Thursday, June 07, 2012

EXCLUSIVE! Chad Nevett's Comic Book Mini-Reviews and Star Ratings for the Week of June 6, 2012

Giant week. At least by my standards. 16 comics, though only 12 are discussed below. Three Avengers vs. X-Men comics will be discussed in this week's "Riding the Gravy Train" post and Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1 will be discussed, possibly, on two different sites. If Brian Cronin and I can get our shit together and begin our weekly discussion series on the project, look for that on Comics Should be Good. And, depending on what happens, some brief words on the pirate back-up will appear elsewhere. Because why not? (UPDATE: That capsule review is up in this week's Spandexless Reads, written/compiled by friend of the blog Alec Berry.) Still. 12 comics is plenty.

Action Comics #10: People went crazy over issue nine (and it was good), but I think this might have been my favourite issue of the series yet. Strong lead that touched on a few different aspects of Superman's life and has a pretty big twist. Even the back-up strip was strong, which is a change of pace as far as I'm concerned. That bit with Superman busting in on the child murderer was fantastic... [****]

Age of Apocalypse #4: There's a danger in this comic of making the human resistance too good at what they're doing. This issue felt a little over-the-top in that regard. At least Lapham is playing into their advantage -- surprise and being able to plan out an attack without the enemy having any recourse but to react as it happens. Still, mutants are so dominant that the resistance needs to suffer a big loss soon, I think. Otherwise, it's less 'underdogs fighting against tyranny' than 'awesome people beating up a bunch of fucking goofs that you can't believe took over the world in the first place.' You know, just like Star Wars. [***]

Animal Man #10: Just... just get to the fucking point, won't you? [Please?]

The Boys #67: Four things. 1) My cover says that this is issue 66. It is not. 2) That stuff with the Legend screaming at his dead, unseen artist at the beginning of this issue is some of the funniest, most cynical comic book metafiction that Garth Ennis has written in this series. The best quote is "Soldier Boy! Stormfront! Webweaver! Starboard! All were mine! Thou didst no more than scrawl thy doodles at my bidding!" Or... the lawsuit bit. He may look like Jack Kirby, but he says fuck you, Kirby. Oh ho ho. 3) "Did I just... pull a Butcher?" HA! 4) I'm not entirely sure what Butcher's endgame is, but... Christ. This is getting big and crazy and... yes, Legend, it will have blood. [****1/2]

The Defenders #7: I rather enjoyed this issue. Fantastic tone, the art was a perfect fit, and the story is really taking shape. I loved the next issue teaser of "MCKELVIE!" [****]

Dial H #2: At some point, this issue lost me a bit. Some fun ideas, but a combination of art that turns me off every chance it gets and storytelling that doesn't really engage makes for a rather lacklustre comic. I may get issue three. I may not. [**]

Fury MAX #3: That ending is chilling. Perfect writing and perfect art. Just looking at the cover right now, it bothers me a little... damn fucking good comic. [****1/2]

Green Arrow #10: This... is not a comic that wants to keep me as a reader. There's just nothing to latch onto here. Maybe, somewhere underneath, there's a good idea, but the execution is just so grating, so slippery and deflective, that I find myself moving forward more out of duty than because I give a fuck. [DONE]

Journey into Mystery #639: Once you get past the first four pages, this is a fairly enjoyable comic. It's not that I dislike lots of narration/prose in my comics, it's that I don't especially enjoy the way that Kieron Gillen writes narration in this comic. It's always on the verge of making me close the book, put it down, and never pick it up again. Thankfully, there's plenty of other stuff he does very well in this comic -- enough for me to press on and try my best to absorb the necessary details. Still... dreary, dull, bad fucking writing. But, hey, the rest of the issue has some nice bits and I love Loki's enthusiasm. [***]

The Mighty Thor Annual #1: I'm currently on hold in my reading of the Clone Saga. I finished volume three the other day and am waiting for to send me volume four. Once that arrives, I can read up through volume four of the Ben Reilly stuff. And, then, it's just waiting for Marvel to release the remaining books. But, anyway, Scrier is a mysterious figure in those comics; an associate of Judas Traveller who also appears to Kane. Why he does anything is unknown. Apparently, he (and Traveller) was the creation of JM DeMatteis, who also wrote this annual, which features... Scrier...? I mean, that's what he's called, but he doesn't look anything like the Scrier of the Clone Saga. This title is on my pull list, so I got the annual and it's actually decent. Some weird bits of dialogue and a plot that's oddly simple and confusing at the same time -- mostly because it's so big that it doesn't actually matter at all. I'm mostly thrown by Scrier being in it. Also, it marks the second Richard Elson-drawn comic of the week. Though, judging by the Thor stuff here, this seems like an inventory issue released now, because... uh... why not? [***]

Secret #2: I... uh... what happened in the first issue again? No. Really. I remember some of what happened, but nothing about characters. Why is it that the comics with the more intricate stories, the one that require you pay close attention and remember a lot are also the ones that come out less frequently? Nonetheless, I like the tone of this comic -- the mood it creates. And that opening was killer. [***1/2]

Winter Soldier #6: I'm a little disappointed that Leonid shaved his beard at the end. I prefer my Russians to have beards. This issue does make me wonder about the future of this book. Once we deal with the third sleeper, what next? Will this always be a comic about cleaning up the Winter Soldier's past or will it also look forward? Will it always look back? Also, another Bucky replacement dies. Being Bucky is a worse gig than being Robin. [***1/2]