Thursday, November 11, 2004

Reviews: Quick and Dirty like a Handjob in the Movie theater

Let's do this in reverse order of how I read it. Some of these will be exceptionally short . . .there's just not much to say about them.

Angeltown is neoblaxploitation noir. I guess that's a new genre for Vertigo, but it's not one for fiction in general. There's nothing here of note, really. Beautiful lesbians, studly private dick on a mission, smart white girl with her nose in things . . .zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Pass on this.

Green Arrow gets its much-hyped "HIV" issue. Um . . .it's crappy. A lot of talking, of course. And Green Arrow hides his rage but beats up some dummies! Some cheap psychobabble, an after school special message . . .and we're done.

Wildgirl was . . .different. I'm on for a while, at least. The storytelling is not something I'm very used to, honestly. It's quiet and non-verbal, for the most part, and I think that could be a good thing. There's a dreamlike, trance quality to the book and that could really work. The art is nice. Leah Moore and the dude she does apparently write comics better than most of the folks working for the Big 2.

Avengers Finale is a bunch of artists drawing terrible dialogue and then some nice pin-ups. Why is Bendis popular again? Is comic writing so bad that this seems good by comparison?

I don't like the computer art in Iron Man. It's better than Chuck Austen's art was. But it's still stiff and lifeless. The story is likewise. Warren Ellis . . .all the anti-superhero invective and sentiment in the world will make you anything other than a fairly talented superhero writer. Though I have to say the exchange with the documentarian at the end was nice.

Bullseye: Greatest Hits is dumb action comics. But Steve Dillon draws it so beautifully . . .I just can't resist. This is probably against cannon or whatever, but I've never read any Bullseye stuff before so it doesn't bug me. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone other than Steve Dillon fans, though.

So Marvel's very high on this Greg Pak guy. After three issues of Warlock I think I see why. His dialogue is natural but clever. His characters are well delineated. And the plot is interesting. I know all the Starlin nerds probably think this book is an abomination before Jim, but I frankly never liked his soul-less work. I'll take this any day.

District X is still going strong. I could do without the marital tension, though. I dunno, I've always found that a cliched and boring plotline. It's, if anything, uncomfortable. It provides no satisfaction or release. It's just . . .watching people be upset for petty reasons. I like the rest of this book, just not that.

I'm less sold on Nightcrawler. The art is probably Robertson's best, in my mind. The writing . . .it's working, but it's not like Aguirre-Sacasa The Wrath of God's work on 4. I prefer the latter, which seems to be explaining the financial crisis more in line with Reed's actual history. Both these comics are nice, more personal looks at superheroes, and I'll stay with both.

Now for another author two-fer. I make no bones about being a big Robert Kirkman fan, and it's only partially because he's from Kentucky. His comics kick ass. Walking Dead pretty much single-handedly converted me to zombie-fandom. The engaging characters are the draw here, not wall-to-wall gore. (I soon discovered, that's what zombie movies generally are about, when they're good.) Some good psychological stuff and the ending gives me a real bad feeling (in a good way). Marvel Team-Up is much lighter fare, but superhero comics need that from time to time. I've never been a fan of Kolins' work, and I'm still not. It's not as bad as that awful work in the Hulk/Wolverine mini. But it's not too appealing to me. It almost is . . .but somehow it just falls short of working for me. Spidey's jokes are funny, Wolverine is in character (even if he's in that stupid costume) and I can't wait to see what geeky stops Kirkman pulls out for this.

I hate to say it, but Gotham Central was a terrible disappointment this month. Sure, I don't expect as much from the Rucka solo arcs. And, sure, crossovers are going to make things worse . . .but a whole issue about taking the Bat signal down? Even if I thought that was a neat idea, editorially, it's not what this book is about. More of the Rene and Friends show. Ugh. Without Lark's art, this issue would be totally worthless.

At least we can rely on Scott Morse to fill in on Plastic Man well. This is two he's done and they're both welcome. That's saying something, considering how amazing Baker's work on the title is regularly. I'll be sad to see this go, but it's inevitable, isn't it? DC doesn't put books like this out. They put out books where Atom is a multiple murderer. Assholes.

3 Comments:

At 5:41 PM, Blogger Eliot Johnson said...

Yeah. Morse did a great job on PLASTIC MAN. If there's one guy that can make you not miss Kyle Baker...it's Morse. I really enjoyed this issue, and Morse's art is simply incredible.

As for ANGELTOWN, I found that to be a decent read. Yes, the plot was very formulaic, but it was handled pretty well. And, I absolutely dug the art. I wouldn't suggest that anyone run out to get this, but it's an enjoyable book in my opinion.

 
At 11:04 PM, Blogger Ed Cunard said...

Why is Bendis popular again? Is comic writing so bad that this seems good by comparison?That is, in all likelihood, the only explanation. I've yet to hear one nice thing about this book, but I must admit, I had no real desire to buy it in the first place, so I'm not impartial.

And, yes, Steve Dillon could probably illustrate a guide to basket weaving and I'd end up purchasing it.

 
At 2:09 AM, Blogger anonymous said...

i don't know, man. i've got to think you're being a little hard on gotham central. while it wasn't a stand out issue, it served a purpose. though not a direct tie-in to war games, they really did need to address its aftermath. and i thought rucka did it in such a way that *almost* made that crossover crap-fest seem worthwhile. and i have to agree that losing lark here is huge, as this is one of the best books on the racks right now.

for me, bullseye has been a pleasant surprise. i had very low expectations. and if you can make it through an issue of warlock, much less three, more power to you, buddy.

been appreciating your two cents, keep it coming.

 

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