Friday, September 12, 2008

Comics Review for the Week of Sept. 10, 2008

Cream of the Crop

Amazing Spider-Man #571

Another solid issue by Slott and Romita, Jr. We learn a little bit about Anti-Venom’s abilities and how they differ from Venom. Norman shows us why he is the only real Goblin and why all others, specifically Menace at the moment, are all inferior copies. His hair looks weird, though…well, weirder than cornrows on a white guy normally look.

Deadpool #1

I don’t know why I never read his earlier ongoing solo series or the Cable/Deadpool series. I heard nothing but good things about both, and I love characters who kick ass while cracking wise. So I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss this series. Having it be a Secret Invasion cross-over (even if it wasn’t mentioned on the cover) was a plus, too, since I’m really enjoying it. Since I haven’t read about Deadpool since his second mini-series in ’94, I was a bit out of the loop, but it didn’t take me long to figure out that his conversations were all with himself, and he was crazy as a loon. The ending was completely unexpected, and I liked the Deadpool Saga that was included.

Green Lantern Corps #28

After Superman and his trio of titles (Action Comics, Adventures of Superman, and Superman), my only other monthly DC purchase in the early ‘90s was the previous Green Lantern series, the one that started out with Hal just wandering the country. After Starman, I’d say he’s my favorite DC character. But I’ve really haven’t read many GL stories. I ended that GL series right before John Stewart got his own series, and I picked it up for a short amount of time when Kyle came on the scene. I came back again for maybe a year or so when Kyle brought Hal back with him after a visit to the past. But I’ve never been able to stick with the title…that was until Rebirth and Johns got his hands on him. I’ve also really been enjoying this Corps series. This issue was a breath of fresh air. It was a done-in-two story, something we don’t see much of anymore, let alone the done-in-one. Everything needs to be longer (not necessarily padded, but longer) to make collecting for trade paperbacks easier. I’m assuming the character who took the spotlight in this storyline, Saarek, will be a major player in the Blackest Night storyline, what with him being able to talk to the dead, and the Black Lanterns supposedly composed or only deceased characters. I’ll be looking forward to see what’s done with him leading up to the major storyline, especially in regards to the mission he was sent on at the end of this issue.

Dark Tower: Treachery #1

For these reviews, I’ll only be commenting on the first part of the book, not the narrative at the end. I started reading the narratives with the first series, then gave up. I figure that I’ll sit down with all of them when the series is over and read them then. Now, I’ve been a Stephen King fan since I was in middle school. I remember reading It in seventh grade, sneaking it under my desk in the back of classrooms while the teacher taught. It scared the hell out of me. And I’ve never stopped being a fan. I read the first three Dark Tower books (The Gunslinger, Drawing of the Three, Wastelands) sometime between middle school and my sophomore year of high school, then I read them all again in college shortly after the fourth book (Wizard and Glass) came out, so I could refresh myself. Then there was the accident and rumors of the series never being finished. But it was, and before the fifth book (Wolves of the Calla) was put out, I reread the other four. Five, six (Song of Susannah) and seven (The Dark Tower) have only been read once, though, so I don’t remember as much of them as I’d like to. My wife is just finishing up the final book, and she’s really enjoyed the series. I know I won’t be able to get her to read these comics, though, which is a shame. They’re beautiful, and the first issue of Treachery continues on with the wonderful writing of Robin Furth and Peter David, and the beautiful images of Jae Lee. I was never a fan of Lee’s until recently. His style has changed dramatically (and for the better) since his beginnings in Marvel Comics Presents and Namor. While many loved his work then, I thought it was horrid. Just really, really ugly. But what he does now is nothing short of art, suitable for framing and all that. And Misters Furth and David had a more difficult time with the previous book (The Long Road Home) and this one, I’m sure, since they’re coming up with the stories rather than adapting King’s work (Gunslinger Born was taken from Wizard and Glass). They do an admirable job, keeping the feel of King’s setting and characters. Any fan of King would be doing themselves a disservice by not picking this up, as would any fan of Jae Lee, Peter David, or wonderful comics.

The Stand: Captain Trips #1

I’ve been waiting for this for, oh, I don’t know how long. The Stand is by far my favorite book, and I do my best to read it once a year. I’ve seen the TV mini-series a handful of times, and I enjoyed it more than I do most big- or small-screen adaptations of King’s books. This was a wonderful start to this adaptation. Like the book and the movie, it starts off with the flu right away. We’re introduced to Stu, Frannie and Larry. So far, it’s a very faithful adaptation, and I’m eagerly awaiting the rest. If I could stand (HAH!) the wait, I’d hold off and read the whole thing after the whole story has been released, but I just can’t do it. But it’ll be on the top of my pile each month. Bet on it. Oh, and fans of the Stand should click on this post’s title. I try to link a website to each title, and this one should be somewhat familiar to readers of the book.

X-Men: Magneto – Testament

Okay, wow. I wasn’t expecting this book, just picked it up on a whim (and the fact that another blog reader was looking forward to it). This looks to be the tale of Magneto’s early life “during the Nazi rise to power and WW II,” which, from the letter in the back of the book, is intended to be in continuity. We learn Magneto’s birth name and see him as a boy in school, a boy hated by his peers and teachers for being different (hmm, what persecuted group in the Marvel universe does that sound like?). All of the scenes that don’t involve his family seem to focus on the hatred the Nazis had for the Jews, as demonstrated by a classmate and the headmaster of Max’s (Magneto) school. It’s some powerful stuff, and I’ll definitely be eager to read the rest of this mini-series.


Booster Gold #12

Time travel can easily give one a headache. This isn’t quite so headache inducing, but it’s not especially memorable, either. Dixon and Jurgens have created a very readable book, very reminiscent of the types of stories that I grew up on in the mid-to-late ‘80s and early ‘90s, before everything had to be realistic. I don’t see anything overly special in it, but it’s enjoyable.

Civil War: House of M

This isn’t an important book, and it seems to be somewhat pointless. It’s the backstory of a universe that no longer exists, like revisiting the Age of Apocalypse or the Heroes Reborn universes. But a good story is still a good story, and this is a good story. Not great, just good. I view this as more of a novelty, where as with Ultimate Origins, I HAVE to read it. But it has it’s own review.


Big Hero 6 #1

I freely admit that I’m basing my review on reading the first couple of pages and then skimming the rest. But I have yet to find a Manga that I like, and while not technically Manga, it’s too close for me. I’m not at all impressed by this type of Japanese art. I’m not a fan of the big eyes or the exaggerated effects. I wonder if I would like it more if it had a more Western style or look to it.


Thea said...

I finally got the chance to read Treachery and Captain Trips this weekend. I definitely understand where you are coming from as a King fan (he's been my favorite author from when I was 11 and first read Pet Sematary, and The Dark Tower books are my all time favorites--lots of memories there trying to scramble and finish the last book despite having two finals the next day). And I love that even though Roland's journey is complete, there's more to discover with Peter David's wonderful comics.

And I am a huge Jae Lee fan--the DT books and Manhunter covers are my favorites. I love the kind of crazy trippy elegance to his work on DT. Really beautiful, horrific stuff.

Btw--there's no way you can convince your wife to try the comics?! Really? If she loved the books, there could be some hope!

I thought Capt. Trips was solid too--I like the art, I like the representations of Stu and Larry and Frannie especially (I *hated* Molly Ringwald playing her in the miniseries, so it's nice to see some good representation in the comics). And I do like that the story is pretty much straight up from the book, the dialogue and all. I'm not sure if I should be expecting something different from Aguirre-Sacasa (I haven't read any of his work before either)...but I'm very happy with this issue.

Magneto Testament was probably my favorite issue of this week. Wowsers. A part of me is loving to geek out over this more definitive look at his past, but I am more in awe of the somber, accurate history in the story too. Here too I love the almost watercolor like art, and how...innocent the characters look. I cannot wait for the next issue!

Oh, and I will be picking up Deadpool it seems :)

Rob Rosenblatt said...

She's just not interested I bought Brian Michael Bendis' Torso for her years ago because she's into true crime stuff. She didn't care for it at all. She said it wasn't so much the story but the way the pages were laid out, which I can understand, but it soured her on anything else.

And it looks like I'll be picking up some Deadpool back issues!