Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Week of September 9 In Review

Since I have still not gotten back into reading my comics as much as normal, plus it is a short week and NFL football is starting this week I’m following up an extremely long column with a short version of the week in review. The format is more along capsule reviews with impressions about the book as opposed to a more detailed critique.

Daytripper #10 (of 10) – This issue Bras did not die, but we found out he is dying soon. A wonderful ending to one of the best short series I have read in a very long time. It is rather bold and daring and can be thought of hubris to talk about the meaning of life in this comic, but that is what they did. Life as defined by death, as the end of life puts a greater emphasis on what has come before. In reading a book called Buddhism Plain and Simple it spoke of the fact that something is impermanent makes it more precious. A silk rose has less value then a real rose because we now a real rose can only be enjoyed for so long and then will die. This book expressed that sentiment to me over and over again and I’m grateful to have read it. I hope this book gets a high end hard cover reprinting one day.

American Vampire #6 – This book just gets better and better. We jump ahead a few years and move to Colorado in 1936 for two pages and then jump back six months and move to Vegas. We get to meet a new cast of characters, specifically a sheriff in a small town who is dealing with the Hoover Dam being built and apparently some vampires. The reader gets pulled into the story and is totally engrossed. For myself I have already forgotten the whole cast from the first five issues until the last page when the man the sheriff is calling on turns out to be Skinner. This book reads so well and Scott and Rafael make a great team turning words and pictures in a coherent whole.

Batman and Robin #14 – I get lost with Grant’s stuff and Fraser Irving is a love him or hit him artist (I love his work) so this book was a little bit of a what the heck is happening as I remember Dr. Hurt shooting Dick Grayson in the head last issue. I believe that is what we are working back to but it took a second to pull it all together. This book has been a total thrill ride as we never know where Grant is taking us next. Since it is Dick as Batman we also have to understand he is not the master planner that Batman is as Dick is still learning. All in all while this book fails at times as a single issue the series is fantastic.

Daredevil #510 – Daredevil is barely appearing in his own book as Shadowland is the “real” series about the story and this book is used to flesh out details and supporting cast. It was an okay read but essentially looks better due to how poor Shadowland came across. I’m following this train wreck to its bitter end, but Marvel maybe providing me with a good exit point with regards to this character.

Batman #703 – Somewhere along the line there is a separate continuity that has been developed in some of the other Bat books involving Vicky Vale trying to expose the secret identities of Batman and his cohorts. In addition we got a great story about an old Bat villain called the Getaway Genius. A solid issue with some interesting artwork by Cliff Richards, I’m not sure how he accomplishes the effect that he does but it raises his art a notch and makes the book better for it.

Dr. Solar Man of the Atom #2 – An abrupt change in artists that was acknowledge in the letters page. I appreciate the communication in the actual book as I do not follow all the “news” online so sometimes when I reading a book I’m surprised about some change and like to understand why it happened. No real fall off in the art and the story continues to build the foundation on where this series is going. I find it fascinating that Dr. Solar is responsible for everything that is going on in the world because he tried to correct a small moment in time.

Thor The Mighty Avenger #4 – This book just makes me smile when I read it. It is a great reinterpretation and updating of the classic Lee and Kirby Thor. This issue is all about Thor’s good friends visiting him and Earth and then going out for a night on the town in Norway. An encounter occurs with Captain Britain and a good barroom brawl ensures. This is a gem of a series from Marvel and my Thor book of choice.

The Thanos Imperative #4 (of 6) – DnA know how to craft a great entertaining concept using stuff that only works in a comic book. This is another book that resides within its own continuity which works best for me lately.

JL Generation Lost #9 – I like an issue and then I’m so-so on an issue. I’m not sure how much I care about this series at times, but I continue to buy it.

The Calling Cthulhu Chronicles #3 – The series achieves the appropriate level of creepiness as well as maintaining a good ongoing story. I think effective horror comics are difficult to achieve in comics as the horror of certain things is best left to a reader’s imagination. In this series they are keeping the “horror” on a more human level normally and the book is working.

Farscape Scorpius #4 – If you are a Farscape fan you have to love this book if you are not I don’t know if it would interest you or not, I’m guessing not.

28 Days Later #14 – This series has grown on me and it is a solid entertaining post apocalypse book with the added twist that we know what happened, but not all the whys. Each issue moves the story forward. Only Walking Dead is a better series in this genre.

Irredeemable #17 – Not sure what cover “B” had to do with the story inside (cover A is pictured), but all in all a good issue. Qubit explains what he did not kill Tony when he had a chance and it makes comic book logical sense. Tony explains to his sidekick that he believes Modeus both love and hated him. Then Tony turns and tells Modeus he knows he has been hiding as his reanimated sidekick. Some nice reveals a few good twists, but the series is still losing me. I can’t get over this being an unlimited series; to work it needs an ending that may never come.

Green Lantern #57 – This was good story and fantastic art by Doug Mahnke and Christian Almay. The problem is the story is stretching out over months and months and we have no real resolution in sight. It appears to be a story about capturing the entities behind all the lanterns but while stunningly illustrated the story is moving forward very slowly.

I may get around to reading more, but not in time for this column, so that will have to be a wrap for this week.

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