Saturday, January 08, 2011

Ultimate Captain America #1 VS Weird Worlds #1

I chose these two mini-series to make a point about what I will spend money on and what I will not spend money on. Also it goes to the heart of DC drawing the line at $2.99. Yes I know both books are $4, but the DC book delivers 10 pages more of a bang for my buck, where Marvel is gouging me an extra dollar for 20 pages.

Let’s face neither of these books are instant classics. Both have things that are nice and both have failings, so at the end of the day the truly prudent buyer would drop both titles. I will only be dropping Ultimate Captain America and the final decision was the extra buck I’m being charged.

No an extra dollar is not going to kill me, but with gas continuing its upward climb and I have home heating oil which is going up (try filling up a 250 gallon tank once a month) and I have no great need to spend money just for the hell of it. Sure I enjoy our hobby but even I have limits and I’m trying to cut back where I can.

I accomplish that by trying out new series and giving them the rope that they earn. Spider-Girl killed herself with issue #2, I was super generous with Green Arrow and he got seven issues, mini-series by their nature get short leashes on life and Ultimate Cap is a one and done.

Ultimate Captain America gives us Jason Aaron as the writer and this guy is writing arguably the best comic book on the stands with Scalped. His super hero work has been more of a hit or miss for me and his name is no longer a guarantee that I will buy the book, but Cap sounded like a good fit. Ron Garney is a solid artist and he has developed a rougher looking style that I find even more appealing than his earlier work which I also enjoyed, so a lot of pluses and the reason I tried the book. The problem is the predictable story, the derivative story and only getting 20 pages for my $4 entry fee. I’m very tired of the ploy of starting in the middle of the story so we have some action right away. It is only a 20 page comic, I can wait four of five pages so the story reads in a more straight forward format, the gimmick is okay in certain circumstances. It has become a crutch for too many writers to use to tell a story. If only Cap died at the end of the issue all the clich├ęs would have been used. Plus we get a Frank Miller derivative in the Ultimate Universe being used. How many times have we seen Cap fight another super soldier? Answer – too damn many. I was expecting more from Jason and I hope he delivers some unexpected twist that make readers enjoy it, I will have to hear about it as I will be missing the rest of the series.

Weird Worlds #1 has some issues also with the Lobo story starting in the middle as did both of the other stories. Since each one is a 10 page segment and they have to sell their story as part of an anthology I will give them some leeway, but it just shows how prevalent that story telling gimmick has gotten in comics. Lobo sold me on this book as well as the art by Ordway on Lobo, Maguire on Tanga and Lopresti on Garbage Man. No new ground is being broken with these stories and for Garbage Man and Tanga appears to be a chance for the artists to also be the writer. Lobo is a slam bang fight ending with a cliff hanger for another fight. Entertaining and well done and what I want from a Lobo story. Garbage Man is a story written a hundred times before. Mad scientist injects unwilling subject with stuff and then he is disposed of and comes back to life as a muck monster. Monster is now seeking revenge. Nothing new, but it is entertaining. Tanga is fun character and I have no clue about her or why she is floating around in space or why she is such a hot head. Maguire’s art is always enjoyable and this was a fun start to a character I want to learn more about.

The final tally, one book has 30 pages for $4 and each story fun in its own way. One book that is derivative and predictable with 20 pages also $4. An easy decision, Weird Worlds wins.

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