Thursday, April 06, 2006

What Bill Bought - 4 April 2006

Yes, you read that right. Not only am I doing actual reviews, but I’m reviewing stuff I bought on Tuesday. No, I don’t generally go to the shop on Tuesday, but I was in the neighborhood. (I bought Shaq-Fu for Sega Genesis at the pawn shop around the corner, too. No, I’m not kidding. Shaq freakin’ Fu. Shut up, you know it was awesome.) I’m not the kinda guy who goes to the comic shop every week. And no, nothing that came out on Wednesday was on my list, except maybe Aquaman, but I haven’t decided on that one yet.

What I noticed, however, is that all the comics I bought were about, get this, empowered females! So we’ve got a theme and everything. Moving on.

Drawing randomly from the pile, we’ll start with, um… Hawkgirl #50. Which is really Hawkgirl #1, or Hawkman #50, depending on how you look at it. I haven’t been paying attention to any of this Infinite Crisis stuff, so I have no idea what happened to Hawkman, but Hawkgirl’s more marketable anyway, as she’s on JLU. Also, it was written by Walt Simonson, who has done two of my favorite comics of all time, Thor and Orion. I had to buy it for that reason alone. Howard Chaykin on art sweetened the deal. You ask me, these guys are totally slumming, but hell, I’ll take it.

As for the book itself, well, it was decent. After hearing from everybody and their brother that it sucked, I didn’t have high hopes, but it turned out better than the word of mouth was declaring. It’s mostly set-up and there’s hardly any spandex action in it; this doesn’t bother me. What I would like to know, however, is who the hell these people are. Now, I’m not a total idiot; I know this Kendra girl is Hawkgirl. But what’s her occupation? Student? Curator? Both? How old is she supposed to be? Who is this Danny guy? How about that cop dude? Why is he sharing police information with anyone who asks? Other than that, it’s a decent standard story. Nothing too exciting. But then, Orion and Thor took a couple issues to hook me in, so this will hopefully be no different. I’ll at least be back for #51.

Thank God, however, that Uncle Walt avoided my new pet peeve in comics, which is the overblown first-person narration box. Ol’ Walt uses, get this, thought balloons. Crazy. Now, if we could just get John Workman lettering this thing…

Art wasn’t too bad, though it was a little loose at times. It’s Chaykin, you know. So yeah, you’ve got the overt sexuality of Hawkgirl, complete with pokey nipples. Also, her breast size seems to double when she puts the costume on. Hmm.

Also, what’s the deal with the paper stock? I thought all DC and Marvel comics had slick pages now. Huh. Guess I was wrong.

Next up? Oh, let’s go with Dead Girl #3. I’m loving this mini. It is pure Marvel madcappery, and it’s utterly lovely. I honestly can’t tell that Allred isn’t penciling it, and Milligan is doing some great work, unlike some other books of his. X-Statix hasn’t been this good since #11. And, for God’s sake, if anyone should be writing a Dr. Strange series, it should be Pete Milligan.

Really, this comic is everything an X-Statix fan could want from a reunion tour. There are lots of great ideas put forth, and some old favorites show up. And Harry Osborn has a cameo. Everyone wins.

Yeah, that was a short review. Perhaps I didn’t have much to say. But then, here comes Nextwave #3, and, as we all know, this one’s got plenty of strong female leads that like to blow stuff up. It’s also got Dirk Anger, sensational new character find of 2006. This is Ellis at his most irreverent, but it works wonderfully. The art by Stuart Immonen is pure pop art joy. It is adrenaline on the comics page, and it can cause orgasms in Canadians. Oh, and it’s funny, too.

Geez, I suck at writing positive reviews. Maybe it’s because I’m usually so evil. But, you know, we’ve still got to cover All-Star Superman #3, which is about Lois Lane getting superpowers. That, however, is not the focus or the point at all. Lois barely does anything super. It’s about how to be a hero, and it’s about Superman’s love for Lois. Hell, who cares what it’s about? It’s got the best writer and artist team working in comics on the damn thing. Just buy it. If you don’t love it, the terrorists win.

Last up, thank God: Robin #148. Honestly, I haven’t bought an issue of Robin since #8. Can someone tell me what the demographic for this book is? We know kids aren’t buying it, so what does an adult audience of twenty to thirty thousand fellows see in this book? I’m not quite sure. It’s about, you know, Robin. Nothing wrong with that, but I’m shocked it’s still around.

Nevertheless, as far as this issue goes, it’s… um, well, it’s okay, nothing special. The paper stock is kinda crummy, which makes the art suffer. Or maybe it’s the colorist’s fault. I can’t tell. Kerschl isn’t coming back for the next issue anyway, so it might not even matter.

This issue’s also got an avalanche of those grating first-person caption boxes, most of which tell you absolutely nothing, just like the captions in every other damn comic that’s coming out these days. Some of ‘em are about Robin investigating things, so that’s cool, but lots of them are dumb filler captions that have no reason to exist. Then there’s the scene in the police station, which has some bad dialogue and a full splash page that’s just an establishing shot of the place. I guess they came up short, or something. I had some faith in Beechen, but now I’m not so sure. I suppose I’ll give it a second issue just to be sure, but it’s not doing anything for me at the moment.

Does this one fit into the girl power theme? Maybe. It’s really all about Batgirl, even though Batgirl’s not really in it. But Batman does say she could kick Robin’s ass. So there you go.

I remain thoroughly underwhelmed by this whole One Year Later thing. Then again, they got me to pick up an issue of Robin, so I guess they win.

Yeah, okay, so this review column isn’t written all that well. Um… maybe I shouldn’t even post it. But if I didn’t, you’d forget who I am. That is, if you haven’t already. I’ll just go sit in the corner now.

See, this is what happens when I miss my nap. I write blog posts. The horror… the horror…

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Blogger Apodaca said...

If I was with you when you bought Shaq-Fu, we would have rocked that nobody's business.

Never underestimate the power of Shaq-Fu.

4/06/2006 07:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish Robin was for my kids. My 5 year old would read it in a heart beat, instead he has to live with just being able to read about Robin in Teen Titans Go!

4/07/2006 11:12:00 AM  

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