Two weeks ago, I managed to read about one and three quarters books which is why I only talked about the Colossal Collection of Action Poses. This week was a return to form as I read a ton of single issues (many thanks to Jim for sharing… except for one I need to send back because it’s polluting my house) and some trades.
This collected the earliest appearances of Vanth Dreadstar and the beginnings of Starlin’s second magnum opus, Dreadstar. It has painted art by Starlin which, for the most part, is a treat. It has a solid storyline and plenty of action. But I still only made it through the first of three stories. It’s a beautiful hc with excellent reproduction but somewhere along the way I got bored. It wasn’t the story as much as it was me. I’ve read so much Starlin over the years that I felt I knew the story 2 pages in. If you haven’t read it then it’s Very Good, if you’ve read everything by Starlin in the past 10 years then you need to decide if your shelf can handle another book.
This week was another massive blast of books. In trades, I read…
A tie for best book of the week, this was just fantastic! Basically, a crime noir story set in turn of the century Paris with downright vile badguys doing mean and nasty things to deeply flawed heroes who are marginally holding it together. Wow, this was good. Art is really, really good and takes a few pages to really appreciate but it’s worth it. A fantastic read. Very Good.
Nuts, (w/a) Gahan Wilson, published by Fantagraphics.
This is a book that suffered from high expectations. My LCS raved about this soooo much and for so long that I finally caved and got it. AND… it was fine. A GI Joe with snarky attitude goes undercover only to find out they always knew he was a double agent and just wanted to see if they could push him over the edge. Well executed and fun to read but not ground breaking. It was probably better in single issue format. Good.
Hope Falls: Ultimate Edition, (w) Tony Lee (a) Dan Boultwood, published by Markosia Preview pages here.
Even though Tony Lee showed up here a long time ago drunk and trolled Greg doesn't mean he can't write a good story. And this is a really good story. The premise of an angel comic back for revenge on those who killed her is simple enough, but Lee really runs with the idea. I didn't see many of the twists coming and that's hard to do. The art is very angular, almost Teddy Kristainson angular with a touch of cartoon influence. It works well but isn't for everyone. Very Good.
It's Warren Ellis and you either love him or hate him. I love him. Most of the time at least. Anyway, this is typical Ellis, some really grand ideas and a great mystery of a plot. It just ends really, really fast. This felt like a setup for future stories. But, there were so many ideas and so much more that I wanted to know about the world he created I'm calling it a win. Good.
In single issues I read…
Hulk #1, (w) Jason Aaron, (a) Marc Silvestri
A good setup issue with enough action and plot to keep everyone happy. My only complaint is the artistic interpretation of the female lead. Silverstri draws here with floating water balloons on her chest. Also she has a facial scar! Wanna guess where? That’s right, forehead to chin right over her eye! The facial scar is so cliché that it bores me. Story good and except for a couple of pages the art was good too.
Avengers 1959 #1-2, (w) Howard Chaykin
This was fine and typical Chaykin. Much like the aforementioned Starlin I felt like I have read this from Chaykin before. Female spies acting like sluts? Check. Men cross dressing for implied kinky activities? Check. And Jim’s favorite comment… square heads for all the men? Check. There was certainly nothing wrong with this but neither is there anything new.
One of the best single issues of the month! A fun, light hearted read in which you didn’t need a whole lot of prior knowledge of… well… anything to enjoy. This book had just the right amount of plot, sharp dialogue and action. In fact, this was so good that I shared it with Boy!
All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes #4, (w) Paul Jenkins (a) Carmine Di Giandomenic
Well, the art is certainly pretty. After that, what started out as a promising war story with a good mystery and some cool WW2 violence has morphed into a tale of “don’t ask don’t tell.” I would have enjoyed it more without being preached at. The problem is I was expecting a war story and it changed into someone making a political point.
30 Days of Night #1, (w) Steve Niles, (a) Sam Keith
The story was fine but the art… ugh talk about make my eyes bleed. I expect more from Keith and this looks like he took a paying gig and used it to practice photoshop with.
I told you I read a ton of stuff this week. Maybe next week will be back to normal.
And, as an added feature, I offer the song of the week. In heavy rotation at my house is "Pissed Off and Mad About it" by Texas Hippie Coalition. THC is a wee bit Pantera tempered by southern rock influences like Lynard Skynard. The song is really basic and he states that he's pissed off a whole lot except when he's firetruckin' pissed off. But that's not important, it has a massive bass line and the drummer kicks ass. So, if huge fat guys in cowboy hats singing about beating people up is your thing check out the video here. I will admit the video is kinda dull but it's the only one for this song they had.