Review by: TheNextChampion

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Avg Rating: 3.8
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Story by China Mieville
Art by Alberto Ponticelli & Dan Green
Cover by Brian Bolland

Size: 32 pages
Price: 2.99

A major change in artist can really sway me to stick with a title. I wanna get out of the Thunderbolts game but with Phil Noto coming on board I can’t really drop it just yet. With this series, we’ve had two changes in artists in the last couple of months. I miss Mateus Santolouco on this series but David Lapham really stepped up for his two issue stint. Now we have a new series regular with Alberto Ponticelli and….well I am really not gelling with this.

I can definitely see the talent here that’s for sure. Ponticelli’s layouts are impressive and he handles some of the wilder aspects of the script pretty well. I LOVE ‘The Centipede’ and his powers are showcased really well here. Must be a pain in the ass to draw a million, what seems to be anyways, drawings of the same figure but Ponticelli handles it well. But man his art is way too damn sketchy for my liking. There are literally panels in the same page where Nelson or other characters change shape. One minute Nelson is fat, as he should be, and then he’s buff as hell. When action does happen it is also pretty confusing to follow it. When Nelson meets another dial user I have no idea how he wound up getting kidnapped. I’m hoping this was just a fluke because people rave about this guy from his Frankenstein run and so far I’m not seeing it here.

The story is still improving though and that is really important here. China Mieville, I can safely say, is out of his phase of being Grant Morrison on steroids. This is easy to follow and enjoyable to read. Nelson and Roxie’s relationship is blossoming here and they are quickly becoming my favorite duo in a comic. Again, ‘The Centipede’ is an intriguing character and I like how he’s given this tough 1920s style dialogue here. His origin is pretty cool too and it kinda makes sense if you don’t think about it too hard.

So the ideas here are flowing real well writing wise but the art is not being executed well for me. Ponticelli’s style is way too sketchy for my liking and I got lost a bunch of times while reading this. But Mieville’s story is really getting better as time goes on and I can’t ignore the quality here by him. If the art could only improve just a little bit I can safely say this is one of the best series DC is publishing right now. Shame that a comic about a rotary phone isn’t getting publicity like it should…Wait…

Story: 4 - Very Good
Art: 2 - Average

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