Patrick Tobin's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Multiversity Comics Reviews: 6
6.8Avg. Review Rating

6.5
Animal Man #2

Oct 7, 2011

Right now, Animal Man is like a car that drives smoothly except for that nagging thump you keep hearing from under the hood. Key parts — the digital inking, the “I know stuff” deployment of Maxine as infopixie — just aren't working, but there are so many other pieces that do come off well that it's not a crippling set of problems yet. Still, if left alone and not addressed, they could well be the gateway for Animal Man dropping off its current level of quality, which would just be a damn shame.

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9
Daredevil (2011) #4

Sep 23, 2011

Mark Waid has rescued Daredevil from the jaws of mighty-Miller-manner miserablism before it could descend into total self-parody. The unsavory qualities of Matt Murdock's character remain — as he chides Foggy's eating habits or deals with just about anyone, it'd be fair to mark him as a bit of a smug prick — but they're not being stressed to the breaking point. Not every good Daredevil story is Wagnerian operatic melodrama; this issue helps set a perfect precedent. And come on, seriously — what a great cliffhanger.

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5
Jennifer Blood #4

Sep 9, 2011

By virtue of both his long career and the consistency of his themes, Ennis is more easily plugged into auteur theory than most comic book artists. The continuum of his work can be seen as one long development, a lifelong project of refining a couple ideas. Even the loftiest of auteurs had the occasional blip, though, and that seems to be the case with Jennifer Blood. Rather than pushing his pet themes forward, he lets them relax and putter around a bit. While his expertise is such that the Ennis faithful will find things to like, this is a minor work in his canon, and barring a sudden seismic shift in the last two issues, so it shall remain.

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7
The Avenging Spider-Man #1

Nov 10, 2011

Postscript: I tried to download the digital copy that came packaged with the issue (along with a collector's edition sheet of blank yellow paper), but Marvel's Chrome store rabbitpunched my web browser (via an infinite-redirect error) and no downloads were made. I did poke at an issue of Astonishing X-Men that they had available, though, and while the viewing mechanism is attractive (and moves from panel section to panel section with minimal fuss), the controls are mildly frustrating and don't operate with the telepathic cursor-to-result precision I'd have liked. Oh, well. I still have a paper copy to read, don't I?

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4
The Transformers #30

Nov 18, 2011

Mike Costa's script, meanwhile, suffers largely from what I'm guessing is trusting the artist to carry things a bit too much. Characters speak in helpful infodumps here and there — including the opening scene, where one character calls out an infodump for what it is. But for a world-changing, possibly world-ending event, the direction and pacing of the story is a bit lumpy and given to jolting moments rather than an intricate machine playing out its process. Does it do its job? Yes, and there are moments that could have been genuinely thrilling if it hadn't taken 2 or 3 reads of the scene to figure out what they were. Does it excel? No, not really. It's yet another spin on the concepts we've seen a zillion times before, Optimus and Rodimus and Galvatron and Megatron and the Matrix and Cybertron and world destruction and ultimate evil and darkest hour…

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9.1
Thunderbolts (2006) #163

Sep 9, 2011

What issue one hundred and sixty-three brings to Thunderbolts is another abrupt left turn for the book. This is less jarring than it would be on more steadfastly-built franchises; indeed, the only consistent aspect of the T-Bolts' entire run is their willingness to make those turns, sometimes into oncoming traffic. Jeff Parker started his run with the book on one track, then jumped it to another, and now jumps it again, and the result is one of the few mainstream superhero comics where it seems like anything could happen without having to rewrite the universe.

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