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Change For Change’s Sake: Hibbs’ on 3/21 part, uh, 3?

Brian Hibbs

Everyone’s out of the house, blessed silence is mine for an hour or so, hurrah!

So… work on Onomatopoeia (everyone hit their deadlines EARLY, hurray!), or do some reviews?

I better review, because if I hold THAT til night, then I’m too cranky, and only do 1-2 books, and I can do Onomatopoeia in “neutral” much easier…

AQUAMAN: SWORD OF ATLANTIS #50: I’ve said several times that I just don’t care about Atlantis too much, but this issue got me a lot closer with a number of new and fairly interesting additions to the concept. Heck, it even has the (re)introduction of A’s “sidekick” Topo. But, ultimately, I still didn’t care that much about it, and I think it has to do more with the meta issues of Who Is Aquaman then the specific content of the book. I really detest, for example, that the new Aquaman is “Arthur Curry”. Or the somewhat creepy interactions that Mera and “Arthur” have (she’s old enough to be his mother, isn’t she?) Or, for that matter what a punk and anti-heroic passive ending they gave to the “Dweller”. And while the Narwhal character was fairly intriguing, he visually looked way too much like “Arthur” for me. Mm, and the sort of tossed off way they “fixed” San Diego, where they’ll (you know it) never ever deal with the ramifications of a major American city being treated like that. And yet, this does feel a bit like a sustainable direction despite my whinging. Williams has to learn how a comics page works, a bit more (all through my reading of this, I kept thinking “this’d work better in prose”, while forgetting that is William’s background) — little fun details like the “I inked myself” joke end up falling flat because there’s not a good image/text counterpoint. But even with all of that, I’m still going to go with a fairly high OK, with the sense that this book *could* become “GOOD” at some point soon.

52 WEEK 46: Well at least that, kind of, explains how the next month won’t just be “Adam kills people over and over again” (though I’d think it would open up many many geo-political questions about what the world should do about Oolong island, no?) as we go to the inevitable World War 3. Because of the focus on Oolong, this was one of my favorite issues in the last good while. The Steel thread also comes back for a few pages, mostly to tie up a couple of OYL things, but I literally can’t fathom how Clark led everyone straight to Lex, or, really, even why Lex was sitting right there, waiting to be taken. All in all? A GOOD issue.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #539: Here’s what I’ll say: if one was to read this comic without any great knowledge or understanding of Spidey continuity, it parses just fine. It moves along adequately, the emotional through-line is fine. I just don’t believe that Peter woulda kept a black costume, in the first place, given the previous history. I also still can’t figure out what he’s currently on the run FOR — he is, after all, a fully licensed and registered super-hero, and you’d think ol Futurist Tony would have gone on national TV and told everyone to leave Peter alone, right? (Unless, of course, he’s a y’know, huge raging dick) So, yeah, plothammery plothammers dictate the shape of the story for the next X, and that sucks as it always does, but I thought the EXECUTION of the plothammer was fairly adequate. I’ll even go with a high OK.

MS. MARVEL #13: Branding this as a “The Initiative” book is such a post-event mistake — the kind that both Marvel and DC regularly engage in. The Initiative bits are so, really, tossed off (look at that scene where Carol’s “team” gets introduced. “Hi.” is about the most dialogue any character gets), despite the fact that they’re going to form the spine of the book for the next bit, that I think this kind of comic really weakens the post-event Branding. Its not that the book is bad — its not, its fine — but its just pretty unrelentingly dull, and the whole “Best of the Best” thing… well, man, this is issue #13 (14 if you count that odd special) — wasn’t that supposed to be the premise of the title from #1? And STILL I don’t feel like we’re ANYwhere near that point — it’s just a lot of empty sloganeering at this moment in time. So, yeah, deeply, painfully EH.

THE FLASH #10: Liked this one, at least up to the point where Zoom showed up out of nowhere for no reason, then gets defeated way too easily making him seem like no threat whatsoever. I also still am wondering when Bart is going to develop a distinguishable character. Hm, no that’s not quite it — its more like I was reading this thinking “this could be Wally… why isn’t it Wally? Just change the name in the captions, and its a Wally story.” Why is Bart DIFFERENT from the Flashes before him? I just don’t get the game plan other than “Flashes change during Crisii”. Despite that, this was highly OK. A better artist, and maybe it could get up to “GOOD” before too long.

OK, that’s it for now, time to get ready for work!

-B

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