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Clap your hands: Graeme finishes up 10/10.

Graeme McMillan

It’s the end of the longest comic week in history! Or, perhaps, just me trying to readjust to non-vacation life and failing. U, as they say, Decide. Anyway, shall we get the rest of this week’s books out the way quickly?

BOOSTER GOLD #3: I’m back to the Dan Jurgens distaste again, although in fairness, I think it may be laziness on inker Norm Rapmund’s part that’s making me feel as if a better artist would’ve brought something more to this admittedly throwaway, Okay issue. It’s a fine enough story, although for the second issue in a row, trading a little too much on the fanboy factor instead of trying to be entertaining/funny in its own right. But then again, I’m a pretty big DC fanboy and it didn’t really work for me, either… The story seemed imbalanced, with the Jonah Hex element taking too long in arriving and not really amounting to anything once it had arrived. A third issue that already feels like filler? That’s not the greatest sign… Here’s hoping that next issue’s All-Flash will be More Fun Comics.

COUNTDOWN #29: Bri handed me this issue, pointing out that it’d be a test – Having missed the last couple of issues, does this book move so slowly that I could pick up this issue and feel as if I hadn’t missed anything? Sadly, the answer was pretty much yes. Sure, the characters were in different locations, but none of their stories had really moved on that far at all. We’re only three issues away from the relaunch of the series – including the new title, letting us know just what we’re counting down to – and it still feels as if this series hasn’t really gotten going yet. Eh, and sadly making me less interested in Final Crisis as it goes on.

FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #24: “Attention True Believer! If you should read but one comic this decade, THIS ONE’S IT!” screams just one of the blurbs on the cover but, as Hibbs pointed out, it’s the second part of a four-part story. If this really were the only comic you read this decade, you’d really feel that you’d chosen badly. Reminiscent more than anything of that issue in Peter David’s Hulk run more than a decade ago where Rick Jones is told by Doctor Strange that he couldn’t bring Marlo back to life – Am I dating myself by admitting that? – the only interest that this comic really offers is the growing strangeness of Joe Quesada’s artwork, which offers moments of worthiness amongst the overly-rendered, badly-staged awkwardness. Kind of sad that this is the last issue of the series and that that’s mentioned nowhere in the issue at all, as well. Eh and then some.

GREEN LANTERN #24: As we near the end of the big summer event – fittingly, considering we’ve passed the end of the summer, and all – things begin to disappoint, as they always do. Parallax is defeated by the power of love and an old painting, and the big cosmic threats all arrive on Earth in rushed scenes that kind of reduce their threat, and Kyle Rayner gets new Green Lantern pants courtesy of Guy Gardner. It’s not that surprising that the beginning of the end doesn’t live up to the opening, but nonetheless, Good when it could’ve been better.

NOVA #7: A surprisingly similar resolution to Kyle Rayner’s Parallax adventure seems oddly fitting for this Green Lantern rip-off, but it makes for an unsatisfying conclusion to this title’s Annihilation: Conquest tie-in… That said, it does make me want to follow the main Annihilation title when it comes out, so I’m sure it succeeded in its purpose. That said, I’m still surprised how much I’m enjoying this title, even if it hasn’t managed to have a non-crossover storyline yet. Good and I’m kind of wanting to check out the original Annihilation series now just to see if it sates my Cosmic Marvel jones.

PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL #12: Ignoring the strange recasting of the Punisher as an outright superhero (“That’s okay. I’ll find him. I’m here to help” as he goes to find a missing cat? Really?), the main thing I took away from this issue was how the growing digital production of comics these days can just take away the joy of the cheaply-produced unpretentious shitty fun of the old ones. Matt Fraction’s script, rough and ready and coming with Jaws references, seems at odds with Ariel Olivetti’s artwork and (weirdly, especially) the lettering for the alien’s narration. Gimme something scrappier and messy, for the love of God. And stop making the Punisher into a superhero, while you’re at it. Okay.

TANK GIRL: THE GIFTING #4: Whoever Rufus Dayglo is, he clearly has eaten Jamie Hewlett’s work in the past to put out such a close facsimile as the work here – That said, I wish there was more of Ash Wood’s rougher, more individual look in his finishes, especially on the illustrations for the poetry pieces. It’s funny to see those pieces, as well; reminiscent of the way that Alan Martin’s original Tank Girl writing for Deadline shifted away from the frenetic comic strips the longer he went on. Overall, this series hasn’t really worked – the pop writing being at odds with the presentation and price point, stripped of the articles about random indie bands and printed on cardstock – but it’s been an interesting failure. I’d love to see Martin do something brand new with IDW, and leave this Okay work in the past.

X-MEN: DIE BY THE SWORD #1: In which no X-Men appear (well, former X-Men, sure; three of them from the same era of the team, which just so happened to be the point where I dropped the book, way back when), and nobody dies by any sword. Whatever happened to truth in advertising, I ask you? Hampered by a dull artist and rusty dialogue, Chris Claremont’s story has some interesting ideas leading up to his Exiles relaunch; it’s a shame that most of them are stolen from Alan Moore’s Captain Britain run from twenty years ago. Okay, guiltily, nonetheless, however.

Yeah, I know. When a Chris Claremont book gets an Okay, it either means that I’ve lost my mind, or have recently read an Essential X-Men and have warm, fuzzy, nostalgic feelings for the franchise I loved so much as a child. My bet’s on the former. But what did you think of the week that was, dear readers?

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