Monday, June 06, 2005

Three 6/2 Books 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!!

Ororo: Before the Storm #1 - I think there are certain books where Carlo Barbieri's style really works well, and this is one of those titles (by the by, I think we should always take a moment to say "Wow, he's had an impressive career for a guy who got his first job by winning a Wizard fan art contest!").

One of the hard things to do with stories like this that are based in old X-Men continuity is to make it so that the continuity aspects are there only to make the older fans nod, and say "Ah, yes" rather than make the new fans scratch their heads and say, "Um..huh?"

Sumerak managed to do this by not making this an origin story at all, but just "Storm has adventures as a young thief in Egypt." He includes lines like "the Bright Lady" and "Goddess" to show a clear connection between this Storm and the Storm we know today, but if you had never even HEARD of Storm before, you'd be able to understand this story perfectly.

In any event, the story is about a treasure hunter who goes to a man who trains young thieves to hire the man's best thief, which happens to be Ororo - the future Storm. Meanwhile, we see Ororo in action and her connections to two other young thieves, one is a selfish mean girl while the other is a nice, but kinda incompetent young boy.

Like every Sumerak title, this comic is filled with well-detailed characterizations, and the interaction between all the characters is the highlight of the book.

I would have liked a little more in the way of plot advancement, though. The ending, with Storm learning that she is going to be hired for SOME mission, seems to be placed in the book almost arbitrarily, like "Oh well, this is where we hit page 22." rather than a natural ending.

Still, this was a fun comic with good characterizations and very fitting art, soo...


The Pact #2 - Jim Valentino wrote a truly dreadul first issue of the Pact, which is a team made up of four young Image heroes, each from a different creator's title (Firebreather, Zephyr from Noble Causes, Shadowhawk and Invincible).

This issue, though, is written by Jay Faerber, so it is a very large improvement. Whether it is a big enough of an improvement so as to make this a good title, that is the question...

I think the answer is yes.

The art from Valentine de Landro was strong enough to be pleasing to the eye. Faerber also does a LOT LOT LOT better job with the characterizations of the various characters. Unlike the previous issue, the characters seem to act a lot more like their actual established selves, and not just caricactures of themselves.

I still don't get why Zephyr is here but pregnant in Noble Causes, but if Faerber's okay with it, I guess I should be, too.

The story itself is an extremely straightforward superhero plot, but the key was not the action plot, but seeing the various characters interact with each other.

Fun stuff.

The pin-ups in the back were very nice as well, especially the SUPER Allred influenced Robbi Rodriguez one.


Superman/Batman #20 - Well, it appears as though the Big Bad Story Wolf has struck this title again.

This issue was awful.

Basically, your entire enjoyment of this issue would be based on how interested you are in Jeph Loeb's parody of the Ultimates (which he seems to be really impressed by...why, I have no idea).

And if a book is being pinned on that, well...that book is going to be a bad book, like this one.

Grant Morrison did a better dressing down of the Ultimates in, like, three panels than Loeb does in an entire issue.

The issue literally is the Ultimates (or "Maximums") fighting some team (in what appears to be an alternate universe...which didn't this title JUST do?) and Supermand and Batman show up and kill Giant Man because Giant Man killed Lois.

At the end of the issue, the dead Hawkeye (har har) gets the Ultimates to agree to hunt down and get revenge on Superman and Batman.

Meanwhile, we meet Batzarro, in a really poor scene (but such a cool idea), as a lot of the jokes are just self-referential stuff (like Batzarro talks about loud the stuff that Batman says in Loeb comics, at least).

I really liked Ed McGuinness' art, though.

Not recommended!

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

Mora #3

Emo Boy #1

Next Exit #4

Zed #6

Read More


Blogger MarkAndrew said...

I (heart) Ed Mcguiness, so I'd recommend Superman/Batman, even though the story made not a damn lick 'o sense. That cool cross thing he did with Captain Atom...

And, y'know, Supes/Bats is definitely one of my favorite superhero books mostly 'cause it doesn't make much sense. We could have some boring plot here... Or we could have Batman fight Hawkman! For no Reason! Yay!

(And I got a little annoying geek thrill from the Masters of Evil/Grim Reaper analouges in the beginning.)

This might turn out to be good. I really like the first six issues of this book.

6/07/2005 02:17:00 AM  
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