Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bullet Point Reviews

Going to try something new, and just do some quick reviews of the books on my pull list this week.

Amazing Spider-Man #608:
  • I'm kind of enjoying this book, and loved the hilarious cold open with the liveblogging villain Screwball. I'm grateful to writer Marc Guggenheim for not using any "world-wide webslinger" jokes so I could use that one here.
  • The narrative worked smoothly as it flashed back to Ben Reilly and Damon Ryder's beginnings, and Ryder/Raptor's battles with Peter in the present.
  • I also like that this storyline ties into the Clone Saga, as that storyline is being revised in a current miniseries. Saves me the hassle of having to track down a trade or do online recon, since I'm a Marvel Noob.
  • Elwood Says: Catch this one in your web.
Angel #26:
  • Anyone who's ever been to, or worked at, a comic book/sci-fi convention will love this issue. It's funny because it's true.
  • Anyone who's ever wondered if Nicolas Cage wants to play every comic book/sci-fi personality there is will laugh and cry. Nice cameo from Jorge Garcia, too.
  • Issue misfires at the end. I don't think that Angel is who Spike wants to be, at least not literally.
  • Elwood Says: Empty calories, but a smile-time read.
Batman and Robin #5:
  • Philip Tan's art is woefully misapplied here. I know that, to avoid delays, Frank Quitely is only doing so many issues at a time, but Quitely's art matches the goofy storyline much better than the more serious art of Tan.
  • Flamingo?!?
  • We get confirmation that the Red Hood is who we think he his, and he's gone red under the hood as well. Also, Scarlett is one messed up little girl. Wow.
  • Elwood Says: Still worth buying, but unless a steady team takes over the book I can see the novelty wearing off fast.
Batman Annual #27:
  • Kicking off a storyline that is set to continue in next week's Detective Comics Annual #11, This is acting as a backdoor pilot for the new "Azrael" series that begins in two weeks. I don't see why this was necessary, since Azrael got a 3-issue mini during Battle for the Cowl.
  • The "Lil Gotham" splash page was awesome!
  • The back-up story (also continued next week) was sloppy, especially Kelley Jones' art. That's sad.
  • Elwood Says: Blergh. You can skip this one.
Batman Confidential #34:
  • I'm digging this Russian story, and the return of the KGBeast, but sales aren't great for this title. I wonder if DC is just holding on to it as a way to keep Bruce Wayne on the reader's radar.
  • Andy Clarke's art is fun to look at. He does facial expressions almost as well as Keith Giffen or Amanda Connor.
  • I know that the letterers want us to know that the language being spoken isn't English when they use the "" format, but I keep looking for the "" later. Stupid internets.
  • Elwood Says: Decent reading overall. Worth a look.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #29:
  • This title has been consistently awesome since it relaunched, and this issue is no exception. The fact that not only Joss Whedon, but other writers from the show like the current arc's Jane Espenson, are involved with the book makes it a natural extension of the TV series.
  • The romance brewing between Xander and Dawn I'm unsure about. I know that by now Dawn's passed the age of majority, but I can't help but wonder if his feelings for her are anything but residual Buffy-crush. Also, Xander's on the rebound after his last girlfriend was killed in the line. I'm concerned.
  • The "redirecting" of the Magics has built new strengths in the team, but it takes a horrible toll on Oz near the end.
  • Elwood Says: If you're not reading this book, then we can't be friends.
Final Crisis Aftermath: Run! #6:
  • Thank God. It's finally over.
  • Elwood Says: See the last bullet.
Ghostbusters: Displaced Aggression #2:
  • After being rescued from the Old West by the new GB Rachel Unglighter, she and Peter Venkman are transported to Camelot in search of Ray Stantz. They find themselves immediately on the pointy end of King Arthur's sword. Hi-jinx ensue.
  • It might come as a shock to anyone who hasn't read comics, watched TV, or ever been to the movies before but the new chick might not be on the up-and-up. I know!
  • "Half-Sister." "But ALL hot!" I could hear Bill Murray right there. Good work.
  • Elwood Says: IDW is doing great things with their various licenses, but this might read better when the trade comes out. Up to you.
Justice League: Cry For Justice #4:
  • This miniseries has been all lead-up and no pay-off. While I'm liking Mauro Cascioli's art, the story just drags. I wish that this had been condensed into a couple of prestige format books, as it would have forced James Robinson to tighten up the narrative. I'm bored now.
  • Similarly, for a team that Cries For Justice ("What do we want? JUSTICE! When do we want it? NOW!") enough to tell Superman where to stick his Kryptonite, they are not being at all expedient in their cause. Which is ironic when there's a Flash on the team.
  • Blah blah torture yadda yadda by any means...this book is about two years late to be considered social commentary.
  • Elwood Says: Whatever.
Models, Inc. #2:
  • This has been a surprisingly entertaining miniseries so far. Issue #1 had Tim Gunn donning the Iron Man suit, and set up a decent murder mystery. It's been interesting to see the number of non-comic readers asking about and/or buying the first issue just because of Tim Gunn. Marvel does find clever ways to market books to new buyers, that's for sure.
  • Special appearance by Johnny Storm in this issue. Where go models, so naturally goes the Human Torch, right?
  • Between this book and Marvel Divas, Patsy Walker is getting lots of face time these days.
  • Elwood Says: Light fun, and a book you might be able to get your girlfriend to read (if she's not already into comics).
Star Trek Romulans: Schism #2:
  • I really like the way IDW is handling the Trek comics franchise, but I wish they wouldn't throw so much work at John Byrne. I don't care for his art at all anymore. This story has been decent, and ties back to Byrne's last Trek mini ("Crew").
  • Byrne does capture the look and feel of Star Trek: TOS in this book, and I give props to colorist Lovern Kindzierski for that.
  • Cool reveal - the first Romulan Bird of Prey!
  • Elwood Says: For the die-hard Trekkies (Trekkers, if you prefer) this is right in your wheelhouse.
Superman: World of New Krypton #8:
  • Am I the only one reading this book that likes to call it "WONK?"
  • I have to admit, I'm unclear on the Thanagarian's motivation here. I didn't read any of the Rann-Thanagarian war miniseries, so I'm not sure what's driving them to attack the Kryptonians, aside from a long history of conflict. A quick flip through the last few issues confirms that I didn't miss a thread somewhere, and the fight is quickly dispatched, so I guess I'll roll with it.
  • A new enemy emerges on a final page reveal, so more of the same next month. I don't know why this miniseries went from being almost all about the internal struggles on New Krypton to being about external threats and how Kal-El deals with it, but it has.
  • Elwood Says: It was solid up until now, but there are 4 issues to go. I have faith in Greg Rucka, so I'll stick it out.
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #3:
  • This has to be one of my favorite books right now. Bendis' writing, paired with David LaFuente's art, makes this book pop. I didn't read USM before, but with the post-Ultimatum relaunch I got on board and I don't regret the decision at all.
  • Very emotional interaction between Aunt May and Johnny Storm, as they talk about where Johnny's been since the wave hit, and how Johnny needs to reach out to his sister. Equally emotional argument between Peter and MJ later, and I have to say...I don't miss high school at all.
  • The fight with Mysterio devolved into a Die Hard 3 rip-off, but this gets acknowledged in the dialogue, so that made it all better.
  • Elwood Says: Anyone with severe arachnophobia should avoid the splash page in the middle of the book, but otherwise you should all be reading UCSM. Seriously.

No comments: