Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I Bought Comics: First Week of August 2008

[I don't really "review" comics so much as babble about whatever occurs to me. My goal here is to just let you know what I thought of these books, not to really critique or even influence your buying habits. Except when I tell you to buy stuff. Then do that.]

Okay, so I didn't buy comics last week. It was a small week (three or four books at most--if the shop had a copy of Narcopolis #4... which it didn't) and not really worth two bus tickets (a bit over four bucks) to make the trip. So, that's what happened last week. This week was a big week, though, and very much worth two bus tickets. Let's get to it...

The Boys #21

This issue was very good, but I can easily see some having a problem with it. The Seven try to stop a plane from crashing on September 11, 2001 after it had been hijacked. The key here is that the Seven have no fucking clue how to stop a plane that's been hijacked. They fuck up in every possible way and the result is the death of a team member or two, and the plane crashing into the Brooklyn Bridge. Now, what makes this worse is that the air force could have shot it down over the ocean. But, this was a chance to show off the Seven... despite not training them in any way to handle a problem like this. Some moments of absurd humour, but mostly just pure fucking horror at how incompetent these guys are--and that a lot more people died because a corporation wanted to show off its superheroes. Hell, one moment of that "absurd humour" is a kid being sucked out the plane's door when Homelander opens it. It's supposed to be funny, but it's actually not, because that kid was so happy to see the superheroes--and he was their first victim. I know the whole "superheroes in the real world" thing doesn't impress many these days, but this issue manages to do that well. Really, how the hell would your average superhero know how to bring down a plane safely?

Cable #6

This was a good issue. Of course, most of it didn't actually involve Cable, rather focused on Cyclops and his dealing with sending Cable and the baby into the future. Michael Lacombe's art is very, very good. Swierczynski packs more content into this issue than the previous five combined. But, I'm done with the book. It's decent, but not worth buying every month anymore. Knowing my luck, things will turn around now, but I can't stick by it. Yes, the Cyclops stuff was good, but the little bits involving Cable were enough to remind me how little that's been working for me. The pacing has been slow and the story not nearly as interesting as it could be. Also, I can't fucking stand Ariel Olivetti's art anymore, which is a shame, because I used to be a big fan. But it's so over-the-top and fake looking in its faux-3d-CGI way that I can't be bothered. Six issues and the only one worthwhile didn't actually advance the story at all or really involve the main character.

Criminal #4

Well, we all know how well I pay attention. I didn't even connect the main character of this issue, Jacob to the counterfitter from previous stories until it was thrown right in my face. I read comics very well. Great stuff as always.

Crossed #0

Just a teaser or "prologue" for the main series. It's decent and has elements of the horrific. Since this deals with a small bit of what happened way back when it began, it's not nearly as fucked up as I imagine the rest of the story will be. Although, the genuine glee with which these people attack and kill people is a bit unnerving. I'm on board if only because it's Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows.

Final Crisis #3 and Final Crisis: Director's Cut #1

Well, evil has won. Shit. I continue to enjoy the hell out of this crossover. Tim and I will discuss it in more detail in this week's Splash page.

Because I'm sucker, I bought the "director's cut" (ugh) of the first issue. It's only worth it if you're insanely neurotic and obsessive like me. The commentary isn't that spectacular, providing only a few choice bits of information. I haven't looked at the script yet. I do enjoy seeing the uncoloured art, though.

Glamourpuss #2

I got this two weeks ago and really could have wrote about it last week, but I don't have enough to say to devote an entire post to it. I'm continuing to enjoy it, although I'm not sure what to make about the anti-depressant stuff. Is it mocking the over-medication of people, or those who don't like medication? From what little I know of Sim, I'm guessing it's the former. The inclusion of different ads here is quite interesting. Not as much discussion about photorealistic art this time around, but what's there is good stuff. I'll continue to buy this book if only because there's nothing else like it out there and I want to see where it goes.

Hawkman Special #1

Apparently, Jim Starlin may head up a relaunch of a Hawkman title and this is a good start. It's rather metafictional, particularly in its references to the first Crisis and Infinite Crisis (the second by name no less). Part of streamlining the character has Starlin simply take the ancient Egyptian stuff and erase it--it was false memories implanted by someone for some purpose. Very mechanical, but still... why the hell not? A fairly decent story, although there isn't much there beyond the obvious intent of refocusing Hawkman for Starlin's purposes. But, there's also Starlin art... how I love it. Various tropes are here, including that "stone pathway in the middle of some weird dimension" that keeps popping up. You can turn to any page and know that Jim Starlin drew it. It's great.

Infinity, Inc. #12

What a shitty ending. "To be continued in October... in the pages of Terror Titans!" Fuck you, DC. Bad enough a genuinely interesting book has been cancelled, it can't end on its own terms? Can't let Peter Milligan give us a little bit of closure? Bullshit.

The Invincible Iron Man #4

Salvador Larocca's Reed Richards looks more like Johnny Storm. A breather issue. Some lovely character moments. And a supposed cliffhanger that would be much better had it not been explained to the reader earlier in the issue.

newuniversal: 1959

I'm not entirely sure that this comic was necessary. Its events were implied in the first mini-series and actually seeing them happen is... underwhelming. Kieron Gillen does a decent job, but... I just can't get too enthused about this book. Maybe if something new was given to make it worthwhile, but everything here was implied, basically. Still, I can't blame the ceators as they did as good as job as you'd expect on a completely unnecessary book. I really enjyed Greg Scott's art--it's done in a way that makes it all seem like a flashback. Slightly skewed, slightly off... like a memory. Just a little bit. Very nice. Really, this is a good comic, I just don't see the point. Unless you want to see Tony Stark get shot in the head.

Thor #10

I'm glad I stuck with this book. The first five or six issues weren't that great, but, since then, it's been an intriguing and captivating read. What exactly is Loki up to? Hell, the amount of silent panels Straczynski uses is wonderful--he doesn't need to give us the specific details of the ceremony, because it doesn't matter. An image is enough to do the job. It's obviously looking like things are pointing towards Thor and Baldur fighting over control of Asgard, but I suspect that since it's so obvious things will change. Note how surprised Loki looked when Thor said that crowning Baldur as a price of Asgard was to proceed...

And that's it for this week.