Comic Review: Avengers: Citizen Kang

Published: 1992
Written by: Roy Thomas
Art by: Larry Alexander, Geof Isherwood, Herb Trimpe, Dan Panosian (cover)

Marvel Comics, 223 Pages

Review:

Citizen Kang wasn’t just an Avengers story, it spanned four different annuals in 1992 and also featured the Fantastic Four quite heavily, as well as some characters from the Inhumans and Eternals.

It’s a damn cool story if you are a fan of Kang the Conqueror, as I am. Back when this was current, I loved the story because it gives you the full backstory of Kang up to this point in his history. A lot of the pages collected here are flashback stuff but it’s not by any means boring, even if you know Kang’s previous stuff. Reason being, Kang’s a complicated character with multiple versions of himself running around. So this served to give you the CliffsNotes version of that complicated history.

But this isn’t just a condensed history of Kang, that’s just a small part of this total package. This actually sees Kang try to take down his enemies, be they actual heroes or other villains that have caused him problems.

This was an ambitious and big story and I thought that Roy Thomas delivered. Being that he had been at Marvel for a few decades at the time that he wrote this, he knew a lot of these characters and their histories together very well.

Also, being that this is four annuals collected into one volume, it also includes all the extra side stories and supplemental material. My only gripe with this release was how it was all organized. It just pieced the four annuals together as they were printed. I would have rather had the main story flow in order and then tack on all the extras at the end, instead of having them feel like roadblocks between each main chapter.

Still, everything in this was entertaining and hit its mark.

Rating: 8/10

Comic Review: Batman In Noir Alley

Published: September 20th, 2017
Written by: Stuart Moore
Art by: Dan Panosian, Valentine De Landro
Based on: Noir Alley by Turner Classic Movies

TCM, DC Comics, 22 Pages

Review:

There was a cool little comic book that was given away at the DC Comics booth at this year’s New York Comic Con. This was that comic, a collaboration between DC and Turner Classic Movies.

Batman In Noir Alley is an Elseworlds tale. It sees Batman team up with the host of TCM’s Noir Alley program, Eddie Muller. Their story is pretty short and brief, even a bit one-dimensional, but it was amusing seeing Batman side-by-side with one of my favorite television personalities.

In the main story, Batman is in San Francisco trying to track down the Moroccan Raptor, which was stolen from the Gotham Museum. It starts with Bruce Wayne watching the film The Moroccan Raptor in a dark San Fran movie theater. Something pops off, Bruce becomes Batman and finds himself in the lair of Eddie Muller, his set for Noir Alley. The two then try to solve the mystery but there really isn’t any suspense and the story is over about as quickly as it started.

Part of the problem with this rushed narrative, is that the story only takes up the first half of the comic book, about ten to twelve pages. The second half of the comic is the story Gotham Noir, which is another Elseworlds tale, this one following Jim Gordon, a private eye in this, and Selina Kyle a.k.a. Catwoman. It seems to be a better story overall but it ends on a cliffhanger, unresolved. The only way to get the story’s conclusion is to download the digital Gotham Noir comic on the DC Comics website. It isn’t free though, it costs $4.99. I felt cheated but this physical comic book was free at the New York Comic Con, so I shouldn’t be that upset about it. I had to buy it on eBay though, as I didn’t go to NYCC and I didn’t have a comic shop near me that got some of the free copies to hand out.

Still, this was a cool and unique concept. I’m a fan of Noir Alley and I’ve been a lifelong fan of Batman. I just wish the Muller story was something better and that this wasn’t just a ploy to get me to buy some other comic book. If DC wants my money, I can show them my collection that’s full of their comics going back to the 1960s. My Batman collection alone, is pretty astounding. You’ve got my money, DC.

Rating: 5.25/10
Pairs well with: The Noir Alley television show.