Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Best and Worst of Last Week

This was an odd week for me as I have not been out to a lot of movies lately and this week I saw three movies. First I saw Taken, which was a solid action/adventure movie that appears to have been heavily edited to keep up the pace of the movie. Not a great film, but an entertaining one. Next I saw Watchmen and I have to say what the heck was Alan Moore’s problem with this film? What a great movie that was very faithful to the comic and while the ending was changed slightly, the meaning of the movie was left in tack. More proof that Alan Moore has to get over himself, yes other of his works were butchered, but his best (or at least most famous) work was faithfully adapted. Then I saw Slumdog Millionaire. It was a very good movie; it was not the best movie of the year. The story was simplistic and obvious in many places and while entertaining Dark Knight had as least as much to it as this film did, each in their own way. It is fine that Hollywood wants to celebrate this film, but it is wrong that Dark Knight was dismissed.


Daredevil #116 – Writer Ed Brubaker, Pencils David Aja, Inks Stefano Gaudiano, Colors Jose Villarrubia. Bringing back the Kingpin is essentially a bad idea and just is more proof that comics can never move forward, still even with that as a backdrop of my opinion, this was a great issue of Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin. The issue was all his story and what he has been doing since putting himself into exile. With the death of his wife we see Wilson is at loose ends and can’t find himself or what he is supposed to do. Eventually he is befriended by a woman and becomes a part of her and her two children’s lives. The darkness begins to leave his soul until one night he shows up for dinner and finds the children and his girl friend dead, killed by the Hand. Lady Bullseye tells the Kingpin if he wants to know why this has been done ask Daredevil. It was a story that was telegraphed and one that you could see the ending at the beginning, but it was well written and the art was very well done. Aja and Gaudiano look a lot like Lark and Gaudiano, so I have to assume Gaudiano is a bog reason for the consistent look of this book regardless of the artist. This book is blessed with great art more often then not and is such a “noir” book that I have to wonder if the Daredevil Noir book will be as noir as the real series.

Jersey Gods #2 – Writer Glen Brunswick, Art Dan McDaid, Colors Rachelle Rosenberg. There is something about this series that is very special. The New Gods meet Young Romance is how I describe this series. It is deceptively simple and at the same time building layers of complexity. This issue Zoe and Barock form a connection as Barock recovers to defeat his enemy. Zoe passes on her phone number and Barock goes back to the heavens and Zoe goes back to her world. We see both the gods’ story as they decide how they will deal with the betrayals and such and we also see Barock fret over when to call Zoe back. Zoe is getting in trouble by speaking her mind at work and also worrying that Barock has not call her back. The art by Dan McDaid is closer to an animator’s style then a realistic style, but he conveys are the needed elements for the story. Bottom line this is a book that deserves your attention and is worth the $3.50 price tag. Jersey Gods is one of those books that the enthusiasm and energy from the creators oozes off each page, it is infectious, catch it now.

Farscape #3 – Story Rockne O’Bannon, Script Keith DeCandido, Pencils Tommy Patterson, Digital Inks Marshall Dillon, Colors Andrew Dalhouse & Zac Atkinson. I can’t help but to continue to sing the praises of this book. For the most part books that follow up TV shows are lame adventures of your favorite TV characters. Since Farscape has been over for a few years and it is apparent that a new series will never be green lite, this book is Farscape and that is what makes it all worthwhile. Rockne O’Bannon is crafting a great follow-up story to the series ending movie and Keith DeCandido is getting the character voices almost spot on (one or two of John’s quips feel a little dated for John’s age). Each and every issue of this book puts a smile on my face and I’m transported back to being on Moya and watching each adventure unfold. Frell me if this is not the best comic book done of a TV series.

War of Kings #1 (of 6) – Writers Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning, Pencils Paul Pelletier, Inks Rick Magyar, Colors Wil Quintana. A good start to what looks to be a good series that encompasses the outer space books of the DCU. As Abnett and Lanning are writing the vast majority of books associated with the mini-event it should read relatively seamlessly. I was worried that since I had not read the last issue of X-Men Kingbreaker it would impact this book, but it did not bother me at all. The Shi’ar Empire is fast on the heels of the Starjammers and they make it by the skin of their teeth to the Kree homeworld. The arranged marriage between Crystal and Ronan is proceeding and that is when Vulcan strikes. After the Kree shield is taken down Vulcan inflicts maximum damage with bombing runs and sends the Imperial Guard to the wedding. Inhuman and Kree alike are devasted and after the attack is over a bloodied but undefeated Black Bolt via Medusa swears vengeance against Vulcan. Fast paced, deftly plotted and strong art giving Paul Pelletier a well deserved showcase, gives the War of Kings a great start.


New Avengers The Reunion #1 (of 4) – Why does the art from the same art team of Catwoman look so different in a Marvel book. I’ve noticed this often when an artist crosses company lines. Is it the teaming of the colorist or just a different process in printing? Anyway this book was not enough about the relationship and too much about more and more mysteries. Also Hawkeye and Bucky Cap looked like teen-agers which did not resonate with their long histories. Last but not least the $4 price for what appears to be just an okay mini-series. Cancelled.

Solomon Grundy #1 (of 7) – I like Scott Kolins’ as an artist and I like Solomon Grundy, but I found this book to a tough read in that the it was not a linear story, yet it seemed like it was suppose to be a linear story. Scott’s artwork was also not as strong and therefore I decided to not invest for six more issues hoping it gets better. Cancelled.

Deadpool #8 – Okay so I buy this book because it is part of a cross over with Thunderbolts, which I’m buying. I have friends who love this book and say it is often one of the funniest comics on the stands and delivers the humor and action you would expect from this character. I’m all settled in to enjoy this book and it is half exposition setting up the story line and the Thunderbolts do not appear until the last page, the art is just so-so and it did not read as funny. I felt ripped-off in being forced to buy a book I did not want to buy or need to buy. Even worse the opportunity to make me want to try an ongoing Deadpool series is now gone. Deadpool is not a cancelled book as it was never on my list.

This was a tough week for comics in my view. There were plenty of decent books, just very few that made the best grade and after a few weeks of only one worst book, this week more made the grade. Books like The Mighty, Secret Six, Locke & Key and others were good solid books, but there has to be that something extra to make the best.

1 comment:

  1. I vote for Killer of Demons on the best list.