Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Comic Book Reviews for the Week of Nov. 19, 2008 (Regular Series)

Amazing Spider-Man #578

So, it’s Mark Waid’s first ASM issue. Not bad, I guess. We got some of the Master Planner feel without the heart. It was good to see the Shocker, a villain we haven’t seen in a while, but he was as much of a joke here as he’s ever been. The art by Marcos Martin was pretty decent. There was definitely a fluid, limber feel to Peter and Spider-Man, and it seemed natural. When McFarlane was drawing Spidey, the contorted poses he’d put our hero through seemed more painful than limber. Martin’s art worked well. And at the end Waid throws us a good cliffhanger. Who knew JJJ still had a parent who was alive?

Angel: After the Fall #14

I’m kind of surprised that L.A. has stayed occupied by Hell for so long. Ditto with Angel and his humanity. I thought the way he was saved this issue was pretty cheap, though. I think my favorite part was the conversation between Illyria and Wesley. As much as I liked Fred, I’m glad they didn’t bring her back. It would have kind of invalidated her death, which was a highlight of the last season. Of course, now she’s reverted to her true form, and I kinda hope she’s killed after this. If not, then what’s to stop the good guys from using her as an out to any difficult situation? So the only logical conclusions are to kill her or to severely deplete her powers. I like her as a character, but I think keeping her around if she can go full god at will would just lead to sloppy writing.

Brave and the Bold #19

I was really impressed with this issue, more so than I have been with any of the other 18 issues so far. It starts off with the Phantom Stranger and Green Lantern already together, so we don’t have to wade through any contrived method of getting the two together. A special girl who is channeling alien doomsday prophecies lead the duo to Oa and then to a pleasure planet that is supposed to be destroyed soon, where the duo meets up with another Lantern. The whole book worked really well. The interactions between the characters and everyone’s motivations rang true. And the art by Doug Braithwaite was quite good.

Deadpool #4

Double-cross seems to be the tagline for this series. I’m enjoying the banter between the multiple personalities, and the little glimpses into Deadpool’s maniacal mind by showing us what he sees. Other than that, it was a pretty average issue.

Ex Machina #39

I am just a little disappointed as to how Trouble was taken down. All this build up for a kiss and being knocked out with one punch. I almost have to believe that this just sets up a future storyline. She was just a crazy stalker-fan of The Great Machine? If it’s not setting up a future storyline, it leaves me very cold. And Kremlin is getting on my nerves. Let’s get his story going.

Fantastic Four #561

Well, this was a very logical solution, but it leads to questions. Why didn’t future Sue do this in the first place? She obviously already went through this, as evidenced by Reed injecting present Sue with a tracking device that immediately showed up in future Sue and future Sue knowing what was going to happen with Doom. But those flaws are easy to forgive. It was still entertaining, and the art by Bryan Hitch is always spectacular.

Iron Man #35

So wait, this whole thing was a set up for a new War Machine series? I hate it when that happens. I didn’t even think this was that great of a story. I’ll be looking forward to the return of Tony next month, even though I’m enjoying the Invincible Iron Man more than this series. I’m hoping this book will focus on rebuilding Shield after the Skrull invasion.

Squadron Supreme #5

I liked Straczynski’s take on the Squadron, but I’m not all that into where Chaykin is taking the story. First off, I was always under the impression that the Squadron members were analogs of DC characters, but clearly with this book we’re already seeing Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, the Fantastic Four, Thor and the Hulk. I also don’t like the Ultimate Nick Fury over here. He needs to be stirring up shit in his own universe. With the mention of Nighthawk and the return (I don’t remember her, I’ll have to check my back issues) of Inertia, are we going to see a big battle between the original Squadron members and Fury’s new Shield?

Supergirl #35

I’m picking this up for two reasons: the Alex Ross cover and the New Krypton crossover. I’ve heard nothing but bad reviews about this series since it started, so let’s see. Well, I actually liked it. It looks like Sterling Gates used Kryptonite poisoning to explain all of Supergirl’s erratic behavior that made her so unlikable as a character. So now she has all of her memories back, and it looks like there’s either a new Supergirl in town or a Superwoman. I guess we’ll learn more in next week’s Superman.

Thunderbolts #126

What a great start for the new creative team, and it’s a logical one, too. Norman has effectively disbanded the T-bolts and behind the scenes he’s got the crazier members dispatching the saner ones. And so far it’s working. It’s only a two-issue storyline, so it looks like we won’t have to wait long to see if this is actually going to happen.

Trinity #25

I know it’s a pipe dream, but I’d really like to see Jack Knight show up. Tarot just showed up in Opal and met Charity, but Jack’s not even there anymore. I’d settle for a Shade appearance, though. I have to agree with Vibe. If the JSI were there as friendlies, why break through the walls? The bulk of the issue was two teams working through their differences for a common cause. We’ve seen it before, we’ll see it again, but I guess this is something we had to go through. Tarot, whom I thought was as boring as Hell in the beginning, was the interesting part of this story.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #58

Following up immediately after the events of Ultimatum #1, this was a very exceptional issue. While Ben does what he can (which isn’t much) to help Sue, we get glimpses into his past with Reed, which explain why they’re such good friends. Sue and Johnny’s dad is apparently dead, and as the buffer between the team and General Ross, that should have a great impact on the future of the kids. Ben ends up heading underground to bring in the Mole Man to help with Sue’s condition. The Sue stuff wasn’t all that great. Her mom, who either wasn’t told about her husband (ex?) or just didn’t care, is brought in to help and is pretty much useless. The gems are the flashbacks of Reed and Ben. Ben isn’t using Reed to get out of doing homework, and Reed isn’t using Ben to protect him from bullies. These two kids are best friends, plain and simple.

Young X-Men #8

The banter between Santo and Victor was great. The super-powered tattoo artist is a good idea. It takes DC’s Tattooed Man to a new level. Almost a year into this book and it’s holding strong. I think it’s funny that I’m not even trying to get into the two main X-books (Uncanny and Legacy), but I’m loving this book and Astonishing.

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