Posted by: Brian Hibbs on October 3, 2004
The good news is, I read more books at the store. The bad news is, I don’t have much time to finish this up. I apologize in advance for any criticisms made less trenchant by the accidental excision of a noun or verb.
DAREDEVIL 2099 #1: Apparently, “2099” is codeword for “bummer twist ending.” And I should have pointed this out when reviewing Black Panther 2099, but it was Hibbs’ big complaint so I’ll put it here: why revive the 2099 line if you’re not going to follow your old continuity? It’s almost like Marvel commissioned research that showed they should alienate their readership, and feel compelled to follow it. Plus, how can he be the Kingpin when he says earlier that the Sentinels wiped out almost all crime? Eh.
METAL HURLANT #13: The opening goth cheesecake story didn’t do much for me, but goddamn did I love the “Lucha Libre” story by Jerry Frissen & Bill. I’ve got a fondness for Mexican Wrestlers so seeing ’em caught as squat manga cartoons bitching about their rides and each other while fighting a gang of vandalous werewolves was pure chewing satisfaction for me–it definitely worked better than any of the nine million masked wrestler comics thrown our way in the last year or so, probably because (as with the Frissen/Guy Davis story with zombies, hired investigators and angry rednecks) it’s a story that plays with the idea of America as melting pot not just of cultures, but of pop cultures. I really, really enjoyed it and, at $3.95, feel comfortable giving it a high Good.
MUTANT 2099 #1: Okay, I’ve made a few mistakes with these 2099 one-shots. First, they’re listed as Marvel Knights 2099 which explains the line-up–one-shot for each of the first Marvel Knight titles (I should’ve remembered that from the solicitation a few months back). Second, I read them: this was the only book I actually liked (that didn’t have Kyle Hotz drawing Dr. Doom), maybe because its twist ending was that it wasn’t a big downer like the rest of the books. It doesn’t make any more sense than the rest of the books, though: where were the ubiquitous Sentinels when the Mole People attacked? On their lunch break? And Reed Richards seems pretty blase for a guy in his situation, dontcha think? Still, OK or maybe Good, kinda.
OUTSIDERS #16: I haven’t followed the title very closely after the first arc so I assume Judd took the time to set up the whole Nightwing/Arsenal conflict and explained why Arsenal resents Nightwing, and how Nightwing got that pointy stick stuck up his ass…but I ain’t buying it. I just can’t see Dick Grayson getting pissed off enough to try and hurt one of his oldest friends with the “junkie” card. I thought the whole point of Nightwing is he wants to be like Batman without being an asshat? Gotta give it an Awful because I failed my saving throw against suspension of disbelief.
PUNISHER 2099 #1: And the big bummer twist is…nothing happens! And as Tom the Dog points out on his site, the idea of Elektra giving birth to a child in 2038 when she’s at least sixty is a more dramatic premise than anything that happens here. Awful.
RICHARD DRAGON #5: I remember liking this more than previous issues, but I don’t remember why. There’s a ringing endorsement. Eh.
SIMPSONS COMICS #98: I give Ty Templeton full points for clever, as he makes use of one of the show’s longest running visual gags, the Olmec head in the basement, but have to deduct points as most of the jokes he sets up with it (particularly Homer’s whole “I’m dreaming!” shtick) don’t really pay off particularly well. Feels like he did a lot of work just to get to that last page which, admittedly, I found both clever and touching. So an OK, more or less.
SUPERMAN #209: Wow, Jim Lee draws four great giant monsters, one of whom is an earth elemental with the head of Mount Rushmore, and I still hate the issue? That’s an impressive achievement. Maybe I’m alone in this, but it seems to me Azzarello’s grand pitch for this storyline was a bunch of hastily developed ideas for Superman stories spitballed together. What a prettily drawn pile of Awful this is.
X-MEN #162: Austen and/or Editorial overplay their hand a bit on setting up the “is he or isn’t he a traitor?” situation with Caine and Bobby spends wayyyyy too much time with the whole “How could you trust him? You just trusted him! Aren’t you sorry for trusting him?” And, thinking back on it, it seems the story falls apart as the rest of the Brotherhood doesn’t mind Juggernaut flipping out and ripping apart Black Tom too much, but I’m giving this an OK because, I dunno, I like Salvador Larroca’s art. Sue me.
Okay. Pick of the Week, Pick of the Weak and my highly uninformed Trade Paperback Pick later tonight.