Posted by: Graeme McMillan on January 15, 2008
Wow, so that wasn’t exactly a banner week for comics, was it…? Or maybe I’m just more bitter and twisted than usual…
COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS #16: I’m really tempted to make some kind of snarky “And it only took eight months for something to happen!” comment, but even with something happening, I’m not that involved in the book. Am I really supposed to be invested in a big war between two cosmic entities that I still don’t really understand the motivations of or care that much about? Still, at least Pete Woods is getting work. Okay, but I’m pretty much ready to skip to the end and get Grant Morrison involved already.
GREEN ARROW AND BLACK CANARY #4: After three issues of my feeling better about the book than most people on this site, I think I’ve reached my limit of superhero angst with this go-around… Maybe it’s because the comatose-in-hospital angle is a little too touchy for me right now, or maybe it’s just that it’s as if the book can’t take a step forward (I really like the casual sense of superheroics displayed here, if that makes any sense) without taking one back (Can people stop dying/being presumed dead/being depressed, please?) – It’s as if the book wants to be a light-hearted adventure book, especially with Cliff Chiang’s art, but it can’t quite escape deadly melodrama. Eh to that, for now, at least.
JENNA JAMESON’S SHADOW HUNTER #0: Imagine my surprise when the worst part of the book was reading Deepak Chopra’s son admit his familiarity with Jenna’s porn. I don’t know why that freaks me out so much – Shouldn’t he be meditating or something instead? – but it got the most reaction out of me in the entire book, which has to be some kind of problem, right? Shouldn’t I have been more interested in, you know, the actual content of the book? Problem is that, even in the few preview story pages, there’s absolutely nothing here to differentiate the book from numerous other t&a books, even in the sense of it being worse; it’s like a black hole of Crap.
MIGHTY AVENGERS #7: Here’s the problem with this book being, what, four or five months behind thanks to Frank Cho’s perfectionism: This feels like yesterday’s newspaper. We’ve already seen the end of the Venom invasion – complete with roughly sketched out solution – in New Avengers, and so, seeing it start (and knowing that it’s going to continue for another couple of issues)? Old news. Same with Tony Stark’s reaction to Elektraskrull – which we’ve seen in more depth in New Avengers: Illuminati #5 – and Spider-Woman joining the team, which has also been shown in New Avengers. Everything that would have been surprising or interesting when originally planned has been seen before, leaving this as a pretty Eh example of Deja Vu. It’s a shame; the idea of the two interrelated Avengers books is a good one, in theory.
NOVA #10: I’m sure this issue is probably very interesting to someone, but coming after the last couple of issues, this straight-forward story feels pointless and filler to keep the slow and dull “Will Nova succumb to the techno-organic virus” plot alive until the annual and continuation of Annihiliation: Conquest. It’s the first real bum note of the series, to be honest, and a glimpse at how generic a book like this could get if not treated properly. Crap, sadly.
THE SPIRIT #12: Oh, man, talk about going out in style… Adapting not just Eisner’s stories, but also his art style in the flashbacks (with really, really well done colors), Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone really end up with their best issue so far. Everything about it is tone-perfect, even if throwing the Octopus in there seemed a little bit like overegging the pudding. Excellent stuff, and the easiest way to make sure that I’d check out whatever Cooke does next, even if that was already a foregone conclusion.
THE TWELVE #1: Meanwhile, in the alternate universe that J. Michael Straczynski lives in, there is apparently a demand for this Captain America rip-off that you can just tell is going to have Watchmen pretensions down the road. It’s a shame that Chris Weston is on this book, because his art makes it all seem much more worthy than the unimaginative, overly-familiar, Ass that it actually is. Nice cover design, though.
If I were doing PICK OF THE WEEK, it’d easily be The Spirit, while The Twelve wins PICK OF THE WEAK by showing just how life-sapping a lack of imagination can be. Next week (which happens to be tomorrow)! More Amazing Spider-Man, just so I can see if Dan Slott can get more annoyed at me, and on the more enjoyable side of things, 76 and Booster Gold. But what did you think, as the saying goes?