Monday, March 14, 2011

The Week of March 9 in Review

When I went on vacation I did not take a single regular comic with me and read a couple OGNs, one newer and one older and finished one book and started another. I enjoy comics, but it was easy to not have them. If the economy continues to tank and put pressure on my wallet it will be pretty easy to save money by dropping a ton of books.

Wulf #1 – Writer Steve Niles, Art Nat Jones

What I Liked – The book read so fast it was amazing. Nat Jones art, as always, is perfect for this story and just always dark and edgy. Nat has a lot of power in his work and Steve gave him full reign with plenty of huge panels, double page spreads and full page panels. The basic premise is Wulf is from some sort of sword and sorcery type world and a bridge is formed to the “real” world. The bad guy goes over into the real world and a cop gets pulled through into Wulf’s world.

What I Didn’t Like – the blurb for issue #2 says it features Lomax, the cop. What the heck, we just got issue #1 and almost no explanation of anything about Wulf and we are changing up who the book is about?

Sidebar: I know this is from last week, but the re-launching of the old short lived Atlas line is interesting to me. It appears Martin Goodman’s grandson is one party behind the revival, with Mike Grell as Editor In Chief. It should be a fun ride with this type of talent behind the comic, but we have to see what the other two titles offer as Tony Isabella and Jim Kruger did not fill me with the same hope as Steve Niles. Plus many publishers come and go in the comic world and often the financing is sketchy at best. Finally the promo in the comic that they are going to have a crossover event this fall and that just scares me on many levels. I’m along for the ride though and hope they can outlast the original Atlas comics.

Justice League Generation Lost #21 was not a shocker as I never even thought Blue Beetle was dead. Even worse it was totally given away by Booster not calling Jamie’s parents on one pretext or another and therefore never having to announce that he was dead. All in all this series has been an incredible waste of time as it has only one real plotline and that is to get Max. The flip side is that the characters themselves have been developed as well as they ever had and I could get behind a monthly series with this group. A monthly series would have the advantage of having the main plotlines be less than 26 issues long.

Walking Dead #82 – Writer Robert Kirkman, Art Charlie Adlard

What I Liked – The art is always solid on this book. When an artist consistently produces a great looking book and seems to have no issues with hitting their deadlines I think they often get taken for granted. Charlie does great work and you never wonder who is who. The story itself is well done and it looks like we are getting out of the enclave a lot earlier then I would have thought, but so far the “No Way Out” arc has been an exciting one. I like the development of Carl as he has become the most interesting character in the entire book and yet I’m guessing the TV show will never be able to match the type of development the comic has done with Carl.

What I Didn’t Like – The classic left turn by Kirkman felt a little forced or maybe overplayed as Rick talks about getting out of town with just his small group and says they are not our children. Normally I love the endings, but that is a minor point in an otherwise great issue of Walking Dead.

Punishermax #11 – Writer Jason Aaron, Art Steve Dillon

What I Liked – The ending was well done, of course neither Frank nor Bullseye probably died, but it still worked out well. I had severe reservations about this book as Jason seemed to be going for gross out stuff just for the shock value and Dillon made Frank look too young, neither is true anymore and this was a great battle between Frank and Bullseye. I’m looking forward to this series again and have hopes that this is Jason second best work (Scalped being number one).

What I Didn’t Like – The $4 price tag.

Zatanna #10 – Writer Paul Dini, Art Cliff Chiang

What I Liked – The story, the art and the cliff hanger ending, plus it was 20 pages of Dini writing and not some 10 page thing. Dini and Chiang capture “Z” to perfection. She is smart, beautiful, but often willing to trust a little too much. The net result is “Z” ends up becoming a puppet and Oscar Hamel is now back to human and pulling her strings literally and figuratively. Chiang makes Zatanna beautiful but not over the top, she is more believable as Chiang draws her. I can’t wait for the next issue.

What I Didn’t Like – Brother Night coming back as the bad guy. I know Z has no real rogues gallery but she will never develop one if the first villain is brought back right away.

Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom #5 (of 6) – Writer Joe Hill Artist Gabriel Rodriquez

I mention this book because it is one of the best comics on the stands and is a finite series. The entire run of the book will be 36 issues and the story and characters are great. It has been a joy to watch each one of the Locke children grow up a little as the series progresses. It also gets into issues like why we may dislike certain things in our life; those things help to define us. Specifically this issue Kinsey is starting to understand that by removing fear from her brain it has caused her to not be able to feel the same way about other things. Finally the series may end up as a TV series and if done right and done as a finite TV series could be a great show.

Batman and Robin #21 – Writer Peter Tomasi, Pencils Patrick Gleason, Inks Mick Gray

What I Liked – Gleason and Gray are bringing their “A’ game to this book and this maybe the book that gets Gleason noticed as a top notch super hero artist. The one panel spread of Batman and Robin silhouetted against the Bat Signal was a beautiful page. The story has really picked up as we find out what is behind the actions of the White Knight. Tomasi is taking what Grant Morrison started and really jumping up the level and excitement of this book. The shame is that this team is off the book after this arc and then back on after another fill in arc by Judd Winick. I prefer to see Tomasi and Gleason stay on this book month in and month out.

What I Didn’t Like – Nothing really, a great issue.

That’s a wrap for this week; too busy trying to catch up to cover everything of interest. I enjoyed my vacation form comics and hope to use that and these two weeks as an impetus to reduce my list. Of course DC has been kind enough to cancel Rebels, Streets of Gotham, Doom Patrol, Outsiders and with Brightest Day and JL Gen Lost coming to a close that should also help. Plus the Flashpoint stuff is not exciting me and I should be able to skip a lot of that stuff. Add in GI Joe Cobra biting the dust and Echo ending and my list is helping to reduce itself.


  1. The economy continues to tank? That would suggest it's still moving downward. That's not what any of the indicators say. If you've had enough coin so far, you're not going to have less now that things have stabilized and slowly moved upward, for about a year, too.

  2. Thomm - The government certainly wants one to think that way, but the numbers are all artificially being pushed up. Right now energy is killing most people and the time to pay the piper looms ever nearer. If the US currency is removed as being the world's reserve note everything changes and not in a good way. I hope you are right, I'm worried I'm right.