Monday, June 13, 2011

The Week of June 8 Review

The week in review will be a little abbreviated because I have a second post that I did on my view of the DCNu (again) and why it is the wrong way to go. Also I pulled out the Flashpoint books for an early review on Thursday. One thing the DCNu has done is made me lose interest in the regular DCU at this point. I’m reading stuff like Red Robin and Birds of Prey and I have lost interest in them since I know they probably don’t count anymore. For the most part I don’t care about issues that are not part of moving a story line forward and we now know it all hits a wall come August. Now I’m glad DC pulled the plug on so many series and I’m wondering if I should also.

First up is Echo #30 – the final issue. What I liked was the entire issue, the entire series and the fact that it had an ending. The best stories have beginnings, middles and endings as comic companies are finding out. The never ending stories create never ending problems. I just want to know what the heck was in the bag that Ivy gave to Julie at the end of the issue. Going into a summary of the plot is pointless, but what I will say is this was a regular size issue that ended a 30 issue story. The pace was perfect, the resolution was there and a nice epilogue was given so we get to see what happen to all the characters in this drama. I was worried that a regular size issue could not do the story justice, but I was wrong. Terry Moore did a perfect ending and I realized that it was a direct follow up from last issue, so the final chapter was really two issues long. One of the best graphic novels ever produced and certainly a science fiction story that should stand the test of time. The characters were well defined, the story was linear and the action fantastic, the good guys won and everyone was changed by what happened. Do yourself a favor and go out and buy the trades or wait for the collected soft cover edition, but as a comic reader do not miss this.

Scott Snyder’s American Vampire Survival of the Fittest #1 (of 5) also hit the stands. The man can do no wrong with me at this point. I’m never disappointed with the quality of his story telling and Sean Murphy is a stellar artist even with all the overly lined and reddish noses of his drawings. I loved how we got Felicia Book, the daughter of Jim Book and Cole McCogan from the second arc of the book being part of a group called the Vassals who are vampire hunters. Felicia is sort of Blade as her father was infected with the Vampire virus when she was conceived, so she has some extra normal abilities. Cole is trying to raise his son who is a hideous vampire bat like creature. Together they are about to go on a mission into Nazi Germany to see if they can find a reputed cure for vampirism. The story was so well done, we started with Felicia in a fight with a Vampire, go back and see the Vassal’s hideout and set up the premise for the mini-series. Scott’s strength is pacing and with Sean Murphy on art the book looks as good as it reads. This is another book that you should put on your list.

Last and far from least is Who Are The Mystery Men #1 (of 5) by David Liss and Patrick Zircher. Here you have another series you can jump on with both feet. One small digression before my view of the title, is five the new magic number for mini-series? I swear the companies keep looking for a magic number and five is the current favorite. This is the book I have been expecting from David Liss after I read his Phantom Reporter story a few years back. I was almost bored by his Black Panther series, but this book grabbed my interest immediately. We have a story set in the thirties and a mystery man named the Operative who appears to be a bit of a Robin Hood, a super powered black hero call the Revenant and a bad guy called the General. The racial aspect of course plays a role as we are set in the thirties when “colored people” were pretty much ignored and segregation was the order of the day. So the fact that these two guys were be partnered against what appears to be a conspiracy against the Operative should make this story have some interesting undertones. The base story is the Operative in his civilian identity is being set up to take a fall for the murder of his girl friend. Liss just seems to be in his elements and Zircher’s artwork is flat out beautiful. I can’t wait for issues #2.

As I stated a short week in review, but if you add back the Flashpoint reviews, it still covers the week fairly well. It is no accident that nothing from the normal DCU or MU made the list as that is usually the weakest part of the books that come out, with exceptions. My list for next week contains too many books that now full totally superfluous. The list is Batgirl, Batman, Cinderella, Flashpoint Deadman and the Flying Graysons, Flashpoint Grodd of War, Flashpoint Legion of Doom, Flashpoint Wonder Woman and the Furies, Hellblazer, Legion Lost HC, Legion of Super Heroes, Northlanders, Supergirl, Teen Titans, Alpha Flight, Avengers, Hulk, Marvel Masterworks Iron Fist, X-Men Prelude of Schism, Invincible, Hellboy Library Edition Volume 4, Godzilla Gangsters and Goliaths, 28 Days Later & Warlord of Mars Dejah Thoris. That’s it!

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