Monday, November 1, 2010

Definitely Not Reviews (10-27-10)

Hello Second Printers. First, news before (un)reviews.
So it looks like Devon and I are no longer writing for "Comics Reviewed" over at as the entire column has been scrapped due to, apparently, lack of reader involvement. Our hard work and dedication (which by and large was our comrades Adam and Jeb's hard work and dedication) just wasn't gelling with the Maxim-esque readership there. But not to fear, we've landed on our feet, and will be returning to the review game in a few weeks...

And now, the goods:

Captain America #610 - Holy poopies, Bucky's done got arrested. This is looking like the best storyline the title has had since the switch back to "original numbering". Brubaker does pretty well with action generally but his political stuff is more his strong suits. Also as much as Daniel Acuna's art is vastly different than the consistent-feel of Steve Epting, Luke Ross, Butch Guice etc teams of the past, he's actually quite a welcome shift. The title could still stand to lose the Nomad back-up, though. Feels like dead weight.

Avengers vs Pet Avengers #1 - While the Pet Avengers are kind of cute, it's not generally a funny animal comic. It's a full-blown superhero adventure comic which just happens to be quasi-but-not-really anthropomorphised animals. Here, they're facing off against Fin Fang Foom whom is unironically sporting his purple undies (must shop at the same place as Bruce Banner), and trying to enslave humanity with his dragon pals. Damn fun.

Beasts of Burden/Hellboy One-Shot - Evan Dorkin (with limited Mignola input) crafts a tale that is equally suited to the styles of both parties involved, and while Hellboy doesn't intrinsically fit in with Jill Thompson's watercolor style she uses on Beasts, she captures him fairly well throughout, though he does get rendered rather cartoonishly in the occasional panel. The coda felt a little detached from the main story, but otherwise it's a wonderful pairing (though I would like more Beasts adventures in the bag before a follow-up)

Justice League: Generation Lost #12 - I'm curious to know if this is ret-conning Ice/Ice Maiden's history or if it's actually a tweaking of continuity that was previously ret-conned. I seem to recall that Ice Maiden used to have icy-blue skin (see Global Guardians in DC Comics Presents), so that's not completely out of question for the character, but I do seem to recall her visiting her royal icelandic family (at some point during the late-90's Dan Vado run on Justice League America which I'm sure most people have forgotten) and that, you know, she wasn't a gypsy. Gypsy's a gypsy.

Supergirl Annual #2 - I was curious to see how they reintroduced Supergirl to the Legion, whether it would be in-continuity with the Levitz-Legion or if they would throw her back to the Mark Waid Legion (of which she was a part of as Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes earlier in the decade). But I guess, post Legion of Three Worlds, they're trying to forget about anything but the Levitz Legion (though there is a passing reference here where S-girl narrates that it's not "her Legion"). This is the first Supergirl story I've read from Sterling Gates and she seems in good hands. Also, Marco Rudy's pencils really missing Mick Gray's inks here.

Deadpool Team-Up #888 - yes, my second Deadpool book in one month. I should get my head examined. But to justify, I have three reasons why I bought this: 1) I love love love team-up books and figured I should at least give this a try; 2) It guest-stars The Thing, which means I can pretend it's an issue of Marvel Two-In-One; and 3) It's written by Cullen Bunn whose The Sixth Gun and The Damned are just awesome. Verdict: A fun issue. Bunn is obviously a big wrestling fan as he captures all the tropes perfectly. That said, I'm still not getting the allure of Deadpool, however I may give another issue of this series a try depending on the guest star and the writer and/or artist.

G.I. Joe/Cobra II #9 - I noticed that the regular artist, Antonio Fuso, recently did a Vertigo Noir graphic novel, hence why the past five issues have been by this guy Sergio Carrera. I'm hoping he's back next month (or someone else takes over) though because I'm not sure I can stand the line-traced photograph art of Carrera for another storyline. It's uncanny valley illustrating and it's not my cup of tea, at all. (And looking him up on Comic Book DB, I remember him from Boom Studio's High Rollers where I quite disliked his work as well).

It Came From Beside The Bed...

(comics/trades I finally got around to reading/finishing)

Warlord of IO - James (Rex Libris) Turner's epic space adventure-comedy about a young heir to a galactic empire who's usurped from his post by a warmongering dictator-type. Turner switches his illustrative style up here into something more cartoony that screams kid-friendly, and while the book is a clean read, I personally think it might be too dense for younger readers. No, the appeal here is to a literate Daily Show-style audience who understand the juxtaposition of kid-friendly illustrations and politic-heavy humour. But if your kid is smart, or enjoys the Clone Wars this may not be as challenging as I suspect. Look, what I'm trying to do here is backtrack from my statement, which essentially is "your kid is dumb"... oh, and also to say the book is a hell of a lot of fun. Think I'm going to read it again right away.

Nova vol 6: Realm of Kings - Woah, I completely forgot I didn't read the last chapter of this trade, which is the (temporary?) end of the Nova series. I have to wonder why though, as far as I was aware Nova was selling well and getting fairly positive reviews. Did D'n'A simply burn out with the sheer amount of Marvel Cosmic they were dealing with every month? Or was it because Brubaker stole Nova for Secret Avengers? Is this whole time-displaced Namorita thing going to resolve itself somewhere? And when did she die, anyway, wasn't she in the Incredible Hercules not too long ago?


James Turner said...

Thank you kindly for the review, Mr. Kent!

I was trying to go for something that could be enjoyed by both kids and adults. Mixing cute characters with Machiavellian schemes and difficult (even unwinnable) choices seemed amusing to me. I'm weird that way.

But balancing the elements is dang tricky. I always hated books that talked down to me when I was a kid. At the same time, I didn't want it to run out of control into obscure polisci. My neice, who's 12, really enjoyed it, so I'm hopeful it can be read on multiple levels. It's meant as an adventure story first.

I watched a couple episodes of the Clone Wars recently. There are some surprisingly advanced ideas in it; it certainly isn't as simplistic as the cartoons I watched as a kid.

In fact, I think I liked the tv show more than the prequels...


KENT! said...

Hi James! Thanks for stopping by. This was not a review proper though just some random ramblings. When we get back to CHUD and I give it another read through I'll have a proper write-up of it.

I'm thinking it's too advanced for my 9 year old, but I'm going to pass it over to him and see what he thinks (he does read Asterix and TinTin voraciously which I think are also pretty advanced, so what do I know. I'll prove me wrong yet.)

As for Clone Wars, I often can't get past the character design. Why is Obi-Wan's beard made of wood? But other than that I've enjoyed a lot of it.

James Turner said...

I know what you mean about Clone Wars. Most of the time I really like the bold stylization, but occasionally it takes me right out of the work. Some characters work better than others.

I do wonder how I'll feel about it (and my own work) 10 years from now. Always a question with digital. 3D, especially, does not always age well.

Tintin and Asterix were my favourite comics when I was a kid. European comics are always so beautifully produced.


PS. Great site!