Good Book Readin'!

Here is were I will be reviewing a variety of comic books in my own inimitable style. Which hopefully is good.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mary -- Please stop climbing on the seven deadly enemies of man. Thank you.

All righty, it's been a while, but as Rachelle's asked me to help pick up her slack while she's on tour, I'll try 'n' dust off the old reviewing keyboard. Which is encrusted with filth, let me tell you. Well, here goes. These are some comics I just read the other day:

Silver Surfer: Requiem #2 (of 4)

By J. Michael Straczynski and Esad Ribic

Straczinski's utter lack of a sense of humour isn't the problem here. It's his highly irrational conviction that he's got a great sense of humour. I already knew this, but had honestly thought this series would be hampered more by his tendency to be a pretentious blowhard. I mean, come on, the Silver Surfer tends to be a bit of a windbag himself sometimes. But somehow the two cancelled each other out just enough to make the first issue a tolerable read. Aside from a flimsy excuse for the Surfer to be dying: "Yes, it seems your power cosmic granted you by one of the most powerful beings ever, who predates our entire universe and is beyond almost all human comprehension is irreparably wearing out after, oh, ten, maybe twenty years? Tops? How long have you been doing this again?" Yeah, anyhow, if you buy into that, it's okay. Until Spidey shows up. And he just flaps his stupid gums for twenty-odd pages like he's got Tourette's syndrome. What a knob. Oh well, I'm only buying this for the art anyhow, which is gorgeous. Ribic's stuff is great, kind of realistic with a flair for the fantastic, think of Alex Ross way back when, before he lost the magic and all his heroes started looking down on me with contempt as though I just wet my pants in the 7th Grade (which, by the way, was totally not my fault).



Super-Villain Team-Up: M.O.D.O.K.'s 11 #1 (of 5)

Written by Fred Van Lente, penciled by Francis Portela, inked by Terry Pallot

All right, so they had trouble choosing a title. I won't begrudge 'em, on account of this book is terrific fun. A bunch of second-through-fourth rate Marvel villains are brought together for a big heist by the big head himself. I'm pretty much sold right there, but to back it up is some nice, solid artwork from a couple of guys I've never heard of before. Lurking somewhere between Steve McNiven and Clayton Henry, Portela and Pallot serve up a delightful looking smorgasbord of Super-Villain Team-Uppery indeed. This book also stands alongside other recent minis like Union Jack and the nigh-forgotten Spider-Man: Breakout for not just using obscure villains but using them well. Not as jokes, "Look at me, I dress like a goof and have a dumb name, ha-ha-ha", but as actual characters and/or threats who happen to live in a world where people do dress like goofs and often have dumb names to boot. That's the fun. So go read this book, M.O.D.O.K.'ll thank you for it.


M.O.D.O.K. - Mobile Organism Designed Only for Killing.
Shown here killing an ice cream.


The Programme #1 (of 12)

By Peter Milligan and CP Smith

This one I'm not sure about yet. I think I like it. The idea seems pretty cool, and I almost always enjoy Milligan's work. I just hope things clear up a little bit. Maybe that's just the art, which does have some neat shots and at times achieves a nice Sean Phillips-y vibe, but more often seems vague, cold and flat. Smith's got talent, though, and I like his work a lot more now than I used to, so this book gets the benefit of at least a few more doubts.

Captain America # 28

By Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting, and Mike Perkins

Great, as usual. Plus, the Eel shows up. I love that guy!

Justice League of America #11

By Brad Meltzer and Gene Ha

A bit of a cool-down after the break-neck thrill ride of the last few issues. Not amazing, but good, and elevated by Gene Ha's spectacular artwork. He's trying something a little different here, really roughing his stuff up, and it works really well. That guy draws like 7 maniacs and a looney tune.

Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil #4

By Jeff Smith
A wonderful conclusion to a fantastic miniseries. It certainly makes the otherwise passable Trials of Shazam look like a big pile of rotten stinkfish. I don't know what the hell Smith's gonna do to follow this one up. Hopefully a sequel, there's certainly plenty of the Captain Marvel mythos left for him to play with. The book is just so very much fun; in a way few others are these days. Totally kid-propriate, but not a simplistic as most Johnny DC or Marvel Age series. There's a very strong children's book flavour, as evidenced by the Maurice Sendakian big-head-little-hands physique on Billy, Mary, and even Sivana. And it's action packed, with a double-page spread I would love to see made into a poster. I'm pretty much gonna stop now, because I could keep vomiting praise all over this book for days, but there is one tiny nit for me to pick. They finally reveal the Monster Society Secret Code (a basic alphabetic sequence inversion), for those of you who hadn't figured it out, and proceed to misuse it on the very same page when you decode the final secret message:

TGE END


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