Monday, April 04, 2011

The Week of March 30 in Review

Back to my current normal format this week with reviews consisting of the positive and the negative. I have way too many books that I want to comment on so we are jumping right into the mix.

Echo #29 – Writer and Artist Terry Moore

What I Liked – Just an excellent series and the penultimate issue of this series continues moving this story to its conclusion. I can only awesome the final chapter will be longer than normal as it seems like there are a lot of story lines to wrap up. I have become so enthralled with these characters that I would read a six part series that is just an epilogue. My biggest decision is what type of collection do I want and will that format be offered, as I want this series in my permanent library.

What I Didn’t Like – That I think everyone does not makes it out alive. If you missed this series go get the trades. One of the best graphic novels produced it has fully developed characters, science fiction themes, action, humor and romance.

The Walking Dead #83 – Writer Robert Kirkman, Art Charles Adlard

What I Liked – I’m not going to get into what happened to some of the main characters, but needless to say the sh*t hit the fan. I love that no character is safe and how Rick screwed up big time this issue. I also enjoy how invested I am in these characters that I get upset over what happens. They have become more then pencil and ink and are almost living beings in my mind. We are on issue #83 and this book is still a thrill a moment roller coast ride when the payoff issues hit. Charles Adlard continues to deliver; I can’t imagine this book without his art work.

What I Didn’t Like – The using the Zombie guts to cover their scent seemed to be used again since it was done in the TV series and I don’t want the TV series to impact the comic series. Both are great, but both are their own things. Also I want the timeline to jump forward a little more. I realized that seven years into the series and very little time has passed for the characters. I worry the book could become formula driven as the jail did not work out and the enclave is now not working out. So no real complaints and I should trust Kirkman to continue making this series a top series.

Captain America & The Secret Avengers – Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick, Art Greg Tocchini

What I Liked - ………………….Nothing!

What I Didn’t Like – First off $4 for this trash that was rounded out by some lame reprint of Nicieza and Rob Liefield, blech. I should know better than to buy one shots like this, but I like Agent 13 and Black Widow and hopped a little character building issue might be nice, it was very generic and the art was uninspired. The advertising was worse as it was called Captain America and The Secret Avengers; Steve Rogers appeared in a cameo, but not as Cap. Lame, lame and lame. Worse buy of the week.

Incognito #5 – Writer Ed Brubaker, Art Sean Phillips

What I Liked – I enjoy how Ed seems to let the story write itself. In reading Ed’s notes at the end you get the feeling the Ed had an idea for the main story and as he wrote it the ending presented itself to him and he went with it. Zack does the right thing and ends up in prison for it because no one wants to believe in him. Sean Phillips style works so well with this type of story and Ed and Sean are a true creative team.

What I Didn’t Like – This is more of a complaint for me that I don’t always remember the details from prior issues and that negates some of the impact of certain scenes. I know that once this series gets a hard cover collection I will own it and have a chance to read it all at once.

Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters #1 – Writers Eric Powell & Tracy Marsh, Pencils Phil Hester, inks Bruce McCorkindale

What I Liked – This was a fast and fun read, exactly what you would expect of a Godzilla movie. In fact it was like I was watching a Godzilla movie. Godzilla shows up out of nowhere and attacks Japan. It is unfortunate about the timing since Japan has recently suffered a real tragedy but this was just a fun and entertaining book.

What I Didn’t Like – Nothing, well done entertainment.

Scalped #47 – Writer Jason Aaron, Art R. M. Guera

What I Liked – I love how Jason takes background characters and all of a sudden brings them to the forefront of the story. In the space on one issue, in the middle of the current arc he gives us a fantastic character study on Dino. When Scalped is at its finest is when you just are absorbed into the story and can feel the emotions of the characters resonate within yourself. This issue was a great one as we watch Dino go from friend, to wannabe boyfriend to finding out he is the surrogate brother for Carol, Dash’s girl friend. This cannot be a good thing down the road. RM Guera does such wonderful work on this book and yet never gets enough acclaim. This continues to be one of the best series in comics.

What I Didn’t Like – That AMC is not making this into a TV series.

Caligula #1 – Writer David Lapham, Art German Nobile

What I Liked – A comic set in Roman times was a good idea. The depravity and excess of Caligula were indeed excessive. As portrayed in this comic you have to wonder if the grandeur of Rome was just a myth. The art by Nobile was decent.

What I Didn’t Like – I have read that the reports of how depraved and insane Caligula was subject to a lot of speculation. Since the comic is portraying a historical figure a little back matter would have been appropriate. I understand you have to go with the legend to get the right Avatar vibe to the book, but some temperance with a one page explanation that his excesses are possible exaggerations and / or the way his political enemies viewed him would have been nice.

5 Ronin #5 (of 5) Deadpool – Writer Peter Milligan, Art Leandro Ferendez

What I Liked – How Peter was able to reinterpret even Deadpool into a Samurai persona. The entire series was a perfect five week month event as the series worked better with a chapter coming every week. This issue the Deadpool character was revealed as a General that the Daimyo betrayed and come back a little bit loopy from the whole experience but still a deadly fighter.

What I Didn’t Like – The series did not pull together as a whole that well. Peter tried, but I thought the ties between the five characters were tenuous at best.

Halcyon #4 (of 5) – Writers Marc Guggenheim & Tara Butters, Art Ryan Bodenheim

What I Liked – I believe this was originally going to be longer than five issues, but this issue answered a lot of questions and set up the final showdown. It was obvious who was behind the entire scheme and having the Batman character choosing free will over safety was the obvious but best choice. Obvious is fine, if told well. I would have loved to see the themes in this story explored a little longer, but also believe this was a finite story.

What I Didn’t Like – The backwards story telling. We have Amanda dead on the table and we are getting around to how that came to be. Trust your story and let it be linear, especially for something like a five part story.

Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #8 – Writer Peter Tomasi, Pencils Fernando Pasarin, Inks Cam Smith

What I Liked – The War of Green Lanterns Part 3 fell into perfect step with the other two chapters. So far this story has been well coordinated between the three GL series. The endpoint this issue was Hal and Guy now without their rings trying to figure out how will they stop Krona. I loved the fight between Hal and Guy, while fueled by the Parallax entity it was still a nice confrontation between the two. Pasarin should get noticed with his work on this book as he has been solid and delivering issue after issue.

What I Didn’t Like – Nothing really, just disappointed in the GL books in general as it is too much about going from event to event.

American Vampire #13 – Writer Scott Snyder, Art Rafael Albuquerque

What I Liked – I love how this series continues to jump forward in time. We have jumped to WWII and see Henry is getting older and Pearl is not. Henry is conflicted about trying to help the war effort, but is sidelined due to his age. He ends up signing up for a mission going with some Vampire Hunters to Taipan and runs into Skinner. This series hits on the emotional level as you can see that Henry and Pearl are grappling with issues and his aging is playing a role in how he feels. I also loved the way the book started with a two page introduction that made this an easy book for new readers to jump on. Rafael’s art continues to improve and get better and better. ,p> What I Didn’t Like – Nada.

Gotham City Sirens #21 – Writer Peter Calloway, Pencils Andres Guinaldo, Inks Lorenzo Ruggiero

What I Liked – The story was very well done as Harley works her way into Arkham and barters her way into the Joker’s cell. Her reaction while in character with her madness was still surprising and in some bizarre way sweet. Catwoman and Ivy watching from afar have a falling out that feels more in character with who they are then the artificial alliance they have had. The page design was excellent. I thought the two panel spread with the nail was especially well done.

What I Didn’t Like – Nothing, I’m enjoying this series more under Peter Calloway then I ever did under Paul Dini.

Detective Comics #875 – Writer Scott Snyder, Art Francesco Francavilla

What I Liked – Probably the best comic I read this week. The story structure ran a current story about Jim Gordon trying to catch a killer that got away from him was he was younger. It also flashed back to that time and focused on his failure with the case and filling in more about Gordon’s son, who is a psychotic mess. The book was one of the creepiest feeling books I have read in a long time. It was never overt, but the feeling that James (Gordon’s son) is a sociopath and that he is capable of killing anyone was palatable. The story was juxtaposed with Gordon tracking down the killer who got away before made the issue just perfect. Francavilla’s art was top notch and fit the noir tone to a “T”.

What I Didn’t Like – That it was only 20 pages. This book was so good I’m ready to sign up for a Commissioner Gordon series with Snyder and Francavilla as the creative team.

Well that is a wrap for this week. A quick shout out to the Jimmy Olsen special as probably the best Nick Spencer story I have read to date. I think Nick would fit better in the DCU, but he is now a Marvel exclusive writer, so maybe down the road. While it was a good story and I understand publishing the entire story as one book, I was miffed paying $6 for a book that I seen over half the material before.

1 comment:

  1. The Walking Dead used the zombie guts cover in the first arc of the series in Atlanta, long before the same ploy was used in the TV show. Rick even says in this issue that he's done this before. Kirkman's referencing that event in the comic, not the TV show.

    Scalped was interesting in a couple respects. What kind of man does Dino later become? And, obviously, Catcher is the narrator, so he's going to be around for awhile.