Funnybook Babylon

April 2, 2008

Pull List Reviews for April 2, 2008

Filed under: Blurbs — David Uzumeri @ 10:40 am

Secret Invasion #1: It’s really, really, really, really promising. Despite growing organically out of years-long ongoing storylines in the Avengers titles, Secret Invasion #1 manages to please both devotees who’ve been waiting for this and the new reader looking for a succinct hook, a la Civil War. With deftness and economy that I honestly wasn’t sure Bendis was capable of – as much as I love his writing – the scope of the situation and threat are clearly laid out and the characters introduced in a manner that seems harmonic with Bendis’s trademark polarizing dialogue. (I love it.) Leinil Yu does an extraordinary job on the art, and softened by Mark Morales’s inks and Laura Martin’s covers it looks like an appropriate middle ground between the styles of both Avengers books. Additionally, Yu’s punctuality is a huge sigh of relief for an event like this, as it’s highly unlikely for major delays to hit this title – and the quality won’t suffer. A lot of intriguing mysteries are set up, and Bendis’s decision to have a double-sized first issue (a lesson he claims to have learned from negative fan response to House of M #1) pays off in spades by giving him the space to set a mood as well as substantially move the plot.

Cable #2: Pick up the pace. We’re at the end of issue two and we don’t really know anything more than could be inferred from Messiah CompleX and a cover. I’m really interested in this storyline, but Swierczynski really needs to start dropping some hints as to what’s going on. I’m hoping this is just a new writer finding his footing – it’s not badly written, it’s just very drab so far. Also, Ariel Olivetti’s computer-generated approach to backgrounds just looks *awful*, especially on the last page where Cable is apparently attacked by an untextured Quake III model brought to life. I really want to like this book, but thye aren’t making it easy so far.

Young X-Men #1: Also a disappointment, as Guggenheim plays everything by the numbers except for a mildly interesting (read: almost definitely temporary) last page reveal. Paquette’s art looks great, but there just wasn’t much in this issue to grab me – again, it wasn’t bad by any means, just fairly mediocre with some truly awful ‘urban’ dialogue from one new character. I’ll stick with it for a while to see if it improves, but this first issue just didn’t grab me.

Action Comics #863: This was pretty awesome, and a quite satisfactory payoff to this popular arc. Johns is giving himself a hell of a task here by trying to reenergize the original Legion, and it was probably a smart move to reintroduce them through the context of Superman in this way. Much like most Johns books, the arc has a definite theme to it meant to shine light on the main character, but it’s not executed very subtly. Still, a lot of fun and the teaser at the back should get some people excited (and more than a few annoyed).

Detective Comics #843: People looking for Dini’s disconnected stories to start fitting together would do well to pay attention to this issue – I haven’t pored over previous ones yet, but this one makes clear there’s some kind of conspiracy behind it all. Nguyen’s art continues to impress, and my only real complaint with this issue is that, as fun a character as Zatanna is, turning her into a full-time supporting character in this book might be a questionable idea. Still, good.

Kick-Ass #2: Man, this is pure, undiluted Millar, and if that’s your thing, you are going to fucking love this comic and laugh for 22 pages. If it’s not, you’re going to think this is the most obnoxious thing ever printed. I thought it was hilarious, but it’s not because it’s taking potshots at its main character anymore; you can kind of feel this rare Mark Millar optimism behind all the cursing and ultra-violence and semi-cliched badassery.

Infinity Inc. #8: Man, this is like a whole new comic. Pete Woods’s art gives everything a fresh new look, and Milligan’s fairly complex script becomes significantly more readable as a result. This issue also finally really defines the membership and the mission statement, which is a relief. Still, it’s almost definitely too little too late, as this book’s sales numbers are dangerously (I’d say almost irredeemably) low, but we’ll see what happens.

Supergirl #28: This is completely great, and finally Puckett’s run is starting to pick up, really rolling with the premise of Supergirl trying to make a more positive and proactive difference in the lives of everyday citizens. A lot happens in this issue, and it’s all both highly amusing and completely unexpected, while also carving out a unique niche for this book in the DC Universe. I hope it gets the attention it deserves, but after the borderline abrasive beginning of Puckett’s run people might just not care anymore. I hope I get the chance to see this story through to its conclusion, though – it’s quirky and different and I’m worried the market won’t reward it for that.

Amazing Spider-Man #555: Get rid of the other three guys, put Wells on full-time. Seriously, this is the first issue that really capitalized on the promise of the BND concept for me. The dialogue’s witty, the art is gorgeous, Peter isn’t completely incompetent and the story is going in an interesting direction. Also, the great continuity fuckup with Strange’s house is now the subject of a No-Prize competition. Easily the best part of the new direction so far.

Countdown to Final Crisis #4: Fuck me for falling for that awful Darkseid-on-couch preview. This comic is still awful.

14 Comments »

  1. check ınfinity inc. 8. if you don’t like this issue, kill me or kill yourself.

    Comment by suetkafa — April 2, 2008 @ 11:21 am

  2. Uh, I reviewed Infinity Inc. 8. I liked it. What are you talking about?

    Comment by David Uzumeri — April 2, 2008 @ 11:29 am

  3. I think he wants you to kill him.

    Comment by Endless Mike — April 2, 2008 @ 11:52 am

  4. it’s not for you baby i love you so much

    Comment by suetkafa — April 3, 2008 @ 6:00 am

  5. Now *this* is the way to have a discussion about comics (referring to David’s post the other day)!

    I *really* enjoyed Secret Invasion #1. I think Bendis has the skill to tell a fun superhero sci-fi story. I even read most of the spoilers from Marvel_b0y and still enjoyed it! I’m hoping this produces all kinds of fun comic stories.

    Cable #2 quote – “…[I]t’s not badly written, it’s just very drab so far.” That’s exactly the problem I have with a lot of superhero comics and why I think they’re hard to discuss. But I digress….

    On Action Comics, is the Legion Johns trying to bring back the same Legion Jim Shooter is writing in LoSH? I get confused because Karate Kid is a character in LoSH, but I heard he’s dead in Countdown. DC just confuses me anymore, which is why I only read LoSH from them anymore.

    “Kick-Ass #2: Man, this is pure, undiluted Millar, and if that’s your thing, you are going to fucking love this comic and laugh for 22 pages.”

    I do, and I did! Great, great comic fun! I’m just waiting for Savage Critics and Occasional Superheroine to start in on how racist/ sexist/ whatever Millar is because of it.

    I’m going to go back and pick up Infinity Inc. #8 cuz of your review. Good Milligan is hard to beat!

    Also, Anna Mercury #1 was ok. I expected more for some reason, but it was an ok start. I’m hoping it picks up!

    Comment by Kenny — April 3, 2008 @ 1:33 pm

  6. Legion of Super-Heroes is by far the most confusing franchise currently at DC, so that’s a really, really, really, really bad book to read to avoid that considering there are three different Legions in continuity (one in Action Comics – the old one, the new one in Shooter’s, and one currently offscreen).

    Comment by David Uzumeri — April 3, 2008 @ 2:48 pm

  7. Kick Ass doesnt kick my beautiful ass.

    Comment by suetkafa — April 3, 2008 @ 2:58 pm

  8. David,

    You just gave me a headache! lol But ok, I didn’t know if it was editorial sloppiness or what. It sounds like DC just isn’t sure what to do with Legion. So, basically, if I read Final Crisis, it won’t all be as confusing as Legion, and I can live with that! lol

    Comment by Kenny — April 3, 2008 @ 4:34 pm

  9. Actually, fixing the Legion is one of the two Final Crisis supporting minis.

    http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=152225

    I’m looking forward to it, but I’m really not sure if it’s a good idea to publish a book this fanwanky right now. The Legion aren’t exactly at their popularity peak, and most recent readers will have *no* idea what’s going on. I guess we’ll see, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a well-done if insanely abrasive comic.

    Comment by David Uzumeri — April 3, 2008 @ 6:56 pm

  10. Chris Bachalo’s art in Amazing Spider-Man this week was nothing less than mind-blowing. His style seems to be a perfect fit for the book’s new direction, and is a drastic improvement over the meth users that Phil Jiminez seems so fond of drawing.

    Wells’ dialogue is not his strongest point, but it was a welcome change from Slott/Guggenheim writing like they’re on The Muppet Show or something.

    I gave Young X-Men a try this week but it was ultimately disappointing. Weren’t the Dodsons supposed to be on this title? The art was competent, but there was something about the coloring that didn’t do much for me.

    The new badass Cyclops is just weird. If this is how he acts in every other title then I’ll probably just skip over Fraction’s run on Uncanny. He’s a little too eXtreme for my tastes.

    Comment by TheBraveandtheBlog — April 3, 2008 @ 7:42 pm

  11. The Legion of Superheroes book is a lot less confusing when you realize that you don’t need to know any (or much) of thier history to follow the books.

    For the Shooter version, this is the same Legion as the one introduced by Waid a few years ago. All of the appearances of the Legion in other books (other than Supergirl and part of that Superman annual) were of the second version of the Legion.

    The second version is the Geoff Johns version, which has appeared in JLA, Action Comics, and Countdown. Johns claims it’s the original Legion, but I’m witholding judgment (for reasons that I’m sure none of you care about). The characters who died in Countdown are from this version of the Legion.

    No one has to worry about the third version at all until the mini comes out.

    I don’t agree with David about the Final Crisis mini, but I think that DC is trying to take advantage of the anniversary, and the obvious affinity that some of its name creators have for the property. Unfortunately, I think that affinity is drenched in nostalgia, which rarely produces interesting books.

    If I’m a casual DC reader who doesn’t like labyrinthine plot twists, I’d stick to the Shooter LSH and the Johns stories, and skip the Final Crisis mini.

    Honestly, I don’t think that the Legion really needed fixing. It’s just that when DC had the choice between publishing a book with generally ok sales and a decent fanbase and bringing the team back on occasion as supporting Superman characters in a Johns series, it chose both.

    Comment by Jamaal Thomas — April 3, 2008 @ 7:48 pm

  12. Hmmm…I’m a recent reader of Legion because I’m a *huge* mark for anything written by Jim Shooter. A mini-series like this one would probably just confuse me. I’m hoping that by just reading Final Crisis, I’ll be ok, but stuff like 3 Legions running around just kinda makes me wary.

    Comment by Kenny — April 3, 2008 @ 8:01 pm

  13. Jamaal,

    I think our comments passed in the cyberspace, because now I have new questions! lol

    OK, so, I think my first question – how can Karate Kid be alive in Shooter’s book but dead in Countdown – was answered.

    Now, Final Crisis…. I’m a casual-ish reader and I just want to follow the big summer crossovers, simply because I think they’re usually fun. I gave up on Infinite Crisis because I got lost, didn’t enjoy the complex plot turns, and really didn’t care about Superboy and Lex Luthor and stuff.

    So, should I bother with Final Crisis? Or no? Keep in mind I don’t have any affinity for the Legion characters, I just like Shooter’s writing a lot. Thanks!

    Comment by Kenny — April 3, 2008 @ 8:07 pm

  14. Honestly, I have no idea what to say about FC. It’ll certainly be a dense work, since it’s Morrison, but he keeps claiming it’s new reader friendly, and he tends to follow up on that. I’d recommend giving the 50-cent DC Universe #0 a look on the 30th and seeing what you think about the stuff in there.

    Comment by David Uzumeri — April 3, 2008 @ 8:12 pm

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