Comics Review: Batman, Inc, Prelude to Schism, X-23, Chew

Good Focus on the New Guy
Batman, Incorporated # 7 – Medicine Soldiers
I like this Batman, Inc issue because it mostly focused on the new guy with Batman playing a very small part. The dynamic between Man-of-Bats and Raven is played very well. There’s a lot of history here and you can feel it. The only bad thing with this issue is the same as all the other issues, it feels like these books need to be a bit longer. I feel like too much story is getting compressed into too few pages and the story’s suffering a bit for it. I think it’d be best if these were all two-parters like the series-opening Japanese story.

Great Ending but… Schism Doesn’t Seem Right
X-Men: Prelude to Schism # 4 – Part 4
While this issue is mostly a recap of Wolverine’s past and how he survived it, the ending is about how he trusts Scott and they’ve been through so much and so on. After reading this, it seems there’s going to have to be something HUGE for there to be a Schism that sets the teams off in different directions. They’re going to have to be on their A-game to make the Schism believable. Here’s hoping they succeed!

Touching Origin Story
X-23: Innocence Lost # 1 – Innocence Lost Collection
X-23 is one of the newest main characters in the Marvel universe and she has an orgin story that matches with the times. The world is grittier now and more cynical and can accept stories like this one. I think Yost has done an amazing job on this story. The emotions, back-stories, and conversations are great. How great? I read the entire story on Comic Vine before I knew I was going to buy it because I was thinking of jumping into the new X-23 series. And when I later bought the book on a whim, I was blown away. And that almost never happens for me. If I know whats going to happen in a book, comic, or movie – I don’t enjoy it. But with this one, it was still pretty amazing.

And what really sells it is Billy Tan’s art. He does an amazing job portraying Yost’s great script. The contrast between the killer X-23 is trained to become and the innocence of childhood is juxtaposed well with his character designs. It really does a great job.

Even if you know the story from reading it here or elsewhere, this is a book you’ll want to pick up. The story is tight, self-contained, and will really get ya emotionally.

You Must Read This Comic
Chew: Taster’s Choice # 1 – Taster’s Choice
When my younger brother explained the premise of ‘Chew’ to me, I thought it was the dumbest thing I’d ever heard. This guy can see memories of whatever he eats. So eating is a real pain for him because he feels the slaughter. He tastes the fertilizer used on the plant. How could anyone ever make a comic out of that? And it’d won awards? WTF?

Then he told me about how Tony Chu worked for the FDA and that they were essentially like the FBI in this comic world. And, after the bird flu, chicken was banned in the US and it had become like alcohol in the 1920s. My interest was piqued. Then he brought the comic over to my house. I really dug the art style. It looks similar to a style that the Penny Arcade guys have used from time to time.

He left me the first three graphic novels to read. After finishing the first one, I have to say that you NEED to read this. This book is a dose of creativity that’s missing from the mainstream comics. Don’t get me wrong – I’m reading and loving a bunch of typical super hero stories by the big two publishers – but we need a lot more amazingly creative ideas like Chew if we want to keep the comic book industry alive.

I don’t think it’s printed anywhere on the outside of the book, so just a fair warning that this is essentially an organized crime story. There are guns, blood, and crazy violence. There is profanity. This book is not for the dainty or for young children.