Comic Book Review: Time Masters Vanishing Point #6 – Passageway

Cover Art for Time Masters Vanishing Point #6

Story and Art: Dan Jurgens
Finished Art: Norm Rapmund
Colors: Hi-Fi Designs

In a Nutshell

Time Masters Vanishing Point, a limited series from DC Comics, has come to an end. The storyline basically relates what Hal Jordan, Superman, Rip Hunter and Booster Gold and Skeets were doing to find Batman who, thanks to Darkseid, was hurled into different timelines.

This finale issue offers a couple of surprises. One, the Reverse Flash suddenly appears. Apparently, he’s also looking for Bruce Wayne so he can take advantage of the Omega energy that sent the Dark Knight into several eras in the past. Two, this issue heralds Supernova’s comeback and introduces a new character along the way. Lastly, this issue reveals what happens to the Black Beetle, who has been a constant menace to both Booster Gold and Rip Hunter.

What's Cool

  • Comicbook readers who love suspense will have a field day here in Time Masters Vanishing Point #6. In the last page, a number of gripping occurrences or events in time are supposed to happen, as written on Rip Hunter’s chalkboard. These events involve many of the most popular characters in the DCU. Clearly, someone has messed up the timeline…again!
  • The artwork by Dan Jurgens for the entire series has been remarkable and inspiring. It’s one of the reasons why I saw the series through to the end.
  • Apart from Jurgens, the color work done by Hi-Fi is also impressive. The vividness provides a perfect backdrop for the storyline.
  • The series effectively sets up the stage for Flashpoint, billed as the next big event from DC Comics.

What's Crap

  • As a Batman fan, I was quite disappointed with the seemingly small part that the Dark Knight played in the entire series.
  • I am particularly upset because this limited series was supposed to be a tie-in to Batman’s return. Well, not only did it show Bruce Wayne in bit parts, but the series extended well after Batman has already returned.

The Bottom Line

If you look at the series only as a part of the bigger picture, that of Batman’s return, you will surely think that all six issues are trite and downright unnecessary, that they would have been more appropriate as part of Booster Gold’s own series rather than as standalone. But I enjoyed reading Time Masters Vanishing Point because it uses a classic comicbook formula. You know, a healthy dose of good guys fighting bad guys, with the heroes ultimately and against all odds attaining their objectives. And for me, that’s the biggest reason why I love comics. So see you in Flashpoint.

Comic Book Review: Brightest Day #19 – Aquawar, Part One

Cover Art for Brightest Day #19

Story: Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi
Art: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Oclair Albert and Rob Hunter

In a Nutshell

In the opening pages of this DC comicbook, Boston Brand (aka Deadman) cries out for an explanation as to why Hawkman and Hawkgirl were vaporized by the White Lantern. But this is not the most interesting part of this comicbook. What really stopped me from putting down this book is the fact that it follows one focal point, that of Aquaman and the rest of the undersea-dwelling heroes and villains in DC Universe. You see, many issues in the series have multiple plots that dragged down many a reader’s interest. Well, not this issue. Plus, who doesn’t like opening salvos? Being the first chapter of the Aquawar arc, this issue is a must have.

What's Cool

  • It’s a story arc about Aquaman whom I miss ever since his own ongoing series has been canceled back in the end of 2007.
  • Awesome cover art with equally eye-melting rendition of Black Manta.
  • Artwork on each page is clean and crisp. Character expressions are simply incredible.
  • Plus, how often do you see a very important comic book character losing an arm in a dastardly attack?

What's Crap

  • Honestly, I really have no complaints about this issue, except that I feel the fight scenes could have used a few more panels.

The Bottom Line

If you’re still coming to grips with what happened in Brightest Day #18, then this latest issue on the celebrated yearlong maxi-series from DC Comics will blow you away. I hate to repeat myself but, yeah, this issue focuses on one of the most beloved characters in superhero comics genre who’s none other than Aquaman. The best part is there’s big action in this comic book. ‘Nuff said.

Comic Book Review: Ultimate Thor #4

Cover Art for Ultimate Thor #4

Story: Jonathan Hickman
Pencils: Carlos Pacheco
Inks: Dexter Vines, with Jeff Huet and Jason Paz

In a Nutshell

Thorlief Golmen, the European fellow who believes that he’s Thor is actually the latest reincarnation of the Thunder God. And Dr. Donald Blake turns out to be Balder. Crazy, right? But all these twists make Ultimate Thor #4 a very interesting read for this week.

All this time, the European Union Super Soldier High Command has been designing a new outfit for Thor. One of their scientists has also created a portable power unit capable of weather manipulation and even teleportation. Initially, the size of the machine was a problem. But at Thor’s suggestion, the scientists worked around this little snag by incorporating the machine inside a huge hammer-cum-axe, reminiscent of Beta Ray Bill’s hammer except the new one is made from what looks like indestructible steel.

Eight months later, the latest reincarnation of Thor – along with the newly reintroduced version of Captain America – has become the most recent addition to the Ultimates. And it does not take long for Thor’s deeds to get noticed. The Americans, through the versatile Nick Fury, tries to recruit the God of Thunder. At first, Thor says no.

Meanwhile, back in Germany, an old man named Helmutt goes to Norway and uses the long lost Asgardian runes to open a portal that frees Loki. In short, Loki has returned as a god while Balder and Thor have been reborn as mortals. As evil looms, Thor eventually reconsiders Nick Fury’s offer. And the first order of battle for the new Thunder God is none other than the Incredible Hulk, who now has stamped out Iron Man and Captain America.

What's Cool

  • This issue blew my mind off. Awesome finish for Ultimate Thor series.
  • Excellent cover art by Carlos Pacheco and Dexter Vines.
  • Eye-popping color work.
  • Now, I know how Loki got out of the Room with No Doors, one less loose end for me to puzzle over.

What's Crap

  • The timelines in this issue can be confusing, moving forwards and backwards. Damn, the comicbook spine has been worn-out in one sitting.
  • I still love Thor with his classic Mjolnir and not with a hammer combined with an axe blade.
  • Thor authoring books and involved in speaking engagements? C’mon!

The Bottom Line

Ultimate Thor #4 is a fitting finale for the series. As a matter of fact, I think issue #4 is the best in the series. It’s just fun to read and Carlos Pacheco’s artwork… well, it brought down the house. I can’t wait for a new collaboration between Jonathan Hickman and Carlos Pacheco.