I have a venue to write reviews about comics (see last post), but I don't get to just geek out about them very much. Now, given my busy schedule juggling work, family, and consuming of popular culture in whatever time remains, the luxury of being able to really geek out over things has all but disappeared, so I'm creating "Definitely Not Reviews", a new feature for myself and the gang (hi gang) to throw down our list of what we purchased in any given week and drop a few poorly composed lines of praise or knee-jerk criticism on said titles and hopefully engage you, dear, faithful Second Printing reader to tell us in the comments your own list of books you bought this week and maybe your own quickly-formed opinions therein.
Brightest Day #11 - This was it for me, do or die... do or Deathstorm (Deathstorm? Ugh). Since the 3rd issue I've been finding it a tedious, dull read, with only my quickly waning affinity for most of the resurrected characters and the almost all-round fantastic art carrying me through. But with stuff like that scene where Jason Rauch's dad is standing there lamenting his relationship with his son right before Deathstorm kidnaps him... beyond ridiculous. Couldn't he just have been watching TV? And Aquaman hopping into a big rig...perhaps if the next chapter of that story were told from the trucker's point of view it might be a little interesting, but I'm bored, quite frankly. Am I alone, here?
DC Comics Presents: Jack Cross - Reprinting the 2005 4-issue mini-series from Warren Ellis in a 100-page, $8 special, rather than a $10 or $12 trade paperback. I say BARGOON! The remarkable thing about this compact espionage tale is how much of it is talking heads, one of the most difficult things to pull off in comics, but it's really quite good, and artist Gary Erskine makes it all quite exciting. I'm sorry I missed it the first time around but glad to have this affordable opportunity to pick it up again. I've kind of avoided Ellis' Red (for no particular reason), is it as strong as this?
Doom Patrol #15 - I've had such a difficult time with this series, with each issue since the end of the Metal Men co-feature sitting on the threshold of being its last. It has a manic energy to it but that leads it to feel unfocussed and I have a hard time reading it, but there's been enough each issue to keep me coming back for another. I really liked this issue, we'll see how next issue does.
Secret Six #26 - I'm a devoted Secret Six fan, and I think it's one of the most exciting and entertaining capes'n'tights books on the stands (and it's a sharp contrast to DeadpoolMAX in how to wright a book that features both graphic violence and comedy), but I'm really, really, really disliking Jim Calafiore's art. I remember him from X-O Manowar back in the Valiant days when they had a Bob Layton-inspired house style that most of the art team adhered to, and I liked him then (that was, what, 15 years ago?) but not so much now. Seeing Nicola Scott's gorgeous work in the Teen Titan's preview in the back of the book only underscored my longing for a pretty artist to get on the Six.
DeadpoolMAX #1 - I'm really disappointed.
Tron: Betrayal #1 - I'm really quite pleased.
S.H.I.E.L.D. #4 - oh my, I love this book. Nobody in comics juggles multiple eras like Hickman. There are elements reminiscent of Earth X and his own Pax Romana but this is a really fun stroll through the secret history of the Marvel Universe, that, really, doesn't even need to be set in the Marvel U to be all that entertaining. Oddly enough, though, I'm not 100% into the art. Dustin Weaver's drafting skills are quite impeccable and he provides at least two absolutely jaw dropping, inspired moments in each book (usually more), but there's something about it (digitally inked maybe?) that just doesn't connect fully for me.