Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Totally Random Reviews

I haven't read this week's new releases as of yet, so I just mixed up the advance reviews from last week that I read already and picked out four books that I'll give a totally random review of.

Some spoilers!!!

Angeltown #5 - I dislike this in movies, in fiction, and in comics - when a mystery story only becomes really interesting at the end, when the secrets and killers are revealed. Especially when the story is confusing and all over the place up until the end. That is the problem I found with Angeltown. This was my favorite issue of the series, and I think that is because Gary Phillips knew he had to wrap everything up, so he actually devoted time in the comic to {gasp} advancing the plot!! This was not the case for issues #2-4, where the story basically went nowhere. Suddenly, it's the last issue, and we see lots of movement. I enjoyed it, but I would have enjoyed it a heck of a lot better if it had just been like this the whole series. Great art, as usual, from Shawn Martinbrough.

Spider-Man Unlimited #8 - This issue has two stories, and they work sort of like a "Goofus and Gallant" approach for writing stories in anthologies like this book. The first story, written by Joe Hill (like the labor leader! Joan Baez would be proud), with art from the awesome Seth Fisher, is the sort of wacky story that this book is designed for, the type of story that would not fit into the regular Spider-Man book, and is not really clever enough for anything more than a short story, but fits well for a short story. The story is basically "Jackass in the Marvel Universe." Three guys are doing a TV series where they recreate Spider-Man's feats, and hilarity ensues. Fun story.

The SECOND story, though, is an example of an approach I dislike in these anthologies, in that the writer has this writing device, and tries to formulate a story around said writing device. Like when the whole story exists for a "twist." This story, written by Joshua Ortega, with really nice art by Ryan Sook (drawing in a much different style than usual), is built around a narrative device that is more the star of the story than is the story itself. Then again, while I did not like the approach, it was still a decent story...I just wish Ortega would have spent less time on the "clever" writing device, and more on just writing a good short story.

Marvel Knights 4 #16 - Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has really developed into one of the best superhero writers Marvel has working for them. In this storyline, Aguirre-Sacasa spins a tale that appeals to both new fans, but also older fans. It appeals to people who hate continuity and it appeals to people who like continuity. The story is a take off on the classic "Fantastic Four travels through time." He admits that this story is not super original, but partially, by admitting this, he avoids the pratfall of "this is just ripping off ____." However, Aguirre-Sacasa manages to still do new stuff with the time travelling, which is impressive.

However, Jim Muniz hurts the book. To go from Steve McNiven to Jim Muniz?


Wolverine #26 - First off, I am irked by the whole "we're no longer going to have John Romita Jr. draw the covers" thing. As to the story...there is not much there, really. Eight pages for the freakin' Gorgon's origin - who I think is a silly villain. However, the whole stabbing himself bit WAS cool. The next bit, with the villains was cool, but the whole "X-Men are too incompetent to keep Northstar from being kidnapped" thing was just way too stupid. And I love how Millar had to toss some cynicial stuff in there, too - "The X-Men make you do a will at 14." Wow...why don't they all just slice their wrists? Life is so terrible.

The deprograming of Wolverine was interesting, and I will admit it...the ending WAS a cool shot.

I'll have some more thoughts later after I read this week's books!


Anonymous Brad Curran said...

I didn't want this thread to go without comment, but even I'm having a hard time working up enthusiasm for this batch of reviews. Isn't Gorgon the Inhuman who's really good at kicking things? That's all I've got, other than to say that Sook and Fischer drawing Spidey sounds interesting, even if the stories are slight.

3/18/2005 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger Fabio Moon said...

I have no love for the wolverine covers Romita did not do. The most recent one on the internet, by Quesada himself, was hedious.

For my taste, anyway.

3/22/2005 03:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Joe Hill said...

Hey, Brian, thanks for the kind words about my story, "Fanboyz." Much appreciated. Seth is an insane talent, and really brought out the best in the script.

And Brad, I liked your mini-essay about continuity a whole lot (March 22nd? March 23rd?). All in all, this is an exceedingly cogent and readable blog. Glad to have come across it.

3/28/2005 09:57:00 PM  

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