Sunday, August 13, 2006

Four Color Commentary - Books Shipped 8-09-06

53 #14
Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid, Writers
Keith Giffen, Art Breakdowns
Dale Eaglesham, Penciller
Art Thibert, Inker

So I continue to enjoy the grand experiment named 52. Some issues are better than others, and I am not a huge fan of how they ended the Ralph Dibny storyline, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. There is just one thing I want to say about this issue, and I know it is picking nits, but jumpin’ Jiminy Cricket! Take a look at panel eight from the first page:

Take note of the office which issued Montoya’s passport. The U. S. Embassy located in Gotham City which, in turn, is located in the United States. I find it interesting that the United States government feels the need to have an embassy in Gotham City. Maybe it is a left-over from the No-Man’s Land event, but somehow I doubt it.

The Black Coat: A Call to Arms #4 (of 4)
Adam Cogan, Writer
Francesco Francavilla, Artist

I am a huge fan of historical fiction and speculative historical fiction however I find myself enjoying the high-concept of most of the comics which fall into these genres more than I enjoy the comic itself. This book is an excellent example of this which I think I would have pitched as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde meet Batman in Colonial America. Perfect! We have some classic literature in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a modern cultural touchstone in Batman, and an under-explored milieu in the Colonial America. Somewhere between the concept for this book and the execution of this book the waters got a little muddied. I admit that I missed the first issue of this series which might help, but to be honest this series never really clicked for me. I cannot tell you exactly why but just that there was something missing story-wise. In addition to this I am not a huge fan of Francavilla’s art. I enjoy the black and white presentation of the book, and think this enhances the mood of the book, however I think Francavilla used too much black in an attempt to convey the darkness of the book.

Green Arrow #65
Judd Winick, Writer
Scott McDaniel, Penciller
Andy Owens, Inker

First let me say that I would pay good money to see a liberal talking head blow up like Jenny Parks does on page 10 of this comic. Too often they allow conservatives to muddy the conversation with tangential issues when it often comes down to a simple truth. Okay, enough politics, on with the not so review-y review! Green Arrow is one of the superior OYL books, in my humble opinion. I may have complained a little about it before, but I think Winick has got a handle on Ollie’s character and I am eager to see what happens next. On top of that I especially liked this panel:

The student and mentor. I don’t know why but I really like it.

Martian Manhunter #1 (of 8)
A.J. Lieberman, Writer
Al Barrionuevo, Penciller
Bit, Inker

Bit –

Please change your name. Whenever I have to type your name in for Inker I end up reversing your name and the Inker. Thank you.

-- James

Now that we have that little bit of business out of the way let us delve into the cliché with covers which DC has decided to refer to as Martian Manhunter #1. Now I enjoy a good tale in which the government are the bad guys, however it seems like Lieberman has taken it upon himself to cram every single aspect of this genre into this book. We have the everything the main character thought was true is wrong thing going on with the appearance of other Martians. We have the shadowy agency which is out of control bit taken care of (see page 7). To top it off we have the agent who has been programmed to respond to a code phrase. All we need is a hot, preferably leather-clad, love interest and we’d be reading Mission Impossible 4: Xenu is Your Friend! Above and beyond that I think Lieberman actually does a damn fine job of writing the big MM himself, so I may stick around for a couple of issues to see where things lead.

The rest:
  • Annihilation #1 (of 6)
    • Keith Giffen, Writer
    • Andrea Divito, Artist
  • Annihilation: Nova Corps Files
    • A bunch of people whom I am too lazy to list.
  • Conan and the Songs of the Dead #2
    • Joe R. Lansdale, Writer
    • Timothy Truman, Artist
  • Fables #52
    • Bill Willingham, Writer
    • Mark Buckingham, Penciller
    • Steve Leialoha, Inker
  • JSA Classified #15
    • Steve Englehart, Writer
    • Tom Derenick, Penciller
    • Mark Farmer, Inker
  • Legends of the Dark Knight #209
    • Bruce Jones, Writer
    • Ariel Olivetti, Artist
  • Secret Six #3 (of 6)
    • Gail Simone, Writer
    • Brad Walker, Penciller
    • Jimmy Palmiotti, Inker
  • Squadron Supreme #6
    • J. Michael Straczynski, Writer
    • Juan Barranco, Penciller
    • Vincent Cifuentes, Inker
  • Wolverine Origins #5
    • Daniel Way, Writer
    • Steve Dillon, Artist
Tags: Comics

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