Sunday, July 15, 2007

Chad's challenge: my last trip to my LCS

So Chad issued a challenge to me that we do a week of posts with one of us posing a question to the other, the second person answering the question and then posing a new one to the first. Basically, this is just his clever attempt at getting me to post more, but I'll go along with it.

His question to me was "What did you buy on your last trip to the comic shop?" However, I'm going to cheat and not answer that question. My last trip to the comic shop was for the McCloud lecture, and I bought a copy of Understanding Comics for a friend. So I'm going to explain instead what I bought at the previous trip, since it's more, all-new stuff.

Countdown 42-- Countdown is a book that I think I would like better if it were a bit more tightly plotted. It's got some interesting characters and some great ideas for stories, but the execution hasn't been that great. With all the balls in the air, some of them have been falling to the ground. The Piper/Trickster story could be good on its own, while others could be good if given more attention/direction (Mary Marvel, the Challengers of the Beyond, and maybe Jimmy Olsen). But they all need more room to breathe and they all need to stop moving at a snail's pace.

DMZ #21-- This storyline of DMZ has been my least favorite thus far, but it's still not that bad. Day 208 is an interesting look at the history of the war, but this particular episode seemed rather needless, like the perspective we were given here didn't really add anything to the overall arc.

Green Arrow Year One #1-- A great look at the origin of the hero by the creative team that brought us the Losers. I was a big fan of that book and its realistic take on geopolitical intrigue (although it did descend into James Bond territory by the end, when it had started out more like Jason Bourne). And this book has a very similar feel to those early issues of Losers. I am a big fan of Mike Grell's retelling of the origin of this hero in The Wonder Years, but this does not feel like a rehash in the slightest.

JLA Classified #40-- Fantastic. Milligan's Kid Amazo story has definitely been worth the wait. Yes, the "free will v. predetermination" themes have been incredibly overt, but it's not trying to BE subtle. It's trying to smack you over the head with these themes and does so in a comedic way. And I LOVE the portrayal of the JLA here, that they are basically the villains of the story and seem to thwart the main character from getting what he wants, a normal life.

Justice Society Of America #7-- Eh. I'd go into detail, but it's not really worth the time too. Standard superhero fare. By the numbers. I have to remember to stop reading this book, not because it's bad but because it's not good. It just is. And I have plenty of other books that I could be spending my money on instead.

100 Bullets #84-- A good single issue, but not in the sense that it is new reader-friendly. Instead it's a "game-changer," a single issue that gets you looking at the playing field as established previously in a brand new way. This issue definitely made me think that perhaps all the time I've spent rooting for Graves was a mistake. The Minutemen get involved in some pretty shady stuff here, making you see that no one in the 100 Bullets universe is really on the side of the angels.

Superman Confidential #5-- This story arc will read much better in trade. Cooke's work is very reminiscent of New Frontier, and Sale's of Superman For All Seasons. It's a good story, but it just comes out so rarely that I think I would enjoy it more if I had waited until it was complete to read it.

Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #20-- Sad to see Sean McKeever leave this book, but he left it in a very interesting place (resetting the Peter/MJ relationship to it's "will they/Won't they?" state) and in very capable hands (David Hahn has been a great replacement for Takeshi Miyazawa, who I thought was irreplaceable, and Terry Moore will pick up the ball and run with it I'm sure).

Ward of the State #3-- a short little mini by Image that wasn't bad but in the end is rather inconsequential. an interesting story idea (what if a foster parent was using her kids as a crew of hitmen?) that could have used more development. this final issue didn't give us enough time to think through the revelations we were shown, and this whole mini would have been a lot better if it had been spread out over four issues instead of just three.

Wasteland #10-- I actually bought this book a few weeks ago when it came out, but I waited until now to read it. I always do that, because I want to give it a fair shake. It's a read that requires a bit more out of you, being a post-apocalyptic tale in a future world with a language distanced from ours (much like Finder, another favorite of mine). It's a book worth reading every time, and this issue was no exception.

Now Chad, I ask you:
Tell me three books recently released in TPB or HC that you WISH you had the money/time to check out but haven't.