Archive for October, 2011

Nothing to See Here

I haven’t read any comics this week.  Captain Couch continues his unforgiving nightly assault, and I am powerless to stop him.  The only things I’m good for these days are eating dinner and … well, I guess that’s it.  I don’t even fight him anymore, you know?  By 8:00 p.m., I am well and truly conked, and the Captain revels in his victory until he finally lets me up to go to bed.

So no reviews this week.

Here’s a cat.

lolCat

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Some Griping, Some Reviews

Man.  I’m really kinda hatin’ on DC right now.  At some point after my post a couple of months ago about how I was going to try to be all positive and optimistic about DC, I read a bunch of crap that I didn’t like, and I’m back to being all cantankerous again.  The latest thing to get me riled up into a ball of rage is the news about Wonder Woman.  They’re changing (read: retconning) her origin.  I was all ready to jump on the Brian Azzarello band wagon here and proclaim him Wondy’s savior until I heard this.

I think this is all part of the cause of my not reading comics lately.  I’m just kind of sick of all the hype, and it’s EVERYWHERE.  Running to the Marvel shelves is no different, as almost everything I see is slathered with a “Fear Itself” label.  Can we come right out and admit that the story is awful?  It’s not a good event, if there is such a thing.  It’s just plain bad, and reeks of being haphazardly put together.  The only thing tied to Fear Itself that I’m even remotely interested in is Journey into Mystery, and that’s because that book is awesome no matter what.  Kieron Gillen is writing the heck out of that.

I have to think aloud and wonder if perhaps the fight against the hype is a losing battle—it’s essentially become the nature of comics, but I’m not convinced it should be.  Just tell a good story, guys.  That’s all anybody wants.  Amirite?

No?  Okay, fine, I’ll shut up.  Reviews!

 

Huntress #1Huntress #1 (of 6)
Written by Paul Levitz
Illustrated by Marcus To
Publisher:  DC Comics
Price:  $2.99

 

HUUUNNNNTTTRRREEESSSSSS.  I love the Huntress.  What’s not to love about her?  She’s Italian, she has pretty black hair, and she’s a total badass.  I was eager to get my Huntress fix when they announced this six-issue mini.  Gotta admit, I wasn’t sure how this was going to go down—the frightening Guillem March cover leaves much to be desired, and I wasn’t hugely confident in Paul Levitz behind the pen despite being her creator (kinda).  It was kind of a “YAAYYY HUNTREEESSSS … oh, wait.  What?” reaction, which seems to be the case a lot with DC and me these days.

Anyway.  I read this, and you know what?  The art was AWESOME.  It’s the first thing that hit me and it’s the best part of the book, hands-down.  Marcus To, I had no idea who you were before this, but count me amongst the legion of fans I’m certain you’ve secured after KILLING IT on this.  Helena has never looked so good.  Like, literally—and I’m wicked going to be a girl here—some of the outfits To draws her in are simple and elegant and fashionable, I was like “Where can I buy that?  That’s awesome.”  Then he throws on her Huntress uniform and she’s another person entirely, and it brings even more of the awesome.  Especially when she’s kicking some dude in the jaw.  Kick it, Huntress!  The choreography in one of the fight scenes is so perfectly illustrated—along with Cliff Chiang on Wonder Woman #1, I would say they’re the two best fight scenes I’ve seen in a while.  Top this book off with a head nod to the colorist, because the colors were beautiful and makes To look that much more talented.

So the art’s great.  The story?  Meh.  Okay, it’s maybe a little better than “meh.”  It’s actually not bad at all, it’s just not particularly ground-breaking.  Huntress goes to Italy to break up a slave ring/drug ring/what-have-you.  We’ve read this story before, right?  So it’s really not baaaddddd, it’s just … well, it’s just what it is.  I will say that the first issue lays a groundwork that’s full of potential, and the next five issues could very well turn up the heat and hit us with a surprise or two.  I hope they do, because I’ll go as far as to say this was one of the New 52 I’ve actually really liked.  In a sea of mediocre, I liked this.  Let’s build off that, please, Mr. Levitz.

 

Mystic #3Mystic #3 (of 4)
Written by G. Willow Wilson
Illustrated by David Lopez
Publisher:  Marvel Comics
Price:  $2.99

 

Mystic.  We continue where we left off in number two, with lessons in the mystic arts and that witchy mean girl whose name I forget trying to sabotage the main character at every turn.  I enjoyed the heck out of the first two issues of this, but issue three seemed to hit a lull somehow.  Actually, that’s not really fair … it’s not so much a “lull” as it’s just that I can tell the story is being rushed and condensed to accommodate the fact there’s only four issues in which to tell it.  The snag was bound to be somewhere, and it feels like it’s right here.  When you reach the last page and realize the conclusion is coming up next, it’s kind of hard to take.  There’s SO MUCH MORE we could be reading here.  You can tell that G. Willow Wilson has put a lot of thought into this world and these characters, and it feels terribly unfair that we won’t get to explore any more of it as of next month.

So that makes me frown a bit.  I know it’s all going to unravel too quickly as of issue four.  I wish that weren’t a basis of judgment on this issue, but it is.  Still, as little story as we’re getting, I’ll gladly take it over no story at all.

Not to mention there is always the saving grace that is David Lopez.  I can’t get over how wonderful his stuff is here.  Forget about all of the mechanics of drafting a comic book page—forget about all the transitions, the backgrounds, the panels.  Let’s just talk about facial expressions, because that one skill alone is what absolutely MAKES this book.  Lopez is an undisputed master of facial expressions, and as such, the emotions of each character come at you unapologetically.  And it’s so, so good.  You know something?  If you were to take out all the speech bubbles and all the text on every page, I bet you’d still know exactly what was going on in the story.  That is the mark of an excellent artist, and Mr. Lopez is at the top of his game here.  I adore him for it.  If the narrative of the next issue were to completely tank, I’d still love this for the artwork alone.

I’ll be sad when it’s over, but after Mystic concludes, I’d follow these two creators anywhere.

 

Rachel Rising #2Rachel Rising #2
Created by Terry Moore
Publisher:  Abstract Studios
Price:  $3.99

 

I remember reading an interview with Terry Moore that announced Rachel Rising as his newest project.  In the interview, Mr. Moore discussed his desire to do a horror book—something scary and haunting, and I remember thinking to myself … really?  Terry Moore doing a horror book?

I wasn’t convinced it would work.  Nothing against the guy—in fact I have proclaimed my undying love for him here before—but I just couldn’t picture it based on his previous work.

I stand corrected.

This is creepy as &@%$.

Wow.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s creepy in a good way.  In an excellent way.  Aside from one or two things (Walking Dead), I generally despise horror as a genre.  But, this is Terry Moore, so of course I gravitate to it.  And rightly so, because Rachel Rising, thus far, is great.

I’d typed up this whole big thing summarizing the greater parts of this issue, but then I re-read what I’d typed and couldn’t think of a way to get it across to you without ruining some of the suspense and build up.  So I’m going to completely dump that and just let you judge for yourselves.  Hopefully you’re picking this up.  Unlike some of the stuff by the Big Two, it’s actually worth the $3.99.


A Bunch’a Stuffs!

The weather is changing and it’s turning to that time of year I despise—COLD.  Cold means that the battles between Captain Couch and I have intensified.  We’ve thrown down a lot since September and he’s just been out of control.  I’m way out of shape.  Dude has been beating me senseless every single night, and no amount of comics can hold him at bay.  As a result, my nights lately have consisted of bad television and passing out unconscious by like eight p.m. (if I make it that far).  Reading comics has fallen distressingly by the wayside.  One of these days I’ll take a photo of my “to read” piles of issues and trades and post them here for your viewing horror.  “Piles” probably isn’t even a fair word.  More like “mountain chains.”  Some people dream of climbing K2.  I just dream of scaling down my comics.

Let’s get some stuff out of the way.

  • Here’s what Star Sapphire looks like in the upcoming animated movie, Justice League: Doomhttp://www.comicbookresources.com/prev_img.php?disp=img&pid=1317735495
    After the debacle a few weeks ago about Starfire, it’s good to see we’re moving forward, DC.
  • On the flip side, Robot 6 has a rather humorous strip wrapping up the New 52 from the perspectives of the characters.  Very fun.
  • Speaking of strips, do you like web comics?  Have you heard of Max Overacts?  No?  Well you should check it out, because it’s absolutely wonderful.  The creator, Caanan Grail, is brilliant, and I’ve been addicted to this since I stumbled upon it last month.  Many have compared the strip to Calvin & Hobbes—there’s definitely an echo of that there—but it’s its own thing and so much more.  Start at the beginning and read through the strips; I can’t imagine you’ll be let down.
Max Overacts

A strip from Max Overacts, by Caanan Grail; click to enlarge.

  • Lastly, I hope everyone’s seen the newly-released Avengers trailer, because it’s awesome.

… And that’s all I got!  Back later with some reviews.


It’s a crisis there’s no Crisis!

So apparently Dan Didio said something over Facebook about how none of the Crises ever happened.

Didio on Crisis

Can anyone else make any sense of this?  I must be missing something.  If Final Crisis never happened, then what caused Bruce to “die” and Dick to take up the mantle of Batman?  That’s already been referenced in several books, and Grant Morrison’s run is still technically happening and referencing itself as it goes along, so we know it’s still canon … yet it’s not?  Can anyone help me out here?

He went on to “clarify” (I use the term loosely):

Didio on Crises

Ohhhh, I get it now.

… Except that I don’t.

I would say, given that the entire initiative of the New 52 was to wipe the slate completely clean in order to erase and/or make continuity “less confusing” for new readers, the fact that now we have even MORE of a convoluted backstory to all of this, where neither reader nor editorial apparently knows what’s sticking and what isn’t, means that after only one month of the reboot, it’s already a failure story-wise.  None of this makes any sense.  I can’t say I really expected it to, but it’s making even less sense than I thought it would.  And it’s just plain annoying.  Way to make this stuff up as you go along, guys.

On the bright side, at least Gail Simone still makes me laugh.

Gail Tweet