Monday, April 11, 2005

Three 4/6/05 Books That I Read So That You Don't Have To

Like the date reference? Heh.

Okay, spoilers ahead as I detail three books that I read this week that I did not see anyone mention, and ask you all if you can tell me about some books that I did not read this week!

Superman/Batman #18 - Let me tell you a little fairy tale.

Once upon a time, there lived three Superman/Batman storylines. #1-6, 8-13, and #14-18.

#1-6 had a house made of straw, and it was getting ready to be a good storyline, when the Bad Story Wolf came up to the house and said, "Little storyline, little storyline, let me in!" #1-6 replied, "Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin!" So the Bad Story Wolf huffed, and puffed, and blew down the house of #1-6, leaving it to be a terrible story.

Next the Bad Story Wolf went to the home of #8-13, which was made of sticks. The Bad Story Wolf exclaimed, "Little storyline, little storyline, let me in!" #8-13 replied, "Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin!" So the Bad Story Wolf huffed, and puffed, and blew down the house of #8-13, leaving it to be a terrible story.

Finally, the Bad Story Wolf came to the home of #14-18, which was made out of brick. The Bad Story Wolf shouted, Little storyline, little storyline, let me in!" #14-18 replied, "Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin!" So the Bad Story Wolf huffed, and puffed, and blew....but the house wouldn't blow down!

The Bad Story Wolf then tried to sneak in through the chimney, but the pig had left a boiling kettle in the fireplace, and the Bad Story Wolf ended up boiling to death!

So that is the story of why Superman/Batman #14-18 was good, and the others were not.

And that makes as much sense to me as Jeph Loeb just all of a sudden writing cool comics.

This issue has the Zombie JLA (revived in the Lazarus Pit) against Ra's Al Ghul and the Legion of Super Villains.

Pretty much how you would expect it to turn out, Batman and Superman stop the bad guys and bring them back to their time (in another homage to the classic Legion stories, they hand over the bad guys to the ADULT Legion of Super Heroes...when is the last time THOSE folks made an appearance?).

The rest of the issue is wrap up, with the two heroes coming to terms with the fact that they still have memories of all the terrible things they did, like murdering Wonder Woman.

The end is a TOTAL geek moment, with a big Alan Moore Superman homage. Neat ending.

Great art by Carlos Pachecho, but while I would recommend the storyline as a WHOLE, I do not think I can recommend this particular issue on its own...it relies too much on previous issues. It is practically an epilogue!!

Not recommended (but the overall story is)!

Amazing Fantasy #7 - This is the introduction of the new Scorpion.

I was not thrilled with the story by Erik Van Lente, but there are some solid storytelling aspects here.

A young woman returns to the town she grew up upon the death of her parents, and discovers her legacy - which involves AIM and SHIELD.

One thing that Van Lente does a very good job with is introducing a good supporting cast right away. Carmilla Black (the new Scorpion, natch) has an old friend as well as a SHIELD agent as her supporting cast, and they both seem interesting.

Now as to the art.

I like Leonard Kirk's art.

However, Jonathan Glapion & Kevin Conrad seem to be trying to achieve something with his pencils OTHER than getting a typical Leonard Kirk pencilled book, and that struck me as odd. It is like those movie audtions you hear about, "I really like your stuff, but could you do it entirely different?"

That is what it struck me as in this issue.

If you want Leonard Kirk, then just let him do his stuff! Don't make inkers change his work to get another look! If you want another look, get another artist!

In any event, this may be a promising series to come, but this issue is not enough for me to say you should get.

Not recommended!!

Walking Dead #17 - This was a very strong issue.

As anyone who reads this series knows, the Walking Dead is not really ABOUT the Walking Dead.

Sure, they are a major threat, but they can be dealt with (one method is mentioned in this issue).

No, this book is about what happens to the people who are forced TO deal with this situation - their relationships, their decisions, their problems, their heartbreaks, etc.

In last issue, two little girls were murdered, and we see their killer brought to justice...but what TYPE of justice? That will be decided next issue.

In any event, this issue was filled with character moments, some really great (like the two little kids) and some just advancing the plot along (Dex)...but overall, this was a pretty good issue.

The art from Charles Adlard is excellent, he really does a great job (my favorite bit was with the aforementioned little kids) here, and it is hard to believe that he was not the original artist, the way he has come to own these characters (by the by, Tony Moore still has a prescence here, with a cool cover).

You'd probably like it, but there is a chance that you would be put off by the fact that you're right in the middle of a storyline, so I guess I would have to say...

Not recommended (but I would recommend the series definitely).

Okay, the books I did not read, and you can feel free to fill me in on are the following:

The Gift: Director's Cut #1

Dead at 17: Revolution #4

Desperadoes: Banners of Gold #4

Infantry #4

Rocket Girl #2

Thanks!

8 Comments:

Anonymous The Eyeball Kid said...

Desperadoes: Banners of Gold #4 - Well, we finally find out what the title refers to, and it seems like a certain character will be seeing the Banners sooner than they expect. The one thing hurting this book is the art. Gone are the days of John Cassaday or John Severin. What we're left with is a bunch of characters who can only be distinguished from one another by clues in the text. Still, it's the best Supernatural Western Comic on the stands...at least until the new Jonah Hex comes along.

4/11/2005 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Oh lord, does THAT annoy me...when you can only tell characters apart by captions or the dialogue.

So annoying.

Who is the artist? I could have sworn I heard some talk about him being a good one (before this series came out, mind you)...

4/11/2005 05:12:00 PM  
Anonymous The Eyeball Kid said...

Jeremy Huan. The problem doesn't effect the males as strongly, because they cover a fairly broad range of 'types', but the women in this book all have long dark hair, and their aren't enough facial and body-type cues to make telling them apart easy without careful reading. Compare that to Cassaday's faces or Severin's detailed expressions and costumes and Huan looks even worse in comparison.

4/11/2005 06:24:00 PM  
Anonymous The Eyeball Kid said...

D'oh...here's a grammatically correct version of the previous post.

"Jeremy Huan. The problem doesn't affect the males as strongly, because they cover a fairly broad range of 'types', but the women in this book all have long dark hair and there aren't enough facial and body-type cues to make telling them apart easy without careful reading. Compare that to Cassaday's faces or Severin's detailed expressions and costumes and Huan looks even worse in comparison."

It's sad because I know better...

4/11/2005 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Reed said...

I read one issue of the latest Superman/Batman arc and it nearly broke my brain. Possibly the most awful comic I'd read in a while. Then came Countdown.

4/11/2005 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Bill, you didn't read the previous storylines in Superman/Batman, did you?

4/11/2005 10:41:00 PM  
Blogger chasdom said...

I flipped through part 2 of the Supes/Bats arc, and it reminded me a lot of the JLA/JSA OGN that was surprisingly good. Of course, both had art by Pacheco and Merino, but both also had that "throw a million heroes in a blender" feel and see if you can hold on tight. The OGN, in turn, reminded me of my first favorite comic, that Conway/Perez JLA/JSA vs 10 villains thing.

And then, I realized that the top selling DC comic appeals mainly to people who read the JLA in the 70's. And that means that the average age of a DC fan is...

Nah, not going to think about it. It's time for my nap. Let me know when the TPB comes out.

4/12/2005 03:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you made a mistake. You said that the latest Superman/Batman was a good storyline and that the book was getting progressively better. Mind you I haven't read the latest storyline, but there's no way Jeph Loeb can write a good story. I fear for your otherwise very good taste.

4/13/2005 01:20:00 PM  

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