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Reviews from 4/27

Brian Hibbs

No time no time no time….

Trying desperately to get this month’s order form, this month’s sub orders and this week’s invoicing done leaves, really, no time for dumb comics reviews, but I can’t leave Jeff hanging out there all alone for 2 weeks running. Still, he’ll be happy that there’s going to be a revamp of OMEGA THE UNKNOWN (http://www.newsarama.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=32944). On the other hand, I haven’t read his reviews yet, so maybe I’m covering all of the same books the same way, we’ll see…

First up, from last week, because I shouldn’t let it pass unmentioned:
OMAC PROJECT #1: As an individual story, this was fine, I guess. The beats worked OK, more or less, and I probably feel OK about giving it a very low GOOD on the creative/entertainment perspective. However, in a “bigger picture” sense, this is just ASS. Let’s put aside the question of how on earth Batman could design and launch a satellite designed to spy every where on earth without anyone knowing, because that one would just hurt your head, and instead just stick with the ol’ reliable “Why hasn’t he yet figured out that all of these plans are being used against him?” I mean, this is not the first time they’ve done a variation of this story (The JLA “Divided We Fall” arc), nor the second time (“War Games”), this is now try #3, and you’d think by now ol’ Brucie would understand that it just isn’t working out for him.

BATMAN #639: There were cute scenes (esp the dressing down of the JLA members), but, um, what happened with the opening from part 1 of “Under the Hood”? Did they just forget about it? Having a scene open an arc to never be mentioned again within that arc is a bit… sloppy, doncha think? There’s no sense of time any longer in the DCU books — it’s like everthing is happening at the exact same moment, and it is hurting my little head. OK.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #5: What is it with publishers gang-rushing creators into the market in a single week? Between this and AUTHORITY and SLEEPER you coulda called it BRUBE WEEK, except that Chaykin matched him with CITY OF TOMORROW and SOLO and LEGEND. Doesn’t this seem… counterproductive to anyone else? Bucky as super-ninja-assassian-boy makes a great deal of sense, actually, though it seems so very very out of character for all of the players involved. I did, however, really like how, despite being told in flashbacks all the way through, the story was still compelling and a real page-turner. a low GOOD.

CITY OF TOMORROW #1: As mentioned directly above, if you’re a Chaykin fan (Hullo, Seth Hollander!), then this was a good week for you. When was the last time you got 60 pages of new Chaykin art in a week? When Times2 was released, maybe? I had a few of the usual problems I have with Chaykin — often faces are too close to be able to follow which character is doing what when — but this is my favorite thing he’s done in a while. This looks like a good and imaginative background upon which to hang his tropes, and I thought it was GOOD.

DAY OF VENGEANCE #1: For a corporately-plotted comic (From the NEwsarama interview, it sounded like Willingham was given a list of plot points that had to happen), it really wasn’t too bad. Willingham’s humor comes through clearly in many scenes, and this easially had the most compelling version of Ragman I’ve ever read. Not that there’s much competetion, mind you. Absolutely hated the Jean-as-Eclipsette thing, but, thankfully that only lasted a few pages. Again, logic doesn’t seem to have any place here (SPectre is killing all magic people? Let’s go hang out with as many as we can find!), but as these kinds of crossover thingies go, sure, a low GOOD isn’t beyond the pale.

INVINCIBLE #0: Here’s cheap comic week as we get this for half-a-buck, and RED SONJA #0 for a quarter. Neither had much “hand” (that is, they FELT thinner than a normal comic, and, so, seemed like much less of a “deal”), and this suffered especially from too much talky-talky as it laid out 24 pages of continuity in 16 pages of story. GREAT way to get caught up, but I think, due to the nature of the issue, it probably would have worked better as a FCBD free comic, than as something to buy. A stong OK, when the main book should normally be rated higher.

LEGION OF SUPER HEROES #5: I got lost while trying to read this, and Jeff mentioned in the store that he did too. What I understood, I liked, I guess, but I really didn’t get much of what was going on and whose motivations were what. EH

NEW AVENGERS #5: Naked superheroes are creepy. EH.

OTHERWORLD #2: Couldn’t follow this at all, either. I like Jimenez’s art well enough to pile up a couple of issues at once to try again, but initial grasp was a real EH.

ULTIMATE SECRET #2: I didn’t know that Ellis had such a straight-ahead superhero comic in him. This is terrific fun, and still maintained a really nice Ellisism explaining away the Fermi paradox. VERY GOOD.

X-MEN PHOENIX ENDSONG #5: Nice ending on this that didn’t go where I was exactly expecting it would. Hated the last page, but otherwise, let’s give it a VERY GOOD.

I actually still ahve about 15 comics left in the bag to read — and it has taken me 60 hours to write this one blog entry. I suck. Better luck next, er, THIS week.

PICK OF THE WEAK: Oh, I don’t know, Probably AGE OF APOCALYPSE #6, as that was a long way to go for so little.

For something original, I quite liked GUILTY GN — a Xeric winner done in insane photo-real detail with lots of speed-freak crosshatching and stipling. Retail voice says: you’re really dumb to not put your title on the cover, nor ANY information on the spine… my long term prospects of selling this will drop by 90% because of those two things. But it was a fine little GN.

For a reprint collection, only credible choice is RISING STARS VOL 3 FIRE & ASHTP. This final arc can really be read on its own, too, and is, perhaps, an interesting counter-point to SUPREME POWER.

OK, must go, have to finish keying in the Diamond order….


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