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Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Last Week's Comics
I'm going to go against my usual habit and actually try to say something about each of the books I bought last week, instead of just talking about the ones I have something specific to say about.
Losers #21: The last page revelation was actually something I've been expecting for quite some time now. Otherwise, a lot of this issue felt like a "place-holder" story, moving us along from the events of last issue and preparing us for the events of the next. It's one of those occasionally regrettable necessities of serial story-telling. Striking cover though.
Conan #13: Despite a good deal of action in the form of giant monsters attacking the caravan, and a large amount of exposistion, this also felt largely like a "place-holder" issue. I enjoyed it all the same, because really, how can you go wrong with Conan fighting monsters.
The Witching #9: Well, I enjoyed this series anyway.
Wonder Woman #213: I'm enjoying this book, but I rarely feel like I have anything to say about it. The most effective "review" I could give of any given issue is "I liked it, but the plotting is so careful and precise you really need to have been reading it for some time to follow all the details of the story." And that's not a bad thing, but I don't know that it's a thing worth elaborating on.
Flash #219: Honestly, I generally don't like the way Geoff Johns writes this book. I just have trouble wrapping my head around a gritty, crime-drama version of the character.
Batgirl #61: From Pete's list. It's a reasonably amusing super-hero action comic, and Gabyrich is doing a pretty good job on it, but man, that costume is such a turn-off. Batgirl is one of those female characters that the general populace has at least heard of, and we do occasionally have parents and young girls come in looking for books with the character in them. Luckily, we have plenty of comics featuring the Barbara Gordon version of the character to sell, since parents are really bothered by this character's costume. Still, Monsieur Mallah and the Brain are always fun.
X-Men: Phoenix Endsong #3: From Pete's list. The first two issues were surprisingly good. This one was a bit of a let-down. It suffers heavily from "middle issue syndrome" in that it's neither the beginning nor the ending of the story, and so things just sort of happen in service to the plot.
Strange #4: From Pete's list. I actually really don't like the art on this title. Otherwise, it strikes me as kind of dull.
Teen Titans Go #16: I bought this only because the baby Wildebeest was the best thing about the post-Titans Hunt New Titans, and it was nice to see the character again.
Legion of Super-Heroes #3: Man, was this ever from Pete's list. He really liked it. Me, I don't see why everyone is getting so excited about the Legion being put back to its 70s status-quo, with a few "twists" thrown in to make it seem new and different.
Dr. Blink, Superhero Shrink #1: I liked the zero issue, and I've enjoyed the back-ups in other Dork Storm books, but this issue fell flat for me.
Outsiders #21: Well, I'm amused by super-heroes arguing.
Batman #637: I'm really enjoying Winick's run on the book so far. I'm glad he's given Batman back something resembling a sense of humor, I'm glad the general tone of the book is lightening a little, and I really like the way Winick writes the villains. The make-it-or-break-it point will be the next issue, and the reveal of the Red Hood's identity. It's either going to be brilliant or silly.
Ultimate Nightmare #5: The series as a whole was a little hit-or-miss, but it ends on a high note. I don't think anyone is surprised to learn that this was all a prelude to Ultimate Galactus. It's also worth noting that Ellis writes the Ultimates much better than he writes the X-Men. Not only do they sound like themselves, they actually come off as semi-competent.
Y: The Last Man #31: Another one of those books that all I can really say about it is "It's good." The art is very good, and Vaughan is great at pacing and knowing when to put cliff-hangers in and when to resolve things. And I like that the book gets new complications just as old ones are resolved. It's excellent serial fiction, in other words.
Solo #3: The all Paul Pope issue. It's a good mix of material, with Pope taking on a couple of DC characters as well as just drawing whatever kind of story he felt like drawing. For a series like this, that's probably the best approach to take. And it's quality material all throughout.
Seven Soldiers #0: Well, it's a dense, meta-textual commentary about super-hero comics, as well as being a straight-forward super-hero adventure. I thought it was fantastic. It's very much in the Morrison tradition of throwing ideas at the reader and demanding that you keep up. Overall, I'd say it's a bit more "straight-forward super-hero" than "dense commentary," if only because as prologue to the massive undertaking Morrison has set himself up for here a lot of the clues won't make sense or have context until later issues. Which I'm okay with. I like to see work in the adventure genre that strives to be a little bit more than a passive entertainment, that expects a little thought and patience from the reader.