Wednesday, May 04, 2005

What I bought - 4 May 2005

Let's get to it! You know you want to destroy my choices - you know you do!!!!

My comic book shoppe has started giving me bags with Onslaught on the side. I kid you not. How cool is that? It even gives the web site:, which is sadly no longer viable. Man, ten years ago Marvel was even wackier than it is today!

Batman: Dark Detective #1 by Steve Englehart, Marshall Rogers, and Terry Austin
$2.99, DC

I can wallow in nostalgia with the best of them, and the issues of Detective these guys did still holds up today, 28 years later. So of course I'm going to check this out, even though it can in no way hold a candle to the original. So, does it?

Well, it's not bad. Rogers' art has not matured well, but the story is decent. There's a lot of Bruce Wayne, which I always enjoy, and Silver St. Cloud is nice to see. The exchange between the two of them is short but well done. The Joker's scheme to run for governor is lame, and he doesn't really act menacingly, but the insanity is there, and despite the rather seriousness of the story, there's an element of fun missing from most Batman books today, like our next selection. I'm really torn. It's enjoyable, and it's six issues, so I'll get the next issue, but that might be the make-or-break one for me. Now that's an endorsement!

Detective Comics #806 by David Lapham, Ramon Bachs, and Nathan Massengill
$2.99, DC

Brian asked if Lapham's run is being cut down, and I don't know if it is, but I hope not, because as I've said before, this might be the best Batman story in years. Sweet fancy Moses, this is gripping storytelling. Totally creepy, and yes, the supernatural element is a little weird in a Batman book, but it's so evil that it fits. The fate of the Ventriloquist is truly disturbing, although Lapham's contention that "not even the Joker is a match for his sheer ruthlessness" is pushing it a little. The Penguin is back, briefly, in an unexpected capacity. The mystery gets revealed just a little more, enough to keep the pages turning but not enough to ruin it. I love this comic. LOVE IT!

Fallen Angel #20 by Peter David, David Lopez, and Fernando Blanco
$2.99, DC

Well, it's over. This wasn't the greatest issue, but it was still a good one. It felt, actually, like a set-up for more issues, so the rumors about the title moving to IDW make me happy, because obviously David has more stuff to write about. Lots of fighting, tough talk, revelations about various people, all sorts of stuff that David does well. So it might be over, it might not, but until it comes back, that's all I'm going to say.

The Gift #11 by Raven Gregory, Rich Bonk, and Rick Basaldua
$2.99, Image

This is kind of an old-school Image comic, with kind of obnoxious art with bad anatomy and writing that is decent but heavy on the awkward exposition. It's an intriguing story, but next issue (the second of a two-part story) might be my last, because it's just not grabbing me as much as it should. In this issue, someone who took the Ancient One's "gift" and got revenge on his cheatin' woman comes out of a mental institution ready to kill his benefactor. The Ancient One, being wise in the ways of assassins, escapes and cripples him, but at the very end, Death visits him in the hospital with a plan to take down the Ancient One. Like I said, it's an intriguing concept, but the execution is somewhat lacking.

The Intimates #7 by Joe Casey, Giuseppe Camuncoli, and Sandra Hope
$2.99, DC/Wildstorm

I like this book. I've read some people who don't like it, but it's still an interesting look at superpowered teenagers, and the art is strong. There's a lot going on in this issue, from Destra's desire to find out what's really going on at the Institute, Duke's visit from the National Park Service, Empty Vee's conversation with a marketer from the "outside," and Kefong showing that he has layers that have yet to be explored. This remains a subversive book, too, in its own way. I have a lot of experience with teens, and Casey does a good job getting the snarkiness of people who have no place yet in the world and the ineffectiveness of the adults in their world. School's out, so next issue is summer vacation! A neat book.

Matador #1 by Devin Grayson and Brian Steelfreeze
$2.99, DC/Wildstorm

Brian made a snotty comment about this, but it's a good book. I don't think I've ever read anything by Grayson, but she does a good job with the main character, Isabel Cardona, who believes an assassin named the Matador is in Miami, even though no one thinks he actually exists. Cardona has a crush on the D.A., who goes on a date with her even though he's married (and that should be a warning to her!), has a wet dream about the Matador (or maybe it's not a wet dream and I'm a scumbag for thinking it is), visits her family, and ends the issue holding a gun on the Matador. It's an interesting little book, and I recommend. Steelfreeze's art is very nice, although it's changed since I first saw him doing covers to Batman books a while back and it now looks like Eduardo Risso's. It's still good. I suppose most people are waiting for the trade (if they're interested in this at all), but I resist waiting for the trade!

Ronin Hood of the 47 Samurai #1 by Jeff Amano, Craig Rousseau, and Wayne Faucher
FREE, Beckett

It's a free comic from Beckett, and you have no excuse for not getting it! Well, maybe you do, if you think it sucks. It's still free. It's a Japanese take on the Robin Hood story, which is kind of annoying, but it's nice to look at and once I overcame my annoyance at the Robin Hood thing, I liked it. Unlike last year's Beckett entry at Free Comic Book Day, The Ballad of Sleeping Beauty, this does not appear to be an ongoing, but rather a long ad for a graphic novel coming out later this year. Beckett is doing some interesting comics and some interesting marketing. Check this out - you have nothing to lose!

And you know that Amano's daughter is the girl from the Super Bowl Pepsi commercial, right?

Sea of Red #2 by Rick Remender, Kieron Dwyer, and Salgood Sam
$2.95, Image

I liked this issue a lot more than the first one. The art is still bold and striking, but the story is less gory and more interesting, as we catch up with Marco in the modern day, when a film crew finds him. James - I mean Joel - Cameron is down in the depths making a "Poseidon" sequel, and his crew comes across Marco, still tied to his figurehead. They take him on board, and he immediately turns a crew member into a vampire. They subdue him, learn his story, and Cameron wants to make Marco's revenge on Blackthroat into a movie. He agrees, and the search is on! It's a funny issue, despite the violence, and I hope the title continues in this vein (sorry) - vampire pirates in a jaded world. Cameron doesn't care if Marco is a vampire or not, as long as he has a story to tell. A big improvement over last issue, which was still pretty good.

Shining Knight #2 by Grant Morrison and Simone Bianchi
$2.99, DC

I've been whining about Seven Soldiers recently, but this issue rocks. Morrison reins in the wackiness for the sake of wackiness a little (it's still there, but not as obnoxiously) and gives us the story of a man cut off from everything he has ever known, who has to rediscover the hero inside him. The monster who torments Justin is cool. This was my favorite issue #1 of the four Seven Soldiers mini-series, and it continues to be excellent. And the horse isn't dead. Of course. We can rape women with impunity in comics and movies, but God forbid animals die. That's a rant for another day. This is a very good comic book.

The Twilight Experiment #4 by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Juan Santacruz
$2.99, DC/Wildstorm

This is another one that if you're not buying it, you're either waiting for the trade or uninterested in it. It's almost over, so I can't really tell you anything you don't already know. The Righteous is kind of a boring bad guy who really wants to make everything okay, but the two main characters are still interesting, and Rene's development during the series has been the best part of it. The art is neat, too.

What the heck happened to Marvel this week? I don't know - nothing was jumping out at me. Oh well. I have a bunch of trades to read, as well, so I'll be back. Bwah-ha-ha-ha! Rip as you will!


Blogger Brian Cronin said...

I read Fallen Angel #20, but I forget...WAS there a pun in it?

I posit that my comments about Matador coule be construed as positive! Only your cynicism presumed that I was being sarcastic!

That being said, I did not like Matador #1.

I was pleasantly wrong about being disappointed by Shining Knight #2.

It kicked multiple asses!!

5/05/2005 05:03:00 AM  
Blogger chasdom said...

I just don't know about Marshall Rogers. His art has not progressed well, it reminds of how stiff Perez's art was on the first few issues of Busiek's Avengers. Legends of the Dark Knight: Siege was just awful, both in character design and line work.

Even if I'm not an Englehart fan, the original Englehart/Rogers issues are gorgeous to look at.

5/05/2005 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

I don't remember any puns, but there was some humor in Fallen Angel that made me groan a bit. David's a good writer, but the puns do annoy me sometimes.

5/05/2005 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

And don't you feel awful at presuming I was being sarcastic about Grayson, when in actuality, she is my most favorite writer of all time!?!?

5/05/2005 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Of ALL time!

5/05/2005 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

I sometimes grind up Devin Grayson-written comics and then smoke them to get the best high ever.

5/05/2005 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

That is how strong my love for her writing is.

5/05/2005 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Reed said...

It is now time for my hourly "Dammit, Shining Knight was sold out at the shop" whine.

Dammit, Shining Knight was sold out at the shop.

5/05/2005 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Brad Curran said...

Good job, Greg, getting Brian started on how much he loves Grayson. I hope you realize we won't be able to get him to shut up about how much he loves her Nightwing now.

5/05/2005 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger Pól Rua said...

how much he loves her nightwing?

Is that some kinda euphemism?

5/05/2005 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger Brad Curran said...

He'll probably even write a post about it.

5/05/2005 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger Brad Curran said...

"how much he loves her nightwing?

Is that some kinda euphemism?"

It's your cynicism that's making you presume that.

5/05/2005 09:26:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

"It's your cynicism that's making you presume that."

I've created a monster!!!

Now every time someone knocks a book, that will be the knocker's response!


5/06/2005 01:31:00 AM  
Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

While I didn't read your Sea of Red review ahead of time on purpose, you still owe me $2.95 for it! I hated it. So much so, I'm offering my copies of #1-2, FREE, to the first reasonable defense of it here.

5/10/2005 11:53:00 PM  
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