Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Chris' Reviews 12/21


Big week, y'all. Big week that was unusually strong in almost every area. I am pleased to no end. Massive Spoilers Ahoy!

INFINITE CRISIS #3

Well, at this point you're either reading this or you're not. (Way to go out on a limb there, Chris.---ed.) I happen to find the art excellent, the story intriguing, and the pacing perfect for a 7-issue miniseries. In this issue, Alex Luthor and Superboy (Prime? 2? X? S? Hell, I don't know anymore.) are revealed to be the quasi-villains of the piece, Paradise Island disappears at Diana's request, and several DC heroes end up strapped to a dimensional tuning fork, which sounds a lot kinkier than it actually is.

This is hitting all the right notes for me, and it just feels like a big event comic. Yeah, in the grand scheme of things, Infinite Crisis is comics comfort food, but hey: who doesn't need a little macaroni and cheese every now and then?

Best Moment: Batman has a nervous breakdown, which is one of those rare moments these days --- you know, Bruce showing an emotion other than "asshat".

Worst Moment: Donna Troy and the gang continue to...do something...with the Giant Space Hole. I don't know most of this crew, don't care about the Giant Space Hole, and it's easily the least interesting part of this crisis so far.

Comic Book Goodness: 3/5. Superheroey stuff that moves along quickly, advances the plot enough to make you want to reread issues 1 and 2 to see if you missed anything, and excellent art. It's nothing special, but there are far worse books out there.



GREEN LANTERN #6

Hal's old buddy the Black Hand shows up and gets all Black Hand-y on Hal, who has his hands full fighting the Shark, the Evil Yellow German Gremlins From Space (TM), and his feelings about death. The EYGGFS also do some more tinkering with Hector Hammond's already sizable noggin, so he gets an upgrade and we'll probably see more of him in the future.

It's one big fight comic with flashbacks to Hal's life thrown in there, and it's competently done. But that's not the reason I like this issue so much.

That reason would be Simone Bianchi drawing the comic, and it's PERFECT. I make no secret that I dig Bianchi's style, and I think it works beautifully in GL. From the surreally shaded ring constructs to the evil-creepy Hector Hammond, to the bright colors throughout, Bianchi nails every page perfectly.

To sum up: great art, ending to the current arc, fighty-fight-fight-fight mixed with flashbacks. Works for me.

Best Moment: "You think Egypt's the only place on that mudball that stole their language from off-world?" --- Krolotean GL team's answer when asked why they spoke German

Worst Moment: Did Hal really slice off Black Hand's...erm...black hand AGAIN and then bury him alive? Dude. Hal. Harsh.

Comic Book Goodness: 3/5. I'm tempted to give it a higher score strictly for the art...but the flashback stuff interrupts the main plot and it seems like we got rid of Black Hand pretty quickly in 2 issues---that felt entirely rushed.



X-MEN: DEADLY GENESIS #2

I'm not a fan of the X-Men. Haven't been in a while, though I do enjoy flipping through my Essentials collections and hearkening back to a time when the X-Men were cool and different and a team, instead of...well, whatever the hell they're supposed to be now.

That said, Ed Brubaker is doing a terrific job with this series so far, as in issue 2 we learn that the Cosmic Space Mutant Guy who kidnapped Marvel Girl and Cyclops is "old skool" related somehow (he knows Cyke, but doesn't know Wolverine), which we all figured anyway. Havok acts the idiot, everyone starts seeing personal ghosts, and Banshee has some news about the professor that he's flying over to the gang (until another plane gets in the way). It's a decent little mystery with some good characterization, and the fact that Banshee, Nightcrawler, Kitty, Wolvie, and Colossus are all back together in the same comic is like a warm blanket on a cold night.

I have no idea what that last simile meant.

I'm still tired of Emma Frost. Can we just get rid of her, or exile her to some island, or something? We get it. You're a sexy bitch. That's your whole shtick, Emma. Now go away. Please. Now.

Anyhoo, i've been pleasantly surprised by this comic---two issues in and I'm still on board, interested in the X-Men, and there ain't anything wrong with that, right?

Best Moment: There's a nice two-page scene between Logan and Nightcrawler as they're driving to the airport that just...works. It's not earth-shattering, not really important, it's one of those scenes that doesn't have to be in a book but good writers include them anyway.

Worst Moment: Banshee might be dead, but it was nice to see the lame butterfly-collared outfit from back in the day. The only thing missing was a speech balloon saying, "I wish I could help! But without me sonic scream, I'm of nae more help to them than a lamp post!"
(Seriously. Go track down the Dark Phoenix -era Claremont X-Men. I think Claremont was contractually obligated to have Banshee point out that his powers were lost EVERY SINGLE ISSUE. It's weird.)

Comic Book Goodness: 3/5. Solid, unexpectedly entertaining stuff.



IRON MAN: THE INEVITABLE #1

I cannot review this comic reliably. I was so overjoyed to see an in-character Tony Stark, the Spymaster, the Ghost, the Living Laser, a kickass Iron Man scene taking out arms dealers, the email snippets that Joe Casey throws in every now and then to set the location, the Frazer Irving art, the in-continuity-ness of it all, the solid focus on Tony/IM, and the wackiness of Tony hiring a psychologist to help the Living Laser that words fail me.

Like I said, I can't review this reliably. Casey's off to a wonderful start as far as I'm concerned, though. Can't wait for the next issue.

OK, the title has to go, though. "The Inevitable"?

(And yes, I'm picking on the title because I can't find much fault anywhere else in this comic.)

Warning to those interested: if you didn't like the heavily inked Irving art in the Seven Soldiers: Klarion series, you won't like the art here. Plus, there's an odd pink/purple theme running throughout the book, so it can look strange at times. Not bad, but strange.

Yay! An Iron Man comic that doesn't suck!

BULLET POINT REVIEWS...

SEVEN SOLDIERS: BULLETEER #2: Wait, so Vigilante was a werewolf? Whaaa? This issue touches more on the #0 issue that kicked off this whole enterprise than any other series issue so far, and I guess that's a good thing. I think. So far I'm underwhelmed with this particular character/series. The heroine as a literal "bombshell" sounds like the idea of someone who thinks he's cleverer than he really is. And I like Grant Morrison.

GREEN LANTERN CORPS: RECHARGE #3: Whoo boy, I'm loving this series more and more. It's a GL Festivus as Guy, Kyle, Soranik, 'Wog, and the two dudes from Rann and Thanagar spend most of the issue fighting (very cool) and insulting each other (also cool). At the end, 'Wog forms a GL posse to go kill the Very Bad Space Villains, which includes Fatality! Sweet! If the rest of the series is this good, I might seriously consider forgiving Dave Gibbons for Rann-Thanagar War.

JUSTICE #3: It's pretty good, what with the Legion of Doom going public with their scheme and Martian Manhunter gets the best 16 pages he's had in 10 years. Gorilla Grodd shows up, as does the Joker. Red Tornado gets some good screen time, too. All in all, happy with this, and of course the art is astounding.

Wow, what a great week in comics for me. Not a stinker in the bunch!

6 Comments:

Blogger James Meeley said...

Actually, Hal is not in GL Corps: Recharge (except for a thankfully breif scene in issue #1). I think you meant Kyle, as he's one of the stars of this comic. But I agree with you on how cool this mini has been, as well as how badly Gibbons handled Rann-Thanagar War.

If you want to see that (and 14 other titles) get ripped on by me, head over to my blog and check out my "2005 Yaer In Drek." I hope you have a strong stomach, though. You'll need it. ;)

2:17 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Thanks, James, you're right. I've edited the post.

2:35 PM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

I'm quite enjoying GLC too, which is weird, because Geoff Johns' name is on the cover, and that's usually a sign of a bad time within for me. I do wish it wasn't published by DC thouhg, because I just know that it's going to get shoved up the arse of some crossover or another at some point, and all the delicious space opera goodness will disappear. Bah.

Oh, and InC #3 was terrible, although not quite as terrible as the first two. I just wish they'd let a proper writer have a go. How good would it be if they'd let Morrison write it? Johns is the architect of the DCU and he's only about twelve! Bah.

And Emma Frost is a fantastic character, but no one but Morrison seems to know how to write her, and they just fall on the bitchy aspect.

Iron Man didn't do much for me story-wise, but I love Irving's art, and I think he was a good pick. I'd love to see him take on Hulk.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Spencer Carnage said...

Iron Man and Deadly Genesis was good stuff. I too was stoked to see old school X-men in action. And Casey nailed Iron Man so much better than Warren Ellis ever will.

11:07 AM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

I'm pretty sure that The Inevitable was originally solicited as a story arc in the main title, not a separate miniseries. I'd guess the lateness of the main book has forced it to come out separately.

3:27 PM  
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