Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Brief Reviews for 4/16/08 Comics

NYCC has totally messed up any semblance of a normal routine, and I still haven't read all of last week's comics yet, but here's what I thought about the ones I have read:

ANNIHILATION CONQUEST #6 (OF 6): The series ends with a giant magical sword vs. an even gianter evil robot, which sounds cooler than it actually was. But I liked the high-octane energy of this series--it didn't slow down to let us catch our breath, which is perfect for a space opera galactic war type of thing. I wonder how readers who haven't been keeping up with Nova felt when that group shower up from out of nowhere to save the day. But is anyone reading this and not Nova? That would be silly. I'm looking forward to the Guardians of the Galaxy series, though. Aren't you? ***

CAPTAIN AMERICA #37: What's wrong with Captain America's face on the cover? Chad Nevett and I complained about the cover art last issue and now this issue's even worse. Really bad stuff. The interiors are better, of course, and this issue sets up an interesting situation with an apparent clone of Steve Rogers or something along those lines. Oh, the mystery. The rest of the issue is basically people stopping in to say, "Hey, Bucky, you're not good enough to be Captain America." Clint Barton even calls him, "kid," which I'm not sure I would call someone born decades before me, even if they looked younger. Plus, Bucky should have asked Clint Barton this question: "Why are you using nunchucks and dressing like a chubby ninja instead of, you know, just being Hawkeye? Isn't that kind of stupid?" Alas, that question never arises. A decent comic, but not the best of the series. **1/2

CAPTAIN MARVEL #5: Is this one of those deals where they have to publish a comic called "Captain Marvel" just to keep the trademark active? Because, what was the point of this again? My guess is this Skrull who thinks he's Mar-Vell will sacrifice himself heroically to save the Earth at some point in Secret Invasion. But who cares? Nice art by Lee Weeks, by the way. **

COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS #2: All of the pieces finally fall into place. This is what the series has been building to: an issue-long slugfest between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker! Luke totally wins! He comes zooming out of the Boom Tube with his astro force and even though he hasn't appeared in the previous 50 issues of the series, it makes total sense that he would randomly show up and smack Darth Vader around. Even the Omega Beams can't save Vader from Luke's ugly wrath. So now Darth Vader is dead. Now what? My breath is baited. I eagerly await the final issue of this glorious masterpiece. *

GHOST RIDER #22: Finally, a good comic. Thank you, Jason Aaron, for not only making Ghost Rider cool again (was he ever cool? Hell, yeah), and for writing a comic that doesn't make me want to say "what's the point?" over and over. The point is: Ghost Rider is excellent. ****

SALVATION RUN #6: This is not good. I liked the previous couple of issues, especially the ones involving Ape vs. Ape action and non-Sean Chen artwork, but this one just reminds me why everyone else in the world hates this series. It has a couple of nice Joker moments, where Matt Sturges gives us a sense that the Joker's lunacy is caused by the physical pain he constantly endures, but it is just Lex Luthor and the Joker trading punches, while Vandal Savage hangs out with his harem. Not very good, I'm afraid. *1/2

SUICIDE SQUAD RAISE THE FLAG #8: I liked this series overall, but I'm not convinced by the new Rick Flagg status quo. He's basically in the same situation as the new Captain Marvel--he's been brainwashed into thinking he's something he's not, and the end of this series and Captain Marvel end with each of them saying, "I don't care whether these thoughts and memories are fake, it's who I am, and I will pretend to be this fake person I'm not!" Which is all well and good for an exploration of what it means to have an identity, and what is self, and all that stuff, but it seems like it won't ever really be explored again, and it's just a way to reconcile some inconsistent continuity. Also, I'm not sure that this was really a Suicide Squad series by the end. It seemed a bit softer and less, I don't know, suicidey, than it might have been. Still, it was a good enough story. ***

X-MEN DIVIDED WE STAND #1: This is an inconsistent batch of stories, but I really liked Skottie Young's work. This is his first attempt at writing, and he lets his art express the majority of the plot and characterization, which is great. I love the new style he's developed over the past year, and his Wizard of Oz is probably going to be the only great book to come out of the Marvel Illustrated Classics line. He's good. And Matt Fraction is good, too, with his little Scalphunter story. Who the hell cares about Scalphunter? Nobody--which is why Fraction makes the story about Walter Benjamin. Who the hell cares about Walter Benjamin? I do. ***1/2 for the Young and Fraction bits; ** for the rest.


Chad Nevett said...

You forgot the part where Skrull Mar-Vell's sacrifice inspires Noh-Varr, the "Marvel Boy" (eugh!) to become the new Captain Marvel.

Timothy Callahan said...

Oh yeah. That will definitely happen too.