Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Comics Reviews At Last!

Howdy, all. Chris here with a semi-fresh pile o' comics and an assload of opinions about them. More on me and Randy's Vegas trip later; for now I guess I'll stoop to providing what this blog is allegedly all about. :) Plus, be warned: there might be spoilers ahead.


So, this first arc is (I think) all about re-establishing Hal "Jackass" Jordan as Green Lantern and the themes that came along with Green Lantern: Rebirth (i.e., fear versus willpower, redemption, et cetera). So, how's it doing? Well, there's actually the first resonating moment in three issues when Hal reflects on his battle with an outdated Manhunter (android variety, not the prosecutorial variety which Randy reflected on earlier). And the subplot with the Jordan clan provides a nice bit of optimism, which I think is one of GL's defining characteristics --- he's the light, literally and figuratively, in a dark universe. Plus, the art is nice superheroey action for a good deal of the time.

Best Moment: the Manhunter's reaction to impending...er...boom.
Worst Moment: Hal's acceptance back into the Air Force, without so much as a "Um, not that we don't trust you --- having murdered millions, attempted to stop time and revert the universe back to preanimate matter and so forth, but would you mind -- you know--- it's silly formalities, really--- signing this waiver?"
Comic Book Goodness: Cool superheroey action, enough character moments to think about, and solid art. 4/5


After a filler issue in which the (ye Gods) Purple Pilgrim was re-introduced, we get to see the Never-Awaited, Flashback-Filled Origin of the Golden Eagle, a.k.a. Charley Parker, a.k.a. Not Carter Hall.

Most of this issue is dedicated to explaining Charley's origin, which basically is like every other quasi-sidekick's origin in comics: hardscrabble, tough-knock delinquent saved by the overwhelming kindness of said delinquent's hero, leading to powers, training, et cetera. Snore. Oh, and retconning Golden Eagle's death (short version: Nth metal saved his life). Didn't see that coming.

Finally, at the end, there's the balls-out Hawkman action that defines why I love this comic in terms of sheer brutality and ass-kickedness.

And by the way, Joe Bennett, don't EVER think of leaving this comic. Hawkgirl drawn by any other would be the equivalent of ny 5 year old son attempting to paint Mona Lisa. Joe, you gotta stay.

Best Moment: Seeing the Adam Strange - Carter Hall archaeologist relationship being meaningful, well-thought-out and interesting.
Worst Moment: Carter Hall in a mullet. I wish to God I was kidding about that.
Comic Book Goodness: 3/5, mainly for the art's return to status quo and the Adam Strange stuff that in two pages provided some semblance of logic to Rann-Thanagar War.

House of M #5

5 issues in, and we're finally getting to the "Gathering of Heroes" phase. Amusingly, I just typed that last sentence as "Gathering of Herpes", which may in fact have provided a more entertaining issue. Now, don't get me wrong. I like this series overall. But quite frankly, it's taken a LONG time to get to this point, and we've only got three more issues to finish it. Anyway, this issue is basically an extended field trip, with deus ex machina Layla Miller going around edu-ma-catin' all the heroes of the Marvel U that shit ain't right. If it weren't for 6 pages smack dab in the middle of this issue, I'd say burn it. But.

The six pages that show Peter Parker's re-education are absolutely powerful. I mean, POWERFUL. This is the most I've cared about Spider-Man in years, and holy crap, not only did it make sense given the character, it actually moved me. You simply have to read this if you care about comics. It's that good. Really.

Oh yeah, and somehow, I'm getting tired of Olivier Coipel's art. I have no explanation for this.

Best Moment: The aforementioned Parker sequence. Buy this comic.
Worst Moment: The semi-incomprehensible final 4 pages. Plus the rest of them that don't deal with Peter Parker.
Comic Book Goodness: 2/5. But man, those 6 pages....awesome.

I'll be back with more tomorrow: JLA, Klarion, Zatanna, Iron Man (don't get me started), Lex Luthor:Man of Steel, Rann-Thanagar War, Villains United and Defenders!

Till then,
I'm just another guy buying comics.