Friday, October 24, 2008

Cream of the Crop

Amazing Spider-Man #573

"Wow. Ven-orpion. That’s like the turducken of supervillains."

Oh, yea, a teaser from Norman about Harry being dead before. I’m looking forward to how his death and resurrection are explained to the fans. As an ending to what was supposed to be a big storyline, though, I thought the book fell a bit flat. Slott and Romita Jr. still put together a great comic, but I want answers in my finales, not more questions. Granted, they’re questions that we’ve been needing answers to, but let’s have some kind of wrap-up before teasing us some more.

Astonishing X-Men #27

"You say anything like that again, I’m gonna puke right in your visor."

Be warned: if I ever buy a Warren Ellis book, it will almost assuredly end up in the CotC section. I have yet to find any of his work that I don’t like. And Simone Bianchi’s work is just beautiful. As Ellis always does, he brings up fantastic theories and ideas; this issue we get the ghost box and the Chinese X-Men’s version of a supercomputer. Oh, did I forget to mention that? We’ve got Chinese X-Men now. I hope we get to see some decent flashbacks of them since they appear to be dead, something along the lines of Apollo and Midnighter’s first team that Bendix created in Stormwatch.

Captain Britain and MI13 #6

The book really hasn’t slowed down since the defeat of the Skrull’s advance on England. Now the group is after one of the demons that Wisdom had to release in order to defeat the Skrulls. This one provides your fondest dream, but at the cost of your soul. And it offers up to Captain Britain the only thing that could ever tempt him. Blade and Spitfire also go at it for a while. Paul Cornell is doing a great job of making the comic very British. I have no doubts that everything is happening there and not in the U.S. Leonard Kirk is also doing an excellent job with the art, and I can never get enough of Bryan Hitch, even if it’s only on covers.

Fables #77

Ah, the beginning of a new storyline. While I like the one-off stories, these multi-issue stories are always excellent. I thought Freddy and Mouse might be from a sword and sorcery world (possibly belonging to Michael Moorcock), but a Google search didn’t turn up anything, so I guess these two are new creations. I like them and am looking forward to seeing what’s in the box.

Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #2

I’ve never been a Legion of Super-Heroes fan, but I know a good story and great art when I see it. First the Sinestro Corps now the Legion of Super-Villains, what insane super-group will Superboy Prime end up in when this story is all over? I like seeing the Green Lantern Corps, or at least what’s left it, in the future. The GLC had their ban against killing removed when fighting Superboy and the Sinestro Corps. I wonder what will happen to the Legion’s similar band when going up against the LoSV. So far I’m enjoying the peripheral mini-series of Final Crisis a LOT more than the actual series.

Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge #3

Wow, taking out Zoom and Inertia in one issue. As I just said, these peripheral minis are so much better than the main story right now. I didn’t care for Kolins’ art in this mini as much as I have in the past. If it’s as good as the Green Lantern version, I’m really looking forward to Flash: Rebirth.

Trinity #20

Excellent issue as, through Firestorm, we learn how and why the Earth he’s on is different from the Earth he knows. And Krona attempts to talk to the universe. But if I’m not mistaken, the DCU doesn’t have celestial personifications similar to the Marvel Universe. There, if he wanted to talk to the universe, he’d just strike up a conversation with Eternity (assuming it were that easy).

Young X-Men #7

So we’ve got the New X-Men and the New Mutants together at last. I like the concept. I’m indifferent to there being a non-mutant on the team, but I really like who it is and what the real situation is. I’d like to see more happen with the ACTUAL mutant, even though Pierce and Dust seem to be the only two that know about him. I hope there’s fallout from this, good and bad.


Brave and the Bold #18

This is was only so-so. It started off pretty crappy, then redeemed itself when they got into the Triumph stuff, but was then resolved too quickly. I’m not a fan of either Supergirl or Raven, so I’m not sorry that this team-up is over and we’re on to the next one.

Mighty Avengers #19

I’m being a bit generous putting it in here rather than the Compost. The story deals with the Captain Marvel Skrull sleeper agent coming to grips with who he actually is. Framing the story we get a glimpse of Marvel Boy and the riot going on at the Cube now that the inmates have been freed. Once again, the Avengers don’t show up in their own book. I haven’t minded it since this book and New Avengers were showing facets of the war that we hadn’t seen (or didn’t recognize) before the invasion. I wonder if Bendis was a little worn down by this whole event by the time he got to writing this issue. Khoi Pham’s pencils were passable, but there was a lack of backgrounds that I found unsettling. I don’t know if he’s just not good at them or was rushed, but it left a bit to be desired.

The Chronicles of Dr. Herbert West #1

I rarely expect much from licensed properties. I mostly view them as quick money makers for companies who might like the property but don’t give too much consideration for the actual story. I haven’t seen any of the Re-Animator movies, but I’ve got them and I plan on watching them soon. I’m curious as to what makes them, and Lovecraft in general, such cult favorites. I would assume that this is an updating of the story, considering that Lovecraft wrote this in, what, the ‘20s, and the first movie came out in the ‘80s? I may have my dates wrong. This works as a good introduction into the mythology, and while simple, we understand West’s motivations for what he does. The books isn’t the greatest thing I’ve ever read, but it’s solid, and the art is easy to look at. I just hope this becomes more than just some zombie book.

Ghostbusters: The Other Side #1

This is pure nostalgic fun. The first movie is an excellent piece of work, the second movie tried to be too preachy with anger and love and all that crap, and I don’t remember the cartoon all that much. Actually, I take that back. I remember one character from the cartoon scaring the piss out of me. The Boogey Man. He’d attack kids by traveling from his dimension to ours through closets, and I think he was one of the team’s toughest foes. Anyways, the dialogue is pretty corny in this book, but I’m at least feeling Egon. Not so much Ray, Peter or Winston. The group runs afoul of some gangster ghosts, and by the end of the issue all four of our heroes are dead...wait, really? Well, that’s one hell of an ending for a first issue. Hmm, how to top that next issue?

Halloween: The First Death of Laurie Strode #1

Decent issue, but since I’ve seen it more recently, I’m more familiar with the Rob Zombie remake of Halloween rather than the original Jamie Lee Curtis version. Had I not recently seen it, I probably wouldn’t have picked this comic up. It was very average. Nothing stuck out about it, good or bad. I’ll try and stick it out, see how it ends.

Iron Man #34

Hmm, looks like I need to Wikipedia War Machine to see what I’ve missed. Seems as though he went and got himself all blowed up at some point. I’m not a big fan of War Machine. He was created in the ‘90s when big guns and massive damage were the norm. Is there any consistency to his weaponry, or does he always have just what he needs? I’m chugging along with the title despite Tony’s absence, but I’ll look forward to his return...provided we don’t get sappy flashbacks that conveniently mirror what’s happening in the present. I thought those two pages were pretty unnecessary. Oh well, let’s see how he gets out of the end of the issue’s predicament.

Grant Morrison’s Doctor Who #1

I’m almost positive this would end up in the Cream of the Crop if I had any prior knowledge of the Doctor Who universe. But I don’t. I’m being told I need to watch the current series as it’s incredible. I plan on it, eventually. But for a noob like me, this book was very easy to follow and understand. You didn’t need to know anything. I was comfortable coming into this cold. Everything you needed to know to enjoy the story was provided for you. That’s a pretty good accomplishment considering the character has been around since the early ‘60s. And for a Grant Morrison story, it wasn’t all that weird or far-out. I would assume these are reprints of previously published material, possibly from 2000 AD.

Justice Society of America #19

I’m a huge fan of Kingdom Come. It’s what got me back into comics after an almost 2 year hiatus. So I was pretty stoked about Johns and Ross working with that universe in Justice Society of America. I’m a bit confused, though. Was the Kingdom mini-series completely ignored? Hasn’t he already come to the DCU proper and fought Superman? I’m just so confused. And I think the story is dragging a bit. We been going back and forth about what Gog is doing, whether it’s right or wrong, and we finally got into some in-team fighting, and poof it’s over. Now the Justice Society Infinity is here and there’s going to be an Earth-2 vs. Earth whatever this main Earth is. I want some fighting!

X-Men: Worlds Apart #1

Good issue. I like the fact that both Logan AND Ororo’s split allegiances were brought up, even if for just a split second. I like the villain. It’s the same villain that was terrorizing the X-Men when I first started reading Uncanny lo those many years ago, and he definitely has a history with Storm. I don’t know what his current status is supposed to be, so hopefully we’ll get a quick re-cap next issue.


DC Universe: Decisions #3

This issue just didn’t do it for me. The writing, by two excellent writers, was a bit too corny. Leonardi’s art was okay, but it looked rushed. While I generally like his work, the best I’ve seen by him was actually from a Phoenix mini-series that was never published. The reveal at the end of the story’s villain was extremely anti-climactic, not because I had guessed it, but because I just don’t care. I assume we’ll learn his motivation in the next issue, but the story just doesn’t have enough oomph to make me care.

Titans #6

This issue dropped the ball on a number of levels. First, more fun could have been had if we had seen the "Seven Deadly Titans" actually in action. But then I guess Garth would be dead. I’m not really averse to that. Second, Dark Raven’s "cure" was a massive deus ex machine. It was just WAY too convenient. Third, isn’t Jericho stirring up trouble elsewhere? Consistency, people!

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