Archive for March, 2014

Week in Review: March 19, 2014

March 24, 2014

This week left me feeling really bummed about comic books, which is weird because I have been actually rather rejuvenated about comic books and the medium after watching this really sweet little youtube video about Frank Quitely (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IKI4ggCYoA). Sigh…

American Vampire: Second Cycle #1 (Vertigo)

I have always heard that American Vampire is a great book. Scott Snyder has certainly gotten a ton of people excited about Batman again, so I thought I would give this a shot. I really had a hard time getting into it honestly. I don’t know if it has to do with not really being familiar with this world, but I clearly need to have some previous knowledge before reading this book in order to understand it. I thought this would be a little more forgiving, but I just couldn’t get a feel for anything going on in this one. If you have read the earlier books you will probably love it, but if you haven’t, probably a solid borrow. BORROW

Winter Soldier #2 (Marvel)

This was a solid book. I was hoping we would actually see the Winter Soldier tracking the escaped party through the woods for an entire issue, but a good old-fashioned train ride is what we got. I’m still into it, and I have to say the actual storytelling that Boschi is able to tell with his panels is really fun. I like the variety and he is clearly aware of what he is doing. Also, bonus points for a villain that is clearly modeled after David Bowie. One annoying thing I am noticing is that the cover artist keeps giving the main character a mustache on the covers, where he doesn’t have any facial hair in the actual book. Let’s get that straightened out, yeah? BUY

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth #117 (Dark Horse)

I feel bad reviewing this book because I really don’t care about B.P.R.D. at all, but James Harren’s interiors are really cool, and I’m glad to see him going all-out here. You know what you are going to get with this book. Monsters, guns, and guts. Need I say more? As a fan of Harren, I have to buy this book, but from an actual critical point of view, the story has me pretty lost as a newbie reading this book. BUY for the art, BORROW for the story.

Animal Man #29 (DC)

Once upon a time I read Animal Man with a great appreciation. I thought Lemire was bringing a great sentimentality that is sorely missing in so many mainstream comics, and Travel Foreman’s art was ground-breaking. Two years later, this run is coming to an end, and Foreman came back for half of the issue, with Lemire drawing the other half. First of all, as far as send-offs go, this issue reflects far too much on the run itself, recounting issues 1-28 through a child’s eyes. Sappy, heavy-handed, and frankly a letdown of an issue, I just felt like they made this one because they had to. Foreman’s art was oddly rushed looking, and it also felt like he didn’t really need to be a part of this story. I was more pissed off than anything after reading this issue, but it is an end of a chapter, so whatever. BORROW

Daredevil #1 (Marvel)

Waid and Samnee continue their Daredevil run, and while I don’t have anything against this Daredevil title, it certainly isn’t presenting me with much to really dig into. The art is great, and it’s not the worst thing I have read, it just feels like more of the same from Waid concerning Daredevil. In fact, it makes me miss Bendis’ run a little bit, which certainly kept escalating and upping the stakes. Waid’s run seems to have plateaued. I was hoping to hop on this bandwagon since I missed the first run a few years ago, but alas, this is one bandwagon I feel like I can afford to miss. BORROW

Thor: God of Thunder #20 (Marvel)

Galactus and Thor sharing a panel together on a desolate Earth, that’s really all I need at this point. There is this Captain Planet-vibe from the rest of the story, and sure, “Earth Awareness” and all that, but really, I just want to see Galactus and Thor throw down. That’s all you have to show my right now, Jason Aaron, and I am happy. We can get plot and story later…Just so long as there is a fight. BUY

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Week In Review: March 6, 2014

March 7, 2014

I don’t know if I have EVER had a pull this big in my life. It was an absolute challenge to get through all of these, because most of them were somewhat demanding reads. A few of these may be from the previous week as well, but let’s kick it off with the Marvel books first.

Moon Knight #1 (Marvel)

Warren Ellis and I haven’t been acquainted in many years. I loved Nextwave, I loved Planetary, and for the most part Ellis hasn’t ever done anything I haven’t enjoyed. Moon Knight is a character I literally have never read a single issue of, I’ve never even really understood what he is supposed to be or why people seem to keep giving this character second chances. So can Ellis make me read a book about this character? The answer is yes, but it still feels really weird. Ellis has taken this character and reformed him, in much the same way Moore took the characters from Watchmen away from their origins and USED them to tell his own story. Moon Knight is fun, it’s moody, and it felt like a good read, but I still don’t know what we are getting into here. I am reminded of Madman in that there seems to be this juxtaposition of insanity versus heroics, so it feels familiar in that way. I wanted to not like it, but I’m too intrigued to stop reading at this point. BUY

Amazing X-Men #4 (Marvel)

If there is one thing that is evident from this title, it’s that Nightcrawler is an essential X-Man. To see him embraced by every one of his friends who thought he was dead (and he still is?) is very heart-warming and reminds me of better days in the X-Men when everyone seemed to like each other. It’s bittersweet for sure, but it makes me hope that someday the X-Universe will finally be a happy place again. Art is good, I think the story is moving along well enough to “mean” something. Get it. BUY

Uncanny X-Men #18 (Marvel)

I bought this issue ONLY because Marco Rudy did the art for this issue. His work on Marvel Knights: Spider-Man was very fresh and mind-boggling. This issue even came with a plea from Bendis to approach it with an open mind, comparing it to when Sienkiewicz took over New Mutants, and not freak out about the different approach Rudy brings to his pages. In a lot of ways, this issue delivered for me. Although I don’t read Uncanny X-Men regularly, the dialed in conversation between Cyclops and Kitty was nice, it was personal, and it helped me actually care about what these characters are going through. It doesn’t happen enough, but here it came out great. I won’t read Uncanny after this issue, but it was a fun little break. BUY

It’s weird to be reading more and more books that aren’t from the big 2. Here are some on my radar.

Starlight #1 (Image)

One of the better parts of last year’s Fury: My War Gone By written by Garth Ennis was Goran Parlov’s amazing artwork. Very nostalgic feeling, very simple line work, but very deliberate and evocative. I just really enjoyed his work and instantly became a fan. Mark Millar has written some good stuff, and you never know what you are going to get. But Starlight is such a subtle and patient  story, this makes for a great first issue. If you love Flash Gordon and pulp science-fiction heroes this will definitely be worth picking up. BUY

Pretty Deadly #1 (Image)

Kelly Sue DeConnick’s book came out a while ago, but I finally got my hand’s on the first issue. This read a lot like a Paul Pope book for me, largely due to the fantastic artwork by Emma Ríos. Ríos’ layouts and art is just so alive and electric, I loved every panel. DeConnick’s dialogue felt a little too Southern at times, but overall she has built an interesting world of magic(?) and violence. Her spin on the western is shaping up to be more than meets the eye, and I am definitely interested to know more. BUY

The Mercenary Sea #1 (Image)

This seems like one of those books that is coming from a first time writer in Kel Symons. While not his first writing gig, I wasn’t that surprised to find out Symons has done some cinematic production too. There is a really interesting approach to the art in this book that is both fascinating and disappointing at the same time. I love the page layouts, the colors, and the uses of depth of field that really make this book feel like a movie or something more realistic. The cutout, copy and paste artwork itself still feels a little flat and uninspired some of the time, but on the whole, it’s a successful look (I just wish it was more hand drawn, more obviously not using Adobe Illustrator). The book is very reminiscent of a larger film, and while some of the story points are a bit trendy, it was a book that left me wanting to read what comes next. BUY

Velvet #4

Velvet gives me a strong female hero who doesn’t make an issue of her being a strong female hero. In other words, it isn’t forced. I don’t need to be reminded that Velvet is an able woman who can take care of herself, in the same that I don’t need to be reminded that James Bond is a strong male. Brubaker SHOWS us that Velvet is a character who is simply doing what she needs to to survive and figure out the world she is living in. I’m glad the series is maintaining its level of intrigue, and it’s just solid from top to bottom. BUY

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #2 (Dynamite)

Turok is one of those books that really has nothing to lose, especially with readers like me. I don’t really know much about Turok beyond what my N64 game taught me, which wasn’t much. Turok as a character gets a little lost in this story sometimes, but at its core, it’s a fun book. Any time white people get their asses handed to them by people they are trying to kill, that’s a party. BORROW/BUY

Rover Red Charlie #4 (Avatar)

Ennis is pretty well-known for his satire and rather crude humor, so much so that when he does deliver sad and tearjerking stories, you kind of forget how good he is at that as well. I’ve heard firsthand reactions to this issue that made people cry, and it was certainly sad. A book about dogs in a sort of post-apocalypse makes readers cry. If that doesn’t sell you, I don’t know what will. BUY

Veil #1 (Dark Horse)

Greg Rucka’s new book doesn’t give me that much to sink my teeth into. Literally a woman wakes up naked in the sewers and wanders about a cyber-punk type city, talking broken English (like Leeloo from the movie The Fifth Element) until she is almost attacked and then makes a bunch of guys kill themselves with the power of her mind. That’s all the pages give you, and honestly, that’s not enough to make me think this is the next big thing. The art wasn’t awful, but I think it was missing something that would have really delivered a better package. I might read the next one, but odds are against it. PASS

Trillium #7 (Vertigo)

Can this series just end already? Again, we deal with scenarios and setups that are all too familiar, both in general storytelling and within the story itself. This may be the only way that this story can progress with how it is set up, but it’s frustrating to feel like over 7 issues I still can’t sense any bit of urgency or threat to their love story. I believe this concludes in the next issue, but I just already know that it won’t deliver what I want. PASS