Monday, February 04, 2013

The Week of January 30 in Review Part 1 of 2 – The Non Standard Stuff

Hello and welcome back to yet another week in review. After going nuts and doing a ton of solo spotlights this week is just two posts. They fall into the standard stuff and what I classify as non-standard stuff. I’m looking to make these short blurbs on a bunch of books this week.

Of course we need to get to the list for next week. The clean and concise list is at Cosmic Comix and for all the solicitation copy and info on variants you can go to Midtown Comics. The books I’m looking forward to the most are Green Arrow as Jeff Lemire takes over, Superior Spider-Man (yikes I just read issue #2), Garth Ennis Red Team, Snapshot (an Andy Diggle / Jock Image book), and Harbinger. I find it amusing the DC is already doing some resets of book less than a year and half in.

Anyway let’s get onto the review. SPOILERS exist.

Invincible #100 by Robert Kirkman and Ryan Ottley teased the death of Invincible in the first three pages and then explained it all as being a set-up by Dinosaurus immediately afterward. It did a nice job of moving Mark Grayson’s character forward. Seeing how he will react to Eve being pregnant is going to be interesting. I like that this book shows Mark growing up, albeit slowly, but what has happened in his life affects who he is and makes him different as time goes on. It is the thing I always wish happened in other comics but never does. What happens in every issue of Invincible matters and has impact, sometimes immediately, sometimes down the road and not always as one would expect. This is one of the best super hero comic books on the stands.

Punisher War Zone #4 (of 5) by Greg Rucka and Carmine Di Giandomenico was another well done book. This is really a continuation of the Rucka series that wraps up next issue. This was a “truer” Punisher book set in the Marvel Universe and I liked this book more the longer I stayed with it. I abandoned the book about a year and half in as it seemed to be moving too slow, but when I jumped back on I realized that I have read the Ennis and Aaron Punisher for so long that I had forgotten who the character is in the regular MU. It has shown that the Punisher is very smart and tactically brilliant. In the final analysis I believe the character’s time has come and gone, but Rucka made me second guess that assumption.

Before Watchmen Dollar Bill (One Shot) by Len Wein and Steve Rude was another unexpected, but welcome addition to the Before Watchmen books. I get so tired of all the people crying about Alan Moore being screwed by this and heck I heard DC offered some good money for him to bless it. Legally DC owns the material based on the contract and Moore is making a ton of money by updating and interrupting other people’s work and has almost his entire career. Other people revisiting ideas that others started is the entire premise of almost every damn comic book out there. So if you have missed these books, you are only doing yourself a disservice. This book was a straight up origin story of a character that was a one panel joke in the Watchmen. Yet is was enjoyable and well done and ultimately came back to the character dying due to his cape getting stuck in a revolving door and allow a bank robber to shoot him. I have enjoyed Len Wein’s work on the Before Watchmen material more than he has done in forever the last decade or so. It was also a pleasure to see Steve Rude’s art again. Not sure why he has disappeared from comics, but who knows there are so many books I could have just missed things he has done. A solid one shot and a fine addition to a line of books that has been the best work to come out of DC.

Before Watchmen Ozymandias #5 (of 6) by Len (him again) Wein and Jae Lee was also a great issue. Jae Lee’s art is beautiful and the structure of the story has been perfect. Len has captured the arrogance and elegance of Ozymandias. He has made the character exactly what he is from my recollection of Watchmen. The hero who knows what is right for the world. The best bad guys are those who not only think they are right, but who might actually be right. If you had to kill one person to save one million people would you do it? If you don’t are you the hero who has the moral high ground or the villain who allowed so many to perish? Adrian is willing to do what is “right” to save the world.

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Nowhere Men #3 by Eric Stephenson and Nate Bellegarde is off my list. I gave the series a chance and maybe by the end of the first arc it will all pull together but at this point it has so many disparage parts of the story lying about I can’t follow it. I almost want to hang on because it might make sense, but realistically if I’m three issues in and still wondering where we are going it is time for me to drop the book. Sorry guys it feels like there is a potential cool story here.

I, Vampire #16 by Joshua Hale Fialkov and a host of artists was a decent issue. The lack of artistic cohesion really hurt this issue but the story is still well done. I have enjoyed this series and I’m sad it is being cancelled with issue #19. The good news is Joshua has stated he got the chance to end the book the way he wanted to end it. I only hope the art gets better as this issue suffered.

Lot 13 #4 (of 5) by Steve Niles and Glen Fabry is an entertaining little horror story. Niles tells good little stories like this and I think he would have made a great writer back in the day for Creepy and Eerie magazines. Fabry’s art is strong, but it looks very different. I think often that some of the computer tricks are over used or some art techniques don’t always translate the way the artist intended. Nevertheless it is a good episode of the Twilight Zone.

Mara #2 (of 6) by Brian Wood and Ming Doyle was almost going to be cut from my list. The first book wasn’t going anywhere and I was unsure where this issue was going. At the end Mara takes off and goes airborne. Okay, WTF was that. Mara was a super sports star in some sort of Utopian style future but not super powered. I’m back next issue. I should learn to trust my favorite writers more. Brian Wood has enough credit in my bank that any book by him should be given the first story arc to make or break it.

The last entry for this post is Deathmatch #2 by Paul Jenkins and Carlos Magno. 32 super powered heroes and villains are being forced to hold a NCAA style elimination being forced on them by an unknown party. This is a damn tough premise to sell since they have to make up all the players and try and make us interested fast. I started reading issue #2 and realized I was not going to stick around and have a match every issue. That would be in the neighborhood of 30 issues and then the overall mystery on top of it. Jenkins must have been reading my mind as we get seven quick matches taken care in this very issue. I loved it. It was the one thing that made me to decide to stick around and instantly reduced the cast down to a more manageable level. Of course I wish they would say this is a limited series but maybe Jenkins has some ideas how to keep it going forever.

Part 2 tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. I might need to try Deathmatch. I need my Magno fix now that he's off Planet of the Apes.