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Friday, June 21, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

A week in ink: issue No. 4

Wonder Woman No. 603

The Amazonian princess knows how to kick butt and take names just as well as, if not better than, her male comrades.

The gritty reboot to the Wonder Woman series done on the 600th anniversary issue has put the princess at center stage in an attempt to elevate her character to an even higher level of prestige. Sadly, many DC fans are still waiting for that day to come.

Issue No. 603 follows Diana as she leads a caravan of Amazonian citizens across a barren desert in a mad dash towards freedom. In a clash of Greek mythology, harpies assault the caravan, leaving the princess to defend her people. The Amazonian heroine fights diligently to save her people but, to no avail, is sent down to the depths of Tartarus.

While there are a few humorous panels, the plot is too weak to get a solid recommendation. Artist Don Kramer, with the help of DC's back-up art staff, brings the Greek underworld to life in a magnificent way. Though much of the issue's art is bland, the real meat of the adventure is inked out in a phenomenal way.

There is, however, light at the end of this bleak issue's tunnel: this comic sets the series up for an epic confrontation between Wonder Woman and her mother's murderer.

Save the $2.99 spent on this comic, because a penny saved is a penny to be spent on next week's comic releases.

Namor: The First Mutant No. 2

Marvel's lord of Atlantis, Namor, is losing his homeland to the undead, and he's not very happy about it. The war between New Atlantis and the aquatic vampires, the Aqueos, has taken a turn for the worse.

As the Atlanteans experience heavy casualties, Namor is forced to either take the fight to them or watch as his kingdom crumbles around him.

The Curse of The Mutants story arc continues with Namor after he has delivered the head of Dracula from the lair of the deep-sea vampires. However, a student at the mutant academy relays to Namor that only Atlantean royalty can open the Vault of Law, where Dracula's head was stored.

How did the head get into the vault without Namor putting it there? This question sets the stage for a throwdown between the vampires and Namor's people in a struggle between life and extinction.

"Namor: The First Mutant No. 2" won't interest everyone, though it is highly recommended for those reading the Curse of The Mutant story line.

As a character, Namor conveys the incredibly difficult nuances of ruling a kingdom in a brilliant fashion. The issue shows Namor losing his composure a bit as his people begin to question his judgment, while the lack of bodies to help wage the war may eventually lead to his downfall.

This issue is worth the read just to discover more about a character that has not had as much time in the limelight as he deserves.

G.I. Joe: Hearts & Minds No. 5

The Hearts and Minds series contains two stories, the first about a member of Cobra and the second one explaining the back-story of a Joe. Previous installments have included Tripwire, Firefly, Major Bludd and Spirit, among others.

The series eloquently captures the sinister plots of Cobra soldiers and makes them somewhat more understandable because of their background. Adversely, the Achilles' heel to the series has always been the lack of personality on the heroic side.

Issue No. 5 follows the story of four Cobra recruits as they progress towards being unnamed soldiers amongst thousands under Cobra Commander's regime. This series of events is particularly interesting because the TV shows have often left out how the typical soldier is recruited by Cobra and this issue helps to shed some light on the subject.

On the G.I. Joe side, Blowtorch is engulfed in provocative thought concerning the comparison between his love of fire and the love of fire of savages who inhabited the earth thousands of years ago.

Had this issue just contained the Cobra side as a stand-alone issue, it would have sold instantly, but because of the rather uninteresting Joe counter-story it is hardly worth the $3.99. Blowtorch deserves better and the audience certainly deserves better. This issue just doesn't do justice to the real American hero.

Perhaps as this series progresses characters like Duke, Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow will get a story with a well written plot and G.I. Joe fans can relive their childhood memories nearly a decade later.

E-mail: arts@ubspectrum.com


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