Comics Reviews – Week of September 13th, 2006

I know, I know. I was supposed to have the Agents of Atlas post up today, but it’s taking a bit longer than I thought to get my thoughts into some form of coherency for that so it’ll have to wait (I doubt anyone will want to read SQUEE!3-DMAN!!! or words to that effect).

So, anyway, while we wait for that, here’s another couple of reviews to tide you over. A few more than last week, but still fairly controlled I think.

52 Week #19

I’m rapidly losing interest in this book. It’s barely halfway done and I’m already losing interest in all but one storyline (It’s the Black Adam one) which wasn’t even in this issue. I couldn’t care less about Skeets being turned into an evil robot-thing, or Booster being someone from the present instead of from the future (although I have a theory about that…more on that later). This issue was boring since Pope Lobo is boring…very, very boring. Lobo should never, ever have anything to do with religion. It’s ridiculous and I have no clue what the writers were thinking when they came up with that. The art however was a pleasant surprise. I haven’t seen Pat Oliffe in ages, and can’t wait to see more of his work in subsequent issues (If I’m still around).

Also, the Supernova-Cassie meeting? I hate you Didio.

Fables #53

As always, this was a great issue of the series. Lumi’s plans are…ambitious to say the least. And the leering glare she gives the reader in between panels is truly chilling. Mark Buckingham is doing the best career of his work on this series and I can’t wait for each issue based on his input alone. It’s icing on the cake that Willigham manages to infuse each issue with enough pathos, heart, and more than a fair share of action that makes this book so unique. I think this is probably THE entrance-drug comic for people trying out the Vertigo waters for the first time, and it definitely deserves to be in that place.

The Back-up by Josh Middleton was also fun. I hope to see more of those characters at some future point, and knowing Willingham I probably will. Also, the scene with Brer Rabbit? Worth the price of admission alone.

DMZ #11

And we return to the single-issue stories. This was an issue focusing on Zee and how she came to be stuck in Manhattan when it became the DMZ. The art was by Kristian Donaldson (from Supermarket) and was a pleasant diversion from the regular artwork.

The story…now I love this book, but I am really begining to dislike Zee. She has very, very quickly become the poster-child of Vertigo comics. She is unbelievably tough, yet caring. She puts others needs before herself and she is unbeatable. Fits more vertigo’s recent output than vertigo itself. It’s boring.

I did love, love, love the reasoning behind the war. It’s stupid, it’s dumb, it’s war. I hope to see more examples of the pre-war phenomenon too. We’ll see how that goes. All in all, an excellent issue with a character I don’t even particularly like!

Captain America #21

It’s Brubaker doing Captain America like he has been for the past 20 issues.

Yeah, it’s fucking excellent.

‘Nuff said.

Green Lantern #13

I hate Hal Jordan.

He’s boring, he’s dumb, and his only redeeming value appears to be that he can think his way out of anything. Kyle could do that too…and do it far more creatively. Anyway…

I liked this issue for one simple reason. Arisia!! I love Arisia! She was the most awesome GL ever! I can almost forgive Johns for all his reboots and retcons for this one retcon. I don’t give a damn how she’s alive or why…Arisia’s alive!!!

Umm…returning to the review; We get some resolution with Hank Henshaw’s storyline. It was a bit anticlimatic, but I’m pretty sure this was just setup so I can wait. Arisia and Hal’s moments were fantastic. I mean, seriously, awesome. It was obvious those two still care about each other, and even though they’re not a couple anymore (c’mon Johns…you know you want it…) they are still good friends, and it was nice to see that. Great artwork too…can’t wait till the next issue.

Casanova #4

I’m one of those anal-retentive people who re-reads comics that he likes over and over again until I practically memorize them. This doesn’t happen with all comics, but every once in a while a comic comes along that begs for this treatment. Casanova is one of those comics.

Matt Fraction has managed to use the “Fell”-format ingeniously. The book is fast-paced, full of action, has a running subplot and some of the best crazy-assed ideas this side of Grant Morrison. And it is fantastic. The book never ceases to amaze me. Each issue’s back-fodder is also hilarious and at times very informative. I loved the fucked up Johnny Quest bit in this issue and hope to get more insights like this in future issues. Also, the man-who-becomes-god bit? Inspired.

Gabriel Ba should also not be slighted. This book just would not be the same without him. He brings a kind of manic energy to the illustrations that help even the talking only panels seem full of life and not at all static-y. Unlike some other artists, Ba know when to let the image take control and when to focus more on the text, and that kind of synergy between writer and artist makes for a fantastic viewing experience.

Also, it doesn’t hurt that this book comes out fairly regularly while Fell disappears for months on end.

That’s it for this week. Better late than never, eh? Soon! Soon…I shall return with a review of Smith (the new Heist tv show) and the long-awaited Agents of Atlas piece (at this point, no matter how good it is, it’s gonna be a disappointment…so expect it to suck…a lot. You’ll be pleasantly surprised then).

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