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Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Last Weeks Comics
JSA #66: That was, in all honesty, a fairly predictable ending. As usual, the books appeal is in it's reliance on established DC continuity. As usual, it makes the book an occasionally frustrating read, because I really didn't need to be reminded of Extant.
Challengers of the Unknown #5: It's good. It's really good. (Come on, it's part 5 of a 6 part mini...I probably won't have anything more worthwhile to say about it until the final issue.)
Ultimate Nightmare #3: After being talked at all last issue, it was nice to get some action scenes thrown in...too bad we've reached the half-way point for this series and we really don't know what's going on yet. I'm guessing there's going to be a huge info-dump in the final issue.
Hawkman #33: Not as good a stand-alone issue as the previous one, but it seems to be setting up a future plot-line with the scientist experimenting on villains. A nice diverting read, but that's about it.
Ex Machina #5: I guess I'm the only person who actually liked the idea that the killer was someone totally unconnected to the main cast. Overall, I think the first storyline holds up pretty well. The cast is in place and some forward momentum has been achieved.
Fables #30: It's quite nice to get a relaxing, comedic start to the new storyline, especially after the rather grim previous long story ended up. And it's nice to see Prince Charming get something of a comeuppance, finally.
Astro City: A Visitor's Guide: A nice teaser before the next Astro City mini comes out, and a fairly decent Who's Who-esque guide for long-time AC fans, but not really something for a casual reader. But then, are there any casual readers for a book like AC?
She-Hulk #8: Still not feeling this story. Sorry. I just can't be bothered to be interested in the "cosmic" aspects of the Marvel U. Good art and funny story, though.
District X #6: It's still probably the best book with an "X" in the title right now, but I can't help but think this wasn't a six-issue storyline.
Gotham Central #24: Another excellent issue, but you should all know that by now.
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #184 and Nightwing #98: Now, I remember events in Act I and Act II of this "War Games" thing moving at a pretty brisk pace. Why is it, then, that Act III is moving so damn slowly?
Hard Time #9: It's back to the cells for Ethan. A new status quo emerges, we learn a little bit more about Ethan's cell-mate, a new storyline starts to emerge, and outside the prison we start to learn, perhaps, a little bit more about what's going on. The trade paper-back is out, go buy it and then play catch up.
Bloodhound #4: Heh, Cleavenger's going to be one of those hard-luck cases who can't win for losing, isn't he? This is good stuff. If you like your heroes with a strong dose of moral ambiguity, this is the book for you (along with Manhunter, and Hard Time, and Fallen Angel, and the new Firestorm, of course...)
Fallen Angel #16: Again, more good stuff, and I should know that by now.
Authority: Move Kev #4: Not quite the laugh-riot the previous issues were, though Ennis does tend to stick some meta-textual commentary into the Midnighter's mouth. His exchange with Kev at the end is very telling. Kev is a prat, though he at least does recognize, even if he won't admit it, that the Midnighter has him pegged.
Milkman Murders #4: I'm not quite sure I care for the pseudo-mystical tone the last issue has taken. It seems to lose track of what the central theme of the first three issues was, namely that what's already beneath the surface is more frightening that what's "out there." By suggesting that the Milkman is some sort of force that Barbara has now been possessed by, it reduces the horror once again to something outside of herself.
Ojo #2: This issue was a bit of a let-down. I'm starting to get a "wait for the inevitable trade" vibe off of it as well.
Tuxedo Gin Vol. 8: After glancing at my manga stacks, apart from Rumiko Takahashi's stuff, this book about a boxer who dies prematurely and is reincarnated as his girlfriend's pet penguin is the only shonen manga I'm reading regularly. It's really a fun little book. The artwork is crisp and clean, and the humor mixes broad slap-stick with character bits well. I think the reason I like it more than most other "boy's comics" is that there's very little of the fan service and juvenalia that usually show up in those comics, and the book doesn't boil down to "we must fight in order to be better fighters so that we can win the big fight" plot-lines. Instead, the emphasis is more on the character's emotional growths, particularly in Ginji learning as a penguin the lessons he should have learned as a man. Plot-wise, the most important development in this issue is the introduction of another person who has been reincarnated as an animal, and her situation, where she has avoided contact with her previous life and embraces her animal side, provides a telling contrast with Ginji's approach. Plus, Tokihiko Matsuura draws a really cute penguin.