Posted by: Brian Hibbs on July 13, 2012
Tags: Adventure Time, Alan Davis, Before Watchmen, Ben, Bloodshot, Brian, Buffy, Clandestine, Crow, Earth 2, Fantastic four, Jae Lee, Kevin Nowlan, Man-Thing, Marceline & The Scream Queens, Ozymandias, Punk Rock Jesus, Sean Murphy, Space Punisher, Steve Gerber, The Pitt, The Walking Dead, Ultimate X-Men, Women in Refrigerators
I posted the Batman Earth One review last week, so that covers my “quota”, I guess. I’m going to mix up a little of this week and last for this week’s post from me…
ADVENTURE TIME MARCELINE SCREAM QUEENS #1: I’ve actually not read this, but I brought it home for Ben, as I’ve brought home every issue to date so far. Eight minutes of silence later, he handed it back to me, and said I should bring it back to the store. “What’s wrong with it?” I asked, puzzled. “Eh, I don’t know,” he said, “I don’t think it had enough action is, and it wasn’t very funny.” So, that’s what a comics-consuming eight year old boy thought. I’ll go with that first word then and say EH.
FUCK ALAN MOORE BEFORE WATCHMEN OZYMANDIAS #1 (OF 6): I kind of don’t even want to discuss the “plot” (which, I shit you not, added a “Women in Refrigerators” moment to WATCHMEN as the grossest of its sins), but, oh my god what a crazily lovely comic book. Jae Lee just killed it here, invoking the sense of design that WATCHMEN had, and totally putting his own spin on it with a moving “round” design on every page. this may well be an execrable, money-grubbing project that is being told soullessly and clumsily by most of the writers, but fuck me if this isn’t the most beautiful comic of the month by far. That’s some Eisner-level art, yo. Too bad it is in service of such a horrible comic book. Two poles of rating for art and writing, landing it smack in the middle with an OK for overall rating.
BLOODSHOT (ONGOING) #1: Wow, that’s a gory comic. Like really crazily keep it the fuck away from kids level of gory. Do people actually like that, actually? There’s an alright set-up, I guess, in here, with “weapon for the government” and “everything you think is a lie” and all that, but there wasn’t a thing in here that got me considering to actually come back and read issue #2, because I don’t really see any signs of it going in anything other than a regular Frankenstein direction. Fairly EH.
BTVS SEASON 9 FREEFALL #11: Oh, I liked this issue. Actually, it might have made a better issue #1 than issue #1 was. I very much need Buffy to stop being such a whiny girl by now — the character has been going backwards for most of the last year, and this plot line seems like it gives her a chance to move forward again. GOOD.
CROW #1: Uh, what? I know I’ve been saying this a lot lately, but IDW really has to get their shit together on the editorial level — this comic’s script is barely first draft where the title character appears on the last page, and the 21 before that is a ton of boring, endless repeating set-up — the antagonist says or implies what they’re going to do multiple times, AND we see it from another angle as well. This entire first issue should have been set-up in no more than eight pages, max, not padded out horribly like this. I also think this new set-up completely upsets the straight-forward revenge of the original, AND misses the “sorrow is my fortress” vibe of O’Barr’s gothy original. Almost as clear of a miss as I can possibly imagine, and I didn’t even really LIKE the original very much (it remains a product of its time, very much) — sadly AWFUL.
EARTH 2 #3: Honest to god, I wish ALL of the New 52 books were as solid and world-buildy as this one is. THEN we would have had something magic on display. This is really VERY GOOD stuff.
FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #33: This year’s annuals for this, DD and Wolverine are an interconnected story by Alan Davis, with connections to Clandestine. Clandestine has never quite worked for me, and I can’t say why exactly, but I really love-ity love Davis’ clean superhero art, and if I can’t have him drawing silver age DC characters (or a variant thereon), then, yeah, have him draw what is very clearly his baby. I wonder though if he gets some kind of character participation or something for him to keep coming back to this when it keeps not clicking with the general audience? Anyway, this was solidly GOOD, and made for a nice stand-alone, star-drawn annual.
INFERNAL MAN-THING #1 (OF 3): In case you all were wondering, Jeff really IS sticking with his Marvel ban — I could not get him to budge on what I thought would be the easiest tempt of all: new Steve Gerber, doing his #2 best known character, ooooh, with yummy art by Kevin Nowlan. It’s a clear follow through on an old MT story, and I thought it showed a lot of strong maturity and growth in balancing the “Gerber wacky” with actually affecting human emotion — that is to say: this is less of a lark than, say, NEVADA. I don’t really like much of Gerber’s tics, but I thought this was really solid stuff, well drawn and grounded. You can see why they let this take ten years (or whatever) to get drawn. Hm, maybe if I repitch it as “originated two editorial regimes ago”? GOOD.
PUNK ROCK JESUS #1 (OF 6): Wow, nice! It’s a profane title (and probably a profane execution, if I was sensitive to such things, which I’m not), but I really really liked the setup of a morally screwed up entertainment corporation creating a reality show where they clone Jesus. Hijinx, as they say, then ensue. It’s a little early to say whether Sean Murphy has the writing chops to stick the landing on this one, but this first issue was a pretty wonderful read. VERY GOOD from me, and my pick of the week!
SPACE PUNISHER #1 (OF 4): I didn’t necessarily expect much from this (the name tells you most of what you need to know), but I did expect less toy-etic takes on the “normal” Marvel U (example: “Doctor Octopus” is a “Space Criminal” with octopus legs for a body) — sadly AWFUL, and not the awesome I know you were hoping for.
ULTIMATE COMICS X-MEN #14 DWF: OK, the Ultimate universe has reached that point that it seems like all “alternate super hero universe” (CF: “The New Universe”, the “Supreme Powers” Universe, etc.) finally end up at — they don’t know what to do with the CHARACTERS any longer, so they think “Well let’s make big big changes to the WORLD”. This issue opens with a map so you can keep track of all the fucked up things that have happened in Ultimate America — DC nuked, the southwest an internment camp, and so on, and suddenly it is no longer “a world outside your window”, it’s something utterly unrecognizable and (this is more important, I think) unsympathetic. Even without the “We’re officially out of ideas” stench that SPIDER-MEN brought to the line, copying the general throughline of (ugh!) THE PITT isn’t going to lead to anywhere good for the Ultimate Universe. I have a hard time, other than from stubbornness, understanding why these books should still be published a year from now. AWFUL.
WALKING DEAD #100: That may be the single most fucked up thing that has happened in a series where all kinds of crazy fucked up things happen all of the time. Brutal, absolutely brutal — but it sets the book out along what I hope will be a solid new direction that should shake all of the complacency away. I thought this was an EXCELLENT installment (And, ooh, MONSTER seller, too) — may they have another 400 more issues after this! My ONE complaint? I was really hoping the 6 page (?) Michonne story that was in that issue of PLAYBOY would have been reprinted here after the letter col.
OK, that’s me… what did YOU think?