Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Three 10/12 Books That I Read So That You Did Not Have To

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.

Special All-Infinite Crisis Edition!

Nightwing #113, JLA #120 and Villains United #6 Spoilers Ahead!

Nightwing #113

I actually enjoyed the last issue of Nightwing, more or less. I liked Grayson's take on Deathstroke and Ravager. Her Nightwing is a bit odd, but I can understand that that is due to the fact that she is being influenced by outside forces in how she writes Nightwing.

The basic gist of the issue is that Nightwing is training Deathstroke's daughter, Ravager (he got the job last issue, after a few pointed jabs about the short lifespans of Deathstroke's other kids). The conflict arises with Dick trying to train her while stopping bad guys...and keeping her from killing bad guys withOUT her thinking that he is a good guy (at this point, WE do not even know if Dick is really a good guy anymore. Ya gotta figure he IS, but who knows).

So you have a lot of scenes where Dick keeps her from killing someone, then her complaining about how he didn't want her killing someone because he's a good guy, and then him giving her a perfectly logical NON-good guy reason for why he did it.

Meanwhile, Deathstroke is trying to find some leverage on Dick.

Phil Hester has been dynamite on this title, but he takes a break this issue. Lucky for us, Cliff "I draw comics awesomely" Chiang is the fill-in artist. He does a great job (and Ande Parks does a really nice job on inks). The comic looks like a Mike Parobeck comic on speed. Good stuff.

In any event, while the story is a bit repetitive, it is still fun, and the art is awesome, so I would say...

Recommended!

JLA #120

Wow.

I don't know WHAT to really say about this comic book.

You know how Infinite Crisis #1 was sorta plot-driven, as the point was just to resolve certain things?

Well, that is JLA #120 in a nutshell. I see that Bob Harras was credited for writing this comic, but it really reads like it was written by an exposition machine. I mean, to fully get this comic, you would also have had to have read Justice League Elite, by Joe Kelly!! That was really surprising to me, to see an Elite plot factor in so heavily into the storyline.

The whole issue is just the various members of the Justice League gather around to pay their respects to the League, and to the Martian Manhunter, who has disappeared (although, his surprise return is kinda screwed, as Harras has him show himself to Dawn Raven in THIS issue to say that he WILL be showing up later!!!).

And it goes down just as a computer would have it go down.

Leaguer A says mean thing to Leaguer B.

Leaguer C says mean thing to Leaguer D.

Leaguer E makes off-hand comment that Leaguer F takes poorly.

Multiply the 2, carry the four, and you have yourself a pretty lame comic book.

The saving grace was that Tom Derenick's art was quite good. Dan Green's inks were heavy, giving Derenick a very classic feel. I liked it.

The "story," though, was awfully lame.

Not Recommended!

Villains United #6

I have worked on a few scenarios, and I have found one that I like...Villains United is the A-Team of Comic Books.

It is filled with action scenes.

It is filled with interesting characters.

The enjoyment of the series is mainly derived from those two things - the fun action and the interesting characters (and the way the interesting characters interact with each other, which is encompassed by good dialogue).

In addition, it is one of those comics that, if you are to enjoy it, you have to pretty much be willing to leave logic at the door. There should be a big "BE READY TO SUSPEND DISBELIEF ALL THROUGHOUT THIS COMIC" warning on the cover of Villains United, because you are going to need it a lot. That was the same thing with the A-Team.

Remember when the A-Team would be locked inside a barn, and they would build a tank out of a tractor? It was always a tank. Always. In any event, when they came out against the bad guys in their tank, they would bring out their machine guns and fire at the bad guys - but they would never actually HIT the bad guys. Meanwhile, the bazooka they built in their tank would be used to blow up the bad guys' car...but the bad guys would always manage to leap out of the car before it exploded. Heck, in the very first episode of the A-Team, we see a bad guy jeep get turned upside down...and they actually DUBBED in lines of "You okay?" "Yeah."

That is what reading Villains United is like. Deadshot gets betrayed by Cheshire, but he doesn't kill her. Cheshire gets shot by Deathstroke, but does not die. Deadshot gets shot a bunch of times by Deathstroke, but does not die. There is a huge explosion that presumably SHOULD have killed off such big-name villains as Scarecrow and Weather Wizard, but it just...didn't. Stuff like that.

In addition, there was this big Infinite Crisis tie-in bit with the head of the Secreat Six (the stars of Villains United) turning out to be Lex Luthor, and the Lex Luthor who is in the Society is a Luthor who switched places with the first Lex Luthor at one point. That's not really important to understand Villains United, though. It's more of an Infinite Crisis plot point. I would imagine the idea did not even originate with Villains United writer, Gail Simone.

Dale Eaglesham's art was quite nice. He just signed a two-year exclusive with DC. Congratulations to him!

In any event, two ratings for this issue:

If you like the A-Team, Recommended!

If you dislike the A-Team, 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:

Apocalypse Nerd #2

Futurama Comics #21

Golden Plates #3

Thanks!

Read More

7 Comments:

Anonymous Andrew Hickey said...

Apocalypse Nerd - the main story (about two computer programmers living in the woods after a nuclear war) is not very good, and certainly not worth a 6 month wait between issues, but the backup feature - Founding Fathers Funnies - which deals with the USian 'founding fathers' in a similar manner to something like Action Philosophers, is worth picking it up for.

10/19/2005 08:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Iron Lungfish said...

Cheshire gets shot by Deathstroke, but does not die.

How do you figure that? We never see any mention of her again after she takes that bullet to the heart.

10/19/2005 10:32:00 AM  
Anonymous dconner said...

Futurama Comics was a fairly average issue. Which, on the overall scale of things, means it's pretty funny and rates a "Recommended," but this particular issue isn't a particular standout.

10/19/2005 11:32:00 AM  
Anonymous ArizonaTeach said...

Lungfish - I don't have it in front of me now, but doesn't Luthor say something like "Bring back Cheshire, if she's still breathing" or something? In comic-book lingo, that's what we call a "tell"...

10/19/2005 12:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Jer said...

"In addition, there was this big Infinite Crisis tie-in bit with the head of the Secreat Six (the stars of Villains United) turning out to be Lex Luthor, and the Lex Luthor who is in the Society is a Luthor who switched places with the first Lex Luthor at one point."

Gah? Really? I haven't read any of the Infinite Crisis stuff yet (waiting for the trade), but Really? Which Luthor is which then?

10/19/2005 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

"Lungfish - I don't have it in front of me now, but doesn't Luthor say something like "Bring back Cheshire, if she's still breathing" or something? In comic-book lingo, that's what we call a "tell"..."

Yeah, that was pretty much a giveaway.

Although, wouldn't it be amazing if she actually WAS dead?!?!

10/19/2005 04:10:00 PM  
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