Review – Ghost #1 In The Smoke and Din 1 of 4

Story: Kelly Sue Deconnick
Art: Phil Noto
Letters: Richard Starkings
Cover: Phil Noto
Variant Cover: Alex Ross
Published By: Dark Horse

This issue is told by a woman, a mysterious woman who doesn’t know who she is or why she is here. She does know one thing though, how she came to be here. Two men (isn’t that always the case?) Tommy and Vaughn, stars of the T.V. Show Phantom Finders used a black market contraption to pull this woman into our world. Feeling lost and angry she wants to know who she is. She randomly goes into “ battle mode” and can not control it. She can not take it anymore and demands that Vaughn and Tommy track down the guy they bought the device from, Alexander Smalls, and off they off they go to find answers. Aside from the larger story line is a story that focuses a little bit on Vaughn’s ex, Caroline, who is now in a different relationship but still feels attached to Vaughn, even if it is in just a pity kind of way. I have a feeling Caroline and her new relationship are going to play an important role in the rest of this story, as her boyfriend may not be exactly as he seems!

Ghost is a fascinating story and a really great idea. I love the strong women characters and whether they are good or bad it is refreshing to see powerful women portrayed in this medium. I love some of the questions that the comic raises and it is a really great, enjoyable read. I love the narrative and how it really conveys a sense of sorrow, anger and determination. Phil Noto’s art is as always fantastic and as an added bonus Alex Ross drew the variant cover of this issue. One issue in and this is already a great story and a definite must read!

Release Date: October 24th, 2012

Links: Preview | Order (Digital) | Order (Print)

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review – Batman #12 – Ghost in the Machine (New 52 – 2012)

Writer: Scott Snyder
Co-Writer: James Tynion IV
Aritst: Becky Cloonan
Additional Artist:  Andy Clarke
Inks: Sandu Florea
Colors: FCO Plascencia
Letters: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Cover: Greg Capullo & FCO Plascencia
Variant Cover: Bryan Hitch and Nathan Fairbairn
Published by: DC Comics

Fresh off of the battle with the Court of the Owls and what might be his own lost brother, we see the Batman story take a detour back to the people and the city he protects.

Harper and Cullen have a hard time getting by in the Narrows, a lesser traffic area of Gotham that happens to be part of the new Wayne makeover for the city. With rent, bullying from homophobic locals and home invasions there’s a lot of stress on the plate that seems to never go away, Harper takes the stage as the focus point for the story though. As the child who had to grow up when times got tough, she’s never let herself take a break after moving as sole watcher of her brother. Given the bad area, working under the city, having no family and dealing with constant bullies one can see how she might cross paths with Batman.

It’s a fun side story, we see the life of someone in Gotham who for so long fought on their own to get and keep what they had and when it all reached the boiling point, when the stress of life got too high there was a glimmer of hope. Well… a vast darkness of hope to be more accurate, Batman is an equal opportunity man and he dishes it out to the top villains of the city and to the local bullies as well so no one gets the impression they’re off the hook. It’s a warming tale when things looked so absolutely grim for 11 issues as the series kicked off, some might be put off by this shift but it felt like it gave a bit more personality to the city he runs around in.

The art from Becky Cloonan through the book is a pleasant presentation, you feel the expressions of the characters in each squint, smirk, frown and motion. The style itself feels lighter in the presentation and it shines through for 21 pages, after that Andy Clarke takes the helm and I really don’t know what happened there. If they didn’t compare notes, or drawings is entirely in the air as it only takes that first page to throw confusion into the mix. Harper transforms from a young girl with a punk style to looking like one of Joker’s goons as she leaps out-of-the-way. The sharp contrast isn’t a good thing and normally if you need to exchange teams you do it without so much contrast. Snyder and  Tynion for example don’t face nearly as much of a dispute in handling the characters as they continue to flow. Hopefully this isn’t a habit for DC, I would have preferred to see Cloonan finish out her issue as it grabbed my attention until that disruption.

Batman #12 isn’t a continuation of the Owls story at all (although we do see some bits sprinkled in at the end) but it’s still worth looking into if you’re a fan of seeing Batman stick it to those who deserve it and protect the people just trying to get by in a world of Jokers, Two-Faces, Penguins and so on. Sometime’s it’s not about the super high-profile events in a comic, this was one of those times and I’m glad they gave the approval to run with this story.

Release Date: August 8, 2012

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★½☆☆ 
Dialog:★★★★★ 
Overall:★★★★★ 

*Note: The lower score on the art reflects the issue of contrast between Cloonan and Clarke, had they went with just Cloonan I wouldn’t have had an issue here, plus the last panel ruins Harper with the expression and facial structure Clarke applied.

Ubisoft announces Comic-Con 2010 lineup

Comic-Con is coming fast, with only a week left until the big show Ubisoft has released their panel schedule and games at the show. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World The Game, Just Dance 2, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier will all be on tap. To help out those who can’t make the pilgrimage to San Diego this year, Ubisoft will also be handing out prizes over their Twitter accountand updates throughout the show.

Ubisoft Panels:

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood: Thursday, July 22nd from 3:30–4:30 pm, room: 7AB
Development team members from Ubisoft Montreal will discuss the next iteration of the critically acclaimed, multi-million unit selling franchise – Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. Attendees will learn about the new multiplayer mode, a first for the Assassin’s Creed franchise, and get an exclusive preview of new multiplayer characters. The panel will feature an in-depth look at the story and art of the Brotherhood and the return of Ezio, now a legendary Master Assassin, as he journeys into Italy’s greatest city, Rome, to strike at the heart of the enemy. The session will also go beyond the Brotherhood to discuss the Assassin’s Creed universe as a multimedia entertainment experience.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier: Saturday, July 24th from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm, room: 25ABC
Hollywood and Ghost Recon are joining forces. Ubisoft and Little Minx, a company of Ridley Scott and Associates (RSA), present Oscar-winning director François Alaux (Logorama), associate producer and technical advisor to all RSA films Harry Humphries, BAFTA Film Award nominee and director of cinematography Trent Opaloch, and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Solider video game studio producer, Adrian Lacey, in a panel discussing the upcoming Ghost Recon short film, and connections between the film and the game. Additional details about the panel will be revealed soon.

For those not familiar with Twitter, check out @Ubisoft here.