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Saturday, October 01, 2011

RECENT COMICS ROUNDUP

Well, here we go with this week's comics that I read, among which are examples from the final wave of "the New 52's" first issues, as well as a few non-DC books. Let's get started with the big one:

SUPERMAN #1

This George Perez-scripted relaunch was a soulless, un-involving turd of a reboot, which pains me to say because I'm a big Perez fan. Little happens in the first issue and about 95% of it is boring, static talking heads. It garnered zero interest in me and actually generated boredom to a degree where I could not wait to get to the end of the damned thing. Pure product and nothing else, I will not return to this D.O.A. stiff.

TEEN TITANS #1

This is much better than last week's abysmal Scott Lobdell-penned RED HOOD & THE OUTLAWS and is certain to draw in curious Titans boosters like myself. This is going to be another arc-long "building the team" intro and the first issue should have been longer to provide more stuff happening, but I'll give it one more issue to see if it actually goes anywhere.

THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN #1

I've loved Hawkman since I was a kid (largely thanks to Joe Kubert's stunning work on the character in the 1960's), so I figured I'd check this out. I did not buy it after reading in the store because it was so fucking boring, and in the three short days since reading it I've already forgotten what it was about. I give this a few months at best.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1

I read JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK solely to see how John Constantine, one of my all-time favorite characters in anything, works in it, but he's on exactly one page and not much happens throughout the course of the book. For those who don't know him, Constantine is the Alan Moore-created star of JOHN CONSTANTINE: HELLBLAZER (which I have steadily read since its inception in 1988), a working class mage of dubious morals and deeply shady leanings, as well as being a classic loner who would never in a million years be a part of any kind of super-team, magically-oriented or not. It's just not him, and I laughed out loud when I heard this book was happening. I was also annoyed at the very talented scripter, Peter Milligan, for recycling certain plot points from the "India" arc he did in HELLBLAZER two years ago. The issue itself is not badly crafted but, once again, it should have been a double-sized issue. This writing for trades policy totally screws the reader and offers little on an issue-by-issue basis.

I, VAMPIRE #1

This was not bad but — say it with me, class — this is another one that will only be a complete read when the first arc gets collected. That said, the interior art simply reeks of that Vertigo-style too-cool-for-the-room aloofness and I found that somewhat disengaging. There was not enough here to bring me back for more but it may appeal to all you rabid vampire diehards. And, refreshingly and surprisingly, it is in no way influenced by the toxic waste spill upon the landscape of modern horror that is the TWILIGHT franchise.

BLACKHAWKS #1

I didn't expect it to be anything to write home about but I also didn't expect BLACKHAWKS #1 to be nothing more than a sorry G.I. JOE swipe with mercenaries instead of a governmental military force of fighter aces. Dead right out of the gate and feeble as hell, I predict a year at most for this one. Probably less. "And knowing is half the battle!" (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

BATMAN: DARK KNIGHT #1


Because the world didn't already have enough ongoing Batman books... This one is certainly pretty to look at but it didn't grab me enough to warrant a return visit. And what's up with Two-Face more or less turning into the Hulk? Pointless.

ALL-STAR WESTERN #1

No surprise here, but ALL-STAR WESTERN, the new home of everyone's favorite butt-ugly gun-slingin' bounty hunter, was a damned good read from Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray (the co-writers of the previous and critically lauded JONAH HEX series), and the art by Moritat is crisp and very appealing, in some places reminding me of Frank Miller during THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS (look at the saloon fight scene and you'll see what I mean).

Is anyone else reminded of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS-era Frank Miller by this art?

Racking up critical acclaim all over the comics-related Internet, this is hands down the week's best New 52 book and I will definitely be back for more.

AQUAMAN #1

A real surprise, this effort from Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis is tied for first place with ALL-STAR WESTERN as the best of this week's relaunches. The art is lovely and the story is interesting, including a great bit where Arthur is asked how it feels to be a walking punchline, though, again, it would have greatly benefited from being double-sized for the inaugural installment. That said, I'm definitely returning next month.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #679

The fun with the "Spider Island" arc continues but at this point I recommend waiting for the collected edition.

SPIDER-ISLAND: DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG FU #2 (0f 3)

Nothing earth-shattering but it's Shang-Chi, therefore I'll continue to read it.

FF #9
Another boring issue and yet I keep buying this series in hope that it will get better. I'll give this one more month to win me back, and if it doesn't, then I'm out.

KICK-ASS 2 #4

I'm continuing to read KICK-ASS 2 and can't wait for Hit-Girl to actively re-enter the narrative and kick some very much deserving ass (the very slow build to that is maddening), because Motherfucker — formerly the Red Mist — and his evil group, the "Toxic Mega-Cunts" — I swear to god that's their name— have crossed so far over into the Dark Side that their own actions even offend most of that team's members. Very, very nasty stuff in this issue that I very much doubt will make it into the movie sequel.

1 comment:

Acroyear said...

It sounds like this week's books turned out pretty much as I expected with the exception of Superman which sadly it seems turned out worse. This bothers me for much the same reason as you since I hold George Perez in pretty high regards both creatively and on more personal level. Point of fact, I was just fortunate enough to spend a little time with him in Atlanta, Georgia a few weeks ago for Dragon Con (where I was very much looking forward to seeing your friends Amanda Conner and Jim Palmiotti but alas the weather caused a change in their travel plans) and Mr. Pezez was his usual fun, giving, modest, fan friendly self. I guess I'll find out just how bad it is for myself when I hit the store and pick up this weeks books tomorrow.

For the record, I have tried my best to be open minded with this whole "New 52" business which admittedly, DC hasn't made easy for me with the way they went about it. I don't even want to get started on why friends of Jim (Wildstorm > or = to JSA) Lee have books(jobs) while other far more talented writers and artist are nowhere to be found. Despite this, and so much more, I really want to judge these books on their own merit and planned from the start on giving most of them a couple of issues before passing final judgement but now I'm not even sure I can do that anymore since it looks like none of them will have lay enough groundwork, or for that matter even finished introducing the "new" characters before issue number five! Do I really have to buy that many issue of a book I may not like or wait for the trade paperback to make an informed decision? I guess after four decades of reading and collecting comics, three of them on my own dime, I just not person the new books are meant for anymore. Certainly DC but Marvel isn't guiltless either. Hell, I'm honestly not sure who the new books are meant to be purchased, read and loved by anymore.

Oh well, there is always back issues and original art and with new titles going between $3.00 to $6.00(or more) an issue, spending $5.00 to $10.00 on Silver and early Bronze Age back issues isn't so bad. Especially when you know that you are going to get something good for your coin. Heck, I've found quite a bit of the good stuff in the $1.00 boxes at certain shops and cons. You just have to take the time to look.