus on moral code, the assassins read like mindless characters that exist solely to do Ra's' bidding. Tim Drake is always the most intelligent person in the room, but is not always written intelligently, leaving all the supporting characters a little bit dumber. 
 
3 out of 5
17 Comments
Posted by buns134

i thought it was better than that

Posted by aztek_the_lost
@Babs: G-Man doesn't already have Unwritten #1-6 sitting around somewhere? :O you should definitely pick them up...great stuff 
 
also, this may be the first time (I'm not sure) but you've actually recommended something that has caught my interest due to your review (then again I hadn't really heard of much of it before now) and that is Supergod...I'll definitely be checking that out, thanks for the recommendation :D
Moderator
Posted by aztek_the_lost

btw, did you purposefully leave out a rating on Unwritten or can I just not find it?

Moderator
Posted by No_Name_
@aztek the lost: Not purposely! Sorry! Must have gotten deleted somehow
Posted by aztek_the_lost

Mmm, I'm liking this "Daily Dose" idea...but I was curious, am I the only one who sees the similarity between the Inside Man arc for Unwritten and the Wolf Beneath the Tree arc from Lucifer? (both works by Mike Carey and Peter Gross) I'm not trying to make the comparison as a bad thing since I absolutely love both titles...just thought it was interesting and wondered if it was purposefully done or just an accidental similarity.
   

Lucifer #52 
 Unwritten #7
Moderator
Edited by NightFang

Never heard of SuperGOD.

Posted by FoxxFireArt

What Strange is going through reminds of a bit of what happened to Iron Man. Both lost their positions and powers after a fashion. Maybe goatees are bad luck??
 
Must feel a chill of superiority being able to loom over us with your Political Science knowledge when it comes to SUPERGOD. If the book is how you say, that it contains important information. It's most likely good that this is an issue One. In place of a Zero. Zero issues are almost always defined as something you can skip.
I am curious about what style of political intrigue you would compare this story to. If V for Vendetta was more seemed to be aimed at the abuse of power through fear of terror would describe this story. What would you think SUPERGOD is aiming to teach the reader?
 
The cover for Unwritten really gives me a vibe for Greek tapestries that told ancient tale of epic quests. Such as with The Odyssey, one of my favorites. I do like Mike Carey's writing. It was his writing in X-Men that inspired me to do a drawing of a pretty much bare-assed Bobby Drake. Carey is skilled at writing dialog. There are some writers who can come up with amazing concepts, but fall short in making believable dialog. (George Lucas for one.)
 
Be Honest Now, Babs. You are reading Red Robin to get hints on the real Batman's returns and little else, am I right? It does feel more like Tim should be more like a sheep among wolves when it comes to the League of Assassins. Play with the balance that this group could turn on him at many moment. Use that to build some tensions. Doesn't sound like that is happening from your description. Sounds more along the lines of hired mercs rather then a trained and honed band of killers with their sense of a Darker Justice.

Edited by Grim

 i felt like he was implying that the league was also a bunch of assassins for hire. also, id imagine the people who hire them pay out the exhaust pipe for the League. i doubt it just some businessman hiring them to kill his wife. Its gotta be a politican or a world leader or something. 
 i imagine Ra's has an elite group with him at all times, and the rest work at various other jobs (ranging from excivating to intel to, yes, hit man services) to make the League money. But whenever Ra's wants them to, 90% of the league has the capacity to ninja out and attack the batman. 
 idk. it all seemed in order to me, except i imagined they killed more per year.
 
...probably gonna have to look into Supergod too now. Darn it Bab's! your trying your hardest to raise my weekly comics cost, and its working!

Posted by Media_Master

I haven't picked up a Strange comic in a looong time.

Posted by ateygheyev

I'm liking the way Supergod has started: insightful, layered, intriguing.  I just hope it doesn't go as low brow as Ellis gets sometimes, like in No Hero where the protagonist wears a guys spine as a penis.  Ribbed for her pleasure!
As for Red Robin, Babs you summed it up perfectly.

Posted by Catastrophic

Supergod is undeniably amazing. I liked the way India, Pakistan and London gets smashed up and ripped to shreds. It has an amazing storyline and the artwork is awesome. Can't wait for the next issue!

Posted by Sunrise

Unwritten is a gem of a comic book series, really rewarding the regular reader
Posted by m_man360

Supergod is brilliant, perhaps one of the best books iv'e read all decade. The next issue is going to be off the wall!

Posted by RomaTotti10

Thanks for the written reviews.
 
I will be picking up Strange #1 based on your recommendation.
 
Keep up your excellent work.

Posted by merkasylum

 Really? You liked Strange? I've been a Dr Strange fan for a long time  and have been disappointed so many times with continual retellings of his origin followed by... nothing.  The Guice run was good but after the first 20 issues or so it went off track. Since then i've been left wanting.  And such was the case here.   I was very excited to see Waid's name attached to the project but found (opposite to what you found) the dialogue was poor, out of character and predictable, as was the plot.  A young protege? oh wow. Haven't seen that before.  I'm sure the kids will love that.  They'll have someone to relate to.....   boring and done to death.  This is Dr Strange!  Former sorcerer supreme, master of the mystic arts.  It's an occult title!  He's had probably the 2nd biggest shift in his life just happen and he's been put through the emotional wringer.  This should be dark, internal, a struggle to set where his life is going and the art should reflect it. It's well done but not suitable for an occult title.  I feel like i'm reading plastic man, not Dr Strange.  They were doing so well with his character, going from world war hulk to new avengers and now.... this. Sigh.  Oh well. Maybe in another 15 years they'll get it right.

Posted by Omega Ray Jay

This was my introduction to Strange, loved it.

Posted by BKole

I agree with Merkayslum. Strange was pap. I've read every appearence of Dr Strange, I love the character, and I feel this is not the way forwards for the character. To be honest, the way forwards is to not let Bendis touch the guy, but you know, That's a dream thats long since passed. 
 
I think if someone looked back at whats been done with Strange, they can find some rife storylines full of continuity and interesting points that can be strip mined and turned into something great. Not Dr Strange teaching some kid to use magic again. We get that every time his series is brought back. At least with Rintrah he was a decent character in terms of originality and interest. 
 
Supergod was flippin' brilliant. As Always. I agree that No hero was a TAD low brow, but considering how mentally damaged the guy was, theres no denying it wasn't a bit of fun to an otherwise grim story. 
 
Ignition City was another beautiful piece of Ellis work. He just gets better and better.