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How can ya’ miss me when you’ve forgotten who I am?

Brian Hibbs

Ah yes, reviews, I remember those! Been a while, but I think I’m finally back on the weekly-review-train now!

ACTION COMICS #7: I know the book’s been a little uneven, but the issues that are good are so good that it makes my teeth hurt. I thought this was one of those issues. I’d rather read Morrison doing Superman than almost any other superhero comic by almost any other creator. I’m a little amused, however, that Brainiac is, y’know, the internet. VERY GOOD.

AGE OF APOCALYPSE #1: I have little-to-no natural affection for any of these characters (I sort of think the IDEA of the original AoA was more interesting then the actual execution), but I thought this was non-heinous, with some pretty nice art from Roberto De La Torre. What I don’t see is how this is an ongoing series, because I can’t imagine that (even with the X-Force lead in), there’s more than, say, 10k people (by issue 4 or 5) who will want to read about alternate universe version of the X-Men? it’s strange to me — this is the kind of book that Marvel used to make fun of DC about (alternate versions of the same characters), but that Marvel is doing in multiple ways now (Ultimates, Zombies, this) — this is the kind of thing that led to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, y’know? Anyway, this comic is perfectly OK for the kind of thing it is

AVENGERS ACADEMY #27: This, on the other hand, I thought was terrific — funny, and real conflict and stakes, and just really being the “legacy” comic in a way that DC has entirely walked away from now with the 52. The “voice” of some of the Runaways is a little off, but over all, I thought this was a fun little romp of a comic, and was VERY GOOD.

AVENGERS CHILDRENS CRUSADE #9: If this had come out over the course of 9 months, I think we’d all be talking about what a great comic it was; but, of course, it has been TWENTY months, and the Marvel universe this story began in is kinda different than the one today. Characters live, characters die, and “Young Avengers” is largely thrown away as a concept by the end of this — which is too bad, because I liked that first incarnation a whole lot. I’m glad Hulkling and Wiccan get their kiss at the end, though. Overall, I’ll go with GOOD here, I think.

DEFENDERS #4: I pretty much flat out hated the first three issues — I’d probably not have disliked it had it been, like, “Magic Man” and “Kung Fu Guy” instead of “Doctor Strange” and “Iron Fist”, if you see what I mean? I just don’t think that the characterization Fraction tried to graft on here really bore any relationship to past characterizations — but this issue I kinda liked just fine. The problem is, at $4 a throw, the audience has now made up their minds about whether they like the book or not, and you have to hit the ball right in the first issue… you can’t wait until #4. Either way, I can give it a low GOOD, but it’s probably too late — we sold 32 copies of #1, and just a meager 13 of #3.

FAIREST #1: I thought the premise of this FABLES spin-off was “it focuses on the female Fables”? *looks at the cover* Yeah, that’s how they’re selling it. So… why no female Fables as anything other than furniture here? This is the comics equivalent of the Senate hearing on Contraception, isn’t it? Also, I have to say that I think the choice of the flat matte paper was a poor one with fully digital painted art — it looks muddy and bland, and, frankly, ugly to my eye. Shockingly EH.

GREEN ARROW #7: Ann Nocenti’s first issue… and it’s just kind of weird, sort of like her later DD run. I mean, I liked it, don’t get me wrong, and it’s a big step up from the first six issues of this version, but triplet mutant killer seductresses? Mm, dunno. Also: what on the earth could they possible have “twelve of these” be referring to? Did they each lose eight toes, somehow?

Oh, and here’s where I’ll slot in the rant against the new DC logo. Here’s how you know it is an utter and abject failure as a static object: they have to print the words “DC Comics” underneath it so that anyone could POSSIBLY tell that that is what it means. *sigh*

Anyway, Green Arrow #7: A strong OK.

MANHATTAN PROJECTS #1: I thought this was utterly spiffy, with a wonderful Jonathan Hickman high concept (if I tell you it, I’ll thoroughly spoil the comic), and some really terrific art from Nick Pitarra. Man, it’s kinda like a younger Frank Quitely. Image is on a helluva roll these days, isn’t it? VERY GOOD.

NIGHT FORCE #1: Well, it was fairly pretty, but I really had no idea why I should care, or whom I should root for. Much like the original series, when i think about it. EH.

STORMWATCH #7: Paul Jenkins comes in as new writer, and it’s a little better, though I’m still not finding the compelling reason for these characters to be together. At least when it was THE AUTHORITY, you got the who “We’re smarter than you” Warren Ellisy vibe going for it. Very strongly OK, but not any better than that.

SUPURBIA #1: Ah, if only this hadn’t been so strictly mapped to existing archetypes, I might have been more attracted to it, but I don’t really need YET ANOTHER pastiche of Superman and Batman and Wonder Woman, I don’t think. “The Real Housewives of Superville” is a fun enough pitch, and the execution was at least competent, but this largely feels recycled and warmed over. OK.

SWAMP THING #7: SEVEN ISSUES for the protagonist to actually appear in his own comic, terrific. And yet, I still like it adequately. I really do rather hope that out protagonist and antagonist both manage to defy their expectations — but I also think that this “rot” plotline just can’t go on indefinitely, and may already be outstaying it’s welcome. One problem: the big Green Guy is too wicked powerful — look at the way he routed all of those minions in a single double page spread. I’ll just barely give it a low GOOD.

ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #8: I’m kind of creeped out that the guy on the cover looks very little like the guy actually in the comic book. There’s also something boringly predictable about the Aunt May and Uncle Prowler scenes — now all we need is for Nick Fury to step back in where he left off. When you add that to how Miles’ voice is virtually identical to Peter’s… well, I’m kind of not feeling this book, sorry. (especially for $4, jebus!) EH.

Right, that’s me… what did YOU think?


13 Responses to “ How can ya’ miss me when you’ve forgotten who I am? ”

  1. I spent a few slightly awkward minutes trying to figure out “twelve of these”. Total number of limbs was the best I could guess, though how that’s more fun for sexing, I can’t really imagine.

  2. Yeah, that new logo is astonishingly bad. I mean, we can all agree to disagree about the story merits of angry aliens that vomit blood, or re-origining Wonder Woman every 12 months, or tossing away decades of continuity and character in favor of a fresh, “lean and mean” approach. But that logo is awful and utterly unreadable. There’s just no way to say, “Yeah, but SOME people like that kind of thing” …

  3. Wish I could agree with you on the latest “Avengers Academy” since I’ve been with this since Gage took over on “Avengers: the Initiative”. But it really seems like the book is slipping of late. Discounting the art, and I haven’t been very fond of much of that since the setting moved to WCA compound, it is really lacking in focus. Even if its only temporary this is now somethign like the fourth cast expansion and the individual characters seem to getting lost in the crowd.

    I guess I’m just saying it gone from a Very Good to just a Good book and I’m worried it will slide down even further…
    Not that it didn’t have some nice points. Molly and Klara squeeing over Tigra’s baby. Kalinara hitting on Julie. Striker’s press conference. Oh and Victor calling Hank Pym grandfather. That was all pretty good.

  4. I think that the only way the DC logo works is if it’s animated. Which makes it absolutely useless on a comic book.

  5. man action comics (up to #5 anyway) is getting so conventional that it’s beginning to bore me.

    what happened to morrison?

  6. Awesome reviews as always, Brian, but I’ll believe you’re back on the weekly-review-train when you do more than one week in a row. Maybe 3 weeks? And calling out Wacker doesn’t count. If you’re just a sporadic reviewer these days, it’s okay, we still love you.

    Agreed with you on all counts on books I read, which are few. I think people would be loving Defenders if it didn’t star Marvel characters. Miles Morales sure is kinda the same person as Peter Parker, huh? And I’m glad to see you liked Avengers: Children’s Crusade 9 because I’m dreading reading it based on spoilers. So everything was Doom’s fault? Trading Cassie for the return of her incredibly boring father? Pretty awful developments of character, especially as someone who didn’t care at all about the Avengers or Scarlet Witch pre-Disassembled.

  7. As someone who liked the first 6 issues of Green Arrow, I was not thrilled with the new creative team. I’d agree with Hibbs that Nocenti’s writing seemed a bit weird but I could go with that if they art wasn’t so terrible. First, it looks like the art was colored and printed but not inked. Second, it almost completely flunks the “can you understand what’s happening without the words” test.


  8. The new logo mostly reminds me of when the Diane Nelson took over and gave a new speech and never mentioned comic books by name. The corporate direction or whatever seems focused on the animated shows or online content, print is at best a secondary concern.

  9. Six issues of Swampy were enough for me. That was a pretty big chance I took, I feel… a 6 issue commitment… for not nearly enough reward. And the payoff is in issue 7?

    I made the right call by dropping this.

  10. I agree with you on Fairest. I thought it was weird to launch a title supposedly about the female characters with an issue were a female only actually talks in two panels (and one of those doesn’t really count).

    The other odd thing is that this spins out of (ie. is a direct continuation of) Fables 107, which came out last July, and was collected in December. It was pretty much entirely by chance that I read both of them in the same week.

  11. I liked ACTION and SWAMP THING to the same degrees you did, liked NIGHT FORCE more than you, and liked THE DEFENDERS a lot more than you. I think I’m warmer to DEFENDERS as I can accept that it’s Fraction playing looser with the MU, bringing in some of his off-Marvel subversion to make it more playful.

    Meanwhile, I hate the DC logo as much as you do. I also dislike how as part of their rebranding they’ve made their website more difficult to navigate. Has “rebranding” ever not made something more boring?

  12. “The other odd thing is that this spins out of (ie. is a direct continuation of) Fables 107, which came out last July, and was collected in December. It was pretty much entirely by chance that I read both of them in the same week.”

    To be fair, a lot of dangling plotlines from Fables are often picked up a year or so later, so what you describe isn’t unusual for the series. It does make for a strange marketing strategy, though.

  13. I’m glad Hulkling and Wiccan get their kiss at the end, though. Overall, I’ll go with GOOD here, I think.

    What was good about that issue or the series? There’s no connection between the “twins” in CC and her actual twins, and coming up with the Life Force as the reason for Wanda’s insanity was worse than writing it off as a dream or as events in an alternate universe.

    An intelligently-written story should demonstrate planning from start to finish. CC read throughout as if each issue was the result of desperate efforts to fill the pages with something–anything.


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