Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Best to Worst of Last Week

I was in a more generous mood this week as there was probably three to five titles that I could have cut from my list, but I felt like most of the books this week delivered well enough to keep me hanging in with them. Plus there were a couple of titles that hit their last issue on their own accord and that made it a little easier on the potential drops.

Green Arrow / Black Canary Wedding Special – I have read that many believe this to be a horrible story and just poorly done, I flat out disagree. Judd Winick and Amanda Conner pulled off a old time fun filled super hero wedding, with a shock ending that left me wanting the first issue of the new Green Arrow / Black Canary book; that apparently will star Conner and Black Canary. The whole wedding was an editorial mandate, but it has been executed by all parties involved in an entertaining fashion. A really great issue.
JLA/Hitman #1 (of 2) – This was a frelling wonderful book. First I love Tommy Monaghan and seeing him interact with Batman, Kyle, Wally, Superman and Wonder Woman was just fantastic. Superman trying to explain why he likes him and that he never knew he was a hitman was priceless. I really want DC to complete trading the original series, one of the better under the radar series of all time.
Bad Planet #3 (of 6 or 12?) – I absolutely love this book. Alien monsters, flying girls, great looking women and huge flying bugs. The only problem I had were the 3-D parts of the book. I love 3-D, but I think I just need to tape on red and blue cellophane to my glasses, because I now wear progressive lenses and trying to put the 3-D glasses and my glasses together is a pain. Between this book and Alien Pig Farm Raw Studios is producing some beautiful material that is pure fun.
Hellblazer #236 – This is the best Vertigo series right now. Under Diggle’s pen this book is now at the top of its class.
30 Days of Night Red Snow #2 (of 3) – Ben Templesmith is so damn good and this book just continues to prove the point. The Vampires force the Germans, Russians, Townspeople and an English observer to join forces to try and survive the onslaught. The little girl vampire is reminiscent of Wormwood’s little girl corpse, but why quibble.
Highwaymen #4 (of 5) – Just a great series. McQueen is dying, Grace and his partner are in a car falling out of the back of an airplane. Really good action/adventure story.
Catwoman #71 – This is one of DC’s better series. This issue Selina solicits Batman’s help in faking her death. At the end it appears she is asking for his help to give her baby up to someone else. Really an emotional and understated scene.
Criminal Macabre My Demon Baby #1 (of 4) – Why did I decide to try this out; I love Cal McDonald now and will end up buying some of his prior adventures in trade. This is the most down on his luck PI ever; it is Rockford to the Nth degree, running around with zombies and other supernatural stuff. Half serious-half tongue in cheek all cool.
Batman/Lobo Deadly Serious #2 (of 2 ) – A great read and over the top fun. Beautiful energetic mad art and story by Sam Keith
Checkmate #18 – Really good start to the “Fall of the Wall”. Greg Rucka has all the right elements going, action, political intrigue, set-ups, moves and counter moves.
Captain America #30 – The “Death of a Dream” has been a good story. Dr. Faust will apparently have everyone under his control soon as Bucky has been captured and is now held prisoner by Faust. I did not like the Red Skull conveniently knowing a code wood to shut Bucky down.
Countdown to Mystery #1 (of 8) – Both stories were strong beginnings. Eclipso is on Darkseid’s doorstep and apparently his creation and Dr. Fate is finding out what it means to be the new mystical Dr. Fate.
Superman/Batman #40 – Best issue yet of this series. Orion’s wife (Bekka) and Batman’s attraction to each other was done so well and the story just played out perfectly. Darkseid is starting to show up everywhere in the DCU.
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Dynamo 5 #7 – Nice wrap up to the duplicate Captain Dynamo storyline. This book continues to impress with solid stories, solid character development and good action. A really well done super hero group book.
Flash #232 – Still has my interest, but the art is not working for me in Flash and the story line is a very odd one to start off the book, an unflash like menace.
Programme #3 (of 12) – Each issue of this book is getting better for me. Milligan’s story of cold war super heroes being created and then accidentally being activated today is being executed well so far.
Robin #166 – Nice wrap up of the Dodge storyline and some great interaction with Batman. I believe this is writer Adam Beechen’s last issue and he did a great job on this series.
Shadowpact #17 - Since Matt Sturges is Bill Willingham’s writing partner on Jack of Fables I should have known he could pick this book up seamlessly. I really enjoyed Doug Braithwaite’s art on this issue.
Penance Relentless #1 (of 5) – In spite of my hating what they did to Speedball, this next step in the characters evolution had an intriguing start. Paul Jenkins has my interest in this series. Appears that Robbie is playing Norman and the government at this point.
Gutsville #2 (of 6) – A little lost in the overall story due to the long delay between issues, but Frazer Irving does a great job depicting on one of the strangest settings ever, people living in the guts of a mammoth sea creature.
30 Days of Night Beyond Barrow #1 (of 3) – Steve Niles and Bill Sienkiewicz deliver a good start to a billionaire adventurer visiting Barrow to get his kicks and see a vampire. Can’t wait for October to see this movie.
Wasteland #12 – Solid series. This issue was fast paced. Ari and Michael escape execution, slaves are freed, Sand-Eaters attack, and the city is in chaos.
Aquaman Sword of Atlantis #56 – Another solid issue, I’m enjoying this series again, the break from Busiek/Guice to Williams/McManus was so jarring that it took awhile for me to really enjoy this book again.
Birds of Prey #110 – Nice one and done story focusing on Huntress and Oracle’s relationship while doing a job.
Countdown #32 – Fun issue, the bachelorette party was amusing and we finally have Eclipso and Mary Marvel together.
Terror Inc. #2 (of 5) – Played as a straight action adventure, but with some really bizarre and outlandish twist. Still, when your main character is a rotting corpse that needs body parts to replace the ones worn out, what can you do? Nice little series, definitely best as a mini-series.
Streets of Glory #1 (of 6) – Billed as Garth Ennis reinventing the western, the first issue comes across as a gory, but still a typical western. The story is set in the times when civilization was starting to take over the old west. Decent start, just not a reinvention at this point. The artist loved having people’s jaw’s blown off by bullets though, maybe that was the reinvention. Truly the first comic that had "jaw dropping" art.
Tales of the Sinestro Corps Parallax #1 – Nice little background piece on what happened with Kyle and how he is trying to fight back. Decent back story matter that fills in some of the blanks from the Sinestro War.
Annihilation Conquest Quasar #3 (of 4) – Nice use of her powers at the end, the idea that Moondragon is now a real dragon and they will still remain intimate “mind” lovers was a little too ridiculous, even for comics.
Ant-Man #12 – Fun ending and a nice way to get Eric back into the costume. Seems like they may make him into a real super hero this time.
Marvel Comics Presents #1 – Eight page stories by different creators, some continuing stories and some one shot stories. This type of book is always a mixed bag, but I will try out this anthology styled book for awhile. This first issue was decent.
Zero Killer #2 (of 6) – Matt Camp’s artwork really reminds me of Paul Gulacy, very well done. This post apocalyptic world is set in a bombed out New York with gangs running the big buildings and a military government trying to run what’s left of the US. So far this has been interesting, but I think a trade is the way to go with this story.
Sheena #3 (of 5) – I just like watching a pretty girl run around in a jungle outfit. Not much each to really recommend this book as the plot is clich├ęd ridden, but I still enjoy this piece of fluff.
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Doktor Sleepless #2 – The only book by Ellis lately that I’m not sold on. Ellis is playing with his ideas of tech, but this book is not really drawing me in yet. The last panel with a second person who appears to be Sleepless was intriguing.
World War Hulk #4 (of 5) – I have already said my piece on this book, needless to say it was not a favorite this week. Let’s see how it ends.
Cthulhu Tales Tainted – Not bad, but some of the stories were just confusing and or incomprehensible. Still this and the vastly superior Fall of Cthulhu series has made me want to read Lovecraft’s work and see what the source material is like.
Testament #20 – Another book I should cancel and just go to the trades as the stories are relatively complex and are hard to really stay with the story over the month (and reading 100 plus other comics). Still a well structured story and it definitely continues to move forward.
Ghosting #2 (of 4) – I should have canned this book after this issue, but I’m interested enough now to want to find out who or what is behind all the killings going on – is it a ghost or something else.
Witness #1 – A set-up for a graphic novel. Rather mundane, cop protecting witnesses becomes a witness of mob boss killing his own daughter (who was ratting out Daddy). He fakes his own death to protect his family. Was not that strong of a book and it just leads into a graphic novel.

A really good week of books. I have so many above the line as the best that it even shocked me. The book you should be reading that you are not is Bad Planet. Drop a Marvel or DC title that you are so-so on and buy Bad Planet and see if you don’t enjoy it more then the book you dropped. If I’m wrong let me know and I’ll try and get a quarter to you to buy the issue you missed back in about three months.

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