Posted by: Brian Hibbs on February 4, 2005
Whaaaaat?!?!?! Brian’s doing it first? Before Jeff even sees it? What the hell planet am I on?
Well, Tzipora’s off to the suburbs for chores, and Ben crashed super-early today for his nap — he usually makes it all the way through TELETUBBIES, which ends at 11:30, but today he watched all of the 10am SESAME STREET in my lap, stroking his hair (Episode 4070, jeez I think I’ve watched that one 25 times this year! I’ve seen it more than any other episode, and it’s the WORST at the beginning. That’s the one where Snuffleupagus’ magic ukelale is broken, so he’s stuck invisible, and Big Bird is all sad [Does anyone remember the days when everyone on Sesame Street thought Big Bird was barking insane because he kept talking about Snuffy, but no one but BB could see him? Or is that my aging cynicism interpreting that?] — and talking to air. Ben always gets super bored during those scenes when there’s nothing on camera and just some yammering on….), and he was done by the time they got to “Teletubbies everywhere”…
So, let’s get a few books done while I have the cahnce – I really should be finishing the stupid TaW on BookScan, I’d really rather be playing a little CoH while the house is quiet — and, hopefully, I’ll be back Monday or so to do some wrap up.
Ooh, one bit of old business first: dunno why, but last week I totally forgot to mention BLUESMAN #1 from Rob Vollmar and Pablo Callejo. It is the follow up to the wonderful CASTAWAYS GN they did. This was really terrific and touching stuff, even if they really do need to find a cover designer to make thier covers “pop” off the rack. I want very much to give it an “excellent”, but Callejo’s anatomy is oddly “scrunched” in places, and I had a hard time in places distinguishing between the two leads. Still, VERY GOOD, and if your LCS deigned to carry it, go buy a copy, you won’t be sorry.
This week, go!
BLACK PANTHER #1: I liked it from a “let’s show how badass the Wakandans are” POV — definately worked there — though one has to think that world history would be completely different given what’s presented here. But, I dunno if the script really worked. I was bugged by the anachronistic “kiss my butt!” thing in the 5th century, and I was surprised by the racist language as the book went along. Ignoring racism is a dumb thing for a book like Black Panther, but I do kinda wonder if Marvel would ever let a white writer and/or a “non-Hollywood” writer (because I don’t know which it actually is) use the phrase “jungle bunnies”, y’know? The art was spiffy, and there’s definately seeds of rollicking potential laid here, but I’ve got enough quibbles in the scripting that I don’t think I can go better than a GOOD on this first issue.
CONCRETE HUMAN DILEMMA #2: Weird pacing. 44-odd pages in and the story seems to just be beginning. It’s also got the single most surprising sex scene I’ve ever seen in a comic. I really like this book, but this series is moving glacially. And, yet: GOOD.
DAREDEVIL REDEMPTION #1: Probably should have been an arc in the main book rahter than it’s own mini. Solid but unspectacular stuff, but there’s no “action” whatsoever. All Adventures of a Blind Lawyer stuff. A very strong OK, or a weak GOOD, you choose.
GRIMJACK KILLER INSTINCT #1: Again, solid but unspectacular. This is a mature team good great action material, but all in all, I wanted soemthing more. It wasn’t…ugh, I dunno, distinct enough? A low GOOD.
FIRESTORM #10: I can’t imagine this was the original plan, and if it was it was a dumb one. It feels to me like DC got panicky and switched horses mid-stream to get Ronnie back in the book, but its certainly too late — the Ronnie fans left before issue #4. From a craft POV this was all fine, but something smells off here, and I give it an EH.
JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED #6: No real comment on the story (perfectly servicible, a solid OK), but I was fucking BLOWN AWAY when I got to the full-page ad for Scholastic’s edition of the color BONE. Did you ever think you’d see something like that? I don’t know what I’m more impressed by: Scholastic running advertising for the book, or DC accepting it. Both are forward thinking, y’know? Good show, everyone!
SHANNA THE SHE DEVIL #1: I think it would have done better as a Max book, but whatever. More about nazi experiments than Shanna, really, I was surprised to say that I was kinda, well, kinda bored. Cho draws great, no doubt, but there wasn’t anything fresh here. *shrug* A high OK, I guess.
SWAMP THING #12: What an ugly ugly ugly book. I can’t believe this has any legs. Horror doesn’t work without humanity. AWFUL.
BILL & TEDS MOST EXCELLENT ADVENTURES VOL 1 TP: First thing: good job in the reproduction and toning. Sometimes efforts to translate a color book to B&W look like shit, but this did it well. Second thing: I know you’re thinking, WTF? Who wants to read anything about a decade+ old movie? But I got to tell you this is excellent zany fun from Evan Dorkin, is wall to wall laffs, and absolutely belongs in your library. In fact, fuck it, its my TP/GN PICK OF THE WEEK, and this is a damn good week for books.
BIZARRO WORLD HC: There’s a lot of good material in here, but only a small chunk of it gets as far as great (I think I’m partial to the “Dear Superman…” piece, or maybe Kochalka’s wonderful LSH story) — and there’s a couple of pieces that can’t crack merely OK. So, your typical anthology problem, largely compounded by being in a HC when we’re all 100% sure there will be a SC within 12 months. If you prefer HC books, or your trying to match the first volume, then yes, absolutely get it now — that’s why I’m not going to wait — but, otherwise, yeah you might be better off waiting for the SC. It will probably be the PICK for the week it gets released in SC, but it’s only a high GOOD in this format, in this week.
OK, that’s it for today, more later, hopefully with some Jeff along if I didn’t frustrate him to death over the last few weeks. I left PLENTY to talk about….