Comic Reviews: The Riddler and Sons Of Anarchy!


downloadBatman #23.1 Riddler # 1

The second week of DC’s “Villain’s Month” arrives, and it looks like we’ve already got a frontrunner for the best issue of the event.  Plotted by Scott Snyder and Ray Fawkes, Riddler #1 is a modern day revenge tale that ably showcases the strengths of Batman’s smartest foe.

Unlike last week’s Joker #1, Riddler takes place in modern day Gotham and finds Edward Nigma making his way through the biggest puzzle in Gotham: Wayne Enterprises.  Like a thinking man’s Die Hard, Nigma works through the security systems with ease, ably taking out the many security blocks designed to keep unwanted visitors from passing through the tower’s doors.  As Nigma gets closer to the top, we learn the real reason why he’s so interested in the tower: years ago, an Arkham guard knocked him down and took away his playing cards. Now that guard is head of security at the Wayne Enterprises, and Riddler is looking to get his revenge.

At this point, I shouldn’t have to tell you that Scott Snyder has delivered a great Batman tale. However, I should mention that he came up with the plot for this issue with Ray Fawkes, who is credited with scripting this one shot.  Normally I would cry foul over Snyder only plotting (again), but the man is writing so many excellent series that I’m not surprised that he couldn’t find room in his schedule to write another book.

The characterization of Riddler is fantastic in this book, and his twisted sense of justice is very intriguing.  The best aspects of Nigma are on full display here: from his narcissistic tendencies to his superior intellect, to his superior way of dealing with others.  Seeing Nigma casually destroy the complicated Wayne security systems is a blast, and showcases that he is a worthy match for the Dark Knight.

Jeremy Haun handles the art duties for this issue, and his work is superb.  As expected, there isn’t a lot of action in this issue, but the few scenes that are here are great. Haun’s facial work is also excellent, with his depiction of the Riddler’s smug smile being a favorite.  His characters are dynamic and feel like a moving cartoon at certain points.

“Villain’s Month” has been hit and miss already, but it’s easy to see that Riddler is one of the best of the titles released so far. The issue serves as a great character piece, and while it doesn’t completely tie into the ongoing “Zero Year” storyline in Batman, it’s definitely a worthy read. Of the Batman villain issues, this is definitely the one to get.


Sons Of Anarchy #1 (of 6)SOA_01_GARRY_BROWN.1

 Fresh off last night’s insane premiere, the boys of SAMCRO are now riding into new territory: their own comic book.  Telling a “lost tale” that takes place before last night’s episode, Sons of Anarchy finds the daughter of an old friend of Tig’s come to SAMCRO for help. New York Times best selling author Christopher Golden’s characterizations of Jax Teller is spot on, and his script zips through all of our favorite characters as they fight, drink, and ride in Charming, California.  There’s not a moment in the book that feels out of place, and Golden does a great job of introducing the world of Sons of Anarchy to new readers (although I can’t imagine there will be many people who don’t watch the show picking this up).

Damian Coucerio’s art is something I hadn’t seen before, but it’s a perfect fit for this book. Whenever a licensed comic is released, it’s always hard on the artist to fit the look of the actors while keeping his or her’s own style. Luckily, Coucerio is able to pull this off. His characters, Tig especially, look eerily similar to their live-action counterparts, and his action scenes are excellent as well.

As the first part of a six-issue miniseries, there’s a lot of set up in Sons of Anarchy. However, there’s still plenty of action, with a fantastic bar room brawl to break up the middle, and the hook at issue’s end promises some pretty great things to come down the line. Between this and the start of the show’s sixth season, Sons of Anarchy fans have plenty to be happy about.  Be sure to check out the Jetpack Comics exclusive cover!

Posted on September 11, 2013, in Comic reviews, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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