Thursday, June 28, 2012

EXCLUSIVE! Chad Nevett's Comic Book Mini-Reviews and Star Ratings for the Week of June 27, 2012

If you didn't notice, Random Thoughts! return this week after five weeks off (only four of which were planned). I've also decided that, going forward, comments will be turned off for that post every week. They're not something I'm interested in when it comes to that weekly column anymore.

Batman, Incorporated #2: An issue that basically gives us the life of Talia and shows how she got to where she is. Part existing material, part new -- what impresses me most about an issue like this is how good Morrison is at crafting a narrative out of, most, one-off panels that sum up an experience or moment so well. Being paired with Chris Burnham doesn't hurt in that regard. Excellent use of communication. [****]

Fatale #6: I already like this arc more than the first one. The tone is more to my liking and works better with the setting. It builds on the first arc, obviously, but also feels more comfortable and more confident in the way it comes across. That Brubaker mentions that this arc has been informed about research he's had for a while no doubt plays a big part in that. This story seems like it's been a long time coming with him. I still can't get enough of the way Phillips draws Josephine. [****]

Hell Yeah #4: Each issue grows a little more confident in style and technique. I still find the pacing a little too brisk in places, but it's falling into a nice rhythm and adding on little mysteries as it goes. The opening was pretty damn good. [***1/2]

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century: 2009: I really loved the exploration of how living forever (or damn near it) can fuck you up. That's, by far, the most interesting thing about this to me. The fictional games are fun, but there's not much to them. Nor is the nostalgia/dislike of the modernity that seems to crop up a lot. The journey of these characters, even just across the three books that make up Century, though, is really engaging and where I connect. The Malcolm Tucker and Bond gags where the only ones that really made an impact on me. Kevin O'Neill remains amazing. I have all of the other books out and think I should reread the whole thing now. [****1/4]

The Manhattan Projects #4: Well, there's a twist that left me completely underwhelmed. Three issues after revealing Oppenheimer to be an evil twin, we get Mirror Mirror Einstein. That's... disappointing. [***]

The Mighty Thor #16: It's difficult to express how underwhelmed and apathetic I am towards this story. Are you sure there isn't a Mare on me? [Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz]

Prophet #26: I can't wait to see what all of this is building to. We've had a few issues of dancing around what's happening, preparing for something, and Brandon Graham drawing this issue himself was a nice treat. It was surprising to see that the focus wasn't a John Prophet and that choice played into Graham's strength well. He draws rather cool looking robots. The Emma Rios back-up was another surprise in that it played into Graham's ongoing narrative a bit. I never know what to expect with this series and that's really great. [****]

Scalped #59: It all builds to that final page... [****1/4]

Spaceman #7: The cuts between Earth and Mars worked better in this issue than any before because, in both locations/times, the focus was on Orson and Carter, and showing that not much has changed necessarily. I've always enjoyed both times/locations, but this is the first issue where they really connected and made the whole issue seem very cohesive. [****]

Spider-Men #2: I wish this was the first issue. This is a much better place to start the story. Take the final few pages of the first issue and put them in front of this and, yeah, you have a much stronger beginning to this story. I enjoyed this issue. Peter freaking out a bit at the different world around him was good -- as was the way that he eventually calmed down and used his brain. I'd like to think that, with all that he's experienced, it would have happened a little quicker, but, still... [***1/2]

The Ultimates #12: Look, let's not kid ourselves: we always knew that Reed Richards was going down. He was the 'villain' of this comic and he was always going to lose. He was. And we knew that. But, that doesn't make it any better to see, especially when it's at the hands of a tumor. In someone else's head. Yeah. That's the second big swing and miss from Hickman for me this week. Hell of a way to say goodbye. [sigh]

X-Men #30: Hey, my shop finally had some copies of this. I didn't see any copies of issue 31, though. Weird. It was okay. This reminded me a little of Warren Ellis's work on Astonishing X-Men and has potential. It didn't really engage me, though. I read it, understood it, put it down, and kind of forgot it. Not a good sign. [**3/4]