Sunday, July 23, 2006

Four Color Commentary - Books Shipped 7-19-06

52 #11
Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid, Writers
Keith Giffen, Breakdowns
Joe Bennett, Todd Nauck, Jack Jadson, and Marlo Alquiza, Artists

I really, REALLY wish DC had kept a lid on the whole Batwoman thing until this issue hit the stands. After hearing about it for a couple of weeks her first full-blown appearance with dialogue and everything seemed very anticlimactic. The deeper and deeper we get into the 52 experiment, the more I am inclined to say that things are not going to work out. Each issue leaves me feeling a bit unsatisfied, as if something is missing, that there is more going on and I am just getting scenes and outlines of the action. Of course some of this could be alleviated by eliminating the backup story they felt the need to cram into every issue and give the boys four more pages to play with.

Bite Club: Vampire Crime Unit #4
Howard Chaykin & David Tischman, Writers
David Hahn, Artist

I have to admit, I am in this book for the off-chance that more lesbian vampires might get biz-zay, as we say in the ‘hood. I generally enjoy Chaykin’s writing no matter what he is doing. My one wish for this book would have to be that it had included a more in depth look at the changes Macavoy went through. It seems like he just suddenly woke up and was a vampire, and I suspect it is a bit more involved than that. Oh well, I am enjoying this book for what it is.

Checkmate #4
Greg Rucka, Writer
Jesus Saiz, Artist

As far as I am concerned Greg Rucka can do no wrong. Okay that is a bit of a lie, his run on Wolverine kind of sucked, and I am sure I complained about OMAC, however when it comes to espionage action, I think he is tops. This issue wraps up the what the hell is going on in China storyline started in the first issue. Of course since this is Rucka and spies someone is going to stab someone else in the back before the end of the story, however even though it wasn’t much of a surprise, I enjoyed the trip. I look forward to what he continues to do with this book.

Conan #30
Mike Mignola, Writer
Cary Nord, Artist

I don’t think I reviewed Mignola’s first issue of Conan, however I really enjoyed it. He brought his usual Lovecraftian sensibilities to the Hyborian Age and the result is a solid, though not fantastic, Conan story. In addition to being a Mignola fanboy, I become more and more of a fan of Cary Nord’s artwork with each passing issue. There are very few artists I follow from book to book, however when Nord starts working on other projects I am going to be picking them up.

Jack Kirby’s Galactic Bounty Hunters #1
Lisa Kirby, Michael Thibodeaux, Steve Robertson & Richard French, Writers
Michael Thibodeaux with Jack Kirby, Pencillers
Karl Kesel with Scott Hanna, Inkers

I have to admit up front that I have not read very much Jack Kirby in my comics reading career. Now that we have gotten that out of the way I can tell you that I thought this book was a piece of crap. I am often suspicious of projects that come out with title’s like this one, however I thought I would give it a chance. I wish I would have saved my money. The plotline was almost absurdly cliché and while there were giggle worthy moments, I felt as though the writing was lacking something. This very much had the feel of art by committee, which we all know doesn’t work. The thing I most enjoyed about this book? Ma Slugg, but she wasn’t enough to make this book a regular buy for me.

Justice League of America #0
Brad Meltzer, Writer
All-Star Cast of Artists

When I first started to read this book I put it down after two pages. For some reason it didn’t really speak to me and I thought I was going to drop the Meltzer JLA stuff before it even had a chance to get rolling, however when I picked it up for the second time I found myself really enjoying the work. Although the switching through time was a bit distracting and some of the future scenes posed interesting possibilities, I really enjoyed how the story was the relationships between DC’s trinity. This has me really looking forward to Meltzer’s run on this book.

The Red Star: Sword of Lies #1
Christian Gossett, Writer & Penciller
Weta Workshop, Digital Paiting

I have really enjoyed all of the Red Star books up until this one. Even though there have been patches where I have no idea what is going on in the story, I always knew I was reading something cool. This book is no exception and hit all of the right beats with me. I am very excited to have a new Red Star book on the shelves and the next issue cannot come out soon enough for me.

Superman/Batman #28
Mark Verheiden, Writer
Ethan Van Sciver, Artist

This is one of those books that I am not certain why I stay with it. Part of it is that I knew Loeb was leaving the book and wanted to give the new team a chance, however I am sure another part of it is that it has taken on a momentum of its own on my pull list and I just can’t be bothered to remove it. This issue was interesting, but did not do enough for me to remove the somewhat bitter taste that this book has associated with it. I am interested enough to see where Verheiden is going to pick up another issue or two, and it doesn’t hurt that Van Sciver draws us some pretty pictures. I also appreciated the appearance of Dr. Phosphorus in this issue, particularly since just the other night I read about his origins in the Walt Simonson volume of the Modern Masters series from Two Morrows.

Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #1 (of 8)
Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti, Writers
Daniel Acuna, Artist

As a general rule I do not like Gray and Palmiotti as writers. I don’t know what it is, specifically, that bugs me about them however I usually finish a Gray/Palmiotti book and think that I could have done a much better job. I picked this book up because the preview in Brave New World tantalized me just enough to make me think giving G-n-P another chance was a good idea. I was with it, too, until I learned that we were going to get another civics lesson about the evils of tyranny. Le sigh. I am tired of hearing this in the comic books, I really am. We’re getting it from Mark Millar whenever he touches a book, and now G-n-P seem to be on the same kick. The next thing you know they will have Jonah Hex lecturing the whore with a heart of gold on how freedom is more important than anything else in the world. Seriously guys, we get it. Enough already. And if you wanted to give me a civics lecture in comic book format have Ed Brubaker write it, or maybe Neil Gaiman, not these two.

The rest:
  • Annihilation: Nova #4 (of 4)
    • Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning, Writers
    • Kev Walker, Penciller
    • Rick Magyar, Inker
  • Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #43
    • Kurt Busiek, Writer
    • Butch Guice, Penciller
    • Tony DeZuniga, Inker
  • Catwoman #57
    • Will Pfeifer, Writer
    • David Lopez, Penciller
    • Alvaro Lopez, Inker
  • Crisis Aftermath: The Battle for Bludhaven #6 (of 6)
    • Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti, Writers
    • Dan Jurgens & Jimmy Palmiotti, Artists
  • Eternals #2 (of 6)
    • Neil Gaiman, Writer
    • John Romita Jr., Penciller
    • Danny Miki with Tom Palmer, Inkers
  • The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #2
    • Danny Bilson & Paul Demeo, Writers
    • Ken Lashley, Penciller
    • Walden Wong & Jay Leisten, Inkers
  • Ion #4 (of 12)
    • Ron Marz, Writer
    • Greg Tocchini, Penciller
    • Jay Leisten, Inker
  • Manhunter #24
    • Marc Andreyko, Writer
    • Javier Pina, Layouts
    • Fernando Blanco, Finishes
  • Robin #152
    • Adam Beechen, Writer
    • Freddie E. Williams III, Artist
  • Shadowpact #3
    • Bill Willingham, Writer
    • Cory Walker, Artist
  • Uncanny X-Men #476
    • Ed Brubaker, Writer
    • Billy Tan, Penciller
    • Danny Miki, Inker
  • X-Men: Fairy Tales #3 (of 4)
    • C.B. Cebulski, Writer
    • Bill Sienkiewicz, Artist
Tags: Comics

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