Sunday, November 16, 2008

Comic Book Reviews for the Week of Nov. 5, 2008 (Specials/One-Shots)

Adventure Comics Special Featuring the Guardian #1

This issue picks up between the pages of the recent Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen special #1. This whole New Krypton thing is really grabbing me, which is odd considering I haven’t read Superman regularly since the Azarello/Lee arc of a few years ago. Providing you know just a tiny bit about Superman lore, you can easily get through these books. This one obviously focuses on the Guardian, or at least a clone of him. The Guardian was a pretty significant side character around the time of Superman’s death. I thought he, like the cloned Newsboy Legion that was at Cadmus, was a clone of the original Jim Harper. I’m a little confused by which Guardian I was reading back then. Is it the one that is the focus of this story, or his “father,” the one who was killed after finding out about the clones? This book read very much like one of James Robinson’s Starman issues. You’ve got two Cadmus guards discussing an existential crisis, dated references, etc. I’ve got the first Starman Omnibus on my desk right now, and that combined with this issue make me long for Robinson’s return to the Starman mythos. But that has nothing to do with this issue. This issue gives us a glimpse at part of Cadmus, lets us know why Guardian is hiding out in the desert, and sets us up for what looks to be a major storyline to begin next week in Action Comics. I may just have to pick up the book to see how things play out.

Avengers: The Initiative Special #1

This isn’t the best issue of A:TI that I’ve read, but it’s certainly very revealing. I don’t remember knowing about Hardball’s ties to Hydra, but I do remember how he got his powers. I’m wondering how this will play out, if he’ll go full-on dark side, or if he’s going to try and bring Hydra down from the inside. Then there’s the short Trauma story, which really isn’t all that interesting until the end, where we find out who Trauma’s daddy is. It makes perfect sense when you think about his powers. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.

Daredevil & Captain America: Dead on Arrival

This book was translated from an earlier Italian release. There’s no telling when it takes place because Daredevil is a friend of the cops, Steve Rogers is still alive, and Nick Fury is still running Shield. It’s hard to tell if the writing was bad or the translation was off. Regardless, the story wasn’t all that compelling, bringing a dead villain that I’ve never heard of back to life. The art was okay, nothing special. There’s really not anything about the book that I can recommend, unless you’re a die-hard DD or Cap fan.

Final Crisis: Resist #1

“Yes, I’m very good, I know.”

Okay, I get how they got the OMACs to go after everyone, but didn’t they just in essence kill everyone that the OMACs will go after? I see a massive body count in the next issue of Final Crisis.

Iron Man: The End #1

Decent story, I guess. It felt very ‘80s, very reminiscent of the Michelinie’s Iron Man, which is I guess what Marvel was going for. There were some nice touches, such as the homage of the cover to Iron Man’s first appearance and still having Tony wear a form of Extremis. The specialized armors, though, have always seemed like gimmicks to me, just ways to sell action figures. They did serve a specific purpose for the plot, though, showing Stark’s slower thinking rate.

Wolverine: Chop Shop #1

I don’t buy anything at all about this story. First, Wolverine’s healing factor would have gotten rid of the poison. Second, when harvesting his organs, wouldn’t the doctor have noticed maybe a rib or his spine coated with metal? Third, wouldn’t his healing factor kick in automatically? Fourth, because of his healing factor, wouldn’t the recipient’s body reject the organ, or would the recipient get some sort of transfer healing factor?

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