Sunday, July 10, 2005

Three 7/7 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!!

Wildguard: Fool's Gold #1

Todd Nauck has done a fine job with this title so far, and this issue continues the streak.

It is interesting...a lot is made of the gimmick of this title. That is generally what gets promoted most...American Idol for Superheroes! Heck, the whole back cover practically is covered by Peter David telling us how great the idea is.

But while this might be useful in getting people to pay attention to the title (which is nice), it almost distracts from the fact that, really, the comic is fine without any gimmick. It is just a well-told, well-illustrated superhero comic book.

This storyline shows the team involved in a fashion show that turns into a mystery when all the jewelry in the area disappears.

There is also a lot of more subtle character interaction in the back, such as Freezerburn's frustration at the group teaming up with another superhero (not wanting the other hero to get the exposure he feels HE deserves), the questionable motivation of a hero's girlfriend and the whole atmosphere of seeing heroes react to the news that a team added a new member. Well done stuff.

In addition, the "confessionals" that are sprinkled in the book to give exposition and back story (as the whole thing is on TV) are fun. Clever idea, especially since the confessional format is so familiar to readers from TV that they do not even blink at them, even when a writer is using them as basically an info dump.


Justice League Unlimited #11

This issue reminded me of the scene in Jerry Maguire. The "you had me at hello" scene.

As soon as I saw that Adam Beechen was having an issue of JLU devoted to a Stargirl/Aquaman team-up, he basically had me at hello.

What a neat, unexpected (almost random) team-up!

It is combos like this that really highlight the greatness of Justice League Unlimited. Heroes who you would never expect to see working together...well....working together!

The key to this issue is Beechen's characterization of Stargirl and Aquaman, but he makes sure to provide a lot of action for Carlo Barberi to draw (as I have said in the past, there are certain projects that Barberi is geared towards telling. This is one of those projects).

Beechen takes a risk by perhaps making Stargirl appearing too annoying or making Aquaman appear too arrogant. This is the sort of thing that few writers can pull off, which is why you rarely see it (or when you DO see it, it is done poorly, as the writer never redeems either character, so you just have a comic where the stars are jerks).

Beechen also throws in little tidbits about what life in Atlantis is like, which is nice and interesting.

The action could have been a little better, but, like I said, the real key here was the relationship between Stargirl and Aquaman, and that paid off in spades.


Spider-Man Unlimited #10

An interesting question was puzzling me at the end of Marc Sumerak's story "Banner Weblines" in this issue.

Did he come up with the idea for the ending FIRST, and then build a story around it?

Or did he come up with the story and THEN come up with the idea for the ending?

In any event, it was a nice story. I was a huge fan of Roger Stern on Amazing Spider-Man, and this story reminds me a lot of Stern's Spider-Man, even down to Greg Tocchini's art, which reminded me of JRjr's work on Amazing back when Stern was on the book.

The story is about an assistant that J. Jonah Jameson hires who hates Spider-Man as much as Jameson does, and this issue sees if Spidey can change his stance.

Good stuff.

The second story, however, is not as good. Pia Guerra, as usual, supplies nice artwork, but Maria-Emiko Macuaga's story is creepy...and not in a good way.

I certainly hope she was going for a bizzarre ending, as I would really hope that she did not think that the "happy" ending of the story was an ACTUAL happy ending.

Because that ending was NOT a happy ending.

Girls who are obssesed with people enough that they build bombs to show the person how they hurt them...well...those people do not really deserve "Oh, I learned my lesson!" endings!!!

People like that are seriously disturbed!

They need HELP!

It is not GOOD if she just transfers her psychotic crush to another person!

Unless, of course, that is not the intent of Macuaga, but in THAT case, she did not do a very good job of making that clear, that the ending was NOT meant to be a "happy ending" but rather, a disturbing ending.

One good story and one not-so good story...not enough....

Not Recommended!

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:

Strange Girl #2

Blackpool #1

Dead Eyes Open #1

Judo Girl #3


Read More


Anonymous The Eyeball Kid said...

I definately agree with your review of JLU, that was a real winner! I've been picking up this book on an issue-by-issue basis if I like the characters it focuses on, and every time it has been a hit. So far I just have the Question, Creeper, and this latest issue, but I may have to go back and fill in the blanks if they keep up the good work. Also, the cartoon ROCKS.

7/10/2005 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

I (perhaps foolishly) have drawn my "Tivo" line at certain things...or else my Tivo would explode.

One of the things that I have drawn the line at are superhero cartoons.

So I haven't seen the show.

If it is as good as the comic book, I guess I really should change that...hehe.

7/10/2005 05:29:00 PM  
Anonymous The Eyeball Kid said...

Oh my goodness yes, that is a line that needs to be erased. This past season has been incredible, including such high points as the first animated appearance of The Suicide Squad, The Question and The Huntress on a 'date', a knock-down drag-out fight between Superman and Captain Marvel, and the Gred Saunders Vigilante in space! Thow in some incredible voice talent, including Jeffrey Combs as The Question, and you have a great show that is definately suitable for Tivo-ing.

7/10/2005 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger Brad Curran said...

Darwyn Cooke wrote the Suicide Squad episode, too, so there's that to make you feel like a jerk about not watching it.

7/10/2005 07:45:00 PM  
Anonymous The Eyeball Kid said...

And Warren Ellis wrote an episode...and Gail Simone...and Dwayne MacDuffie writes tons!

7/10/2005 08:44:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Dwayne MacDuffie...of X-O Manowar Vol. 2 fame!?!??!

Now I HAVE to watch!


7/10/2005 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

You're spot-on about Wildguard; the gimmick is really just icing on a very delicious cake. *shoos away Fenris* Ahem. Back in the original miniseries, I came for the gimmick, but stayed for the great characterization. What's really fun is looking through the trade at the original Wildguard ashcans from the days when Todd wrote and drew like Rob Liefeld. He's come such a long way.

7/10/2005 09:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never watched the JLU cartoon until recently, but I downloaded a few episodes on Kazaa and they were good!
Some of them seemed a little dark and perhaps with a little more fighting than I was expecting, but I liked them; especially the ones with Green Arrow and Black Canary, and a solo story featuring Booster Gold; they all tended to be a little more laid back and relaxed than some of the "conspiracy" episodes.
The titles for three I'm thinking of are:
"Double Date"
"The Cat and the Canary"
and "The Greatest Story Never Told"
and there's a great older one featuring the Joker vs the Justice League titled "Wild Cards", that's just awesome.

7/10/2005 09:42:00 PM  

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