Posted by: Brian Hibbs on November 22, 2006
52 WEEK 28: The first boring issue in several months. There’s a big part of my that thinks that since they’re past the halfway point, they need to dramatically ramp up the plot, right quick, to fit everything in before the end. Unless it doesn’t end, in which case a lot of people are going to be really upset.
I’ll tell you something else: planning more weekly comics? From either big publisher? Probably not a good idea. “52” is a sales success because of a number of specific-to-the-project things, and I think it’s going to be VERY difficult to replicate them for try #2. If not flatly impossible.
Last thought: BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER aside, a “prophecy” that doesn’t come true kind of isn’t a prophecy, is it? Anyway, this issue: Extremely EH.
ASTONISHING X-MEN #18: Liked liked liked this, but the last few pages of pacing felt like “we need twice as many pages” marring an otherwise very good conclusion down to a plain GOOD.
ASTRO CITY THE DARK AGE BOOK 2 #1: Is that the first time we’ve actually seen the “Appolo 11” on screen? Totally not what I was expecting. Liked that. Liked the whole issue, really, though the long gap between arcs is a big drag and leaves me without any forward momentum. GOOD.
BIRDS OF PREY #100: I was really afraid that wasn’t going to work, but it did just fine. I still kinda think that Black Canary *has* to be on the BoP team (see: the “Birds” part), but, yeah, I’ll watch where it goes. a low GOOD.
CATWOMAN #61: This “Film Freak” story has gone on for like 3 months too long. He’s not not NOT a compelling antagonist. AWFUL.
CIVIL WAR #5: My first thought upon putting this down was “Huh, nothing happened” — which is odd, because there’s a NUMBER of plot points in this issue… but you can really boil the whole thing down to looking at the cover. The cover shouldn’t tell the entire story, no.
Graeme’s review covers most of the dumb stuff about this one, but I’m personally probably most annoyed by the bait and switch of “oooh, we’re using the most dangerous villians”, and then it turns out to be Jack o’Lantern and the friggin’ Jester. Oooh, spooky. The problem is, even beaten, bloody, semi-conscious, drugged, and wearing a suit that is 50 pounds of useless weight, Peter shold be able to handle THOSE two light-weights without the slightest of problems. To have the big “cool!” moment being, “THe Punisher returns” isn’t especially cool when it’s 2 third-tier losers who probably couldn’t beat Katie Power from Power Pack, y’know?
In the “Retail intelligence” category, we’ve had a 20% drop in sales (not orders, SALES) between issue #4 and #5. That’s 20% of a REALLY BIG number, so, y’know, owie. The various tie-in comics are off by about that same amount, too. The wait for #4 didn’t seem to bother anyone too badly (only 3% there, which COULD be within normal mini-series ranges), but a lot of people seemed to have jumped off this one. Jeff Lester threw his pre-ordered copy back, too — just like he said he would.
My bottom line: too much dense (as in “dumb”) story logic, and way too much Plothammering = AWFUL.
DAREDEVIL FATHER #6: It had a OCT05 code, so I cut my rack order to 2 whole copies and said “fuck it, if MARVEL doesn’t care, why should I?” I mean, the LEAST they could have done is resolicited the fucker, rather than leaving a hanging chad of an old ship date like that. I’m say bullshit! Didn’t read it, didn’t care, very INCOMPLETE.
DEADMAN #4: This is incomprehensible gobbeldy-gook, but you put the lead in the Bostom Brand costume, and at least a few more people are going to pick it off the rack out of curiousity. Don’t think they’ll be back for #5, however, as it was AWFUL. Even the art by John Watkiss (who I generally like [and I know I am in the minority]) seemed majorly phoned in.
ESCAPISTS #5: NOthing cogent to say except: VERY GOOD.
GREEN LANTERN CORPS #6: If you would have told me six months ago that a Dave-freakin’-Gibbons drawn Green Lantern comic wouldn’t even sell double digits off my rack, I would have laughed in your face, and called you an idiot. And yet, here’s our evidence for the prosecution: we sold 16 copies of #5, and 9 copies of #6. We sold more copies of frickin’ OMAC, if you can beleive that.
There’s no one (NO ONE!) who thought getting rid of the GLC was a worse mistake than I, but the WAY they brought them back, all instantaneously and in-the-middle-of-Soap-Opera was clearly also a mistake. And teh way they’ve tried to leverage a successful Rebirth into a full-scale franchise (FOUR titles, are you nuts?!?) was ALSO a mistake. And it has yielded some really awful sales for us (ION is also a train-wreck, sales wise)
DC really screwed the OYL pooch, launching way WAY too many titles off of it, and that’s yielded single-digit sales on a Dave Gibbons comic. Lame.
I thought this was highly OK.
HELLBLAZER #226: I don’t like John as a “real” Magus, with lots of real magic running around. I’ve generally dilkied this “Empathy” storyline, especially since it doesn’t seem like it is ever going to end. And, while in prose you can end a chapter with “What the hell is THAT?!”, it doesn’t work in COMICS because there’s at least a one month gap between installments. Feh. AWFUL.
IRON MAN #13: Instead of a “What the hell is up with Tony” as you’d hope you’d get from the finally-we’re-synching-up-with-CIVIL-WAR issue, there’s instead a lot of blah blah with Spymaster. SPYMASTER? C’mon, he’s not even in the top 20 of Most Threatning IM Villians. Foo. AWFUL.
OMAC #5: Sexually-transmitted super powers? More like O-CRAP, if you ask me.
ROBIN #156: a little on the preachy side, but I liked it. OK.
SHADOWPACT #7: Well, since it made it to #7, I guess it is going to make it past the first year, which I would never have bet on, but this here’s a book I really don’t understand how and why it is being published. There just doesn’t seem to be a POINT to this. EH.
SQUADRON SUPREME #7: This book has lost its way. Big big delays, and this is just a run-of-the-mill fight scene, really. I used to love this comic, and now I just don’t care (and haven’t since it switched to “all ages”) EH.
ULTIAMTE FANTASTIC FOUR #36: Reach exceeding its grasp, I think. Tonally, this is way way off from the rest of the ULTIMATE books, and we’re bleeding readers hard. EH.
WHITE TIGER #1: I kinda liked it, be it was way too talky and ponderous. being a co-anchor of, say, a MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS, I might be more positive, but in the relentless expansion of Marvel and DC comics, I don’t see a great reason for this to exist. OK.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Probably ASTONISHING X-MEN #18.
PICK OF THE WEAK: OMAC #5, yessir. Bruce Jones is 2007’s Chuck Austen or Ron Zimmerman.
BOOK / TP OF THE WEEK: There’s only one choice, and that’s ABSOLUTE DC NEW FRONTIER. No, I mean, there’s ONLY one choice — I can’t come up with a second place choice at all this week.
That’s what I thought, hows about you?