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Hibbs has an hour & talks about 1/21 books.

Brian Hibbs

I totally don’t have time for doing reviews…. like ever, which is why I hardly ever post, but here I find myself with about an hour and I don’t feel like doing any REAL work (or playing a brief bit of MARVEL: ULTIMATE ALLIANCE — jeez, I suck hard at “traditional” video games), so let’s try to pretend that I post content to this blog, too — shall we?

52 WEEK #38: A downer of an issue after the last page of last week (I’d probably be happy if the last 14 weeks were ALL about the yellow aliens, to be honest), but at least it does seem like some of the threads are starting to come together. This issue is at least OK. I think I’d rather comment on the “DC Nation” page, and Eddie Berganza’s plea for women to pick up SUPERGIRL.

I’m kinda disturbed by the “We want her to be a ‘real’ teenage girl” when the CONTENT is “Act like Paris Hilton, loath yourself, and try to kill your male role model”, because all of that, to me, makes it sound like no one in the DC offices has ever MET a “real” teenage girl. This kind of bothers me even more in the context of DC cancelling THE BOYS, resumably for content, because I think garbage like the current SUPERGIRL comic is far (FAR!) more harmful to the souls of people, or to the “mythic value” of the superhero genre, than Garth & Darick’s dirty little minds.

Y’know, even IF “real girls” ARE like that (and I think most aren’t), maybe JUST MAYBE its because of messages in the media that encourage those kinds of feelings/behavior. And comics ARE part of the media. I certainly wouldn’t give this highly sexualized version (look at the skirt! Look at her body proportions!) of Supergirl to a young girl precisely because its the wrong kind of role model. It’s pretty shameful stuff, if you ask me.

CIVIL WAR THE RETURN: ….the fuck? Well, I think we have our first contender for The Very Worst Comic of the 21st Century. What a horrific cluserfuck this is. It’s not only totally out of left field to have Captain Marvel be the warden of the Civil War prison, but its hamfistedly done at that with exactly the kind of awkward “DC plot” that Marvel usually strenously avoids. It’s not even so much a “return” as much as “Oh, look he’s been standing here for a while” And, then, as the old joke goes “…and such small portions, too!” The Sentry story just ate up pages that could have been summarized in 2 panels, max, but it didn’t even feel “Sentry-like”. Man, I am so glad I didn’t take a significant position on this one — this dog isn’t going to hunt. It’s worse than CRAP — it’s ASS.

CRIMINAL #4: This, on the other hand is EXCELLENT in all ways, shapes and forms. I have nothing more meaningful to say than that, but I wanted to have at least one great comic in this week’s pile.

ETERNALS #6: I absolutely have to criticize this for the artistic depiction of San Francisco, which has been an ongoing problem (again, from ground level, you simply can’t see the Golden Gate Bridge from Golden Gate Park), but reaches new heights here as we pull back for the wide shots, and it appears the only reference used was maybe a geologic survey map.

Golden Gate Park is yes, about 50 blocks long, but it is only about 6 blocks wide, and on either side of the park is houses. Lots and lots and lots of houses. The way these scenes are drawn, there’d be horrific casualties, in the thousands, if not tens of thousands, with billions of dollars of property damage.

Ignoring that, the story was fine, if a little awkward from the inclusion of the Civil War elements, but I just couldn’t get past the staging at all. AWFUL.

FABLES #57: Neat, Mike Allred draws this issue. Solid issue otherwise, too. GOOD.

HELMET OF FATE IBIS THE INVINCIBLE #1: This issue, in and of itself, is fine — introducing a new Ibis, who probably won’t appear in another DC comic for a year, but, unfortunately, making him way too much like Captain Marvel in doing so. The actual execution is really pretty decent, I might even give it a low GOOD, but this is an obvious go-nowhere character introduction that also doesn’t really move the “Dr. Fate” part of the plotline forward. All in all, this is bound to hurt the introduction of the DR. FATE monthly book upcoming — you’d have thought that DC would have learned from the virtually identical marketing mistake made on POWER COMPANY.

PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL #3 CW: Wow, really disliked this issue. Like virulently hated it. Everyone seems totally out of character, or moving to the dictates of the Plothammer. (yeah, as if Luke Cage would let Castle walk with a “he won’t forget a punch from Captain America anytime soon!” after he just murdered two guys in front of them). The art is really lovely though, which saves it by giving it an AWFUL.

WOLVERINE #50: I was kind of surprised that the story ended where it did, given this was the double sized issue, and the backup was (while also fun to look at), basically fluffy filler. So, basically, eye candy, no meat. I’m going to go with OK, but feel free to raise that if you’re good with just eye candy.

So, I think the PICK OF THE WEEK should be obvious — CRIMINAL #4 was a fine piece of work, with a lot of solid backmatter, too! I just wish #1 had gone back to press is all…

PICK OF THE WEAK should also be obvious — CIVIL WAR THE RETURN, which shouldn’t have, and isn’t really.

For TP/BOOK OF THE WEEK, I think I’m going to go with two left field choices, which your LCS probably doesn’t even have anyway. Either the COMPLETE NEMESIS THE WARLOCK BK 1, with the early eyeball-bleeding work of Kev O’Neill, or Paul Chadwick’s underlooked WORLD BELOW TP, which I remember as being seriously strange, and gorgeous to look at at the same time.

That’s what I got in my hour — what did you think this week?

-B

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