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Sometimes coming up with titles is the hardest part

Brian Hibbs

Just a couple quickie reviews so I don’t feel bad…!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #577: I quite liked this issue as a done-in-one Spidey/Punisher team-up. Zeb Wells turns in an amusing script, and the art by Paolo Rivera is a really nice style seldom seen in mainstream comics — kind of a bit like Paul Pope, really. I especially like his hand-drawn sound effects: check those “thwip”s on the cover! All in all a solid GOOD issue.

ASM is in such a weird place right now, generally, though: it’s not that it isn’t basically decent readable comics (it is!), but with the rush of publication and the rotating creative teams, it doesn’t feel like it has the “throughline” that an ongoing title should have. If anything, it feels more like TANGLED WEB OF SPIDER-MAN (if you remember that book) than AMAZING. For us, at least, sales are bouncing all over depending on creative team, which means they’ve largely broke the HABIT of consumption for a big chunk of its audience. That’s not smart for an ongoing title. Especially one produced so frequently.

BATMAN CACOPHONY #1: Unlike many of the critics, I thought this was amusing enough: basically how I would EXPECT a Kevin Smith penned Batman comic book to read (which wasn’t the case with, say, GREEN ARROW or DAREDEVIL). I can fully understand why people might not want dick jokes and gay panic in a Batman comic, but I tittered a few times, and didn’t feel like my time had been wasted. I thought the art was pretty mediocre, though, and I kind of doubt that Flanagan would be drawing a book like this without Smith at his back. All in all, I thought it was highly OK.

JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA: KINGDOM COME SPECIAL: SUPERMAN: For a long time I’ve wondered just what “non-painted” Alex Ross would look like, and now we know: pretty darn good if you like his photo-realistic style to begin with (which, sure, some people don’t). I quite enjoyed both looking at this comic, as well as seeing the process in the back section (this felt more “worthy” to me than, say, the scripts from ASTX: Ghost Boxes). In terms of story, this was more filler than I would have expected: basically not a story, but an incident, and I want more than incident for $4, even if I really enjoy the art. Ross’ writing is perfectly fine, and, as I said, I enjoyed seeing his art without the paint on top, so if working this way gets more pages out of him in a year, I’d be very happy to see him continuing to work this way. For the final grade, I’m going to go with a VERY high OK.

As always, what did YOU think?


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