Saturday, July 5, 2008

Clipped on 6/25/08 and 7/2/08

Playing ketchup with two weeks’ worth of capsule reviews – Wizard World Chicago disrupted my schedule – so strap yourselves in; its gonna be fast and furious!

BATMAN #678 (DC) – 4 whiskers – quite possibly the most I’ve ever enjoyed being confused and nervous at the same time. It’s Part 3 of R.I.P. and Grant Morrison is either strange, deranged, or insane – either way, I’m digging it. Really. I don’t try to figure most of it out; suffice to say it keeps my interest because for the first time in a long time I have no idea what’s going to happen next. It’s a weird feeling, that Morrison and DC could do just about anything, short of kill Batman. Bruce on the streets, hepped up on streets drugs? Dick in Arkham, foaming at the mouth? The Black Glove in possession of the Batcave, a beaten Alfred, and Thomas Wayne’s original bat-costume? What in the name of sanity is going on? Oh, hell – I love it. Feed me some more, DC.

FINAL CRISIS #2 (DC) – 3 whiskers – it’s that Morrison guy again! Slightly less kooky but nonetheless mind-bending, FINAL CRISIS isn’t tripping my trigger quite the same as R.I.P. but at least I have a better handle on what’s going on this issue. I actually liked all the Japanese “heroes” stuff and I always was drawn to Jack Kirby’s Sonny Sump character – be interesting to see where this aspect is heading. I really got into the Luthor-Libra scene but overall I thought the Flash sequence was a bit clunky, especially the dialogue. Strange to fear for Batman here in FC in a different way than I do for him in R.I.P. Can the two be reconciled? Should we care or just sit back and let it all flow over us like water? How – refreshing, to not be able to be so blasé about my comics…

GREEN LANTERN #32 (DC) – 3 whiskers – long and short of it is that I want “Secret Origin” to be over. As I’ve said before, I’m not sure why we needed this drawn-out of a retelling of Hal’s origin and frankly, Sinestro was more interesting in “Sinestro Corps War.” This all looks good and it plays out smoothly but it’s not engaging to me and I want to get on with current adventures.

SUPERMAN #677 (DC) – 4 whiskers – I haven’t read much in the way of reviews of this first James Robinson issue but I bet people hated it. I thought it was pretty interesting and I for one am glad for a different tone on this book – and in Superman stories in general. This is pure James Robinson, yet it isn’t. Its character stuff and its stuff that’s not about the main character and it feels “real” while at the same time not feeling “real.” Bringing Kirby’s obscure Atlas into the modern DCU is something I’m all for and while I didn’t overly feel anything much for the Science Police I know with Robinson I’m going to be getting my own personal money’s worth. It’s not STARMAN and it doesn’t have to be. Rock on with it. Oh, and James? A little less choppy on the dialogue, sir. Thanks.

TRINITY #4 & 5 (DC) – Please see here and here at for my latest Trinity reviews! Tell ‘em Mr. Wanty sent ya!

THE WAR THAT TIME FORGOT #3 (DC) – 2 ½ whiskers – Okay, they’re losing me, starting with this issue. I’m already forgetting what happened previously, which is never a good sign, and the characters are starting to blend one into another. I like the “soldiers from different wars” thing and I got a kind of “Prisoner” vibe this time (the classic Patrick McGoohan TV series) but I’d like to actually have the action slow down a tad and get more discussion from the characters on who they are and what they think the island is. I appreciate that the writers want to move things along but as it stands all I’m seeing is one little action vignette after another while the substance is leaking out around the staples. Make me want to continue on to #12, Mr. Jones. You’ve got one more issue to convince me.

PROJECT SUPERPOWERS #4 (Dynamite) – 2 ½ whiskers – Yow! Same feeling of “What? What” What was that again?” from this book – I feel as if I have to go back and re-read the first 3 or so issues. Maybe there are too many characters? Maybe they’re not focusing on the ones I like? Regardless, this book suddenly went from me supporting it all the way to jumping onto my watch-list. I think it can be turned around but Ross and Krueger need to smooth out the narrative and perhaps give us a few reminders of the big picture and what’s at stake here.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #564 (Marvel) – 3 ½ whiskers – an intriguing excursion into a story told from different points of view and an overall successful one. We’re still a bit too heavy on the humor – it tends to bog things down for me rather than speed things through – but the Spidey crew continues to create a solid sense of continuity and tone in this series that is, if you’ll forgive the pun, amazing. One almost wonders how Wacker and the Braintrust can keep this up. Almost.

AVENGERS/INVADERS #3 (Marvel) – 2 ½ whiskers – what is it with these miniseries these past two weeks? Here’s yet another one that hit its third issue and stumbled and fell. I liked the first two installments but as nice as the art is I can’t fathom (pun intended) what possessed Ross and Krueger to think that a young Namor could beat his older self so handily. That was almost insulting to us Sub-Mariner fans. Add to that the rather boring interlude with the regular guy from WWII meeting his current self and you have something of a snooze fest. C’mon, guys! Get on with the fascination with Cap being “back”, the heroes wanting to protect the Invaders from too much “future” knowledge, and the battle between Avengers over the basic “right” to the Invaders. More about what the damn Invaders mean to the modern world! This series is also now on probation.

FANTASTIC FOUR #558 (Marvel) – 3 ½ whiskers – a good issue of FF. All is right with the world. Interesting new “Defenders”, great smashing/crashing action with Ben, great moment with an intelligent Valeria, and Johnny finally wises up and tells his super-villain “piece-of-ass-of-the-month” to take a hike. Great stuff with Doom also – almost made you feel sorry for Victor! Bring on the next issue.

Grumble, grumble, complain, complain…


Glen said...

I've been disstasified with Final Crisis. In two issues, I only liked the short segment showing the Japanese heroes. Morrison has seemingly lost his ability to pace his work.

I get your point with Green Lantern. There was certainly no need for the origin to take this many issues.

Jim Beard said...

Just curious: are your reading Morrison's BATMAN and Marvel's SECRET INVASION?

If so, how would you say FINAL CRISIS stacks up against them?

Thanks again for reading and commenting.


Glen said...

I liked War that Time Forgot a lot better than you, apparently. Stuff is actually happening. I can tell all the characters apart. Col. Jape is annoying, but I think he's supposed to be that way. Maybe Hans Von Hammer is alittle more light hearted than he should be.