Thursday, September 13, 2007

Review Catch-Up Pt. II

OK, here we go, spoilers, etc., you get the picture.

FLASH #231 --- Waid's back, and so is Wally, Linda, and the twins, and they're a crimefightin' fam-a-lee! Bottom line is that this feels like a Flash book again, and it's bookended with the kids rescuing people from a ferry disaster in Keystone and some giant horribly betentacled monster attacking them. In between, a little history as to how we got here, a few seeds of marital discord, and a few one-liners. The only thing I didn't like was Daniel Acuna's artwork, which just seemed a bit too indistinct and muddy for me, though that may be a personal taste thing. CBG: 3/5.

CHECKMATE #17 --- A great little done-in-one showing how Checkmate's hiring practices deviate somewhat from, say, GE or IBM. (Although, strangely, they're identical to the way I imagine Microsoft tests new employee candidates.) The Villain Formerly Known As Deathtrap applies for the job of Castellan (that's the castle's security director), and Rucka and Eric Trautmann give us an amazingly 3-D picture of Deathtrap's thoughts, fears, and motivations. I continue to be amazed that this book doesn't garner more attention. CBG: 4/5.

JONAH HEX #22-23 --- Well, JH #22 is basically an alternate script treatment for The Prestige that (like the movie) contains way more talking than is good for a story that ultimately doesn't really end, it just stops. Don't bother with it. JH #23 is a different animal, told as a flashback to school children. You're not going to believe this, but Hex fights some Native Americans --- but the bad guys really turn out to be the mustachioed white army officers! I know! Can you believe it? I totally did not see that coming! Le sigh. CBG: 2/5.

DETECTIVE COMICS #835-836 --- This has to be the laziest Batman story I've read in a long time; by relying on reader assumptions, stacked coincidences, and just plain wrong-headedness, this two-parter casts Scarecrow as a vicious serial killer who essentially kills people for fun now in broad daylight and taunts the local police... you know, just like every other serial killer ever. So instead of a somewhat fascinating villain with unique motives, John Rozum turns him into Generic Killer #446.

The plot holes are so big you can drive six starships through them --- Arkham has a "general population"? Why do they let him have his mask and stuff? How is he unseen in broad daylight? Why does Batman want to kill him? --- and too numerous to list all of them. Paul Dini, please answer the white courtesy phone. Your party is trying to reach good Batman comics. CBG: 0/5.

X-FACTOR #22 --- You're probably tired of me praising this comic, but I don't care. It's really good, with great characters and dialogue. In this issue, there's pity sex, a traitor in the ranks, and an interesting new villain who wants to use the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to protect mutantkind. Plus, Guido gets off the line: "You should see some of the skinks I've dated." This issue has a lot of pieces moving into place; if you're not reading this, I'm legitimately curious as to why. Loses a few points for the stupid "Endangered Species" back-up story with Beast swallowing Dark Beast's memories or some shit that totally reminds me why I don't read about the X-Men anymore. CBG: 3/5.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #29 --- To be frank, absolutely nothing of note happens until the last page, when Bucky gets captured by Lukin, Sin, and Crossbones. The rest is a bunch of hemming and hawing and not-really-action that reads like the first 600 pages of a Tom Clancy book, the boring part where everyone is trying to figure out what's going on and that just keeps on going forever and ever and everyone is chasing everyone else but they don't know it and OHMYGOD WILL SOMEONE SHOOT SOMEONE ALREADY?!? Yeah, it's like that. I can't decide if it should gain points or lose points for showing Sharon Carter vomiting while holding an AIM beekeeper at gunpoint. CBG: 2/5.

Tomorrow: Birds of Prey, Green Lantern Corps, and The All-New Atom!



Blogger CalvinPitt said...

Hey now, it isn't really fair to X-Factor to deduct points for stupid Endangered Species back-ups. They're quite easy to avoid really. You just have to close the book the moment you see blue fur.

Which is why I only got about five pages into X-Factor #23. Whoops. So it needs a little ironing out. Stupid cameo by Astonishing X-Men cast members.

2:28 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

I'd say, as soon as you see "Dark Beast", shut your eyes tight and start drinking knowing that memories of "The Age of Apocylpse" are going to haunt you for the rest of the day.

Also, ask Robin Williams to start repeating "It's not X-factor's fault, it's not X-Factor's fault..." as he hugs you.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

In re: Checkmate #17

"(Although, strangely, they're identical to the way I imagine Microsoft tests new employee candidates.)"

No. I worked at Microsoft for eight years. Eight pain-filled, miserable years.

I *wish* my treatment had been that gentle.


Really glad you liked the issue!

-Eric Trautmann

9:02 PM  

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