The Wal-Tor Weekly Review returns! This week, X-Men ’92 gives you a nostalgic kick in the face, Ant-Man: Larger Than Life gets readers primed for the film next month, and We Are Robin debuts with angst riddled teens.
X-Men ’92 #1
Located in the domain of Westchester, Cyclops leads a small team of X-Men, using them to fight evil mutants and prevent violence against both mutants and humans. When the team is inexplicably attacked by Sentinels, after most of them were supposed to be shut down, The X-Men head out in search of answers which lead them to Clear Mountain, a station for “rehabing” evil mutants back into society. It doesn’t take long for the X-Men to realize that something wrong is afoot, placing them on a collision course with a dangerous mutant villain.
X-Men ’92 serves as the perfect dose of nostalgia for anyone born in the 90’s, giving you a hearty helping of perhaps one of the most iconic eras of X-Men. Even with the nostalgia in mind, this new X-Men ’92 series seems to struggle to take off. Written by Chad Bowers and Chris Sims, the story hits constant sticking points and hiccups, always feeling as though it’s waiting for the right moment to really progress but never seeming to get there. The page becomes overloaded with text as a result, with these massive speech bubbles taking away from the fantastic artwork of Scott Koblish. Packing lots of words on a page is never a bad thing, but when it takes away over half the available panel it can detract from the overall product. Even with a struggling plot and too many words, Bowers and Sims do get the characters right with this one. Every member of the X-Men is portrayed perfectly, especially when you compare it to how they act and speak with the old X-Men cartoon. Scott Koblish does a perfect job of making this comic appeal to anyone who is a fan of the X-Men cartoon, or the X-Men in general, making this comic look like it could be an episode of the show. His character work is crisp and detailed, never being bothersome to look at.
|+ Great artwork||— Weak Plot|
|+ Nostalgic||— Dialogue takes away from art|
|+ Characters are well done|
X-Men ’92 maybe be a great, nostalgic comic for anyone who loved the 90’s but the cumbersome plot and panels overloaded with text ultimately hinder a comic that could have been far more than it is. Chris Sims and Chad Bowers give the reader great character portrayals to care about, making all the X-Men immediately likable and distinct. The use of too many word bubbles that are too large ruin your ability to enjoy artwork on certain pages. Luckily Scott Koblish is still a phenomenal talent and a perfect choice for this project, giving you a comic that you’ll love looking at. An ambitious effort that just falls flat, one can only hope X-Men ’92 finds more solid footing with its next outing.
We Are Robin #1
Following the results of Joker’s assault on Gotham during the “Endgame” storyline, several teens are left “orphaned” with their parents missing or presumed dead. Duke Thomas, a brilliant young mind who helped Batman during “Zero Year”, is one of those youths left without his parents, spiraling into a life or reckless abandon as he constantly ends up in deeper trouble for picking fights. Without many options, Duke bounces around to different foster homes while the police attempt to find where his parents are. Sick of the lack of results, Duke takes it upon himself to continue the search, fleeing from the latest home he’s been sent to. When Duke discovers an underground city of homeless people, things go sideways when they realize Duke doesn’t belong there.
We Are Robin #1 is a surprisingly compelling tale about Duke Thomas coming into his own as a young teenager, serving as a fantastic, youth-in-revolt type of comic. Lee Bermejo and Jorge Corona kick off the adventure of Duke in a way that is sure to shatter the expectations of unknowing fans, giving DC a true winner that is distinct from the rest of their publishing line. From the opening moments, Bermejo gives the readers something exciting to read, immediately establishing a fast pace with an interesting kick to it. The story itself isn’t anything with an incredible amount of depth, serving to just be enjoyable in the best ways. Bermejo makes the characters present fun to read as you come to care about the problems Duke faces rather quickly. Jorge Corona has a great style for this type of series, having an energetic and fast paced type of art that gets you really into the comic. Molina draws some fight scenes that are fun to watch unfold and his characters come off as strong. The storytelling style of Molina is definitely something to pay attention to as well, drawing your eye in a dynamic way that makes the story even more of a joy to read.
|+ Fun, youth-in-revolt comic||— Inconsistent pace|
|+ Energetic and exciting artwork|
We Are Robin is hands down one of the more exciting new series that DC has debuted this month. Lee Bermejo and Jorge Molina give us a great comic for an interesting character that is sure to become even more fun as the story progresses. Bermejo gives readers a solid introduction to Duke Thomas, making you genuinely care for the troubled youth. Jorge Molina’s energetic art style is reminiscent to that of James Harren (Rumble), so I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys that type of artwork. We Are Robin is definitely a story worth checking out for any type of reader, this one isn’t a comic that you need to know about Batman or Robin to enjoy. You just need to like reading fun comics with fast paced stories and cool artwork.
Ant-Man: Larger Than Life #1
Ant-Man: Larger Than Life #1 is a perfect one-shot for fans looking to get ready for the Ant-Man movie next month. Featuring three different stories, this one-shot gives you a perfect glimpse at Hank Pym as Ant-Man shining a light on the character to help draw in new fans. The first story in the collection is by Will Pilgrim with the art being done by Andrea Di Vito and follows Hank Pym as he experiments with the different types of things he can do with ants. Just as everything seems to be going right, they sharply veer in an different direction which causes Hank Pym to suit up as Ant-Man. Working with his ants to tackle a few different problems, this story is a quick introduction that is satisfying on multiple levels. It’s a straight forward plot by Pilgrim with the artwork of Di Vito really shining. Di Vito does a great job of giving the reader a sense of scale and those moments when Pym changes his size just look beautiful. The second and third stories in the collection are actually reprints of issues 27 and 35 of “Tales To Astonish” by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. I’m a sucker for old reprints, especially when they’re done by Stan the Man and Mr.Kirby so I can’t in my right mind review them fairly. Issue 27 is a reprint of Hank Pym’s first appearance, a seven page story titled “The Man In The Ant Hill”. In Issue 35 we get the first appearance of Pym’s superhero alter-ego, Ant-Man, with both stories being collected back-to-back being a brilliant decision. While issue 27 definitely feels like a bit of a horror story, issue 35 is far more exciting and fun for anyone who loves superheroes.
|+ Reprints fantastic stories||— First story is fairly mediocre|
|+ Great artwork from all parties|
|+ $5 price tag is a steal for these stories|
I’m bias as it’s impossible for me to review reprints of stories like this one negatively. These are classic stories that are perfect for the impending Ant-Man film. No it doesn’t really do much to introduce you to the film’s lead character in Scott Lang, but it does give you a great sense of who the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym, is. The opening story by Will Pilgrim and Andrea Di Vito is decent enough but you’ll stay because of the amazing reprints of Tales To Astonish #27 and #35. The $5 price tag for these stories seems like such a steal to me so there’s no reason you shouldn’t buy this one. It’s just a great idea by Marvel and one that’s worthy of your time if you love reading old school stories.