Monday, October 31, 2011

CBR Review: The Ultimates #3

I recently reviewed The Ultimates #3 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Situations that seem hopeless are staples of superhero comics. If the bad guys don’t appear stronger than the good guys, the conflict isn’t engaging and falls flat. The Ultimates has had its share of ‘hopeless situations’ in the past and, somehow, it looks like Jonathan Hickman has found one that tops them all in the Children of Tomorrow and their ever-expanding City. Presented as only one of these crises for S.H.I.E.L.D. to handle in the first issue, the Children of Tomorrow have taken over as the primary antagonists, 'destroying Asgard, killing the gods -- and cutting Thor off from the very source of his power' last issue. In this issue, Hickman manages to one-up that shocking finish by having S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Ultimates completely useless in the face of the Children of Tomorrow."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Spaceman #1

I recently reviewed Spaceman #1 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Spaceman is a story of the future. If you’re familiar with Azzarello’s writing and Risso’s art, you’ll know immediately that this is not a bright and shiny utopia future. It’s dirty and nasty, pretty much the worst of the present. Orson is a man genetically engineered to function in space, except there isn’t a space program anymore and he’s not exactly fit for life on Earth. Superficially dim-witted and looking like the missing link, he salvages and buys drugs off kids. Much of this issue is an introduction -- a feeling out process -- for this future and exactly what it’s like, with the plot taking a backseat to a degree."

You can read the rest HERE!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sketch Reviews (October 27 2011)

I bought comics yesterday and read most of them while waiting in the car while Michelle taught a class at the gym and, then, the rest in a mall food court while she was at some meeting related to teaching glasses at the gym. When we got home, we watched TV and went to bed. So, that's why this post is going up today instead of yesterday. Plus, there were a lot of comics to read. Giant week.

'Breed III #6: The progression throughout the issue of Stoner looking down on everyone to eventually realising that he's a punk bitch next to the likes of Dreadstar and Darklon was pretty funny. That the cover to this issue is a reference to Dreadstar #1's cover is awesome. Jim Starlin knows what people want. [***1/2]

Butcher Baker, the Righteous Maker #7: Speaking of homage covers... that's a lot of shaded cock at the end of this comic. [****]

Captain America & Bucky #623: Decent issue. Samnee's art is gorgeous. Honestly, more looking forward to next issue and leaving behind World War II... though, ending with a concentration camp... what do you say about that? [***1/4]

Daredevil #5: The line "Send six." made me laugh. The art is wonderful and the villains are evil, but their secret plan that the blind translator came across is right up there with the evilness of the bad guys in The Phantom Menace. When criminals become too much like businessmen, they stop being entertaining. You may as well read the business section. But Marcos Martin is amazing and Waid's peppy/smart writing grabs. [****]

Incredible Hulk #1: My gut said that this wouldn't be for me, but I just had to give it a shot. My gut was right. My gut is always right. I knew I'd hate the art, so that wasn't it. Jason Aaron's writing was not to my taste. Dull with an end that made me roll my eyes. Not for me. [*]

Justice League Dark #2: So... ghosts are constantly horny? That makes sense. After all, they can see naked people any time they want, but can't do anything about it. Peter Milligan gets this. That Dawn lady should have just dumped her ghostly boyfriend and let him be the serial rapist he obviously wants to be. Now, that's a Deadman comic I'd read. [***1/4]

The Mighty Thor #7: Hahahahahahahaha... that's it? That's the secret history of the Serpent? He became king after Bor died, became corrupt, and Odin killed tons of people to take him down? Wasn't all of that implied already? And, by 'implied,' I mean so heavily implied that I kept waiting for the twist. I guess it was meant to be that Odin killed so many people to get to his brother, but that sort of fell flat and was very underplayed. I did like the execution of the scene where Odin cut his eye out. [**]

The Red Wing #4: Hey, fuck you, dad. [Christ, that felt good...]

Scalped #53: Slow build to something horrible with some excellent scenes like the one with Nitz and the sherrif. [****]

Secret Avengers #18: Goddamn, David Aja! Ellis knows how to write a nice, short little story that allows artists to go mindfuck crazy. This was one of the best weeks for art that I can remember in a long time and this issue is right near the top. [****1/4]

Wolverine and the X-Men #1: Fun first issue. Some scenes worked, others kind of fell flat a bit. Lots of potential here. I think this goes on the pull list. [***3/4]


Monday, October 24, 2011

CBR Review: Deadpool MAX II #1

I recently reviewed Deadpool MAX II #1 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "It’s been too long a time since Deadpool MAX #12 shipped, ending the book’s first volume. After an arduous wait, finally, lovers of violence and monkeys can rejoice, kick back, grab a beer, and read the first issue of Deadpool MAX II! Okay, it’s only been three weeks since Deadpool MAX #12 came out, but, for fans of this comic, that’s two weeks and six days too long. Deadpool and Bob are back to take down Hydra and clear Bob’s name after he was framed for an act of terrorism that killed most of Cincinnati. Their first stop? A chapel with a monkey. Welcome back, boys."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: The Boys: Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker #4

I recently reviewed The Boys: Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker #4 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "We all knew it was coming. Way back when The Boys began, Butcher told Hughie about how his wife died. It’s never been a secret or something hidden from the readers. When Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker began to tell the story of Butcher’s life before The Boys, the death of his wife was never in doubt. When she first entered the series, her fate was sealed. And, yet, damned if what happens doesn’t hit like a punch to the gut. Garth Ennis has always been a master of making an event obvious while making you dread it coming, and he does it again here with Becky Butcher."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Ultimate Hawkeye #3

I recently reviewed Ultimate Hawkeye #3 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "At first, Ultimate Hawkeye seemed solely a means to tell part of the story in The Ultimates and leave that title free to explore other crises happening worldwide with occasional check-ins. It began as a solid story about superhumans created in the Southeast Asian Republic, and Hawkeye tasked at the Ultimates to lead S.H.I.E.L.D. forces in recovering the formula used to create the superhumans. Over the course of the next two issues, though, it’s morphed in a story that reflects what’s happening in “The Ultimates” more, paralleling it in a way, and showing that Jonathan Hickman looks to be making some big changes in the status quo of the Ultimate Universe."

You can read the rest HERE!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

CBR Review: Batman: Odyssey Vol. 2 #1

I recently reviewed Batman: Odyssey Vol. 2 #1 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Don’t be fooled by the big number one on the cover; this is Batman: Odyssey #7. On the title page, the comic is called ‘Part 7’ and it picks up where the sixth issue left off many months ago. This wasn’t a case of issue six completing a story arc; the seventh issue simply did not come out, leaving fans of the series to wonder if, perhaps, DC had scrapped the whole thing without an announcement, hoping everyone would forget about it and move on. Instead, it’s been ‘relaunched’ as volume two without anything to distinguish it from a seventh issue except for the number on the cover. What I’m trying to say is: this is not a jumping-on point, it’s not a change in direction, it’s not a new story, and, if you didn’t like Batman: Odyssey already, then you best leave this comic at the shop. For those who did like Batman: Odyssey and the weird story Neal Adams was telling, get ready, because things get even weirder in this issue."

You can read the rest HERE!

Sketch Reviews (October 20 2011)

It's a week with new comics from Neal Adams, Howard Chaykin, David Lapham/Kyle Baker, and Joe Casey/Nick Dragotta. Give me a hell yeah.

Avengers #18: "Who will be the new Avengers?" I don't know, because that's not in the fucking comic. Man, fuck you and your bullshit covers. Either get Bendis to actually confine himself to a single issue or read the comic before you write the cover copy. I liked the issue fine, but am sick of shit like this. It happens all of the time with Bendis's Avengers stuff and I don't understand how. The guy is seven years ahead on scripts! He's probably the only writer who turns in complete scripts before the covers are drawn. Why do you lie to me like that, Marvel? Huh? I'm already buying the comic. It's on my pull list. And, if it weren't, I wouldn't come back next time. I'm tempted not to as it is. I didn't expect a new lineup until your cover told me there would be one -- and then the comic didn't have one. It just had Cap asking that question as the final scene with the Avengers. That's fucked up. You're goddamn professionals and you do amateurish shit like this all of the time. Fuck. [I liked the comic, but refuse to give it a good rating officially after that...]

Avengers 1959: #2: There are no scene transitions. I'm not sure there's any cause and effect. I still hate the colouring. [***1/2]

Batman #2: Damn you, David Brothers. You know what you did. A fine comic, except for the stuff with fancy "soon to be mayor" man and his life story that parallels Bruce's down to the detail. Sure, the details are changed, but they're the same details. That's not clever aside from how it was meant to make us think he's evil and then SWERVE he's stabbed! Also, the Bruce/Dick relationship is beyond fucked up. [***1/4]

Fear Itself #7: I almost did my Random Thoughts this week on Holy Terror instead of Fear Itself. I changed my mind for a few reasons, including wanting an excuse to reread Fear Itself before the final issue came out. What I found more surprising than how snarky the post turned out to be is that I've yet to receive a single comment defending the series. Not one. In fact, I've had a few that basically said "I was thinking about buying this in trades and, now, I won't." Not my intention, but somewhat troubling for Marvel's big event, don't you think? And that brings us to the final issue. Tony didn't make Steve a weapon because his shield is totally awesome... except it was destroyed. Thor gets killed by... falling from a great height after being dropped from great heights so many times in this series that he made a joke about it (and that's not foreshadowing, that's making your payoff lame). Steve grabs Thor's hammer and isn't transformed at all even though everyone who grabs it (aside from Odin) is transformed. And Odin is sad, so he's told his people to fuck off so he can mope in his room with his dead brother. And the evil hammers got sucked up into the great Deux Ex Machina in the sky before one of the 'epilogues' (previews) shows that the force inside one of them has escaped conveniently. Well, at least it shipped on time... (I did like Immonen's art. But, that's a given.) [**]

Journey into Mystery #629: A recipe for disaster: Kieron Gillen writing purple prose over top of Whilce Portacio's art. [**]

Uncanny X-Men #544: Okay, that Mr. Sinister stuff was funny. He writes the book until he's destroyed and an identical body takes over -- NOTHING EVER CHANGES! Except, of course, when Cyclops basically says at the end that going back to the school is creative devolution. Kieron Gillen using the final issue of Uncanny X-Men to trash the X-offices? Now, I'm sure he (and many) would say that's a misreading -- if it is, what's the proper one? I'm glad I bought this issue. The art is horrible, but it may have convinced me to check out the relaunch of this book in addition to Wolverine & the X-Men. [****]

Vengeance #4: Four classic villain covers; one villain that still looks like the cover. I'm surprised how much this issue stuck with the Young Masters of Evil. LADRONN! Loki thinks girls are yucky. Of course I loved this comic. Did you expect otherwise? [****1/2]

Wonder Woman #2: Is Wonder Woman ever drawn with a belly button? That question occurred to me. Then again, do we ever see her bare midriff? Maybe, if she were born from clay, her mother would have put a belly button on so she felt normal, though. I don't know. Cliff Chiang rocks it on this issue. Excellent fight sequence. Azzarello's writing isn't as obtuse as the first issue's. This may quickly become that ONE book I've wanted from the DC relaunch. It's close. [****1/4]


Monday, October 17, 2011

CBR Review: Who is Jake Ellis? #5

I recently reviewed Who is Jake Ellis? #5 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Finally, the finale of Who is Jake Ellis? has arrived. The fourth issue of the supernatural thriller came out back in April, making the ensuing six months a long wait for the series-ending fifth issue where the truth behind the relationship between Jon and his ghostly guide Jake is revealed. The series has been high octane and briskly paced to this point and the final issue deviates somewhat. The tension isn’t decreased, but the pacing slows down considerably."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: The Unexpected #1

I recently reviewed The Unexpected #1 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Anthology books are a crapshoot, especially in comics. Short stories are so rarely published and creators so rarely geared towards even writing single-issue stories that an anthology featuring seven eight-page stories and one six-pager doesn’t inspire confidence. Nor is it surprising when the results are lackluster like they are in The Unexpected #1. Where it succeeds is as an art sampler for the likes of Dave Gibbons, Jill Thompson, Denys Cowan, Farel Dalrymple, and more talented artists. The Rafael Grampá cover sets the tone: good art is to be found in this comic."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: The Unwritten #30

I recently reviewed The Unwritten #30 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Sometimes, reading The Unwritten is like reading really good fan fiction. Since the series plays within the realm of fiction and bringing it to life, while also balancing against copyright and other corporate interests, it can produce some surprising match-ups. In the latest issue, we, briefly, get to see Harry Potter fight Superman even if neither character is strictly identified as such. And, if your fangasm meter hasn’t reached critical, the fight only stops when Frankenstein busts in and breaks it up. The Unwritten is a weird comic."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Superboy #2

I recently reviewed Superboy #2 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "After hearing the praise for the first issue of the relaunched Superboy, the second issue seemed like an interesting book to pick up and review. Featuring a different take on the lead character that still harkens back to his origin as a clone sounded promising. Superboy #2 deals with the fallout of Superboy’s escape from the lab that created him and his killing all of the scientists save one in the process. It’s certainly an unexpected direction for a Superboy reboot and the ensuing direction holds some promise, but the execution is rather flat and lifeless with dialogue that’s about twelve steps away from witty."

You can read the rest HERE!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sketch Reviews (October 13 2011)

A new "28" post is below this one.

Batwoman #2: The writing is fine. I'm here for the art. The way that different styles run up against one another here is astonishing. [****]

Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #2: I'm really glad I picked up the first issue last month, because this was another good issue. The extended origin of the fishwoman went on a bit long, but, otherwise, it's a fairly entertaining comic. [***3/4]

New Avengers #17: Hey, Daredevil is on the New Avengers... until the next issue of the series proper where he doesn't appear at all. Also, is it just me or couldn't someone as smart as Tony Stark maybe let it be known in his distress call that hitting the giant robot isn't a good tactic? For a genius, he's pretty stupid when the story conveniently calls for it. A fine issue, honestly. Deodato runs hot and cold. The stuff with Osborn doesn't have me won over yet. [***1/4]

Punishermax #18: I loved the opening and everything with Frank. The rest was... less engrossing. Especially the reveal with Elektra and Vanessa. The final page was pretty great and shows just how far down Frank has fallen. He's completely at sea... I hope that Aaron doesn't leave the book after he takes down the Kingpin, because what comes AFTER that should prove interesting. [***1/2]

S.H.I.E.L.D. #3: And here's where, once again, I run up against all of those who adore Dustin Waver's art, because it's not strong enough to carry this issue. It's detailed, sure; it's also superficial and hollow. None of that detail made what I was seeing any more impressive. If anything, it made it more static and distant. I like that Hickman and Weaver went for something different here... it just absolutely did not work for me. [*1/2]

X-Men: Regenesis #1: Well, if you want people picking a side, this is the comic for you! Because that's all that happens. And it's as tedious as you can imagine, especially when a fairly laughable tribal theme is thrown in and keeps recurring throughout the issue. What I do find funny is that I got to the end and the comic asks me whose side I'm on. I agree with Cyclops, yet Wolverine and the X-Men is the comic that appeals to me more. This comic wasn't even a story -- it was pages of continuity throw onto the page so everyone can see clearly where their favourite characters stand. The only scene that really worked was the Hope one... [waste of fucking money]

I also got the new issue of glamourpuss and will get around to reading my stack of that comic at some point, and the CBLDF's Liberty Annual 2011 but haven't read it yet.


28: The Critics aren't Impressed (Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Well Fuck You)

[Another in my series of posts that are far behind schedule. And like the ones before it, this one is disjointed, barely thought through, and probably doesn't actually say anything...]

One of my favourite pieces of critical writing is found in an issue of Spin from, probably, 2004. I have the issue in a box somewhere around here. It's one of the few issues I kept when I moved out of my parents' house and threw the rest away along with most of my Rolling Stones and Wizards. It's a column by Dave Eggers for that brief period where he wrote a column for the magazine and details a contract between musicians and their fans inspired by the realisation that he (like many of us) are prone to giving up on beloved musicians as they age and become 'less good' (less cool). Basically, the contract is an agreement to just give the new stuff a chance and not instantly write it off because it's different and new and maybe not the best work of their career but could contain some cool ideas and one or two songs that will number amongst your favourites someday. Even in my early twenties, I could see the wisdom of Eggers's contract (though it may have been meant ironically... I can never tell). In my late twenties, it seems essential.

Yesterday, Ryan Adams released a new album, Ashes & Fire. It's his first new studio album since 2008's Cardinology (he released some 'lost' albums in between the two like 2010's fantastic III/IV, which stemmed from the same sessions that produced 2007's Easy Tiger). I've listened to the album a bunch of times via a stream supplied by Adams since I pre-ordered the album off his site and, then, the downloaded copy that will tide me over until my CD arrives in the mail. Right off the bat, I was unimpressed. Later, I was grooving on it. Now, I'm at sea with it... of many minds. And I love that. I absolutely love that I don't just think one thing about his music. It winds up being a comparison to everything he's done before and trying to fit it into its creative context. Like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, or Lou Reed, Adams does what he wants and, if it coincides with what other people like, well, hey, look at that! I love that. For me, those are the people worth following and sticking with -- worth signing a lifetime contract with.

It's no secret that Joe Casey is my comic Ryan Adams. It's part critical repution bullshit, but it's mostly that his work is almost always interesting in some way. There's some little nugget of greatness sitting in his done-for-money work, or he produces something like Automatic Kafka, Wildcats, Mr. Majestic, Gødland, etc. You never know. Literally. YOU NEVER KNOW. Who thought his final year on Adventures of Superman would be what it is? Or that he could do the wonders he did on Cable before jumping to fucking Deathlok? Look at Wildcats! He's fucking earned my signature on that contract that says I'll stick with him and do the work and try my best to stay with him wherever the fuck he goes.

That's not to say that you have to go where an artist goes, just that you should make the effort. I don't agree with David Brothers on Holy Terror, but I admire that he put in the effort. He tried. He read and reread and he thought about what he was reading and looking at before he made up his mind. Basically, he held up his end of the contract he'd developed with Miller over the years. It's not that Miller earned his undying loyalty; he simply earned an honest shot and that's what David gave him.

It's been fun to see people just turn on Miller for that book. It's not new, it's more a completion of the turn that began with The Dark Knight Strikes Again and continued with All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder. He's kind of like '80s Neil Young right now, isn't he? Strangely political and doing stuff that even longtime fans are scoffing at... But, I wonder how many people actually gave it serious thought before dismissing it. Hell, how many dismissed it without reading it? (Obviously, not everyone can read everything, especially when it costs $30 or so, but that's a boring pragmatic point...)

And this is the guy who people love. Same with Alan Moore. And look at how quickly everyone turned on them. Not just their work, but them. Part of me can understand it, because I'm not an idiot. But, fuck, part of me just doesn't get it. How are people not even trying? I'm definitely guilty of that myself and I can't explain it besides a lazy excuse like, well, laziness. Is it our desire to tear down everyone that's 'great?' We can't stand someone who stands too far above the pack and eventually turn on them because we love them? Nah, probably not that either.

Yet, people keep buying X-Men comics because they feel loyal to the characters no matter the quality of the comics. So I'm stumped.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

CBR Review: Green Arrow #2

I recently reviewed Green Arrow #2 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "What is Green Arrow about? I’ve read the second issue of the newly relaunched/rebooted series a few times and I’m not sure I know. Oliver Queen dresses up and fights crime with a bow and arrow under the name ‘Green Arrow,’ while avoiding his responsibilities at the family business, Q-Core (though no doubt using the company’s resources to fund his superhero hobby). These things happen in various scenes in this comic and, yet, I don’t know why Oliver Queen does anything he does. He doesn’t seem to want anything except to not be a businessman and to obsess over the idea of fighting crime with arrows. The bad guys don’t seem to have any reasons for what they do either. Green Arrow is, I guess, about superhumans who are good because they are good or bad because they are bad, all of whom are drawn by Dan Jurgens and George Perez."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Avengers 1959 #1

I recently reviewed Avengers 1959 #1 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Picking up almost immediately after the New Avengers story that introduced Nick Fury’s heretofore unknown 'Avengers,' Avengers 1959 #1 features Howard Chaykin writing and drawing the comic and -- do I even need to continue the review? Chaykin writing and drawing this book is the reason why most are either interested in it or avoiding it. The legendary artist’s recent mainstream revival has produced work that has split readers on its merits. What’s hard to deny is that Avengers 1959 is a project that suits Chaykin perfectly. With the original concept stemming from him, it only makes sense for him to handle the follow-up mini-series."

You can read the rest HERE!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

CBR Review: Casanova: Avaritia #2

I recently reviewed Casanova: Avaritia #2 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "The first issue of Casanova: Avaritia was a little hard to process. After such a long wait since the end of the book’s original run at Image, it was hard to know what would happen with a new volume of Casanova. The new stories in the recolored/relettered reprints from Icon gave a clue; expectations were tentatively high and those are hard circumstances to succeed under no matter how good a comic you produce. The good news about that is, with the first issue out of the way and the tone and story of “Avaritia” established, the second issue is more its own beast and not burdened by expectations and hem-hawing over whether or not the long wait was ‘worth it.’ It gets to simply be a really good comic."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Action Comics #2

I recently reviewed Action Comics #2 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "It’s funny how taking Superman back to his late ‘30s roots feel so modern and refreshing, isn’t it? An anti-establishment Man of Steel hunted by the United States military with Lex Luthor at the helm helped kick off the relaunched Action Comics, and the second issue raises the stakes with Superman strapped into an electric chair and tortured as Luthor and his team try to figure out how to actually do lasting damage to the hero. What’s most surprising is how entertaining that is. How easy it is to laugh it off -- for both us and Superman himself. It may be a cliché, but this isn’t your dad’s Superman; it’s your (great) granddad’s and it’s rather good."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Detective Comics #2

I recently reviewed Detective Comics #2 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "What a strange comic. It begins with business deals done over rock climbing, the most intricate and unsexy roleplaying before sex I’ve seen in quite some time, some outtakes from the latest episode of Criminal Minds, and ends with a villain entirely lacking in subtlety, wit, or entertainment. Detective Comics #2 has a singular vision behind it and it shows in every scene that seems like it was a tweak or seven away from becoming something interesting, something that won’t be forgotten in a year, or, worse, remembered as that run by Tony Daniel where Batman fought the villain that likes to sew skin onto people."

You can read the rest HERE!

Sketch Reviews (October 5 2011)

My work schedule is normally Saturdays and Sundays 8am-8pm along with Wednesdays and Fridays 10am-6pm. This week, they needed me on Monday and Tuesday, so I'm off until Saturday for a nice change of pace... and three straight days of no work. It also meant getting comics on Wednesday. I've done that occasionally after work when my hours were moved up to 8am-4pm, but I haven't gotten then when the store opened in quite some time. Rather nice. So, let's get some sketch reviews out of the way as I have CBR reviews to write...

Animal Man #2: Travel Foreman's art seemed more consistent this time out and I rather like the way Jeff Lemire writes Maxine. She's a creepy little kid. Hell, this comic is creepy as hell. Really digging it. [****]

The Boys #59: Christ... those final pages... Hughie's angry tirade was pretty awesome, too. Nice to see him standing up for himself. But those final pages... not just the writing either. Russ Braun absolutely destroys those pages with the dead, calm look. Wow. [****]

Men of War #2: Not as engaging at the first issue. I really liked the opening of the issue, but the rest never quite got 'there.' I didn't bother with the back-up story this time. [**3/4]

Moon Knight #6: Last issue left me a little uneasy over Echo wailing on Moon Knight how she did and this issue helped that a bit. The Avengers showing up allowed for some pretty good visual gags surrounding Cap, Spider-Man, and Wolverine. I didn't recognise the 'Kingpin.' Should I have? [***3/4]

OMAC #2: I liked this more than the first issue. Maybe my expectations had shifted enough. I went expecting some big dumb action and, when I got it, ate it up. I wasn't sure about adding this to my pull list, but I think I will. Especially considering I got the last rack copy today... shortly after twelve when my store opens at twelve. [***1/2]

Severed #3: The tension was built masterfully with the bear trap scene. Wow. It's not too often I get a little nervous while reading a comic -- but I did here. Wonderful. [****]

Stormwatch #2: This issue was a step up from the first one. Mostly, it was helped by just getting on with everything and not worrying about explanations as much. Or, trying to write faux-Ellis dialogue. I really hate that new Midnighter costume, though. Harry is turning out to be an interesting character. I like the level of backstabbing and bastardness in the team... without it seeming like they hate one another. They just have their own agendas. Glad I came back for this issue after being disappointed with the debut. [***1/2]

Swamp Thing #2: Good villain... waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much fucking exposition. I like the idea of trying to keep everything, even the contradictions, from Swamp Thing's past... but it does make this issue a bit of a chore to read in parts. Second issue and where other books are getting on with it, this one is giving a long history lesson. Paquette handled the horror aspect a bit better this time, I thought -- if only for that panel of the baby/little kid. [***]

I also picked up the trade of the first volume of American Vampire. Only read the first issue and liked it.


CBR Review: X-Men: Schism #5

I recently reviewed X-Men: Schism #5 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "X-Men: Schism was both about the end point and not. The entire premise of the story was the end point of Cyclops and Wolverine each leading two separate groups of X-Men. That was the selling point, so it’s no surprise how this issue ends and that it leads into two dueling X-books: the relaunched Uncanny X-Men and the new Wolverine and the X-Men. Since the conclusion of Schism was known before the first issue shipped, what was the point? What was left for this finale except to pull the trigger on the eponymous schism everyone knew was coming? Like so many things, it’s not the ‘what’ that matters, it’s the ‘how.’ That’s where X-Men: Schism #5 stumbles."

You can read the rest HERE!

Monday, October 03, 2011

CBR Review: Deadpool MAX #12

I recently reviewed Deadpool MAX #12 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "The first ‘season’ of Deadpool MAX draws to a close by killing a large chunk of Cincinnati and cementing the bond between Hydra Bob and Deadpool that’s been building over the course of the title’s first year. Between all of the violence, the horrible childhoods, the gratuitous sex, the damaged psyches, and more mockery of regular Marvel heroes than you’d expect, Deadpool MAX has been telling a simple story of the growing friendship between Bob and Deadpool. Putting behind them the lies, the betrayals, the manipulations, and the almost-killings, the two finally become the best buddy duo they were always meant to be. It’s a shame all it takes is a giant plot to melt people and pin it on Bob for that to happen."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: The Mighty Thor #6

I recently reviewed The Mighty Thor #6 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "The finale of 'The Galactus Seed,' the opening story arc of The Mighty Thor, is an issue of extremes. The actual resolution of the conflict between Galactus and Odin over the Worldheart (aka the MacGuffin) is a bit silly and ill-conceived, while there are some fantastic character moments where both Matt Fraction and Olivier Coipel are at the top of their game. The final experience is a bit of a let down after the story really got going over the past few issues. It would have been nice to see Fraction and Coipel stick the landing; instead, they delivered a few nice scenes and a bunch of disappointing ones."

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CBR Review: New Avengers #16.1

I recently reviewed New Avengers #16.1 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Norman Osborn is back and drawn by Neal Adams; rejoice. In Marvel’s latest ‘point one’ issue, the unexpected pairing of Brian Michael Bendis and Neal Adams happens, bridging the gap between the new era of the Avengers franchise and the old. It’s an odd mixture with both men having such different styles and approaches that, before reading the comic, it was hard to even imagine how Bendis’ decompressed, quirky dialogue-heavy writing style would mesh with Adams’ dynamic, melodramatic art. As it turns out, they mesh quite nicely."

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