July 23, 2006

A Lot Less Time, But a Lot More Care

Since things are (relatively) slowing down, it's time for some four color reviews. Our motto (besides the one stated above), to paraphrase Gail Simone (through Dr. Psycho) - "Come for the polls and gratuitious shout-outs to fellow comics bloggers; stay for the comic reviews and general witty pop-culture banter."

Uncle Sam & The Freedom Fighters # 1 - I had promised to give this book a chance, but am regretting it deeply. To paraphrase Roger Ebert, I hated, hated, hated this book. Ham fisted characterization, hackneyed plotting, goofy looking art, double ham-fisted political commentary with a side of hash browns - if this is the new DC, I want off. Now. Makes me want to convert to Marvel. Speaking of which...

She Hulk # 8 - Ah, that's much better. Great writing, a great plot, even in the midst of Civil War....makes me regret my embargo on mega-crossovers. Some great moments abound - a change in She-Hulk's ability, the final "reveal", and the "deus ex machina" towards the end." Makes me want to jump into CW...however, one small step at a time - this is definitely going on the pull file.

The Escapist(s) # 1 - Personally, I've felt a little cold towards comic versions of Michael Chabon's character (having read the novel and enjoying its ability to connote the spirit of Golden Age comics). However, this is a nice twist - a young man acquires his father's collection and sets aobut reviving the character. Brian K. Vaughn's work is slightly hit-or-miss for me: I absolutely dig Ex Machina, but Y the Last Man doesn't quite appeal to me. However, this book is well worth the $1 cover price...and then some. Buy it.

Batman: Arkham Asylum 15th Anniversary Edition: Some books deserve to be called "classics", but this isn't one of them. Maybe it's because so many of its themes - Batman's enemies are simply reflections of him, the trauma of losing his parents - have been worked to death. Dave McKean's art is nice; however, the really simplistic and almost sexist reveal (basically, Bruce is in anguish because his mother told him "grow up or we'll leave you" and the next time after that...well, we all know) hurts this book. It's not sure whether it wants to be a taught psychological profile of Batman, a scary horror book, or a meditation on madness. I'm glad that I checked this book out of the library, because I'd probably want my money back.

Supergirl & the Legion of Super Heroes # 20 - Worth reading just for "Bizarro-Brainiac". Silver Age mixed with a slight sense of 21st century post-modernism.

52 # 11 - The debut of Batwoman seemed a bit, well, underwhelming - of course, that's what happens when you hype her appearance. (Since we all knew she was coming, and her "relationship" to Montoya...well, DC jumped the gun on this one.). The plotting is starting to be hit-or-miss (and did anyone catch the potential 52 spoiler in Teen Titans # 37? Or am I imagining things?), but for a weekly book...I may stick around a little while longer, but at some point, it's going to be make-or-break.

Justice League of America # 0 - I did not expect to enjoy this book - basically, it's a series of vignettes with Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. (Plus, given the left-field ending of Identity Crisis, I wasn't too hopeful for Meltzer's efforts). His take on the "big three's" reaction to Batman punching out Guy Gardner in the JLI days was worth the price of admission....I'll cautiously pursue this, but it better not be another Uncle Sam & the Freedom Fighters.

I hated that book. Seriously.

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