Andrew Fontana's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: The Pop Break Reviews: 46
7.8Avg. Review Rating

Visually, Batman #37 is a stunner. Penciler Clay Mann and colorist Jordie Bellaire are tasked with setting the scene for a quiet, slice of life issue, and they rise admirably to the occasion. Mann's clear layouts convey the chaos of a county fair while ably keeping the focus on the issue's cast. A creative use of panels adds a sense of whimsy to the county fair setting. Bellaire ‘s dark, yet vibrant colors makes the night Batman and co enjoy feel palpably real.

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Acuna's visuals and Coates' growth as a comic book writer are sure to make Black Panther #1 the undisputed King of Marvel's Fresh Start.

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Nick Derrington's pencils and Tamra Bonvillian's colors create perfect visual representations of Gerard Way's ideas. Derrington's surreal take on the Negative Zone is a real treat to behold. Each of Derrington's characters are fully expressive and unique in their presentation. Derrington excels at portraying the otherworldly as well. His pencils, along with Bonvillain's bright colors, go a long way in creating a unique aesthetic for the world of Doom Patrol.

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Visually, Aquaman #25 is a stunner. Stjepan Sevic's intricate pencils bring Atlantis to teeming life. He creates a vast metropolis that genuinely feels lived in, a feat that artists in previous issues couldn't quite deliver. His art keeps things going whenever Abnett's script falters. Plus, it doesn't hurt that Aquaman is once again rocking long hair and a beard. His lush colors, with their maritime tone, are an excellent fit for his pencils. Altogether, the art elevates Aquaman #25 into something truly memorable.

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Jason Fabok is given plenty to work with this issue. Batman #22 brings Bruce and Barry to the world of Flashpoint, giving Fabok ample opportunity to create plenty of action sequences. His pencil work is fluid and graceful, his choreography cinematic to the eye. Anderson's colors are suitably dark for the scenes in Gotham, and with just enough brightness with the scenes on the cosmic tread mill.

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Joelle Jones' sleek pencils are an excellent addition to a title that already has a great roster of artists. Her work does a great job portraying fight scenes and characters talking to each other. She is paired with colorist Jordie Bellaire, whose various shades of dark hues keep the artwork from looking too monochromatic. Their combined effort on Batman #35 makes one hope that they will make a return to the title at some point.

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Travis Moore and Giulia Brusco craft brooding, atmospheric artwork that conjures the simmering horror that underlays the comic. The colors and pencils are evocative of horror, giving the visuals a portending sense of dread. Brusco's lush dark colors do much of the heavy lifting through backgrounds painted in ominous tones. King's Batman run has had constantly good art since the beginning, and that doesn't change here.

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The constant back and forth between DC's newest power couple is as entertaining as always, as is Batman's clever takedowns of fellow league members. All of this moves perhaps a bit too fast, but the creative team can be forgiven for trying to craft a story this big in only three issues.

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Byrne's artwork is appropriately cinematic for all the action that takes place this issue. His Rangers are lean and muscular, his Batman intimidating. Byrne's fight scenes flow with the cadence of a blockbuster action flick. His pencils, along with the colors, go a long way to selling the nostalgia-fest of Taylor's script.

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The success or failure of this issue's art rests on whether it can meld the tone of two very distinct franchises. This Byrne does expertly. The showdown between the League and the Dinozords is rendered in the appropriate scale, as is the subtle differences in musculature between the teenaged rangers and the more adult DC heroes. Byrne's stylized pencils makes the action in this issue explosive and dynamic.

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There is plenty of action this issue for Jiminez to work with, and his pencils don't disappoint. The choreography of his fights are heavily stylish yet easy to follow. Combined with the bright colors, his art leaps off the page. His pencils are a perfect fit for the Tomasi is striving for.

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Taken as a whole, this is a strong penultimate issue for The Lies storyline.

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Christian Duce's pencils are perfectly suited for bringing Seeley's script to life. Duce's artwork is crisp and detailed, perfect for all the action presented this issue. Unfortunately, all of Duce's characters have similarly drawn faces. This especially becomes obvious in the scenes involving the children, but even the Oddfellows outside of Steve look a little too interchangeable.

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The pencils of Jack Herbert and Jos Luis blend seamlessly together. Their artwork is detailed, giving just enough believability to the facial expressions of the various characters that show up this issue. Their figures have a chiseled look that gives the entire issue a larger than life feel. Jurgens' script gives them some action to draw near the end, and their ability to draw multiple figures fighting is a good sign for the showdown scheduled the next two issues.

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Viktor Bogdanovic's pencils, unfortunately, are not quite up to the task that Jurgens gives him. His somewhat cartoonish style was an excellent fit for a book like New Super-Man, but feels particularly out of place here. His characters are all rendered in a style that doesn't match the tone of this issue. Mike Spicer's bright colors are a good fit for the pencils, but taken altogether the art is an ill fit for a darker toned story.

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Ryan Sook and Hi-Fi bring a clean, bright style that fits well with a Superman book. Sook's pencils do an excellent job of capturing the various facial expressions the characters employ. Sook concentrates on how their respective experiences on Earth distinguish Jor-El from his son. Their faces are nearly identical, yet the tragedies Jor-El suffered mark him in ways that Sook's pencils brilliantly emphasize.

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Will Conrad is given several diverse locales this issue to portray, which he does with flair. His pencils are better suited for more action-centric work, but he's no slouch in drawing scenes that are heavily focused on conversation. The scenes he sets in space are particularly exceptional.

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Briones brings a sharper level of detail with his pencils that has previously not been seen on this book. He captures the alien monstrosity of Atlantian war machines and the insides of a hospital with equal attention to detail. Briones truly excels, however, in capturing the visible emotion of his characters, especially the panels focusing on Mera and Arthur at the hospital. Eltaeb's coloring is my only issue with the art, but his colors are serviceable enough to maintain the issue's momentum.

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The addition of Stjepan Sevic as the main penciler and colorist truly has injected new life into this title. Much has already been said about his assumption of the duties of both penciler and colorist, and all that holds true here. Sevic's lines are sleek and clean. His characters look realistic no matter how fantastical their nature. But truly, the main highlight of his art is how perfectly the colors fit his pencils. His colors are genuinely atmospheric, immersing the reader in an underwater world that actually feels lived in. The perfect integration of pencils and colors would have been much harder to achieve if both weren't done by the same artist.

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Sandoval's pencils make up for the lag in the issue's second half. It's hard to go wrong with several pages of Zod punching Green Lanterns when it looks this good. Sandoval captures the brutality of action while retaining the iconography that sets the violence of superhero comics apart. His art captures the wild creativity of the Green Lantern constructs and the sleek lines of kryptonian armor in intricate detail that never looks too busy. That's a feat in a book set in the Green Lantern corner of DC Comics.

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Edwards' art captures the dark atmosphere of Gotham with aplomb. His Mother Panic is an unsettling creature, alien yet still at home in Gotham's shadows. His artwork has a painted quality to it that perfectly fits the tone Houser set. Like the other artists in the Young Animal line, Edwards' work feels more at home on an indie comic rather than a book from DC.

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To's pencils are detailed without being overly busy. His Run-Offs are a colorful, motley crew, and he's no slouch at portraying more mundane people either. His Orca is especially well-drawn. Sleek and colossal at the same time, he makes the villain a potent threat for Nightwing and crew to take down.

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The slowness of previous issues is redeemed in full here. There's plenty of action to spare, and humor infused dialogue to keep things from getting too dark. Seeley sets up the potential for fun things down the line, including more of Bludhaven's colorful residence. To's pencils are sharp and fluid, his action scenes are a treat to behold. They have been consistently wonderful this entire arc, and they don't let up here. Combined with Sotomayor's rich colors, this book's art distinguishes it from the dark grittiness of the other bat titles.

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Jiminez's pencils channel Humberto Ramos at his best, but with a keener sense of details that Ramos usually lacks. Jiminez's highly stylized figures, matched with bright coloring, fits bright fresh tone that Tomasi's script portrays. The pencils make up in energy what they in anatomical proportion.His art crackles with enthusiasm that mirrors that of the Super Sons themselves.

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Tomasi's script is well-matched by Jiminez's art. Colorful and expressive, Jiminez's pencils channel the zaniness of the issue's proceedings. His Damien and Jon are drawn in a cartoonish manner, but this helps distinguish them from more adult characters. His art is on top this issue despite a few moments of odd proportions.

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All the action Tomasi puts in this issue is brought to life by Jiminez's dynamic pencils. Jiminez, much like Humberto Ramos, gives his characters a stylish fluidity that has much in common with the artwork seen in anime. That type of artwork is certainly an appropriate fit for this issue. There are occasions, however, where the artwork is cluttered and a little difficult to follow.

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In terms of art, this book is no slouch. Santorelli's Lena Luthor is truly a monstrous reflection of her older brother, familiar yet entirely distinctive. All the scenes involving Luthor evoke a terrifying futurism that stands in sharp contrast next to the mundanity of Metropolis. Indeed, the detail of his figures and his unique use of layouts make each panel pop with energy. His pencils have some difficulty with distance, but that is only a complaint when compared with the rest of his artwork.

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Having Wonder Woman win the day through empowerment of victims rather than straight up fisticuffs is a welcome return of form for the character. Rucka, despite his tendency towards decompressed storylines, shows that he understands Diana and her world like no other at DC, and this issue is proof of that fact.

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Bilquis Evely does well setting the stage in this done-in-one tale, marking off Barbara's origin as distinct as possible. Much has already been said about Rucka's successful use of two different artists in crafting his Wonder Woman epic, but I was still anxious about the sort of quality a fill in artist would bring to the table. It's safe to say that Evely exceeds expectations, creating scenes that range from a stormy Ukraine to arid Tunisia. Evely even captures the scale of Barbara's journey with a large splash page that superimposes glimpses of various locales against the backdrop of a map. If Nicola Scott is indeed departing Wonder Woman, Evely could more than fill the boots she'll leave behind.

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Will Conrad's pencils aren't given much to do this issue. His pencils are definitely detailed enough to set a scene, but the inconsistency between his work and what came before breaks any sense of continuity on this book. “The Oz Effect”‘s had several different rotating artists already, and the failure to make the art more consistent is a drag both for this issue and the series as a whole.

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Scott Eaton's pencils are up to the task in crafting the sleek sci-fi of Atlantean architecture and technology. One panel that shows Atlantean ships blasting at the Shaggy Man is cinematic in a space opera kind of way. These scenes underwater end too quick, which is unfortunate, as drawing these otherworldly locales play to Eaton's strengths. The art fares less well in the land scenes, but the action is clean and easy to follow. The colors remain a bit too drab, and this is only highlighted once the action moves to the surface. The creative team as a whole concludes this issue on a strong note, however, and I am willing to stick around to see where they lead Aquaman and his band of merry Atlanteans.

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Stjepan Sejic's sleek pencils continue to make Atlantis a truly special place to visit. Sejic's intricate attention to detail and imaginative renderings of the Atlantean cityscape gives the art an immersive quality that holds the eye even when the script's not all there. Nor is Sejic a slouch when it comes to the characters themselves. His figures have an organic look to them, including those of a more fantastical nature. It is also worth mentioning that his double-duty on both pencils and colors give the art a perfectly seamless quality. The colors expertly fit a book set entirely in an underwater location.

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Art is definitely Damage #1's strong point. Daniel's pencils are epic in scope. He captures the sheer brute strength of Damage, and his sense of perspective adds realism to each panel. The blockbuster action which Daniel's excellent at smooths over the muddled quality of the script.Daniels is the co-creater of this book, so its entirely up to him to make this new character visually memorable. He succeeds in this character design with a figure that's as sleek as it is monstrous.

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Green Lantern/Space Ghost Special #1 is pretty straightforward as far as crossovers go. The creative team of James Tynion IV and Ariel Olivetti squeeze all they can out of a Green Lantern/Space Ghost team-up, and the result is a surprisingly good read.

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Penciler Andy MacDonald is well suited to portray all the action that is at hand this issue. The JLA is tasked with retaking a city from a group of citizens with a penchant for mythical weaponry; the ensuing action allows MacDonald to stretch his muscles. His art, while not quite being as sharp as reis', is enough to establish continuity with the artwork.

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The rest of issue stumbles a bit when it's not focused on Dick's characterization. We get presented with the bare bones of a murder mystery that is less exciting than the issue's character moments. It's possible that Seeley will give the storyline more oomph in succeeding issues, but currently there isn't enough to be excited for Marcus To's pencils and Sotomayor's colors infuse the proceedings with vibrancy and life. The art is equally adept shifting from brightly lit interiors to the dimness of Gotham and Bludhaven. The few action scenes present are fluid and clear. To especially excels at crafting unique facial expressions, giving each of his characters reactions that are appropriate to them.

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Bernard Ching's art is a perfect fit for this book. Ching excels at capturing the pulpsci-fi elements that have always been in the background of the Superman family. Argo City is wonderfully rendered, as is Supergirl's flight through the solar system. Unfortunately, Ching's pencils lack detail when figures are seen from a distance. Atiyeh's colors compliment Ching's artwork, making each scene crackle with energy, especially the flashbacks to Krypton. Taken together, the artwork is effective in conveying the conflict between Cyborg Superman and Supergirl.

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Abnett has a good handle on Aquaman and his supporting cast, giving each of the supporting characters a distinctive voice. Having the grizzled warrior Murk say stuff like Neptunes balls is an example of this, and the slight cheesiness of the dialogue gives the entire proceedings the air of a blockbuster action movie. Having the monster be The Shaggy Man, an obscure Justice League villain, was also afun reveal. Unfortunately, Meras subplot hinders the issues momentum with yet another storyline about her failing to find her place among the Atlanteans. Johns had previously explored that dynamic during his run, and to have it rehashed again here feels like a waste of her character. Her studies at the Tower of Widowhood add a nice touch of world building to Abnetts Atlantis, but it definitely feels incongruent to the main plot. Im still on board with the current arc despite some misgivings, and I hope that Abnett can maintain the blockbuster tone he establishes here.

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All in all, Aquaman #10 is a satisfying read. The plot as it is currently unfolding promises to be interesting not least because of the focus on Mera. The execution thus far is a bit stilted, but the concept behind it is good enough to carry the issue. Abnett is laying the groundwork for may potentially be an exciting new direction in the book.

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Tony Daniel does action really well. He's given plenty to work with this issue, and he doesn't hold back. His characters are muscular and imposing without losing their distinctiveness. Daniel makes the action look seamlessly cinematic like a summer blockbuster. Morey's colors highlight the details of his pencil work, giving the art a clean, easy to follow look.

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The appeal of this issue mostly comes from strong the strong character work and muscular choreography of Tony Daniel. He's become the go-to artist for drawing action, and he doesn't disappoint this issue. Daniel takes the violence in Williams' script and gives it a truly cinematic look.

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Romita and White bring a bright, highly stylized tone to the artwork. Romita's pencils are more cartoonish than most of his peers, but they fit the book's more outlandish elements. His work is a bit more stiff in the quiter scenes, however, and the anatomy of his figures can be odd for people used to more realistic styles. His longtime collaborator Dean White enlivens each panel with his bright hues. Taken together they are one of the strongest art teams working in comics, but its questionable whether such colorful art is a good fit for a book as dark as this.

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Churchill's art this issue is detailed and occasionally cinematic, muted colors notwithstanding. His portrayal of Krypton makes the doomed planet exotic while keeping things relatable on a human scale. Its a tough balancing act, but he maintains the believability of his characters on both Earth and Krypton. His facial work conveys the emotional agony of Jor-El and the wonder of his son when seeing Krypton as an adult. It's a genuine treat to see Superman's origins come alive through Churchill's however unnecessary the retelling may be.

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Gullem March and Hi-Fi are on pencils and colors, respectively. March's figures are perfectly serviceable, if sometimes oddly posed. The facial expressions he gives his characters, however, hovers between expressive and ridiculous. March's Luthor in particular is given plenty of odd facial mannerisms that make him look more like a loony toon villian than the sleek billionaire he's usually portrayed as. Hi-Fi's colors do the art no favors. His dulled tone fits ill with March's more flamboyant style. Brighter colors would go along way in bolstering the art on this title.

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The artwork of To and Sotomayor do enough to enliven the proceedings. There is plenty of action this issue, and To's pencils makes these scenes crackle with energy. Cleanly drawn and easy to follow, these action scenes invigorate the issue and convey well the threat Nightwing faces. Sotomayor's colors are bright and add nuance to To's pencils. Together they keep things from becoming too dull.

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Suicide Squad #14 is one of those comics where the sum is somewhat lesser than it's relatively enjoyable individual parts. The creative team of Rob Williams and John Romita Jr. is solid enough, to be sure, but poor pacing and format choices stifle whatever potential this issue could have had.

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