Kingbeast's Lair

Growling about the RPG industry and my gaming life. RPG and anime reviews from a passionate fan. (Formerly John's Hero HQ.)

Comics Reviews – 100 Bullets And All-Star Superman

November 13, 2013 By: John Taber Category: Fun Reads, Media Interests

I’m going to start doing shorter reviews for comics and graphic novels where I put more than one review into a single blog post. This is the first of those entries. Since I’m somewhat “anal” I decided to read my current backlog in alphabetical order. Here are the first two up for review! 😀

100 Bullets Deluxe Edition

-== 100 Bullets: The Deluxe Edition – Book 1 ==-

Author: Brian Azzarellow
Artist: Eduardo Risso, with cover by Dave Johnson
Layout: 7.5″ x 11″, 456 pages, hardback, with a color cover and interior.
Publisher: DC Comics / Vertigo
Year Published: 2011

-== What is it? ==-

100 Bullets is a crime drama set in modern times. The story follows the exploits of several mysterious men who apparently work for and/or formerly work for a shadowy organization with some type of secret agenda. Collects the first 19 issues of the comic series that was published starting in 1999. I am reading a copy that I purchased from my friendly local comic book store.

-== What I Like ==-

The stories are told in a series of short two to four issue runs. Each series tells the story of a character who is given an untraceable gun with 100 bullets and detailed information proving that someone who had wrecked their lives in the past is truly at fault. More importantly they are told that they will not be prosecuted for anything that they do with said gun and bullets. There is also a through-line story in 100 Bullets about the people who work for this shadowy organization and why they are doing it. The stories are gripping, pulse racing, and really hit home. This might be some of the best crime story writing for comics that I have ever seen and I have read a lot of it.

The artwork by Risso is not detailed buy carries a sense of purpose and emotion. In some ways it reminds me Bill Willingham and Tim Sale. Strong simple lines that really work to convey the story. I like it.

-== What I Don’t Like ==-

Development of the background story in 100 Bullets can be very slow. Even though I know that is intentional it feels overly done. I want a more significant tidbit every now and again.

-== Summary ==-

Top notch crime drama at its very best. The topic of revenge is a dish best served by 100 Bullets.

I give it 9 out of 10 paws.

Amazon has copies at this URL for $32.04.

All-Star Superman

-== All-Star Superman ==-

Author: Grant Morrison
Artist: Frank Quitely with digital inking and coloring by Jamie Grant.
Layout: 6 5/8″ x 10 1/8″, 304 pages, softcover, with a color cover and interior.
Publisher: DC Comics
Year Published: 2011

-== What is it? ==-

After saving our sun Superman’s body is overloaded with solar energy. According to scientists Superman has only a short time to live. This trade paperback collects issues 1 through 12 of the series which was published in 2006 through 2008. I am reading a copy that I purchased from my friendly local comic book store.

-== What I Like ==-

This is one of the most original Superman stories that I have read. All-Star Superman really shows the strengths of what makes Superman comics interesting. The Man Of Steel has to deal with telling Lois that he is Clark Kent, that he is alone and alien, the impact it will have on Lex Luthor, and the weight that his powers entail. The dialog is witty, funny, and powerful. This is some great storytelling.

The artwork by Quitely uses thin lines with a lot of detail. The effect is a powerful majestic feel that works great for Superman. The coloring by Grant is beautiful.

-== What I Don’t Like ==-

Each story is pretty short. At times I almost wanted to see it get stretched out a bit. I think as individual comics All-Star Superman may even be a bit more effective than the collected trade paperback.

If you are not a fan of the Superman mythos this book will not be for you. I know that may sound obvious but this book is really about the mythos and Superman only. You won’t find details on master villains or spiffy new characters.

-== Summary ==-

Morrison hit it out of the park with All-Star Superman. This is a great story that is worthy of the title. It deepens Superman and that is an achievement.

I give it 8 out of 10 paws.

You can get copies on Amazon for $21.19 at this URL.

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