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Reviews of 7/13 books

Brian Hibbs

Like last week, pounding this out at the counter on my AlphaSmart before the truck with the comics arrive. In no particular order:

ALL STAR BATMAN & ROBIN THE BOY WONDER #1: Let’s get the bitching out of the way – that is the worst logo I think I’ve ever seen in my life. Tilted the wrong way, too heavy on the “robin” part, the “All Star” par virtually invisible, that hideous top bar. Ugh. I also think that, to a degree, this represents a huge loss of a chance. “All Star” was, I thought, concieved of as an answer to the “Ultimate” line from Marvel – good solid “entry point” material, suitible for “all ages”. This here I wouldn’t give to anyone who isn’t already a bat-reader, and, especially, anyone who isn’t already a Frank Miller bat-fan. That’s a lot of people, but it’s hardly a “universal” audience.

I thought the first half of the comic sorta… well, stank. Vicki Vale (and her ass) just didn’t grab me, but I thought it found its legs just fine in the back half. There’s bits that I really don’t think worked (I kind of prefer the whole “Red Claw Assassains sawed through my parents origin”, er, wait, that’s Cerebus), but, by the end of the issue I had pretty much thought I had gotten my $3 worth. It just didn’t thrill or shock me. Call it a low low “Good” or, more likely, a high OK.

NAT TURNER #1: Kyle Baker turns in a powerful and affecting story of the birth of Nat Turner. The choice to go nearly-wordless was probably the right one, and curiously, didn’t speed the issue up much at all – this was stil l a dense, solid read, and was absolutely EXCELLENT.

SERENITY #1: I’ve only see a small handfull of episodes of FIREFLY, so I wasn’t sure how much this would grab me. But I really liked the situation and the character and would like to see more. Little bitch sold amazingly well, too – we were sold out in under 3 hours on like 5x any “Buffy” numbers we’ve ever ordered. Dark Horse is sold out, too – hope they’ll do a second printing. GOOD.

BANANA SUNDAYS #1: I really like Coleen Coover’s art, and it really is perfectly served for a charming all ages book like this. Only thing, because I’ve been trained by SMALL FAVORS, I kept expecting wild, frenzied lesbian sex almost every page. Oh well. A low GOOD, despite that.

MUTOPIA X #1: *shrug* I didn’t care much about these characters in DISRICT X… I care a great deal less now that they’re all happy. So, EH.

WEAPON X DAYS OF FUTURE NOW #1: Is that bait and switch? What does “DoFP Wolverine” have to do with the rest of the story? Does anyone care about these “Weapon X” characters? I sure don’t… And what the hell is up with Bart Sears illustrating an Eddie Campbell Batman comic next year? The fuck–? This was pretty AWFUL.

BATMAN #642: A fill in, and basically adequate. OK

NIGHTWING #110: OK, I guess the VILLIANS UNITED crossover is coming along here at the end, but I can’t say I care much for the whole “No, really, he’s a baddie now!” plot line. A solid EH.

JLA #116: What I’m liking about this is that it isn’t letting the crossover itself overwhelm this story too badly (unlike some of the other crossovers) – on the other hand, I still have no idea how they can possibly come out the other side of this with the “big gun” JLA intact. Still, I liked this issue enough to give it a GOOD.

SEVEN SOLDIERS GURADIAN #3: “Imagine science on heat, baying like a hound beneath a red-hot moon!” Oh, god, with expository captions like that, how could you help but love this comic? LOVE LOVE LOVE. Man, that awesome fucking shot of the Guardian ‘chuting down on to the little world islands! If half of the comics on the stands had 1/10th of the mad ideas of this, comics would be the largest entertainment force on the planet. This is seriously wicked fun, and I say EXCELLENT.

WONDER WOMAN #218: What did that cover have to do with anything? Decent enough, but it felt mostly like marking time until the crossover. So much for the blinding being of any weight or significance. OK

FRESHMEN #1: OK, I guess, but all 22 pages were devoted to origin stuff, and there’s not quite enough here to get me rushing back for #2.

ZOMBIE KING #0: Well, if you want zombie cow fucking, here’s the comic for you. A bit less shallow than Shanna, I’m starting to wonder if Cho has any tricks besides “a nice line”. This was OK.

NEW AVENGERS #7: Huh, liked this issue, maybe Bendis has found his groove here. A low GOOD.

ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #21: Really terrific start to this storyline, helped dramatically by the lovely art. I especially liked that curly-haired Johnny Storm look. No “616” crossover (thank god), and here’s a real case where I think they hurt themselves by being so coy in the solicits. Anyway, nice issue – best thing I’ve read from Millar in quite some time. A solid GOOD.

DESOLATION JONES #2: Didn’t like it as much as #1, but still a solid GOOD.

OK, the truck is here, quickly then, PICK OF THE WEEK: NAT TURNER #1


What did YOU think?


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