Monday, April 23, 2007

Links to older posts

I discovered a much easier method of linking all a title's posts together: using labels. Click on any label, and it will give you a page with every single review I've written for a particular title. It's much easier than adding hyperlinks to the bottoms of the posts. I'm definitely going to be doing this from now on. It's interesting to me to see either how my perceptions of a title have changed from month to month, or, as happens more often, how they've remained the same.
Check it out.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Robin #161

Robin #161
EH. I should care more, but I really don't. I do like the interactions between Batman and Robin, though, allowing Tim to pursue his own manner of investigating, rather than forcing him to do it Bruce's way. Another view of the softer, gentler side of Batman. It's a nice breath of fresh air. Remember how badly characterized Batman was being written pre-IC? At least now he's likeable again.

Shadowpact #12

Shadowpact #12
In the immortal words of Elliott Smith, oh well, OKAY. This issue is a pretty good jumping on point for newcomers to the title, but for those of us who've been with it for a while now, it's merely a "Secret Origin of Nightmaster", which, don't get me wrong, is a good thing to have, and even better that it's written by Willingham. The real problem is that DC truly did the "Secret Origins" thing to death, by having a Secret Origin one-shot for everybody, their mother, and their mother's dog. Plus, they very rarely coordinated these one shots with the writers of the titles which they were meant to be back-ups for. And then they bulked the issues out with stupid stats pages that nobody read. There's a reason they're not published anymore. But yet, there remains a need for them to be done correctly. This issue is a case in point. We get a short version of the Nightmaster's origin, with a huuuge retcon thrown in. The only thing that actually happens in this issue though, is that Jim wakes up from his "death", pulls his sword out of his body, and then the Shadowpact, old and new, have a one page party. That's it. See? Now you see why this needed to be in a Secret Origins? We could have had an origin of each of the original members of the Shadowpact, plus one for each of the new characters, and even a quick one-page recap of Day of Vengeance. With Willingham writing it, and good artists working on it, it'd make for a good issue. Say, 48 pages, maybe? Perhaps 60? But this? It just feels like I opened this issue of Shadowpact hoping for some furtherance of the story and plot, and instead got nothing. I've come to expect that from other writers. But not from Willingham. Still, the story, what story there is, remains competently executed, so, oh well, OKAY.
I have no reason for quoting Elliott Smith, other than that upon completion of this book, the song started playing in my head. I'm a believer in synchronicity. So there you have it.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Army @ Love #2

Army @ Love #2
Geez, but Rick Veitch draws really ugly people. All of his characters are ugly. And in his near future, Muslims apparently no longer hold to their actual beliefs, but have instead become watered down and assimilated - in their own countries! What? Yeah, it makes no sense to me either.
What seemed at first to be a promising concept has already proven itself to be a load of CRAP.

Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century #1

Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century #1
Huh. Well, it's no Justice League Unlimited, but it's got something. The panel layouts are nice. The focusing on the petty rivalries between Legionnaires is cute. But it's not there yet. Still, it's OKAY, but merely that. I figured I'd give the first issue a shot. No promises on the second issue, though (ah, who am I kidding? Of course I'll read it!).
And man, typing that title takes a week!

Ultimate Spider-Man #108

Ultimate Spider-Man #108
Another GOOD issue. The panels detailing the inner working of Moon Knight's mind get interspersed with the action too much, though, and this makes it quite confusing. However, perhaps that's the point.

X-23: Target X #5

X-23: Target X #5
Again, with the unexpected plot development. Kyle and Yost have created a fantastic miniseries here, and have made each issue relatively complete in its own right. Very well done. My only quibbles are that when Laura tells her family that they have three minutes to get out of the house, the art doesn't make it feel as if three minutes have actually passed. Also, how in the world did Laura manage to get the cuffs on Kimura? And what's with Kimura's Power Girl look? Otherwise, this issue is VERY GOOD.

Cable & Deadpool #39

Cable & Deadpool #39
We need a spinoff book right the hell now! Bob, Agent of Hydra! It'll sell like, a million copies. Seriously, he could be like Tag and Bink all rolled into one.
I dread next month's issue, because I haven't been reading X-Men. Hope I don't have to know what's going on there. I haven't been reading X-Men lately, because I just can't stand the "art". It makes my brain hurt. However, the fact that Humberto Ramos' drawings appear on the monitors at Providence is kinda cool.
As a relative newcomer to Deadpool fandom, I really didn't understand the set-up for this issue - because I had no clue as to the stories being referenced. I did like, though, the gratuitous breaking of the fourth wall in this issue. So, OKAY.
Almost forgot - once again, Skottie Young draws what might be one of the coolest covers ever!
And, bringing back an old feature, but by no means weekly: "Shut Up! Hail Hydra!" gets Quote of the Week.

Justice League of America #8

Justice League of America #8
I love that Starman speaks untranslated Interlac (and for observant readers, there's a translation key in the Batcave). I hate that he's more of a plot device than a character in this book - and in JSA as well. I also dislike how easily Karate Kid remembered who he was.
I love the double page spread of the JLA meeting the JSA. Some great lines.
I like Mr. T questioning why Reddy can see him. I hate his explanation: "you're more human than you think".
I like Mr. T using the old magician's trick of playing two opponents against each other. However, what's it supposed to prove? And can anybody give me a citation on it?
Shouldn't this "danger room" have safeguards against fatalities? Is the only reason Geoforce is on the team in order to save Harper's life in this scene? Lame. Why couldn't Reddy have saved him? Explain to me again why he would get Terra's powers? Because they're siblings? Since when does it work like that?
I like the roster page at the end of the issue. I dislike the fact that only some of the characters have IRL names associated. I dislike that the only difference in name between the two Wildcats is their first names. They should really be listed as Wildcat I and Wildcat III. Who's with me here?
Perhaps it's just me, and my unwillingness to read through the AWFUL first seven issues of this title, but where in the world did Karate Kid come from? I mean, when did he arrive in the Batcave? And seriously, Batman incapacitates him in one/two blows? How incredibly freaking lame is that? I'd suffer some more decompression for an extended fight scene between the two of them. That's just poor writing.
Lame: Hawkgirl pretending to be in the JLA. Cool: Hawkman, speaking Brad Meltzer's dialogue points out that Hal's ring is sort of magic.
That's all that I can recall from reading the book a few hours ago, except that, once again, NOTHING HAPPENS! Otherwise, this issue is OKAY, for the sheer fanboyishness of it.

Birds of Prey #105

Birds of Prey #105
A really GOOD issue. But I really wanted to know more about how Tora can still be drawing breath, when I remember her funeral!? Yeah, I know, comic book death, and all that, but I guess I'll just have to wait. I could've used a few more pages of knock-down drag-out fighting between Hawkgirl and Scandal. And what the hell is up with the satanic rituals? So that's how Communism lasted for so long! I'm interested in seeing where the Spy Smasher vs. Oracle plot takes us next. And I love little miss wannabe showing up and calling Babs her BFF. And any book with Manhunter in it has got to be good. That's the final word. So, GOOD - not VG, because we don't really get any new info here, just a lot of fun scenes.
Dear DC, please don't ruin next month's awesome cover by putting all kinds of indicia, upc, title, numbering, month, etc. information all over it. This might just be one of the greatest covers I've ever seen.

52 #50 and World War III #1-#4

52 #50 and World War III #1-#4

EH. I really don't see how you can get a World War out of this. It's basically a many-on-one fight. No countries are involved, no enemy superheroes, just everybody on Black Adam. And the art is extremely confusing. I still can't make heads or tails of the panels where they're supposed to be manoeuvering Adam into position for the lightning strike. And who caught him? And how in the world could Billy change his magic word? The explanation given here is ridiculous, that all magic flows through him. And what's with the white streak in his hair? And when are all the events that were alluded to in the OYL books going to occur? Ugh. Forget it, I changed my mind, this is AWFUL. However....Booster Gold does reappear in this issue, as does Rip Hunter, and it seems that next issue we'll finally learn the significance of 52, and this issue features the only satisfying plot resolution of the entire series, so, huh, I don't know. Okay, I've made my decision. AWFUL. Seriously, bringing Green Arrow and Arsenal, and Manhattan Guardian, along to take down Black Adam? Are you insane? Why didn't it just start and end with the Marvel family? The rest of the big fight is superfluous nonsense, made for the specific purposes of having a few "character" moments. Ridiculous. Black Adam doesn't go right to China, but instead proceeds to attack nearly every other nation on Earth first. Italy, Greece, Egypt, USA, Australia. Why? Uh, that's not ever really explained. AWFUL.

And don't even get me started on the actual WWIII issues. Again, how stupid is that? Calling it WWIII? First of all, the DCU already had a WWIII, and that one was much more deserving of the appellation, being that it was partially characterised by many nations taking arms against each other simultaneously. So, this would be WWIV. But what kind of World War features not a single nation fighting any other? Um, none that I've ever heard of. And what's with the WWIII issues pretending that every single thing that happened between Infinite Crisis and One Year Later happened during this exact week? Donna taking Wonder Woman's armor, Themiscyra disappearing, Deathstroke recruiting Batgirl, Hawkgirl being shrunk back to normal size, Firestorm getting unmerged, Supergirl reappearing, Crispus deciding whether or not he'll choose to be the new Spectre, J'onn finding a new form, Aquaman becoming the Dweller, the plight of Sub Diego (which, by the way, makes zero sense in light of the pre-crisis issues of Aquaman - did the writers of WWIII even read any of those books? Riiiight, the Western coast of San Diego is raised by - wait for it - magic. Wha huh? What, is Rick Veitch writing Aquaman again?), that's so ridiculous. And Zatara falls in action, but then he's back again at the rock of Eternity, as if nothing happened? Are the writers even communicating with each other? Plus, the dialogue by Martian Manhunter is so hackneyed. Even the art is bad, since, for example, apparently the Bronze Tiger has red skin. Seriously, at first, I thought he was Brick. And what the hell is all this about Rick Flag? And truthfully, it's been soooo long since Infinite Crisis that I barely remember what was happening pre-Crisis, let alone One Year Later. And amidst the final gathering of heroes, don't you think that someone would have noticed that Hal was missing? And then possibly tracked him using some sort of satellite? How can plastic man bleed? How can his costume be ripped, his goggles cracked? That makes no sense! He doesn't have blood, and the costume is merely a manifestation of his shapeshifting ability! Also, isn't the great wall of China actually inside China's sovereign borders? If so, then how could the heroes wait there? And never have I seen J'onn so useless in a fight.
These books deserve a rating of ASS - and in fact, due to the inability of the myriad writers of 52 to provide any sort of allusion to any of these events in any of the preceding 49 weeks, the entire series of 52, as a whole, deserves an ASS too. Because really, they had how many months to plan all of this out, and they still couldn't pull it off? Ugh.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Grifter & Midnighter #1-#2

Grifter & Midnighter #1-#2

An Imaginary Conversation Between Chuck Dixon and Ryan Benjamin

Dixon
: Hey, isn't one of those Wildstorm characters gay?
Benjamin: Yeah, I think you're right, there is one!
CD: Hey, I've got a ton of homo jokes I haven't been able to use since everything became all PC.
RB: Tell me about it!
CD: How about this? I can write a book with that gay guy in it, and he can make all the homo jokes he wants! That'll rock!
RB: Yeah, but are these just going to be asides? Those can get really tired if he's only gonna be talking to himself.
CD: I know! We'll get another character! Let's see...Wildstorm Universe...Gen13, Authority, what else is there?
RB: I don't know....ya know, Brubaker did a mini with this guy who wore a sock on his head...
CD: That wasn't a sock, that was a hanky! Okay, yeah, we'll use hanky-man - he's straight, right?
RB: I think so.
CD: Good. I'll get hanky man to be gay guy's straight man...get it? Straight man? God, I kill myself.
RB: Settle down, Chuck.
CD: Anyways, let's set gay guy and hanky man up against some sort of shape changing evil.
RB: Oooh! Can they change into a naked chick? I looove drawing naked chicks!
CD: Sure, that'll give me more ammo for my gay guy to use on hanky man. In fact, how about the shape changer changes into a man, for good measure?
RB: Ewwww. Okay, I can see how that'd be funny, but I'm only drawing the face - then it's back to naked chick.
CD: Good enough. So what do we know about these characters?
RB: Well, let's see...the gay one's kinda like Batman, isn't he?
CD: Yeah! I can sooo write Batman...I always wanted to write some homo humor into that book, but editorial kept chopping it out. You know, some Bruce on Dick action.................
Dixon gets a faraway look in his eyes
RB: Chuck, you're really creeping me out here...
Dixon snaps out of his fugue
CD
: Wha? Huh? Anyways, where were we? Oh yeah, hanky man. Isn't he kinda sorta like the Punisher? Badass.
RB: 'Cept he wears a hanky on his face instead of a big skull. Truth to tell, Chuck, I can't really draw capes and other rippling fabrics too well.
CD: That's okay, we only need it for the beginning. After he and homo man hook up - I kill myself! -
RB: Chuck....
CD: Yeah, anyways, after they team up, he can take it off. Get it? Take it off?
RB: Chuck!
CD: Anyways, whaddaya think?
RB: Kewl! But, now this may not be my place, since I'm not the writer here, but don't we need some sort of plot beyond homo man, hanky man, and naked babe?
CD: Yeah, don't worry about that. I'll throw in some weird shit, and figure the rest out as I go along. Don't worry, I've always managed to make it work before.
RB: Great! So, what'll we call the book?
CD: Well, you know that kickass book Superman/Batman?
RB: Yeah, that rocks!
CD: Anyways, it seems like everybody's doing it nowadays - Cable & Deadpool, Batman & Robin - we'll just name it Homo Guy & Straight Man.
RB: Uh, Chuck, I don't think that'll sell. Anyways, don't they have real names?
CD: Chill Ryan, I was just messin' with you. Let's see...what's the gay guy's name?
both riffle through some old comics
RB: Uh, Midnighter?
CD: Kickass! What about hanky man?
RB: Cole something or other.
CD: No, that's gay. Come on, he must have some kind of superhero name.
riffling continues
RB: Oh, I got it right here: Grifter? What kind of lame ass name is that?
CD: Eh, we'll never use it inside the book itself, we just need to put it on the cover.
RB: Heeey, I know what we'll do! I'll create this cooool logo - with a gun, in place of the first 'r' in his name.
CD: Why not in place of both of them?
RB: I don't wanna overdo it.
CD: Fine, great idea, Ryan! So Midnighter & Grifter?
RB: Hmmm....I believe that'll look unbalanced on the page. And you don't want to telegraph the fact that we tacked Grifter on as an afterthought.
CD: You're right Ryan. Grifter & Midnighter?
RB: We have a winner!
CD: So what do you know about their powers or anything?
RB: Um, well, uh, let's see, these books I've found just have them fighting and shooting a lot. And talking.
CD: No, no talking (except for my gay jokes!). That would mean that I'd have to have a plot ahead of time. Eh, don't worry about it, I'll make something up.
RB: But what if it doesn't fit into continuity?
CD: Hah! Who reads these books anyways? And why do you think that DC rebooted Wildstorm in the first place? Nah, we'll be fine.
RB: Cool, let's do it!

That's what reading this title is like. It's as if its creators have no idea who their characters are, how they've been previously portrayed, or what their abilities are - nor do they seem to care.

I'm just using CD and RB as names to separate the voices in my conversation - replace them with two of DC editorial's higher-ups (and tweak the dialogue) if you so desire. Keep in mind though, that considering this quote from Newsarama's interview with Dixon:
"I haven’t seen a mainstream comic story yet with a gay character that wasn’t loaded with stereotypes and clich├ęs"
it's ironic that that's all that this book seems to be. Even more ironic is the fact that in the same interview, Dixon rails against other writers being in-your-face with their attitude to homosexuality. In his opinion, comics are for kids, and that kind of writing has no place in them. Funny, because line after line in this book proclaims "I'm gay"! "He's gay"! I can just see some little kid going "Mommy, what does it mean 'he's on top'? What's a 'lover'? Isn't Apollo a man?" not to mention, "What happened to that man's head? Why isn't that lady wearing any clothes?"
This is NOT a book for children. And, though I am aware that Chuck Dixon feels that this title is being written for Mature Audiences only, this is not indicated anywhere in the book itself. Hell, this isn't even a book for adults - the writing is just so mind-numbingly atrocious. I haven't given a rating of ASS in a long time, but this title richly deserves it. (Imagine Chuck Dixon going "yay, me!" here.)
And by the way, I don't like Superman/Batman as much as Chuck Dixon does (the way I write him).
The full text of Dixon's Newsarama interview can be read here.
And, for the record, I, myself, have absolutely no problem with homosexuality in comics - as long as it's done right. See Runaways to understand how to do it. Heinberg did an okay job with it in Young Avengers. So did Gail Simone in Birds of Prey. Hell, even Ultimate X-Men does it better. This book, however, could be a textbook example of how not to write gay.

[This post has been reprinted over at Sequart.]

Friday, April 13, 2007

Green Lantern Corps #11

Green Lantern Corps #11
This series is so AWFUL. I get no sense of where in the universe any of these sectors are - their numbering just seems random to me. And there's no way that I can remember the name of each and every GL from month to month. Especially when they're not even named. The only "story" that I enjoyed at all in this issue was that of the Raanian GL's. Which was all of three pages long. And didn't even name the GL's featured. More like a vignette.
What the hell happened to Kilowog to make him go psycho? Since when is Arisia such a bitch?
This series seems to flounder along from month to month with no clear purpose. I keep reading it hoping that that'll change. But now, after nearly a year, I'm resigned to the fact that it won't.
AWFUL.

New X-Men #37

New X-Men #37
I really like the new Manga feel to this book. Skottie Young is extremely talented. Last month he did the cover to Cable & Deadpool in a Sinkiewicz style, and now, this! And the storybook pages by Niko Henrichon are beautiful. They give the complete history of Magik - both of them - in a matter of fourteen pages. And manage to condense Claremont's AWFUL Black Sun miniseries into something comprehensible in two of those. I also like the inclusion of more characters than just Julian's team.
But does Craig Kyle's ego really need the "X-23 Created by" credit on even the issues she doesn't appear in?
VERY GOOD. I'm hoping for more of the same next month.

Teen Titans #45

Teen Titans #45
First, a transcript of some of my thoughts as I was reading this issue:
I find it interesting that Duela can always manage to keep her sense of humor.
Joey wears the same armor as Ravager...but why is he still Mute? If his body were cloned wouldn't it be good as new?
Interesting that Megan actually wears her costume as opposed to changing into it. Or maybe that's just a coloring error.
Match's Bizarro dialogue needs some work...the antonyms aren't consistent...but perhaps it's not supposed to.
How in the world could Risk, of all people, take down Batgirl with a single kick? Uh uh, no way. She'd have heard him coming a mile away.
Why would Ravager speak and let Wade know she was behind him, instead of just killing him? Unless subconsciously she didn't want to.
Yay! The real Titans show up!

And now, my thoughts upon its completion:
This issue is very poorly executed. It's got some nice touches, but overall it's a bit of a mess. EH. And that's being generous. I want to give this a lower rating, but I kindof like the overall story, so I'm willing to overlook the overwhelming ineptitude.

JLA Classified #37

JLA Classified #37
(Page 4:"girlfriend who's crazy about you", not "him".)
I've never heard of Carlos D'Anda, but his work is pretty good. And I didn't like Milligan's work on Uncanny at all, but if it had been more like this, I might have. I sure do like the way the title character in this arc makes fun of the same things that we would. VERY GOOD. I just hope that this arc doesn't drag on like the last one, because much as I like Slott, he started out with a promising premise and rapidly turned it into CRAP.

Wolverine: Origins #13

Wolverine: Origins #13
Perhaps it's just me, but whenever Wolverine's son appears on-panel, I suddenly lose all interest in the story whatsoever. The character feels hacked together with no forethought.
And the pacing on this series remains atrocious. I swear, this entire issue can't have encompassed more than 20 minutes, and it took me no more than five to read. That's not good. Definitely sub-EH.

Ghost Rider #10

Ghost Rider #10
My immediate reaction is that this issue is definitely OKAY. There's nothing in here to take umbrage at, no shortages of craft, just nothing spectacular. It is what it is, and what it is is OKAY. And I didn't even have to read last issue! This issue sports both a good recap page and a good for-those-just-joining-us within the issue itself.

Thunderbolts #113

Thunderbolts #113
Now why didn't I see that coming? Of course Osborn would choose to go after the Steel Spider next. Of course, I don't remember any of these supposed heroes. I suppose that's the point. Yet, it happens to be quite annoying. I know that I'm supposed to care about these unregistered superhumans, or tech heroes, or vigilantes, or whatever - man the Superhuman Registration Act is sooooo vague - but I still can't find myself caring for characters I know nothing about. Hey, Marvel? Howsabout giving us an "Essential Storylines" briefing for each of these characters, as DC is in 52? Also, the C.S.A.? I always thought that acronym referred to the Confederate States of America, but apparently not. Perhaps Ellis doesn't know that...he is British after all. Could someone please tell him?
I like the way that this entire issue is comprised essentially of vignettes featuring one or two of the characters. And not even a single fight! That's pretty good writing. Again, I find myself wavering between okay, and GOOD, but the Osborn scenes put it over the cusp. GOOD.

Green Arrow #73

Green Arrow #73
A few problems with this issue...on the cover, Star City's logo written in the same font as Star Wars? On the page with Connor's big reveal, what the HELL is wrong with the perspective? Uh, is he like wearing an Atom belt or something? And if the bad guy's power is fists of steel, then how come they seem to be flaming? And why doesn't Connor mention that? With Canary's appearance here and in the new Justice League, who's taking care of Sin?
I'm glad that they finally explained exactly what was so bad about Ollie bankrolling the Outsiders. I couldn't really figure out why it seemed to matter. No matter what others might say, I really enjoy the political intrigue in this title. Some may think it's a poor ripoff of Ex Machina, but I still like it, and the interspersed action scenes make it seem to move a bit faster. I hope that Nudocerdo screws up and is outed as running with the wolves, supporting Brick or something, so that Winick can continue to write the intrigue.
This issue falls somewhere between OKAY and good, so let's rate it a high OKAY.

Fables #60

Fables #60
GOOD. But I'm still not clear on exactly what happened to Fly's family. Since Totenkinder means literally "child death", I assume that our good frau gains power from each death from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). But this issue seems to imply that she's directly responsible for such deaths. That's an extent to which I'm not willing to go, so I truly hope that Willingham's got something else in mind.

52 #49

52 #49
The past two weeks have had the most amazing covers of the entire series.
p.2 "I am the Socialist Red Guardsman of the Great Ten of the Chinese People's Republic" - Besides the fact that his group has been previously called the "Great Wall", and that the country is commonly referred to in English as the People's Republic of China, how can he not start laughing upon hearing such a ridiculous sounding statement coming out of his mouth?
Instead of wearing an eyepatch, why doesn't Alan Scott just leave one eyehole of his mask closed? Or wear a glass eye?
p.3 This is the first time IIRC that the group of mad scientists on Oolong has been called the "Science Squad", and the first time it's been implied that Egg Fu does NOT work for Apokolips, but is, in fact, a freelancer, an entrepreneur.
p.4 Our bodies have very little gold in them, and, hopefully, NO lead - if I recall my Bio courses. Likewise Mercury, which isn't mentioned here. And, of course, no Platinum, Tin, or Plutonium. So either Doc Magnus is bullshitting Egg Fu (which he probably is), or WTF???
p.10 Interesting revelation, that in fact, Chang Tzu (Egg Fu) IS a member of Great Ten.
p.12 When was the last time we saw Billy's talking tiger?
p.14 As ridiculous as SRG's statement on p.2 was, Will Magnus's here is AMAZING "I have a particle wave ray gun and bipolar disorder!"
p.15 Why is Egg Fu green inside? Is he a rotten egg? HAH! I kill me.
p.16 panel 5: I see Thunderbolt, but I never saw Jakeem. Huh?
p.22 Summoned from where? Without a knowledge of the Ragnarok battle, this makes no sense!
p.23 Have the events in panel 2 happened yet?
Which Wildcat is this? I or III? Why don't Green Lantern and Flash get to keep their superhero names?
Ummmm....OKAY?

Welcome to Tranquility #5

Welcome to Tranquility #5
Suddenly, I have no idea where this is going, or why, and I find myself completely blown away by it. Plot twists galore in this issue, none of which I saw coming. In a word, "whoa". I just felt that this issue was too damn short, due to the tacked-on "reprint" taking a full four pages at the beginning. VERY GOOD.

Supergirl #16

Supergirl #16
Actually GOOD. This is the first issue that actually makes any kind of sense. I don't like where I believe it to be going, but at least, for the first time, the issue is coherent. And it took nearly a year to do it. Of course, it's entirely comprised of flashbacks to Kara's youth on Krypton. Oh, well.

Midnighter #6

Midnighter #6
Huh? What in the world was that? Does this make sense to anyone? Not a particularly bad issue, merely puzzling, but, huh? OKAY.

Justice League Unlimited #32

Justice League Unlimited #32
VERY GOOD. A perfect combination of the modern-day Guy Gardner, and his Giffen-era portrayal. This is actually the best Guy Gardner I've ever seen. And thankfully, no preachy ending.

Jack of Fables #9

Jack of Fables #9
The first EH issue of this title. This storyline is dragging on too long. Isn't Jack forbidden from reentering the limelight? Is Lady Luck a Fable? Who cares.

Incredible Hulk #105

Incredible Hulk #105
EXCELLENT.
I've stayed with this title, even as it explored the themes of fantasy, which don't always quite keep my attention. So, month to month, I've browsed through it, skipping the fine details in favor of the larger story. And now, more than a year later, this storyline finally comes to a planet-shattering conclusion, and it's all those fascists Stark and Richards' fault. Over the past year, a world was built in which the Hulk could thrive and finally be happy. But of course it couldn't stay that way. What kind of seller would a book about complacency be? So Pak tears it all away from the Hulk in one fell swoop: his friends, his love, his kingdom, his planet. Now the Hulk is pissed and he's going to come to Earth seeking revenge. I, for one, truly hope that he finds it.

Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America - Wolverine

Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America - Wolverine
Oh my lord. Jeph Loeb, what has happened to you? You used to be brilliant. Since you moved to Marvel you've churned out one piece of CRAP after another. Wolverine? CRAP - I can't even read it. (It's certainly pretty to look at though.)
And now this travesty. This book is CRAP from the get-go. How many times can we get the title into this issue? I dunno Jeph, let's see...ugh.
And Wolverine turning to Daredevil on account of his keen senses? If Loeb knows Wolvie this well, he has no business writing Wolverine's own book. Honestly, I couldn't even finish this.

[Got this response from Marvel regarding this review:
Sorry you couldn't finish it, Spot -- but thanks for writing in.
Your Man @ Marvel,
Bill Rosemann]

Detective Comics #831

Detective Comics #831
Dini brings his personal creation, Harley Quinn, back to the printed page. He gives us another done-in-one here, but one which uses threads from several of the other one-shot stories he's written this past year. It's VERY, VERY GOOD. The art is a bit of a mismatch, as Harley could do with a more cartoony style, but that can be overlooked, as the story itself is just so damn fine. By god, it moves. Excellent scripting of panels, and good execution make this one of the best Batman books so far this year. Even better is the fact that the Bat is hardly even in this issue.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer - season 8 #2

Buffy The Vampire Slayer - season 8 #2
VERY GOOD.
Xander talks to giant bathing Dawn. Giles apparently trains more slayers. Andrew debates the foibles of Lando Calrissian. Buffy makes up words. And Willow shows up. Plus, more clues to the "Big Bad" are revealed. Yup, it's a VERY GOOD issue.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Superman #661

Superman #661
VERY GOOD. It's hard to tell where this fits in to continuity, but it's got some excellent flairs, such as the immortal villainess describing Wonder Woman as a "Mystery Man". The art is different, but it fits nicely with the story.

Excalibur #18

Excalibur #18
EH. It's almost okay, going back to the tried-and-true formula of the Captain Britain Corps, but then it takes a psychotic turn. What a waste of a promising premise.

52 #48

52 #48
Back to EH, this "auctioning Black Adam off to the world as your very own nuclear deterrent" just seems like a complete waste of potential. Why not use him? I don't know.

Red Prophet - Tales of Alvin Maker #6

Red Prophet - Tales of Alvin Maker #6
The writer of this issue is obviously having problems with the condensation required. He spends two, three, sometimes four panels featuring the exact same characters doing the same thing, and then sometimes fills entire panels with exposition or thoughts, reproduced verbatim from the novel. While I appreciate the attempt to preserve the most excellent source material, it comes off lopsided - especially since I know what's coming and they seem to just be taking their sweet time getting there. Each issue does not have its own central story, and the book suffers for that. This would work much better as a straight-to-trade release. EH.

JSA Classified #24

JSA Classified #24
A cheat. We were led to believe that the villain from last issue was a vampire. He isn't. He's hopped up on some experimental street steroid - or something. And the art is absolutely atrocious. AWFUL.

Green Lantern #18

Green Lantern #18
GOOD. Still not what I'd hope for from this title, but the concepts show definite promise: Star Sapphire being sent from a distant space sector, the Sinestro Corps, and above all, Tales of the Sinestro Corps. Although it can't have been around for very long...just since GL:Rebirth, they've already got a library and chronicles of their members. Impressive!

Firestorm The Nuclear Man #34

Firestorm The Nuclear Man #34
OKAY. I like seeing Orion, Mister Miracle, and Metron; but am surprised at Stein's apparent ignorance regarding Boom Tubes, Furies, etc.

Fables #59

Fables #59
I wish my question had been answered. Since Fables can't really die if people keep telling their tales, what ever happened to Gretel? The stories in this issue fall into three categories:
1) Minutiae that couldn't possibly have interested anyone, save for a total nerd.
2) Stories included merely for the purpose of getting a cheap laugh. Many of these run together.
3) Answers to questions which seem as if they could have been answered in the course of the main story.
Oh well. OKAY.

Blue Beetle #13

Blue Beetle #13
VERY GOOD. Glad to see that the title isn't foundering in the wake of Giffen's departure.

52 #47

52 #47
Grant Morrison's writing becomes obvious for the bulk of this issue. The scenes with Robin and the Monk? Grant. Buddy? Grant. Not sure who else, but Grant shines through. OKAY...even though absolutely nothing happens! Hey, not every day/week can be action packed. (Now, last week's issue was GOOD!) We see that all along, the entire purpose of all the machinations from the very beginning of this series was to drive Adam mad - in order to control him. Which apparently will be the big bad in coming weeks - a mind-controlled Adam.

Y The Last Man #55

Y The Last Man #55
What? This really doesn't read like the first issue of the final arc of this series. Vaughan could get years more mileage out of the premise, yet he seems to be on the way to taking the easy way out - or to be leaving us with an incomplete story. If this were a film or television series, that'd be okay. But for a monthly comic, with nothing to keep it from continuing onwards - as sales hold high, with TPB's in high demand - this seems like Vaughan saying..."Gee, I'm tired of this. Time to do something else, ho hum." Very sadly EH.

Wisdom #4

Wisdom #4
OKAY. Not as good as the last few issues, but still better than most of the X books on the shelves.

Supergirl #15

Supergirl #15
Unbelievably AWFUL. Powerboy is an Apokaliptian construct? Stalker? Abusive boyfriend? Check, check, check. Who the hell greenlights this garbage?

Spirit #4

Spirit #4
GOOD. As always. And I love them done in ones.

(Blogger has been slow for me lately. So I've written a bunch of reviews offline, and am posting them now.)