Smith Michaels: The ReturnPosted: January 24, 2007
So after a month (and then some) I am back. Expect from this week out for me to be regularly contributing back here at Blurred Productions and to produce my weekly comic reviews again. My post-surgery recovery is mostly over and I am fully back at school and work. I hope to, sooner rather than later, to be producing twice my output from last year.
So, to get me back into this whole reviewing thing, I’ve decided to review a stack of comics (from the last couple of weeks) in a sort of stream of consciousness mode.
‘Traditional’ reviews will return next week. So, let’s get on it then!
First off is 52 (WEEKS 37 & 38), which remains slow, ponderous, and kind of boring. All of the twists and turns seem inevitable rather then surprising, and thus leaving me cold. The series seems to continue to be plodding along, even as it supposed to be speeding down hill towards the finale. Of course, after 30+ weeks there’s no jumping off this train for me, so we’ll see where it goes.
Next is, ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN (#104) where Bendis seems to have actually wrapped this arc up in a way that is not a huge cluster-fuck that dislodges the series. Most of the crazy questions are answered and most of the clones are gone (except Spider-Woman, of course). Really the final question is: Brian, where do we go from here?
Both DOCTOR STRANGE: THE OATH (#4 of 5) & SPIDER-MAN LOVES MARY JANE (#14) continued their history of excellence. I fear though when McKeever is gone from MARY JANE and when Doc joins Bendis’ New Avengers.
FABLES (#57) also was excellent, as nearly always. The Michael Allred guest art was an especially nice surprise.
The finale of Denis Mina’s HELLBLAZER (#228) run left me feeling ‘meh’. The arc went on a bit too long, me thinks. Though, it the end it was pretty solid. John is back to his status quo (mostly) and a new element was added to the Hellblazer mythology. Was I expecting more? I don’t know.
BIRDS OF PREY (#102) was a good read but left me with that trademarked ‘middle of a story arc’ emptiness. I wanted more then Simone was able to give me in this post-TBP world.
The Hellblazer meets Britpop PHONOGRAM (#4) was good (especially visually)… but I understood little of it beyond the thematic elements. Perhaps if I slog through the extensive notes in the back then reread the issue I’ll get a better understanding of what the fuck was going on?
I’m not sure what to make of Neil Gaiman’s just-grew-another-issue ETERNALS (#6 of 7). The book has a lot of the stuff I love about Gaiman (the wit, the warmth in some of the characterizations)… but it seems really this series has gone from a Kirby tribute to a strange, strange, strange Civil War tie-in. Really, what the fuck?
CIVIL WAR: THE RETURN is a useless piece of shit. Really was this just made to please the 3.4 people crying for the return of the original Captain Marvel? Was the great unanswered question of Civil War what the Sentry was up to? This is a cash grab is gone wrong.
If you like Jeph Loeb narration and overwrought Wolverine fights you’ll love WOLVERINE #50. I like neither and fucking hated it.
I am not sure what actually to think of SILENT WAR (#1)… the art is so very, very pretty and the plot not too bad (though OF COURSE the government is evil! AND MAKING MONSTERS!!!)… so, I’m on board. At least until issue two.
McDuffie’s first issue of FANTASTIC FOUR (#542) actually manages to make Reed’s crazy-as-fuck actions and explanations in Civil War make sense in light of how the character has been used in the past. My hat is off to McDuffie for giving us the first well written FF issue in nearly three years.
…and that’s it, me thinks. Until next week.