Wednesday, May 4, 2011


At the top of the mondo heap of books this week sits my fave Bat-title, Grant Morrison’s wacky and wonderful ode to all things Batman. I’m going to have to read this a few more times to really get everything that’s going on, but I love it nonetheless. The new hero, The Hood, is very cool and I totally dig that Morrison’s Batwoman fits neatly with Rucka’s version – I’d seriously like to see another team-up between those two. Also, huge props for Morrison’s inclusion of the black Batman from waayyy back: BATMAN #250 (1973), “The Batman Nobody Knows!”

Okay, I liked this issue. JSA’s been on the fence for a while now, and I’ve actually considered dropping it more than once, but Guggenheim kicked it into gear for the big #50 and along with a coterie of top-notch artists delivered an issue worthy of the landmark. Although I really enjoyed his new take on the classic JSA Vs HUAC scene, I think his more-ambiguous ending – which lacks the famous “Our identities, our lives, are our own…” disappearing act – soured it a bit, so I took off some points. And, admittedly, I like the idea of Jay Garrick as the mayor of a city…but oh does that suck-ass Alan Scott costume have to go. This issue only proved how clunky it is.

BRIGHTEST DAY #244 whiskers
Isn’t a half-year 26 issues? Oh, well, regardless, here’s the big wrap-up and it delivered. There was a whiff of by-the-numbers-get-everything-in here, but overall it was a solid ending and I think overall the book was worthwhile. I think I’ve become an even bigger Ivan Reis fan because of this title, if that’s possible. So glad Deadman’s back to being, y’know, dead, and I might even consider trying Aquaman’s upcoming series.

FF #24 whiskers
Marvel enters the ring with the second issue of their experimental book, FF. I say “experimental” because, face it, this is dicey territory. Thankfully, I think Hickman’s doing a good job and he knows how to write a good Doom scene, something not every writer can claim. This is a good balance of humor and drama and I like the art, just wish it was a bit more compressed – too often his stuff seems too airy.

PLANET OF THE APES #13 ½ whiskers
I wanted, really wanted to like this book – and I did. Whew! Too often, these licensed titles just fall flat and fail to deliver, but I’m happy to say that writer Daryl Gregory held my interest throughout this first issue, despite the fact that I’m not too thrilled with the time period they chose to set the story in – much rather have seen something closer to the time of one of the films. But, it is in original movie continuity and it does feel that way, so that’s a plus. I can’t totally dig Carlos Magno’s art – hated it on COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS – but at least it appears as if he’s grown a bit since then. Just needs to work on his monkey faces and move them closer to the classic makeup of the films.

RUSE #23 ½ whiskers
Okay, true confession: I never did any Crossgen back in the day. But, that said, RUSE is totally something I thought I’d enjoy and, lo and behold, it is. Mark Waid’s dialogue is crisp and witty and I really enjoy the interaction between Archard and Bishop. I just wish they’d get a different artist on this book; Mirco Pierfederici’s just bringing me out of the fiction way too many times. I see we get a “special guest artist” next issue, which is weird considering this is just a miniseries…good thing we have wonderful Butch Guice covers.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6593 whiskers
I’m still here and I still enjoy this book, but Mr. Dan Slott needs to do two things: simmer down with Spidey’s constant-constant-constant wiseacre comments and tighten up the continuity between this and FF. I’ve never truly felt as if the two books jibe, seeing as how they are now so closely related. I dig all the Lee-Kirby homage, but I’m left a little nonplussed by the whole pirate zombies thing…and Dan totally ruined Carlie Cooper for me this time out. Why sabotage something like that? I just don’t get it. Ah, well.

AVENGERS #12.12 ½ whiskers
Top of the heap last week, almost at the bottom this week: total letdown. Oh, Bendis; wha’ happen? Lackluster overall and this is an “insertion point” issue for new readers? And what’s with that art? Worst Hitch Art Ever. Disappointed.

GODZILLA #22 whiskers
The tallest star in this week’s pantheon resides at the list’s lowest point. I want, want, want to LOVE this book, but I just can’t. Really bummed out by the first issue, but I gave it another try and it once again tasted like stale soup. This thing is all over the map and doesn’t know what it wants to be – it introduces even more monsters when the star, Godzilla, is barely doing anything. Add to that a total lack of developing human characters and more stupid, inane scenes with President “Ogden” – what, you draw him as Obama but you can’t say his name??? – and you get this mishmash of political rhetoric. I didn’t feel a damn thing for the guy who gets fried at the end because instead of growing him throughout the two issues and making me CARE about his demise, Powell and Marsh run around hither an thither adding a bunch of pointless ingredients into the mix. Maybe, just maybe, Godzilla truly cannot be translated well into comics. Yeah, maybe that’s the truth.

No comments: