Monday, March 31, 2008

Brief Reviews for 3/26/08 Comics

A quick rundown on some of last week's comics that I haven't discussed yet:

Black Panther #35: This comic has been terrible for quite a while, and this issue attempts to get it back on track by bringing in the ever-popular Killmonger. Is Killmonger really popular? Fans on the internet seem excited to see him. I'm not interested. This is probably the last issue of this comic I'll pick up until Hudlin leaves.

Blue Beetle #25: I reviewed this in detail for another site, but I absolutely loved this climactic issue of "The Reach War" (as it should be called when it's slapped into a fancy Absolute Edition). John Rogers knows how to write wonderful superhero comics. Andrew loves this comic too, and maybe it's something he'll start reading on his own now that he's got the comic jones.

Countdown to Adventure #8: Thankfully, it's over. And to think that I raved about the first issue! It got exponentially worse after that.

Dan Dare #5: Has anyone been reading this comic? I had a chance to read this issue via a Virgin sneak-peek, and it was really good. I like Ennis doing his war thing, and I have a fondness for the Boy's Adventure Comic aspect of Dan Dare. I will definitely buy the trade when it comes out.

Daredevil #106: I'm not sure what the point of this issue was, other than to create a calm-before-the-storm feeling, except Daredevil's life, in the hands of Bendis and now Brubaker, has been all storm, all the time. So, is it going to get even worse? Or was this issue a signal that Matt Murdoch is at his low point and now we'll start seeing him rise up? I don't know, but I liked the art by Paul Azaceta. Fun fact, Azaceta drew the first sketch in my convention sketchbook (it's a double-page illustration of his version of Superboy with a batch of flying heroes behind him).

Loveless #23: This is one of those series that, after the first nine or ten issues, I really felt that it would work better if read in a single sitting, instead of a month at a time. So I've been buying it, but I haven't read it since then. I would go back and read all the issues in a row, to see if my theory was correct, but I haven't had time to find where I put all the back issues. That's pretty silly, right? I've been spending money on this thing and I have no idea if it's any good or not. So, I actually read this issue, not having looked at it in over a year, and I'm totally baffled. It's now set in the 20th century? Is that what's happened? Does anyone read this comic? Should I hurry up and find all my issues and read 'em up?

Ms. Marvel #25: I like Brian Reed's work on this comic in general, and I like the Sal Buscema flashback sequences in theory, but this issue didn't work particularly well. Perhaps that's because it's all just set-up for next issue. I don't know. It's still a good comic, but when Aaron Stack only appears at the end, it just seems like a missed opportunity.

Power Pack Day One #1: This was really good. The science feature in the back of the comic was especially cool to see. Nice job Fred Van Lente! A great kid's comic.

Spirit #15: Paul Smith has a great style all his own, so why is he doing his best Will Eisner impression here? Editorial mandate? A sense of duty? I don't know, but it doesn't work and it just makes me think that this will be my last issue of this title. It wasn't worth $3.00.

Teen Titans #57: Sean McKeever has brought some life back to this comic, and I'm all about the villains he's showing us in this arc. The kids of supervillains vs. former teen sidekicks. It's what this comic should be about, and McKeever does it well. This comic is much, much better than any of the recent Justice League issues. Although, is that really a compliment?

Ultimate Spider-Man #120: Immonen is such a fantastic artist, and I think Bendis does his best work on this series, so I'm always happy to see a new issue of this come out. Another good comic by these guys, and, really, it's the only purpose for the Ultimate Universe to exist at this point. Although I kind of like Ultimate X-Men, too. But I wouldn't really miss it.

Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Vol. 4: The series reaches its end, and as Mark Evanier points out, this volume doesn't contain Kirby's best work (that would be volume 3, by Evanier's reckoning, and I heartily agree). The Mister Miracle stories drift away from the Fourth World epic, and the hasty wrap-up in the 1980s reprints (inked by the worst Kirby inker ever, D. Bruce Berry) are such a colossal drop-off from the heights of the early 1970s, that it doesn't even seem part of the same universe. Also, and this really bugs me, DC chose to include a new version of The Hunger Dogs graphic novel to complete the volume, and it's not the same as the originally published version. They included some of the original pages Kirby did BEFORE the project was expanded into an oversized graphic novel. Once that happened, Kirby reformatted the pages he already completed and then rearranged stuff and added new pages to make it into something coherent. The problem with the version DC gives us in the Omnibus, is that the "original pages" don't fit in with the Hunger Dogs pages at all! It looks terrible as you flip from one formatted-for-comic-book-size page to a page which has been shrunk to fit the proportions of this book. It's a bastardized version of Kirby's graphic novel which ruins the narrative flow and coherence of the compositions. I don't know what they were thinking, but their tinkering puts a huge blemish on an otherwise great reprint series.


Marc Caputo said...

So when and where are we going to see these new reviews?

It's bad enough I have to wait until Friday for a new Battlestar Galactica?

BTW, do you watch that?

Chad Nevett said...

I've been reading Loveless in trades (and not loving it, but I trust Azzarello). Definitely the way to go, though.

Read the first issue of Dan Dare and enjoyed it, but haven't picked up any since. Probably get the trade like you since it was decent.

Timothy Callahan said...

My top secret reviews should be up this week--hopefully. Don't worry, I'll announce the heck out of it when it's time.

I have never seen Battlestar Galactica.