Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Joe Rice Media Review 1/26/05

Holy good gravy. Great day in the morning.

What a week of comics. This is the kind of week that makes me forget all the CRAP that is out there.

This is the kind of week where brilliance shines. Wow. Let's go for reverse order of how I read them, eh? Luba was, of course, great. I know less about the Palomar stories, but this was clearly a moving piece. Anyone wants to spend the money, give me that hardcover. I will make fun of you less. Great.

Recent talk about how boring origin stories are . . .you can read Arana: Heart of the Spider without the "Amazing Fantasy" origin. But I'm pretty much done giving this a chance because I WANT a good comic about a young Latina. This isn't really it, not for me, at least. Not good.

The real hero of the Spider-man mythos is Uncle Ben. Rarely is that more apparent than in this month's Amazing Spider-man. Straczynski writes likable characters. That's tough to do . . .I usually hate neurotic Parker. But under his pen, he's charming and funny. The story is straight-up superheroics mixed with great Uncle Ben flashbacks. I don't like the art in either segment. The flashbacks are not quite ready for prime time and the "current day" stuff is just way too photorealistic to be interesting to me. Still, good.

Nice Miss Misery focus inSleeper. It's hard to make this character, so awful, at ALL someone who you care about. But there's that crack in the veneer . . .as terrible as she is to the world around her, you see the vulnerbility underneath. She's the ultimate girl in a castle, really. Those walls built up around her . . .it's daunting, but you WANT her redeemed. She won't be, of course, but it'll be a hell of a ride. Great.

WHAT?!? I actually like an "Ultimate" book? I guess it's Vaughn. And, hell, I've got a nerd weakness for Longshot. The Bobby/Kitty stuff is strong and I even hate Jean less than usual. The Alison/Kurt/Peter team is an interesting one and I'm definitely looking forward to more of this. Heh, and Arcade was fun, too. Good.

I gave Legion of Super-Heroes two issues. That's enough. As I said before, this is Waid closer to his good work, but it's still not really good. And the art is almost as fun as playing solitaire with 33 cards. Not good.

Love scenes in comics usually are terrible. Count on Andy Diggle to actually make one interesting and, honestly, hot. Losers is back on track, still. Yeah, I miss Jock, and I'm having trouble figuring out who each person is sometimes, but this book is clever, exciting, and full of good plotting. Great.

ALEX STOP GIVING ME PLANETARY! Christ, enough with the pastiches. "Let's take every character in fiction . . .and make them A LOT LESS LIKABLE!" Great cover, though. This is a book that's got neat ideas and about as much story as a panel of a normal comic. I'm sorry, I know it's an internet darling and there's some fun stuff in there somewhere but I don't give a shit. Not good.

It's no secret that I tend to like Robert Kirkman's superhero comics. Superpatriot: War on Terror is good . . .but the tone is a bit all over the place. There's straight up humor. There's action. And then there's some REALLY dark humor (super Nazi's kicking children into the air). A lot of sex stuff. I dunno. This was more muddled than I'd like. It's not bad, though. I'll stop with good.

TWO MORRISON COMICS IN ONE WEEK! TWO MORRISON COMICS IN ONE WEEK! And they're both frickin' GREAT. JLA: Classified was great, fast superhero inSANity. Every page had at least one or two things that made you say "HOLY CRAP!" Arthur, Diana, and Bruce get particularly good showings. And the ending is generous of Morrison. He gives DC a great little concept wrapped in a neat package. Unfortunately, I'd trust few of their writers with it. And did Bruce WINK? GREAT.

We3 was moving, but honestly, less sad than I feared. It was really kind of beautiful and personal. I didn't expect the ending at all, really. Of course, it's also the best artist in genre comics expanding his game even further, too. Every panel is a goddam work of beauty. 2 comes through! 1 is the best dog ever. Just great, great, great. Amazing.

"So, Joe, name three concepts you find awesome." Sure, Me-typing-to-myself. Comics, rock and roll, and Mexican wrestling. "OK, then, how about I make your brain explode and your heart become a higher being with The Amazing Joy Buzzards?" Sounds great! And it is. Nobody ever needs to write a fun comic again. You'll never outfun this comic. Just give up you pathetic pieces of booger. This comic is joy in my soul. I love it. I wish I could roll it tightly enough that I could fit an engagement ring around it. I'd steal it from Lisa while she slept. I would rescind my proposal and give it, instead, to this comic book. Read it, love it, live it. Have I ever been happier? I cannot recall. AMAZING.

Wow, what a week. Hernandez, Morrison, Quitely, Brubaker, and AJB! Maybe I'll spread my comics out on my bed tonight and roll around on them. I will absorb their awesomeness and become like me except even more awesome, if you can imagine it.

What did you think? Did you agree, or are you wrong?

Edit: Thanks to Chris Hunter of The Great Curve for formatting assistance tonight. You get to kiss one member of the blog at your discretion.


Blogger Lex said...

Thanks for more great reviews, Joe!

I can't believe I didn't get We3. Man, I suck.

I did get JLA:C #3. And it was pure awesomeness. With the Ultramarines having such a big focus in the last two issues, I had almost forgot that this was a JLA comic. I remember Morrison saying that he worked with McGuinness on new ways to do panel layouts. And you could really see that in all the fight scenes in this issue. It made for a unique and very cool experience.

I got Legion #2 and loved it. It was even better than the first issue.

And I got Flash #218 - I know everyone here hates Geoff Johns with every fiber of their beings, but this was a better-than-normal issue. Once in a while, Johns does an issue called a "Rogue Profile." He focuses on a member of Flash's rogues gallery for an issue and digs deep into who they are. The profile he did on Captain Cold a couple years ago is, in my opinion, the best thing he's ever written. This issue, focusing on Heat Wave, is just about as good. It was a facinating psychological study of a pyromaniac (in a superhero world). I'd recommend it to you guys, but you'd laugh at me.

1/28/2005 03:55:00 AM  
Blogger alex said...

I don't think anyone here "Hates" Johns... I'm sure he's a nice guy.

I just don't enjoy the stuff he writes. And sometimes, the stuff he writes is so poorly done it hurts my stomach.

But sometimes his stuff is okay.

I think he has talent, he just chooses to ignore it in favor of continuity-crazy crap.


1/28/2005 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger MarkAndrew said...

Oh dear God.

I read the comments first, and thought that *Joe* recommended a Geouphff "I can't even spell "Jeff" that's how smart *I* am" Johns book, and I was going to ignore everything he says forever.

That said: I'm really having trouble following the plot of "Love and Rockets" my comics are scattered all over the place, so I never have a chance to read back issues before I get a new one.

I'm pretty sure this weeks issue was brilliant, but I didn't quite know what was going on. I should switch to trades, but it's soooooo long between them. And the girl at the comic shop smiles at me when I buy L & R.

Anyway, We3 # 3 was probably my favorite Mainstream comic since I started buying comics again in '96. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, works on every level.

1/28/2005 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Lex is a big, stinky liar.

He claims that we all hate Johns, but just last week, I AGREED with him that Teen Titans #20 was well written.

Just last week!!

Such a stinky liar, Lex is.

1/29/2005 03:53:00 AM  
Blogger Lex said...

I chose bad wording. That was my fault.

And yes, Brian. I did see that you thought Titans #20 was decent. I don't know where I got the idea that you guys hate Johns. Maybe from your reaction to Green Lantern: Rebirth? I don't know. But, now I see that it's incorrect so just yell at me if I say that anymore.

1/30/2005 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Good man, Lex, good man.

Now go respond to my long ass reply to the Mark Waid FF entry.


1/30/2005 08:14:00 PM  

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