Man of the Moment


Sean William Scott


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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Captain America Free Reviews 

Doroty #7 by Mark Masterson, Ray Boersig and Greg Manino, starring Catie Fisher, published by Illusive Arts
The fumetti retelling of The Wizard of Oz brings together all of Dorothy's companions at last with the introduction of this darker Oz's equivalent of the Cowardly Lion. The digital illustrations and writing are up to the usual standard for this excellent series, and the "king of the beasts" provides a welcome comic counterpoint to the usual grimness and angst that frequently characterizes the series.

Elephantmen #7 by Richard Starkings, Joe Kelly, Chris Bachalo, Aron Lusen, Sophronius Moritat and Omar Ladronn, published by Image
The premise behind this issue, Hip Flask telling a fairy tale to the little girl who has befriended Ebony, and in doing so reveals a good deal about his past and his relationship with Savannah, is very promising, and the story itself is nicely done, but the art of Chris Bachalo has never particularly appealed to me, and his art on the fairy tale sequence just looks very muddy and unfinished to me. What otherwise would have been a very nice and light break from the regular story is rendered rather unpalatable for me as a result.

Giant Robot Warriors by Stuart Moore and Ryan Kelly, published by AiT/Planet Lar
I thought at first this was an actual reprint of the 2003 graphic novel, but no, it's simply the same edition with a new dust-cover. It's a fairly novel way to represent material that slipped under the radar of most comic readers during the initial release, capitalizing mostly on Kelly's recent prominence as illustrator of Local. The story is framed very deliberately as a satire of contemporary politics (well, post 9/11, pre-squandering of international goodwill politics, anyway), with turmoil in the Middle East and giant robots substituting for weapons of mass destruction. It's a very slight satire, more good natured than vicious, and that toothlessness doesn't do many favors to some of the jokes. In particular, the goofiness of the President's...problems...is rather tame, and the joke, while fitting into the overall mood of the story, seems to stop just short of making the kind of political point Moore seems to want to make. But then, I'm a horrible evil leftist, so maybe I just want the joke to be more vicious than it is.
Kelly's art is excellent, with ample detail and a fine flair for caricature that suits both the political satire and the broadness of the humor. In many panels there's a frenetic sense of action and over-dramatization that also helps to accentuate the humor, though it does at times make for action sequences that don't flow very well from panel to panel, making the action difficult to follow. This, combined with Moore's story, makes the book a flawed but entertaining minor amusement. It's not a work destined to be regarded for years as a masterpiece of the form, but it's a well done distraction.

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© 2007 Dorian Wright. Some images are © their respective copyright holders. They appear here for the purposes of review or satire only.