Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Three 7/20 Books That I Read So That You Did Not

Taking a break from Secret Wars II to, as always, tell you about three comics that I did not hear a lot about this week, and then ask you all to fill me in on comics that I did not read this week.

Spoilers ahead!!

Ororo: Before the Storm #2

This was another strong issue by Marc Sumerak and Carlo Barberi.

It is funny, but this has one of the weirdest continuity references I have seen in an X-Men comic in a long time.

You see, Sumerak has the item that Storm is hired to steal be a jewel of OZYMANDIAS!

Ozymandias, if you do not recall (and you really should not), was the servent of En Sabah Nur (Apocalypse to those non X-nerds out there), who appeared in a couple of issues of X-Men right before Onslaught.

In any event, like the first issue, I think Sumerak hit the right note when using continuity, which is to make it so that people who KNOW the continuity will say, "Ha! I remember that!" and those that do not will NOT be thinking, "Huh? Who is THAT?"

I thought that the opening was a bit weak, as the dialogue of the kids did not ring true. Ororo's guy friend would likely not act the way he did if it was just a training exercise!!!

However, the scenes inside the temple of the three kids fighting the booby traps? Very nice stuff.

The bad guy is suitably evil, and just believable enough that I can understand them being willing to work for him.

Barberi's art is a bit weaker than in the first issue, but it is still strong.

The ending was a nice cliffhanger.

So, all in all, barely, I will say...


Batgirl #66

I think I've noted this in the past, but Anderson Gabrych really deserves a lot of credit for truly nailing Cassandra Cain's persona.

He really seems to "get" her.

In this issue, he shows a little bit of the emotional learning he has given her, as she is now comfortable enough among people to go out on a date with a boy without it seeming weird.

I dig that.

However, at the same time, she still has that "body language reading" ability, so she can tell when he is ready to make a move, etc. Clever stuff.

Cassandra is off on a search for who she thinks is her birth mother, Shiva, by going to where Shiva grew up, so this issue begins her road trip.

However, she runs across this Road Hog, who is this metahuman who looks like an actual Hog, who is amused that she can beat him up, so he follows her around picking fights with her.

Funny stuff.

However, at the end, it has to tie into the OMAC Project, as OMAC is apparently staking out Shiva's digs, and when it sees the metahuman Road Hog, it decides to engage him and capture him (I guess OMAC collects superhumans now?), which is just thrown in for no reason (Cassandra just ignores it and goes on with her mission). It was really irritating.

In addition, I did not like Andy Kuhn's fill-in art.

Therefore, even though the characterizaton was good (I especially like the scene where she imagines how her parents might have gotten together), the annoying OMAC tie-in, plus the not-that-great art irked me just enough to say...

Not Recommended!

Red Sonja #1

This really seems like one of the most calculated books that I have seen in awhile. Everything from the story to the colors (actually, ESPECIALLY the colors) seems to be trying to evoke Kurt Busiek/Cary Nord/Dave Stewart's Conan series.

However, I enjoy Conan a lot, so I guess I cannot knock them that much for wanting to evoke Conan, especially as the characters DO have a lot in common.

In any event, writers Michael Avon Oeming and Mike Carey with artist Mel Rubi (and colorists Caesar Rodriguez and Richard Isanove) tell a strong tale with this issue.

Sonja and her steed, Thorne, are traveling around when they come across an attack upon a messanger.

This gives Sonja a chance to strut her stuff, and she makes short work of the raiders.

After some good banter (including questions about her armor, or lack thereof), she agrees to travel with the messanger as his guard, and when that fails, she decides to deliver his message (he has an unfortunate, but really cool, end).

However, the people of the kingdom do not take her message well, leading to a dramatic cliffhanger.

Rubi's art (with the Dave Stewart-esque coloring) looks really good, as strong as his art has ever looked (probably stronger).

Oeming and Carey tell a solid tale, with a good mix of action, magic and intrigue.

Good start to this series (or is #0 the start?).

Recommended (under the caveat that if you hate Conan, you will probably not like this)!

Now on to the books that I did not read, so I was hoping you might have read them and could tell me what I missed out on:

Rising Stars: Voices of the Dead #2

Silencers Vol. 2 #1

Supernatural Law: First Amendment Issue


Read More


Blogger Mo Soar said...

Silencers was an odd little duck. It was an interesting intro issue, with some astonishingly straightforward character intros (little narrative boxes by each character's first appearance giving you name and salient features). The Silencers pull off a heist (they are the bad guys), retreat to their lair, brood, fight amongst themselves, run afoul of another gang, have family who is hit in a gangland execution, argue a bit more, brood a bit more and then the comic ends.

And ends permanently, as it turns out, because apparently the preorders were so low, the comic was scrapped at issue #1 - there is a little "so long and thanks for all the fish" farewell note on the last page.

7/26/2005 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

I hereby dub Bargirl #66 a Red Sky Crossover.

7/26/2005 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

*Batgirl.* God dammit.

7/26/2005 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Thanks, Mo!

7/26/2005 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Reed said...

Bargirl would probably be a more interesting comic.

7/26/2005 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger Brad Curran said...

"Bargirl would probably be a more interesting comic."

Than most comics. Except Barman Family.

7/26/2005 11:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember dropping Silencers after the first Moonstone issue because the lead character was planning to fake his own death...

...and then open a flowershop in Brooklyn, without changing his name or identity. Wha-huh-huh?

7/27/2005 12:20:00 AM  
Blogger Ken Robinson said...

Bargirl: By day, an inactive lush named Alley K. Holson. By night... she's STILL an inactive lush named Alley K. Holson. Read the adventures of Bargirl, from Liver Failure Comics!

I think that's a pitch, ain't it?

7/27/2005 01:15:00 AM  

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