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Thursday, May 06, 2004
This Weeks Comics
Hard Time #4, by Steve Gerber and Brian Hurtt, published by DC Comics:
It's not quite Oz-lite, but it's close. In this issue Ethan earns the gratitude of a child molester, receives a surprising letter from the last person he'd expect, gets bad news from home, and witnesses a horrific act of violence. And it's all set-up for the next issue, in which it looks like everything will really hit the fan. Of the Focus books, this is the one I think works best and should have the most chance of appealing to the widest audience. The muted colors of the entire line give each issue a distinctive look, and in this book in particular it makes the coloring of the strange force connected to Ethan especially unearthly.
Plastic Man #6, by Kyle Baker, published by DC Comics:
This book is completely insane. I love it.
Ultimate Spider-Man #58, by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley, published by Marvel Comics:
I'm not particularly a Bendis fan. I find his story-telling gimmicks a little trite and heavily over-used. For example, this issue is padded out to about twice the length it really should be, thaks to all the close-up panels and characters talking over each other. But even given all that, this is still the good Spider-Man book currently being published. It's fun and usually enjoyable, and those are fairly rare traits in super-hero books these days. The sequence in which Peter tries to get home, realizing he has to beat Aunt May home in the process, is great. And it ends on a strong, compelling cliff-hanger.
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: X-Men 2004, by many, published by Marvel Comics:
The ten year old in me, the one who bought every issue of Who's Who, thinks that this is a pretty neat idea and long over-due. The grown-up thinks the execution smacks of fan-boy wankery.
Alpha Flight #3, by Scott Lobdell and Clayton Henry, published by Marvel Comics:
Ugh. (I bought it for my boy-friend, I swear!)
Van Helsing: From Beneath the Rue Morgue, by Joshua Dysart and J. Alexander, published by Dark Horse Comics:
Good Lord this is bad. Muddy coloring, an almost completely incomprehensible story, and it looks as if it was drawn over a week-end. It desperatly wants to be The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, throwing in gratuitous references to Drs. Jeckyll and Moreau, and it partially succeeds in matching the quality of the film version of LOEG but without the wit and charm. The package as a whole comes damn close to killing my interest in the film, despite my Hugh Jackman fetish, which should be taken as the real indication of just how bad this comic is.
Scurvy Dogs #4, by Andrew Boyd and Ryan Yount, published by Ait/PlanetLar:
Best comic of the week. Freaking hilarious. Damn them for reminding me of Anson Williams' existence, but I'll forgive it because this book is just that damn good.