Posted by: Brian Hibbs on September 17, 2009
Look! I done read some new comics for a change, and here I am talking about them. It’s just like old times, under the jump.
ADVENTURE COMICS #2: How to sap a new series of almost all of its excitement, part 23: As soon as #2 comes out, announce that the creative team is being taken off the book before the seventh issue – while pointing out that two of the issues before then are crossovers with the latest event, by a fill-in artist – and then tell everyone that the lead strip is being also being removed so that the new writer can expand the back-up to fill the entire book. On the plus side, I’m as excited about new Levitz Legion as the next man, but on the minus, Geoff Johns’ and Francis Manipaul’s GOOD Superboy deserved more of a chance, especially considering the (enjoyably) slow, sentimental route it was taking.
BATMAN AND ROBIN #4: Aaaaaaahhhh, my eyes! After three issues of clear, creative playful Frank Quitely art, Philip Tan arrives and demonstrates just how not to tell a story. The art overpowers the writing entirely, and is confusing, over-rendered and just plain ugly. Good thing Cameron Stewart and Frazer Irving are taking over after the next couple of issues, because I’ll need their lusciousness as an antidote to this AWFUL mess.
BEASTS OF BURDEN #1: To the lack of surprise of anyone, probably the best book of the week. Maybe it’s because I’m a sap for animals – that’s what living in a two dog, one cat household will do to you – but I was completely in love with this by the third page, and it just got better from there. Evan Dorkin’s funny-without-being-snarky script and Jill Thompson’s art (full of nice little background touches in the group shots) were ideal, and my only problem, genuinely, was that I wanted to read more immediately. EXCELLENT.
BLACKEST NIGHT #3: Oh, so that’s what’s going on with the Indigo Tribe. Kudos to everyone who called out the Hal As White Lantern idea that’d entirely avoided my brain originally, as Johns seems to be pointing fairly obviously in that direction here (So much so that it seems like it might be a dodge, to be honest), but at least there’s some forward motion here, unlike the second issue (In particular, I liked the surprising “they’re not zombies, they’re recreations of the dead” angle raised here). A high GOOD, I think. And, DC? When this is done, Johns and Reis should really take over Justice League of America already, don’t you think?
BLACKEST NiGHT: BATMAN #2: While I don’t think Peter Tomasi necessarily has the strongest grip on the new Batman/Robin dynamic, by the time Commissioner Gordon was using a pump-action shotgun and Batman a flamethrower to take care of the Black Lanterns, I was digging this as the ridiculous superhero zombie flick it’s clearly meant to be. GOOD.
CAPTAIN AMERICA REBORN #3: Am I the only one who shares Steve Rogers’ sense of deja vu with this book? Cap travels through well-known moments of his history while monologing, while in the future, villains plot and superheroes fight them. This felt really like the last issue to me, and in general, the series feels slower and less… impressive, I guess, than I’d hoped it would be. OKAY, but here’s hoping something new happens next issue.
GALACTICA 1980 #1: Color me surprised; for all that I’ve been snarkily making fun of this revival of the second Battlestar Galactica series on io9, I actually really enjoyed this first issue, particularly the cynicism/realism of the impact of the Galactica trying to make friends with humanity by appearing above the White House only (Spoiler warning!) to get nuked because the President thinks they’re invading. Having a suicidal Lorne Greene-Adama was a nice touch, too. A tentative GOOD, for now.
THE LONE RANGER #18: Sticking with Dynamite, I’m again declaring my love for the slow burn of Brett Matthews and Sergio Cariello’s take on the pulp Western hero; despite having issues like this – where it’s much more about the foreboding hint of things to come than that much actually, y’know, happening – it’s just done so stylishly that I can’t resist. VERY GOOD.
MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN #54: I don’t know where my recent rebirth of Spider-Man love has come from, but I’m glad that it’s coincided with Paul Tobin and Matteo Lolli’s relaunch of the “all ages” Spider-book, which mixes the high school soap opera/comedy with just enough superhero moments to come up with the perfect mix of everything I liked about Spider-Man Loves Mary-Jane and Ultimate Spider-Man. Add in Skottie Young covers that are wonderfully eye-catching, and you’re one good logo away from my ideal Spidey. VERY GOOD.
ULTIMATE ARMOR WARS #1: Well, that felt slight. I don’t know, maybe I’ve read too much Ellis/Morrison/everyotherBritishwriterwhodoesthis, but introducing new characters by having another new character say something like “The Ghost. I don’t believe it. It’s actually The Ghost…” just feels lazy and a sad signpost for this book that seemed a well-done collection of cliches and old ideas as much as anything worth reading. The very definition of EH.
X-MEN FOREVER #7: In which fill-in artist Steve Scott works off the new models and costumes for the characters, even though they haven’t been introduced yet, leading to a “Wait, that’s supposed to be Gambit?” moment, as well as a “Why has everyone switched costumes between issues?” one. Aside from that, this issue is pretty OKAY; the last couple of issues have seemed particularly directionless and jarringly so, especially considering all of the loose plot threads of the first five issues.
X-MEN LEGACY ANNUAL #1: Remember when annuals were stand-alone stories that had some kind of major event in them? Mike Carey doesn’t; this is just the opening of the next Legacy storyline (and theoretically something to establish the new status quo, except that it doesn’t, really), and if you’ve not been keeping up with the X-Books recently, you’ll be completely lost here. The highpoint is definitely Daniel Acuna’s art, which always makes me wonder why he’s not so much more loved than he is; it’s gorgeous, gorgeous stuff. There’s also a Gambit back-up, which is beyond generic filler. EH, at best.
And for those awaiting Claremont’s X-Men part 3: This week. Really, honestly.