Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sketch Reviews (September 29 2011)

And so ends the wild ride that was September Comics. If I'd gotten my comics yesterday, that would have also ended on the same day as the end of the wild ride that was September Baseball... and it was a pretty fucking wild ride last night, wasn't it? Both Wild Card spots determined, two collapses completed, a few insane comebacks (with Tampa Bay's being the most insane), and just a ton of excitement for those of us who care. Plus, earlier in the day, while I was at work, the Jays won their final game of the season. So: good day. Same with today and the final batch of September comics. As always, these are brief thoughts and anything I'm reviewing for CBR isn't mentioned.

Annihilators: Earthfall #1: Already more enjoyable than the first Annihilators mini, which I found to be a bit of a letdown. I loved the part where everyone was ganging up on Quasar for wanting them to take it easy because they're on Earth when he has no problem letting loose on 'alien' planets. To the rest, Earth is an alien planet, so suck it, kid! The promise of the return of the Magus also has me engaged. More than that, Tan Eng Huat's art has a rougher edge this time out, more reminiscent of his work pre-Annihilators and I dig that look more. The back-up story is a back-up story. [***1/2]

'Breed III #5: And, just like that, 'Breed III becomes Starlin's version of what Vengeance is for me. That final page seemed fairly obvious once Wyrd mentioned having gathered some allies, but that doesn't stop it from being a total geek out moment for this Starlin fan. Besides that, a really good sustained bit of action in this issue and done in a visually inventive manner a lot of the time. Maybe finally reading the first two 'Breed series has gotten me more into this book, but I'm really excited to read the final two issues now. [***1/2]

Captain America & Bucky #622: Entertaining. Gorgeous. Yup. [***1/4]

Journey into Mystery #628: Talk about art just killing a comic... I like the writing, but the art made this a chore to get through. It's the sort of art that causes my eyes to slide off the page and hope for it all to be over soon. Gillen brings it... Portacio takes it and dumps it in the toilet. [**1/4]

Justice League Dark #1: Some interesting bits. Some great art. Like a lot of #1s I've seen this month, nothing about this felt complete or like anything more than the barest of introductions. Which I guess is where we are now in comics. This was the first act of an hour-long TV pilot... and those tend to have five acts. But, what I liked I liked enough to bring me back next month. [**1/2]

Secret Avengers #17: Not as distinctive as last issue with the dialogue, but pretty damn entertaining. I've liked Kev Walker's work for a long time now and glad to see him as one of the artists for Ellis's run. Lots of fun little moments in this issue like the eyeball mood speedometer or the final page or Steve's "Oh hell" panel. Already looking forward to the next one. [***3/4]

The Ultimates #2: Wow. This was a wonderfully constructed little comic that pretty much told a complete story within the larger story and pulled off something big... in issue two. I liked the first issue, but felt a little underwhelmed at the same time. For all of the "You can do anything in the Ultimate universe" talk I heard, I wasn't seeing that. Well, here it is. Shit. And Esad Ribic continues to draw the hell out of this comic. Skipping this new Ultimate relaunch looks like a mistake right now, anyone who did that. [****1/2]

Holy Terror: I'll keep this brief: I wasn't offended. I didn't find much in here particularly offensive. I'm also pretty hard to offend. I found it cartoonish and ridiculous in a laughable way. I'm not offended mostly because there isn't anything here worth taking seriously enough to be offended. The story is rubbish and the dialogue is Miller at his worse. The art is stunning and gorgeous and worth studying. I haven't encountered a disconnect between amateurish writing and masterful art this large in quite some time -- maybe ever. So: writing [-**]; art [*****]