Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sketch Reviews (March 21 2012)

Smaller week, so I picked up a couple of recent issues based on some good buzz from some people...

Age of Apocalypse #1: It was pointed out to me that I might dig this and it was alright. The rough-around-the-edges elements worked quite well -- and the art matched the writing's tone. Based on feeling alone, this comic had me. Based on plot... well, I couldn't care less. There doesn't seem to be much of one besides a bunch of sad, deluded people thinking they can make a difference. I automatically want to root against them for some reason... I think I'll check out the next issue or two, though... [***1/4]

Batman #7: If ever there were a series that pulled me in two directions at once... I'm not, in general, a fan of plots that hinge on unknown threats from a character's past or that have always been there but not mentioned. This is no exception. The Court of Owls does nothing to engage me. They exist for no reason that we can see... besides something supposedly big and scary that can 'reveal the truth about Gotham' to Batman (whatever the fuck that means). Except by having them appear out of nowhere, apparently always there, is a cheap way to build them up without having to do the work. I had the same issue with Fear Itself. Except... all they've managed to do is be idiots in dumb masks that seem obsessed with... something? Dick's reaction to the new that his great-grandfather was a Talon ("Who cares?" basically) is mine most of the time. There's almost a sense where I keep waiting for Bruce to just sort of shrug and laugh about the idiots hiding and pretending like they're big and scary while the world goes on without them... But, ignoring all of that, this is an entertaining comic at times. Decent little scenes or moments. This issue not as much, but the issues leading here. In many ways, it's a better comic once you stop paying attention and ignore the specific details, just taking in the atmosphere and broad strokes. Because it's got good atmosphere. [***]

Batman: Odyssey vol. 2 #6: Jesus... what is this comic even about? It's like Neal Adams doesn't even know and is just throwing out whatever he wants... Clark asking about stuff that Bruce skipped over seems less a character moment than Adams smacking his head and going "I can't believe I forgot..." Weird cuts rule this issue. Though, I do like how Alfred seems to side with Ra's al Ghul. That's amusing. My main question: why does Clark have a band-aid on? [***]

Green Arrow #7: This comic has great forward momentum. Every scene just hums along, driving forward, very energetic. Another comic where the plot doesn't matter to me at all, because simply going along for the ride was pretty fun. [***3/4]

Prophet #23: Last issue seemed almost relaxed compared to this. Not quite a 'chase' comic, it comes close. John Prophet just scrambling and driving himself forward no matter the cost or the danger... and then he accomplishes his mission... and none of it feels like a victory. Remarkable. [****]

Uncanny X-Men #9: Along with Avengers: X-Sanction #4 (which I'll hopefully discuss tomorrow in the start of something), the tease for Avengers vs. X-Men pick up before next week's zero issue. Whereas X-Sanction introduces a point of conflict, this is like the last hurrah of everyone being cool and having fun in a good ol' fashioned superhero team-up. I'm glad that Kieron Gillen did this -- and in a way that called back to SWORD logically. Though, minor quibble... those aren't exactly the Avengers. Or are the two teams basically one big team? [***1/2]

Wonder Woman #7: A case of expanding upon the backstory of characters in a manner that feels organic and not necessarily the crux of the story, but a means for the real story to occur. Or maybe I just think Azzarello does it so well that I don't care? It's not a hard and fast rule, it's a preference. I don't like vampires or zombies usually, but that doesn't mean I'm not up for some top notch stuff involving either. Also, I'm a hypocrite. [****]