Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Best to Worst of Last Week

This was an enjoyable week for comics with a fair number of strong books, a few pleasant surprises and the death knell for another book on my list. This week had a decent amount of diversity in it and also had super hero action from DC, Marvel, Image and Avatar.

Green Arrow Year One #4 (of 6) – WOW, just wow. Andy Diggle has crafted a great remake of Ollie’s origin, making it seem so fresh and vital, enhancing it and improving it, without taking anything away from the original. Jock’s art is perfect for this story. Do a hardcover collection and add in some reprints of early versions of his origin and I’ll buy it.
Immortal Iron Fist #8 – Really well done. I’m loving this contest and this book has made Kung-Fu fun again. I wish they could reprint the old Shang-Chi material.
Crossing Midnight #10 – Continuing the story of the two twins and also focuses on the Japanese view of underage prostitutes. Interesting mix of fantasy, horror and real world information. Great series. Mike Carey’s best work on the stands.

Green Lantern Corps #15 – The Battle for Mogo as the Sinestro War continues. A really enjoyable chapter in this war. This issue is showing the scope of what is happening and still highlighting the one battle.
Thunderbolts #116 – Ellis and Deodato ratchet this book another notch. Appears Ellis has an end game in mind. Love all the characterization and plot being woven into a book that still delivers action.
In Her Darkest Hour – Terrific story about someone reaching the edge and wondering if they should end it all. Especially well done as she gets through it with help, but is still just crawling out of her abyss. Touching, emotional, small supernatural element (death as a character hanging around) and felt very real and possibly a little autobiographical.
Black Summer #2 (of 7) – This book is really well done. John Horus sets off a storm by killing the President and the rest of his old super hero group is stuck dealing with the aftermath.
Mouse Guard Winter 1152 #1 (of 6) – Love that Mouse Guard is back and David Peterson’s art and story are just so compelling that I don’t understand why this is not a number one book in bookstores for children. A true modern fairy tale.
Superman #666 – This was a real surprise. Usually a one off issue, especially one dealing with the “hell” theme due to the issue # would be standard fare. Busiek and Simonson turned in one heck of a good story. Superman in a dream state taking out Luthor by spitting through Luthor’s skull was a memorable scene. Very good story and art that well suited the story.
Spirit #9 – El Morte is a pretty vicious and nasty bad guy for the Spirit. Another well done issue.
Invincible #45 – A wonderful series that seems to almost never miss a beat. Mark continues to struggle with his life and as he gets older his problems get more complex.
X-Men First Class #3 – This book is a joy. The setting has been updated (or it would be too obvious that Scott Summer and crew are around 60 years old now), but the fun of the book is there. Jeff Parker and Roger Cruz have a great X-book, that captures the spirit of the times and remains modern.
Blue Beetle #18 – Another good issue. This issue Beetle is stilling fighting the reach but meets up with the Teen Titans and Lobo as an adversary. Seems like it would be totally lame, but it worked.
Supergirl and The Legion of Super Heroes #33 – The quest for Cosmic Boy is ongoing and this story within the arc was well done and sets up the Wanderers to be the LOSH's opposite number.
Batman #668 – Decent story, but JH Williams is making this arc really nice. The Hero Club is stuck on an Island and members are being killed and attack by an unknown assailant – very Agatha Christie.
Fantastic Five #4 (of 5) – The best FF book on the stands. Dr. Doom at his menacing best, the FF fighting back by taking risks to save the world and each other.
Strange Embrace #3 (of 8) – David Hines odd tale of obsession and the paranormal. Hard to fit this into a best to worst as it is a very different book and hard to categorize. Bottom line it is a compelling and good read.
Annihilation Conquest: Starlord #2 (of 4) – Great suicide mission and we actually lost some members of the team. Still any book with a talking raccoon can’t be bad.
Gamekeeper #4 – Very slow paced book, but still well done. Really feels like this should be read as a trade.
Birds of Prey #109 – Nice issue spotlighting Oracle talking over with Black Canary why she is marrying Green Arrow and it also moved forward the death of the New Gods storyline from Countdown.
Iron Man #21 – Not a bad issue, just really a placeholder issue, no mention of WW Hulk repercussions and more set-up with the Mandarin story line – which looks to be a very long story.
Countdown #36 – Another small step upward with some nice reveals and solid movement in some story lines.
Outsiders Five of a Kind Metamorpho/Aquaman – Decent story spotlighting two potential Outsiders for Batman’s team.


Amazing Spider-Man #543 – The “Back in Black” storyline ended with a thud. All the emotion of the last few issues deteriorated to Peter hitting a cop and spiriting Aunt May to a different hospital. What had been pathos and tragedy has become almost a parody.
Hiding in Time #2 (of 4) – Nice time travel story. Witness protection by hiding in the past is a neat concept and the story got better, but the art is very weak at times and somewhat amateurish.
X-Men #202 – A solid okay for me on this book. Ramos is not my choice for a group book, but Carey is writing a story that is somewhat holding my interest.
Ultimate Fantastic Four #45 – Well written and well drawn, but this group feels like posers as opposed to an alternative version of the FF.
Weapon #3 (of 4) – An okay book, but really just okay. In hindsight I could have easy skipped this mini-series. Nothing wrong with it, just nothing to really recommend it that much either.
Astonishing X-Men #22 – What a waste of John Cassady’s talents as an artist. A boring meandering story that never seems to end.
JSA Classified #29 – So-so story with Nazi connections and artwork that shows potential but was very uneven. A disappointment as I wanted more focus on Mr. Terrific’s character as opposed to just a generic adventure.
The Order #2 – Pretty artwork about a bunch of characters I could care less about. What cinched the deal for me to drop this book was we saw the younger starlet who had wanted to be a hero, succeed and save the day. After a lifetime of meeting others expectations, she did the right thing on her own. Cut to someone ready to realize a sex tape on her. Leave that crap for “The Boys”. At least make it a male super-hero, almost like the writer is playing out his own fantasy. BLECHHH.

Only one cut for me this week and that was “The Order”. What is disappointing to me is that I enjoy Barry Kitson’s artwork and know he can only produce maybe 10 issues a year, so I will miss seeing his art. Weapon is a series that is a perfectly well done book, but it is pedestrian, nothing special reaches out and makes me want to say “read this book”. Two big surprises were Superman #666 and “In Her Darkest Hour”, totally different, but both are about descending into a personal hell.

No comments:

Post a Comment