Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The Week of October 31 in Review Part 4 of 4 The Rating and the Rest

The week was weak. A few very good books to be sure but so many just okay books and outside of Happy few wow books that it goes down as  C. Some of the books in this segment make me want to call it a C -, but the overall is a solid C.

I’m still giving some books a second chance and Aquaman #13 by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis is one of those books. I have been reading about and know a few people who have been disenfranchised by the new DCU. This book is one of those that bring home those elements. It is all very familiar, but nothing what you think you know you actually know.  Mera, Black Manta and Orm are all characters that you know, but the relationships are skewed in unknown ways. Reis’ work is flat out great, but the story was the ending of story line, so not a fair representation of what the book is about.  I’ll be back for issue #14.

Phantom Lady and Doll Man #3 (of 4) by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Cat Staggs and Tom Dernick is way too standard. Since it only has one more issue to go I will follow it to the bitter end. This book emphasizes that if the first issue is not a winner I need to drop the book right away. A mini-series is too easy for me to be sucked into. Plus it feels like DC has no real plans for some characters being reintroduced via National Comic and the occasion Gray/Palmiotti mini-series. DC has locked themselves into this pretend number of  having just 52 series.

Action Comics Annual #1 was for me a waste of paper. I hope the new Superman series by Snyder and Lee can bring about a consistent portrayal of this character. I don’t get the new Superman. The regular series by Morrison has been uneven to be kind and Fisch on the annual just makes it worse. I have read Justice League and it is another type version of the character. I have no idea who Superman is in the new DCU and worse I don’t think DC has a clue either. One of the worse things coming out of the new DCU is the lack of overall planning and it feels dramatic on the Superman books. I stopped reading Superman and hope Diggle makes Action understandable but there needs to be work to build up his supporting cast and give us a sense of who he is and not rely on our assumptions. Remember in the new DCU we have been shown what we think we know is not true, so what is this version of Superman’s story?

Batgirl Annual #1 by Gail Simone and Admira Wijaya was okay. Yet another Talon apparently is going to be a good guy and join up with the Birds of Prey. Batgirl and Catwoman become friends and fight a bunch of Talons. The whole Court of Owls thing was done too fast and added way too much into the bat titles. It is like the books are desperate for something new and it is being added in everywhere. It does not even make comic book sense that this large of an organization went unbeknownst to Batman. Now we have a Talon series and a Talon going to join the Birds of Prey.

Hit Girl #4 by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. is just utter madness and insanity. This 10 or 12 year old girl, often drawn so small as to appear to be even younger slicing and dicing the bad guys is a guilty pleasure. Not a great book and totally forgettable, but it is entertaining. That’s how I see Millar at this point, high entertainment with no real stretching of mental muscles. This is a breather book or a book targeting the video game generation. While I have at times been a detractor of Millar’s work, the guy knows how to build a commercial product.

AvX Consequences #4 (of 5) by Kieron Gillen and Mark Brooks has been an okay series. I think the weekly frequency helps because it shortens the decompressed story telling style that is the norm today. It makes the consequences of AvX get to an ending faster. At $3 this would have been a better series. Still, I like where it is going with Cyclops and how everyone is starting to adjust to him.

Last and by far least is BPRD #100 by Mike Mignola, John Arcuidi, Tyer Crook and Dave Stewart. Stewart on colors is such an important part of all the Mignolaverse stuff as his color palette keeps a consistent feel to everything. Pointless to talk about plot and such as there is a lot going on and half the time I have to try and recall all that is going on. This is a series that you need to invest in and trust in how good it will be and you may be able to get into it. For me I have been with the series forever and sometimes forget what is what. The book has been great because the cast who started the series have all been killed or replaced. You have a series where what happened matters.  

Come on back next week and see it I have the time and energy to cover all the books on my list. 

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