Sunday, August 20, 2006

Reviews!

Y'know what I haven't done on this blog? Review the comics I buy every week.

Maybe it's time to start.

52 #15: First off, no, I don't think he's really dead. Everything about the death, from its (mostly) off-panel nature, to the hinky nature of the body (head skeletonized but the costume's intact?), to the hard-sell "he's dead, he's dead he's dead" copy of the cover, plus 52 has three established escape routes (time travel, cloning, and the resurrection cult), makes me think being fried in a nuclear explosion is a minor set back for Michael Jon Carter.

Otherwise, another solid issue of the most ambitious superhero comics project hitting the stands. Any issue with the Question gets the thumbs up. Any issue with the Question punching a guy in the face so hard he makes it concave goes right to the top of the list. And Booster Gold as loser superhero is a riot, even in death.

100 Bullets #75: The jazz of comics. This issue feels like vamping, varying a theme we've seen before without giving us the payoff, but nobody plays better than Azzarello and Risso. I feel like I should review issues like these five months later, because it's not until Azzarello brings back a character, a plot point, or even a painting at a crucial moment later that I realize how good a job he did of introducing it in the first place.

Manhunter #25: Good, but not as good as Manhunter #24. I think the cancelled/not cancelled events hurt this issue specifically. The Sweeney Todd plot is wrapped up without us ever knowing who he really is or how he came to be, as if Andreyko realized he only had one issue to tie up a major plotline, but changes made to set up the next 5 issues denied the sense of closure that a good last issue has. Thing #8, for example also seemed like Dan Slott was cramming a lot in because it was the last issue, but it ended with a satisfying sense of "that's that."

NextWave #7: Believe you me, I will be shouting "YES! I have a hundred of the Earth dollars" next time I'm at at the ATM.

Robin #153: Count me as on board the Beechen OYL Robin. It's been a fun title full of street level superhero action and interweaving plotlines. But I will say that Tim is massively dickish to Owen in this issue. True, Owen is the son of the man who killed Tim's dad, but he's also the son of the man whom Tim's dad killed, AND Owen has no idea that either of those things are true. I can't tell if that's bad writing (Tim's usually more level headed than this) or good (his dad, girlfriend, step-mom, and best friend all killed within a year, maybe Tim's not dealing with it as best he could).

And in an effort to expand my reading, I picked up three recommended titles I hadn't before:

The Boys #1: I learned nothing in this issue that I didn't get in the five-page preview up on the DC web-site. And in fact it looked better in the preview than it did on the page, particularly the coloring. So I can't recommend actually paying three bucks to get the same amount of enjoyment you could for free. However, I loved that preview, so I will be back for issue #2, where the story looks like it will actually start.

Casanova #3: It's interesting, as all double agent stories are, about where loyalties lie and what's the right move. But there might be too much going on as well, because there's also parallel worlds, evil twins, and this multi-face thing floating around. Will definitely be back for #4, though.

Checkmate #5: Maybe this wasn't the issue to jump on. It's a transitional issue, where characters literally stop to catch each other up on what happened in the last four issues and what they expect to happen in the next four. And the main recruitment plot, while well done, feels a little cliched (including having "terrorists" kidnap and torture recruits just to see who holds out the longest). So this may go back on the shelf.

2 comments:

Blockade Boy said...

Given Sweeney Todd's issues with women and just how flippin' tall he was, I had halfway convinced myself he was some kind of Doctor Psycho mental construct. So much for that theory, huh?

Steven said...

Jay-sus, BB, that's brilliant.

It may be more that Manhunter has leitmotif of villains with a nasty streak of misogyny (making it all the more satisfying when Kate beats the bloody hell out of them), but a connection of any kind between the two would have wrapped up the OYL arc rather nicely.

It's a shame that Kate tends to kill or cripple her villains, because I really wanted her Dad, Dr. Psycho, and Sweeney Todd to form the "Manhunter Revenge Squad," or maybe the "He-Man Woman Haters Club."