Posted by: Brian Hibbs on November 6, 2004
Comment with Haloscan, will you — we know (from hits) that people are reading this, but it’s kinda enthusiasm-draining when you write a long post, and you see “COmments: 0” at the bottom!
ASTONISHING X-MEN #6: We open the week’s listings with, hooray, the PICK OF THE WEEK, getting that out
of the way nice and easy. This is one of those books I don’t even actually want to say anything about,
because it’s probably better that you get surprised, but there’s no doubt this is top-flight a#1 comics
that are clever, fun, thought-provoking, intelligent, addative, and passionate. And you can’t ask for
more than that, can you? My only quibble: the thingy that Whedon introduces here is almost TOO powerful
of a concept, and I dearly fear that some hack writer is pitching an awful mini-series based on it right
this very moment. It’s such a perfect and logical idea, but it is going to have to be handled very very
VERY carefully to make sure that it doesn’t descend into teh suck rapidly. This comic is EXCELLENT.
AVENGERS #503 (#88): Not sure if the ending being spoiled by WIZARD is making me feel like this, or
what, but it sure don’t seem to me that Bendis’ heart was in any of this — like this was just a way to
“clean the plate” so he could get to whatever stories he actually is enthusiastic to tell. There were
nice scenes here and there (The “flashback” pages were effective), but it was mostly a lot of blabbity
blab and not much really happens on its own. I also thought that reprinting those 3 pages at the very
end was double-dumb, as it leached out any possible dramatic resolution from the ending. This wasn’t
bad, but it sure wasn’t any good either: EH.
AVENGERS EARTHS MIGHTIEST HEROES #1: Which is largely what I think of this as well. Perfectly adequate
in all ways, if there’s a problem it is probably that it moves too fast (this issue takes place between
#1 & 4 of AVENGERS) — and I guess I was hoping that we’d get a little more than was in the Stan&Jack
stuff. THere’s really not much being added here, and for $3.50 it is a bit overpriced. Nice art, though.
BABEL #1: THe follow up to David B’s EPILEPTIC, and it was wonderful, like a fever dream. VERY GOOD.
BPRD THE DEAD #1: Maybe a trifle too soap operatic since it is a series of minis, rather than a strict
monthly, but it’s GOOD stuff.
CATWOMAN WHEN IN ROME #2: I got a big laugh out of Eddie dressing up in Selina’s clothes, but other than
that and the “let’s keep her out of her own clothes as much as possible”, this was kinda meh. Damn nice
art though. OK.
DETECTIVE COMICS #800: I’m going to be totally unfair here and give this PICK OF THE WEAK status. It’s
probaly not actually THAT bad, but, compared to everything else I’m actually reviewing this week (rahter
than “just” reading), it was what I liked the least. Honestly, they should change the name of this book
to PASSIVE/AGGRESSIVE COMICS #800, as lots of people kind of dance around Batman’s recent unholy fuck
ups never directly confronting him, and not letting him confront himself. “Boo hoo, he’s alone now”
Please, his ass should be in prison. The Gordon scene was especially unbelievable. In the back up Lapham
starts (his “real” run begins next issue), and that was fine, but, overall, I gotta give this an AWFUL.
DETECTIVE fucking NUMBER EIGHT HUNDRED should have been much much much better than this…
GOLDEN PLATES #1: It doesn’t have the usual Allred humor and charm, foo. I haven’t finished this, and I
don’t know if I can, because I keep hearing the chorus from South Park…. Dum dum dum dum dum!
(http://www.rickross.com/reference/mormon/mormon134.html — though I especially agree with the last
speech by Gary there). Anyway, if this fills a need for Mike, I’m glad he’s doing it, but I can’t muster
a lot of enthusiasm. EH.
JLA CLASSIFIED #1: I was pretty meh about this at first (6+ new characters all at once isn’t my usual
recipe for enjoyment… no real emotional resonance, y’know), but then Batman showed up, acting campy
yet still bad-ass, and I thought, “THAT’s the Batman I want to read about every month, damn it!”. Thank
God for Grant Morrison! VERY GOOD.
OR ELSE #1: Drawn & Quarterly hasn’t given a new artist a solo book in some time, so I looked real
closely at this work by Kevin Huizenga, but was kinda disapointed. He’s got good cartooning skills, but
there wasn’t any emotional weight to any of the stories. This is really mini-comic level work, and not
prime-time-ready work, sadly. OK.
QUESTION #1: Damn nice art. DAMN NICE. The story was a bit pokey, and I think elevates Vic’s position
higher than it should be. (He’s typically asked the questions, rather than providing the answer,
y’know?) We sold out super fast though, so it will be interesting to see how many come back for #2. I’ll
probably bounce the numbers a bit, just to cover my bases. GOOD.
RISING STARS #22: Gone for, what? 2 years? 3 maybe? Been a long time, in any case. Glad to have it back,
though SUPREME POWER mutes the joy of this to some degree or another. Either way, GOOD.
SUPERMAN BATMAN #13: Pft, that was a cheat, sorry. This story should have been an issue shorter, and
skipped the entire fake out thing. Cheap cheaty cheat for false drama — I think this’ll read pretty
shitty in TP because of that, though it was a fine cliffhanger. EH.
UNCANNY X-MEN #452: An issue of Alan Davis followed by Not is worse than not Alan Davis. Foo. But I did think the “opening up” of the “previously in…” was funny. “Way back in Byrne’s day…” and all. EH.
BOOK OF THE WEEK: only one real choice I think, this time through, after last week’s pummelling: Dave Gibbons’ ORIGINALS HC. Very pretty stuff.