Bought/Thought 20/02/08

There's actually a cool backstory behind it. And that's just what I call him. 'Cause I'm a clever namer of things.
 
I'll take your word for it.
You shouldn't. You should pick up the trades, or even flip through them, starting with the first, and ending around the time Bedard comes onboard. More on that below, good sour fruit.

Like the Hyperion issues, which were brutal and amazing.
I'm assuming the Hyperion issues you're referring to are Bedard's. I think of those as a mixed bag. Were they brutal? Well, yeah. Did they do much of anything with the characters I really cared about? If I remember correctly, without pulling the issues out of my box, I'm thinking Mimic had a really allbadass moment. But Namora, and Holocaust, whatever. Holocaust on the team was a giant chunk of stinking crap, as bad as their visit to the AoA reality, just to try and sell the craptastic AoA return that was written. 10th Anniversary my rear. More like a final nail in the coffin of my beloved Age of Apocalypse.

But I digress. The Hyperion issues I really liked were the ones that came before Bedard touching the book. I know the last couple were written by Austen, but I don't remember if they all were. To be completely accurate, the ones with one-armed Gambit, with Magik, and Hyperion's grand plan to make a team he could rule all with. It was the showdown of the Exiles and Weapon X, if I remember correctly.

THAT was all kinds of awesome.

I really disliked Bedard's run on the book, pretty much all of it. It was too long, and he really seemed to have gotten bored of it by the end. The Morph and Mimic things were unforgivable. The "medieval" arc was relatively fun, at least.
 
I thought he started slow, hit a really cool stride with a lot of interesting new elements, and then sputtered out at the end.
 
I don't give him that much. I didn't like most of what he introduced. The Crystal Palace wasn't needed, the bugs weren't needed. I liked the butler Timebroker. :(

I wanted him to serve me hot chocolate.
 
I read Iron Man, Mighty Avengers and the Hulk back to back. Lots of Tony Stark this week.
 
I was shocked to not only find myself enjoying the story, but also enjoying the artwork. Bagley's good, but damn. The art here was flat out awesome.
 
The art was nice, but I didn't like the three splash pages.
 
Hot damn, I skip a day and all of a sudden the B/T is up to Page 5. Some good reviews, as well as a lot of angsting about Rucke leaving CHECKMATE, and Loeb's suckitude on HULK. In my defense, I've known Loeb has been stinking since he went Marvel exclusive and have found myself avoiding his work. The fact that he writes what may be the worst Ultimate book of all time was a good sign. I avoided HULK #1 because I already buy enough and aside for the spiffy art, looks like I was justified.

As to what I actually bought this week, it was all pretty solid, actually. A few late titles show up and there's some other stuff happening as well. As always, full spoilers ahead.

Dread's BOUGHT/THOUGHT for 2/20/08:

UMBRELLA ACADEMY #6:
The first mini of this great new Dark Horse property comes to a conclusion, but as the letters page notes, a second mini should be due out "by the end of the year", which I see as last quarter '08 or so. This is easily the best comic franchise written by a rock star, and would be solid even without that detail. To describe the manic whimsy in a review is very difficult, but I can say that this issue was a bit more straight-forward. Vanya, now superpowered by music, is performing her "Apocalypse Suite" to destroy Britain & the world, after having just trashed their HQ and killing the chimp scientist Dr. Pogo. The rest of the Academy is out to stop her. Some old wounds about their childhood with the alien Hargreeves are brought up and there is a lot of violence and quirky lines. It is a satisfying conclusion to this mini and naturally leaves plenty of room for more to come with the property. Way & Ba' have created an instant hit that managed to sell within the Top 100, hell the Top 80 and better, for the entire run, which is great for a Dark Horse book (if not as hot as BUFFY naturally). I've enjoyed this series entirely and those who "trade-waited", the trade is due out later in the year and I recommend nabbing it. That way you can anticipate more eagerly with the rest of us.

INVINCIBLE #48: Late comics suck, especially when they involve "probably the best superhero comic in the universe". Image has been trying to promote issues #50-51 and they have had to push those back from Jan. to Feb. and so on due to the schedule; as Kirkman himself admits, things have gotten off the rails and they struggle to produce 10-11 issues a year. Still, though, devoted fans are loving this series and I am one of them, and after this issue finished I could see where the "earth shattering" arc leading up to #50-51 is going. Mark, Will, and Rick go out for a manly night of bowling and Rick starts to fall apart, still emotionally shattered by his experience of being kidnapped by Sinclair and turned into a cybernetic Reaniman. Meanwhile, Doc Seismic launches his grandest scheme yet, organizing an army of underground creatures to attack and then capture just about EVERY known superhero in the little Image Kirkman-iverse, including the teams from Dynamo 5, Capes, Savage Dragon & his pals, Brit, and Wolf-Man & Zechariah from AW-M. As well as the Global Guardians. Invincible & Atom Eve are forced to unite despite the recent hassles in their relationship to launch a rescue, but even they aren't enough for the task. Meanwhile, Cecil visits Mrs. Grayson and admits he knows that Oliver has started to gain superpowers and has even helped Mark on occasion, and he feels miffed that she didn't inform them immediately. Mrs. Grayson feared the boy would be whisked away to training or pressured into the superhero biz when she wants him to not engage in such danger at his young age. It has been a while since Invincible was TKO'd by a threat so it was shocking that Seismic's monsters were able to do so. Granted, the Earth's "monsters" have often been tough enough to give Mark issues, even as recently as a few issues ago when he needed Anyssa the Viltrumite woman to kill one. Wolf-Man and Zechiriah get in a quick team-up, but they are unable to turn the tide. Considering the bimonthly nature of WOLF-MAN even when it is on time, it was cool seeing him show up. But, yeah, I can see where this is going, especially by the cover to issue #49. With all the U.S. and, heck, the planet's superheroes captured, Cecil unleashes his Reanimen to bail them out, and naturally that is when Mark will find out that Sinclair is working for the government, and take issue (to say the least). The series has stated how comfortable Mark has gotten in working with them, to the point where he finds college pointless, and this naturally be a wake-up call that he will need to become more independant and self-sufficent. I imagine that it could split the superheroes a bit too, since I imagine not all of them would approve of giving a wack-job like Sinclair a gig just because he can build cyborgs for the U.S. It is in character for Cecil to do, as Omni-Man is the ultimate example of placing too much trust in a superhero for him. Still, even if I can see what is coming, or believe I can, that doesn't make it bad; Kirkman will naturally add details I don't expect and the fallout should be gorey. The letters column also notes that action figures may be upcoming, and that Shrinking Ray is indeed dead. Poor little fella wasn't even mourned by the Guardians with half the vigor that Dupli-Kate was (and she wasn't even dead). He's the Spoiler of the Guardians (being that she was the Robin that Batman doesn't mourn nearly as much as Jason Todd, who isn't dead anymore). This is my favorite superhero comic right now and while the lateness is annoying, it doesn't put me off (plus, it isn't nearly as late as some other titles I could mention; we at least got issues within this year before this one). Ottley's art is great and Crabtree's always the man on colors, they're so symbolic and one with Invincible that I couldn't imagine the book without them, even if Corey Walker is still creditted as a co-creator. Hopefully the wait for #49 won't be so long.

IMMORTAL IRON FIST: ORSON RANDALL AND THE GREEN MIST OF DEATH: God damn, with a title that long, you'd think it was an X-Men project. Hah! This is an annual-esque one shot that naturally explores the relationship between Danny Rand's deceased mentor and former Iron Fist Orson Randall, and his new ally, the Prince of Orphans, John Aman. As some eagle eyed posters noted a few months ago, John is actually a revived Golden Age hero that Fraction & Brubaker unearthed to serve in their Tournament of Heaven, who naturally turns into a green mist. Fraction writes this solo and in an interview Brubaker mentions how Fraction actually does the majority of the work for the series and gives him most of the credit for it at this stage. At first, John was chasing after Randall for stealing some magic coins from K'un L'un as well as other assorted crimes of not performing his duties as Iron Fist. These adventures take them from the city to the ol' West to even Dr. Frankenstien's laboratory with art from Allred & Co, Heath, Hollingsworth and others. The artist changes from each ventue to give it it's own style for that segment. After Orson tells John to connect the dots vs. being an assassin following orders, John actually listens and befriends Orson, leading to where he is now, acting as an agent of The Thunderer and the cabal that wants to change the government of K'un L'un. As a seperate one-shot, it helps fill in the backstory on these characters without interupting the action of IIF right now, which is perfectly fine. You can choose to skip it if you want and not spoil the story in the ongoing, but if you do buy this, it helps add to the details, which is where the devil is sometimes. I'd argue you get a lot of story for $3.99 here, but that could be bias because I like IRON FIST so much. I could imagine Orson's past adventures becoming old hat if written about too much, but we haven't reached that point yet so this sort of thing is perfectly welcome. After all, legacies kind of need that sort of thing to work and Orson makes for a decent past Iron Fist for Rand to follow from. IRON FIST's really benifitted from the imagination of Brubaker & Fraction (or should it be the other way around?) and while it doesn't sell like it deserves, it has a small but loyal following and should last quite a while. This is how to do relaunches right without simply repeating the past, but improving upon it.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #9: With Bagley onboard for this arc it almost seems weird to get a timely MA again. I suppose the first thing to say is that I had been angsting about Bendis doing a Dr. Doom story for ages now and so far at least, this issue wasn't nearly worth that sort of venom. Not that it couldn't go horribly wrong next issue or so on, but at least for now the comic is perfectly servicable. That is likely because most of it is an action sequence, which plays to Bagley's strengths. Heck, 4 pages are simply splashes of the Avengers tearing apart Doom's robot army and smashing down one of his giant statues; perhaps an homage to the Fall of Saddam? After all, the Avengers have been led here beliving that Doom just launched a weapon of mass destruction upon the U.S. (NY in particular), and while it was his weapon, he didn't launch it willingly; someone hacked his systems and did it while he was away on a time-travel tryst with Morgane LeFey. Y'know, going to war on false pretenses and all that? I could be wrong, but we've seen these types of allegory stories for 5 years now and they become easy to spot. At the very least, with Bush a lame-duck, Dems in control of Congress and Obama all but set up as President of 2009, there's no Anti-Republican Propaganda to spoil the story so far, so it works out mostly. The idea of Dr. Doom going back in time to sleep with LeFey as well as learn her magic spells kind of works, although between this and Dr. Strange's bedroom scene with Night Nurse I am just about full of Bendis' notion that superhero scenes should be shot like scenes from DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. Doom also never refers to himself as "Doom" the entire issue and for the life of me I don't know why he left his time-machine on during the attack. If that was hacked like his satellite was and that is revealed next issue, that is fine, but if not, that's horribly sloppy. Ares' idea of "war god tactics" still amount to cliches from a Micheal Bay movie, but like I said, it works because it is mostly action. Doom immediately sends out robots to outnumber them 10-to-1 before Iron Man bursts in. There is some attempt to link the men due to their usage of similar armor and the battle is even until Doom unleashes "the magic" (ugh) and Sentry swoops in to save Stark's ass. As always, he basically fails as the three of them are now lost in time. Really, Sentry has the worst track record ever. He fails in everything he tries to do, basically. The thought balloons aren't so bad and Bendis is able to put his stop-gap dialogue on hold for the issue. Iron Man & Doom wind up in the "pop art" past and while I know this has been done to "re-create" old time coloring from back in the 60's-80's, I believe it is worth noting that back when coloring WAS that simple, it didn't take as long to color a book as to pencil it and the advancement of coloring is a large factor as to why books are getting later and later. I'm not saying, let's scrap modern coloring technology for speedier, old style dots, but I am saying that is something we should think about before we arrogantly laugh at the past and so on. Anyway, so, the Doom battle went off better than I thought it would, for now, and MA is still the better of Bendis' two Avengers books. Oh, and I am glad Wonder Man gave up his 80's jacket look; seriously, what WAS Cho thinking!? The question is whether Bendis can keep it up before he, well, writes like Bendis.

RUNAWAYS #29: What once was a "6 month arc" may now drag out to a full calendar year before completion, and I literally forgot that issue #28 came out. Upon my first read, I went through the recap page and it all sounded alien; had I missed an issue? I found it and reread it at home, and so this one made more sense. But then I recalled when issue #28 came out; 10/10/07. More than 4 entire months ago. Nothing takes the wind out of the sails of a serial storyline more than a gap between installments; that is why Fox's 24 is played straight-through, and why others like HEROES try to limit the rerun weeks. And issue #28 had been about 1-2 months late in itself if I recall. Much like AXM, this is a perfectly fine adventure story that would be much easier to enjoy had it shipped in a timlier manner, rather than slower than time itself. This title has gone from the speedy nature of BKV & Alphona (and whatever rare fill-in artist employed, like Norton or Miyazawa) to becoming a book that is almost on the verge of being the Millar & Hitch ULTIMATES, letting a length of time equalivent to a quarter of a year pass between issues. It is a shame because while Whedon is unable to match the act he is following, this is a stronger story for RUNAWAYS than his AXM story was for the X-Men, as the kids hadn't been stuck 100 years in the past before (whereas the X-Men had battled their own Danger Room, as well as aliens, about 400 times before AXM came along), or, heck, had met Kingpin or Punisher before. He also has recreated Vaughan's habit of creating quirky characters besides the stars for the arcs, but this arc seems on quirk-overload. There are SO many side characters that the Runaways almost are burried and you need to re-read the whole thing at least twice to get everyone straight. Which I guess is alright, some writers like doing that, writing stuff that can be reread and all that. Plus, not only has this title become a rarity, it is no longer my "Marvel rock" series. Off the top of my head I can think of 5 titles I enjoy from Marvel more than this (AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE, CAPTAIN AMERICA, THOR, THE ORDER, IMMORTAL IRON FIST) and naturally a few othes from DC & Image. This may have happened had BKV remained for another arc, but we'll never know now. Anyway, in this issue the three cabals of "Wonders", the Street Arabs (where our Runaways are alligned), the Sinners (who are kind of their bosses) and the Upward Path (god-fearing cop-types who seem to be the product of too many viewings of HELLSING or STEAM DETECTIVES) get into a big brawl. Chase had stolen the Yorkes' time machine and they struggle to build another. The new plant-girl is disturbed at seeing Karolina & Xavin have lesbian lip-lock, and Molly is naturally just as oblivious as the other two that in 1907, that would have been a perfectly natural reaction. Hell, if a woman showed her bare ankle, that was akin to porn back then. Nico continues to be magically tortured by her ancestor, who does so in the name of wanting to keep her bloodline strong (as she knows Nico is her decendant). And Victor is still caught between the red-head and the mechanical winged guy. Yeah, I don't care enough to remember their names anymore. I did like the Sinners' gunslinger who apparently has the power to NEVER miss, not unlike PREACHER's Saint-of-Killers. The only problem with such a power is it makes someone effectively unbeatable without careful writing. Everything concludes next issue and after that it will be Terry Moore & Ramos, a run I am not looking forward to. The next issue may actually be my last. In 2006 that would have seemed impossible. Undoing Gert's death, I might add, would be the most fanboyish of fanboy moves and I hope neither Whedon or Moore do so. Still, we can see why Ryan never did more than 2-3 issues of NEW EXCALIBER at a time without a fill-in and Whedon continues his practice of "pulling a Millar" when it comes to picking the slowest art team in creation, no matter the people or project.

Perhaps this is time to bring up a related aside, DC having announced that they are literally putting in page requirements on artists as part of their contracts as a way of trying to light fires under slow fingers to get timlier books. Once again, it seems that DC is at least trying to confront the problem of chronic lateness in comics head-on, while Marvel adopts a "what, me worry" approach to it and either pretends it doesn't exist or bring up stuff like DKR or WATCHMEN as justification, as if all the stuff written now is comparable. The problem is, though, that when it comes to results, DC's attempts to fix the problems have both irked fans and lost sales, and Marvel's "tut, tut, whatsamatta?" routine has kept them atop of DC 11 months out of 12 a year, and often effortlessly, in sales. Fans didn't like filler arc between high-profile arcs and they probably won't like fill-in art mid-issue. Late books may be one of those things, like OMD, that fans whine a big game about but don't back up with dollars; AXM is a top 10, 100+k seller whenever it comes out, whether it is 6 times a year or 4. Of course, a book like RUNAWAYS doesn't sell in that caliber and I fear by the time Whedon leaves, the book will be nearly where it was by BKV's run and will be one arc from cancellation. Will that be for the best?

THE ORDER #8: Officially a dead book walking, this book is done by issue #10. Fraction's story is he left willingly, feeling the story wasn't up to par and having been offered a "guarenteed hit" IRON MAN title. The reality is the book had slid from the Top 100 and would have been cancelled by issue #12 or sooner regardless, so the riddle is whether Fraction jumped before he was pushed or not. And issues like this show what an ungodly shame that is. Muholland Black gets the intro and naturally we learn she was the orphaned lovechild of drugged-out grunge groupies, but she was also a post-M-Day depowered mutant who was simply "re-powered" by the Initiative for THE ORDER, to a degree. She's still not my favorite on the cast but I understand her better than I did, which is always good. We also learn the truth about the M.A.N. from S.H.A.D.O.W., in that they are all robots of the same 50-years-dead guy, and that the group trying to destroy the Order is run by the son of his infamous enemy, Obadiah Stane, which is a great twist in the plot. Of course, given who some toys have noted is the villain of the IRON MAN movie, it may be in Marvel's interests to dust off the ol' Stane name, which is fine by me. But the highlight of the issue is easily Milo & Aralune "merging" to survive their desert ordeal, a situation that not only seems to make them lovers, but cures Milo of being crippled. There's nothing about that sequence that doesn't scream "bad-ass". The Black Dahlias also learn that Muholland Black isn't nearly as helpless as they though even with SPIN-tech seemingly depowering her, although I am unsure of how exactly the end bit works. SPIN-tech is designed specifically to depower a set superhuman's genome, but inserting that into her (and as well as torturing her) re-triggered her mutant powers again. I bought the scene, but there could be some completist who may not. The series is gearing for big showdown to end the last two issues with a bang and that sounds pretty cool to me. It also may be possible that we'll see some of The Order in Fraction's Iron Man book as side-characters. I mean, why not? No worries of continuity if they are your own characters. Neary helps Kitson on finishes but it looks just as pretty as it always does. I'll be sorry to see this series end, as it has become my favorite team book at Marvel, but at least Fraction is ending it his way, vs. trying to desperately chase events like some fans wanted ("Oooh, maybe Heavy is a Skrull!" Dear god, no). That never works. Hopefully this series will be rediscovered by those who missed out in trade/HC. As usual, 22 pages of underappreciated superhero goodness. Such a shame the direct market hates new characters so much.
 
Last, but not least:

TERROR, INC. #5: A little late itself, this MAX series starring Marvel's coolest rotting zombie hitman comes to a close, and in a way Terror really works for the MAX imprint, with the heavy bit of gore required for his powers. His magic arm owned by his now-insane ancient lover, and Terror himself being corrupted by the bastard whose parts he is using, to the point where Ms. Primo has to nearly kill herself to get Terror back in the game. In the end the "arm" essentially chooses Terror as the host for the curse, and the threat is averted. This was a dark but still oddly fun series that I enjoyed a bit and I hope Lapham & Zircher can reunite for another. Given Terror's low sales, even for a MAX imprint, though, I doubt it. I could see TERROR, INC being good material for a director whose true love is gore and horror, but likes action movies as a hobby. Anyway, a rare hit, in terms of quality, from Marvel MAX. Still, DC's Vertigo has nothing to worry about yet.
 
I was shocked to not only find myself enjoying the story, but also enjoying the artwork. Bagley's good, but damn. The art here was flat out awesome.

It was.
Brilliant stuff from a great, reliable artist.

I'm gutted he is off to DC ..... I don't buy ANY DC comics.
 
Dread's BOUGHT/THOUGHT for 2/20/08:

UMBRELLA ACADEMY #6:
The first mini of this great new Dark Horse property comes to a conclusion, but as the letters page notes, a second mini should be due out "by the end of the year", which I see as last quarter '07 or so. This is easily the best comic franchise written by a rock star, and would be solid even without that detail. To describe the manic whimsy in a review is very difficult, but I can say that this issue was a bit more straight-forward. Vanya, now superpowered by music, is performing her "Apocalypse Suite" to destroy Britain & the world, after having just trashed their HQ and killing the chimp scientist Dr. Pogo. The rest of the Academy is out to stop her. Some old wounds about their childhood with the alien Hargreeves are brought up and there is a lot of violence and quirky lines. It is a satisfying conclusion to this mini and naturally leaves plenty of room for more to come with the property. Way & Ba' have created an instant hit that managed to sell within the Top 100, hell the Top 80 and better, for the entire run, which is great for a Dark Horse book (if not as hot as BUFFY naturally). I've enjoyed this series entirely and those who "trade-waited", the trade is due out later in the year and I recommend nabbing it. That way you can anticipate more eagerly with the rest of us.

Last quarter '07? So Number 5 is gonna travel back in time and write it or something?:cwink:

Also, was it ever stated that they were in Britain? I don't recall that...
 
Umbrella Academy #6 - Great finish.A real page turner with some nice Ba art.I like how the [BLACKOUT]apocalypse [/BLACKOUT]actually came and there was nothing that could really be done to stop it.

Brave and the Bold #10 - Whoa wait a second,Silent Knight is one of Hawkman's previous incarnations.That would make him an ancestor of Johnathan Kent then?Anyways,as usual with this book,I skimmed thru it to take in the art first.This title is packed with so much dialog and action on each page that it hurts my head,but I don't mind.

Iron Man #26 - Yea,as much as I love Fraction,forget the other IM book,this is the one you need to be reading.The showdown with Mandy was some great payoff with some gorgeous DLT art.Tony is so goddamn heroic and selfless in this book,I love it.You're missing out on one of marvel's best if you're not reading this.

Hulk #2 - Huge step up from issue 1.Lots of smashing and some really great spreads by McG."Meat-headedness" runs rampant all the way thru plus more hilarious dialog.I like the cartoony approach Loeb and McG are taking with this book,I hope the delays don't hurt it too much.

IIF: Orson Randall and the Green Mist #1 - So this is the same guy who wrote the great issue about the pathetic life of a C-list villain last week?Fraction's ability to really jump from genre to genre is really impressive.This book oozes of pulp madness and I love it.I was worried that the whole story of John Aman would get lost among all the various ideas that Fraction packed into here.The rel'p between John and Orson really takes center stage though showing how they went from enemies to allies.IIF is everything comics should be.

Incredible Hercules #114 - So would it really hurt to actually show Hercules in panel kicking ass from time to time?I mean it is his name on the cover and all but he's starting to feel like a supporting character in his own book.
 
Ares' idea of "war god tactics" still amount to cliches from a Micheal Bay movie, but like I said, it works because it is mostly action.
I think that's perfectly in character; mythologically speaking, Ares just liked to run around and kill things; Athena was the war god who was big on planning.
We also learn the truth about the M.A.N. from S.H.A.D.O.W., in that they are all robots of the same 50-years-dead guy, and that the group trying to destroy the Order is run by the son of his infamous enemy, Obadiah Stane, which is a great twist in the plot. Of course, given who some toys have noted is the villain of the IRON MAN movie, it may be in Marvel's interests to dust off the ol' Stane name, which is fine by me.
...
It also may be possible that we'll see some of The Order in Fraction's Iron Man book as side-characters. I mean, why not?
Ezekial has already been solicited as the main villain of Fraction's first Iron Man arc (and the preview images have Pepper/FauxOracle), so I think the odds of some crossover are good (Pepper, obviously, and Henry also has a strong background connection to Stark).
 
Last quarter '07? So Number 5 is gonna travel back in time and write it or something?:cwink:

Also, was it ever stated that they were in Britain? I don't recall that...

I editted the typo.

I presumed they lived in Britain. I could be wrong.

I think that's perfectly in character; mythologically speaking, Ares just liked to run around and kill things; Athena was the war god who was big on planning.

I know, but in MA Ares is on the verge of becoming a one-note gag character, and that may be wearing thin.

CaptainCanada said:
Ezekial has already been solicited as the main villain of Fraction's first Iron Man arc (and the preview images have Pepper/FauxOracle), so I think the odds of some crossover are good (Pepper, obviously, and Henry also has a strong background connection to Stark).

Yeah, Pepper was Stark's supporting character so I expected some sort of carry-over. Ezekial Stane should make for a good threat.
 
Angel: After the Fall #4
Heh. Brian Lynch is funnier than I thought he'd be. Spider, and Groo, and even Wesley with the lines! Very good issue, with lots of good dialogue and good characterizing. Didn't skimp on the action either, what with Gunn blowing sht up in what I have to admit was a pretty cool moment, even for a lamely-evil guy.

What to say? This is very much a transitory issue building up to the finale; all the big reveals have been revealed and all the cards are basically laid out on the table, and now it's just a matter of dealing with those things and heading for that finish.

Lorne comes across as the best rendition of a preexisting character that Urru has drawn yet, to date. Possibily because his design is pretty hard to screw up as far as a comicbook art style goes. The art has grown on me, I have to admit.

(8.8 out of 10)


Runaways #29
Ahh, racial epitaphs. When Whedon wants to be not subtle about something, he can be pretty not subtle about it. Anyway, his strengths are all strong, here. The dialogue is a joy to read as always and what baby dialogue wants to be when it grows up. Every character comes across well, with some really choice moments of Karolina, Xavin, and Molly. And ho-bag. Robots are affected by pheremones, now? Let's just say yes.

Still, this would probably be the first issue that I felt hasn't been truly worth the wait. I simply have to question the wisdom of wasting three whole pages replete with a dozen panels on the deaths of two subcharacters. I just couldn't bring myself to care. It's going to be difficult to get anyone to care about anyone when you got upwards of twenty characters per arc struggling for limelight (though that splash page of the battle near the end forgives a lot), much less people that you're narratively not supposed to care about in the first place. I just have a very hard time dealing with decompression in any form, especially when we're almost at the end of the story aka out of space (even though this entire arc has pretty much been a study in whatever the opposite of decompression is).

We'll see how it ends. I imagine Chase showing up with a big 'ol time travelly device pretty soon in the next issue.

(7.3 out of 10)


Wonder Girl #6
And Cassie's lil' adventure ends. If you're wondering if we get any clue about the identity of the god-killer from this book, or even if this title had fck-all impact on the events of Countdown or vice versa as it was solicited to, the answer is very no. There's really no need to read either series to understand the other, and neither even affects the other in any way. In spite of that -- or maybe even because of that -- I generally enjoyed this series. It showed a very good knowledge of Cassie as a character, far moreso than any other written version of her in the past three years has, and a competent and easy-to-follow storyline focused on several facets of the DCU, its mythology, and Cassie's history.

The bad part, and there's simply no other way to put this, is that the art looks like someone took normal-looking people and then punched them for three days straight. To call it "a bit too stylized" is to call Nazis "a bit too evil." Most of the times you're going to be counting if the characters have five fingers or not. The inker and the colorist seem to have no idea what to do with this, and to be honest part of the problem may lie with them as well.

So what we end up with is a decent book marred by several unavoidable factors, one being that Wonder Girl is 90% an irritating character in 90% of the DC titles right now, and two being the art. Was it worth it? I'd say so, though I admit I'm being charitable. Torres has basically done quite good with something that fought him every step of the way.

(7.2 out of 10)
(6.8 out of 10 for the whole series)


The Brave and the Bold #10
Huh...the stories this month are quite good for what they are, and "what they are" are standalone stories that are sort of cool and fun, colorful explorations of the characters in question. Superman in an old Prince Valiant-esque publication, and Aquaman fooling around with the teenagers. When isn't that fun? Never, that's when.

The problem, if you can even call it that, is that the "main plot" so to speak of the Book of Destiny is pretty...thin...at this point. Mentions of Megistus, whatever the heck he is, and scenes of the Challengers dealing with the book feel almost forced. The standalones are good, but they are standalones. Without the broader plot, this books becomes "let's throw Perez and Waid somewhere and make bright colors and pretty words." Which is fine, sure, but let's get something else onboard as well.

(7.7 out of 10)
 
Apparently it was half of a story that Loeb wanted to tell but couldn't. That may have factored into it.

What about Hulk #2 didn't make sense to you?

I wanted to think about this a little, because I didn't want to give you a kind of crap, pat answer. I tend not to think about these things too much ( I leave that to Dread :) ) I either like it, or I don't, and that's why I don't do much in the way of reviews. In fact, I pass up putting a lot in the "Early B/T" thread that I made exactly because of that. i.e. A review of "I liked it" or “I didn’t like it” really isn't much of a review.

I guess the thing that was jarring for me in Hulk #2 was the fact that it felt like they omitted #2 and went straight to #3. For instance, #1 ended with Samson and Ross walking and talking, and going through security checks, a bit of a build-up, for the big reveal: a sit-down with Banner. Now, I don't know about other people, but I was kind of expecting issue #2 to have that conversation. In fact, my logic almost demands it. But it's nowhere to be seen. In fact, now Ross is on the Helicarrier. To use an analogy, you can't have Luke Skywalker on Tatooine farming his little heart out, and the next scene be the one fighting the Death Star. You have to go from here to there. As they say, that’s half the fun.

Now, I know a perfectly good explanation is: they’ll explain it later. I’ve heard that same explanation for some of Mssr. Bendis’ work, and a lot of people are saying the same thing about BND. (I’m not, I don’t really care if they ever explain the things people are griping about.) But, I didn’t want to wait for later. They hooked me, and should have spent panel time reeling me in, rather than playing around with clever storytelling techniques. I was really looking forward to it as a matter of fact. And in this case, for me (and apparently others) it was enough to take me out of the story. Which is a terrible thing to happen in any kind of fiction, comics, movies, whatever. Once that happens, any other flaw (like the dialogue ) which I probably wouldn’t have even noticed or griped about, stick out like a sore thumb. Because I’m not cruisin’ along enjoying a good story, I’m still thinking to myself, whatever happened to that Banner conversation, Dammit! (I'm exaggerating a bit, but I hope you get my point.)

I remember years ago seeing the movie Signs in the theater. I was liking it enough. Scary, suspenseful, very Night of the Living Dead. But there was a precise moment when I was taken out of the story. It’s near the end, right before we see the alien. They come up out of the basement, turn on the tv, which is in the closet, and you can hear in the background, the newscaster saying something about a way to defeat the aliens. And they turn the tv off to wheel it into the Living Room. What? You’re telling me, You’ve lived through an alien invasion, your son almost dying of asthma, basically the scariest night that you’re ever going to have in your life, and you hear on the boob tube that there’s a solution and you TURN IT OFF? Are you nuts?! I would have spent the next three days in that closet until they told me! Now in my head, I can come up with all kinds of reasons, that they didn’t hear it, that he was distracted by his son, that they were in shock, all reasonable explanations. But the moment I started to think about it, I was out of the story. And you can try to explain it away until your brain turns to mush, but all it will do is take me further out of it. And probably you, too. (This is probably a bad example to use. I've related this story a bunch of times, and no-one ever noticed that. So it was obviously a very, very small flaw. A calculated risk even, to shove in a little foreshadowing. I seem to be the only person that it ever affected. But everyone else's experience doesn't change that one moment in the theater for me. Once it's come and gone, it's gone.)

Now, this is a very long explanation, for what will probably amount to a very small flaw. Which brings me to the other reasons I don’t do reviews: It’s either very short or very long. And I doubt that either one of us has time for it! ;)
 
Doom also never refers to himself as "Doom" the entire issue and for the life of me .... The thought balloons aren't so bad and Bendis is able to put his stop-gap dialogue on hold for the issue.

Heh you may appreciate this I dunno, but I thought bendis dialogue for doom (outside the le fey scene) was terrible.

Doom does not repeatedly say "damn" in fact he doesn't repeat anything.

Really took me out the story (plus that and his ridiculously purple prose in the final frame).

:)
 
I wanted to think about this a little, because I didn't want to give you a kind of crap, pat answer. I tend not to think about these things too much ( I leave that to Dread :) ) I either like it, or I don't, and that's why I don't do much in the way of reviews. In fact, I pass up putting a lot in the "Early B/T" thread that I made exactly because of that. i.e. A review of "I liked it" or “I didn’t like it” really isn't much of a review.

I guess the thing that was jarring for me in Hulk #2 was the fact that it felt like they omitted #2 and went straight to #3. For instance, #1 ended with Samson and Ross walking and talking, and going through security checks, a bit of a build-up, for the big reveal: a sit-down with Banner. Now, I don't know about other people, but I was kind of expecting issue #2 to have that conversation. In fact, my logic almost demands it. But it's nowhere to be seen. In fact, now Ross is on the Helicarrier. To use an analogy, you can't have Luke Skywalker on Tatooine farming his little heart out, and the next scene be the one fighting the Death Star. You have to go from here to there. As they say, that’s half the fun.

I'll agree and disagree with you here. I was expecting to see Banner in this issue as well. Like you said, the last one ended with the reveal that he's been locked away this whole time, and I was interested in seeing what he had to say about everything, too. I don't know what Loeb's got planned in that regard, and while I was thrown for a loop a little bit, I trust him to at least have a coherent plan for this first arc. I've always been of the opinion that one should only judge a story is one has experienced the whole thing, and this is no different.

Now, I know a perfectly good explanation is: they’ll explain it later. I’ve heard that same explanation for some of Mssr. Bendis’ work, and a lot of people are saying the same thing about BND. (I’m not, I don’t really care if they ever explain the things people are griping about.) But, I didn’t want to wait for later. They hooked me, and should have spent panel time reeling me in, rather than playing around with clever storytelling techniques. I was really looking forward to it as a matter of fact. And in this case, for me (and apparently others) it was enough to take me out of the story. Which is a terrible thing to happen in any kind of fiction, comics, movies, whatever. Once that happens, any other flaw (like the dialogue ) which I probably wouldn’t have even noticed or griped about, stick out like a sore thumb. Because I’m not cruisin’ along enjoying a good story, I’m still thinking to myself, whatever happened to that Banner conversation, Dammit! (I'm exaggerating a bit, but I hope you get my point.)

I understand. Once something jars you, you kind of get taken out of the book, so to speak. And if Bendis was writting this, my benefit of the doubt-o-meter would be running low, too. But it's Loeb. I know his reputation of late has been less than stellar for some people, but I still like him. I liked his Superman/Batman run and I liked his Wolverine story about as much as someone could. Plus, he's the guy behind The Long Halloween, so I know he can do a decent mystery.

I remember years ago seeing the movie Signs in the theater. I was liking it enough. Scary, suspenseful, very Night of the Living Dead. But there was a precise moment when I was taken out of the story. It’s near the end, right before we see the alien. They come up out of the basement, turn on the tv, which is in the closet, and you can hear in the background, the newscaster saying something about a way to defeat the aliens. And they turn the tv off to wheel it into the Living Room. What? You’re telling me, You’ve lived through an alien invasion, your son almost dying of asthma, basically the scariest night that you’re ever going to have in your life, and you hear on the boob tube that there’s a solution and you TURN IT OFF? Are you nuts?! I would have spent the next three days in that closet until they told me! Now in my head, I can come up with all kinds of reasons, that they didn’t hear it, that he was distracted by his son, that they were in shock, all reasonable explanations. But the moment I started to think about it, I was out of the story. And you can try to explain it away until your brain turns to mush, but all it will do is take me further out of it. And probably you, too. (This is probably a bad example to use. I've related this story a bunch of times, and no-one ever noticed that. So it was obviously a very, very small flaw. A calculated risk even, to shove in a little foreshadowing. I seem to be the only person that it ever affected. But everyone else's experience doesn't change that one moment in the theater for me. Once it's come and gone, it's gone.)

I don't remember that scene as well as you do (I remember the alien being reflected in the turned off TV), but I liked Signs a lot. I know what you're saying, though. There are always moments in entertainment that make you scratch your head, sometimes to the point of being completely turned off from the rest of the story. This book just hasn't done that for me yet.
 
INVINCIBLE #48: Late comics suck, especially when they involve "probably the best superhero comic in the universe". Image has been trying to promote issues #50-51 and they have had to push those back from Jan. to Feb. and so on due to the schedule; as Kirkman himself admits, things have gotten off the rails and they struggle to produce 10-11 issues a year. Still, though, devoted fans are loving this series and I am one of them, and after this issue finished I could see where the "earth shattering" arc leading up to #50-51 is going. Mark, Will, and Rick go out for a manly night of bowling and Rick starts to fall apart, still emotionally shattered by his experience of being kidnapped by Sinclair and turned into a cybernetic Reaniman. Meanwhile, Doc Seismic launches his grandest scheme yet, organizing an army of underground creatures to attack and then capture just about EVERY known superhero in the little Image Kirkman-iverse, including the teams from Dynamo 5, Capes, Savage Dragon & his pals, Brit, and Wolf-Man & Zechariah from AW-M. As well as the Global Guardians. Invincible & Atom Eve are forced to unite despite the recent hassles in their relationship to launch a rescue, but even they aren't enough for the task. Meanwhile, Cecil visits Mrs. Grayson and admits he knows that Oliver has started to gain superpowers and has even helped Mark on occasion, and he feels miffed that she didn't inform them immediately. Mrs. Grayson feared the boy would be whisked away to training or pressured into the superhero biz when she wants him to not engage in such danger at his young age. It has been a while since Invincible was TKO'd by a threat so it was shocking that Seismic's monsters were able to do so. Granted, the Earth's "monsters" have often been tough enough to give Mark issues, even as recently as a few issues ago when he needed Anyssa the Viltrumite woman to kill one. Wolf-Man and Zechiriah get in a quick team-up, but they are unable to turn the tide. Considering the bimonthly nature of WOLF-MAN even when it is on time, it was cool seeing him show up. But, yeah, I can see where this is going, especially by the cover to issue #49. With all the U.S. and, heck, the planet's superheroes captured, Cecil unleashes his Reanimen to bail them out, and naturally that is when Mark will find out that Sinclair is working for the government, and take issue (to say the least). The series has stated how comfortable Mark has gotten in working with them, to the point where he finds college pointless, and this naturally be a wake-up call that he will need to become more independant and self-sufficent. I imagine that it could split the superheroes a bit too, since I imagine not all of them would approve of giving a wack-job like Sinclair a gig just because he can build cyborgs for the U.S. It is in character for Cecil to do, as Omni-Man is the ultimate example of placing too much trust in a superhero for him. Still, even if I can see what is coming, or believe I can, that doesn't make it bad; Kirkman will naturally add details I don't expect and the fallout should be gorey. The letters column also notes that action figures may be upcoming, and that Shrinking Ray is indeed dead. Poor little fella wasn't even mourned by the Guardians with half the vigor that Dupli-Kate was (and she wasn't even dead). He's the Spoiler of the Guardians (being that she was the Robin that Batman doesn't mourn nearly as much as Jason Todd, who isn't dead anymore). This is my favorite superhero comic right now and while the lateness is annoying, it doesn't put me off (plus, it isn't nearly as late as some other titles I could mention; we at least got issues within this year before this one). Ottley's art is great and Crabtree's always the man on colors, they're so symbolic and one with Invincible that I couldn't imagine the book without them, even if Corey Walker is still creditted as a co-creator. Hopefully the wait for #49 won't be so long.

I enjoy the long reviews and all but goddamn, a couple paragraph breaks would have been so much to ask?
 
Runaways #29
Still, this would probably be the first issue that I felt hasn't been truly worth the wait. I simply have to question the wisdom of wasting three whole pages replete with a dozen panels on the deaths of two subcharacters. I just couldn't bring myself to care. It's going to be difficult to get anyone to care about anyone when you got upwards of twenty characters per arc struggling for limelight (though that splash page of the battle near the end forgives a lot), much less people that you're narratively not supposed to care about in the first place. I just have a very hard time dealing with decompression in any form, especially when we're almost at the end of the story aka out of space (even though this entire arc has pretty much been a study in whatever the opposite of decompression is).

We'll see how it ends. I imagine Chase showing up with a big 'ol time travelly device pretty soon in the next issue.

(7.3 out of 10)

Got critical of Whedon, I hadn't seen it before from you. :up: Still couldn't dare give him below a 7 out of 10, but I do agree with your criticisms about the decompression and wasting some panels/pages on his side-characters who are seriously hogging space from the RUNAWAYS. The story is fine enough and I consider it superior to AXM, but much like AXM, it isn't SO good that gaps of 2-4 months between issues can sustain the interest.

Heh you may appreciate this I dunno, but I thought bendis dialogue for doom (outside the le fey scene) was terrible.

Doom does not repeatedly say "damn" in fact he doesn't repeat anything.

Really took me out the story (plus that and his ridiculously purple prose in the final frame).

:)

Yeah, you're right, and I do appreciate it. I guess the thing was, I was bracing for, "Bendis will write Doom like ****" and instead it was "Bendis writes Doom like 'meh'." Like instead of a score of 0 out of 10 it was 2-3 out of 10 in terms of accuracy so it surpassed my expectations for now. Doom still seemed sloppy about that time machine and I hope there is an explanation. Granted, Bendis excells at taking fantastic characters and making them pedestrian in the name of "realism". Hence all the "Damn! No No Noooo!" type lines.

I enjoy the long reviews and all but goddamn, a couple paragraph breaks would have been so much to ask?

People complain that my reviews are long and it takes a while to skip past my reviews if they choose. Paragraph-breaks would simply make my post physically longer. That, and I figure the compactness keeps every issue review seperate.
 
I'll agree and disagree with you here. I was expecting to see Banner in this issue as well. Like you said, the last one ended with the reveal that he's been locked away this whole time, and I was interested in seeing what he had to say about everything, too. I don't know what Loeb's got planned in that regard, and while I was thrown for a loop a little bit, I trust him to at least have a coherent plan for this first arc. I've always been of the opinion that one should only judge a story is one has experienced the whole thing, and this is no different.

I understand. Once something jars you, you kind of get taken out of the book, so to speak. And if Bendis was writting this, my benefit of the doubt-o-meter would be running low, too. But it's Loeb. I know his reputation of late has been less than stellar for some people, but I still like him. I liked his Superman/Batman run and I liked his Wolverine story about as much as someone could. Plus, he's the guy behind The Long Halloween, so I know he can do a decent mystery.
I haven't read Hulk #2 yet, as I actually didn't pick it up since my stack was super big and I made a few cuts. I intended to pick it up today, but icky snow arrived and it was more annoying to drive to my comic store than I was willing to endure.

But I quote this for great justice. I liked his Superman/Batman run, and I liked his Wolverine story. In fact, I thought PJ and I were the only ones who liked his Wolverine arc. Lo and behold, a new ally to fight against the darkness!

And the upper part of the quote is what I generally say about serialized installments that people get into a huge uproar and start whining and complaining about. The entire story, beginning to end, must be judged. If it makes sense, no harm, no foul. There ARE different ways to write, after all.

I'm sure not everyone at the time loved every single one of Dickens's seralized parts of his novels, and we read them as entire novels now, but that doesn't stop people from saying the full things are great examples of literature and what not. And no, I'm not comparing Loeb to Dickens, but a comparison of serialized installments.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
200,786
Messages
21,812,558
Members
45,626
Latest member
SunStorm333
Back
Top
monitoring_string = "afb8e5d7348ab9e99f73cba908f10802"