Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Four Color Commentary - Books Shipped 3-1-06

Batman Annual #25
Judd Winick, Writer
Shane Davis, Penciller
Mark Morales, Inker

When I saw that DC was bringing back annuals I was really excited. For some reason annuals hold a special place in my heart and I will buy annuals for series I don’t even read. Part of the reason for this is that annuals are usually a done-in-one story which you do not need too much knowledge of the series to enjoy, however the rest is because annuals warm the cockles of my heart. Damn you Judd for sucking some of the joy from the annual. It’s really a simple formula: Batman (my favorite DC character, although the Kyle Rayner GL is not far behind) + Annual = S-W-E-E-T with a side of A-W-E-S-O-M-E. However when you add Judd Winick justifying Jason Todd’s return by having Superboy hit things to the mix you quickly get into the territory of S-U-C-K. There is so much to not enjoy about this book I don’t really know where to start. The story was told almost entirely in third person, although I haven’t a clue who could be the narrator. There are a couple of holes in the plot one could drive a tank through without scraping the sides. Oh yeah and Jason Todd is back because Superboy Prime is a whiney little biyatch who likes to break things. Quite frankly I did not need a reason why Jason Todd was back. I was happy not knowing. I brought a certain aura of mystery to the whole issue, even though there have been verifications that this was in fact JT, there could have been some sort of twist. It’s JT’s evil twin. Anything would be cooler than Superboy behaving like a poorly raised three year-old. Gah.

Batman: Secrets #1 (of 5)
Sam Keith, Writer/Artist

Thank goodness this was next in the batting order. Normally I find Sam Keith’s art a bit off-putting, however he really captured the Joker in this story, something I think a lot of artists struggle with. I really dug Sam’s take on the Joker being reformed and something of a media sensation, even if the story does feel a little like Sam’s take on Natural Born Killers. The one thing I wanted from this comic was more time to contemplate whether the Joker had actually reformed. Ultimately I know he won’t but I wish Sam would have led me on a little; teased me a bit more before I get to see the Joker acting all Jokeriffic. Having said that I am really excited about this comic and eagerly await the next issue.

Nextwave #2
Warren Ellis, Writer
Stuart Immomen, Penciller
Wade von Grawbadger, Inker

Is it wrong that I cried for Fin Fang Foom? There is a certain beauty to a giant green monster destroying cities clad only in purple shorts that gets me right there. Perhaps a moment of silence for the great lug who blessed us with such lines as, “Fin Fang Foom put you in his pants,” and “Fin Fang Foom’s heart…is broken…” <SNIFF> <SNIFF>

Okay. Sorry about that. Once again Ellis manages to have me giggling like a schoolgirl throughout the entire issue. (Except when Fin Fang Foom met his ignominious, yet inevitable, doom, of course.) I really feel that this book falls into the Darwyn Cooke school of Comics Should Be Fun Again rather than the Grant Morrison’s school of Higher Than Thou, and I, for one, am really enjoying it. My one regret is that Ellis was not allowed to use Nick Fury so we have to see him deal with the character through the Dirk Anger analog. C’est la vie.

Team Zero #4 (of 6)
Chuck Dixon, Writer
Doug Mahnke, Penciller
Sandra Hope, Inker

Sometimes I REALLY hate it when a writer telegraphs his moves and other times it is just the right thing to do. In this case Dixon uses the impending rape of a couple of German women, one disturbingly young, as the reason for our team of not-so-clean-cut American boys to pump those Red bastards (Red Army) full of lead. His use of this device lends credibility to the fighting that ensues and avoids the superhero paradigm where the two sides that are friendly at the beginning are fighting to the death by the end of the issue. Dixon has crafted another excellent chapter in his war story and I am eagerly awaiting the next installment.

The rest:
  • Detective Comics #817
    • James Robinson, Writer
    • Leonard Kirk, Layouts
    • Andy Clarke, Finishes
  • Ex Machina #18
    • Brian K. Vaughn, Writer
    • Tony Harris, Penciller
    • Tom Feister, Inker
  • Green Lantern Corps Recharge #5 (of 5)
    • Dave Gibbons & Geoff Johns, Writers
    • Patrick Gleason, Penciller
    • Prentis Rollins, Inker
  • Hellboy: Makoma #2 (of 2)
    • Mike Mignola, Writer
    • Mike Mignola & Richard Corben, Artists
  • Infinite Crisis #5 (of 7)
    • Geoff Johns, Writer
    • Phil Jimenez, Jerry Ordway & Ivan Reis, Pencillers
    • Andy Lanning, Jerry Ordway & Art Thibert, Inkers
  • JSA #83
    • Paul Levitz, Writer
    • Rags Morales & Luke Ross, Pencillers
    • Dave Meikis, Inker
  • Outsiders #34
    • Judd Winick, Writer
    • Matthew Clark, Penciller
    • Art Thibert, Inker
  • Queen & Country: Declassified Vol. 2 #3 (of 3)
    • Greg Rucka, Writer
    • Rick Burchett, Artist
  • Red Sonja #7
    • J.T. Krul, Writer
    • Noah Salonga, Artist
  • Red Sonja vs. Thulsa Doom #2
    • Peter David and Luke Lieberman, Writers
    • Will Conrad, Artist
  • Thunderbolt Jaxon #2 (of 5)
    • Dave Gibbons, Writer
    • John Higgins, Artist
  • Ultimates 2 #10
    • Mark Millar, Writer
    • Bryan Hitch, Penciller
    • Paul Neary with Bryan Hitch, Inkers
  • Uncanny X-Men #470
    • Chris Claremont, Writer
    • Billy Tan, Penciller
    • Jon Sibal, Inker
  • X-Men: The End Book 3 – Men & X-Men #3
    • Chris Claremont, Writer
    • Sean Chen, Penciller
    • Sandu Florea, Inker


Trent said...

Finally the comic blog is in!!

Monkey Critic said...

You sure read a lot of comics. Are any of them about super-monkeys?