Thursday, June 22, 2006

Chris' Reviews 6/21

Big batch of books this week, so mini-reviews are in order, I think. The good news is that most of them weren't terrible. Massive Spoilers Ahoy!

CASANOVA #1 --- Matt Fraction's story of... um... well, to be honest I'm still not quite sure what it's about after reading it 3 times, other than the fact that the lead character is an agent (sort of) who does lots of wacky explosive things (sort of) in an alternate universe (sort of). It's got a very 60's/Steranko-ish feel to it, and there are lots of good crazy ideas thrown around, but it may be a victim of Nextwave, in that it reminds me a LOT of Ellis' book, right down to the SHIELD-type organizations. Still, the Gabriel Ba art is nifty and the premise has a lot of potential. And it's only 2 bucks, which will hook me every time. Give it a shot, and see if it's for you. CBG: 3/5.

IRON MAN #9 --- The people being executed are the ones responsible for Ho Yinsen's death (he would be the scientist from the origin story who helped Tony make the Iron Man armor), Tone locks himself up to prove to Nick Fury that he's not the one doing it, then another person is killed and apparently it IS Tony in the armor doing the killin'. I was doing just fine ignoring the head-slappers (Anthony Stark, Jr.? Where's Howard?) until at the end Fury decides to bring in Tony using --- dear God --- The Sentry. I hate you, Marvel. CBG: 2/5.

ANNIHILATION: NOVA #3 (of 4) --- Sort of running in place here, as Nova, Drax, and Cammi get enlisted by Quasar to help evacuate a planet, and then Annihilus shows up. Some good lines ("I had a conversation with his hat.") and it's nice to see Quasar back in action, but this felt like a filler issue, and when you have a filler in a 4-issue series, that's typically not a good thing. CBG: 2/5.

HAUNT OF HORROR #2 (of 3) --- Disappointing in that we get a standard retelling of the "Tell-Tale Heart", a zombie Civil War soldier vignette, a serial killer who drowns in bed, and a guy with a blow-up doll who dies having sex with it. No, I'm not kidding. Rich Corben's art is still excellent, but this series overall has been less than what I thought it would be, and I can't say it's a good value for the 4 dollar price tag. CBG: 1/5.

SHADOWPACT #2 --- The Pentacle (think of them as an evil Shadowpact, with opposites having similar powers) prepare for their sacrifice, and the whole issue basically serves to introduce them one at a time as they fight their opposite numbers. The 'Pact gets their collective ass handed to them. A few good lines, some inventive fight scenes, but the art was downright painful in places, and I'm with Detective Chimp: get him the hell out of that silly suit. CBG: 3/5.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #19 --- Cap, Union Jack, and Spitfire investigate exactly what the hell Lukin/Red Skull is trying to do in London, Bucky is preparing for a crusade of his own, and Sharon Carter shows back up. Yeah, this was a very good issue, with Brubaker using equal amounts of action, dialogue, and plot movement to raise the stakes in every way. Highly recommended, and I can't wait for the next ish. (And no, I can't quite believe that I'm actually looking forward to buying Captain America comics for the first time in like, ever.) CBG: 4/5.

FALLEN ANGEL #6 --- A recounting of Lee's first "adventure" when she fell to Earth in some Middle Eastern country, a nice little done-in-one (maybe) as a break from the continued soap opera in Bete Noire. The art in this issue is radically different from the previous ones though, and I find myself missing the surreal painted qualities more than I thought I would. OK, but since it's a flashback there's nothing at stake, so it's not as compelling as usual. CBG: 3/5.

THE FLASH #1 --- No, I'm not calling it "Flash: The Fastest Man Alive", no matter how much DC wants us to. Anyway, Bart Allen wrestles with being a 20-year old all of a sudden, there's some confusing narration from Jay, Barry, and company, and at the end the Speed Force is (kind of) back... or something. Honestly, after the 3rd read I sort of gave up trying to figure out exactly what was going on, because this is quite frankly a terrible jumping on point for new readers. Which is, you know, not good for a #1 issue, I think. Hey, I loves me some Flash, but I'm not sure I want to read more issues of DC's labor-intensive restart. (Aquaman and Wonder Woman interested me from the first issue. This just makes my head hurt.) I think I may sit this one out until things clear up. CBG: 2/5.

JUSTICE #6 --- I know, I know, I'm the only one left buying the individual issues. I don't care --- this issue is fantastic, as the Atom gets some good time, the plot advances, and there is an absolutely PERFECT moment with Hawkman and Hawkgirl that pretty much sums up what I think their relationship should be. Plus, the pretty. pretty art. The JLA is beginning to regroup to fight the Legion of Doom's plan to rid the world of heroes, there's a great moment between Batman and Wonder Woman, and Giganta's new design is just great. Well done, sirs. CBG: 4/5.

ULTIMATES #11 --- Yeah, yeah, completist won't let me quit this close to the end, blahbity-blah-blah-blah. Count me as vastly underwhelmed by this issue (with a kickass cover), in which Cap, Wasp, Hawkeye and Tony mount a resistance, Thor's coming back next issue, and the Hulk shows up at the end to lay down a gamma-powered ass-whoopin'. (Yawn. I know, it's wrong on many levels, but I don't care about Ultimate Hulk showing up.) This will probably end up being the most overpraised book this week. CBG: 2/5.

Working on some thoughts on continuity inspired by Mark Fossen and Harvey Jerkwater, so maybe you'll see those tomorrow.


Blogger Randy said...

I'm going to find, or BETTER YET, make you an Essential Sentry book, just for you!!
Because I can.
And you know I would waste my hard earned money on it just to tic' you off.

12:25 PM  
Blogger joncormier said...

Man, they really need to give Tony his TARDIS briefcase and pencil stache back instead of making him a government patsy weapon selling computer.

Forget ruining Spider-man, Marvel seems to have completely lost the plot with Iron Man

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sentry showing up in an something that isn't his series?
sentry's going to get his ass kicked.

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Car RamRod said...

I read this blog everyday. it almost pains me to read your reviews though. How can you think the Ultimates is a "yawn"? I think your review is a "yawn". That book can come out quartarly and still be one of the most excellent buys of that week. And after 19 issues of Captain America you're finally looking forward to buying the book? Where have you been for the past year pal? Every arc has been excellent. I just think we have different tastes. Your reviews infuriate me, which is why I like to read them.

P.S. Sentry is awesome. He should be mixing it up with folks like Thanos, Quasar, and that lot instead of being on Earth.

P.S.S. Civil War is awesome and will continue to get awesomer. Yes. Awesomer.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Ramrod: thanks for the views! I live to infuriate!

I could have been clearer regarding Cap; It's been one of my favorites since I jumped on board around issue 14 or so, and I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of its excellence.

And I know, I'm the only guy left on the planet who thinks Ultimates isn't the Single Best Comic Ever, nor do I even think it's particularly good. The art is undeniably awesome, but this take on the Avengers just isn't my cuppa.

P.S. No, I'm sorry, the Sentry blows.

P.P.S. Civil War shows much promise. I hope you're right. I think you are.

Are we all right meow? :-)

3:29 PM  
Anonymous car ramrod said...

You know, I just paged through a few of the Sentry's comics. You might be right about him blowing. Older stuff was great, but after reading the new issues, I just look up from the page with a blank stare.

6:59 AM  

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