Did I ever tell you I was the only metal that is liquid at room temperature? (Comics Reviews: 8/9)Posted: August 10, 2006
It was a pretty light ship week for comics, so our inaugural weekly reviews feature will start off small. I plan to write up reviews of just about every week (give or take).
A brief note about how I read comics books. I break all the books I read into two piles books to READ and books to SPEED READ. Books that I read are generally titles that I like or am at least interested in. I take my time over them and try to get the full “comic book reading experience” out of the book. Books that I speed read, I read very fast while at work with a technique I’ve developed since I’ve worked in at comic book store. I don’t really get the full experience these for these books but generally are just left with an basic impression. I save this for comics that I feel as a comic book store clerk I should be familiar with.
With that bit of house keeping out of the way, unto the reviews! (SPOILERS AHEAD)
BOOKS I READ
52 #14 — DC’s recent experiment in weekly comic storytelling continues to click along at a good pace. I’m really impressed that DC has been able to keep this book on schedule with a minimum number of mistakes! Good work, DC editorial! Sadly, I can not say that much else about this title is impressing me. Good news is that this issue is a great improvement over let’s-continue-to-shit-on-poor-Ralph edition that we were treated to last week. The least interesting plot (Steel versus growing up) gets a small push forward. The plot I thought in Week 1 (the Question/Renee) that I would enjoy the most, I continue to find increasingly less interesting as the series goes on. Perhaps it’s the Question acting vaguely out of character (I really wish Rucka had stuck closer to the O’Neil version of the character he used so well in Batman/Huntress) or the fact that I haven’t found Rucka’s arc for Montoya interesting since about 3/4 of the way through Gotham Central. I am interested, though, in seeing where they’re going with Magnus/Metal Men arc. Hopefully we’ll see more of Animal Man & Adam Strange next week. RATING: MEH.
Civil War: Front-line #5 — I’ll save my general thoughts on the Civil War event writ-large for it’s own post so I’ll try to contain my snark to just this book. Marvel continues to attempt to make one side of their “balanced” event even more appealing by having them arrest journalists and build prisons in the Negative Zone. Whose side are you on, Paul? Clearly Iron Man’s! *groan* Well, at least the art on the Speedball back up story was quite impressive. And hey, the tying Civil War into the “real world” back-up isn’t patently offensive this issue! Argh. RATING: SHIT
Fables #52 — New storyline begins this issue. Even after more than 50 issues Willingham continues to make this book fantastic just about every month. In this issue a bunch of new characters are introduced. It’s seems that Willingham is trying to expand his cast after writing out two of his main characters in issue 50. The Red Riding Hood/Flycatcher sub-plot continues to amuse. RATING: FUCKING FANTASTIC
Green Arrow #65 — You know, Judd, I support gay marriage and think what the government did to New Orleans was pretty shitty too but you know, I really just want to read a good Green Arrow comic. But, really, what would a Judd Winick written comic book be without heavy handed politics? Possibly good. But hey, Mia’s back and Connor gets a mention. So, it’s not all awful. RATING: TERRIBLE
Superman #655 — One damn enjoyable Superman comic. I like that Busiek seems interested in expanding (or rather returning) Supes’ supporting cast but the Lois/Clark/Lana triangle bores me. Hopefully he goes somewhere else with her. Carlos Pacheco’s art gets even better this issue. Very little to complain about this month, except maybe that if my friend Tyler didn’t own the DC Encyclopedia I don’t know who Arion is. RATING: FANTASTIC
Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #2 — Has it really been a year since the last Ult. Spidey Annual? Wow. Time flies. Anyway, I’ve had a lot of issues with the direction has taken with most of his titles over the last couple years (perhaps those thoughts will get their own post) but it’s books like this annual (and the monthly Ultimate Spider-Man book) that allow me to still consider Bendis a good writer. It’s nice to see Ult. Daredevil sync up a bit better with the Rucka/Carey Daredevil from his mini-series of yore than he did in Bendis Ultimate Marvel Team-Up. My only complaint with this issue is that artist Mark Brooks’ faces are still… odd (though improving from his previous work) and that it seems that Bendis kills off certain characters just because they were killed off in the non-Ultimate Universe. Looking forward to when Bendis follows through on the threads planted in this issue. RATING: FANTASTIC
Ultimate X-Men #73 — It’s nice to see this book, under Brian K. Vaughan and now Robert Kirkman, has virtually moved away from the KEWL HARDCORE X-Men established when Mark Millar launched this book. It’s exciting to read solid X-Men stories with a twist each month. This storyline continues to entertain. Looking forward to it’s conclusion next issue. RATING: GOOD
Beyond #2 — I read this when it was one of Marvel’s special-comic-shop-preview-books last week so my memory of it is a bit faulty. None the less, Dwayne McDuffie’s neo-Secret War continues to be an enjoyable read. Solid enough art too. RATING: GOOD
BOOKS I SPED READ
Martian Manhunter #1 — Missed the preview of this in Brave New World (that book came out during my lovely two week vacation) but Comic Book Blogger Hero Brian Cronin recommend it, so I thought, “Why not?” Sadly, Brian was wrong. This book was terrible. I felt that the plot and villains were rehashed. Doesn’t have other martians undermine poor Martian Manhunter’s premise? Terrible book. RATING: UTTER SHIT
That’s it for for this week, I do believe. If I missed anything, expect a latter post.