Funnybook Babylon

April 9, 2008

Pull List Reviews for 4/9/08

Filed under: Reviews — David Uzumeri @ 11:14 am

Fantastic Four #556: Now, this is getting a little ridiculous. I understand you want to establish your new villain as a badass – as someone who can take on all comers. I thought everything else about this issue was very enjoyable (although the standard Mark Millar disclaimer applies – if he’s annoyed you before you won’t be won over now), but the method of villain badassery establishment bugged me a lot, as did the fact that the science doesn’t even seem to conform to its own internal rules – Reed just, you know, does shit. Which is cool, but it doesn’t do much to kill his reputation as a deus ex machina (the role he certainly fulfills here).

Justice Society of America #14: This issue converges the two plotlines that have been going on this arc, namely “Who the fuck is Gog?” and “Wow, this team is too goddamn big.” These plotlines are, as people who are paying attention (and who read Kingdom Come) probably already figured out, more related than they seem at first due to Earth-22 Superman’s role as doomsaying prophet. I keep hearing the complaint that this book is a “Kingdom Come circlejerk”; it’s not altogether inaccurate, but that seems kind of unavoidable considering the book is, uh, a sequel to Kingdom Come. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it’s fun.

Green Lantern Corps #23: First of all, DC? Stop it. Stop doing this with cover text. Lord of the Rings jokes on a Green Lantern cover with a bunch of rings isn’t funny or clever, it just looks hideously dorky. That said, this finally picks up the “RingQuest” arc Tomasi was doing before he was interrupted by I guess Patrick Gleason’s drawing schedule and that quick Sterling/Nelson Boodikka two-parter. It’s nice to get back to the main characters and see things develop, there’s some good Guy and Kyle stuff, but it’s still mostly setup for the longterm stuff Tomasi’s clearly planning for his run. It’s a good Green Lantern comic, but nothing truly special. Yet.

Amazing Spider-Man #556: Again, nothing groundbreaking, but much like last week it’s still the best arc of Brand New Day yet. Bachalo’s art is utterly gorgeous, using sparse linework to communicate Peter’s sense of isolation and frustration in the snowstorm. It still remains to be seen how compelling the overarching storylines in this book will be, but this particular arc is plenty of fun.

Green Arrow/Black Canary #7: Mike Norton jumps on as regular artist while Winick turns out one of his more lighthearted issues of this book. He’s talented at this family dynamic, and it’s one that works well; Ollie, Dinah and Mia are a fun trio in a fun adventure book. To be honest, despite flagging sales, this book is turning out to be a lot better than I expected and kind of the shot in the arm the Green Arrow character needed.

Wolverine #64: I’d say it’s borderline imperative Marvel bring Aaron back to this book when Mark Millar’s run is over, because he really gets how to do a fun, straightforward Wolverine story in 2008. No extended conspiracies, no fucking invincible swords or furry family reunions, it’s Logan on a revenge kick that coincides with a neat story from his past. Just play him straight, folks, stop trying to reveal more layers. It’s time to move Wolverine forward, and these are the kinds of stories that do it. He needs to take an active role in the *current* Marvel Universe; I’m tired of hearing about how important he was seventy five years ago or what fucking ever.

Titans #1: This is basically Judd Winick’s Outsiders, minus the “espionage” stuff, so it’s full-on soap opera about characters who’ve thrived in that setting forever. It’s not bad. It’s certainly confectionary, but it succeeds at the goals it sets for itself – I laughed, I was entertained, I want to read the next issue. It’s by-the-numbers soap opera superheroes, but it’s done well enough.

Criminal #2: This book is almost reviewproof at this point, because it’s always really, really fucking good. What can I say about Criminal that hasn’t been said everywhere else? If you’re on the fence and have even a passing interest in really well-executed crime comics, grab this issue. It’s a one-off, it’s a good starting point. If you like it, go back and grab the Coward TPB. Everything about this issue works – although I miss the hand lettering from the first volume, Brubaker’s script is authentic and involving as usual, fully establishing Teeg Lawless as a truly terrifying motherfucker, on a physical and psychological level. Sean Phillips is on top of his game with some downright masterful layouts and design work (and a really, really good visual representation of your friend and mine, the bender blackout). Val Staples’s colors are moody and complementary, focused purely on storytelling. Great comics, but really, you didn’t need me to tell you this.

Nova #12: I’m kind of surprised this didn’t carry an Annihilation: Conquest banner, and readers of that series might want to pick this issue up else they’re likely to be a bit confused next week in that book’s conclusion. Nova’s been an underdog book since its announcement, spinning out of an underdog event, starring a character that’s always been an underdog. So twelve issues with a bunch of momentum still behind it is pretty damn good. Nova is filling a seriously empty niche in the Marvel Universe right now (although he’ll soon be joined by the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy by the same writing team), so hopefully with a bit more time and possibly promotion this book can continue on its groove.

I also read Booster Gold #8 and Wonder Woman #19, both of which are more or less the same quality and subject-matter wise as previous installments.

1 Comment »

  1. I have to say the blackout stuff in the comic was such a great storytelling device.

    Comment by Pedro Tejeda — April 10, 2008 @ 3:20 pm

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