Saturday, October 01, 2005

View from the Cheap Seats

I don't really do new comic reviews (If I did I'd be urging you to rush out and buy Polly & the Pirates). There are enough people running that gig already. But I was in my local comic store yesterday and they have this box of recent remainedered comics at five for four dollars (1.99 UK pounds, actually, but I'm assuming most people reading this are more familiar with american money) so I used this as an opportunity to pick up a bunch of comics I'd never read before, along with a couple I already liked.

I also wanted to test out a theory I had about comics being inaccessable to the casual reader, so I purposely selected comics I had not read previously to see how they they worked for a new reader.

The two titles I was familiar with were Wonder Woman #218 and Legion of Super Heroes #6. I don't read Wonder Woman every month (well, not new issues, anyway) so I wasn't familiar with some of the characters who appeared in this issue. It felt a lot like an inbetween issue with very little plot but lots of subplot. A little girl is kidnapped from Themscrya by Ares, who apparently is her father. Most of the rest of the comic reads like an episode of a soap opera on fast forward as several different people get scenes where they have arguments and glower meaningfully at each other until Diana finds out about the kidnapping and is all set to rush off but her boss shows up and forbids her as she has a major crossover scheduled. To be fair it's indicated right from the start that this is a prologue, but this issue alone would not encourage me to read further to find out who all these people were and what was going on.

Legion of Super-Heroes #6. I read the first three or four issues of the latest incarnation of the Legion, but although I enjoyed it I had drifted away. This issue introduces the new version of Princess Projectra as spoilt rich brat financing the Legion out of her allowance because she wants to play superhero (shades of Penny Century!) and it annoys Daddy. This is immense fun and I would have happily followed this for a lot longer but extreme drama intervenes when Daddy calls for help as Projectra's home planet is under attack. The Legion leap into action but before they can open a warp gate the planet is destroyed. This issue also includes a letters page in comics format which has one of my favourite lines from a comic this week. It's a great jumping on point and my interest in the comic is rekindled. I've already bought issue #7.

Gloomcookie #24. A comic I'd never got around to reading before but having goth inclinations myself, I thought I might enjoy it. Sadly I was disappointed. This one started with a bunch of characters arguing about the death of some character who had presumably been killed the previous issue. Then some angsty guy wanders around a bit and has a conversation with someone who turns out to be imaginary or a ghost or something. Around this point I gave up the will to live and didn't get to read the final scene, which appears to involve a vampire girl and a guy in a posing pouch with a bat motif. I had no clue who anyone was or what they were doing, and by the end of the comic I didn't care.

Birds of Prey #84. I'd always intended to give BoP a try but never got around to it, so this seemed like a good opportunity. It was the middle of some story that involved Barbara Gorden being ill while the rest of the team dealt with a situation they were responsible for setting up that was all to do with drug smuggling and crime lords and all that stuff. I'm not really into that kind of story, but the characterisation was good. Reading this issue doesn't put me off reading further but it doesn't encourage me to go hunt up the next issue either.

And lastly Lions, tigers, and bears #4. Despite this being the final part of the story I really enjoyed it. The characters are original and sympathetically portrayed, and I am left wanting to read the rest of the story and finding out how they got to this point.

So for my money I got one bleah, two *shrug*s and two woot!s. Not bad for four dollars.

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Blogger Lex said...

Waid and Kitson's Legion of Super-Heroes is always comics goodness. Don't let the jerks on this blog tell you any different.

10/01/2005 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

How about the jerks IN the comic?

You know, like every other character in the comic?

(Imagine tongue sticking out emoticon here)

10/01/2005 06:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Brad said...

Those jerks would probably reccomend it. After kicking you in the shins. And I had a similar experience to Marionette, except it was the first 5 issues I picked up before drifting away.

10/01/2005 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger MarkAndrew said...

I wanted to hear about Polly and the Pirates. My shop didn't get it, or I woulda bought it.

Cause hey, pirates.

Plus Courtney Crumrin guy.

(They annonced that the Courtney Crumrin movie was in preproduction.

One of the posters said

"Man. Where are they gonna find an actress with no nose?"

I laughed.)

10/02/2005 01:31:00 AM  
Blogger MarkAndrew said...

Oh, and since I'm here, I liked the first bits of Rucka's Wonder Woman run. They seemed really well thought out. But the artist just didn't seem cut out for the job, especially the "Drawing Wonder Woman" part of the job, so I dropped it.

"Reading this issue doesn't put me off reading further but it doesn't encourage me to go hunt up the next issue either."

That's pretty much every issue of Birds of Prey, at least through the first two trades. Above average superheroy stuff that never veers into "Gosh! Wow!"

10/02/2005 01:42:00 AM  

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