Friday, April 14, 2006


Recent Comics I Have Read

Captain America #16: Crossbones and Sin on a Starkweather-like crime spree. Bucky is mentioned and every time that happens I feel the desire to destroy something. Art is fairly decent, but still rather dark and mushy, plus Mike Perkins can't seem to decide what Steve Roger's face looks like, since it changes almost from panel to panel.

Green Arrow #61: So, One Year Later, Ollie Queen is Mayor of Star City. Fairly interesting, and I like the presentation of Ollie as a kind of liberal Ross Perot, including his plan to generate economic growth by turning Star City into a gay Las Vegas by performing same-sex marriages. Interesting random side-note: the seal of Star City is almost an exact copy of the Great Seal of the State of Texas. Also, this may be nit-picking, but on page two it clearly states that Ollie is the newly ELECTED mayor, but on the last page, the plaque on the wall says he was "appointed." So which is it?

Invincible #30: At last the stupid space saga is over, and Invincible brings his completely improbable half-brother back to Earth (species canNOT interbreed; that's why they're called "species"). I'd really love to know what the Robot is up to. Extremely crappy back-up feature with CAPES.

Iron Man: Extremis #6: Final battle between the new upgraded Iron Man and the bio-enhanced terrorist Mallen. It's a good fight, though Adi Granov's artwork isn't really up to epic super-conflicts. The ending is cheesy, though, and you probably saw it coming five issues back. Plus, Mallen remains more or less one-dimensional. We never really learn that much about him, beyond his hatred of the government and the fact that his parents were shot by the ATF.

Ms. Marvel #1: I was never a very big fan of this character, but this is a good relaunch. The writing is pretty good, with sharp though not Bendis-quality dialogue. Some excellent interplay between Jessica Drew and Carol Danvers. I love the idea of a PR firm that specializes in superheroes.

New Avengers #17: Okay, so I do not like Mike Deodata, Jr.'s artwork. Howard Chaykin is supposed to come on board for #21, so that's something to look foward to. I do like the idea of Luke Cage applying the "broken window" sociology theory on a superheroic scale. I also like the idea of epic superhero battles occuring in cities other than New York from time to time.

Noble Causes #18-19: Issue 18 starts off with a scene ripped off pretty blatantly from Powers, but the story recovers as we see the Blackthornes manipulating public opinion. Sadly, in issue 19, Jon Bosco takes over the art duties and, well, it's pretty bad. He has Liefield's range of facial expression (i.e., blinding fury and jaw-dropping surprise, but nothing else), so bad that you can't even really tell the characters apart, which is pretty important in a comic book where the heroes don't usually wear masks. Yeah, Fran Bueno's stuff was almost like a Bruce Timm cartoon, but at least you knew who was who.

Outsiders #35: One Year Later, everyone thinks the Outsiders are dead (why, we don't know) and superheroes are disguising themselves as non-superheroes (in gimp masks!) and using silly radio codenames while torturing suspects. Apparently, the Outsiders are going to be what the Justice League Elite was supposed to be, doing covert operations and so forth. I wasn't very impressed, frankly.

Powers #17: Bizarre, Clockwork Orange inspired cover completely unrelated to the storyline. Sadly, I'm smelling shark. We've gone from a very well written, very cool concept (police in a world with superheroes) to what is more or less just a very well written superhero comic. Oh, and the whole "Club Cinderella" bit is now officially annoying. Not entertaining. Not edgy. Annoying.

Squadron Supreme #1: I liked the Supreme Power run, but haven't kept up with the Nighthawk or Hyperion titles. This looks like it could be interesting; even though they've dropped the MAX imprint, it never really seemed all that important before. Most of the MAX-worthy stuff in Supreme Power struck me as fairly gratuitous and unnecessary.

Ultimate Extinction #4: I missed an issue, so now I'm a little lost. The inking on Brandon Peterson's art is way too dependent on cross-hatching; it looks like you're viewing almost every panel through a fine wire mesh. The storyline remains interesting, and I like the twist on the concept of the Heralds of Gah Lak Tus.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #28: President Thor, Part 2. Apparently, in the Ultimate Universe, superheroes are catastrophically stupider than in the Marvel Universe, as the FF fall for the single most blatant set-up ever. Millar's writing is not usually this, well, sucky, so I can only hope there's some kind of twist to this and I'm just not getting it yet.

Young Avengers #10-11: Okay, it's space stuff and it involves the Kree and Skrull, who are the epitome of lame Silver Age aliens, but the writing is sharp, and the art is great and we are slowly learning the origins of individual team members, and that is also good.

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