Sunday, June 05, 2005

What I bought - 2 June 2005

Yes, I'm late this week. I had to get the taste of Super F*ckers out of my mouth (that sounds a lot nastier than it actually is). I'll try to be quick.

Atomika #3 by Andrew Dabb, Sal Abbinanti, and Buzz
$2.99, Speakeasy Comics

Go on and buy it. What, you'd rather spend your money on House of M? Please. It has nice art (still looks a lot like Bret Blevins), it has an interesting story, and this issue pretty much stands alone. It's a big fight. And guess what? It's pretty freakin' cool. It's - dare I say it? - Simonson-esque. And if you don't like it, what have you lost? 3 dollars? So what? Find it. Demand it. Take a chance.

Beowulf #2 by Brian Augustyn and Dub (Buzz? Dub? WTF is up with Speakeasy?)
$2.99, Speakeasy Comics

Better than the first issue. A love interest for our hero? Another big fight. An interesting premise - the government fears super-powered individuals, so they lock them up, and Wulf rescues them. A mystery at the end. Again, it's the same price as most of the rest of the stuff out there. Put down that filler issue of Uncanny X-Men and buy this instead! Oh, and the coloring is better this issue. Not as dark.

Detective #807 by David Lapham, Ramon Bachs, and Nathan Massengill
$2.99, DC

By now you know I think this story that Lapham is telling is awesome. If you haven't been reading Detective, this is almost a stand-alone issue in the context of the greater story. Remember Assistant Editors' Month at Marvel? If it didn't interfere with the tone of the story, they should have put "Batman does not actually appear in this comic magazine!" 'Cause, you know, he doesn't. It doesn't matter. Bruce goes undercover in the worst neighborhood in Gotham (and that's saying a lot!) and we see a bunch of its inhabitants. Bruce gradually realizes who is in charge of the neighborhood and who he has to get in good with. At the end, he gets a job with the guy. It's a nice issue that looks simple on the surface but has plenty o' layers. I hope the rumors aren't true about Lapham's run getting cut short, because this is fantastic.

The Incredible Hulk #82 by Peter David and Jae Lee
$2.99, Marvel

Okay, I like Jae Lee's art. I like Peter David's writing. I'm not going to question where this fits into the Hulk timeline, I'm just going to accept it as a nice, well-written, beautifully drawn story. The Hulk gets some funny lines, David tugs at the heartstrings, and all is well. I just don't get why women always have to die. Without it, there's no story, I understand, but even Bruce makes a comment about it before Tricia dies. Yes, plenty of men die in comics all the time, but I would love to see a breakdown of deaths by gender in comics. Someone with nothing but time on your hands - get to it! It's a good issue. A chick dies. At least she wasn't stuffed into a refrigerator.

The Intimates #8 by Joe Casey, Giuseppe Camuncoli, and Sandra Hope
$2.99, DC/Wildstorm

Another nice place to start, if you haven't been reading this. Punchy spends some time in his home town with Flora, a Poison Ivy knock-off who can't get into the Seminary. Casey slows things down a bit and indulges in some redneck stereotypes, but generally, it's another good issue. In his non-mainstream work, Casey has become one of the most subversive writers out there. It won't kill you to pick this up just for a glance!

Matador #2 by Devin Grayson and Brian Steelfreeze
$2.99, DC/Wildstorm

Give some love to Grayson and Steelfreeze! Look at that cool art! Check out the weird sexual tension! Watch Izzy Cardona get suspended and meet with a gangster who employs the Matador! There's still time to pick up the first two issues! Can I use any more exclamation points?!?

It's a nice book. Yes, it's six issues, and we'll see if it really needs it, but still. If there's anything wrong with this book, let me know. If it bores you, fine, but I don't see anything really wrong with it.

Noble Causes #10 by Jay Faerber and Fran Bueno
$3.50, Image

Some things get wrapped up, some things continue. Who needs decades of Fantastic Four continuity when you have this? Okay, maybe you really like the Fantastic Four. Okay. This is a nice book. I've been trying to convince you to buy it, but if you're not, you're not. I can't come to your house and force you too, although I'm sure Faerber wouldn't mind!

Seven Soldiers: Zatanna #2 by that guy and Ryan Sook and Mick Gray
$2.99, DC

Yeah. I didn't read it. Come on, I know I'm going to buy every single issue, you know you're going to buy every single issue (unless you hate Morrison, in which case nothing I say will induce you to buy it), and I'm going to wait so my brain doesn't explode trying to figure it out. I'm going to read all 30 issues at once, damnit, and that's the way it's going to be!

Small Gods #9 by Jason Rand and Juan Ferreyra
$2.95, Image

The end of the Bobby Pope saga, and another indication that this is one of the better books out there. Everything gets resolved, but not always in the way you think and not always nicely and neatly. Lucy seems to be just a little too kick-ass, but it's not totally out-of-character. The characterization is what makes this book really good, and the action works. Pick up the Small Gods Special that should be out soon - it sounds like it will be a good introduction to the series, although it won't be in glorious black and white (it's in Technicolor!) A really good book. How many times do I have to tell you? Don't you trust me?

Trigger #6 by Jason Hall and John Watkiss
$2.99, DC/Vertigo

Again, who cares? It's already canceled. This is better than the last couple of issues have been, actually, as it wraps up a bunch of stuff. I wonder if this series would have survived if the initial 6-issue arc (sigh) had been, I don't know, three issues? Hall could have gotten most of what he wanted into it, and maybe people would have stayed around if he had gotten to the punchline more quickly. I don't know. I'll buy the last two issues, because it's still an intriguing premise, but years from now, I'll probably look back on this brief series the same way I do The Minx and Aztek and Major Bummer - why didn't it find an audience?

The Twilight Experiment #5 by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Juan Santacruz
$2.99, DC/Wildstorm

Again, it's a mini-series. I can't make you buy it if you haven't been already, and if you're waiting for the trade, I don't think you'll be disappointed. Gray and Palmiotti actually make some interesting points about a superhero taking over the world with all the good intentions about solving everyone's problems. That's what you need in this kind of story, since it's been done before. Of course there's an external threat that will make The Righteous work with our heroes, and we'll see how that plays out. Another nice little series that would probably be fine with an issue or two lopped off.

X-Men Unlimited #9 by Matt Fraction and Sam Kieth and Damon Hurd and Mark Brooks
$2.99, Marvel

The guy at the comics shoppe was taken aback that I was buying this. "You have a reputation to uphold," said he. Apparently if you don't scoop up everything the Big Two publish you get a reputation as an indy nerd, but whatever. It's Fraction and Kieth, for crying out loud! Neither story is ground-breaking, but they're the kind of stories it would be nice to see more of in the main titles. Wolverine bonds with a friend, and we know no good can come of it (at least it's not a woman). Bobby Drake writes a resignation letter, and it's a little trip down memory lane with a nice twist at the end. Nothing spectacular, and yes, it's a little spendy, but nothing you should be ashamed to buy, either.

Well, there it is. So much fun! Any questions?

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Blogger Chad said...

I pciked up the X-Men Unlimited too. I was hoping it would be better than it was. Matt Fraction is a friend of Warren Ellis and it shows in the writing. But I really didn't feel anything particular about the story. Some character gets introduced and dies. Just didn't affect me at all.

6/06/2005 02:23:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

I thought that the second story had a great line with the "they don't put "that kid you played playstation with that one time" on tombstones.

6/06/2005 03:48:00 AM  
Blogger chasdom said...

Re: Trigger #6

I really really wanted to like this comic, and I will buy it through the final issue, but it's really not that good.

Don't get me wrong, I think Jason Hall's story is the bomb, with a great high concept and all. And John Watkiss is a really cool artist; if I look at any given panel, I can enjoy the stylish detail he has put into it. But ...

Watkiss is not telling Hall's story very well. It's almost like the pacing of the art and the pacing of the dialogue are on two different levels. Somewhere after the first issue, Watkiss decided to start telling the story with really static images, almost like every character is posed for a pin-up. This conflicts heavily with Hall's intense and organic pacing. This story needs to clip along like an episode of Law and Order and Watkiss is not accomplishing that.

Jeromy Cox's murky colors on Watkiss's heavily-inked art don't help either. Nice palette, but on Watkiss's art, it just turns to mud.

I'm convinced that this could have been a decent hit for Vertigo with a different artist, as the concept was very cool (although given that the similarly excellent Deadenders didn't last, maybe not). I know Watkiss already has another project lined up at Vertigo, hopefully it will be more suited to his current style. As for Jason Hall, between Beware the Creeper and (what should have been) Trigger, I will definitely be looking forward to his next project.

6/06/2005 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

That's a perfect way to sum up Trigger, chasdom. It's a weird title, and I think you put your finger on it. I also agree about X-Men Unlimited, but again, if you bought it, it's nothing to be ashamed of.

6/06/2005 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

X-Men Unlimited had two decent, inconsequential stories. My problem with Hurd's Iceman piece is one I have with a lot of comics writers' superhero work. They seem to think that there are no people that are actually happy. You can be conflicted, problematic, and dramatic and still generally be happy. All happy characters are eventually shown to be sad clowns on the inside. Give me a break! Like Joe Kelly making Plastic Man a deadbeat dad. It's silly and needless and totally unoriginal.

6/06/2005 06:16:00 PM  
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