Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Bought Comics: Third Week of September 2008

[Were my life a novel, this post would be a chapter titled "In Which Chad Discusses Comics in a Rambling and Disjointed Manner with No Attempts made at Coherance... for about the Seven-Hundredth Time..." Even I wouldn't buy that book, because it sounds pretty lame.]

All-Star Superman #12

"Every party needs a pooper and that's why we invited you... PARTY-POOPER!" I think that should be put on my tombstone when I die. Never a fan of this series. I could admire it in a cold, intellectual manner, appreciate what Morrison was doing, but not actually care... because I don't care. And that's one of the obvious goals of this series: to make you care. It failed with me. But, my conception of Superman was altered forever by Joe Casey... and I don't get a thrill out of seeing him punch out Lex Luthor. I don't get a thrill out of Lex Luthor running around in purple-and-green clothes like a goddamn moron either. Silver Age ideas filtered through modern sensibilities... with a hint of nostalgia thrown in... I find the characters vapid and superficial in their unyielding optimism and positivity... No doubt a few will think me wrong to praise some of the books I got this week while critiquing this one, but that's the way it goes. On a technical level, this is impressive comic, but when it so obviously wants to connect emotionally with the reader and doesn't, then it's also a failure of a comic. Because, for all of his inspiring ideals, Superman is still just a guy who punches guys out and that seems so... mundane to me. Really, he can't transcend physical violence?

Captain Britain and MI:13 #5

This continues to be an entertaining book as we get a breather issue between Skrulls and Evil Magical Beings. Blade joins the team and has one hell of a final page. The stuff with Faiza's parents was goofy and funny. Really a light issue that doesn't feel that light. After the previous four issues, this is a nice break. I'm sure Cornell will have some fun playing around with Captain Britain's new powers. I will miss John the Skrull, though.

Ghost Rider #27

A weaker issue of Jason Aaron's run. Mostly plot positioning and not much else. Zadkiel looks as absurd as you'd expect. The entire story is pretty absurd, but does work most of the time. Last issue was glorious in its absurdity, but this one was just kind of there. Nothing particularly bad about it, just another particularly great either.

Gravel #5

With Oscar Jiminez on art, this book is coming out on a nice regular basis, thankfully. The last page made me laugh quite a bit, because of how simple Gravel is taken down. He overcomes so much and basically falls for an electrified gate (electrified with magic!). I'm a little disappointed that we won't get to see these other magicians much, but Colgrave is a bit cliched... in that way that works. The aristocrat who looks down on Gravel as working-class--and then comes after him in a hunt. Very appropriate and kind of funny, particularly when Gravel calls in his horse. I think the first arc is meant to be eight issues (and then the first of three arcs that make up the larger story Ellis has planned) and now that it's back on track schedule-wise, I'm happy. Not a comic that will blow your mind, but some good action stuff with the odd bit of wit.

Holy War #5

Some interesting ideas like using Comet to stop the beginning of a war by pretending to be god... or a competing religion trying to stop a Second Coming... A strange world where other religions are recognised as factually valid, but are still heretical! I was hoping for the anti-god ray, though. The relationship of Synnar and the Nameless One is explained, too. If it didn't have to try so hard to fit into the DCU and these characters specifically, Starlin could be having a lot more fun, I think.

Mighty Avengers #18

One of those rare tie-in issues that is actually worth the price! That, and since I'm looking for to the new Howlin' Commandos Secret Warriors book co-written with Jonathan Hickman, I am digging any issue devoted to this ragtag bunch. Nick Fury is doing his "goddammit, we've got a war coming, so you do what I say how I say it when I say or so help me god I will rape everyone you ever cared about starting with your sweet ass!" routine. Here, he tells his Howlin' Commandos Secret Warriors to kidnap Maria Hill because she's a Skrull. And we get a few flashbacks to his training of the group (none of which are all that original, but at least Bendis has the sense to keep them in flashbacks rather than devoting an entire issue to training). The mission goes pretty well and then the invasion breaks out. A solid issue and one of the better tie-ins... particularly because it doesn't just spend 22 pages showing when and where someone got replaced by a Skrull (really, an entire comic for those?). Oh and I will continue to call them "Howlin' Commandos Secret Warriors," because I'm a stupid little fanboy sometimes.

Scalped #21

On page seven, RM Guera signs the bottom of the page with Jason Aaron's name, too. That's cool. Another new story with no Dashett Bad Horse to be seen. The juxtaposition between Red Crow at the beginning of the issue and the end is very interesting. Continues to be a fantastic comic. I have little else to say.

Secret Invasion: Thor #2

...a baby is born during a "tornedo" (aka Skrulls invading Asgard) and she's named Faith! See, that isn't just cliche in its usual way, because the Asgardians are gods! And the new Skrulls are "godkillers"! And... wow... could the b-story be anymore cliche? I did like the guys from town wanting to help the Asgardians with what they thought was a fire, though. And the look on Bill's face when he sees what they did to his hammer... Still, not that great. I imagine the third issue will end with Thor flying off to New York.

I also got Glamourpuss #3 and a couple of trades (latest Andy Diggle Hellblazer and the final Loveless one), so I might discuss them all on Friday... or just one... or none. We'll see.