Thursday, June 02, 2011

Sketch Reviews (June 2 2011)

I don't have too many thoughts yet on the big DC news. I question the wisdom of launching 52 titles (obviously a mix of ongoings and minis) in a single month like that, but, otherwise, until I see a full list of titles and creative teams, it's just a big question mark. Of the titles with creative teams announced so far, only Wonder Woman looks like something I'll buy. If they continue up that percentage, I'll be getting, what, 5.2 comics from them per month?

The Boys #55: Slowly but surely, Ennis has turned Butcher into a villain, hasn't he? He's never been a nice guy, always a bit of a bastard, but one you cheered for. Now? He's just another fucked up shit you want to see get gotten. And HOLY FUCK did McCrea's art kill this comic. The scene with Butcher and Mallory when Butcher went to kill the scientist -- what the fuck even happened there? Can someone explain that scene to me? I can't understand it. [**1/4]

Criminal: The Last of the Innocent #1: The interview Ed Brubaker did with Tom Spurgeon had me more excited for this than I already was. It's pretty great. I'm not sure using the Archie gang as a template is as mind-blowing as Brubaker thinks it is, but it's a useful way to make a point. I jump to Automatic Kafka #4, but that had a different point to it. Similar idea as a jumping off point. But, hey, maybe not. Phillips and Staples are probably my favourite art team. Maybe Williams and Stewart. But, fuck, that's some stiff competition. [****]

Fear Itself #3: Fraction was shooting for Morrison and wound up with Millar. Stuart Immonen carries the comic. [***]

Moon Knight #2: Okay, this comic is just kind of weird. And I like it. Not really sure multiple personalities work this way, but it's entertaining enough. All we need now is an awesome twist ala South Park and the City Wok guy to be complete. [***1/2]

SHIELD #1: Is this actually about anything yet? [**1/2]

Astonishing X-Men: Exogenetic: Picked up the trade today and really like the way Ellis writes the X-Men. Lots of snark that would build up over time of always being together. An entertaining plot that mixes together a lot of old things in a new enough way. The villain of the whole thing just makes me laugh. Not a great comic, but much more in the Nextwave tradition than I think people read it as. [***1/2]

'Breed: The Book of Genesis: Haven't read this yet... [N/A]

Counter X Vol. 2: Yeah, that's the actual name of this trade, but it's really the Generation X one. Unlike the X-Man one, which still really impressed me, this one doesn't hold up as well. Part of the problem is that this one tries to appeal to the existing fanbase more. Which is good at the time, but left me scratching my head a few times. It's also hurt by some pretty ugly art. I appreciate the idea behind the first story with the kids taking on an enemy that's suited to them specifically. I need to track down the uncollected issues, because I think that's where Wood really started to do some good work. I remember this one being the one I liked second-best of the three, so I'm curious how much the X-Force one will work for me. [***]

Elektra Lives Again: Bought this on eBay and it arrived this week. It's the 1996 softcover reprint and that suits me fine. This is a gorgeous book, but what stood out to me more than the art was how Frank Miller approached the writing. The story is much larger than what we get here. So much is going on, but Miller commits to sticking with Matt Murdock and we only see a small piece of it. For the most part, Murdock doesn't do anything. Everything happens around him and he's pretty fucking useless. The plot mirrors the grief and feelings of helplessness he has. He's powerless to bring Elektra back, to change the past, and everything that happens around him leaves him just as powerless. Daredevil doesn't even appear aside from some TV footage that looks kind of silly and out of place. One of the most 'adult' superhero stories I've read, honestly. True emotion, smart writing and structure... this is what the 'adult' superhero comic should aspire to. Maybe I'll expand upon that notion sometime. [*****]