Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Three 5/11 Comics That I Read So That You Did Not Have To

Same as always...I tell you about three comics that I did not hear a lot about this week, and then I ask you all to fill me in on comics that I did not read this week.

Spoilers ahead!!

Action Comics #827 - I was not a fan of Chuck Austen's run on Action Comics, so I was looking forward to this change in creative teams.

Byrne scares us with the ridiculous looking cover, but luckily contributes very nice art inside (Nelson does a good job on inks).

The basic gist of the issue is that a new villain (or is she NOT a new villain?!) is trying to take out all the other heroes in the DC Universe with magnetic powers.

This leads to an appearance by the Raver (from Superboy and the Ravers) Aura, who looks more actually Asian-looking here than she ever did in the Ravers (that's a good thing). I like using a company's large stable of characters for plots, but it often seems that writers use the large stable only to kill off characters, so I was QUITE pleased when we learn later in the issue that that was NOT the case in this issue.

The African scene....I liked it all except for Superman wearing his cape like tribal clothes. Everything else was cool, including giving them his cape for a flag. I just didn't like him dressing like one of them. I understand the INTENT, and it is an admirable one, I just don't think it came off cool. The rest of the scene was great.

I am not a big Jeph Loeb fan, but one thing I really liked about his Superman run was the way he was the way he did not give off an "embarrased" vibe regarding the characters. He did not seem to be ashamed of Perry White, which some writers DID seem to be. So it was nice to see Gail Simone give Perry White some great lines.

The rest of the issue struck me as a necessary evil. Simone basically went through all the stupid changes with the Superman books recently and changed them. When you do it all at once, it seems exposition-heavy, but I understand it is only for one issue, just to set up the changes.

And the changes are all good.

Lois Lane no longer a bitch? Check.

Clark Kent no longer a loser? Check.

Jimmy Olsen not stand-offish? Check.

Clark and Lois...in LOVE (what a concept!)? Check.

Lupe GLAD to see a superhero show up to help? Check.

So nice to see a writer see that changes for the sake of changes just are not necessary.

Just write a good story.

I thought this was one, and it had great art.


Mary Jane Homecoming #3 - I really have to give Sean McKeever a lot of credit with this series, as he is doing a really nice job with the characterizations of the teenagers.

Takeshi Miyazawa really does a nice job on the art, as well.

This series reminds me a lot of Tania Del Rio's current Sabrina run, as they are both teen stories that manage to have good characterizations without pandering and/or patronizing the reader.

I really admire that.

The Spider-Man appearance was great as well, especially the scene with the field goal.

Basically, this is a nicely drawn, straightforward comic filled with interesting characters.

So obviously next issue is the last issue...hehe.


Star Wars Tales #23 - I think I like the new approach they have now, where they label the issues with these logos that tell you when a story is set, as I am not a big Star Wars follower (I mean, I have a pretty good idea, just not a great idea), so I do not know a lot of the continuity that they seem pretty steadfast in following.

The very first story is an interesting one about three Jedis on a mission, but two of the Jedis fall in love, and we all know what falling in love means to the Jedis, don't we?

Okay, if you DON'T know, it means they are not doing their job right...as passion leads to the Dark Side of the Force. Good story by Joshua Ortega with nice art by Dennis Weaver.

The second story was fairly forgettable for me, something about a Nomad jedi. The art by Brandon Beaudeux was uninspiring, as was the story by Rob Williams.

The LAST story, though, also by Rob Williams (with good art by Michael Lacombe), really irked me.

I have written in the past about Cousin Larry tricks, and I think we have one in this issue. Williams tells us a tale of how "lucky" Wedge Antilles is (after all, he is the only peripheral character to manage to survive the major battles in all three of the original trilogies), but Williams shows how sometimes the people who survive carry hidden scars of their own.

That's fine enough, but there is a scene in the comic that is directly lifted from Apollo 13!!! Remember the story about how Tom Hanks' character couldn't find his way back at night? So he turns off his instruments, and luckily, the moon reflected off plankton, giving him a natural path to follow? Well, the SAME THING (with slight changes that amount to making it "space plankton") happened in this issue to Wedge!

And it is a Cousin Larry trick because it is clearly designed to be an interesting story, but if anyone ever mentions to Williams that it is right out of Apollo 13, the response would be, of course, that it was an "homage."

Total Cousin Larry trick.

Still, the rest of the story was interesting enough, but all together, the three stories were not enough for me to tell you to go out and buy it, so..

Not Recommended.

On to the books I did not read that I would like you all to fill me in on:

Man With the Screaming Brain #1

Freedom Force #4

Judo Girl #1

Read More


Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Freedom Force #4: Loved it! Dieter and Scioli remember that comics used to be fun, escapist entertainment. People need to stop whining about Bendis killing Hawkeye and ruining their Avengers and pick up Freedom Force instead.

5/18/2005 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger Brad Curran said...

I'm pretty sure you're no longer a proper nerd if you passed up a chance to read Man With the Screaming Brain #1. Unless you're waiting for the trade. Then you're just on double secret probation. It's written by Bruce Campbell, for god's sake! The art, by Hilary Barta, should be nice, too.

5/18/2005 10:34:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

It's written by Bruce Campbell, for god's sake! The art, by Hilary Barta, should be nice, too.

Eh. If this was on TBS and I was bored, I'd watch it. But this story was not worth paying for. Sure, Barta drew some pretty boobs on the dirty gypsy, but that didn't make up for this b-movie reject story.

5/19/2005 05:29:00 PM  

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