Each of this week’s reviews sees some sort of story involving magic, sci-fi logic, or cosmic trickery. Either way, these stories made for a good time!
The Green Lantern Annual #1 (DC Comics)
(w) Grant Morrison (a) Giuseppe Camuncoli, Trevor Scott
I think it’s been pretty well established that Grant Morrison loves referencing older DC Comics stories. He also loves referencing his previous stories. So of course this annual references one of Morrison’s own, older DC stories. This annual issue reads like a throwback. It’s a done-in-one story that doesn’t necessarily play a larger role in the series’ main story, but the door is open for later adventures. On a rare stop at a family gathering, Hal and his nieces and nephews are attacked by radio creatures. If you’ve read Morrison’ previous work on The Flash, you may know where this is going, but the result is an enjoyable, small-scale battle that can be legitimately enjoyed by all ages.
While Liam Sharp’s art is missed, a case can be made the Giuseppe Camuncoli is a better fit for this story. More polished and befitting traditional superhero fare, Camuncoli stuffs each panel with energy and motion that keeps readers engaged from the first page to the last. In the end, The Green Lantern Annual #1 is a solid, one-off tale that entertains but can be quickly forgotten.
— Daniel Gehen
Sabrina The Teenage Witch #4 (Archie Comics)
(w) Kelly Thompson (a) Veronica Fish, Andy Fish
Penultimate issues can be bitter sweet, which is the case in Kelly Thompson’s Sabrina The Teenage Witch #4. Throughout this mini-series we have seen Sabrina become the new girl in Greendale, become entangled in a love triangle, make new friends at school, and fight mythical creatures. The normal happenings of high school right?
With her Aunts not returning from their trip to the woods Sabrina takes it into her own hands to save them and figure out just what is happening, after she goes to school, then a date. Luckily Sabrina’s date with Harvey turns beneficial with him informing her of an old tale of a witch that lived in the woods, thus deepening her and her Aunts suspicions. Thompson keeps her high school lingo, and innocence through the issue with a few minor revelations that makes the next final issue that much more juicy.
The team of Veronica and Andy Fish may be one of the bests this year. Each issue they continue to wow with beautiful art, but even more fantastical colors. The previous issue had some great colors going on but in this penultimate issue the duo doesn’t hold back. In a simple scene of Sabrina walking up a hill during the night with a few houses that have street lights on behind her looks absolutely stunning. Then in the final pages when she and Salem ‘upgrade’ our eyes are treated to what may be the most orgasmic art and color mixes of this year.
Sabrina The Teenage Witch #4 builds upon the previous issues in a great fast flowing manner, with more plot that is building to what seems to be a huge final issue.
— Jason Jeffords Jr
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #96 (IDW Publishing)
(w) Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow (a) Dave Wachter (c) Ronda Pattison
Despite its name, “City at War” has been a pale imitation of the original story for which it is named after. Aside from the first issue, the stakes have been rather low for anyone who is not a faceless mobster. The main plot has focused on whether or not Jennika will survive being mortally wounded by Karai back in TMNT #92 (spoiler: she survives). With that plot thread resolved, Tom Waltz and Dave Wachter have turned their attention to the true “war” aspect of this story arc, while keeping readers anchored with genuine emotional stakes.
TMNT #96 reads like one of this series’ earlier issues, wonderfully balancing character moments with action while successfully juggling a large cast with multiple plotlines. Because of this, the issue feels grand in scope, even if the story is actually confined to two square miles of Manhattan.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been a series driven by its artwork. When the art is good, the issue usually is too. Dave Wachter has been a revelation on this series, and his artwork continues to be the main attraction to this particular story. The action sequences are dynamic, while their is genuine weight to the emotional scenes between characters. The reunion of Jennika and Casey is particularly affecting. TMNT #96 is a firm reminder that this series has been one of the most consistent and high-quality titles for years. Fans of quality superhero stories owe it to themselves to read it.