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Hibbs reviews 11/2

Brian Hibbs

Again, if you’re just checking the blog for the first time in a bit, scroll down to meet our newest Savage Critic, Graeme McMillan! W00t!

In no particular order, here comes what I thought about this week’s books:

HOUSE OF M #8: Hokey smokes. Wouldn’t it be nice if big events like this were actually good? I really want to write the review where I say “Wow, that was excellent, everything I ever wanted in a crossover!” That won’t be happening this go ’round though.

HoM might have been good as a 3-4 issue series — at 8, however, it became a big, chaotic, unfocused mess. I actually enjoyed perhaps 2 issues of this: #4 and 7, I think it was?

I really really disliked this issue, however — mosty because it veers all over the map, is wholly illogical, barely edited, and doesn’t even answer any of the questions it raises.

Starting at the top, I don’t get how Wanda’s powers/wishes were meant to work? When she first changes reality, she does it retroactively — she changes the very past so that things “always were” like that. Given that she can do that, and given that the goal behind her “no more mutants!” proclaimation were that she was sick of how her own family was destroyed, right? So, then, why didn’t it become “NEVER Any Mutants!”? Her problems started way back in UNCANNY X-MEN #4 — shouldn’t have things rebooted back to that point, given the thrust of the rest of the series?

But, OK, RetCon isn’t the Mighty Marvel Way, I guess I can live with that. What about the current scope of events? Apparantly the X-People who are “spared” are like that because they were at “ground zero”, protected by Dr. Strange, yadda yadda…. I can accept that.

So…. then why does Cerebro show mutants all over the world? (At least, I guess it is the world — it isn’t like Copiel shows any indication that he can even draw the EARTH. I’m not sure what land masses those are supposed to be, but it sure doesn’t look like any earth I know) They weren’t there! In fact, there aren’t 198 mutants there at all. In fact, Magneto IS there, but he “loses” his power (the surest sign that a reset will happen again) — how did THAT happen?

But what really sealed the deal for me was the STUPID INSANE little speech that Hank Pym gives at the end meant to, I guess, set up the next crossover — that nonsense about “energy can’t be destroyed”. Now, while that is probably true, that’s about as logical as saying “If you cut off my finger, another finger will appear somewhere else” (Actually, Lester made a comparison to gasoline that is probly more apt, but I forgot his exact wording). Mutants aren’t “energy” in that sense — they CONTROL energy, sure, but they AREN’T energy itself. But then, anyone who listens to the wife-beating, too-many-identities, created-his-own-worst-foe Hank Pym should probably be smacked in the first place….

Don’t get me wrong, I’m ALL for simplifying and streamlining the X-universe, making it so there are far fewer characters, etc. But this execution of that was extremely inept, and really not at all entertaining. AWFUL.

SPIDER-MAN: HOUSE OF M #5: Here’s the weird thing, I really liked this end up, and the whole series, but did it have ANYthing to do with HoM? This doesn’t appear to be the Spider-Man who appears in HoM? Putting that aside, I’ll go with a lowish GOOD.

FIRESTORM #19: I think I feel really bad for Stuart Moore — has he even had 2 issues in a row to be able to move the story of Firestorm himself forward at all? The page-here and page-there of the supporting cast and whatnot all seems so sad because, wait! There goes ‘stormy off into space. Why? No one seems to know — never explained to anyone, or the audience, but Donna’s Striketeam is going off anyway. *sigh* There’s nothing bad here, but I sorta fee like that the star of the book won’t be the actually star until, what? issue #25? Later? Making this extremely EH.

POWERS #14: They printed the wrong cover price on this, BTW — we were invoiced at the proper $2.95, so if your LCS charged you $3.95, they owe you a buck. Another very strong issue, but I’m going to deduct points for the “Z” page. We read left-to-right, top-to-down, and that page just sent my eyes going in the wrong directions. Downgrade this to “just” GOOD.

JONAH HEX #1: I don’t expect much from a Jonah Hex comic, and I got just what I expected. Absolutely nothing wrong with this, and it was created with some craft, but I don’t imagine that I’ll ever really care about the book or the character. A solid OK, but not much else — unless you loves you some Jonah, then you’ll probably rank this higher.

I also got an email from a customer this week wondering how they got away with lifting this story from another Hex tale — I wasn’t clear if he meant Hex’s first story, first issue, or Fleischer’s first story or issue, but he ran down an amazing number of plot points, etc., and said “How can this not have a notification, or a ‘based on’or something?” A quick fllip through the Showcase presents TP didn’t find me what he was talking about, and any more research is well past what I have time for this week…

DESOLATION JONES #4: Really really liking this — crisp writing, splendiferous art — it is an easy-peasy VERy GOOD.

OPTIC NERVE #10: I think Tomine is a helluva draftsman, and I think he has a good ear for dialogue and naturalistic pacing. I know several of these characters, even if Graeme doesn’t! A solid GOOD.

One other note — I wouldn’t expect most comic shops to have this for a few more weeks. We JUST turned in the order form last Tuesday where Diamond listed this for the first time. I beleive Diamond has a December ship-date on this, while Cold Cut and Last Gasp have had it for the last week or two. That’s where we got OUR copies.

SUPREME POWER NIGHTHAWK #3: I didn’t think I’d enjoy a pastiche this much, but I am, so there you are. Creepy view of the Batman, but solid, GOOD material.

MARVEL TEAM-UP #14: or, as I call it, INVINCIBLE #32.5. The funny thing is that #27 hasn’t even been released yet… I thought this was cute and charming and a good intro, and the strongest issue of MTU yet, and Kirkman basically won the lottery here. So GOOD show there, sir! I’m guessing this won’t be in an INVINCIBLE TP though, so get it now while you can. The sad thing, of course, is the indicia is wrong (first thing I checked), unless there’s some really weird contractual shit going on here. Hopefuly Kirkman has a good lawyer who is going to defend his rights properly here….

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #85: Bendis is on his game here again, I’ve really been digging this arc. I especially like the fact that THIS Elektra is really an amoral asshat that she can’t be in the “main” Marvel U. SOlidly GOOD material.

CAPTAIN UNIVERSE HULK: Er, talk about misunderstanding the concept. He’s “The hero who could be YOU!” So, making Captain Universe the Hulk or Daredevil or X-23 (sheesh!) really really really undercuts the premise. Except for that, I guess this was adequate, but I can’t muster anything more than an EH.

SUPERMAN #223: I’ve told you what a massive hard-on my 2-year old has for Superman — it just isn’t abating at all! Ben tears through my piles of comics each week begging for even a glimpse of Superman. So I’m kinda bugged by the on-camera throat-slitting scene in this issue (on page 1, no less!). Yep, that doesn’t belong in a Superman comic. Also: “Ned”? WTF kind of name for a superman robot is that? Plus: Supergirl’s own comic isn’t even up to issue #3, and they’re already throwing her off into space with Donna Troy? Huh? I don’t get DC editorial these days…. EH

OUTSIDERS #30: Same here, this features characters appearing in the TEEN TITANS cartoon for God’s sake — and the villain is using sex and sexuaity as a weapon? There are references to incest? This doesn’t belong in a mainstream DC comic, at least not with this level of detail and specificity. I’m all for dealing with mature subjects in comics, but this is tittering “Heh heh heh” stuff, and I think it really isn’t appropriate for a regular DCU book at all. AWFUL.

JSA #79: These Ross covers are all starting to blur together, aren’t they? More blah blah in the 5th dimension, and while it is just fine, it feels like marking time to me. EH.

WILDSIDERZ #2: This is a pap. Pretty pap, yes, but pap, nonetheless. Grade is upgraded a bit, though, because of the excellent summary inside cover. Nice synopis of what came last, as well as clear head shot/descriptions of the principals. All comics should look at this and emulate this “get up to speed” tactic. OK

INSOMNIA, BOABOAB, and INNOCENT ONES: All enteries in the “Ignatz” format from FBI/Coconina, and let me sort of deal with these in a single swell foop. All are pretty, oversized Euro comics, but, sheesh, 32 pages for $8 is a bit much to swallow, isn’t it? Having said that, I really thought INNOCENT ONES was very nice story, playing strongly against my expectations, and is worthy of being in your collection. I’ll go with Eh, OK, and GOOD, respectively for these three books. Hard to see this format having really long-term legs though.

SEVEN SOLDIERS BULLETEER #1: better art would have pushed this much higher, as I thought there was a lot plot/story-wise to value here. I especially liked the idea of becoming suicidal over getting super-powers. A solid GOOD.

676 APPARITIONS OF KILLOFFER GN: Very VERY nice looking book, and it is especially good once it converts to pantomime (the lettering on the wordy section is virtually unreadable), but, sheesh, $25.95? There’s nothing here that demands this paper quality or the absurdly over-large size (I’m probaby going to have to end up “racking” this on the floor because my racks are designed to max at at a 15″ tall book). I’d be enthusiastically recommending this in a more standard format, and, say, a $10-max price. At $26, I can’t muster more than an OK. Shame, because this IS good comics — just stupidly over-priced.

Alright, that’s about it for time today — comics shoud be here any sec, so I have to go get ready for that. The quick wrap up, then….

PICK OF THE WEEK: I’ll go with DESOLATION JONES #4, k thx bye

PICK OF THE WEAK: Sorry, HOUSE OF M #8

BOOK/TP OF THE WEEK: It either goes to worthy-as-TOP-TEN spinoff SMAX, or the sicky funny tWISTED TOYFARE THEATRE v6. Both are well worth your coin.

I was a little surprised that the OMAC PROJECT TP *gave away the reveal of “Sacrifice” before the story gets there*!! That’s pretty fucked up, ain’t it?

OK, I’m outtie, but what did YOU think, huh?

-B

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