Posted by No_Name_ (17403 posts) - - Show Bio

Red Sonja #2, Wonder Woman #38 and Uncanny X-Men #517 reviewed!

 

Queen Sonja #2
Written by: Joshua Ortega
Art by: Mel Rubi
Published by: Dynamite
 
If you are not familiar with Red Sonja, but like me have always wondered about the character, then I think that picking this issue and the previous one would be worth your while. If you look past the scantily clad and awfully impractical garb of Red Sonja (I don't think I metallic bikini is very practical on the battlefield), you will find an awfully politically aware and well written story complimented by some rather attractive art work! While it may not be the greatest comic book ever written, it certainly exceded my expectations considerably. The title is very well written; summing up a lot of the political turmoil in the plot smoothly and without being overly complicated. Ortega utilizes dialogue extremely well, using it primarily to tell the story. In fact, there is little to no narrative whatsoever. The pace of the book is perfect, and the fact that the plot revolves around a very powerful (in both strength as well as intellect) female character made it attractive, at least for me. A great series if you are looking for something different, this title could have easily been more confusing that it was due to the source material; but the good writing saved it, providing a clear and stimulating portrayal of the character. 
4 out of 5
 
Wonder Woman #38 
Written by: Gail Simone
Art by: Aaron Lopresti
Published by: DC
 
I have said this before, and will say it again; in order to take an already established and iconic character and make her seem more approachable to readers is to strip her of the characteristics that audiences have used to define her. This is exactly what Gail Simone has done with Diana in the current Wonder Woman story arc.  Yet, Gail does not do this immediately, she does it over time, gradually rebuilding Wonder Woman's character and digging into her core in order to show the reader exactly who she is.

"Instead I have been stripped, shamed and imprisoned. Night falls on the Princess of Themyscira. I seem to have lost everything I ever cherished. My island, my weapons, my family, my potential mate...my sisters?"

She has not, however, lost everything. While I will not spoil what Diana has not lost, there are some people that stilll value and retain faith in her. While the character's voice is much bolder in the previous issue, particularly in the scene with Zeus (see issue #37), this particular issue is still good. Gail Simone shows the reader facets of Diana's personality (particularly in her moments of personal sacrifice) that have not been brought to the surface enough in the past. While Lopresti's pencils are good, the colorist could be better, and as a result, Lopresti's talent is not displayed to it's fullest potential.  
3 out of 5
 
Uncanny X-Men: X-Nation #517
Written by Matt Fraction
Art by: Greg Land
Published by: Marvel
 
I don't know what is worse; Matt Fraction's one liners or Greg Land's tracing. Either way, reading a 32 page comic book which does not contain a whole lot of dialogue should not be this much of a drag. I felt the only character that Fraction got right was Emma Frost, who was barely present in the book at all. Fraction plays up Cyclops' character a lot- maybe too much. I understand he is the leader, but I was having a hard time believing that Magneto would so quickly take orders from him. It was nice to see Namor written like the jerk that he is, though. Reading this book was like watching 'Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen' in that the majority of the plot consisted of explosions. I feel like that is consistent with a lot of Fration's X-titles. Is the reason that there is so little dialogue and character development because Fraction struggles with the X-Men's individual characterizations, or is it because just really likes action packed panels where everything blows up? Whatever the case may be, I almost wish Mike Carey was writing this title. I love you, Matt Fraction, but I have seen much better from you. 
2 out of 5
#1 Posted by danhimself (22551 posts) - - Show Bio

I was thinking about picking up Red Sonja but I know practically nothing about the character other then what I learned in the Spider-man crossover so you convinced me to give it a shot 
 
I think the problem with Fraction's X-men is that maybe he just can't handle a team book...I mean Invincible Iron Man is amazing so I know he's a good writer but his X-men writing just plain stinks and I just don't understand why Marvel is still letting Land work for them knowing that all he does is trace other pictures...I can't believe that the sales on this book have convinced Marvel that he's got talent

Online
#2 Edited by PrimeDirective (451 posts) - - Show Bio

I actually wonder if Fraction just doesn't know the characters he's writing well enough. I mean, right now he's writing about events transpiring amongst the single largest gathering of mutants since Genosha. That's a LOT of characterization to juggle. That's by no means an excuse however. If he's going to continue to write this book, I suggest he read all of the essential stories of the characters he chooses to use in an issue before he uses them. Or maybe he's just writing them however he wants and simply couldn't care less that he's off!

#3 Posted by Queen's Halo (2431 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree, that Matt Fraction's writing has gone down a bit. But I don't agree with the opinion people have about Greg Land's art. I love it and the way Rogue was drawn using a lot of powers was amazing.

#4 Posted by uncanny89 (821 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree with the Matt Fraction stuff, IMO he cant cope with the amount of characters that are there on utopia.  Babs is right the only character he is getting right is Emma Frost, which would be ok if the book focused on her as the main character but she isnt IMO they need to get somebody on the title who can handle a large cast, maybe bring wheadon onto the title if he can keep up with it. 
 
As for Greg Lands art in Uncanny, all i can say is im glad Terry Dodson is coming back for a few issues (i hope he is taking over for the time being).  I do however like how Land draws Magneto on the covers and on some pannels.  When reading this issue i found that the only decent moment was when the Phoenix Force left the Cuckoos i have a feeling that Jean or thePhoenix may be coming back after or during 'Second Coming' .  #518 is looking to be pretty cool though im really looking forward to seeing how they are going to help Emma.  I thik that over the past few years Emma has become one of the better writen x-characters and she has become much more complex since her white queen days, that is if you dont count the times Fraction has her doubting her place on the team or her relationship with Scott.
#5 Posted by xerox_kitty (15762 posts) - - Show Bio
@danhimself said:
"I think the problem with Fraction's X-men is that maybe he just can't handle a team book...I mean Invincible Iron Man is amazing so I know he's a good writer but his X-men writing just plain stinks and I just don't understand why Marvel is still letting Land work for them knowing that all he does is trace other pictures...I can't believe that the sales on this book have convinced Marvel that he's got talent "
For once, I'm not going to rant about Matt Fraction.  I mean, we all know how I feel about his work on Uncanny.  So instead I hope that Marvel finally wake-up and hear the complaints.   
 
What Marvel should do is take Fraction off Uncanny and give it to either Kyle & Yost of Mike Carey.  Then, give Fraction a solo Cyclops title.  I mean, it's clear how he favours the character to the point that all other characters are neglected.  Give Fraction a vanity X-Title that focusses on the (boring) love triangle of Cyclops, Frost & Namor, just like Claremont has X-Men: Forever.  That way it wont effect our enjoyment of the core X-Men title... 
 
Oh yeah, and sack Land ;)
Moderator
#6 Posted by Final Arrow (24388 posts) - - Show Bio

On the red Sonja thing, this has always made me laugh about readers, Im not a Red Sonja fan, I think I have read one comic in total! But when people tell her to put more clothes on as it is not what they would see a battle hardend warrior wearing, I have to smile to myself. Lets look at Storm, Wonder Woman and of course Emma Frost! Now im no expert but their clothes are not really made for battle purpouses but they hardly ever get brought into the lime light because of it. But then we have people like Shiva, Cass Cain and others that design their suits for battle condtion and so on. I just find it funny in comparison. not that this has much to do with the reviews but I thought I would pop in and throw in my 2 cent.
#7 Posted by Bruce Vain (1869 posts) - - Show Bio

Naaaah Sonja looks fine the way she's dressed  ;) ha ha 
 
ha ha Nice reference to Transformers :ROF btw but kind of dead on too .
#8 Posted by FoxxFireArt (3554 posts) - - Show Bio

When it comes right down to it. The bikini really isn't functional for any kind of combat. Even mud wrestling. Though in that kind of situation I believe slippage is encouraged.  Metal alone you would think would cause some chaffing. 
 
It's about time Wonder Woman got a little more spot light. Sadly though, I think the timing is off. So much of the DC is pulled into the Blackest Night story. It sort of overwhelms the characters big revival. It's something big and flashy distracting from something deep and meaningful. Excitement overtaking reason. (Is that last line too much??)
 
I really don't see why they keep using Land. I seriously don't like Fraction's writing for Emma to this extent. In this whole pseudo competition, Emma has been degraded from person to object. Fraction has even said in an interview that Namor is mostly just sticking around because he wants to sleep with Emma. Not that he cares for her or some deep connection, but he just wants some challenge on where he can slip his fish stick. The fact that Fraction would even write Emma as gullible enough to even fall for that irritates me. It's that sort of attitude she has shown to despise.

#9 Posted by Grim (2079 posts) - - Show Bio

man. i havent read my WW yet, but i was really looking forward to it. 3 isnt so exciting...

#10 Posted by Bobby X (1141 posts) - - Show Bio

I haven't really enjoyed Fraction's X-Men at all...which has been surprising to me considering how much I have liked his Iron Man.
#11 Posted by Vance Astro (91235 posts) - - Show Bio

Queen Sonja?

Moderator
#12 Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir (19714 posts) - - Show Bio

Bow before the writing prowess of Gail Simone. Bow!
#13 Edited by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio

Red Sonja restarted the numbering and became Queen Sonja so technically the link should be to a different volume 
 
but anyways, I have also wanted to get into Red Sonja for quite some time but 40 back issues seemed daunting, this may be all the incentive I needed 
 
also...the comic takes place in pre-history, does it not? nobody's clothed back then...the fact that she's wearing anything at all is surprising

Moderator
#14 Posted by drawme (423 posts) - - Show Bio

Red Sonja sounds interesting.

#15 Posted by crazed_h3ro (1000 posts) - - Show Bio

Hope I'll have some money when they come out
#16 Edited by danhimself (22551 posts) - - Show Bio

 

 
Online
#17 Edited by DMC (1551 posts) - - Show Bio


Hey Babs....pretty harsh review of X-Men #517. 2 out of 5?
 
If you wanted dialoge and character development, there was plenty in the last 2 issues which have been building up to this confrontation with Scalphunter and the Predator X pack. So what's the big deal if Fraction gives us some action for 1 issue?   
 
In regards to your problem with Mageto taking orders from Scott, I don't think Max is going to let pride get in his way at this point when the mutant species is endangered and currently in danger.  
 
Going off subject a bit, I find it odd that a while back in X-Men legacy Xavier explains to Exodus that mutants must put their differences asside and unite but when Magneto shows up on Utopia he's unwilling to do so. Does he not remember that Magneto saved his life from Frenzy? 
    
Anyway, based on your review it sounds like you haven't been keeping up with Uncanny X-Men lately. If you had, I'd think (or hope) your view of #517 would be different.....at least your view of Magneto.

#18 Posted by Media_Master (2189 posts) - - Show Bio

Queen Sonja sounds good.

#19 Posted by crazywolf (653 posts) - - Show Bio

Sonja looking good.

#20 Posted by joshuacarpino (15 posts) - - Show Bio

no,PLEASE DON'T put on some clothes sonja...
#21 Posted by King Saturn (224203 posts) - - Show Bio
Queen Sonia looks good... 
#22 Posted by CATMANEXE (17052 posts) - - Show Bio

well, Conan only wore a loincloth and armbands so maybe its just the fashion
where they live?