Weekly Comic Book Discussion 5/27/2004

Here we go again. My list when I get home, as usual.

My vote for most promising title of the week :

Richard Dragon #1. I love digging into the history of the DCU, and this seems like an excellent start. Good martial-arts fun.

But what about DC:New Frontiers? I couldn’t wait and had to read it on the train on the way home! I’m loving this damn series!

Also picked up (finally) Uncanny Xmen #444 (yippee, Alan Davis!)

and… (everything currently unread)
Batman #628 (I’m not a big fan of these Wagner covers)
The Legion*
JLA (yay Byrne!)
The Losers
Harley and Ivy

Astonishing Xmen #1
Ultimate Xmen #46
X-Statix (yay Aldred & Milligan!)

Hmmm… quite a big DC week. and no in-d-pendants! sigh

*(gots to have that THE there, to distinguish it from the other, confusing Legion titles!)


But what about DC:New Frontiers? I couldn’t wait and had to read it on the train on the way home! I’m loving this damn series!

Batman #628 (I’m not a big fan of these Wagner covers)
JLA (yay Byrne!)
Harley and Ivy

Astonishing Xmen #1
X-Statix (yay Aldred & Milligan!)

Hmmm… quite a big DC week. and no in-d-pendants! sigh

Snipped a bit. DC : New Frontiers rocks. Batman covers do currently suck. Byrne? Ew! I get my JLA and JSA comics on a delayed schedule at the moment, so I don’t have it yet.

Harley and Ivy - Loved it. Superman - well, at least I think I’m starting to understand the story.

Astonishing X-Men sold out before I got to the store, I think. I didn’t see it there…

Did I miss a new issue of X-Statix this week? Curses.

DC: New Frontier: Fantastic. I just don’t want each book to end.

Astonishing X-Men: I’m not sold on the art. Maybe I shouldn’t read these two books on the same day…

Wasn’t **Excalibur ** supposed to be out yesterday?

Yes, I saw a preview of the Astonishing art in Wizard … Cassaday works for Planetary, but I don’t like the designs for the X-Men.

Excalibur was out last week.

No, I meant Excalibur #2. They have it listed as being released yesterday over at marvel.com. Oh well. I thought I was going to read it and Astonishing X-Men, but I’m just not sure. Let’s see if we can make a few predictions: Jean Grey will return from the dead, Xavier and Magneto make nice while rebuilding Genosha, Magneto turns bad again, Scott and Logan continue to bicker, Frost broods once an issue, and Kitty and Beast confide in each how much they wished everyone would just get along. That about right?

Avengers and JLA are getting a boost this summer, aren’t they? Maybe I’ll just move completely into DC. I’m going to pick up Identity Crisis, so I might as well invest most of my time there.

Ultimate X-Men: eh. I hardly remember what the story was. I think it was because it was just a bunch of 2 page vignettes. Usually one of my fave books, this month was kinda dull.

Astonishing X-Men: Weird. I don’t normally read X-Men (Marvel 616) but I liked this. Guess I’m in the minority here. I never watched Buffy either but I liked Joss Whedon’s writing. I’m not going to keep buying it, but I at least wanted to see what all the hubbub was. “Sorry, I was busy remembering to wear all my clothes.” Snicker

Secret War: Getting intriguing. I like how SHIELD knows every super-human around these days. There are no secrets kept from Nick Fury. I think they took a cue from the Ultimate line (and considering it’s Bendis, I’m sure of it) One fault…Drunken Wolvie. Sorry. Ain’t happening.

Supreme Power: Totally off-the-wall background of Power Princess. And it wasn’t exactly work safe either. Didn’t stop me from reading it here though.

Punisher: Glad this arc is over with. I’m done. Same thing that happened to me back in the 80’s. Only so many ways Punny can kill a man before I get tired of it. But kudos to Marvel for putting it in the Max line where it belongs.

Wanted #3 : Death Row Edition - Wanted to see what was different about the Death Row Edition. Not much, it seems. Still an interesting little book, though. I like the concept. Millar’s vocabulary needs work though.

GI Joe Reloaded #3 - Roadblock rocks. 'Nuff Said.

GI Joe #30 - I like what they’ve been doing… dissension between Destro and the Baroness? Hmmm.

Catwoman #29-31 - Wanted to check in with the Bat-extended-family … but the store was all out of Robin. I don’t much like the art on Catwoman these days, I’ll say. And the plot seems reaaaaaaallly cheesy.

Batman #628 - Get new cover artist, stat. Get new interior artist, stat.

Batman : Harley and Ivy #2 (of 3)- Heh. Heheh. Heheheh. The creative team of the animated series recaptures that old Bat Magic…

Green Lantern #177 - Just sorta keeping pace with this title so I can be there when we hit the big switch. Nice cover, but… jeez… Jade’s chest is a bit big there. Maybe she uses an Oan power-bra?

The Legion #33 - Legion Espionage team? Cool. Seems like an awfully quick wrap-up though…

DC : The New Frontier #4 (of 6) - Probably my second favorite book this week. Poor John Henry.

Richard Dragon #1 - The standout. I like the art. I like the plot. I like the characterization. And hey, Lady Shiva!

Superman #205 - C’mon, Azzarello… need more info on this vanishing thing…

Nyx #4 - I like the art… but the book’s so… somber.

Supreme Power #10 - I love Supreme Power every month. No exception here. I wonder if we’re gonna see a Supremized Tom Thumb? I hope he’s not naked.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang #5 - and the rousing rock’em-sock’em spy book continues. Transitional issue to set up a nice big cliffhanger.

Wizard #153 - Bought it for the Identity Crisis info, sparse as it was.

Punisher: Gee, I was really hoping he’d

cut Micro some slack for old times’ sake

Frank’s getting harder and harder to root for

JLA: So, sre all the old DP stories out the continuity window? Not that that’s a bad thing, but I have a real soft spot for Crazy Jane and Danny the Street…

Secret War: This slow Bendis plot exposition works great on a monthly book. What’s this one, a quarterly or something? Love the art. I was hoping that girl was Jolt, but she ain’t. Since when do Latverian women wear burkas?

Theoretically, it’s impossible. But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen him drunk. Remember, there’s a slight time lag with his healing factor, and he drinks a lot.

Punisher: I actually liked the ending. Although, I think that Ennis is going in the wrong direction by trying to make Pun. a character. Too much of this arc was just old Grant-style Punisher dressed up with swearing and some nods to Ennis’ own work. Not terribly impressed.

More Kev: The first one was pretty funny, but this appears to be a rehash. Fabry draws the ugliest people I’ve seen and it works great on this.

Conan: Eh. Art’s great, but the story kind of lags. Still upset that Conan keeps talking about his past (although he doesn’t mention it in this issue).

Losers: Probably best to wait for the trade, if it’s even worth buying. Pacing here is annoying. It’s just like he broke his trade down into chapters and had to put in only enough plot to move to the next issue. Even the action scenes are getting boring.

Badlands. Stephen Grant does JFK conspiracy fiction - and it works! I’ve heard great things about this book for years, but never thought the subject matter would interest me. I’m so pleased to be wrong.

TSP: Love Street 1 - 3. And another pleasant surprise - a “Sandman Presents” spin-off that’s sweet and sad and good. It’s really more of a Hellblazer story than a Sandman one, but I’m hardly going to complain about htat.

Tainted. This old Vertigo one-shot is, um, well. What do I say? It must have been an efective little horror pieces, because I felt the urge to scrub my eyes and brain with a wire brush afterwards, but I can’t really say I liked it.

One other error in Secret War: Wolvie says he’s never seen Spider man in his civvies. In their first big team up Spiderman vs Wolverine, Logan tracked Pete to his German hotel room and told him to suit up. He didn’t get his name, but he sure knew his face and scent. Of course we can chalk up this discrepency to Logan being drunk now :slight_smile:

My only purchase this week was Legion # 33.

Good wrap-up for the DnA team. But way, way, way too many plot threads left hanging for too long which will now be up to another creative team to resolve.

The Punisher’s last issue sucked. I read it in the store and didn’t bother to buy it, not even to complete the collection of the miniseries. Horrible writing, horrible art and an incredibly lamebrained, pointless story, which mostly seemed an excuse to get R-rated language and imagery into the MAX line.

I get the feeling that, if Garth Ennis had the “Welcome Back, Frank” storyline to do over again, the Punisher would’ve found a reason to cap Soap, Molly, Spacker Dave and Joan the Mouse. Mr. Bumpo would’ve died as a human shield against the Russian.

He’s refining the Punisher into a purer archetype, but making him a less-interesting character in the process.

Many, many thanks to the poster who, a few weeks back, recommended Blacksad. What a phenomenal book! A noir detective story featuring … anthropomorphic animals? I was skeptical, but this works beautifully, and the art is gorgeous.

You’re very welcome.

There is a second volume Blacksad 2: Arctic Nation that rather bravely addresses the subject of race. A fine read, & that’s from a Bogart fan.

There may be more, in a year or 2.

High Roads, a Wildstorm/Cliffhanger six-issue miniseries written by Scott Lobdell and drawn by Leinil Yu and Gerry Alanguilan.

Last night I tore through the High Roads TPB, my latest library find, and it was exactly what I expected: an adventure-comedy that really tried to be like a wackier Indiana Jones movie, but came out more like a less-entertaining Stephen Sommers flick. This is a story set during the final days of World War II, so there are plenty of evil Nazis. And many of them are evil NINJA Nazis.

The cast consists of an unlikely foursome of heroes: U.S. Army Sgt. Nic Highroad, a bumbling but brave Tennessee hayseed, Sir Arthur Bombridge III, a diminutive British actor in the twilight of his career (who happens to look like a midget Hitler), Mrs. Sloan Applebee, the real Hitler’s former dominatrix (although she’s a plucky American girl who was replaced by “that slut Eva Braun”), and Oki, a drunken Japanese kamikaze pilot who fled from certain death in battle, and ended up as their goofy pilot… not unlike the goofy drunken pilot from The Mummy and several other adventure movies.

The heroes team up to steal some McGuffin-like jewels (“Morpheus’ Necklace”) from a Nazi stronghold in the Arctic Circle during the final days of WWII, where they discover a high-tech Nazi city MADE OF ICE, and Hitler’s “final final solution,” which has to do with detonating four atomic bombs to melt the Polar ice caps and flood the world. Yes, it’s THAT kind of adventure-comedy. And no, that’s not a major series-ruining spoiler, so don’t worry.

High Roads has some slapstick, a good bit of T&A, and plenty of midgets killing Nazi ninjas. Seriously. I guess it was entertaining enough for a quick, free read, but I wouldn’t suggest it to most of you. This is strictly one for the hardcore fans of books like Danger Girl!

I also picked up the WALKING DEAD TPB. I had gotten the first issue when it came out and wasn’t impressed, but subsequent flips through and some reviews got me interested (damn thing’s only $10 too!).

Boy was I glad I gave it a second look. There are two shocking things in it (OK, one really gross and one genuinely shocking), the art’s great (man, he draws some good zombies) and the characterization is pretty good.

That said, I can see this series burning out pretty quickly. It’s basically your standard zombie “we humans are a greater threat to each other than the zombies,” and the “lots of people from varied backgrounds getting on each others’ nerves.” There are some cliches, but for the most part Kirkman pulls it off well. They killed off 30% of the cast in the first six issues, which doesn’t seem like a recipie for longevity.