Posted by: Brian Hibbs on March 29, 2006
Lost more time than I thought I would this week – got the order form done pretty early, but Rob got sick on Monday, killing my afternoon that I planned on writing. So, AlphaSmart at the store’s counter, while the rain pitter-pats down outside. Been open 45 minutes, and we’ve yet to have a customer yet. Good for writing, poor for the pocketbook.
I studiously avoided going to the site in the last few days, but I’m going to go ahead and assume that both Graeme and Jeff have posted reviews this week, making this the rare hat trick. Unless they didn’t, in which case… never mind.
(If I read their reviews, it usually kills my interest in writing any of my own)
Next week, I think, I’ll do a big One Year Later review – although we’ll still be at least one book short (TITANS isn’t shipping this week). This is why you’ll see no DC reviews this week,
So, what shall we talk about? Well, in no particular order:
CYBERFORCE #1: Actually, I didn’t read this, but, as a retailer, I really wonder sometimes what Top Cow is thinking with their trade dress. Their TPs have “Top Cow” taking up nearly a third of the spine, in bright yellow, sticking out more than the name of the actual work. And now their periodicals have a massive TC logo nearly as visually dominating as the title of the book. Do they think that general readers give a fuck? I mean, I sell more dollars from say Lightspeed or Airship in an average month (both of which have switched to TP-only, no more serialization) than I do of the entire TC line combined. Go figure. I think this branding chases more people away than it attracts, especially because “Top Cow” isn’t descriptive of, well, anything much at all…
GUN FU SHOWGIRLS ARE FOREVER: Cute little hip hop Bond pastiche thingy, but I was a little surprised to see the credits claim that Dave Sim was a co-scripter. Maybe some of the accents or something? Didn’t read much different than the first GUN FU comics. Either way, fairly clever stuff, but I think I’d lose interest fast if this was a monthly. As a “once in a while” release, this was a solid OK.
FUTURAMA #24: I laughed, I cried, I kissed $3 goodbye. Well, I laughed, at least, which is what you want in a humor comic. A low GOOD.
RED SONJA #8: I also didn’t actually read this issue, but that’s more because they’ve just been jamming them out so fast lately, trying to “catch up” to schedule, rather than just redoing the schedule itself. Sales are also dropping really fast for us, so it seems I’m not the only one. I’ve also had a lot of complaints from customers getting confused by the multiple covers, and buying some issues twice. *sigh*
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #530: Beyond the fact, I really don’t buy the set-up – I mean, what with Peter and MJ living in Avengers Tower, and Peter having the “Iron Spider” suit, you don’t think that some investigative reporter isn’t going to figure the connection out, toot suite? – but, putting that aside, the political stuff worked pretty decently. So much so, that if it weren’t for that extremely brain-damaged dueling editorial caption thing, I probably would have said “GOOD”. But that caption thing was really heinous, knocking the whole issue down to a mild OK.
BLACK PANTHER #14: Did I say this already? That putting the two best-known Marvel black leads together just feels like pandering to me? Coming soon: the wedding of Coleen Wing and Sunfire! Wait, no, make that Dr. Strange’s manservant, Wong – Wing and Wong, quick, someone pitch that! Still, enjoyed this more than the 13 issues preceding it, so that must count for something. OK
DAREDEVIL #83: I really really really don’t buy the set up, and I don’t see how this can even a vaguely successful conclusion, but, oddly, I liked the issue just fine. A solid enough OK
NEW AVENGERS #17: I really liked the thinking behind the first couple of pages, but, man, that was much more suited for a MARVEL HOLIDAY SPECIAL or something, than THE AVENGERS. I mean “…and we’re just going to stand there”? That’s not exactly exciting action in the mighty Marvel manner, is it? I’m sure kids all over America want to read about the Avengers just standing around. I know I do. BUT WAIT, cosmic House of M action intrudes with the really preposterous power of “millions” of mutants in one man. I liked the 2 pages of Iron Man trying to negotiate (“…Korvac?”), but then we’re back to punching as a seemingly out of character Ms. Marvel throws herself in the middle (what happened to trying to be a better hero? No, she just dives in and punches. Swell), and then that dopey last page, which seems pretty damn badly timed just when MM gets her own monthly book, yes? Man, this book is just a crazy-ass train wreck, ain’t it? I can’t call it anything except AWFUL.
NEXTWAVE #3: What’s with the new “: Agents of HATE” subtitle? Someone from Eclipse threaten to sue? (I’m not the only one who remembers that book, am I?) Anyway, “second verse, same as the first”, and, already this seems like it has no legs, nor any forward momentum. Twasn’t even funny. EH.
SHE-HULK #6: A humor book (or even a “humor” book, since this seems to be trying to straddle a few lines) has some particular art needs – not “house style” like this issue. If Bobilla was still drawing this, I’d probably be enthused, but he’s not. We’ve also lost nearly half the readers from the relaunch, which isn’t a good sign for long-term health. OK
SQUADRON SUPREME #1: lots and lots of recap, which I suppose is necessary for any new readers possibly coming in, but kinda killed my interest until next issue. We’re probably the rare and odd store where it being a “Max” book was a prime selling point, and not something to be afraid of – the book was already selling Top 20 for us, so we really don’t HAVE any new readers coming in. I expect its rating to climb once we’re past the “here’s what you missed”, but this time round, I can’t muster more than an OK.
ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #28: That was a bit of a cheat, wasn’t it? I liked Land’s art in a fantasy context, but in the “real world” setting, it looks too “real” or something to me. Big EH.
TRUE STORY SWEAR TO GOD #16: Don’t remember if I said anything about this when it FIRST came out, 6-8 weeks ago (it was on a “Previews Update”, and, huh, looks like I double ordered it for this week), but this was a terrific issue, moving away from the romantic love to the love of comics. Really sweet stuff, and this week’s sole VERY GOOD.(even if that’s slightly cheating)
OK, just talked to Rob, he’s feeling better, but not 100% so I told him to stay home today so he’s 100% tomorrow. Which means I’ve got a lot more work to do this afternoon than originally planned. Dats dat for reviews, then, sorry.
PICK OF THE WEEK: TRUE STORY SWEAR TO GOD #16, yes.
PICK OF THE WEAK: Please, NEW AVENGERS #17, though it has its mental charms.
TP/BOOK OF THE WEEK: I kind of liked that the new printing of SILVR SURFER REBIRTH OF THANOS now has THE THANOS QUEST in it – but there’ still like six orphaned issues between TQ and INFINITY GAUNTLET that haven’t been reprinted and for $25, I feel they could have thrown those in.
But that’s pretty irrelevant because this week was the SC of TOP 10 THE FORTY NINERS which easily and immediately becomes the PICK, probably of the month. Fucking A+ level work, and, if you waited from the HC, getthisgetthisgetthisNOWNOWNOW!
Next week (probably): the big One Year Later wrap up….