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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Zipping Through the Week in Comics 14/05/09

Okay, as fast as you like, quick reviews of what I read this week. This may be a regular feature. Let's see how long it takes! The idea is not to give an exhaustive outline of plot, creators and so on, but rather to just say whether or not it's any good. Well, that's the idea, anyway. In no particular order:

Lockjaw & the Pet Avengers #1 - Nice idea, so-so execution. Would've made a fun one-shot. As a mini-series? Not enough to carry it, I'm afraid.

Ultimate Spider-Man #132 - Ultimatum does its reboot thing, Bendis indulges his little dialogue tricks and it's all fine enough. But jumpin' Jesus, why is Stuart Immonen not a megastar? He is a phenomenal artist.

Trinity #50 - Flicking through to see how it ends. What the fuck is going on here? Can't make heads nor tails of it, really, but that's what I get for missing out 20-odd issues. Not to rag on Busiek, but this is twaddle.

Thor Tales of Asgard #1 - Always loved this Lee/Kirby Norse mythology stuff that ran originally as backups in Journey Into Mystery (with Thor as main star of the book). The recolouring on here is dire, though. I'm not opposed to recolouring jobs, but this looks awful. Nice Coipel cover.

Storming Paradise #5 - Easy to forget that everybody's favourite right-winger, Chuck Dixon, can still write a smart, solid comic. Great alt-history WWII stuff, with outstanding Butch Guice art.

Soul Kiss #4 - Promising start to this series, but I can't help but feel like it's losing steam a little. When I think how much Rasl packed into just the first couple of issues, this feels a bit flabby. Good cliffhanger, though.

Secret Six #9 - I don't follow this regularly, and whenever I pick an issue up I'm always pleasantly surprised. Funny and dark. Who would have thought I would be made to give a shit about Bane? Or Catman for that matter?

Secret Warriors #4 - I have to admit I haven't been astounded by this to date, but I did enjoy this issue. I think the problem for me lies in how little interest I have in Nick's new team. Who hardly appear here. Nice to see Gateway around, though.

Howling Commados #1 - Kind of but not really a lead-in to Captain America: White. Beautiful art, okay writing. It's not going to change your life, but you could spend hours pouring over those pages.

REBELS #4 - Why am I enjoying this so much? It may have something to do with the return of childhood favourites the Omega Men, and I'm happy enough with the art. But there's something about it I find quite compelling, which is I guess just means Tony Bedard is doing his job. Oh, I'm always happy to see Starro and those aliens out of Invasion, too.

Jack Staff #20 - Just recently caught up on this. Why isn't this book more popular? I really must try harder to sell the bloody thing. I guess it's quite highly stylised, and Grists sometimes abrupt scene transitions take some getting used to, but dammit, it's worth it!

Guerillas #4 - Is anyone out there reading this? Brahm Revel has a lovely Mazzucelli/Toth-inspired line and the story is far better than it has any right to be given the concept. Genetically-modified apes fighting in the Vietnam war? Whaaat?

House of Mystery #13 - Picked it up for the Eric Powell guest art, but this series bored me away a long time ago. Nice Sergio one-page at the back.

Oh shit! Interlude! Did you see that they're doing a Groo Library? At last!

Anyway, back to it...

Green Lantern Corps #36 - The prelude to Blackest Night rolls on. War is a'coming. This issue is....okay. Plenty of action, at least. I do like Gleason's art, too.

Fusion #1 - Typical company crossover shit. Seriously, avoid.

Elephantmen #19 - God I love this series. A focus on Sahara, with some nice guest artwork by Marian Churchland.

Final Crisis Aftermath: Escape #1 - Read it last night, can't remember anything about it. Bad sign. Oh yeah, it was weird, but not in a good way.

Dark Reign Young Avengers #1 - The pleasant surprise of the week for me. Paul Cornell garners a lot of respect from folks, but his comics work has been hit and miss so far. Good work here though. Nice set-up with a team of thoroughly unlikeable sorts, like the racist size-shifter who is quietly reprogramming the team android to disrespect minorities. Check it out.

Fables #84 - Not sure about this big crossover, but it does cement Jack as being a primo louse, which is nice.

Dark Reign Hawkeye #2 - Another surprise for me last month. Who would have thought it? Basically: Bullseye is a nutjob who does bad things to people and most certainly not a team player.

Walking Dead #61 - Kirkman makes the point in the back that he has now surpassed the issue count of Y the Last Man (a series he admires a great deal). Amazing really that he has managed to maintain such a level of quality. It helps he has had a relatively stable art team who are perfectly suited to the subject matter, but there's a deft hand in Walking Dead that he just doesn't show with any of his other books. I'm a big fan of Invincible, but it slips a lot more that Walking Dead. That being said, things happen at the beginning of this issue that just feel a little too much, especially for what seems to be the beginning of a new storyline. Still, I guess the repercussions of it may yet be felt in what Andrea and Dale do next. Anyway, I love ya, you big hunk of zombie soap opera!

BPRD The Black Goddess #5 - Another favourite series of mine, but I'm a bit gutted to have this end on something of a cliffhanger then find out there's no new BPRD until next year! Sheeeit. Arcudi and Davis are a brilliant team, they really are. They have the kind of synergy you only get once in a very rare while.

Captain Britain & MI13 #13 - Dracula wins! Well, pretty much. Cornell again, who is doing a nice job so far on this story arc. I wasn't blown away by the Secret Invasion storyline they did, but it feels like he's able to pave his own way now and it's paying off. Oh, and the cover for the next issue is stunning.

Black Panther #4 - So far so good for me on this new series. Lashley is doing the best work I've seen from him, with not a small amount of Barry Windsor-Smith creeping in there. Shame about Campbell's ass-tastic covers.

Azrael Death's Dark Knight #3 - Well, it's very pretty, but does anyone actually give a shit about Azrael?

All New Savage She-Hulk #2 - I'm undecided on this. Van Lente is a favourite of mine, so I'll cut him some slack, but the humour was very welcome last issue and it feels far more muted this time around. More Campbell ass on the cover.

Action Comics #877 - This stuff is decent enough, but not enough to make me really care. I suppose if I were more of a devotee of the Supes books it might grab me.

From the Ashes #1 - Minimum Wage was one of my favourite comics of the 90's, so I was quite excited about Fingerman's new post-apocalyptic autobiographical comic. It's a nice twist. But it doesn't quite work. The dialogue feels forced and doesn't quite pull you in. Still, nice ending, so hopefully it'll pick up next time.

Echo #12 - I'm loving this series, really I am. You should try it.

Rawbone #2 - Jamie Delano does pirates. And sirens. And tits. Lots of tits. Two issues is enough for me, I think.

Young Liars #15 - I have to admit, I gave up on this around issue ten. As much as I love Lapham's work, I couldn't get into it. Finishing soon, so I thought I'd come back for the end. I have no fucking clue as to what's going on.

X-Factor #43 - Peter David does a great job in his little corner of the X-universe. Character-driven superheroics.

Wolverine #73 - Two halves, one by Jason Aaron & Adam "The Talented One" Kubert, the other by Daniel Way & Tommy Lee Edwards. All of it looks great and Aaron's story is a real joy. Way's half is a bit nasty, really, but that's to be expected of Way I guess. All told, well worth picking up.

War of Kings Ascension #2 - Abnett and Lanning have actually made Darkhawk interesting. That alone is reason to pick this up. It's like transmuting shit into gold.

Unwritten #1 - New Vertigo title by Mike Carey & Peter Gross. Worth a look, with an interesting premise. Not sure it will go the distance with the current crop of Vertigo readers, but might find a niche. Plenty of recognisable London landmarks (including the Jurys hotel up the road from work), which isn't particularly important but made me smile.

Umbrella Academy: Dallas #6 - That Gerard Way can sure write some good comics. Who woulda thunk it? Not to understate Ba's contribution, who draws the ass off it all. Happy to hear a book three will happen.

And that's it! Phew! About an hour and twenty. Who knows, maybe I'll do it again. Though I might just do the highlights! What do ya reckon?


  1. Jesus wept, that's a lot of comics!

    REBELS is fucking ace!

    House of Mystery has bored me for a while too, but I loved it as a kid and keep hoping that it will turn into the book I loved as a 12-year old. It's not THAT dull really though (he says staring at the last five unread issues)

  2. just do the highlights, because how many people are reading it all?

    I popped in an American comics shop this week and forgot to ask for the Previews they hand out for free. But I`m not really so bothered anymore I guess.

    It did remind me that most comics are fucking hopeless and overpriced.

  3. I rely on you Mr S !! Go forth and guide me...I've even purchased some recently. No, really, I have. And that bastard Shane charged me full price. That kind of ridiculous behaviour would never have happened if Ronald Reagan was president.