Thursday, May 26, 2005

What I bought - 25 May 2005

You only have until Tuesday to win free comics from me! The details are here!

Let's see what I got this week. It's always a blast!

Barbarossa & the Lost Corsairs #2 by Brian Augustyn, H.S. Park, and Y.C. Jang
$3.50, Kandora

I'm still not totally sold on this book, but it's still got a chance. There's nice action with the sea monster from last issue, Greek fire is used (take that, big octopus!), and we meet the inhabitants of the strange dimension where our heroes found themselves last issue. There's an interesting theory about where the inhabitants came from, and there's political machinations, and it's all very nice. I'm going to get the next issue and possibly the one after that, but we'll see. Good, solid storytelling, decent art, a nice dynamic between the characters - the book is fine, but I'm still on the fence with it. More pirating, damnit!

Billy the Kid's Old Timey Oddities #2 by Eric Powell and Kyle Hotz
$2.99, Dark Horse

This is such a weird little title, but I'm really liking it. Billy is still a jerk, and it's nice to see. There are very strange things going on in the village where Frankenstein lives, and it's all very creepy. Something bizarre happens to Miss Isadora's tattoos, there's something very wrong with the population, and it appears that the group loses some members to a certain stitched-together monster. This is a neat idea helped immensely by Hotz's Kelley-Jones-lite art. It's good. Buy the trade when it comes out, because buying pamphlets is for suckers, apparently!

Common Foe #1 by Keith Giffen, Shannon Denton, and Jean-Jacques Dzialowski
$3.50, Image/Desperado

This is a kind of a cool idea. During the Battle of the Bulge, a group of American soldiers and German soldiers band together to fight weird creatures. These things are nasty, and people die. Of course, the problem is we don't really know the characters and so we don't care that they're dying, but it's still a neat idea. After the initial battle, we flash back a bit and sort of meet the principals, but there are so many of them it's tough to tell them apart. It's frustrating, but I'm willing to give it a bit of time because it's a neat idea and the art is beautiful. It's awfully dark, but it's gorgeous - it really shows the battle scenes well and the layouts are nicely done. I'm on board for a bit, because it's interesting. We better find out more about these people, though!

The Expatriate #2 by B. Clay Moore and Jason Latour
$2.95, Image

I really like this book, although apparently everything Moore touches becomes automatically months late. Sheesh. The cool thing about this book is that is keeps throwing you curve balls. Just when you think you have a handle on it, Moore pulls the rug out from under you (or is that mixing metaphors?). We think Maria's husband is going to be a problem. We think Jack Dexter and Maria are going to keep at it all hot 'n' heavy. We think the CIA dudes are going to do things differently. Ha! says Moore. I like the fact that we honestly don't know what's going on. It's probably not enough to sustain this series for long, but for the first two issues, it's kind of neat. And the art fits the tone of the book so well - rough, sleazy, messy. A good book.

Girls #1 by Jonathan and Joshua Luna
$2.95, Image

Apparently someone at Image decided that since Ultra was a decent hit for the company, the Luna brothers could have nipples in their next book. Good for you, Image! This is decidedly creepier than Ultra, which is the point, but it's kind of strange to see, because the art doesn't really fit the story. The art works better in superhero stuff, I think. That said, it's an intriguing issue, because the main character (does he have a name? everyone calls him "dude" or "cowboy" or "slick") has some serious issues with women, so of course at the end he finds a naked girl on the highway, who has apparently escaped some backwoods crazies. Intriguing. The problem I had with the issue was that our hero flips out pretty easily, it seems. Sure, he has female issues, but it seems rather weird that he turns into a total dick so quickly (yes, I know he's drunk, but still). It's a minor annoyance, but it's still there. It's a nice introductory issue, and I'm looking forward to the next one.

The Incredible Hulk # 81 by Peter David, Lee Weeks, and Tom Palmer

The end of the "Tempest Fugit" story arc is kind of unsatisfying. Nice things happen - David's characterization of the Hulk as a dude who just doesn't care is nice, Weeks is a good artist, the flashback scenes serve a greater purpose - but it was ultimately empty. Maybe I just don't like the villain. I don't know. I think I'll stick around for a few more issues, because I do like David's writing, and like I said, I like the Hulk's attitude, but we'll see if I'm in it long-term. David doesn't like to hear that he's writing for the trade, but it did seem as if this could have been a two-issue story. It doesn't really move anything forward too much, does it?

The New West #2 by Jimmy Palmiotti and Phil Noto
$4.99, Black Bull

Based on the first issue, the only reason I bought this issue was because it's the last issue. Yes, Noto's art is pretty, but 5 bucks is a lot to spend for this book. It's actually a pretty good story, and the lack of electricity in Los Angeles is explained better than it was in issue #1, and there's artistic bloodshed, and then toward the end the guys almost ruin it by giving us a completely gratuitous pin-up of a girl we've been told is too young for most comics geeks to lust over (oh wait - she doesn't exist, so it's okay). Blech. Anyway, I had hoped for more from these two (I really liked Beautiful Killer), especially for the price. I may have to join the ranks of comics fans who refuse to give their money to Gareb Shamus no matter what the product is.

Otherworld #3 by Phil Jimenez and Andy Lanning
$2.99, DC/Vertigo

I may have to stop reading this in its monthly format. I used to do this with mini-series - buy a couple of issues, decide that I liked it, and then buy the rest without reading them until the series was complete. I'm intrigued by Otherworld, but holy crap is Jimenez stuffing this thing with information. It makes my head hurt to read it. It's very pretty, and we learn a little more than we have from the first two issues, but it's just too much for my tiny brain to handle. I may have to buy them all and pick a long afternoon to sit down and figure out just what the hell is going on here and how all these people fit with each other. Sigh. Pretty book, though.

X-Men #170 by Peter Milligan, Salvador Larocca, and Danny Miki with Allen Martinez
$2.25, Marvel

Milligan's first X-story comes to a close, and although it's not as good as last month's pseudo-horror issue, it's still a strong book and it's enough for me to read on. It's basically the X-Men in space shooting down all the new Golgothas that are heading for Earth, but the paranoia that Milligan established in the story is still there, and the characterizations of our merry mutants is well done. It's also nice to see a story in which the humans don't shoot mutants on sight. Even though General O'Shea hates mutants, at least he allows them to go into space in the hopes that Golgotha will kill them instead of mobilizing the army to kill them. It's a nice issue that bodes well for the future. We'll see where Milligan takes them next. I hope it's into the twisted places he went with Shade and Detective and Enigma and The Minx and X-Statix and not the crappy places he went with Elektra.

Well? Bash away! This is America after all, not some Commie country where they make you buy state-produced propaganda comics!

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Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Common Foe #1 - One thing I really liked about this book was that while this BASICALLY was your traditional "introduce the cast before we get to the ACTUAL plot in the second issue," it still managed to be filled with things actually HAPPENING.

I liked that.

Good way to introduce a cast of characters.

Girls #1 has the same problem I've seen with a few other fictional works. They try to go with an unlikeable character because it's "different," but they do not make sure to see if it WORKS for the story.

I don't think this guy's jerkness works for the story. He was too far gone.

Incredible Hulk #81 - Hey, at least we got a chance to reference that Betty Banner fill-in issue (that PAD didn't even write) know...from SIXTEEN YEARS AGO!!!

Yikes, that was lame.

Otherworld #2 weighed 38 pounds. 37 and 3/16 of it was the dialogue.

X-Men WAS a drop off from the quality issue we saw last month, but it was still a decent enough book, I thought.

5/27/2005 04:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed Ultra, but I won't be continuing with Girls. It was just too much, from the opening scene. And the whole Deliverance vibe. Even if they were setting up red herrings for what was happening with that girl in the road -- not entertainment. And the whole town seemed pretty miserable and mean. As small towns stereotypically are. I don't need my titles to all be happyjoy, but this one is too much of a downer.

-- Kristen

5/27/2005 06:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Dan Coyle said...

Actually, I thought PAD was referencing the Web of Spider-Man issue he wrote where Spider-Man let the Hulk beat the living crap out of Nightmare.

5/27/2005 09:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Frank S. Kim said...

"the main character (does he have a name? everyone calls him "dude" or "cowboy" or "slick")"

His name is Ethan. Molly calls him by that name on page 3, and Alexis also calls him that in the bar.

5/29/2005 02:08:00 AM  
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