Funnybook Babylon

March 12, 2008

Pull List Reviews for March 12, 2008

Filed under: Reviews — David Uzumeri @ 10:05 am

Superman #674: I’m not really sure if I’m going to miss Busiek on this title anymore, since Insect Queen was extremely lackluster and this just feels rather rushed – which, admittedly, is totally not Busiek’s fault (his original storyline, featuring the introduction of Chloe Sullivan, was killed for presumably editorial reasons and I believe he had to plot this in a weekend). It would certainly have been nicer to see him go out on a higher note, but the demands of Trinity are calling. Not to really slam the issue – it’s a totally serviceable issue of Superman – I just figure without intervention it’d probably be a lot better. Still, thanks to Busiek for what started off as a great run, and new series artist Renato Guedes is simply stunning (although I really liked him coloring himself – does that just take too long for a monthly book?).

Mighty Avengers #10: This is just fantastic, with Bendis doing his ’60s flashback issue complete with “CONTINUED AFTER NEXT PAGE” signs before advertisements and old dot-coloring. Not that the comic itself is in an old-school style, with Doom displaying a particularly amusing sardonic wit (I’d kill for an odd-couple style Doom/Tony team-up book by Bendis) and some long-awaited character development for the Sentry. I’ve been a fan of the thought bubbles since the beginning, but I think Bendis is really getting a handle on using them correctly at this point. Great stuff.

Booster Gold #7: More of the same for this comic, which is pretty damn good. The book is settling into a nice groove with this second arc, which is a shame since Johns and Katz are leaving after the series’ twelfth issue, which will be Booster Gold #1,000,000. We get a lot of clarification regarding the bigger picture of the time mess at DC, including dealing with mysteries dating back to the original chalkboard in 52. And, of course, Ted Kord fans will love this depiction of the character.

Thunderbolts #119: I really didn’t expect to like this title as much as I’ve ended up doing. Swordsman’s erratic – and everyone’s, really – behavior is solidly explained in this issue, which also features some great moments for Penanceball and Doc Samson, about whom I would buy an ongoing (or at least mini!) if written by Warren Ellis at this point. However, it’d be a crime not to talk about this book without praising Deodato, who turns in some gorgeous pages with great character work *and* action. He’s been improving steadily since Amazing Spider-Man and it’s really starting to pay off.

Fantastic Four #555: Millar’s going for a rare slow burn here, as this issue moves forward much more swiftly than the last one, although there’s still a definite sense that it hasn’t reached top speed. Hitch’s art is gorgeous as always, and Millar is setting up a plethora of subplots that are clearly meant to take him through the rest of his 16+?-issue run. It’s not Mark Waid’s run, but that’s comparing it unfairly.

Wonder Woman #18: This is a change of pace. I was worried Bernard Chang’s art would be too cheesecakey, but it seems to come short of that line. Simone’s work on this book has been far less… cheeky than usual; I’m starting to get over my bias towards Rucka’s take and appreciate that although I’m still not a huge fan of the direction DC’s taken Diana, this is at least a good, well-thought-out, long-run direction Gail Simone has, which the book is in desperate need of. Also, I guess I’m a sucker for DC space stories.

X-Factor #29: Another great issue of this book, really. Valentine De Landro’s no Pablo Raimondi (who I assume is leaving the book; Marvel is announcing a new artist on their website later today who they claim worked on the book before – maybe Larry Stroman?) but he does well for this Messiah CompleX aftermath story. Despite all the changes happening in the book, David is dealing with them really well and turning them into the focus of the plot rather than distractions. He really loves these characters and their interactions, and it shows.

Green Arrow/Black Canary #6: Cliff Chiang’s last issue on the title, as the “Who shot Connor Hawke?” mystery takes a fairly unexpected twist (or two!). I’m going to miss Chiang – he was really perfect for this book – but Mike Norton will be a solid replacement. However, the issue is written by Judd Winick, and if you’re one of his legions of non-fans this won’t turn you around. If you like the guy, it’s more of his standard.

2 Comments »

  1. David, you’ve *really* improved on these capsule reviews. I remember I originally criticized you for being too vague way back when you started but now you’re really doing phenomenal work re-capping the story and the book’s place in the market better than I thought could be done.

    Booster Gold: I’m still perplexed by this book, even though I stopped reading it with #4. Besides DC continuity fans, could this book appeal to anyone else? That’s the question I ask myself. I mean, it could be the best executed book on the market, but it seems like unless they really like Zero Hour, DC 1 million, or any other DC crossover, it’s not going to be someone’s cup of tea.

    Thunderbolts: This book is better than everything I hoped for going into it. I had *really* high expectations for this one and it’s completely blown by those on its way to unseen heights. This book is a really fun story both embracing superheroes and putting them on their heads.

    Fantastic Four:

    “It’s not Mark Waid’s run, but that’s comparing it unfairly. ”

    Yeah, I agree that’s unfair. Millar and Waid are fundamentally about as different as two writers can be. Waid is the quintessential superhero writer, adhering to the storytelling devices of the Silver Age while telling stories about, um, the Silver Age. Millar is much more a Stan Lee kind of writer, creating characters and dialog to (attempt to) reflect the attitudes and moral conflicts in today’s world.

    Anyway, I’ve always been a big fan of Millar because he’s just phenomenal when it comes to execution. His pacing is quick, his characters are strongly developed, and he can move a plot forward like no-one else.

    Comment by Kenny — March 12, 2008 @ 12:03 pm

  2. My two cents: I’m a relative newcomer to DC’s continuity who started with 52, and Booster Gold is still one of the best books I’ve read, period.

    Comment by Jbird — March 16, 2008 @ 10:48 pm

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