Posted by: Brian Hibbs on December 1, 2011
Tags: Angel & Faith, Batman Odyssey, Brian, Cafu, Daredevil, FF, Flash Gordon, Game of Thrones, Haunt, Jonathan Hickman, Juan Bobillo, Neal Adams, NIck Barrucci, Nick Spencer, old school, Star Trek, The Ultimates, Thunder Agents, Thunderbolts, Uncanny X-Men, wolverine, X-Men: Legacy
Haven’t finished reading everything yet for the week, so this is just part one… but I’ll be pretty close to Old School Savage Critting, here…
ANGEL & FAITH #4: I’m kind of loving this book. I suspect that’s because both the premise, as well as the motivation of the protagonists is significantly more focused than over in BUFFY SEASON 9. The art’s fab, too. I honestly think this is VERY GOOD stuff.
BATMAN ODYSSEY VOL 2 #2: What. The. Fuck? I didn’t read #1 (and stopped reading v1 at #4, I think?), but whoa this has taken a serious turn towards the inexplicable with Caveman Batman and Robin, and dinosaur riding and man oh man Neal Adam’s style is kind of inherently “serious”, y’know, and completely works against what I think is meant to be a Silver Age Pastiche. Or tribute, maybe? Hard to actually tell. His Batman is zooming all around here, at one point really even sounding like a teenage girl (with an “I hate this. I hate this. I hate this.” as he starts to ride a giant flying bat, followed by a big ol’ “I love this!”, yowsers!) I m just utterly baffled at what Adams is going for, and it is ultimately stiff and awkward and weird. So much “Work For Completionists Only”, and kind of crazily AWFUL, sorry.
DAREDEVIL #6: The idea of a villain with sponsorship patches, like an anti-Booster Gold, is sort of amusing, but that was a bloodier end to the fight than maybe was needed. The McGuffin of the patch was likewise interesting, but I guess I just don’t see what the stakes are for DD. The art as is nice as always, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around how this was a Daredevil story, and not a Spidey story. still, even with that, it’s still a low GOOD.
FF #12: I didn’t say last week, but I thought FANTASTIC FOUR #600 was pretty terrific, but no I didn’t like this. Maybe it’s because in a FF book, I want to see one of a quartet of individuals specifically driving the action; or maybe it’s because Bobillo’s art (dunno for certain if it’s a change in base-style, or the inker’s work) went from sweet cartoony (like in his run of SHE HULK, man, those are great) to like harder edge euro-styled art. Like, dunno, Alex Nino, and that whole school of Philippine artists that was most prolific at Warren in the 70s? Either way, not a change I liked personally. So, yeah, while I can appreciate the intricacy of FF, this left me feeling pretty distant, so best I can must is a weak OK.
FLASH GORDON ZEITGEIST #1: Back to the top start again on this venerable property, and it is done with adequate style — more enjoyable than the BUCK ROGERS reboot from last year, say. I’m just kind of loath to recommend any Dynamite book to people because I know if it show the slightest chance of catching on, Nickie will commission three different spin-off series, and we’ll lose all of our readers for it, and have to stop ordering it. But, anyway, that’s too meta! There was also an interesting choice at the end to have the rebel aliens come to Earth before ever encountering Flash, which would seem to me to be extremely likely to dramatically shear the central appeal of Flash which would be “Rugged American Individual goes to weird (and primitive, except for the spaceships) alien planets, shows them how incredible fucking awesome Rugged American Individuals are”. Tell me you can’t picture TEAM AMERICA’s “America: Fuck Yeah!” playing behind any filmed Flash Gordon to date, right? Well, we’ll see how that thread plays out, but I’m not optimistic on that. The rest of it I quite liked, though — and that is a pretty awesome Ming, so, sure, I’ll say this comic is a strong OK.
GAME OF THRONES #3: A lot of good choices in this adaptation, but the art’s a little cutsie to work, I think. EH.
HAUNT #19: New Direction! Jump On Now! I thought the Kirkman/Capullo run was just too much trying to evoke a Spawny/Venomy kind of 90s feeling, but Joe Casey and Nathan Fox really change it up well here. I’m going to put the bulk of that on Fox, I think, as this looks pretty much the opposite of a Capullo comic. Solidly GOOD, though I can’t say I would rush to buy another issue, necessarily.
STAR TREK ONGOING #3: Loving this, as well. Really, it’s kind of a brilliant idea to adapt the old episodes with the new cast, they’ve got 150+ issues of material on tap, without having to generate a new story idea, yet they seem fresh because of the new dynamics among the characters. Solidly GOOD.
THUNDER AGENTS VOL 2 #1: A much better first issue than the last one — action, AND plot movement, AND mysteries for the future AND soap opera is really the format that each issue of a super hero comic should deliver, and the first run had issues with only half or less of those in any average issue. Still, dang, in any incarnation of these characters, I’d have to say I think the appeal tended to be the artists drawing them (from Wood to Kane to Perez), and this is a writer-driven run, I think, from Nick Spencer. That’s not to say that CAFU isn’t fine (he [?] is), but not really in that same kind of weight class as many of the others. Ultimately, I kind of don’t care about these guys outside of that art nostalgia, so you’d have to be exceptionally exceptional for me to say anything better than an OK on this. And while this is competently done, that’s about it. If you have a jones for these guys, you’ll probably rate this much higher than I.
THUNDERBOLTS #166: I’m going to kind of recycle the last few lines of the previous review for this — this is competently done, but I have nothing emotionally invested in these characters, and this issue doesn’t do anything to change that, so, sure, it is therefore kind of EH.
ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES #4: First issue of the 4 that I liked on its own merits. I think this miscalculated on scale — millions more dead, and this after the earlier devastation of New York… these things would dramatically change a world and how it operates, and it’s exhausting as a reader to boot. THIS issue seemed a lot more personally driven, and so worked for me much better. It’s a low GOOD.
UNCANNY X-MEN #2: That’s all weird, and not really very X-Men-y (though, yes yes, I get “new premise” and all; whatever, I stand by that assessment), and it doesn’t suck, but it sure ain’t for me. OK
WOLVERINE #19: I like Funny Jason Aaron, I think, better than All Serious one. Very enjoyable, low GOOD
X-MEN LEGACY #259: I feel like I can see the sets, and someone left the script pages in the shot, and no no no no, you’re supposed to emote, dear! and it’s just little stick figures being moved around, and it’s no different than the rest of Carey’s run, mostly, and I think its unfortunately pretty AWFUL. I almost upgraded that just so we wouldn’t end this session on a down note, but ugh, can’t do it.
Right, more tomorrow (I think!), what did YOU think?