Monday, April 07, 2008

Brief Reviews for 4/2/08 Comics: Now with Five-Star Ratings!

Since I'm using the five-star rating system for the CBR reviews, I might as well use them here too. Here are some comics I read this week but didn't write full reviews for:

All-New Atom #22: Rick Remender hasn't sold me on his new direction after his first two issues, but at least he (a) isn't using those ridiculous footnotes which Simone seemed to be keeping out of stubbornness, and (b) seems to be blowing shit up. I'd love for this comic to become ten times better than it is, and if Remender needs to raze Ivy Town to do it, that's fine with me. Unfortunately, the comic isn't that great yet. **1/2

Amazing Spider-Man #555: Well, I really love the art by Chris Bachalo. (And this is the first time I've seen the clever "tkins" sound effect as Wolverine retracts his claws. Has it been used elsewhere?) ***

The Boys #17: This series seems to run hot and cold for me. I liked the second arc much better than the first, and I think I like this arc less than the previous one. I still don't see a very strong overall direction for this book, and I don't know how much longer Ennis can keep me interested in his giggling, super-heroes-are-so-perverted attitude on display here. **

Clandestine #3: I read plenty of Excalibur issues back in the day, but I think I missed the ones Alan Davis wrote and drew himself. So I'm not sure I got the continuity jokes here, but I loved the attempt to figure out which Earth they came from. Funny stuff, and the Alan Davis art is great, of course. Although I recently re-read Justice League: The Nail and his layouts there were really extraordinary. I kind of think of Alan Davis as having a VERY consistent style, but he seems to be a but less dynamic lately. Maybe it's just because he's taking a different approach to drawing this comic. ***1/2

Countdown to Final Crisis #4: I already made fun of it the other day. It continues to be one of the worst comic book series in the history of the universe ever. The art this week wasn't terrible, at least. The story was. *

Jonah Hex #30: It's amazing how different each artist makes this comic. I would assume that Gray and Palmiotti use full-script, and yet each artist comes along and gives the series a very different tone. Jordi Bernet comes in and the comic feels like a violent newspaper strip. Weird. Anyway, this is a good comic month in and month out, but since each issue is self-contained (barring very few exceptions) and doesn't draw upon and story moments from previous issues, I'm not sure that I need to read this every month. I just don't feel like the small moments have added up to all that much over the course of the past couple of years. I'd be pleased to see some new writers take this comic in a new direction at this point. ***

Logan #2: The best-looking comic of the week. I like what Vaughan is doing here, and I think it will be seen as an essential Wolverine story once it's collected. But really, the art is what makes it special. ****

Metal Men #7: I've given up trying to piece together the narrative of this story as I read it in monthly installments. I liked the bits I could make sense out of in this issue, but I really need to wait until I have all eight issues in front of me before I have any real idea of the quality here. I love how ambitious it is, though. (And I love Rouleau's art.) *** (tentatively)

Omega the Unknown #7: Anyone who felt that this was going to be a rehash of Gerber's original series (which is understandable, considering the first issue), has to realize that this has turned into something VERY different. I'm pretty sure nobody expected Gary Panter to illustrate a Marvel comic, but that's sort of what we get here (at least in part) and it's pretty cool. This is another series that I can't even come close to judging fairly until it's completed, but I have a feeling this is going to be something really great by the time it's over. I liked this issue a lot. ****

Punisher War Journal #18: It's probably ridiculous to say the "Guitar Hero III" product placement ruined the comic for me, but it really did. I couldn't stop looking at the poorly-incorporated game logo when it appeared in what should have been a ghastly scene of torture. Instead, I was so distracted, I couldn't appreciate Chaykin's panels. Also, I really don't know what's going on with Jigsaw. Does he have the ability to transform his face? I thought he was just a dude with an ugly mug. Has he ALWAYS had that power? I trust Fraction to make sense out of all of this and to demand that Guitar Hero III never again destroy his comics. **1/2

The Twelve #4: And the promise of the first issue slowly withers away. I hope JMS plans on doing more than he's shown us in this issue. Chris Weston is perfect for what this comic should be, though. **

Young Avengers Presents #3: Master Pandemonium earns this comic extra points--does anyone else besides me love the West Coast Avengers? I think I read that comic more faithfully than the main Avengers series as a teenager. This issue is nothing special, but it has some nice character moments and I kind of like the clear line artwork. The Young Avengers has been a team of interesting characters since it debuted, and this issue continues that trend. It's not ground-breaking, but it's good enough. And, maybe it is ground-breaking with its matter-of-fact homosexual relationship. I don't know. ***

What did you read last week?

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