Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Best and The Rest

So where I live has been pounded by a blizzard and another storm is on its way. It has been well over a decade since I remember a winter this bad. My wife is winning the argument about moving south.


Scalped #34- Writer Jason Aaron, Art RM Guerra, Colors Giulia Brusco – The conclusion of “The Gnawing” was a fantastic finish to this part of the story and continues to keep everything in place to move forward. This is absolutely one of the best series on the stands and is the best noir type book on the stands. The characters are often tough as nails and the emotions that run through the book feel raw and unvarnished and ring true to the characters. Dash kills Diesel this issue and the way he does was so damn cold, yet at the same time worked so well within the context of the story as to not be believed. He kills him slowly shooting him in non vital areas over and over and over again. At the end Dash thinks to himself that he feels no remorse only pleased. Red Crow has the every living crap kicked out of him by Hmongs. As you are reading this you are wondering how Red Crow can just lie down and take this. When we get into the story and see what he does to take his revenge you realize Red Crow set the Hmongs up by getting them to let their guard down. Jason covers this and hits on so many other story points that upon reflection you are amazed by how much he covers in one issue. RM Guerra continues to deliver with the art and conveys the raw emotion and brutality that is in the script. I notice that the main story arcs are always left for RM and the fill in artist do the intervening arcs or one shot type issues, which is a great way to keep the book as close as possible to a monthly schedule.

The Question #37 – Writers Dennis O’Neil & Greg Rucka, Pencils Densy Cowan, Inks Bill Sienkiewicz & John Stansci, Colors David Baron. Maybe it was part nostalgia, but boy did I enjoy this story. Not only did we get a quick recap of who the original Question was, but we got Lady Shiva, Tot and Renee all getting excellent screen time and solid characterization. Charlie is back as a Black Lantern because of Tot’s meddling, Shiva and Renee do not have the power to defeat a Black Lantern but learn how to avoid it by becoming invisible to him. The invisibility is achieved by losing all emotion and since that is how Black Lantern’s see people they essentially disappeared. The artwork was great and with modern reproduction techniques I think it look even better than it did back in the time of the original series. It also did not hurt to see Denny O’Neil’s name back on the writing credits.

Other Books I Wanted To Mention

Blackest Night Wonder Woman #3 (of 3) – I really enjoyed this little mini-series. Not only did it add some story points for Blackest Night, but it was one of the more straight forward series about Wonder Woman I have read in awhile. In her regular series every time I read the newest issue I’m wondering if I read the prior one.

Demo #1 (of 6) – It is nice to see this book again. The one and done format is so seldom used and Wood and Cloonan use it to great effect again. It was kind of an odd story, but I think that is the point of focusing on a person at a singular moment of their life.

Ghost Riders Heaven’s On Fire #6 (of 6) – This whole series fizzled out for me. I like Jason Aaron’s work on Scalped and loved his Ghost Rider, but somehow between here and there this book hit just slowly unwound. Not that this was not a bad book, it just did not maintain the energy and madness that Aaron and artist Boschi originally had injected into the series. Regardless as Aaron leaves Ghost Rider I will also.

Great Ten #4 (of 10) – This has been a very good series with each issue giving us an origin story and background on each character and at the same time moving he overall story forward. Tony Bedard is doing a masterful job of writing this book and McDaniel and Owens are delivering their normal high energy artwork. I’m guessing this book is going under most people’s radar which is a shame.

House of Mystery #22 – A good issue. I have only been half heartedly following this book lately as the series was not always working for me, but this issue brought me back into the book. I’m not sure what it was with this issue but a lot of disparate elements of the book seem to come together for me.

Jonah Hex #52 – Jordi Bernet has become the main artist on this series and I’m glad to see his work get seen by a wider American audience. The series itself continues to be an excellent run and the one and done stories are the way to go with this book as the multi-part story line was just too long and a little too convoluted.

Milestone Forever #1 (of 2) – A decent read, but I’m not sure what story line was being wrapped up as the Milestone line of comics ended well over a decade ago, if memory serves. A little explanation might have been helpful as opposed to assuming readers knew how the series ended. Next issue appears to be the big wrap up.

Realm of Kings Son of Hulk #1 (of 4) – This book was basically a miss for me, but I will try one more issue. For someone who does not know the character this book was not a very easy jumping on point. We had characters from everywhere coming into the story and no editor’s notes or introductions or explanations were given.

Siege #2 (of 4) – I have a few notes about this issue. First off Sentry kills Ares in a very bloody way. Now Lee has complained about the level of violence in regular DCU and MU books before, but it does appear that any level of violence is okay in a regular MU book. Ares being killed is also a non-event as not only are characters reborn all the time, Ares is part of a pantheon of immortal gods. Bucky is drawn like he is about 25 years old. It was startling and took me out of the story, maybe no one told the artist Bucky is a lot older. Third we are two issues in and we are just getting to the main battle. I’m not sure if I like that or not, but after eight issues of Secret Invasion wrapping this up in four issues is fine by me.

Superman: World of New Krypton #12 (of 12) – This series was okay, but it never really felt like it was going anywhere. I know it served a purpose to give us what New Krypton was like, but the book never had its own identity. Now it is leading into another mini-series which I’m sure leads to the War of Superman in May. I have never been a major Superman fan and if it wasn’t for the whole Legion of Super Hero angle floating around in this series I’d be tempted to drop all the Superman books.

Once again the worst category is a non-event. I find that if I wanted to just excoriate books I could be it is easier to tear something down then to find the positive in it. Also if I didn’t like something 100% I may just not comment instead of shredding it. All in all a decent week of comics.

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