Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter – The First Death #1

CoverJul 2007 | Marvel

Writing: Laurell K. Hamilton
Art: Wellinton Alves
Colour: Color Dojo
Letters: Bill Tortolini
Cover: Brett Booth

A vampire has been killing children and dumping their bodies for police to easily fine. Anita works with Dolph to hunt down the one responsible.

This book is part of a two-issue story Hamilton wrote especially for comics for fans that shows a bit of Anita’s past a year before Guilty Pleasures. It shows how her and Jean-Claude meet and it’s her first serial killer case. Being new to the franchise, I thought I’d begin here. I do have the first actual novel, but every attempt to get into fails. This, on the other hand, had different fingers. I enjoyed it quite a bit, actually. The art isn’t the greatest to me and looks off in ways I can’t describe other than I don’t particularly care for it. Everything else makes up for it.

I’m curious to see just how intricate the case is, being a two-issue thing, I’m not expecting anything too deep, but should I continue on it’s something I hope to find less obvious. I enjoy mysteries that aren’t transparent leaving the audience with all the needed information before the the heroes can solve things. I like to follow along with the detectives and such and work things out on my own as I read the stories, so that’s what I’m hoping for. I enjoy supernatural stuff, so this had better deliver in the long-term. Disappointments are so awful, especially about things you find exciting.

Anita is an interesting character. I didn’t know anything about her other than she hunts vampires, so this is my first exposure to who she is. She has psychic powers and there’s something about zombies, too which I can’t remember presently. She can sense day and night because of it. She used her psychic powers to sense vampire presences and strengths, too. I’d like to see this zombie angle and what else she can do. Hopefully I’ll see something new in next issue’s conclusion which I look forward to reading.

Hack/Slash #1

Cover

May 2007 | Devil’s Due

Writing: Tim Seeley
Art: Emily Stone
Colour: Courtney Via
Letters: Brian J. Crowley.
Cover: Time Seeley | Stefano Caselli

Cassie used herself as bait to get close to a slasher. While in captivity and being tortured, she has flashbacks to her past.

Hack/Slash is another one of those series which I have collected and scarcely read any of. I honestly don’t know how it happens other than my collection growing quicker than I can read. On the plus, I should never run out of anything to read.

Getting down to it, I really like it. I like Cassandra and her sweet killer lunch lady mom that would butcher up all the stupids that messed with her daughter. That’s devotion for you. I also really like Vlad. He’s a loveable Jason-like character and I like his manner of speech. He’s adorable.

It was a bit of a strange issue, having the flashbacks in the middle, which made things seem a little disjointed and drawn out, but it had a point and after the slasher was dealt with, things moved right along and introduced us to the next target.

I have no idea if Hack/Slash is still going, but that’s all right. I have thirty some issues to read before I hunt for more.

Scalped #1

Cover Image

Mar 1 | 2007

Writing: Jason Aaron
Colour: Lee Loughridge
Letters: Phil Balsman
Art: R.M. Guera
Cover: Jock

Bad Horse returns to Prairie Rose Reservation after 15 years causing a scene that attracts the attention of Chief Red Crow who hires him to join his police force.

Holy crap, what a shocking cliffhanger! It didn’t even occur to me to question why Bad Horse had been away, or his reasons of return, especially since he stated he was just passing through, but the cat is outta the bag now. This is probably going to turn into a big, bloody conflict pretty soon, since we’ve had scalps and violence already and Vertigo is always willing to please.

Guera’s art is always a joy to stare at. It just really puts the icing on our visceral modern western. That it’s even a modern western tickles me. I love gritty westerns, so it’s nice to see something like this in modern times and I do love the crime element. I can’t wait to see what happens to out big chief.

TPBs of this are in my future. I need more of it and hopefully it will continue to deliver over the next 59 issues I missed merely because I didn’t know what it was and thought I wouldn’t like it…

I have a lot to catch up on.

Batman Confidential #2

Batman Confidential #2

Mar 2007 | DC

Writing: Andy Diggle
Pencils: Whilce Portacio
Ink: Richard Friend
Colour: I.L.L.
Letters: Travis Lanham

Rules of Engagement. Part Two

The haywire Wayntech O.G.R.E attcks Lex Luthor leaving Batman with a mystery of why it went haywire and why Lex Luthor.

When I saw the cover of this issue, I wanted to ask a few friends of mine what was wrong with the cover. Batman looks so awkward. I stared at it for a long time wondering if the art would start distracting me from the story. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case. I’ve dealt with art I didn’t particularly like before, I just mostly ignore it. I couldn’t ignore how funky the Batmobile looked at the end of the issue. Holy crap!

Well, the crazy robot caused some destruction. Batman had troubles dealing with it and I could almost hear the continual frustration about his failures while reading his exposition. I’m still fairely hooked on this. The mystery elements made me think a lot and try and guess the connection to Lex Luthor and also guessing what villain(s) could be involved. Of course, by the end of the issue the villain was revealed. I hoped for something a bit less obvious, though. I wanted something more exciting. I did feel a bit sheepish when I didn’t realize the deal with the O.G.R.E. robot going haywire. Well, stupid, really.

At any rate, I will at least see this story through. If I still feel pretty good about it, I’ll keep going.

Batman Confidential #1

Batman Confidential #1

Feb 2007 | DC

Writing: Andy Diggle
Pencils: Whilce Portacio
Ink: Richard Friend
Colour: David Baron
Letters: Travis Lanham

Rules of Engagement. Part One

Batman’s been on the beat for a year and frustrated with the results of his actions having low impact. Meanwhile, Bruce and Lex Luthor bid for a defense deparment contract. Problems ensue when one of Wayneteck’s O.G.R.E’s goes ape.

I started in on this series after reading the Batman Year One TPB which rekindled my love for Batman and Gotham City. The title for this series had intrigued me, so here I am.

At first glance, I can’t say that the cover grabbed me in any way, other than the art looked really odd to me, along with the design. I can’t say I recognize the artist from anything else I’ve read. As I started in on the book, I found the art to be a bit off-putting. I’m not going to say that it is absolutely dreadful, but I really think everyone looks ugly, and there are several frames that look really funky. I mean, really funky. But aside from that, the writing is rather good and kept my interest throughout.

I like it when supers fail. In fact, I like it when any hero fails. I get really sick of the ‘good guys always win all the time’ scenarios and to open the book with a fail and his frustrations that what he’s doing just isn’t going deep enough, it really sucked me in. I liked seeing him angry and dark. He’s Batman. He’s badass.

Your life could end here, now, and nobody would ever know. Would anyone even miss you? Tell me, what’s your life worth, punk… ?

Lex Luthor is also a favorite villain of mine, and I was very ecstatic to see him in this. I’m curious if he has anything to do the robot going haywire, or if it’s someone else.

I’m going to keep going with this and hope the story keeps holding my interest. Seeing a giant robot attack Gotham should be good.

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