Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Three 5/4 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!!

Justice League Unlimited #9 - This book was quite fun. However, the ending was pretty telegraphed, and struck me as one of those "the writer clearly thinks this is a really cool idea, while it really isn't THAT cool" ideas.

The plot is the Justice League goes back in time to help Merlin and the knights of Camelot fight against Morgaine Le Fey.

This series really captures the sheer coolness of the IDEA of Justice League Unlimited.

There is a two-page spread very early on with the members who are on this particular mission, flying in the air all as one group....VERY impressive.

It is funny to see Shining Knight in TWO comics in the same week! When is the last time THAT happened?!?!

He came off very cool.

Carlos Barbieri does a nice job of drawing the characters cartoon style.

Adam Beechen's biggest problem with the script, in my opinion, was that he had Vixen show up (whose power is to adapt to the abilities of any nearby animal) and constantly pound on the theme of "what can I do in medieval England?!!?"

So that when the "twist" finally comes, it is a bit anti-climatic, but cool.

So would I recommend this to everyone? I dunno...it is pretty darn close, but ultimately, I think that this may be a BIT too "kiddish" for some.

Not recommended!

Superman #216 - In this issue, Superman and Captain Marvel fight, and the Eclipso diamond ends up in just the right place for the Day of Vengeance mini-series to begin...which started LAST WEEK!!

Ah well, timing isn't everything.

In any event, that plot description was basically the entire plot for the book, as it was just all Superman (possessed by Eclipso) and Captain Marvel fighting.

Two things, though, stuck out in my mind as particularly silly. One nit-picky, and the other a bit less so (in my opinion, at least).

1. Shazam shows up to save Captain Marvel from Eclipso. But he couldn't do ANYthing for Blue Beetle? What a jerk. And Countdown was written by Judd Winick, who wrote this comic.

2. As any fairly longtime DC reader would know, this storyline's plot (Eclipso uses Lois Lane to possess Superman, then Captain Marvel fights the possessed Superman) is EXACTLY the same as the 1992 Superman Annuals, which were part of the big Eclipso summer crossover. The funny thing about it is, though, that they do NOT make ANY mention of that in the comic, but they DO credit, in a caption box at the beginning, the fact that they use the "Lightning" move that Mark Waid did in Kingdom Come with Superman and Captain Marvel.

Isn't that amazing? They cite THAT, but they make no mention that the entire STORY is exactly the same as a story 13 years ago!!

So silly.

Not recommended!!

Power Pack #2 - I predicted that this issue would be low on action, and I was correct!

To be honest, it is beginning to kinda irritate me.

Like I have said in the past, characterization is the most difficult thing to get down right in a comic book. It is very difficult to achieve interesting and realistic characterizations of characters, so it is to be applauded when someone gets it down right.

Marc Sumerak gets it down right.

However, in a superhero comic, action IS important! You cannot pretend that it does not matter, and the action in this comic is non-existent.

The issue details the eldest Power Pack member, Alex, and his girl problems. Cute stuff, interesting interactions, nice art by Gurihiru, but NO ACTION AT ALL!!!

The SECOND issue of a mini-series is NOT the best time for a "change of pace" issue.

So yeah, I was disappointed with that.

Fun Franklin Richards backup once again, with great art by Chris Eliopoulos.

The cool thing about my problem with Power Pack is that it is sooo easily solved. Adding action is EASY, characterization is HARD.

Sumerak has the former, now let us just see the latter please!

Not recommended (but there is definite hope here!!)!

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

Concrete: Human Dilemma #5

Deadworld #1

Shadowhawk #1

The Gift #11

Why Are You Doing This? GN

14 Comments:

Blogger Shane Bailey said...

I'm a Concrete fanboy so I'm not the best person to recommend the series without bias. I would read the previous collections before starting the recent series to get the full effect. It can be read without it, but I think you would enjoy it more reading the past issues. Concrete as a whole also deals with a lot of political and enviromental issues so if you're not into that, then I wouldn't recommend it. The book always makes me think and that's always a good thing in my eyes.

5/10/2005 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Why Are You Doing This was my first exposure to Jason's work and I enjoyed it a lot. Nice old school Hitchcockian plot and beautiful, clean artwork (sort of an anthropomorphic Tintin) add up to an entertaining read. Good enough that I plan to check out his other work. Recommended.

PS: What do you mean no action in Power Pack #2? There was the fight with interstellar squid monster, admittedly short though it was, plus the very clear implication that Alex would be getting some action in the near future!

5/10/2005 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger chasdom said...

Is it possible that you are pegging Power Pack into the wrong genre? That despite its super-hero-wish-fulfillment-action-fantasy trappings, it's really a serial comedy/drama? Would it serve the average reader adequately, if that reader came in with no expectations?

Just wondering, because it seems like the entire criticism is that everything that happens is good, and you're just picking out what didn't happen as bad. It also sounds like there's plenty of conflict, even if there is no "action," so I have hard time seeing this as a story that is lacking anything.

This seems typical of Marvel lately, to present more diverse genres using existing concepts (see also: Mary Jane).

5/10/2005 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger Lex said...

While my love of Captain Marvel knows no bounds, I'm very glad that I skipped that storyline running through the Superman books. It sounds crappy and unfun.

5/10/2005 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Leigh Walton said...

Let me get this straight. Power Pack has great characterization and art, but what it really needs to be great is six pages of "Pow Zap Bang"? Needless to say, I'm skeptical.

5/10/2005 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

Do you REALLY wanna know about The Gift? Why? WHY?!

5/10/2005 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

"plus the very clear implication that Alex would be getting some action in the near future!"

Hehe...that's what we need...Power Pack MAX....hehe.

5/10/2005 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

"Just wondering, because it seems like the entire criticism is that everything that happens is good, and you're just picking out what didn't happen as bad. It also sounds like there's plenty of conflict, even if there is no "action," so I have hard time seeing this as a story that is lacking anything."

Yeah, that's pretty much it. I think the lack of action was bad.

In fact, I even allow that a "change of pace" comic is cool, but the second issue?!

"This seems typical of Marvel lately, to present more diverse genres using existing concepts (see also: Mary Jane)."

But Mary Jane is very upfront about the fact that it is not a superhero comic, and heck, Machine Teen also is upfront about not being a superhero comic.

Power Pack, though, was not (if it was, indeed, not intended to be a superhero comic). Heck, according to Sumerak, "The basic setup of the series remains exactly the same as it was 20 years ago in the original Power Pack series."

And if THAT'S the case, Simonson was able to MIX the two, characterization and action, into one comic.

That's what I would like to see here.

If I did, then I would certainly recommend this series to anyone.

5/10/2005 05:47:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

" Let me get this straight. Power Pack has great characterization and art, but what it really needs to be great is six pages of "Pow Zap Bang"? Needless to say, I'm skeptical."

That is what I hope to achieve with "Three Comics I Read," by describing the comic with my take on it, I hope that I can give people a recommendation, but also, at the same time, I hope to describe what was good and what was bad (in my view) so that if what I describe as not good sounds GOOD, then people will still want to pick the comic up.

I certainly allow that someone who does not care about action at all will dig Power Pack. In fact, if that is the case, I urge you TO pick it up, as it sounds like it would be right down your alley if that is the case!

Also, the book could always use more sales!!

And it's good to get Marc Sumerak more work!!!!

5/10/2005 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

" Do you REALLY wanna know about The Gift? Why? WHY?!"

Crap.

Am I mistaken here...what is the Gift again?

I may be confusing it with another comic book...

5/10/2005 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

And Guy, my favorite Lutes work was Berlin.

Super cool stuff, that.

5/10/2005 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Lutes' Berlin? I think that's a different Jason. Why Are You Doing This? Jason doesn't go by a last name.

5/10/2005 11:46:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Thanks, Guy.

Someone mentioned something (in the Current Comic Report from last week) about Lutes, and I read it wrong, thinking they were saying that they were the same guy.

Glad to have my confusion cleared up!

5/11/2005 01:31:00 AM  
Blogger MarkAndrew said...

Yeah. Jason does anthropomorphic animals an' plots based on silent films. Jason Lutes does sad stories about families and Magicians.

"Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Why Are You Doing This was my first exposure to Jason's work and I enjoyed it a lot. Nice old school Hitchcockian plot and beautiful, clean artwork (sort of an anthropomorphic Tintin) add up to an entertaining read. Good enough that I plan to check out his other work. Recommended."

I love Jason's stuff, all of it. It's usually silent, and it most-often uses the same "cast of characters' sotospeak. At least all o' Jason's (quite different) main characters look alike.

Anyway, y'all should read this 'cause I can't make it to the comic shop.

"You Can't Get There From Here" is probably my favorite of his books cause, hey, I like Monsters. But they're all pretty awesomely great.

5/11/2005 04:13:00 AM  

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