Sunday, May 11, 2008

Clipped on 5/7/08

COUNTDOWN TO MYSTERY #7 (DC) – 3 ½ whiskers – The Eclipso half of this book has been hit or miss for me but this issue was a fairly solid hit. I felt happy at the heroes’ release from black diamond bondage and Bruce Gordon’s active role. It was also good to see the Spectre enter into one of his more old-fashioned brouhahas and I got a chuckle out of Eclipso’s oblique reference to the cover of SHOWCASE #61. Kudos also should go to Adam Beechen for picking up the late Steve Gerber’s plot for the Dr. Fate story and continuing with what I see as nary a bump. I just wish we could get back to Kent actually doing something again. Looks like he has one more issue for that.

DETECTIVE COMICS #844 (DC) – 4 whiskers – Forget all that schmazola about the Ventriloquist and her origins – it was longwinded – and let’s get to the heart of the matter: Bruce and Zatanna. Hate to be so dramatic but Dini made my heart hurt for Bruce. First it was that incredible conversation between Zee and Bruce last issue – one that I’d hoped for – and now this follow-up in #844. Wow. It’s a case of wanting it to happen yet knowing that it would mean the end of Batman, possibly for good. I wonder if and how this will play into Morrison’s “Batman R.I.P.”? Extra credit to Dini for tying Peyton’s back-story into the events of the original Ventriloquist’s demise.

THE WAR THAT TIME FORGOT #1 (DC) – 3 whiskers – A good, solid beginning and a pace that never once let up. Al Barrionuevo’s art was pleasing and Bruce Jones' script was smooth and honestly, I think if people can get over the fact that it’s devoid of superheroes and can dig the plethora of DC’s war/historical characters, we might just have a sleeper hit on our hands. I’m imagining DC’s imagining this might go over well with “Lost” fans and I’m hoping they don’t stray too far into that territory, i.e., drag mysteries out to the point that no one gives a damn anymore. This is a twelve-issuer; they could sink this puppy of float it home. Overall, I’ll be sticking around, most likely.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #558 (Marvel) – 4 whiskers – I’m not ashamed to say I’m a huge fan of Brand New Day (didn’t read One More Day) and the consistency that Marvel has maintained on this series is incredible. Bob Gale’s proven to be adept at a rolling plot with interesting characters and enough action and humor to satisfy anyone. My one quibble with this issue is that we’ve reached a point where the humor is being laid on a bit too thick for my tastes. Gale writes a funny Spidey but he tends to insert one too many one-liners in Pete’s mouth which tends to undercut the drama, in my opinion. I think he’s going use up every funny line in his repertoire and a few issues from now Spidey’s going to risk being very unfunny. Barry Kitson’s art was very, very nice and I look forward to his return on the series.

AVENGERS/INVADERS #1 (Marvel) – 3 ½ whiskers – The wait is over and this much-heralded series finally begins. It was good. Very good, even. Not great-great, but I think it has the potential to get there. So far its fairly standard stuff but I’m guessing the sharp turns and dangerous curves are yet to come. I really got a kick out of the Invaders’ personalities and their immediate views of the “Nazi trick”. Now let’s get to the real meat-and-potatoes: the impact of the real Captain America in a time when he’s dead. Steve Sadowski’s art was a welcome sight and I have to say that perhaps this is how it was always meant to be published. Combined with the vibrant coloring of inLight Studios, Sad’s art gives this wonderful dream-like quality to the proceedings, one that I think sets this series a notch above others in visual terms. Welcome back, Canuck!

SECRET INVASION #2 (Marvel) – 2 ½ whiskers – Well, it’s no home-run – yet. In fact, I was pretty disappointed in this second issue. Why? Mostly because there were almost no “holy crap!” moments, the kind of moments you expect in one of these Marvel event-events, the kind we got like gumballs from a gumball machine in WORLD WAR HULK, for example. I really liked the whole Mockingbird thing; that was interesting and engaging, especially her comment about Cap. But some of Bendis’ dialogue is so clumsy here that it committed the unpardonable sin of taking me out of the story and making me reflect on its badness. What the hell is “I know you Skrulls are looking to start some. I know. And I wish I was a strong enough man to walk away from your disrespect…”? Huh? And they say the original 1970s Luke Cage rattled off bad “street-lingo”. Sheesh.

1 comment:

Glen said...

I enjoyed The War That Time Forgot. Nice to see Firehair and Tomahawk.

The original Judomaster met up went to a dinosaur island too, so I hope he shouws up.