Good Book Readin'!

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

Friday, August 03, 2007

Why would you sleep with a woman who looks like Doctor Doom?

Let's have a look inside my magic sack of comics and see what we'll talk about today! (Ooh, I feel just like Santy Claus . . .)

All right, there's no magic sack of comics. But here's some I done read this week.

Countdown #39 (of what, 0? How does that work again?)

Back-up by Dan Jurgens and Jerry Ordway

What's that you ask? Who did the main story? Doesn't matter, I'm not talking about it. No, no time for that, we have more pressing matters here. This back-up is getting waaayyy too big for it's britches. Yeah, it first it seemed kinda handy; lots of people don't know the full history of the multiverse. However, most of that was quite irrelevant, as that multiverse is not the multiverse of today. Oh, but that's okay, we'll cover today's multiverse as well. Fine. Only, that history just happened. I mean, come on! Anyone who cares already knows! It's ridiculous, even the monitors are telling each other what they already know.

Monitor 1: "Then the worlds split apart"

Monitor 2: "I know, and Mr. Mind bit them."

Monitor 3: "Yes, and that changed them"

Monitor 1: "That's right."

Monitor 39: "Mm hmm."

So that's quite a waste of time. But now, now they're not even telling you the history, they're telling you the, well, now. And not of the multiverse, so much as themselves. And it's still. Boring. With at least two more chapters to go, since they didn't say "To be concluded" at the end. You know what? This is stupid. It wasn't enough for Dan Jurgens to kill Superman in the lamest most grueling possible way, now he wants to do the same to my love of DC comics. What a jerk.

The New Avengers: Illuminati #4 (of 5)

Wrote by Brian Michael Bendis and Brian Reed, Drew by Jim Cheung and pals

Sorry, more than one inker and you become "pals". Anyhow, my feelings about this series are more mixed than a girlie drink. So far one constant remains: it looks phenomenal. Jim Cheung should just draw a Marvel Universe time travel story or something. I'd like to see him draw everything. Ever. Just, maybe, if you could, get someone else to write it. It's weird, there was a time Bendis wrote my favourite comic book going (Alias, by the way), and I was delighted to see him use the Marvel U as his playground. Now I just want him to pack up and go home. Mind you, the first two issues of this were good fun, and nicely fulfilled the promise of the Illuminati's premise by showing us what this ultra-secret group has been doing behind the scenes throughout the years. Then there was a bit of a wait, followed by large dollop of pointless nonsense about the Beyonder being a mutant inhuman or some balderdash. That issue was, in many ways, dumb. This issue less so, but not by quite enough. It starts off with a lot of guy-talk about gals, with some witty, fun dialogue that unfortunately just seems out of place and often quite out of character. But then things pick up, as we visit Noh-Varr (of Grant Morrison's nigh forgotten Marvel Boy miniseries) (which is great) in prison and our heroes try to convince him to be a good guy, maybe even the new Captain Marvel! Which seems unlikely, since the old one has just time traveled to today and is getting his own series. And that causes me to wonder whether this is really such a major moment in Marvel history, as compared to previous issues. I mean, that is the point of the series, right? Then Reed Richard says something nice to his wife in a profoundly retarded way. Wotta maroon.

Elephantmen #10 (or 11, if you read the indicia. Odd.)

By Richard Starkings and Moritat

Is anyone else reading this book? It's quite good.

Justice Society of America # 11

Writed by Geoff Johns, Drawed by Fernando Pasarin and Rodney Ramos

Much as I disapprove of two "chill-out" issues in a row, Johns is delivering some solid backstory for a few of the team's newer members here. Plus there's a chunk of decent bad-guy stopping thrown in for good measure. I miss Dale Eaglesham when he's not here, but Pasarin and Ramos do quite and able job on the art chores. All in all, a satisfying issue of a really good series.

She-Hulk #20

Wroten by Dan Slott and Ty Templeton, Drowned by Rick Burchett and Cliff Rathburn

Things are starting to wrap up as Slott's damn fine run draws to a close. That said, this is easily the weirdest, most confusing issue of the entire series. I quite enjoyed it, but there was more than one point where I wasn't sure if I was meant to know what was going on, if maybe I'd forgotten something, or perhaps it's filling me in? I suppose that's the risk when so much is going on. Be that as it may, I feel well compensated by Man-Thing's squeaky kitty and Shulkie referring to the Ultimate Marvel Universe as the "cosmic equivalent of a hot trophy wife". Sadly, Ultimate Marvel probably took it as a compliment.

Metal Men #1 (of 8)

By Duncan Rouleau

Man, I used to hate Duncan Rouleau. Not no more, I don't. He's really cleaned up his work with nice, sharp lines and thoughtful yet kooky page layouts. It's like a snazzier, jazzier Tim Sale filtered through a less-crazy Chris Bachalo. This is then deftly coloured by Moose Baumann, who seems to be working hard to become my favourite colourist going. He knows when to get fancy and when to keep it low-key, and his colour choices are bang-on. Oh yeah, and Rouleau wrote the thing, too; his first writing gig, if I'm not mistaken. And it's fun, like the Metal Men should oughtta be. There's some mysterious ancient mumbo-jumbo in the prologue, a swell robotic punch-'em-up to get going, a classy origin-style flashback to fill us out, and a twisty, time-travely cliffhanger topping us off. Rouleau handles the characters well, using the team's dynamic quite well while giving us just a taste of new member Copper. I think she's gonna fit in nicely. But his Doc Magnus is the real star, a brilliant yet uncertain man, seen both long before and well after his bouts with mental collapse. Ice off that cake with some delightful early Metal Men prototypes and a charming guest appearance by pre-villainous T.O. Morrow and you've got one of my favourite new books in some time.

Midnighter #10

By Keith Giffen, Chris Sprouse, and Karl Story, respectively

You know, I'm never certain whether getting to know The Authority as actual people is a good idea or not. Sometimes it just seems like they're only real purpose is exciting, over-the-top, blockbustery razzmatazz. Otherwise, what's the point? And so far this series has just been a fun, slightly nutty action book. Neat! So yeah, I was uncertain about the idea of an origin story. These guys should be beyond origins. Well, I might take a little nibble at those words. Characterization, backstory, origins, they may not be appropriate for everybody, but if they're done well then it's hard to be a bad idea. And I gotta say, Giffen's doing it well. I think we're in for a good journey of self-discovery, and some swell action to grease those wheels. And that guy with the flag face, that's classic Giffen. Even when he's not drawing he's avoiding drawing faces. Beautiful. Speaking of drawing, I will admit: Even if Giffen was half-assedly writing a piss-poor story here, I'd keep buying it as long as Sprouse kept drawing it. That guy is amazing. Now if the colourist would just chill out a little. The colours aren't terrible; they're just a bit much. It's clean, simple art, try and complement that.

Spider-Man/Fantastic Four #4 (of 4)

By Jeff Parker, Mike Wieringo, and Wade von Grawbadger

Speaking of over-colouring. That is my only complaint about this book. Super-fun, highly entertaining, this is what every Spidey and/or FF book should try to be. Heck, it's what 94 % of super-hero comics should try to be. Jeff Parker is one of the guys who really remember why we all love this stuff in the first place. And Mike Wieringo, there's a fella who practically bleeds fun. I miss this series already.

20 Comments:

At Sunday, August 5, 2007 at 7:22:00 PM GMT-6, Blogger dave howlett said...

Yeah, those Monitors sure can re-cap stuff that's practically going on right now, can't they? "And then we stood around for twelve or thirteen issues spouting drivel." "We do what we must to protect the Multiverse..." What a load. Mind you, "Final Crisis" is now a thousand times more interesting to me since the creative team was announced, but I can't quite understand why so much boring set-up is involved in the months beforehand.

 
At Tuesday, August 7, 2007 at 3:53:00 AM GMT-6, Blogger Johnathan said...

Still, I hope that in four or five weeks they're like "...and then Dave took off to find the Atom with Jason Todd and Donna Troy while we were flapping our gums." and The Monitor Who Is An Ass does a quick double take and runs out of the room.

 
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