Friday, August 28, 2009

I Bought Comics: August is Almost Over

First and foremost, I want to close the books on this year's blogathon by announcing that when all was said and done, $225 was raised for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund thanks to donations from Tim Callahan, Joshua Schroeder, Michelle Farwell, Eric Rupe, Eric Owens, Leighton Connor, Dean (no last name provided), and Nick Eliopulos. Thanks to those fine folks and everyone else who supported me throughout. It was a good time and, hopefully, I can do it again next year.

Now, onto comics, where I've got a few weeks of catching up to do. Remember, these aren't reviews proper, they're just whatever thoughts occur to me when it comes time to write about these particular comics. Okay? Okay!

Final Crisis Aftermath: Escape #4

Marco Rudy is missed in the Nevett household. His work wasn't fully polished, but, man, he brought it with the page layouts in the first three issues. The new artist, whose name I forget and I'm too lazy to look up, isn't bad, he's just not nearly as exciting. The bigger shape of the story is beginning to appear. One of the most stunning DCU books in years, honestly, in term of experimentation and freedom. Normally, you need to be Scotish to get permission to write like this there.

Unwritten #4

This issue didn't wow me as much as previous ones. I think the initial novelty is wearing off, so we'll see if there's actually enough substance to carry this book forward. I forget where I read it (honestly -- I read a lot of stuff online), but someone was talking about how this issue is the final part of the first storyarc and, yet, it doesn't feel like the end of an arc (was it Graeme and Jeff in their podcast?). That's an interesting complaint/point and I think it's a valid one. I have no problem with larger, ongoing serials, but at least have some point to using storyarcs then. Previous Vertigo series told large, ongoing stories, yet managed to understand that if you call something a storyarc, it better have some sort of conclusion... which this one lacks. Not a huge complaint since I'm on board already, but it does make me wonder.

Doktor Sleepless #13

Man, the release schedule of this book really sucks the energy out, doesn't it? Some big things happen here, but I'm sure I only caught 3/4s of them, because I forget various things. Three more issues in this story and then I'll go back and reread it. Still, definitely worth picking up in some form if you're a fan of Ellis.

Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance #4

Not much to say... Joe Casey continues deconstructing the superhero team and advances the larger plot in some big ways. I'm really liking this series.

Gravel #13

This storyarc has been a bit too slow-moving for my tastes, but I'm reserving absolute and total judgment until it concludes, which should be next issue. I'm interested in seeing what Gravel comes up with regarding the death of Lady Avalon. Still one of my favourite books and one that I look forward to quite a bit each month (or whenever it comes out).

Project Superpowers: Meet the Bad Guys #1

Not too bad. Better than that Death-Defying 'Devil series Casey did for this property. Each issue will be self-contained and introduce new bad guys. The motivation for this one is sketchy and kind of lame, but it was an enjoyable issue.

The Boys: Herogasm #4

Wow. Wow. I've been rewatching The West Wing with my girlfriend (who hasn't seen the series really) and, when the show was first on, I was in high school. It aired at the worst time for me: Wednesdays at 10 pm. I don't know about you, but Wednesday nights, I was usually dead tired -- but I knew that the show was good and wanted to watch it... but missed episodes and didn't always follow along as best I could. One thing that always stood out to me, though, was the revelation that not only did the Vice President not play a big role in the White House, but he and the President didn't even like one another. Now, that may seem obvious to adults, but when you're young, you assume that people get along, particularly two guys who lead a country together, right? Well, Bartlett and Hoynes have nothing on Dakota Bob and Vic the Veep. Christ Ennis is fucked up.

Cerebus Archive #3

What makes this book so enjoyable is Sim's total willingness to mock himself, which he does a lot. And rightly so.

Dark Avengers #8

Finally, things happen. But, they're not the sort of things that really pay off from the extensive build-up of parts 2 through 4 of this crossover, sadly. The story is still way too decompressed for its own good, but now that it's going somewhere, I'm happy again.

Detective Comics #856

Great art, okay writing. No, scratch that: goddamn gorgeous art, okay writing.

New Avengers #56

Why is Bobbi in her Mockingbird costume on the cover, but wearing a different costume inside the issue? Otherwise, an interesting issue. Wait, doesn't Luke Cage have the Wrecker's crowbar? What's going on? The bad guys striking back is definitely good stuff. Some people have been growing tired of these guys dealing with the Hood and the other bad guys, but, having just reread the entire series, I'm enjoying it more than I was before. It's nice to see a threat maintain itself like this and change and grow over time. Yes, the Hood and his gang keep showing up, but, each time, it's different. Good stuff.

Scalped #31

Oh fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. A slower issue, but you can tell that things are going bad for a lot of people and soon.

Secret Warriors #7

Jonathan Hickman is flying solo... and it reads the exact same. I didn't get the issue of Thunderbolts that this crosses over with, but it doesn't seem essential. Maybe it is. Whatever. I trust in Hickman to keep me up to speed. The artist for this arc is okay, but I have a strange fondness for Caselli. JT is playing a dangerous game with Fury -- one that's going to bite him in the ass since we know that he will die sometime... a few possibilities there: after much conflict with Fury, he sacrifices himself for the greater good; he doesn't listen to Fury and gets killed; Fury kills him. I'm hoping for anything but the first one since it's cliched and overdone.

And, shit, that was a lot of comics for the past few weeks. Again, thanks to all who donated money to the CBLDF.