Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sketch Reviews (September 29 2010)

If you listened to the podcast this week, I mentioned that I realised that these 'quickie reviews' were more like my versions of sketches. Something to practice with, get the brain working, the blood flowing... so why not call them that and clear up any idea that these are reviews proper? (Once again, my weekly/whenever 'review post' changes names... for like the 38th time... but to make things easier, I've changed all of the 'quickie reviews' labels to 'sketch reviews'... not the titles of those old posts, because, well, that's WAY too much work...)

Avengers Prime #3: This issue opens with some of the worst dialogue I've ever read by Brian Michael Bendis. Just awful, stupid dialogue. Thor saying things like "Hela! You witch from hell!" and "The how matters not, beastwoman!" Later, he shouts "That is a lie, elf witch!" It's Dr. Doom and women all over again... ignoring Bendis's pisspoor Thor dialogue in this issue, I'm digging this book. His Steve/Tony banter was a little too jokey/light, but had a good rhythm to it. Alan Davis draws the best reaction shot when Fanfir turns to find that an ogre had let Tony go. Entertaining book. [***3/4]

Captain America #610: I've stopped even making an attempt to read the back-up strip. I gave it plenty of time to be good or entertaining or engaging or even interesting. It's not. I finish issue of Captain America and see it there and just sigh. Sigh because I don't want to read that shit -- I certainly don't want to pay a buck for it and don't want to see the same stupid "ALSO FEATURING NOMAD" graphic on the cover. At least DC has the decency to relegate its back-up feature promos to a bottom banner. Shit.

The conclusion to "No Escape" and it doesn't ring true entirely... at least Zemo's role. He's right about James not earning his place yet. But, he was also a tool as the Winter Soldier. It's not an easy thing to decide. But, why is Zemo the one saying it? Brubaker doesn't establish that. His endgame isn't clear. Hopefully, he'll return. I suppose it makes sense within his failed attempts at redemption -- jealousy, perhaps? I dunno. Mixed results on the art. This initial storyarc has been disappointing after the first issue when it comes to Butch Guice's art. He drew his ass off on the first issue and there are flashes of that brilliance... but some of these pages are rough, ugly, unpolished. [***1/2]

Casanova #3: What the fuck do you say about text pieces like this? It's unexpected to see Fraction open up like this, because he said he wasn't doing that anymore. Not that I mind, I always enjoy seeing artists open up and connect their lives to their art -- the interview with Mike Doughty was interesting. I just don't know what to say about it... there's that tension between wanting to learn about the lives of writers and artists and musicians, etc., but then not necessarily wanting to engage with those lives. I mean, I don't know Fraction. What can I say really about his life that won't sound like total bullshit? I haven't been through the sort of problems he has -- I've wondered if my non-drinking/non-drugging lifestyle is the right way to go when it comes to writing, considering the 'tortured artist' myth he discusses, and never bought into it. Partly because I'd paid enough attention to know that it doesn't work longterm and carries some heavy costs, partly because I'm too much of a control freak to enjoy losing myself in anything like that. Partly because I'm too afraid to let myself go like that. But, yeah, for not having anything to say about it, I've said too much...

The two stories in this issue flow well from one to the next. There's a good duality there with Cass's mom -- problem, solution. I like the second issue better... the first always felt a little incomplete to me. More of a mood piece, something to plant seeds, be they plot, character, or whathaveyou. Still funny how much of a strong role the green plays in the colour scheme. And, of course, still digging this new package. Lettering and colours? Yet. [****1/4]

Secret Warriors #20: "And so we enter... endgame." Jump ahead six month, spend the first few pages catching us up to speed and intiate the final stories of the series. Jumpy, a little uneasy. Mirko Colak's art is nice, but less refined than Caselli or Vitti's. His faces don't always look like the characters as we know them. Seems like art that would have fit into Ennis's Punisher MAX work. I don't dislike it, it just requires some getting used to in this context. [***3/4]

I'm done.