by Chuck Moore

Welcome to the FIRST official Rapid Fire Reviews column! This column is an outgrowth of the "micro reviews" I've been doing over in my blog. If you visit the column archive, there is a growing history there, but that brings in some of that I've written pre-column. In truth it all begins (and really gets kicking) here. I'll swing by with each update and share between three and five reviews. I won't do too many per each post, but I do plan to do it fairly often. That said, this column isn't a spot for me to talk but it is a spot for me to talk about comics so let's just right into those reviews...

The Flash #1
Released - April 14, 2010
(DC Comics)

There is something about the art style here that just gives this book a distinctly Flash feel. When I first read the preview pages that ran in several DC titles a month or two back, I'll admit to not being too happy with the look. As I dug into the issue, I admitted to myself that it has a visual rhythm that makes this feel like a Flash title should. It feels classic, clean, crisp and constantly in motion. Artist Francis Manpul actually takes a style that I wouldn't normally warm up to and brings it home and makes it fit the series.

I had put off reading this one for a while and now that I have, I really like it. We have in jokes about being late, a return to the classic Flash stories of old (including a few past friends), the detective angle and an interesting twist on the Rogues Gallery. Geoff Johns built a lot of his reputation during his previous Flash run. How could this not end up being a must read and why did I ever doubt it?

There is a scene in this issue where the flash catches a car's steering wheel saving a young boy that is both visually breath taking, iconic and heroic. The young boy say "whoa" in that panel and I was right there with him.

Barry Allen is back! Whoa!

Thor #609
Released - April 28, 2010
(Marvel Comics)

I always enjoy a good Thor story. This was almost a good Thor story.

Here (for what feels like the 80th time) we witness the fall of Asguard. I get it, the moment was dramatic and it was a turning point in Osborne's "reign", but it's been done in so many different titles I feel like I'm having a groundhog day moment watching it drop and drop and drop. Being left with this feeling is kind of sad as THIS is the series and the title where that moment should have been featured in detail and this is where it should have had the most resonance. Certainly it was a focal point of the main Seige story but it's overuse in other titles makes it feel here like just another visual angle on a now overused tragedy.

In the issue it felt like a bit too much time was given to Kelda (she gets roughly six pages out of the issue) and not enough time was given to the rest of the Asguardians. Seeing them begin to resolve things and pick up the pieces saved the issue. Balder reasserting himself and the fall of Loki (to a degree) made for an entertaining read.

Overall, I'm a bit split on the issue. It wasn't bad, it just felt overdone and already done. FYI for all you Thor fans, Thor doesn't actually appear in this issue.

Cold Space #1
Released - April 14, 2010
BOOM! Studios

I went into this issue with honestly low expectations. I had heard the Comic Geek Speak guys pan it on a recent episode and hanging an issue on the name recognition of a character likeness (in this case Samuel L. Jackson) always tends to leave me a bit concerned.

As you may already guess, I was pleasantly surprised by the issue. Is it ground breaking comic reading? No. Is it fun? I have to say yes. Would I recommend it to someone? Maybe, but it would depend on what they enjoy in a comic story. This one has a very Die Hard action adventure feel to it and you get the spirit of Jackson in the story, but it isn't over the top in depending on his style to guide the tale. His voice is there, but it isn't shouting at you.

The cover caught my attention. I love the use of white space (on Cover A) and opening the issue Jeremy Rock's art has a clean feel to it I really enjoyed. The use of color by Juan Manuel Tumburus only added to the visual feel of the book. This is the kind of art style I would love to see on a series like DC's REBELS and it drew me into the book.

The story has a great tech-meets-old-west spirit that always plays well with me so I warmed up to it pretty quickly. Here Jackson's character Mulberry is merchant trader that seems destined to constantly fall into trouble and play both sides against the middle to make it to the other side. If the series can hang it's hat on twists and turns, I think we have the start of an enjoyable read. I'll be back for issue #2.

Okay, I'm going to call it a wrap with three issues today. Coming up next... Daredevil #506, Green Arrow #32, my thoughts on the first few issues I've ever read of Umbrella Academy and more! Rapid Fire Reviews... We have begun.

Reviewer Bio

Chuck Moore ( / Creator of Comic Related
What's my story? I grew up in southern Ohio. I owned seven comic shops in the 80's. I moved to Kentucky. I ran a radio station and did an alternative music show in the 90's. I traveled and did press work for the unlimited hydroplane racing series and with ESPN in the 00's. As the current decade heads toward its close, I stopped traveling a bit, bought a farm and started a comic book web site. That's it in a nutshell.

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