Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Best and Worst of Last Week

I’m very late in getting this done as I’m typing this after midnight Sunday / Monday morning. This weekend was unusually busy with a visit from Lee, a poker game, helping my Dad out and the Ravens game being the Sunday Night game. I want to reiterate that I’m working to make this post as tight as possible and that means a lot of books are not getting comments, but I’m trying to at least do a twitter post about most books. I think when a post gets too long you lose a good portion of the audience.


Superman Secret Origin #3 (of 6) - Writer Geoff Johns, Pencils Gary Frank, Inks Jon Sibal, Colors Brad Anderson. Not only is the actual issue itself well done, the story beats and the structure of the entire mini-series is also well done. If the complaint before was the first two issues were too much a reflection of the Smallville show, then the complaint this issue is it was too much like the first Superman movie with Christopher Reeves.
The comparisons are inevitable as Johns and Frank are obviously paying tribute to that movie and incorporating the Clark as the clumsy nerd persona into Clark moving to Metropolis and getting a job with the daily planet. In addition to that Frank has used Reeves as his model for Superman and manages to pull off the classic Superman looks along with the essence of Chris Reeves’ Clark Kent and make it work.
Johns starts off with Clark looking on the sidewalk in Metropolis in awe of all the big buildings and the farm boy is dazzled by the big city. Having visited and then worked in New York City for a little while, Johns captures the essence of the jaded nature of the citizens and the awe of the tourist. We also get a clear picture of how important Lex Luthor has become as apparently he chooses one person a day to fix their life.
See my full review here

Thor Giant Size Finale - Writer J. Michael Stracynski, Pencils Marko Djurdjevic, Inks Danny Miki with Allen Martinez & Marko Djurdjevic, Colors Christina Strain.
The story opens where the last issue left off. William, the mortal love of the Asgardian Kelda, is dying after being attacked. Balder comes in and after being informed by William of what Loki and Doom are doing begins to fight off the Asgardian henchmen of the evil duo. Balder appears to be almost beaten when William makes a heroic effort with his dying strength to save Balder. Balder is now aware of Loki and Doom’s machinations and is alerted that he has led his people the wrong way.
We also see the showdown between the enhanced Doombots and Thor. The Warriors Three and the Lady Sif defend Dr. Blake as the Doombots strike. We get to see one of my all time favorite scenes as Volstagg takes on the Doombots and is shown as a hero. He loses his clothes and we are given some great humor as Sif comments on other attributes of Volstagg that have increased his legendary status. From there Donald Blake finds his cane, but before he strikes it, then a Doombot shoots a bolt of enjoy and wounds Blake’s back. He succeeds in changing and Thor dispatches the robot and then checks Donald Blake into a hospital.
See my full review here

Blackest Night #5 (of 8) - Writer Geoff Johns, Pencils Ivan Reis, Inks Oclair Albert & Joe Prado, Colors Alex Sinclair. Nekron shows up on Earth, Hal and almost all the other corps pull together and are heading to Earth to save the day. Back on Earth Flash gets a lot of help showing up to also help to save the day from the Black Lanterns. Towards the end a Black Lantern Batman comes to life, but interestedly he does not speak. I’m betting this is not Batman and this is just further proof that whatever happened to Bruce that was not his body that was brought back by Superman. As the corps are attaching the Black Lantern as a group instead of destroying it, it looks like they maybe actually powering it up. Then a great twist as Black Lantern rings attached themselves to all the heroes who have died and risen again. We are left with Wonder Woman, Superman, Green Arrow, Connor Kent, Bart Allen and more now Black Lanterns, yet still alive gathered around Nekron. Nekron also hints that the Guardians big lie is due to be exposed. You know this is an eight issue series, but Johns does a nice left turn at the end to really hold our interest. The final two panels are Black Lantern rings going after Hal and Barry. The art is stunning as it has been the whole series. I really can’t say enough good things about, but to just say again Ivan Reis is the standard in super hero art that everyone else has to try and meet.


New Avengers #59 – This book is not working for me. Between Bendis missing almost everyone’s voice and Immonen’s art not well suited for this type of comic the book is barely hanging together. I’m close to bailing out on this book.


Chew #6 – Another fine issue in this series. Tony is now partnered up with his old partner who is not quite himself anymore. The case this issue leads to capturing bank robbers who are making chicken gumbo, that Tony tastes and discovers it isn’t chicken. This strange fruit that Tony taste was shown in the first few pages as growing on an island and it looks like a pineapple with octopus tentacles. How this all ties in, I don’t know but I’m happy to read on and enjoy the ride.

Immortal Weapons #5 (of 5) – This book almost made best of the week. We end the series on a high note. I thought all of the Immortal Weapons were pretty cool characters and most of this series hurt these characters. Not this issue The Prince of Orphans was very cool as he goes around trying to resolve different issues or problems that seem to have been caused by the cities. Also he called in Iron Fist to help him and the interplay between the characters was great. This issue was what I hoped every issue was a spotlight on the Weapons that made me want to read more about each one.

Invincible Iron Man #20 – Four bucks for a story that went nowhere and had tons of filler to justify the $4 price tag. Also what the heck is Tony’s origin now in Marvel and is he of a mixed race descent? I don’t care, per say, I just want to know as I’m confused by who Tony is anymore. Maybe it is just the push by artists to make him look more like Robert Downey Jr.

Justice League Cry For Justice #5 (of 7) – I love the art in this book as far as the pictures, but his layout of design work leaves something to be desired. Of course the fault could be with the writing as Robinson is telling a very choppy story as he tries to build up to the climax of his story. It just has a disjointed and stilted feel to it. Next up is Red Arrow gets his arm ripped off; really this needed to be done why? I guess we are making sure Green Arrow has no competition since Connor has been taken out of the running, now Roy can be sidelined. As my Dad lost an arm over 60 years ago, I know Roy can make do, but this was ridiculous. Finally why is the cover Freddy and Supergirl making out when inside it never happens and instead it appears Freddy has gone nuts or been taken over by a bad guy.

Justice League of America #39 – Vibe is back as a Black Lantern. Vibe is such a horribly dated character and in hindsight a funny character, but this issue of JLA worked as it focused on some JLA members dealing with the newly risen dead.

Superman #694 – I like Mon-El, but something about this series has just been off. I think it is a combination of the artwork being not quite what I’m looking for in a pure super hero book and a choppy story telling that has been infected the entire Superman line of books. There are a lot of great ideas in the Superman line of books and maybe this is all foundation building, but the line needs an overall to get out of being a middle of the pack type of book.

Teen Titans #77 – The best issue of Teen Titans in a very long time and it didn’t have the Teen Titans. A bad sign for a book called Teen Titans. This issue was about Deathstroke and Ravager facing off against each other and Black Lanterns that are Slade Wilson’s crosses to bear. One bit that was great is seeing Wilson’s early training in the military and he is taking out a solider with the last name of Rogers, very funny.

That wraps up this week. Have to wait to Thursday to get new books this week. I think I can make it.

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