Comics Briefly: American Vampire #18, Batman: Gates of Gotham #5, Superman Beyond #0, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1

Favorite Issue This Week: Superman Beyond #0
All Books were new in stores on 8/24/11

American Vampire #18
Writer: Scott Snyder, Artist: Rafael Albuquerque, Colors: Dave McCaig

A strong conclusion to the Ghost War storyline. Flirts with an edge of cliche in one aspect, but I liked it anyway. Good twists, good action, and good moments for Pearl always make me a happy reader. Next issue starts an awesome-sounding flashback, I'm really looking forward to the next arc!

Batman: Gates of Gotham #5
Story: Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgins, Writers: Kyle Higgins and Ryan Parrott, Art: Trevor McCarthy, Colors: Guy Major

This is the conclusion to this miniseries, and it's a decent one. There is some good action, some nice lines here and there, and I like the portrayals of all the BatKids. I especially like Dick's fight with the villain, it really worked for me. I wasn't in love with the obvious lead-in to next month's whole Dick-isn't-Batman-anymore thing, but whatever. The end of the plot I thought got a little muddled; I got the gist of it, but I think I would have to dig out and re-read the earlier issues for it to completely make sense.

Superman Beyond #0
Writing and Pencils: Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz, Finished Art: Sal Buscema

I stopped collecting the recent Batman Beyond comics after three strikes: I didn't like the writing, I didn't like the art, and I didn't like the tone. This one-shot in the same world doesn't have any of those problems. There's that nice majestic lilt that I like Superman stories to have, a brief appearance by a sardonic Terry, and strong writing on the rest of the Future Leaguers. The villain of the story has a nice little plot as well, and while I feel like I've seen it before, it still works beautifully. Also, I would happily pay four dollars every month for one great page of Bruce and Clark being snarky old friends. Hear me, DC?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1
Story: Kevin Eastman & Tom Waltz, Script: Tom Waltz, Layouts: Kevin Eastman, Art: Dan Duncan, Colors: Ronda Pattison

Now, I'm a TMNT fangirl from way back, but never really got into any actual comics, the oldest stuff didn't appeal to me much aesthetically, and the new stuff...I just never found the on-ramp. So was I going to pass up a re-boot scripted by Eastman? Hell, no. The style is a neat mix of old and new that I really liked. The final art is simply luscious, and the writing on the first few pages especially is amazing. This is a new story, starting from the beginning again, but wisely drops us in medias res, with flashbacks to hint at the new origin story. Overall I enjoyed this issue, and I'm intrigued by a new spin on these old friends.


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