Man of the Moment

Sean William Scott

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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Last Weeks Comics 

City of Heroes #5: If you've been playing the game, you've probably been getting this book for free for months, as I have. However, it's also available for sale through Diamond, so potentially you can pick it up at your local retailer. As a super-hero book goes, it's fairly run-of-the-mill. So far all the stories have been structured in two-part arcs, and it's all fairly accessible. Most everything you need to know is laid out for you from issue to issue. The real appeal of the book, I think, is in it's fan art and fan fiction section, not to mention the possibility of seeing your character appear in the book via one of the occasional contests the game's manufacturers put up on their web-site. Tim Buckley's "Underwear on the Outside" gag strip is fairly clever as well. In any case, Brandon McKinney is doing some very nice art on the book, so while the stories sometimes are unfulfilling, the art is good. This issue's story is the first one that's really intrigued me, as it starts from one of those ideas that are so painfully obvious it's a wonder no one thought of it before: when a hero is accused of a crime, the jury must be made up of other super-heroes. As I said before, the story's execution left a little to be desired, but the art was nice.

Scratch #5: Ends with a whimper. Overall, this was better than most of the super-hero work Kieth has been doing lately, but I got the impression that Kieth had a really strong idea for the beginning and middle of a story, and couldn't think of a satisfying ending.

Swamp Thing #8: Eh. I'll give Josh Dysart's first issue a look if we get a preview copy at the store, but I'm really not terribly interested in this "back-to-basics" approach to the character. If more than a couple of issues of Swampy as an "enigmatic force in the swamp" appealed to people, his first series would have been a best-seller.

Conan and the Daughters of Midora: If you've never read a Conan story before in your entire life, the resolution of this one-shot might have been a surprise to you. Apart from that, this was a fun little Conan story with decent art. Nothing remarkable, save that price-point, but an amusing diversion for Conan fans.

Monolith #9: Ah, and now, apparently, you can say "HIV." The coyness of the last issue regarding what exactly Tilt and Alice were getting tested for got on my nerves. I'm not terribly interested in reading about the Monolith fighting the anti-Monolith, but this book hasn't disappointed me so far, so I'm willing to let it go.

303 #1: Jacen Burrow's art looks exquisite in color. And it's great to see Ennis return to form after the disappointment that his Punisher book has become. It's another story of a hard man doing unpleasant things in a morally ambiguous universe, but Ennis has a knack for making these types of characters human and accessible.

Detective #799: This storyline, which I thought had some potential when it started, is now simply going on too long. In fact, the only thing that pleasantly surprised me about this issue was the realization that the Onyx character that's been showing up is actually the same Onyx that popped up on occasion in the old Green Arrow comic...and I only found that out because I bought the DC Universe Encyclopedia.

Ultimate Spider-Man #66: Note to writers--following up a story-line that was supposed to be tragic and emotionally exhaustive with your idea of a "wacky" comedy is generally not a good idea. I can tell Bendis thinks this tired cliche of a "mind-swap" is comedy gold, but it just doesn't work for me.

Majestic #3: Uhm, it was good, but it sort of suffered a bit from "middle-issue" syndrome. It's not quite the end, but it's got to set up the end, and the last issue had the real "middle." So, yeah, a good read, but it felt a little padded.

Superman/Batman #12: What little story we get here wasn't worth the wait. And the cliff-hanger would have been more effecting if it wasn't for the fact that people get better after getting hit by Darkseid's eye-beams all the time. In fact, isn't one of Darkseid's powers specifically the ability to resurrect people killed by his eye-beams?

Y: The Last Man #27: Again, for those of us who aren't quite willing to prescribe a mystical origin for the events of this series, there's a fairly significant clue as to what may have really happened to Yorick early in the issue.

Teen Titans/Legion Special: So this entire storyline was necessary why again? Oh, that's right, Mark Waid doesn't like the current version of the Legion and didn't want to write about them. Unfortunately, giving the "new" Legion costumes that are mostly variants on what they wore in their 70's incarnation is rather giving the game away, don't you think? I mean, we all know that the die-hard Legion fans won't be happy until the book is returned to its pre-five-year-gap status quo, but they didn't have to be so baldly obvious about it.

Demo #10: After the rather frustrating #9, I was glad to see the book return, and with a story that's more in tone with what I liked about the first 8 issues. Some people have complained about each issue being "incomplete," but really I think that's one of the book's strengths. Yes, there is a disconnect of sorts, but it ties into the larger theme. These people are dissociated from their surroundings and other people, it only makes sense that the story should feel that way too. Ironically enough, for the people making that complaint, this story is probably the most "complete" we've seen. And art-wise, I think this is the strongest I've seen Cloonan. The photo back-grounds are an excellent, strongly "real" counter to her light, almost insubstantial figure work. The overall effect is striking.

And, I never do this, but just about everyone does, so I'll give it a try. Here's what I plan on buying this week, what Pete will get this week, and what we'll both get this week.

My List
Challengers of the Unknown
Comics Journal
Ex Machina
Gothan Central
Hard Time
Milkman Murders
Strange Killings: Necromancer
Tuxedo Gin

Pete's List
District X
Emma Frost
Marvel Knights 4
Marvel Knights Spider-Man
Secret War
X-Men: The End Book One Dreamers and Demons

Our List
Action Comics
Authority: More Kev
Astro City: A Visitor's Guide
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight
Fallen Angel
Ultimate Nightmare
Ultimate X-Men

Now, I'll read all of those books I've listed above. Pete will probably read most of the books on my list, and everything on the other lists. So, if you ever wonder why I do or do not review certain books, it's probably because I generally don't bother to review books that are just on Pete's list. Unless they're really noteworthily good or bad.


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