Monday, October 15, 2007

Baby, won't you keep me happy


Deathblow #7

Okay, I love the cybernetic dinosaur that Azzarello writes here. I still have no fucking idea what's going on in this book really (well, there are various sides and they all want Deathblow to do something for them it seems, but who is who and what is what is still unclear), but any comic that has a horribly evil cybernetic dinosaur is alright in my book. The art is still shit.

The Order #2-3

This book is the natural successor to Milligan & Allred's X-Force/X-Statix, but with a more straight-laced, mainstream sensibility. And it works. Some fun superhero stuff, lots of melodrama, and so on. It does suffer from the fact that the cast is large and I don't really have any idea who these people are. The technique of having a different character talk to the camera each issue works, but even then, you don't necessarily get a good sense of who these people are. In the second issue, I couldn't quite connect the Becky talking to us with the Becky fighting the bad guys. Granted, people act different in different situations, but, somehow, it didn't work. The third issue was much better for that, though. I'm interested in seeing where this goes and whether Fraction has anything new to say or not. So far, it could go either way.

New Avengers #34-35

About damn time Bendis moved on past the whole "who can we trust?" bullshit. It made sense, in a way, for a bit, but doing it beyond a few issues wouldn't make much sense. The cover to ssue 34 had me excited with the alternate team, but that stuff only shows up for a page. I love me some alternate realities. One major problem with these issues is that the whole Venom virus story seems to rely on Mighty Avengers, which still has two issues of the first arc to go before we'll see any of that story.

The other plot involving the Hood and his little supervillain mafia is interesting in that it provides a natural fallout of Civil War. I've read complaints about the characterisation of the Hood, but since this is my first encounter with the character, I can't really comment on that. It works for me.

Another thing I saw mentioned online was the portrayal of Tigra in issue 35 and the manner in which she is dealt with. And, you know, it is pretty fucking harsh. I'm not sure if it crosses a line necessarily--especially as the point of the scene is to demonstrate the power of the Hood and the weakness of heroes. However, I am interested in why Bendis picked Tigra and not some other hero for that scene. And, um, why were the cops assholes to her earlier? She's a registered hero.

I also noticed in issue 34 that characters had little captions saying their names. Perhaps recognising that Yu's art is so stylised that you can't always recognise who is who.

Immortal Iron Fist Annual #1

Um, what was the point of this issue? I know, I know, some back story on Orson Randall, but beyond that--why these stories? I'm assuming what we're told here will have specific meaning in future issues, but I kind of walked away from this book wondering why I should care. It's an alright issue and I think part of my reason for not digging it quite as much is that it's Iron Fist stuff, but with no Aja on art. The random tales nature does fit what an annual SHOULD be, though. I dunno, I just prefer the actual series. While I like the idea of past Iron Fists, getting anything more than a few pages here and there that relate directly to the main story leaves me cold.

Punisher War Journal #11-12

I found it weird to see Leandro Fernadez on art in issue 11 as he's done several issues of Ennis' MAX series. Having an artist from that series here just increases the tension between the books, a tension that doesn't make War Journal look good. This isn't a bad book by any stretch of the imagination, it's just one I can't take seriously in ANY way, because it's so fucking retarded when compared to Ennis' book. Thankfully, with these two issues, Fraction seems to be getting that and isn't trying to be serious with his portrayal of Castle. By giving up his Captain America costume and the mask he took, Castle moves into the World War Hulk crossover issue where he's a cartoony superhero character that looks out for the average person. The Captain America stuff was a bit too heavy for the book, although it was cartoony--just in a serious way. Does any of this make sense? I hope the book maintains a very light tone and never tries to take itself seriously, because it doesn't work.

Question: how does Jigsaw at the end of issue 11 fit in with the Jigsaw in New Avengers?

Batman #669 and annual #26

I think I need to reread the three-part mystery story before I can comment for sure. But, did Batman kill someone here?

The annual was kind of blah. But, it acts a nice prologue to the upcoming Ra's Al Ghul crossover, which I will be buying. The first crossover like this I'll have gotten in a long time. Although, I may end up doing the same for that Secret Invasion storyline at Marvel in 2008. Weird.