Comic Book Reviews

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Postby burlivesleftnut on Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:56 pm

What's an Eric Powell?
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Postby Ribbons on Tue Mar 18, 2008 1:07 pm

burlivesleftnut wrote:What's an Eric Powell?


He writes and illustrates The Goon!
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Postby DennisMM on Tue Mar 18, 2008 2:46 pm

The Action story Powell drew was interesting, but it angered me that it had to interrupt the Kryptonian villain story Donner and Johns were doing. Fucking artists and/or writers get so far behind schedule.
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Postby unikrunk on Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:19 am

Serenity: Better Days #1

I was never a fan of Firefly, then I caught Serenity one evening; my wife and I were blown away. Fucking loved it. Picked up the series on DVD, and while good, it did not pack the punch that the film did. This is perhaps because when watching the movie we had no specific frame of reference, and were putting it all together as we watched.

That’s pretty much the same deal with this comic. It is thrice removed from the raging coolness of Serenity. This is not to say it is bad, it not, it’s very good, actually. It’s akin to getting a fifth generation vhs copy of a great movie…sorta.

Thor #7

Holy fuckballs, Thor. You are kicking my dick in with all this gaddam awesome. I decree this issue as Lord of All Comics. Seriously. The art is amazing, love fucking Odin, and the story is just 100% tits. Also, got the var cover and it looks sweet. I am not going into any further detail than this; it would spoil a thing of beauty. If you are not reading this series, you are missing the boat. We are only at issue seven, so, you know, it’s not that hard to track down six back issues.


More later...coffee now...
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Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:49 am

DennisMM wrote:The Action story Powell drew was interesting, but it angered me that it had to interrupt the Kryptonian villain story Donner and Johns were doing. Fucking artists and/or writers get so far behind schedule.


Yeah that shit was all Kubert. That fucker has checked out the moment he signed a DC exclusive.
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Postby unikrunk on Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:44 am

Some more reviews...

the Brave and the Bold #11

The art in this issue was sub-par, and the story was clumsy, but somehow a fun ride came of the unholy pairing. Old school fun, silly, and just a little ALF, this issue hits the sweet spot. Is this what it’s like to hook up with that chick you always thought was ‘just a little sleepy’, only to discover she is mildly mentally handicapped? Yes. And there is no shame this time.

JLA #19

This is one of those marvelous weeks where every comic reads like a gem. This single issue of JLA has pulled me out of the water and back into the boat; and believe me, that is no short feat, as I was swimming all crazy-style for the fucking shore, friends. The art was good, and the story had some nice twists and such, but those are not the hands that snatched me from the sea; this was done by the team dynamic working again.

For a long time, I have found that the JLA and JSA books were going off the rails, ignoring any team-up stories (which seems fairly unsound for fucking team-up comics, but…), and telling the feeble tales of their respective new rosters. Seriously, if I have to read on more ‘welcome to the JSA/JLA story I am going to puke on Burl’s scrotum. Thank-fucking-god-fully, someone had the creative genius to send the JLA out as a team, and put in some interesting reveals and character development.

So, I am back in the JLA boat for now, drying off a bit, but I ain’t going to let myself get too comfortable, I may have to jump for land again soon.

Oh, if there was any confusion, I liked #19.

Countdown #6

Fucking.

Endgame.

I am so loving this weekly; I am not sure what's on the horizon regarding future plans for a weekly, but I would be very pleased with a third year of soap-opera comics. And that is by no means a jab; I use the term soap-opera comics with nuttin’ but love.

The narrative choices in this issue, and the amount of ground covered are both simply amazing. Shit is closing in around our heroes as final crisis looms, and I am looking forward to the payoff.


SPOILER

So, I think killing KK was cool, but it’s so obvious that he is coming back, probably next issue. Keeping him dead would give some resonance, but I find that premise dubious at best.

Overall, the best Countdown to date, IMO.

The Incredible Hercules #115

Um, how is this so fucking awesome? Again, this week is just gems and baubles. The amazing Herc is fast becoming one of my favorite and most anticipated titles; the story is just fantastic, and the dialogue is top drawer.

This story starts out almost comical, and then takes a giant left turn into ‘highly personal and devastatingly violent’. This entire issue was fantastic, a few extra-golden-moments:

- Everything with Herc and Ares. From the fisticuffs to the smack-talking, brilliant
- The telling of the Labors and the brief exposition on Myth…bravo
- The pencils and inks…glorious
- Herakles…heh…fucking awesome work, Marvel dudes.

In closing, the preview panel for next month’s story looks fine as hell. Looking forward to it.

Annihilation TPB – Book One

I started reading Nova: Annihilation for a couple of issue, but somewhere along the line it fell of my radar. I think perhaps this was due to me not reading other Annihilation titles. The first trade collects Drax the Destroyer 1-4, Annihilation Prologue and Annihilation: Nova 1-4, and read in this fashion, it is fun as hell. I really dig the intergalactic science/space hero shit, so this trade just clicks with me like white on rice.

I have book two sitting next to me, and plan to spend the rest of my morning reading it; here’s hoping it continues its proclivity for fuck-yes-ness.

X-Men: Supernovas

Looked very pretty, but sat in the corner all night and picked at her lip-infection. It all felt thrown together all higelty-pigelty, and did not really deliver anything new. Ah ,cest la vie.
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Postby unikrunk on Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:12 am

Forgot one...

The Life Eaters - David Brin, Scott Hampton

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This was an amazing read, with a bit of a letdown in the wrap-up.

Beautifull paints by Hampton drive home some incredible, if dense at times, writing from Brin. Overall the finished work is just shy of perfect.

There are some images and words in Life Eaters that are at once archetypal and completely original; I would equate it to Mignola's work in Eastern European myth and folklore. One image and caption in particular gave me a shiver; tiny text for spoilery material:

[size=59]While facing Odin during the closing years of WWII, Odin tries to play it shady and stab our hero in the back. Amazingly, this human blocks the attempt, and disarms Odin himself; then, to further amazement to all present, this mere man breaks Odin's spear over his knee. The image of the splintering spear is gorgeous, and the caption "I feel my femur shatter, my hands go a second later.â€
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Postby Leckomaniac on Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:03 am

Been meaning to write up some reviews. No time like the present.

DC

Superman/Batman Annual 2 - The two of you that read my reviews regularly (yes, two readers, I realize that is a liberal estimate) know that I have never reviewed this title before. Why is that the case? Because for as long as I can remember this title hasn't been worth reviewing. It has been plain bad on a stunningly consistent basis. So why am I reviewing it now? Because this annual is almost pitch perfect. If you want a dead on portrayal of DC's two most famous heroes look no further. Joe Kelly nails every single characters voice from Superman to Alfred to Robin. The villain introduced is quite nifty as well. The highest praise I can give this book is that, at times, it feels as though it was written by Grant Morrison. Besides for a few dialogue snafus this issue has it all. 4.5/5

Marvel

Captain America #36 - I know how gaga people go over Brubaker's run. To be fair, I am one of those people who have continuously praised what he has been doing. Because, honestly, a lot of what he has done has been spectacular. However, there has been something about these last few issues that just doesn't sit right with me. It isn't that the issue is poorly executed it is just that it isn't connecting with me on the level that I wish that it would. The end is one hell of a cliffhanger, but that wasn't enough for me. I am not tearing this issue down or anything, but it hasn't hit me lately as it used too. Personally, I would like to see Bru step back from Daredevil and give it to Rucka so he can focus entirely on Cap, Criminal, Iron Fist, and Uncanny. 3/5

Immortal Iron Fist #13 - This book is so crazy, fun, and kick-ass that my senses almost feel abused after reading it. Like they just got drop kicked or something. The current story arc is just eighteen different kinds of epic. Even when the story isn't hitting on all cylinders it is still something special. If you haven't been reading this book then shame on you. 4/5

Incredible Hercules #115 - This. Book. Rocks. Greg Park and Fred VL have done some excellent work turning Hercules into one of the most fascinating characters in the Marvel U. Furthermore, I just love Amadeus Cho. I know others hate on him, but I disagree. This arc pitting him against Ares was so damn entertaining. As much as it pains me to see Pak off of Hulk...I want this team to remain on Hercules for a long time. 4/5

Thor #7 - I have been pretty critical of JMS' run on Thor thus far. I thought the first issue was great, but the series has slowed to a snails pace in subsequent issues (with the exception of that throw down with Iron Man). However, this latest issue is actually a vast improvement. Well written and with excellent art. For the first time since the inaugural issue I am looking forward to what comes next. Hopefully, the delays don't kill the books momentum. 3.5/5
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Postby unikrunk on Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:56 am

Y the Last Man – TPB #2

Fucking gold. It’s as if I live in a time-bubble that is about 2 years slower than the outside world. Everyone and their mother have read all of these stories, and I am playing catch-up. In light of this, I won’t dig into the content, as all of you already know what the score is. Suffice to say, it’s fucking gold.

Seaguy – GN

Morrison and Stewart take fifteen tabs of lysergic acid diethylamide each, daily; I am 100% certain of this. This was a great comic to read…while on WEED! Seriously. If not for the weed, and my penchant for the obtuse and absurd, I would have found this utterly boring. However, given my taste in high-grade pot and aforementioned affections, I found this comic to be absolutely fantastic. The story? Does it even matter? Okay, so this guy, Seaguy, is a superhero, sorta, who hangs with this cigar smoking tuna that has a fear of water…yeah, it just floats around in the air, chomping on cigars and speaking with what I imagine is a Brooklyn accent.

Then stuff gets weird. Real weird. In short, if you are looking for a fun read, with lots of surreal imagery, but no real story, this comic is made for you. If you are looking for an action comic, or the next Watchmen, keep on digging, because you will not find that here at level 10. That department is down on level 17.

Trinity – GN

Matt Wagner does a great job here, with this imagining of the first team-up of the DC Big-Three (Supes, Diana and The Batdude), crafting a genuinely interesting tale, and some fantastic loose art. This is how Miller’s stuff used to look, before it got all Dark Knight Strikes Again on us.

Great villains in this one as well; Ra’s is teamed up with Bizaro and a rogue Amazon, and the fights and dialogue are pitch-perfect. This is worth a purchase.

Annihilation – TPB #2

This was okay, but nowhere near as cool as the first book. The Super-Skrull stuff did not work for me, and in the end the entire Annihilation deal is kind of a let down. It’s just not very captivating stuff after a while…the premise is good, but the execution falls apart at the end.
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Postby unikrunk on Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:45 pm

Green Lantern #29

Secret origin, part 1…yeah. I don’t get the detour from the unfolding events post-Sinestro War, at all. The origin thing has recently been covered, and incredibly well, in New Frontier. Why break away from cool stuff to cover this? Meh. It’s not terrible or even that bad, really, it just does not make any gaddam sense.

Batman Confidential #15

I swear to god a fucking 13 year old is writing this story. What the shit is up? Good gravy, this is just ALF. The villain looks bad enough, and then Nightwing shows up in that weird 80’s costume…it looks like a friggin fashion show at Mary’s Bar.

Countdown 5

More of the same as last issue, not that well written or drawn, but inks are pretty good, and the body count is going up. The rats thing was weird, did not see that coming. Also dug the Super-Were-Man thing going on.

JSA Classified #36 – Wildcat

Pretty great pencils and inks, and some interesting narrative and plot choices make for a good read here. I really dug the flashback stuff; the panels really pulled me in. Despite this recent arc’s bad-assness, I am thinking about ditching this title. I just can’t get past the lame-shit Hour-Man type tales, they bore and irritate.

All Star Superman #10

This makes up for all the wrongs in the world. Brilliant story telling, fun and colorful inks and an almost Moebius sense for architecture and machinery sell the hell out of this book. It just pops. And the contrast of this with the story drives it home. Fucking outstanding.
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Postby DennisMM on Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:33 am

I never thought about Frank Quitely working in a style similar to that of Moebius's sf. Wonderful observation. If only Frank Miller would try that look again.

I'd recommend dumping Batman: Confidential. I heard so much bad about it that I never bought one, just peeked in the store.

It's still two months until Final Crisis and only four more weeks of Countdown. When is the Great Disaster going to hit? When is Batman going to die? In Final Crisis I suppose.

What the hell do KK and Vi of this "Lightning Ring" Legion have to do with the Legion in the current Action Comics story? What does either have to do with Shooter's brand-new Legion of Super-Heroes Legion (which seems to be different from Bedard's Legion of Super-Heroes Legion)? I loved the Legion when I was a kid and young adult. I loved the "Five Years Later" Legion. I liked the Legionnaires SW-6 batch duplicate Legion. I even liked the "three-boot" Legion. I love the Action Legion.

What the fuck is going on?
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Postby unikrunk on Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:40 am

DennisMM wrote:I never thought about Frank Quitely working in a style similar to that of Moebius's sf. Wonderful observation. If only Frank Miller would try that look again.

I'd recommend dumping Batman: Confidential. I heard so much bad about it that I never bought one, just peeked in the store.

It's still two months until Final Crisis and only four more weeks of Countdown. When is the Great Disaster going to hit? When is Batman going to die? In Final Crisis I suppose.

What the hell do KK and Vi of this "Lightning Ring" Legion have to do with the Legion in the current Action Comics story? What does either have to do with Shooter's brand-new Legion of Super-Heroes Legion (which seems to be different from Bedard's Legion of Super-Heroes Legion)? I loved the Legion when I was a kid and young adult. I loved the "Five Years Later" Legion. I liked the Legionnaires SW-6 batch duplicate Legion. I even liked the "three-boot" Legion. I love the Action Legion.

What the fuck is going on?


SPOILERY POST



I am pretty sure I am dumping Batman: Confidential; there has not been one good arc in the first fifteen issues, I mean, damn, I am like one of those wives that keeps rationalizing their husband's physical abuse. I will probably give it two more issues; there is one left in the current 'Wraith, and Son of Wraith' crap-a-thon, then a new arc begins. If that second comic is shitty, I am kicking this rag to the curb.

With Final Crisis, I am not sure what the hell is going on, exactly, but it is fun as hell; is the Earth we are seeing tear itself apart due to the…ahem...Morticocus disease, our Earth? Or is it Earth 25-b, the basement apartment Earth? Not sure here, but it seems that wherever our players are things are pretty much fuckled.

On KK and Una and how this plays into Legion cannon, I have no clue. I find the premise that either are dead highly dubious. Seems this, much like the spread of the virus, is happening on another Earth than ours...this would allow for absolute freedom with characters, as it is all a Bobby Ewing dream, and can be explained away via some temporal-multi-crisis-event in the end. And if that is where all this is going, I am going to be pissed.
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Postby DennisMM on Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:06 pm

Wrath, don't you mean? Stupid name, but Mike W. Barr was barred from using "Wraith" because Michael T. Gilbert already had an anthropomorphic Spirit homage with that name.

Jebus, Why do I remember that? More stupid stuff I recall: the Wrath's creation was inspired by the Ellery Queen novel, The Player on the Other Side, which also was the title of the story in which he first appeared.

I was not pleased by Countdown 05. Buddy Blank's narration was out of nowhere and out of place. We did, however, get to see what the morticoccus was doing to whatever Earth that was - causing the Great Disaster. By taking refuge in the Command D bunker, Buddy has set in motion the events that will lead to his unnamed grandson becoming Kamandi.

It had been policy, for a short while, for the covers of Countdown to display the number of the earth on which the issue was set. They've dropped this very recently. But seeing the heroes evacuate by boom tube leads me to believe we are not looking at New Earth.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:15 am

unikrunk wrote:SHAZAM! The Monster Society of Evil #4 -

Jeff Smith brings his run to a close, wraps up all the loose ends, and delivers, in the end, an enjoyable cartoon comic.

It took me being pissed off at this take for three issues to finally come to terms with this run; classic case of 'I wanted' vs. 'Artist's Vision'. And I am glad I did not drop it, as I almost did, because in the end, reading the last pages of issuse #4 did I realize what Smith was going for all along.

This is a Disney comic, Smith's vision of Shazam is that of the old Marvel Family comics, Saturday morning cartoon stuff. Once I had that under my belt, it completely changed my perspective on the run.

In a time when every comic tries to push the envelope on violence, sexuality, drug use, etc., Smith picks up a well know franchise, one that has been used in some fairly dark ways (Kingdom Come) and ran the other way with it. The ultimate fake-out! He made a great cartoon comic, that is aimed at...kids. Now we all could say 'kids of all ages', but that cliché is tiresome. No, I am going to stick to my guns here, and say it; he made an excellent comic for kids, and in the end, even an old bastard like me softened to it.

Well, that was quite a ramble, eh?

Great comic, terrific run, and my new comfort book, I am giving this 8 out of 10 thumbs up on the unikrunk scale of goodness.


This miniseries really seems to have polarized fans; both of Smith's work and of Shazam.

Only just had this blip on my radar, so I'll probably be picking up the hardcover GN at some point in the near future... but only 4 issues? The GN supposedly contains 240 pages, so how thick were the individual comics?

Not that I'm an expert or anything, but my favorite "recent" comic book Shazam was the one in Kingdom Come. He didn't have that many lines, but I think Alex Ross had done a splendid job in depicting the character's naivety and innocence.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:23 am

Re: Monster Society of Evil

I only read the first issue. It was a decent read, but in the end the 5.99 price tag and my lukewarm reaction to what little I did read lead me not to read any further. It is unfortunate that it was delayed so badly (especially after the lengthy delay getting it published in the first place).
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Postby doglips on Thu Mar 27, 2008 6:28 am

Pacino86845 wrote:
unikrunk wrote:SHAZAM! The Monster Society of Evil #4 -

Jeff Smith brings his run to a close, wraps up all the loose ends, and delivers, in the end, an enjoyable cartoon comic.

It took me being pissed off at this take for three issues to finally come to terms with this run; classic case of 'I wanted' vs. 'Artist's Vision'. And I am glad I did not drop it, as I almost did, because in the end, reading the last pages of issuse #4 did I realize what Smith was going for all along.

This is a Disney comic, Smith's vision of Shazam is that of the old Marvel Family comics, Saturday morning cartoon stuff. Once I had that under my belt, it completely changed my perspective on the run.

In a time when every comic tries to push the envelope on violence, sexuality, drug use, etc., Smith picks up a well know franchise, one that has been used in some fairly dark ways (Kingdom Come) and ran the other way with it. The ultimate fake-out! He made a great cartoon comic, that is aimed at...kids. Now we all could say 'kids of all ages', but that cliché is tiresome. No, I am going to stick to my guns here, and say it; he made an excellent comic for kids, and in the end, even an old bastard like me softened to it.

Well, that was quite a ramble, eh?

Great comic, terrific run, and my new comfort book, I am giving this 8 out of 10 thumbs up on the unikrunk scale of goodness.


This miniseries really seems to have polarized fans; both of Smith's work and of Shazam.

Only just had this blip on my radar, so I'll probably be picking up the hardcover GN at some point in the near future... but only 4 issues? The GN supposedly contains 240 pages, so how thick were the individual comics?

Not that I'm an expert or anything, but my favorite "recent" comic book Shazam was the one in Kingdom Come. He didn't have that many lines, but I think Alex Ross had done a splendid job in depicting the character's naivety and innocence.


Check out First Thunder - Good review of it linked. It mentions the scenes between Billy and Supes and I have to agree they are beautifully written and drawn, real heartfelt stuff. Colin recommended it to me.....
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Postby Pacino86845 on Thu Mar 27, 2008 6:42 am

Wow, that looks really great doglips, totally gonna check that one out as well. Thanks a lot for the recommendation!!
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Postby DennisMM on Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:26 pm

I passed on Monster Society because I've been living beyond my means and so need to wait for these things to ship in TP - that means I might be able to get them from a library.

Good point, 'krunk, that this is a comic for kids. There is nothing wrong with that, except that a kid isn't going to want a comic that costs $6 and features a superhero he's never heard of. *sigh*

So- SPOILER QUESTION - does Mr. Mind kill half a million people or whatever it was, as he did in the Fawcett version?
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Postby unikrunk on Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:01 pm

@Den - re: tiny text: Oh, heavens no. He pretty much does nothing.
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Postby DennisMM on Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:05 pm

That's the difference between "children's comics" sixty years ago and today.
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Postby unikrunk on Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:14 pm

[Looks at Den, touches nose]

Yep. Still, it's a great light-hearted read. Good point regarding the disparity of the target audience and the price of each issue; when I have seen these books purchased, it was always an adult Bone fan buying the comics for their kid(s)...many of them telling me directly that they were attempting to get their kid to read more, and figured this would be a good start.

I have never seen a kid buy this run on his or her own accord.

The kids are more apt to go for the Marvel Family/Harvey comics; typically comics that are based on super-hero cartoons (Teen Titans, The Batman, Spiderman Adventures).
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Postby Leckomaniac on Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:48 pm

All-Star Superman #10 - Perfect. I realized as I read this issue how much it reminded me of Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? This isn't a bad thing. It isn't a retread. It is simply how the issues makes me feel. Amazing. 5/5

Blue Beetle #25 - Go out and buy the trades. Then go out and buy the last few issues of this title up until this issue. Then buy this issue. Then read. 4.5/5
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Postby doglips on Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:52 pm

Leckomaniac wrote:All-Star Superman #10 - Perfect. I realized as I read this issue how much it reminded me of Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? This isn't a bad thing. It isn't a retread. It is simply how the issues makes me feel. Amazing. 5/5


I'm definitely hitting the comic shop tomorrow.....
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:38 pm

Leckomaniac wrote:Blue Beetle #25 - Go out and buy the trades. Then go out and buy the last few issues of this title up until this issue. Then buy this issue. Then read. 4.5/5


co-sign. Beetle is the best DC book right now. The end of this whole Reach arc was so well done in so many ways. Not only was it a compelling story, but Reyes finally got to be a proactive hero instead of just a reactive one. Brilliantly done.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:43 pm

burlivesleftnut wrote:
Leckomaniac wrote:Blue Beetle #25 - Go out and buy the trades. Then go out and buy the last few issues of this title up until this issue. Then buy this issue. Then read. 4.5/5


co-sign. Beetle is the best DC book right now. The end of this whole Reach arc was so well done in so many ways. Not only was it a compelling story, but Reyes finally got to be a proactive hero instead of just a reactive one. Brilliantly done.


I can only hope that Will Pfeiffer will be able to step in and maintain the level of quality that we have come to expect.
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:12 am

No shit.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:15 am

Some more Marvel reviews...

Daredevil #106 - After the devastating events of the last story arc, Matt/Daredevil copes...or more accurately doesn't cope. This is a bit of an interlude between the last arc and what is to come. Basically, Matt's friends are worried about him because Daredevil has been laying the smackdown extra hard on the criminals in Hell's Kitchen. This is, essentially, a throw away issue. The plot doesn't really advance in any significant way. Bru could have easily shoehorned this story element into an issue that actually lead into an arc, but he did not. The fill-in art is actually really good. It does an excellent job of maintaining the look of the book, but also making it look distinct. Probably the only part of the issue I really dug. 2.5/5

New Avengers #39 - Bendis does somethings well. Ultimate Spider-Man, for instance. His "witty" dialogue is a perfect fit for that book. His more adult superhero work, including Daredevil and Powers, successfully showed that he can certainly write gritty, mature stuff as well. So why does he write the New Avengers like a bunch of whiny teens? I mean even Wolverine comes off like a wise-cracking jokester in this issue. Every character sounds the same in the NA. They all read like Spider-Man. Except for Luke Cage who reads like Spider-Man using ghetto cliches. All that said, I did love the framing device Bendis and Mack used to bookend the issue. That is about the only good thing I can say. 2/5

She-Hulk #27 - My biggest criticism of Peter David's first story arc on SHE-HULK is that the tone of the book was such a jarring departure from Dan Slott that it was really hard to find my bearings. I loved Slott's run on the book and I didn't mind a slight change in tone, but to go from slap-stick lawyer to butch bounty-hunter w/ a Skrully side-kick might have been too much. I bring this up only because this issue of SHE-HULK is not only the best of David's brief run, but it is also the first time we have seen Jen in the comfortable (for us, not for her) setting of a court room. THIS is the type of stories David should be telling. Now ditch the Skrull-kick, bring back some of the more developed (ie interesting) supporting cast from Slott's run and lets just have a do-over. What do you say Pete? 3.5/5

Ultimate Human #3 - I don't think there is a more vexing writer in comics than Warren Ellis. The numerous titles that he has started and left in limbo is so obnoxious I can hardly bear it. Where the hell is Desolation Jones? The last issue of Planetary? When will Black Summer end? When did Avatar become Warren Ellis' personal fucking playground? New Universal, anyone? Lets not even discuss the titles he writes that just come out sporadically *cough*Fell*cough*. And then he goes and starts a mini-series about the Hulk and Iron Man, in the Ultimate Universe of all places (we won't even discuss the irony of publishing a new Hulk mini when we have yet to see the conclusion of Ultimate Hulk/Wolverine). But this title has actually been released regularly and you know what...it is pretty farking good. Damn you, Warren Ellis. This issue, Ellis gives us the origin of the Ultimate Leader. Its entirely devoid of any action, but that hardly matters. Ellis really delves into the mind and motivation of the Ultimate Leader and it is well worth the journey. Still pissed about Desolation Jones, etc. But this helps that bitter pill go down a bit easier. 4/5

Ultimate Spider-Man #120 - More talking. Pete reveals his identity to yet ANOTHER person. And I am totally annoyed. Days like this...it is easy to see why people dislike Bendis so much. When the characters of the New Avengers read EXACTLY like the teenagers from Ultimate Spider-Man something is wrong. I love dialogue as much as the next guy, but this whole arc couldn't have taken place with some sort of action piece as the focal point (instead of a beach bonfire?) I don't know, I have just become so thoroughly disillusioned with Brian Bendis as of late. And with Secret Invasion due out Wednesday, I am certain that will only worsen. 2.5/5
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Postby unikrunk on Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:43 am

Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #1 - #9

Holy crap, this book is fun. It misfires here and there, but overall these nine issues have been pretty interesting.

The Awesome


Robin, Bats, GL, a yellow room and a whole barrel of holy fuck. Robin gets a lesson in restraint and perspective via extreme physical engagement. Which is to say he nearly kills Hal with a throat-chop, and is immediately beaten by Batman; I mean, face-punched a few times, this kid gets the fuck knocked out of him.

Robin, an axe, and the man that killed his parents. Brilliantly pulled off, a round of applause from my brain's pleasure centers to the people making the magic. Top drawer, gentlemen.

The Good:

I likes my Batman angry and violent, and Miller is serving a giant plate of that here. This is, perhaps, the most violent big-tent comic I have ever read. And I am not talking about what is shown; the implied violence is off the fucking rails as well, and that sits just fine with old unikrunk. Batman is all about scaring the fuck out of you, then fucking up your world with a flying roundhouse kick to the kidneys. Its how the dude rolls. If you can’t handle that, go take a shower and get the sand out of your vagina, sweetheart.

I like my villains…villainous. This incarnation of the Joker is fucking awesome, and fits Miller’s Bat-world’ perfectly. This ‘American Psycho’, brute force and evil bastard is the young version of the DKR Joker, who dismissively speaks about killing 600 people. This is what Bruce could not finish the job on in that stinking carnival. This is the sickest fuck in the world and it is perfect.

The ‘wts?’

There is a downside to all this; some of the writing and narrative is…ah, how do you say? Not good? Not good. Bad. Real bad. Now, when it clicks, it fucking clicks and this Batman is realized incredibly well, with a certain depth and connection to the prehistory and future eras of Miller’s arc. But when it misses, which is kind of a lot, it’s really fucking bad. It is the exact opposite of the aforementioned qualities. It’s Batzarro. Its little more than Marv in a home-made Batman costume.

The ‘Goddamns’. WTS Miller? It seems as if every single character has to have three ‘goddamns’ per paragraph. Dude, use some other words, there are a lot of them to choose from. Please do something, because reading this series is like watching the Smurfs, if they were called ‘The Goddamns’.

[quote="Papa Bat"][b]"Robin, Goddamn me that Goddamn, quickly now, we don’t have much time to Goddamnâ€
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:48 am

though, you gotta admit, "goddamn Gotham", "goddamn Gordon", and "goddamn Arkham" all have a certain ring to them..
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Postby instant_karma on Mon Mar 31, 2008 10:36 am

Just finished reading Justice by Jim Kreuger, Alex Ross and Doug Braithwaite.

The art was predictably beautiful, but the story didn't really do much for me. The only other Kreuger work I've read was Earth X, which like this, seemed to suffer from having a very fragmented narrative.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:16 am

I have been plowing through DC's Countdown (to Final Crisis) and I must say that somewhere along the way I have come to really enjoy it. It is quite obvious where this title went wrong (the sub par writing talent for one...the exception being McKeever who just ROCKED), but despite all of that the series has really started gaining momentum. I just finished issue #10 and I find myself really digging Piper, Mary Marvel and Jason Todd. I hope the last few weeks pay off, but from what I read it doesn't seem that it does.

And can I simply say that the Pied Pier/Trickster storyline was fantastic from start to finish. Probably the only story arc that didn't really have any lulls. This wasn't just "good for Countdown"...it was simply good. I love the Pied Piper.
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Postby unikrunk on Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:38 am

@Lecko - Dude, I am so onboard with your assessment of Piper - when the time came for him to play his part, he did it with grace and panache. I actually teared up a little reading his big scene.

Reviews!

Dark Tower: The Long Road Home #2

With no exaggeration whatsoever, I can tell you that this is in the top five best single issues comics I have read in my life. It really feels like it is the best comic I have ever read, but I am putting it in a window of five, just to keep things in perspective; this issue just fucked my brains out, and woke me up the next morning with a blowjob, so I may be simply dazzled at this point.

Regardless, this issue, dear reader, is Thee Shit. This is what I wanted from the first run, and did not get; this is Sheemie in the Dogan, pissing himself while a North Central Positronics Unit ‘fixes’ him; this is Marten Black Crow perched and preening; this is a horse tangled in a rope and plank bridge, bucking in terror above the precipice; this is new DK material, and it is perfect.

Every single panel in this issue is a masterpiece. This is a comic that could skip the text altogether, the imagery is that good. But why skip on the words when they read like this? Fucking gems, people, these words sparkle up at you from the paints on the page.

No more spoilers than I have already lain out. Whether you are a fan of the Dark Tower series or not, this is the comic book medium at its best, and will go down in the books as one of the best comics this decade.

10 out of 10 thumbs up on the scales of goodness

Omega Flight: Alpha to Omega TPB

I got it in the mail, return address was from Ottawa; turns out that in order to retain my Canadian citizenship I needed to read and review this book. So, here goes:

I don’t get it.

I mean, I comprehend the contents of the piece, but I don’t understand why this book was made, other than to test ones Canadianess. It’s not that great. The stuff with Sasquatch was pretty cool, but the rest of it…it’s like any other day in Canada. People bitching about American wars spilling their detritus into Canada, and, hey, remember, Canada is a whole other country, it’s not America. Remember that kids; different country. Not America.

3 out of 10 thumbs up on ye olde scale of goodness

Outsiders: Five of a Kind – TPB

Well, in all fairness to this book and the people pushing the pencils, I really should not have jumped in the water at book #7, as there was probably a lot covered that would make the stuff in this book make sense.

As it stands now, however, I don’t have those bits of information, so this book makes no sense, and seems very disingenuous with how it portrays its characters. By this I mean the actions taken by certain characters seem completely out of place and in disregard with years of character development. For example, here I was thinking Batman was, essentially, a go it alone type guy, lightly committed to the JLA, but more focused on his own personal agendas and rogues. I guess I was wrong, and picked up the wrong signals over the last 30 years or so, because apparently Bats is not only heavily involved in the JLA, he has some time on the side to helm this team of outlaws. Also, he is a micro-manager, nay, a nano-manager, the kind of boss you want to punch in the cawk, day one.

But, again, in fairness, I did not read the six trades before this one, so this could all make sense to someone that has. This review should be taken with two grains of salt, and a shot of tequila.

3 out of 10 thumbs up


Prelude to Planet Hulk – TPB

Um, pretty cool, but nowhere near the blinding radiance that is Planet Hulk and WWH. The bearded hulk eating raw salmon with the Kodiaks? Awesome. The rest? Pretty good. Is this essential to the Planet Hulk/WWH experience? No, not at all. It’s a fun read, but it offers no further insight to the proceeding events.

6 out of 10 thumbs up

Further reviews coming today; what’s on the menu?

Secret Invasion #1, Logan #2, Kick-Ass #2, Countdown 4, Young X-Men #1, Metal Men #7, Cable #2, and for dessert, a finely chilled Abe Sapien #3
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Postby Pacino86845 on Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:41 am

Since I am in no way aware of the goings on of Civil War, how much sense would the Planet Hulk and WWH stories make to me if I read 'em as stand-alones without bothering with the rest?

I should also add that I'm an avid reader of all the reviews posted here, so kudos to 'krunk and Lecko for keeping 'em up so diligently. They're a pleasure to read even for a casual comics-reader!
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Postby unikrunk on Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:49 am

@Pacino - You need know nothing about Civil War to read and fully enjoy Planet Hulk and WWH. The books work perfectly by themselves. In fact, you could know nothing about the Marvel U at all, and still get everything these books have to offer.

My advice, pick up Planet Hulk and the five-issue WWH arc today. I swear ta gad that you will be blown away.
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:53 am

Both stories work as standalones, imo. Especially Planet Hulk. It's more like a gamma powered conan comic.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:56 am

Thanks guys... I fucking love Conan, been following the Busiek/Nord series to boot.
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Postby unikrunk on Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:57 am

burlivesleftnut wrote:Both stories work as standalones, imo. Especially Planet Hulk. It's more like a gamma powered conan comic.


Best two sentence description of a book, ever. That is exactly what Planet Hulk is.
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Postby DennisMM on Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:34 am

You don't need any background for "Planet Hulk." It has very loose ties to Civil War in that both involve attempts to control the super-powered populace - and several members of "The Illuminati" were major players in Civil War as well as "Planet Hulk." The "Planet Hulk" setup is there in the story. That's all you need to know except a bit of Hulk history. All you need to know about WWH is that it grows out of the events of "Planet Hulk," and the reader is told what came before in a way that isn't dull.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Apr 03, 2008 1:14 am

Pacino86845 wrote:I should also add that I'm an avid reader of all the reviews posted here, so kudos to 'krunk and Lecko for keeping 'em up so diligently. They're a pleasure to read even for a casual comics-reader!


Before I dive head first into the reviews let me just say thank you very much for the praise Pacino. It means an awful lot that people out there read some of this stuff. :wipes tear from eye:

And now on with the show!

DC

Action Comics #863 - It is interesting just how LITTLE I knew about the Legion before reading this arc. Why is it interesting? Because Geoff Johns did an incredible job of locating me in the emotion of the situation despite my lack of knowledge about the main participants. This is an astonishing achievement considering how often writers attempt to do this only to fail miserably. Just as he did with the Green Lantern, Johns has made Action Comics interesting, accessible and more importantly relatable. Which is even more amazing when you consider how often people complain about how unrelatable Superman is as a character. Moving on to the issue itself, this marks the conclusion of his Legion arc, but it also teases events to come. The emotion is raw, sentimental at times, but never trite. An excellent conclusion to an arc that grew on me immensely. I can't wait to sit down and re-read this over again in one sitting. 4.5/5

All-New Atom #22 - The new direction that Rick Remender is taking the Atom continues in this, his second issue. What can I say? I still miss what Gail was doing on this book. I miss the humor. Suddenly, some seriously awful stuff has happened to Ryan Choi. And I swear if Panda is really dead I will be so FARKING pissed it isn't even funny. Still, this issue is fairly interesting. The inner monologue can be a bit much at times, but hopefully Remender settles in and the title returns to its former glory. I am sticking with it for the time being because I love Ryan Choi and his awesome supporting cast. But the second arc will be the do-or-die point for this title. 3/5

Scalped #16 - Jason Aaron scares me at times. His ability to make me so thoroughly interested in characters and situations that I have no business being interested in is astounding. This latest arc of Scalped, "Dead Mothers", is an extremely well crafted piece of storytelling. The two parallel stories compliment each other so well and lead to some immensely moving moments. The relationship built between the boy and Bad Horse is really touching, which makes the last scene even more powerful. Along with Fables, this is the best book being published by Vertigo. 4/5

Marvel

Dark Tower: The Long Road Home #2 - The first Dark Tower mini-series was one of my absolute favorite things to be published last year. It was with great anticipation that I waited for what was to come after. And I must say it is a bit underwhelming. The writing and pacing are not nearly as crisp as the previous mini. The art is still superb...especially the coloring. I can't say enough about the colors in this title. So spectacular. Bottom line, this is most certainly a sophomore slump. 3/5

Kick-Ass #2 - I find it difficult to review this series. Is this the book I was hoping for after I heard about the premise? Not at all. Is it as amazing and groundbreaking as Millar's hype would suggest? Not even close. Is it entertaining? Kind of, yeah. And really, isn't that the only thing that matters? You would think so, but I can't get this nagging feeling out of my head as I read this issue that this series could be SO much better. It could be timeless and it wouldn't take all that much to get it there. And yet Millar and JRJR seem to fall short of that at almost every turn. Is this issue better than the first issue? Yes. But this book is CLEARLY written for the screen and not the page. The page script included at the end of the book only goes to prove that. And the fact that the movie is ALREADY in development is even MORE proof. Still, it is better than average. 3.5/5

Logan #2 - If nothing else, this book is worth it just to see Risso's art in beautiful black and white. His work just shines in B&W. He is the true star of this mini-series. That isn't to say his partner in crime, Brian K. Vaughan, doesn't bring his A-game. It is just that I expect BKV to knock it out of the park. Risso, on the other hand, I was not expecting to floor me as much as he has. This issue isn't quite as good as the first issue, but it is still a very awesome read. I am just sad that there is only one issue left.
4/5

Secret Invasion #1 - Here it is. The big one. Marvels 2008 event kicks off right here and the Internet is all set to break in half. And you know what? It is actually pretty darn awesome. Now, I have been pretty vocal as of late about how burned out I am on BMB. And I have NEVER been a fan of Yu's art (especially sans inker...EWWW!). Yet I find myself having loved every damn panel of this book. Bendis seems to have learned from his HoM mistakes and delivers a well-paced, thrilling first issue that places the reader right in the middle of the action. This is the definition of a well made popcorn comic* complete with explosions, betrayals, and shocking reveals. Kudos to Marvel, BMB, and GASP! Yu for delivering the goods. 4.5/5

*TradeMark.

Book of the Week: Secret Invasion #1
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Postby unikrunk on Thu Apr 03, 2008 7:36 am

@Lecko - great reviews man - I am about to dig into the rest of my pulls. Can't wait to read some of the stuff you reviewed.

On DT: Long Road Home #2- I had the total opposite reaction to this issue; it felt the most realized and well paced of the lot to date. The imagery alone was gorgeous.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Thu Apr 03, 2008 7:51 am

Leckomaniac wrote:Kick-Ass #2 - I find it difficult to review this series. Is this the book I was hoping for after I heard about the premise? Not at all. Is it as amazing and groundbreaking as Millar's hype would suggest? Not even close. Is it entertaining? Kind of, yeah. And really, isn't that the only thing that matters? You would think so, but I can't get this nagging feeling out of my head as I read this issue that this series could be SO much better. It could be timeless and it wouldn't take all that much to get it there. And yet Millar and JRJR seem to fall short of that at almost every turn. Is this issue better than the first issue? Yes. But this book is CLEARLY written for the screen and not the page. The page script included at the end of the book only goes to prove that. And the fact that the movie is ALREADY in development is even MORE proof. Still, it is better than average. 3.5/5


It was a bit disheartening for this casual comics reader to see this review... two powerhouse talents doing the kind of story I tend to go for, and the result is only lukewarm. :( Well, guess I'll be skipping that one.
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Postby instant_karma on Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:22 am

Leckomaniac wrote:Secret Invasion #1 - Here it is. The big one. Marvels 2008 event kicks off right here and the Internet is all set to break in half. And you know what? It is actually pretty darn awesome. Now, I have been pretty vocal as of late about how burned out I am on BMB. And I have NEVER been a fan of Yu's art (especially sans inker...EWWW!). Yet I find myself having loved every damn panel of this book. Bendis seems to have learned from his HoM mistakes and delivers a well-paced, thrilling first issue that places the reader right in the middle of the action. This is the definition of a well made popcorn comic* complete with explosions, betrayals, and shocking reveals. Kudos to Marvel, BMB, and GASP! Yu for delivering the goods. 4.5/5

*TradeMark.

Book of the Week: Secret Invasion #1


Does BMB have characters occasionally speak in brackets? For some reason, I've always found that slightly annoying.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Apr 03, 2008 4:52 pm

unikrunk wrote:@Lecko - great reviews man - I am about to dig into the rest of my pulls. Can't wait to read some of the stuff you reviewed.

On DT: Long Road Home #2- I had the total opposite reaction to this issue; it felt the most realized and well paced of the lot to date. The imagery alone was gorgeous.


THANKS!

As for DT #2...it seems you are not alone. The reviewer for IGN felt the same way. I just don't see it. I mean, a majority of the issue was about them crossing a bridge. I don't know...this mini just doesn't give me the same HOLY SHIT WOW feeling as the first one did.

I should also note that I have NEVER read a single page of the Dark Tower books and my knowledge of the series is limited to the first mini and the two issues of this one. So maybe that has something to do with it?
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:07 pm

Pacino86845 wrote:
Leckomaniac wrote:Kick-Ass #2 - I find it difficult to review this series. Is this the book I was hoping for after I heard about the premise? Not at all. Is it as amazing and groundbreaking as Millar's hype would suggest? Not even close. Is it entertaining? Kind of, yeah. And really, isn't that the only thing that matters? You would think so, but I can't get this nagging feeling out of my head as I read this issue that this series could be SO much better. It could be timeless and it wouldn't take all that much to get it there. And yet Millar and JRJR seem to fall short of that at almost every turn. Is this issue better than the first issue? Yes. But this book is CLEARLY written for the screen and not the page. The page script included at the end of the book only goes to prove that. And the fact that the movie is ALREADY in development is even MORE proof. Still, it is better than average. 3.5/5


It was a bit disheartening for this casual comics reader to see this review... two powerhouse talents doing the kind of story I tend to go for, and the result is only lukewarm. :( Well, guess I'll be skipping that one.


don't listen to him, it's rather awesome.

I forgot how much I love Millar when he's doing "smaller", more indie-oriented type work.

no, it's not terribly original, but the sheer gusto with which both Millar and Romita Jr. go for broke is worth the price.

one could, I suppose, take some umbrage with the incongruity of Millar setting it in the "real" world yet having "straight out of a comic book" thugs (seriously, a Puerto Rican gang with dyed hair & mohawks? Graffiti kids as thugs? (man knows nothing about your typical tagger - hell, even the "hero" being all bent out of shape with graffiti culture is a pretty, petty right-wingerish jibe).

but then it IS a comic, it isn't the realy real world - and the stylization is more than made up for with the LMAO line "There's a guy dressed like a superhero fighting Puerto Ricans outside! It's fucking awesome!"

indeed it is. Indeed it is.

So many ways to take this premise, so much pure FUN on the page.

Ignore the hype, enjoy it for what it is (kinda meta, kinda funny, kinda a swift boot to the comics industry, kinda real and ridiculously over-the-top).
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Postby Leckomaniac on Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:36 pm

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:
Pacino86845 wrote:
Leckomaniac wrote:Kick-Ass #2 - I find it difficult to review this series. Is this the book I was hoping for after I heard about the premise? Not at all. Is it as amazing and groundbreaking as Millar's hype would suggest? Not even close. Is it entertaining? Kind of, yeah. And really, isn't that the only thing that matters? You would think so, but I can't get this nagging feeling out of my head as I read this issue that this series could be SO much better. It could be timeless and it wouldn't take all that much to get it there. And yet Millar and JRJR seem to fall short of that at almost every turn. Is this issue better than the first issue? Yes. But this book is CLEARLY written for the screen and not the page. The page script included at the end of the book only goes to prove that. And the fact that the movie is ALREADY in development is even MORE proof. Still, it is better than average. 3.5/5


It was a bit disheartening for this casual comics reader to see this review... two powerhouse talents doing the kind of story I tend to go for, and the result is only lukewarm. :( Well, guess I'll be skipping that one.


don't listen to him, it's rather awesome.

I forgot how much I love Millar when he's doing "smaller", more indie-oriented type work.

no, it's not terribly original, but the sheer gusto with which both Millar and Romita Jr. go for broke is worth the price.

one could, I suppose, take some umbrage with the incongruity of Millar setting it in the "real" world yet having "straight out of a comic book" thugs (seriously, a Puerto Rican gang with dyed hair & mohawks? Graffiti kids as thugs? (man knows nothing about your typical tagger - hell, even the "hero" being all bent out of shape with graffiti culture is a pretty, petty right-wingerish jibe).

but then it IS a comic, it isn't the realy real world - and the stylization is more than made up for with the LMAO line "There's a guy dressed like a superhero fighting Puerto Ricans outside! It's fucking awesome!"

indeed it is. Indeed it is.

So many ways to take this premise, so much pure FUN on the page.

Ignore the hype, enjoy it for what it is (kinda meta, kinda funny, kinda a swift boot to the comics industry, kinda real and ridiculously over-the-top).


Hey!

Did you read my review? I fully cop to the fact that it is entertaining. I just said that it wasn't what I was hoping for. And it most certainly does not live up to Millar's insane hyperbole. Some people go nuts for over-the-top stuff like this, but I am just not that crazy about a comic book where a white kids beats up a bunch of "brown" people in a diving suit. As I said, it is easy to imagine way in which this book could be timeless (and Millar wants us to believe that this book is), but that isn't this book. And again, I admit that the book is entertaining...and if that is all you are looking for from the book than you will probably enjoy it. As soon as I heard the premise my head went in a zillion directions. "This could be AMAZING," I thought. And reading what Millar said in interviews elevated my hopes for the title to soaring heights. Unfortunately for me, it is just an above average book.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:56 pm

don't listen to him, and don't even read his preposterous twaddlecock.

it's awesome.
Personally, I'm an atheist in the voting booth and a theist in the movie theatre. I separate the morality of religion with the spirituality and solace of it. There is something boring about atheism.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:01 pm

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:don't listen to him, and don't even read his preposterous twaddlecock.

it's awesome.


It really isn't.

And did you just call me a cock...?


I've got my eye on you KCBC. I'll be watching you like a hawk!
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:13 pm

you got a point with the hype - I only heard about it through you guys in the Zone, so I avoided all the other message board/myspace related tie-ins...but the way Millar's is pimping his own shit out in the back of a comic I just bought was kinda disturbing.

wonder what Scooter thinks of it, he and Millar had a special relationship...
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Postby Leckomaniac on Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:20 pm

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:you got a point with the hype - I only heard about it through you guys in the Zone, so I avoided all the other message board/myspace related tie-ins...but the way Millar's is pimping his own shit out in the back of a comic I just bought was kinda disturbing.

wonder what Scooter thinks of it, he and Millar had a special relationship...


Honestly, that is by far the more ideal way to read the book. I, unfortunately, suffered through months and months of Millar interviews where he discusses how he is doing something that no one has ever done, etc. And that got me imagining this book in my head, this timeless book that could end up being one of the more contemporary offerings to sit alongside Watchmen and DKR, etc. And I fully admit that in my review, that my aversion to a lot of what is in this book comes from my full immersion in the hype.

So, it makes sense that you would enjoy the book more having been removed from the hype.
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Postby MasterWhedon on Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:29 pm

I think I like it a little more than you, Lecko, but I'm with you all the way. I think the book has had two really fun issues so far that hint at a great deal of potential, but it ain't soaring quite like we were told it would. Or at least yet.
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