Feanor's Journal logo

One of a Series of Tubes

Filtered: Only entries tagged as Jason Aaron displayed.
Main feed for this filter: rss icon
Comments feed for this filter: xml
Remove filter


Monday, September 13, 2010 03:49 PM
The Take
 by Fëanor

Fëanor's (semi-)weekly comic book review post.

This post covers new releases from the week of 9/1. Beware spoilers!

New releases
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight #36
Another jump back in time, and another attempt to explain Angel's recent actions. This time they do a pretty decent job. We also get to see how Angel and Spike dropped in from the IDW comic book universe. It was a pretty sudden and violent process! Next the book sets up the upcoming storyline - which will apparently involve returning to Sunnydale, fighting the Master again (he's still around??), and digging up something called the Seed of Wonder. Then it threatens us with a future storyline involving the universe that Buffy and Angel created and then abandoned when they had ultra-sex.

Meeeeh. I just don't know about Buffy anymore. I'm still annoyed by the resolution of the previous storyline, despite their attempts to explain it away. I'll probably stick around for now, though, if only to see what this Seed of Wonder is all about.
Thumbs Sideways

Hellboy: The Storm #3
Hellboy once again rejects his destiny - he's good at that! He gives up his army and his sword. I very much like the parallel to Arthurian mythology here, where Hellboy asks his loyal retainer to throw his sword into a pond or a river, because "that seems like the thing to do." She doesn't want to at first, but finally agrees. Then there's the image of the grail on the inn's sign post. Interestingly, Hellboy says after this is all over, he wants to go back to the Bureau, and also live in America with his new girlfriend. Cool! But Hellboy's got a lot of hard work ahead of him before that can happen. He has an interesting confrontation with the guy I take to be Merlin, who again offers him the army of Hell to command - but Hellboy made his choice as far as that's concerned a long time ago. Then Baba Yaga shows up again to make him a different offer: if she can have one of his eyes, she can get him past Nimue's army so he can face her one on one. But deals with Baba Yaga are never a good idea, and this one may very well have brought about Nimue's final and most terrible transformation - the one the beast warned Hellboy about an issue or two ago. By the end of this comic, it looks like she has become - against her will, even - what Hellboy refused to be. The seven Old Ones have awoken again! That is not good news.

This has been a fantastic series, and I'm excited and a little terrified to see what comes next.
Thumbs Up

Incorruptible #9
We learn more details about Alana Patel's past, and about her connection to Max Damage. But it turns out she might be more pissed at Jailbait than at Max. Which is bad, because the new, vulnerable Jailbait just landed right in front of her. Meanwhile, it looks like the white supremacists want revenge on Max in a big way. I know I keep saying this every month, but I'm really disappointed in this book anymore. The art is poor and inappropriate, and the writing is pretty weak. It's still a must-buy in my head, but I don't know how much longer that's going to be true if it keeps on this way. Especially if the next week it comes out, there are five other books I'd rather read.
Thumbs Sideways

Wolverine #1
Jason Aaron has a new ongoing Wolverine title! Which is something I would have been way more excited about back before I read his other Wolverine title and couldn't get into it at all. I decided to give this new one a try anyway, but sadly I don't think I'm going to be able to get into it, either. I did learn a couple of interesting things in this issue: Wolverine has a love interest, and she appears to be that reporter from the other Wolverine title Aaron was writing. Also, Mystique is alive again (not that I ever really expected her latest death to stick), and despite the way Wolverine treated her last time I read about them hanging out together, she's now helping him by saving his girlfriend. Huh. I would not have expected that. Anyway, the story involves some kind of evil presence inhabiting Wolverine's body and wandering about doing mischief on Earth while his soul is tortured in Hell. I guess it's kind of a vaguely intriguing premise? But mostly I find it boring and off-putting. It seems like all the comic book heroes are going to hell lately. Really, the whole book is cliches. Wolverine's life is finally settling down, and he's got a girlfriend, and things are looking up, so of course everything's going to go horribly wrong and a gang of killers is going to try to murder his girlfriend. The problem is, it's hard to care about Wolverine, because c'mon, he'll be fine, and it's even harder to care about his girlfriend, because she's just the generic comic book reporter girlfriend and I don't care about her at all. Maybe Aaron has more exciting things planned down the line in future issues, but I'm just not sure I'm willing to hang in there and find out.
Thumbs Sideways

X-Men: Smoke and Blood - Curse of the Mutants #1
You know what nobody's telling stories about lately? Vampires! Thank goodness Marvel is here to remedy that! Ha ha ha- oh, screw it. Anyway, apparently the latest X-Drama revolves around those mystical blood-sucking entities that one hears about so rarely these days, and this awkwardly titled one-shot is writer Simon Spurrier's contribution to the story. I follow Spurrier on Twitter (@sispurrier), and I've enjoyed his work in the past, so I thought I'd pick it up. The book is... okay. The vampire portrayed here is actually more like a Xenomorph from the Alien movies than your traditional be-caped seducer, and the story proceeds like one of those movies, with a small group of people trapped in a small area with the monster, being killed off one by one in true sci-fi/horror thriller fashion, despite all their technology. I'm not sure I quite follow the solution to the mystery of how the vampire works (when Emma asked, "What the $&#% just happened?" near the end, I sympathized with her a great deal), but that's okay. The dialog is clever to the point of sometimes being too clever - it occasionally totters towards feeling contrived and over-composed. But it's also legitimately funny and smart a reasonable portion of the time. Like I said, the book is okay.
Thumbs Sideways
Tagged (?): Buffy (Not), Comic books (Not), Hellboy (Not), Jason Aaron (Not), Joss Whedon (Not), Mark Waid (Not), Mike Mignola (Not), Simon Spurrier (Not), The Take (Not), Vampires (Not), Wolverine (Not), X-Men (Not)
Back to Top



Friday, August 20, 2010 11:29 AM
The Take
 by Fëanor

Fëanor's (semi-)weekly comic book review post.

This post covers new releases from the weeks of 6/30, 7/7, 7/14, 7/21, and 7/28, as well as some back issues picked up during that time period. Basically, I'm catching up on a huge pile of unreviewed comics here. Beware spoilers!

New releases
Abe Sapien: The Abyssal Plain #1 & #2
We head back to the mid-'80s to tell a solo Abe story wherein everybody's favorite fish dude dives to the wreck of a Russian submarine in search of a magical artifact: Melchiorre's burgonet. The artifact has a fascinating history, but the real story here ends up being about the Russian soldier tasked with guarding the artifact - his love, his tragic death, and his boundless loyalty. Artist Peter Snejbjerg contributes some truly haunting, eerie, beautiful images, with the usual wonderful coloring by Dave Stewart. And hey, there's a fun cameo from Miss Varvara! Gotta love her. The plot is a pretty classic ghost story, but it's well done. It's also kind of interesting to meet a B.P.R.D. agent who's just a complete dick.
Thumbs Up

Astonishing X-Men #34
What with all the other X-Men miniseries Warren Ellis has been putting out lately, I completely forgot that he had a separate, unfinished story arc still going in this title. It's been so long since an issue came out I just barely remember the plot, but it's easy enough to pick it back up again. Anyway, Ellis' X-Men books are less about the plot and more about sitting back and enjoying the bitter, amusing banter among the characters as they slay gigantic, hideous monsters, and this issue is no exception. I particularly love the way Ellis writes Emma Frost and Abigail Brand. Using Frost to do some hilarious meta-criticism of the weird history of the X-Men and their villains was ingenious. My only problem: I feel like I should probably know who the shadowy figure in the wheelchair is at the end. But that's okay, I'm sure everything will be explained in the next issue.
Thumbs Up

Batman #701
Grant Morrison is so good at writing Batman. Which is why I buy all his Batman books. This book - which jumps back in time to fill in the gap between Bruce's escape from Hurt and the beginning of Final Crisis - opens like this: "Surviving is easy. Surviving is what I do. Ever since that first night, when Joe Chill turned his gun on Dad and Mom, I've been surviving." There's some fun banter between him and a girl he saved, and him and Alfred. And a lot of ominous brooding over Hurt. There's lots of narration, but it's good narration. "I could still taste graveyard soil. And I felt disembodied, haunting the halls and stairways of my own home." It's all a bit unnerving, hinting at some giant conspiracy. The events of Final Crisis, of Batman R.I.P., of The Return of Bruce Wayne - they're all somehow tied together in a great twisted loop of doom that spans hundreds, maybe thousands of years. It's brilliant stuff. I also like the way Bruce describes his relationship with the super-powered people: "I've worked so hard to gain their respect, they sometimes forget I'm flesh and blood. In Superman's world, everything is mythology." And then, the conclusion: "The hole in things was everywhere I looked. The trap I was so sure I'd escaped was locking into place all around me. Think fast, Batman..." That is good stuff, people. The next issue should be the conclusion of this story, and I can't wait to read it.
Thumbs Up

Batman and Robin #13
We open with a creepy, alternate history retelling of the story of Thomas Wayne, then move to the future for the death, at Thomas Wayne's hands, of Dick Grayson. Then it's back in time three days to explain how this could have happened. Hurt is a very unsettling character for lots of reasons. He cuts at the very heart of what Batman is. To take away the idea that Batman's father was anything but a good man is to take away Batman. Is this "Thomas Wayne" from an alternate Earth? Or is he a creature with false memories created to bring Bruce down? And what are we to make of the return of the Joker? Is he really trying to help? It's hard to believe. I'm fascinated by the relationship between Grayson's Batman and the police. They're aware that he's not the same Batman, but they're not sure just who he is. Gordon pokes at him politely, trying to figure him out, and even mentions that his men prefer him to the other Batman. Meanwhile, Professor Pyg, his Dollotrons, and his infectious addictions have come all the way back from the beginning of this book to haunt Batman again. The image of dominoes falling gives us the sense again that there's a huge plan behind all of this that's only now coming to its fruition. Morrison likes the long con.
Thumbs Up

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #4
A classic scene of Old West violence ends with a woman praying: "Oh, dear Lord... if you cannot... send me a miracle of love and salvation... send your darkest, truest angel... of... retribution..." Enter Bruce Wayne, with lightning. Nice. Turns out the folks who hired Hex to take out Bruce are two nigh-immortal beings: Vandal Savage and Doctor Thomas Wayne. Is this the Doctor Hurt from the other Batman books? It seems likely. So he's clearly not Bruce's father - he's some other kind of being entirely, ages and ages old. Anyway, Savage and Wayne seem to think if they can open the box with the bat symbol on it that this family's been keeping for Bruce all these years, they can ensure their immortality, although others say it will bring about the end of the world. In fact, it turns out there's just a book and some papers in there, but they may in fact be the key to oblivion. The closing narration continues the story of the Wayne family history, and suggests that "Thomas Wayne" was also Jack the Ripper. Meanwhile, Bruce jumps forward to what looks like modern, or near modern, times. Only two issues of this one left! I'll be curious to see how Morrison ties it all together.
Thumbs Up

Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island #2
Now that the mysteries are getting cleared away in this book, it's getting less interesting. But I am fascinated by the conflict between the pirates who want to give the power of science away freely to everybody, and the cult of the establishment who want to keep the power of magic for themselves alone.
Thumbs Sideways

Hellboy: The Storm #1
Awww. Hellboy's got a girlfriend. That's nice. An army of dead British guys is also rising up to follow him, although he doesn't know where they're all going. Sadly it looks like Queen Mab and her people have been killed. I'm not totally sure who that old guy is the pig dude runs into at the end, but the book's been pretty good lately at going back and filling us in on anything we might have forgotten, so hopefully that will happen again in this case. Not a whole lot happens in this issue, but it's still well drawn with some very thrilling moments.
Thumbs Up

Heralds #5
The final issue of this miniseries is truly great. A woman faces her fears and a new hero is born. I'm not sure what else to say. Just read it!
Thumbs Up

Incorruptible #8
The cover of this issue seems to promise a fight between the old and new Jailbaits, but sadly that does not occur. However, Max does get to take out some racist scumbags, and picks up a clue that will apparently lead him to his next adventure - and will help unlock more of the secrets of his past. I have to say, this book is really losing me. The writing is just nowhere near as strong as it used to be, and I continue to really dislike Horacio Domingues' childish, overdone art.
Thumbs Sideways

The Invincible Iron Man Annual #1
I swore off Matt Fraction a long time ago, but all the comic book fans I follow on Twitter kept going on and on about how great this book was, so I picked it up. Yeah, still not a Fraction fan. I mean, it's a well told story and all, tragic and brutal. I just didn't love it.
Thumbs Sideways

Irredeemable #14 & #15
I read these two issues in the wrong order, because I missed 14 the week it actually came out, so I was a little confused at first about what happened, but I think I have it mostly sorted out in my head now. There's a huge climactic fight which pretty much concludes this story arc, and ends with the death of a major character, although it's not who you might expect. Qubit makes a last second decision which may or may not have been the right one. He also keeps a pretty big secret, and I think is on the verge of figuring out another. Meanwhile, Modeus' mysterious plan is still playing itself out. Intriguing and exciting.
Thumbs Up

The Man with the Getaway Face
Darwyn Cooke's original plan was to adapt the first four of Richard Stark's Parker books, but as he explains in the introduction to this book, he decided there were two later books in the series he was more interested in adapting. That meant dropping two of the earlier books. But he couldn't discard The Man with the Getaway Face entirely, as it sets up some of the events of the later stories. So he decided to do a shortened adaptation of that book as a prelude to The Outfit, and put it out as a separate, over-sized, $2 preview. The result is a tight, brutal, crime noir tale. Certain parts of the story, Cooke accompanies with loads of wonderfully written narration, while other parts are completely wordless, relying entirely on his powerful imagery to tell the story. Skim's tale is a twisted sort of mirror image of Parker's own tale, but Parker himself doesn't really see it that way. I have a feeling Skim is going to misunderstand what happened during this heist and come back to haunt Parker in the future. I look forward to seeing if I'm right.
Thumbs Up

New Mutants #15
Now that all the giant, maxi-series X-Drama is over, we can return to the far more interesting story Zeb Wells was in the middle of telling before all that started: the one about that troop of bad-ass army dudes who came back from Limbo looking to take out Magik. Gillen gives us only a vague sense of what these soldiers have been through and how they've been changed - which just makes them that much more intriguing. I particularly love the moment when one of the guys in the unit, his face entirely bandaged, lifts the goggles off his glowing red eyes, and says "Ruff! Ruff!" to a nearby normal human soldier, just to freak him out. Meanwhile, our heroes are getting drunk and making out in an attempt to get over all the crap that's happened to them lately. But crap ain't done happening! And Pixie's in trouble! Fun!
Thumbs Up

Scalped #39
It seems like forever since I've read an issue of Scalped. I suspect I missed one or two issues. The good news is, this is the first issue of a new story arc, so I wasn't completely lost. Although the various plotlines and character relationships, spread across past and present, are beginning to get so complex I feel like I need a chart to keep track of them all. This storyline is about Carol finally getting her shit together, which is good to see. Then there's the usual shock ending. Wait, I thought we already knew who Bad Horse's father was?? Well, I guess that makes his relationship with the Chief's daughter a little less icky than I thought it was...
Thumbs Up

Secret Warriors #17
This is not a book I'd normally pick up, but I couldn't resist the subtitle of this story arc: "The Last Ride of the Howling Commandos." Not much happens in this first part, however; it's basically all setup. Looks like they're using the old "start at the end and then flashback to explain what happened" structure. Not sure I'll bother to keep reading, though, as nothing in here really intrigued me all that much.
Thumbs Sideways

Star Wars: Dark Times #17
At long last, the "Blue Harvest" story arc comes to an end! And what a doozie of an end it is. I truly love it. It reminds me a lot of the series finale of Angel. "They're going to kill you! Why are you doing this?" "It's my job." Bad-ass. The short scene set in the Bomo Greenbark storyline is interesting, too. I get the strong sense the Jedi who showed up offering his help planned to betray Greenbark and his friends - and might still plan to do so. Killing the troopers was probably all show to gain their trust. Hmm...
Thumbs Up

Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #1
Ed Brubaker and Steve Rogers both seem really busy these days, but here they are, together again on yet another book. This time Rogers finds himself on the trail of a descendant of the Professor Erskine who turned him into who he is. At first this Erskine seems to be using his grandfather's work for evil, but Rogers quickly discovers there's a lot more going on than he realized. It's a vaguely intriguing story concept, but not exciting enough to get me to keep reading. The most interesting thing in the book, actually, is a reprint of the original version of Captain America's origin story. I'd never actually read that before.
Thumbs Sideways

Thor #611 & #612
Loki's still causing trouble! His earlier machinations lead, in these issues, to Thor having to go to Hell to protect the souls of his fallen brothers. It sounds like a great idea, but the story itself is actually a bit dull, maybe because it's hard to really get interested in such cosmic, inhuman drama. Plus, the idea of Mephisto making out with cannibalistic zombies is pretty nasty.
Thumbs Sideways

Thor: The Mighty Avenger #1 & #2
Roger Langridge and Chris Samnee have teamed up for a new ongoing Thor series which seems to be sort of a reboot of his story, probably in preparation for the release of the movie. Thor shows up on Earth with only vague memories of who he is and where he came from, and ends up relying on museum department head Jane Foster to acclimate him to the confusing vagaries of Midgard. Oddly, the first villain he has to face off against is the rather lame Hyde. Regardless, the book is kind of fun so far. We'll see where it goes from here.
Thumbs Sideways

The Unwritten #15
Tommy follows a trail of literary clues and finally comes face to face with his Dad - who promptly kicks Ambrosio's ass, before getting a nice punch in the face for his troubles. Meanwhile, we get a better idea of Lizzie Hexam's origins, although she herself seems unaware of just how much she's changed since then. And all along, the release of the final Tommy Taylor book comes closer! Tense and exciting.
Thumbs Up

World War Hulks: Spider-Man vs. Thor #1
I've mostly been staying away from the World War Hulks maxi-series because I dislike the work of most of the writers involved. But this two-part miniseries was written by Kieron Gillen, so I thought it might be interesting. Sadly, I was mistaken. It is kind of fun seeing Hulkified versions of Spider-Man and Thor. But their Hulkified dialog, while funny at first, starts to get stupid and grating very quickly. Plus the story makes contrived use of random memories from the characters' past to get them to fight each other, which is just lame.
Thumbs Down

X-Men: Second Coming #2
This is the concluding part of the most recent X-Drama maxi-series - the one I was talking about earlier. There are four chapters in this book, one by Zeb Wells, one by Mike Carey, one by Craig Kyle and Chris Yost, and one by Matt Fraction. They all deal with the aftermath of the events of "Second Coming" - which means another superhero funeral with lots of tearful speeches. Ugh. I'm so tired of that crap. There's also a ridiculous two-page spread of X-Force posing for the camera, courtesy the pencil of Greg Land. Oh, and naturally the Phoenix raises her ugly head again. Sigh. Sometimes the X-Men just make me tired.
Thumbs Down
Tagged (?): Batman (Not), Comic books (Not), Darwyn Cooke (Not), Ed Brubaker (Not), Grant Morrison (Not), Hellboy (Not), Hulk (Not), Iron Man (Not), Jason Aaron (Not), John Arcudi (Not), Kieron Gillen (Not), Mark Waid (Not), Matt Fraction (Not), Mike Carey (Not), Mike Mignola (Not), Roger Langridge (Not), Scalped (Not), Spider-Man (Not), Star Wars (Not), The Take (Not), Thor (Not), Warren Ellis (Not), X-Men (Not), Zeb Wells (Not)
Back to Top



Wednesday, June 2, 2010 12:03 PM
The Take
 by Fëanor

Fëanor's (semi-)weekly comic book review post.

This post covers new releases from the week of 5/5. Beware spoilers!

New releases
Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine #1
This is the start of a six-issue limited series by Jason Aaron, with art by Adam Kubert. It's rather an odd story in which Wolverine and Spider-Man are sent back in time, apparently by accident, to just before the extinction of the dinosaurs. The time travel happens in the middle of a bank heist - a heist, I might add, being pulled off by The Orb and his gang; it's nice that Aaron is giving work to the weird old Ghost Rider villains he recently resurrected. Anyway, after some time in the past - long enough to seriously screw things up and come face to face with various other strange mysteries - our heroes jump in time again, this time to a twisted future ruled over by war-like people riding Devil Dinosaur robots. Whoops. Obviously there are some cool ideas in here, but for whatever reason - maybe the tons of narration and the depressing apocalyptic tone - the book just didn't grab me. I don't think I'll be collecting the rest of the issues.
Thumbs Sideways

Batman and Robin #12
Good lord, I love Grant Morrison. In this issue, Dick Grayson and Slade Wilson fight both face-to-face, and across a distance with Damian as the go-between. Wayne Manor is discovered to be a bat signal sent across time. The crazy, cold-as-ice Talia Al Ghul reveals she has had a backup Damian all ready to go, just in case he should choose to betray him. And indeed he does, choosing to remain as Robin and side with Batman. She tells him he is now an enemy of the House of Al Ghul, and he responds, "I hope I can be a worthy one, mother." Awesome. Meanwhile, Dick seems close to working out the riddle of Bruce's adventure through time. And, the big shocker: Oberon Sexton turns out to be, not Bruce Wayne, but the Joker! I did not see that coming at all. I'm not sure it makes a lot of sense, either, as Sexton is a pretty serious guy, and a good fighter. But then again, the Joker has been through a lot lately, and maybe Morrison will explain further in the next issue. Regardless, fun!
Thumbs Up

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight #35
You can pretty much take my review of #34, copy it in here, and apply it to this issue, as well. One good thing about this issue: at least the decision that Buffy and Angel make at the end feels right and fits their characters, even if almost nothing else they've done recently in this story arc has been true to character. Of course they would give up any hope of peace in an eternal paradise where they're ultimately powerful in order to return to Earth and help their friends in a hopeless fight against hordes of monsters. That's what they always do. As Buffy says, "I never do what I'm meant for." But that still doesn't explain why Angel became Twilight and did all this crap in the first place. I guess we're still going with the dumb excuse that "the Universe" made him do it. Ugh.
Thumbs Down

Hellboy in Mexcio
Mike Mignola and Richard Corben team up again for another amazing Hellboy one-shot. This one has a frame story set in 1982 Mexico. While Abe and Hellboy are waiting for pickup, babysitting a mysterious monster locked in a suitcase, Hellboy tells Abe a sad and wonderful story about the last time he was in Mexico, back in 1956, when he joined a trio of Mexican wrestler brothers in fighting a bunch of local demons, and then ultimately ended up wrestling for the soul of one of the brothers. There's the suggestion that he spent a couple of months after that doing some professional wrestling himself. It's a classic Hellboy story, funny and subtle and moving and creative, fantastically illustrated by Corben.
Thumbs Up

Incorruptible #5
Looks like this title just got a new artist. His name is Horacio Domingues, and sadly I don't think his exaggerated, cartoonish style really fits the serious tone of the book. That being said, this issue is still pretty interesting. A new character is introduced, and Max's protective feelings for Jailbait become better defined even as she gets herself into greater danger.
Thumbs Sideways

Irredeemable #13
Hey, there was a new issue of each of Mark Waid's one-word-title-that-starts-with-an-I books this week! This one's useful in that it goes back and better explains some of the more recent plot twists, but mostly it just feels like filler, and a pause in the action. Which is slightly disappointing.
Thumbs Sideways

S.H.I.E.L.D. #1
Holy crap did I love this comic. It's an epic, thrilling, and creative reimagining of what S.H.I.E.L.D. is. It turns the organization into an ancient secret society that's existed since the beginning of civilization. The strongest and wisest men of each generation have been members, and have acted to protect the world from various alien invasions. The rather disturbing part is that they seem to be only postponing the destruction of Earth - preparing the planet for some other mysterious final doom. The writing is wonderful, with fantastically over-the-top dialog, and I love how famous historical figures are tied into the story, and shown using impossible inventions and weapons to fight infamous Marvel space villains. Then there's the unexpected appearance of Agent Richards and Agent Stark, not to mention Leonardo da Vinci. They're building a really interesting mythology here, and the fascinating diagram of "The Human Machine" in the back of the comic only adds to the mystique. Excellent stuff! I will definitely be collecting the rest of this series.
Thumbs Up
Tagged (?): Batman (Not), Buffy (Not), Comic books (Not), Grant Morrison (Not), Hellboy (Not), Jason Aaron (Not), Mark Waid (Not), Mike Mignola (Not), S.H.I.E.L.D. (Not), Spider-Man (Not), The Take (Not), Wolverine (Not)
Back to Top



Tuesday, April 27, 2010 03:44 PM
The Take
 by Fëanor

Fëanor's (semi-)weekly comic book review post.

This post covers new releases from the week of 4/21. Beware spoilers!

New releases
Captain America: Who Won't Wield the Shield #1
This is one of those weird, self-parodying, one-shot, anthology comics full of silly in-jokes that the comic creators themselves probably get a lot more of a kick out of than any reader could. Forbush Man - the main character of Marvel's parody comics from way back - takes the starring role in the frame story, assaulting some of Marvel's most popular and famous creators, who are skewered, and/or skewer themselves, in amusing fashion (it's even more amusing if you follow them on Twitter). They distract Forbush Man by showing him (and us) other parody comics. The first is a surreal, far out, drugged-up mashup of Doctor Strange and Captain America. It's certainly colorful, and occasionally funny, but mostly just odd. Next up is "The Golden Age Deadpool," which is a great concept, with plenty of fun art and plenty of ridiculously anachronistic hip-hop dialog from Deadpool, but which overall could have been executed better. Really the most brutal and effective self-parody in the book is the final page, which is a "Sleege" checklist that rips Marvel's publishing schedule, its characters, its storytelling, and all of its recent large-scale sagas in truly biting fashion.
Thumbs Sideways

Gravel #18
Gravel seems to have decided five people is enough to make a Minor Seven and he pulls all his recruits together for their first collective group meeting, where he sets some ground rules for them, gives them a general mission, and also takes them (and us) on a tour of his previous adventures. If Gravel were a TV show (which, oh my God, it totally should be), this would be the clip show episode. And as we all know, the clip show episode is a bit of a cop-out. Still, it's fun to get a quick reminder of all the crazy crap Gravel's been through, and to see it again through the eyes of his apprentices. Plus we get to learn more about what Gravel expects of his Minor Seven. Finally, near the end of the issue that crazy killer dude who's been trying to get Gravel's attention finally does, and our hero sets out on a new mission. Should be fun!
Thumbs Up

Joe the Barbarian #4
Joe meets a cult of wizards whose magic is really just half-understood bits of science and technology ("square root of eye of newt, over function of the cosine where EEE equals magic times the speed of all likelihood squared"). They think the fact that Joe has broken through into this reality is what's causing this reality to fall apart ("A door has been opened into the outer murk"). We end on a cliffhanger again as Joe seems to be simultaneously soaring down a cliff in an untested flying machine, pursued by monstrous agents of evil, and standing at the top of a flight of stairs in his house about to tumble down them. The magicians are a set of great, funny new characters, the story is well constructed and intriguing, the action is exciting, and the dialog is brilliant. Good times.
Thumbs Up

The Unwritten #12
Man, I love this comic. It is so, so good. I know I say that pretty much every month, but... wow. This issue is another one-shot, this time revealing what happens to those who piss off Wilson Taylor. Somehow he's trapped a couple of his enemies inside a children's story, which is sort of an amalgamation of all famous children's stories - Alice in Wonderland, The Hobbit (the comic has almost the same opening line - "In a hole in the side of a hill, there lived a rabbit."), Winnie the Pooh, The Wind in the Willows, etc. It might sound like a fun time, living life in a children's story, but Carey depicts it, in a darkly hilarious way, as a truly hellish existence. It's clear right away that the rabbit doesn't belong in this story, because he starts stabbing himself, and screaming "Pauly Bruckner!" which is presumably his own true name, that he is trying desperately to hang onto. It is so wonderfully, horribly funny when he emits streams of terrible curses at all the kindly forest creatures he meets. He probes the edges of the fantasy world, trying to find a way out, but the story just brings him right back to where he started. Then he hatches a plan to kill the story's very creator, with the idea that it will burst the bubble once and for all. But what he doesn't realize about children's stories is that there's a dark space at the heart of every one, and it's not empty.

What I'm saying is, this is another amazing issue, containing another wonderful ode to another wonderful genre of literature, and another insightful and funny deconstruction of said genre, which also simultaneously advances the overall storyline (if only incrementally), and certainly gives us a closer look at the dark side of Wilson Taylor. I love this comic to bits.
Thumbs Up
Tagged (?): Books (Not), Captain America (Not), Comic books (Not), Dr. Strange (Not), Grant Morrison (Not), Gravel (Not), Jason Aaron (Not), Matt Fraction (Not), Mike Carey (Not), The Take (Not), Tolkien (Not), Warren Ellis (Not), Wonderland (Not)
Back to Top



Thursday, April 1, 2010 10:39 AM
Recyclotron
 by Fëanor

Fëanor pours the entire internet into the Recyclotron, and only the best links come out the other end for you to enjoy.

Tagged (?): Animals (Not), Art (Not), Avengers (Not), Bacon (Not), Batman (Not), Cats (Not), Celebrities (Not), Comedy (Not), Comic books (Not), Flash (Not), Food (Not), Grant Morrison (Not), Hellboy (Not), Hulk (Not), Jason Aaron (Not), Joss Whedon (Not), Links (Not), LOLCats (Not), Mike Mignola (Not), Movies (Not), News (Not), Photography (Not), Recyclotron (Not), Spider-Man (Not), Star Wars (Not), Video (Not), Wolverine (Not)
Back to Top



Wednesday, March 3, 2010 04:06 PM
The Take
 by Fëanor

Fëanor's (semi-)weekly comic book review post.

This post covers new releases from the week of 2/24. Beware spoilers!

New releases
Batman and Robin #9
I seriously love this story arc. We open up this issue with the other shoe dropping on Batwoman's death. Turns out she killed herself on purpose, so Batman could drag her out and resurrect her in the Lazarus Pit! Crazy. She is seriously bad-ass. I love the banter between Batman, the Knight, and Squire. "At least we all grew up normal," Dick says. Riiiight. I love crazy clone Batman's insane dialog and twisted, nightmarish versions of Bruce Wayne's memories. I also love how Alfred and a crippled Damian manage to hold their own against him for a bit, using an elevator, a computer mouse, some gasoline, and electricity. "Stepping in gasoline was your biggest mistake." Ha! Batman jumping on a suborbital experimental craft so he can get back to Gotham in time, then swinging in to save Damian in the nick of time in an image that mirrors the cover of Detective Comics #27 = fabulous. Then he and Batwoman get to share a double-punch takeout of evil Batman. Sadly, Dick doesn't know Batwoman likes the ladies and makes a pass at her. Poor Dick. It's hilarious when Squire and Knight show up and get to do their own double-punch takeout of another criminal kingpin, who hopes they won't tell his "missus aboot the lasses." Heh. Then we finish up with the lead-in to the next storyline: "Bruce is still alive and we have to find him!" Awesome. Long live Grant Morrison!
Thumbs Up

Blackest Night #7
This opens with a bit of an interesting moment: Nekron asking one of the Guardians why he vowed to guard the universe, and him answering, "I do not remember." That's probably a large part of the Guardians' problem right there. Sadly, this scene is followed by a lot of pointless back-and-forth and bickering. The Black Hand makes a speech, Luthor goes berserk briefly, and there's lots of poor dialog. Then there's an impressive moment when all the armies of all the Corps suddenly show up in orbit over Earth in a big two-page spread. I'm curious about whoever is trapped inside the Black Lantern power battery - could it be the Anti-Monitor maybe? But the big reveal of this issue is that the Guardians secretly buried on Earth The Entity - the first life in the universe, and the embodiment of the White Light, just as Parallax is the embodiment of the Yellow Light. Nekron digs it up to kill it, but then Sinestro jumps in and becomes the White Lantern (or the Honky Lantern, as I like to call him), which is rather an interesting turn of events. Is he going to pull a Norman Osborn and save the universe so he can take it over? I don't know. All I know is, there's only one more issue of this thing left, thank God.
Thumbs Sideways

Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island #1
Warren Ellis' new, crazily-titled Avatar series is here! It's set in an alternate-history version of London, 1830 (well, a secret-history version of London, 1830, if the narrative text is to be believed), where there's a conspiracy involving magistrates and Bow Street Runners; Bobbies are being horribly killed, possibly by Spring-Heeled Jack; and a guy named Captain Swing, who's mastered electricity and electrogravitics, is flying around the skies in a boat covered in lightning. Needless to say, I freaking love this comic. I even love the narration; it provides historical context, but not in a dry way - it's loaded with personality and humor. The dialog is excellent, too, my favorite line being the following: "The future is whatever in this world I have decided not to kill." Looking forward to seeing where this one goes next.
Thumbs Up

The Flash: Rebirth #6
Finally, after even longer than it took Captain America, the Flash is done getting reborn! This issue opens with a pretty exciting and emotionally effective action sequence, spanning across enormous amounts of time and space, in which Reverse Flash is finally captured and there's a parade. Then there's a whole bunch of rather confusing jump-cuts to various other settings and characters. I didn't really follow what all of that was about, except that clearly Johns is planting seeds for future story arcs. The scene between Barry and Iris is a little corny, but mostly works, and I really enjoy the final scene at Justice League HQ with Barry showing up late, as usual. On the whole, not a bad miniseries.
Thumbs Up

Gravel #17
This issue opens by reminding us that Gravel isn't exactly a nice guy, as he recruits into his Minor Seven a woman who uses "blonde magic" to kill a bunch of guys in really horrible ways, despite the fact that some of them, at least, don't really seem to deserve it. Meanwhile, some dude who doesn't like Gravel very much makes some kind of hideous magic machine out of bone and guts and kills a bunch of people in a church, apparently just to get Gravel's attention. Which is interesting. It's nice to see a larger story arc developing again!
Thumbs Sideways

Irredeemable #11
Some of Bette Noir's secrets have come out, and they're definitely interesting, but it sounds like she's still holding back some further, even more terrible secret, and I'm curious to know what it is. It looks like Qubit screwed up as far as Encanta is concerned and she got whisked away somehow. I'm not sure what that's about. The sequence in the home of Tony's first foster family is twisted in the extreme. The idea that they haven't spoken a single word aloud for years and years, just because they were afraid Tony would hear them, is mind-blowing. I continue to burn through each issue of this comic as quickly as I can read it, and I'm always disappointed when I run out of pages. Nice work, Mr. Waid!
Thumbs Up

The Marvels Project #6
Brubaker starts rewriting Toro's origin story in this issue. I'm intrigued as to how that's going to turn out; I suspect it will make a lot more sense than the original version - the Human Torch just randomly stumbling upon a kid with a weird ability at a traveling circus. And hey, look, an evil (well, more evil) Sub-Mariner! Meanwhile, the actual Sub-Mariner makes his move, and it's destructive in the extreme! The disaster brings out all the heroes, including a lot of dudes I don't recognize at all. Cool! Of course, the arrival of Captain America is the most exciting moment. It's great to see the core of the old-school Invaders standing together in the final panel, even if they're not all buddies yet.
Thumbs Up

New Avengers #62
This issue brings to an end the latest story arc and takes us up to the start of the events of Siege, also connecting back up to things we saw in what I think was the New Avengers Annual. When I got to the end and realized we'd just caught up with the present, it was hard not to see this whole story arc as just filler. I mean, all it does is fill in some blanks and reveal where certain characters were at certain times. Plus we get to see certain characters meet the returned Steve Rogers for the first time. Which is fun and all, and there's some great art and some fun action. It's also pretty funny that Luke Cage came back to the hideout just to get his kid's favorite binky, and it's great to see Cap say "Avengers assemble!" just like old times. But yeah, bit of an anticlimax and a letdown here.
Thumbs Sideways

Scalped #35
This is a one-shot focusing entirely on a poor, elderly couple trying to scrape out a living at the edge of the rez. It teeters on the edge of melodrama, especially when the jet crashes at the end, but the strong art and Aaron's excellent writing save it from falling over. Instead, it turns out to be another powerful and emotionally effective issue of one of the best comic series on the stands.
Thumbs Up

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine #3
Speaking of comics that are just filler, this issue feels like a bunch of people repeating the same information over and over, adding a few small details on each repeat, but ultimately not really getting anywhere. It's just repetitive and dull. The Major is still way over-sexualized, constantly standing around pouting with a hand on her hips, and there's another of those weird panels where somebody's expression is way more dramatic than it has any right to be given the circumstances (this time it's the Major instead of Sisko). I did enjoy that classic moment when Odo walked into the bar and yelled, "Quaaaark!" and I'm still curious as to what the solution to the mystery is, but mostly I'm just getting tired of this series.
Thumbs Sideways

Thor #607
I love Thor as a character, but I didn't like the writing on this book when JMS was on it, so I've been avoiding it. But I noticed that this issue was starting a new story arc, tied into Siege, and that my man Kieron Gillen was now on writing duties, so I picked it up. And what the hell do you know - it's fantastic! Heimdall trapped in his room, condemned to see invaders coming to destroy Asgard, but unable to do anything about it? Amazing. Epic. Mythical! The dialog in general is excellent, and I like the characterization of Volstagg and his cop friends. It's also pretty funny seeing them try to use YouTube. And hey, Agent_M makes a cameo at the end! Well, his Twitter feed does, sort of. I like the idea of people adding Asgard banners to their "chatter" icons, and the posters in the style of Shepard Fairey's Obama poster, with the image of Thor and "WRONG" written across the bottom, are inspired. Good stuff! Guess I'm collecting another series now. Sigh.
Thumbs Up
Tagged (?): Avengers (Not), Batman (Not), Blackest Night (Not), Brian Michael Bendis (Not), Captain America (Not), Comic books (Not), Ed Brubaker (Not), Flash (Not), Geoff Johns (Not), Grant Morrison (Not), Gravel (Not), Green Lantern (Not), Jason Aaron (Not), Mark Waid (Not), Scalped (Not), Siege (Not), Star Trek (Not), The Take (Not), Thor (Not), Warren Ellis (Not)
Back to Top



Thursday, February 11, 2010 08:39 AM
(Last updated on Thursday, February 11, 2010 10:20 AM)
The Take
 by Fëanor

Fëanor's (semi-)weekly comic book review post.

This post covers new releases from the week of 2/3. Beware spoilers!

New releases
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 #32
This issue had multiple covers, but I got the best one: it retitles the book Buffy Comics and the illustration is a parody of the famous cover of Action Comics #1, with Buffy standing in for Superman. Also, I'm pretty sure that's Joss Whedon playing the screaming man in the bottom left corner. They didn't do this just for the fun of it, either; the issue is about Buffy gaining super powers, way above anything she ever had before, and is loaded with references to other super-powered characters from throughout the history of popular culture, especially Superman. There's something particularly funny about the references to Kitty Pryde, and Buffy's dislike of the character, given that Whedon wrote an arc of Astonishing X-Men in which Kitty was the central character. A lot of the story is quite funny, really, especially how Xander just totally geeks out over Buffy's powers. I also rather like the Superman II reference, when Buffy, standing in the air with her arms folded, says, "General... would you care to step outside?"

I was a little worried about this issue, because it was written by Brad Meltzer, whose work I've really disliked in the past, and indeed some of the dialog is a bit awkward and odd, but overall I was pleasantly surprised. It's a pretty good issue - fast-paced, exciting, funny - and it moves the overarching plot forward in fascinating ways. The revelation about the origin of Buffy's new powers is not particularly shocking, but it's still an interesting development. Hopefully Meltzer can keep up the good work.

In the back of the book is a preview of Zack Whedon's upcoming Terminator series. I was going to buy the first issue of this sight unseen because I love Terminator and I love anybody named Whedon, but this preview seals the deal. Fun dialog, interesting characters, and a sense of impending doom. Good stuff!
Thumbs Up

Criminal: The Sinners #4
Another great issue. One of the killer kids realizes it's not all black and white, and that some of the bad guys aren't so bad that they deserve to get executed. He makes a fateful decision, and Lawless solves the murder mystery. That doesn't get Lawless out of any trouble, though; in fact, he's making brand new enemies, and now his fellow employees know about him and the boss's wife. Yay for dark and evil noir!

In the back of the book is a really amazing essay by Joe Hill called "Real, True Damage." On the surface it's an appreciation of a Charles Bronson movie called Mr. Majestyk, but underneath that it's really a powerful, insightful memoir about life and human nature. I think I might have to start reading more stuff by Joe Hill.
Thumbs Up

Ghost Riders: Heaven's on Fire #6
Finally, the epic conclusion to Jason Aaron's run on Ghost Rider! Sadly, the pacing of the opening is a bit off; almost before we realize Johnny and Danny's first fight with Zadkiel is over, they're going back to face him again, with no real indication of where everybody went in the meantime. Still, the rest of the book pretty easily makes up for this, as the next sequence features every Ghost Rider ever rising up to pull Zadkiel down, and then, when they're done with that, utterly destroying the invading armies of hell. It's pretty awesome, especially the huge two-page spread of the entire Ghost Rider army. Then there's tiny Knuckles O'Shaugnessy spitting out ridiculous slang, and a Wild West Ghost Rider saying, "Bring it on, you sumbitches!" and a Ghost Rider on a giant shark tearing into people, and... yeah, it's fantastic. Later there's a handful of fun epilogue panels, including one where the giant zealot guy is stuck paralyzed in a hospital room with eyeball guy, who is just talking and talking in the most annoying way and it's hilarious. The very end is also excellent, with our three heroes riding off into the sunset, in search of new adventures. Danny: "Where the hell are we going?" Johnny: "I don't know. But I'll race ya." Yep, that pretty much sums it up! Aaron's Ghost Rider arc had its bumpy moments, but overall it was a lot of fun, and this conclusion was pretty much everything I could have hoped for.

There's not much to say about the reprint, in the back of the book, of the final part of the origin story of the Son of Satan, except that it's pretty ridiculous.
Thumbs Up

Marvel Heart-Breakers #1
I'm not really sure why I felt I had to pick up this one-shot anthology. I guess it was the inclusion of a character from Nextwave (Tabitha Smith) that pulled me in. I believe the book is meant to be Marvel's celebration of Valentine's Day, so the focus is, stereotypically, on the women of the Marvel universe and their love lives. There's a goofy Spider-Man story that looks like it's going to be about Gwen Stacy vs. MJ, but then ends up mostly being about Spider-Man vs. an ill-conceived science project. It's vaguely amusing, but nothing to write home about. The next story, "Superboys!", is funnier, if also a bit uneven. It features Tabitha Smith and Elsa Bloodstone waiting around to beat up Bloodstone's ex. While they're sitting there, they share stories about relationships gone awry. I particularly like Elsa's story about how her Dad chucked her into the water with sharks to celebrate her womanhood. Tabitha points out that this is a continuity problem, but Elsa retorts, "Who are you, Uatu the Watcher?" Heh. The gossip about the other men of the Marvel U is also pretty amusing. The next story centers on the Beast and Dazzler, and it's kind of sweet, but also kind of corny, and also... Dazzler. Dazzler is lame. The last story, about Snowbird, is dull and melodramatic. Then there's a cute page of art with a bunch of the Marvel women hanging out with white outfits on that show off their boobs. Classy.

I really have to stop getting these anthology books. They're always mediocre.
Thumbs Sideways

Siege #2
I'm really enjoying Olivier Coipel's epic art on this title, which is set off by Mark Morales' fine inks and Laura Martin's wonderful colors. In the opening of this issue, Ares learns the truth: that Osborn has lied to him to trick him into fighting against his brother Gods. This is clearly an important plot point, but unfortunately it's a pretty weak hinge for the story to swing on. I mean, the lie was a transparent one that Ares was bound to see through eventually. Why didn't Osborn come up with something a little more believable? Why didn't Ares bother doing some research first? It's kind of lame. It is totally fun, however, when Maria Hill drives in on the back of a beat-up truck and shoots Osborn with a missile launcher, and then follows that up by covering the rest of the Avengers with machine gun fire while her new buddy tries to drag the injured Thor to safety. Meanwhile, Steve Rogers pulls pretty much every other hero in the Marvel U together to help him stop Osborn, which is awesome. Then it's time for a huge, brutal fight between the Sentry and Ares that ends with... well, with the Sentry ripping Ares in half with his bare hands. Sigh. Have I mentioned lately that I hate what Bendis is doing with the Sentry? However, I was ready to forgive pretty much all of this comic's flaws when I got to the last page, a page so great it made me pump my fist in celebration. It's just four panels of Osborn staring up while we watch the reflection of Cap's shield getting closer and closer in his armor's faceplate. Hilarious and fantastic and a thrilling preview of the epic battle to come.
Thumbs Up

Siege: Embedded #2
I'm enjoying this series more than I thought I would. The characters are strong and interesting - Volstagg is particularly fun - and it's good to see somebody taking jabs at Fox News and our media-obsessed culture. There's even some exciting action. In the back is a preview for a Jeph Loeb Ultimate title which is predictably bad.
Thumbs Sideways
Tagged (?): Brian Michael Bendis (Not), Buffy (Not), Comic books (Not), Criminal (Not), Ed Brubaker (Not), Ghost Rider (Not), Jason Aaron (Not), Joss Whedon (Not), Siege (Not), Superman (Not), Terminator (Not), The Take (Not)
Back to Top



Wednesday, December 30, 2009 04:43 PM
Best of the Double Nothings: Best Comics of 2009
 by Fëanor

  1. Final Crisis: Superman Beyond 3D - Along with All-Star Superman, this is Grant Morrison's ultimate Superman story. It also provides some beautiful and insightful commentary on stories in general.

  2. Final Crisis - Easily the best huge multiverse event miniseries ever. Epic, brilliant, and breath-takingly imaginative.

  3. The Unwritten - A beautiful and stunning commentary, not just on the Harry Potter series, but also on fiction in general, and its incredible power over reality itself.

  4. The Umbrella Academy: Dallas - If you thought the first Umbrella Academy miniseries, written by a rock star, was a fluke, the follow-up should convince you otherwise. If anything, it's more stunning, darkly funny, mind-blowing, and creative than the first.

  5. X-Men: Magneto - Testament - A supervillain origin story that turns into a devastating examination of the worst act of villainy ever committed in the real world. It's the rare comic book that I can confidently describe as "important," and this is one.

  6. Scalped - Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera's brutal crime noir thriller set on an Indian reservation continues to be one of the tensest, most exciting, and most intelligent books on the stands.

  7. Irredeemable - Mark Waid imagines a world whose "Superman" snaps one day and decides to do all the unthinkable, incredibly destructive, horrifically evil things that Superman would never do. The result is an extremely unsettling and engrossing story set in an exciting new universe.

  8. No Hero - In this series, Warren Ellis continues the examination of the superhuman that he began in Black Summer, and that he is currently still working through in Supergod (a series which failed to make this list for no other reason than the fact that only two issues have come out, so I didn't think I'd seen enough of it yet to include it). It's a dark, but rather painfully realistic, visualization of humanity, and of how the world might change if people could really have super powers.

  9. Comic Book Comics - A smart, engrossing, and extremely irreverent history of comic books cleverly and appropriately presented in comic book form. Fun!

  10. Criminal - Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips continue their incredibly impressive, artful, and entertaining crime noir series. One of the best parts is the essay in the back on other noir-related topics.
Tagged (?): Best of the Double Nothings (Not), Comic books (Not), Criminal (Not), Ed Brubaker (Not), Final Crisis (Not), Grant Morrison (Not), Jason Aaron (Not), Lists (Not), Scalped (Not), Superman (Not), Umbrella Academy (Not), Warren Ellis (Not), X-Men (Not)
Back to Top



Tuesday, December 15, 2009 02:20 PM
(Last updated on Tuesday, December 15, 2009 03:13 PM)
The Take
 by Fëanor

Fëanor's (semi-)weekly comic book review post.

This post covers new releases from the week of 12/9. Beware spoilers!

New releases
B.P.R.D.: War on Frogs #4
The latest (and I believe last?) in a series of one-shots set back during the original plague of frogs, this one focusing on Johann Kraus. Peter Snejbjerg's art coupled with Bjarne Hansen's colors makes for some beautiful, creepy, atmospheric visuals. The story is eerie, unsettling, and moving, and provides some further development of Kraus' character.
Thumbs Up

Ghost Riders: Heaven's on Fire #5
Gun Nuns, activate!! Lots of fun and darkly funny stuff in this issue. That eyeball guy is amusing. I didn't see the surprise twist coming - that the Caretaker herself was a gateway to heaven. And finally we're all set up for the big showdown that's been heading our way since Jason Aaron took over the Ghost Rider franchise. Meanwhile, the reprint origin story of the Son of Satan continues in the back of the book. Gotta say, this entry is pretty bad. Lots of corny dialog and clumsy recapping and exposition.
Thumbs Up

The Muppet Show #0
I think this marks the start of the new ongoing Muppet book, although I could be wrong. The concept - Rizzo Rat and Fozzie Bear pitching a Pigs in Space movie to Statler and Waldorf - is brilliant, but the execution leaves something to be desired. It's mildly amusing, and that's it. I kept wanting it to get better, and it never did. I also thought it was weird and pointless that they tried to hide the fact that the two movie execs were Statler and Waldorf by depicting them in silhouette at first. C'mon, it's two cranky, critical old guys. Who else were they going to turn out to be?
Thumbs Sideways

The New Avengers Annual #3
Sometimes I find comic book chronology really odd. It was months and months ago that a comic came out about Hawkeye breaking into Osborn's hideout to kill him. He subsequently got captured. A number of comics have come out since then dealing with the aftermath of that event - Hawkeye's inevitable escape. And yet only now do we finally get the comic that actually tells the follow-up story to the original issue, explaining the details of Hawkeye's escape. Making things even more confusing, the resurrected Steve Rogers shows up at the end of this issue, even though the miniseries bringing him back (Captain America: Reborn) hasn't finished yet, so we don't know how he got there. Sigh.

As for the story itself... well, it has its moments. It's fun seeing the rebel Avengers bust in and one-up the Dark Avengers. I don't like the art, though. It's that hyper-realistic, Alex Ross-style stuff that I always feel as if I should like, but that always ends up annoying me. Maybe I'm getting an uncanny valley vibe off of it.
Thumbs Sideways

S.W.O.R.D. #2
Marvel Boy gets captured in the opening of this, but again I'm confused by the chronology - is this the new, uber-powerful Marvel Boy, or the old, weaker Marvel Boy? Either way it seems like he should have been harder to nab. And why is Spider-Woman helping the Man? I thought she was with the rebel Avengers! Confusing. There are some corny bits to the story, too, but also a reasonably exciting plot about Gyrich forcibly expatriating all of Earth's alien residents. I'm loving the preview image from next issue, featuring Lockheed surrounded by flames and pointing two guns at us in his most bad-ass stance.
Thumbs Sideways

The Unwritten #8
This issue takes a quick jump backwards in time and retells some of the story's more recent events, this time with a focus on the governor of the prison that Tom has been put in, as well as the governor's children, who have a slightly unhealthy obsession with the Tommy Taylor books - an obsession that could put them in serious danger. It's another tense, unsettling, emotionally powerful issue crammed with brilliant ideas. I continue to believe this is one of the best comics on the stands right now.
Thumbs Up
Tagged (?): Avengers (Not), B.P.R.D. (Not), Brian Michael Bendis (Not), Comic books (Not), Ghost Rider (Not), Jason Aaron (Not), John Arcudi (Not), Mike Carey (Not), Mike Mignola (Not), Muppets (Not), Roger Langridge (Not), The Take (Not)
Back to Top



Tuesday, December 8, 2009 03:51 PM
The Take
 by Fëanor

Fëanor's (semi-)weekly comic book review post.

Wow, it has been a looooooong time since I've posted one of these. I had been falling behind anyway, and then Nanowrimo happened, and I fell so much further behind that it became ridiculous. So I've decided to give up on the idea of catching up on all the comics I missed reviewing, and just pick up with the most recent week. Hope nobody minds!

This post covers some new releases from the week of 10/7 (because I happened to already have them written, so I figured I might as well post them), as well as new releases from the week of 12/3. Beware spoilers!

New releases (10/7)
Astonishing X-Men #31
Now this - this is a good X-Men comic. We start with alien fighting, then the whole team works together to save people in danger, and then there's a weird, creepy Sentinel attack! Also, amusing humor throughout.
Thumbs Up

Batman and Robin #5
The new artist is not as good as the old guy. Scarlet's backstory just makes her creepier. It's pretty disappointing to me that the new Red Hood is just... Jason Todd again. Boring! Once somebody pointed it out to me, I did get a bit of a chuckle out of the fact that there's a phone poll in support of Jason Todd in the book, considering that a phone poll is how it was decided he would be killed. Flamingo, meanwhile, is gross and disturbing.

Definitely not my favorite issue of this. Hoping for better soon.
Thumbs Sideways

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight #29
Giant war! It's cute how Xander and Dawn teach the Slayers about guns. And now it turns out Oz & friends' hippie dippy crap about giving the magic to the Earth was a bit of a lie. In fact they were giving the magic to wrathful goddesses, whom they now call upon to save them. So yeah, getting rid of the magic was as bad an idea as it seemed. But calling on wrathful goddesses sounds like maybe an even worse idea. Hmm...
Thumbs Up

Captain America: Theater of War - Ghosts of My Country #1
Another in a series of Captain America: Theater of War one-shots. This one takes us through a series of important moments in the history of America, and each time a phrase is repeated, and Captain America's spirit is there. The book is alternately cheesy and effective. I can't quite decide how I feel about it.
Thumbs Sideways

Criminal: The Sinners #1
Hooray, Criminal is back! And so is Tracy Lawless. As usual he's got trouble closing in on him from every direction. Sleeping with the boss' wife? Really? And man, that's a bad job you got stuck with. I didn't expect kids to be the culprits!

I really enjoyed the interview with Darwyn Cooke in the back about the Parker books. Some great details on Cooke's adaptation process for The Hunter, and some really interesting insight into the story. And the appreciation of Sam Peckinpah's The Killer Elite was so convincing I immediately added the movie to my Netflix queue.
Thumbs Up

Dark Reign: Zodiac #3
The object of our villain/hero's immediate scheme is finally revealed, but it's really only the first part of a much larger plan to change the world. I'd love to see more of this story. Great writing and art. But man, that poor H.A.M.M.E.R. agent. He just had no luck.
Thumbs Up

Final Crisis: Aftermath - Run! #6
Pretty great ending for this series, and a poetic defeat for the Human Flame. He's trapped by his own lust for power, and his refusal to go back to the loser he used to be. Also, his stupidity. His stupidity definitely doesn't help. The bit with the cell phone pic is a nice touch.
Thumbs Up

Ghost Riders: Heaven's on Fire #3
Big showdown between both Ghost Riders and their enemies. I love Trull! Also, the Gun Nuns. Still really enjoying the reprint backup story, too. Exciting plot, and Witch-woman is hot!
Thumbs Up

The Incredibles #1
As I suspected, our storyline focuses on the alien virus introduced in #0. Turns out it passes on super powers! Cool idea, and I love the silly henchmen. "Should you really be holding a baby when you're on fire?" Also, I instantly approve of any character named Ungorilla.
Thumbs Up

New releases (12/3)
Captain America: Theater of War - Prisoners of Duty #1
Another surprisingly good entry in this series of one-shots. Exciting action, coupled with a powerful statement about the cruelty of war.
Thumbs Up

Dark Avengers Annual #1
Finally we find out what the new Captain Marvel has been up to since he ran out on the Dark Avengers. Turns out he's been calling home for further instructions, and also flirting with a goth art student. Then at the end he gets a new power set and a new uniform. Some vaguely interesting ideas here, and I could see how somebody could now go interesting places with the Captain Marvel character. But the writing is also pretty cheesy, especially as far as the goth art student is concerned. And it's painfully obvious that nobody knows what to do with this Captain Marvel guy. New writers just keep changing the character completely so they can try something different with him. It's kind of sad.
Thumbs Sideways

The Incredibles #3
Reasonably fun issue. There's a huge, super-powered war that might have been too hard to do even in an animated movie. So that's cool. Still, I feel like something is missing here. There's just not a lot of life or energy or creativity in the dialog and the story. I might drop this book.
Thumbs Sideways

The Marvels Project #4
I was a little disappointed with this. The opening especially is really over-narrated, and it's pretty harsh how Brubaker casually dispatches The Ferret. It's a little tiresome reading yet another summary of Steve Roger's early life. Why not do something different with it this time? I mean, this is just a straight-up summary of the same events we all know by heart. John Steele is interesting, and I like how he meets up with Nick Fury and his guys; I imagine they'll get along well. But the way Brubaker just skips through Steele's interactions with the German townspeople seems a bit clumsy. I like seeing the assassination of Erskine from the perspective of the saboteur; that's interesting. But yeah, overall this is definitely not my favorite issue of this series.
Thumbs Sideways

Scalped #33
In case you were wondering, yes, Scalped is still awesome. I'm glad to see our hero seems to finally be pulling himself together and enacting some kind of plan, even if it involves teaming up with the ultimate scumbag, Diesel. Is Chief Red Crow's big plan to defuse the Hmong situation to just get beaten up? I'm not sure that's going to satisfy them...

In the back of the book is a preview for something called Luna Park. It's awful! So that's good to know.
Thumbs Up

Siege: The Cabal #1
This one-shot is meant to bridge the gap between Marvel's last big event (Dark Reign) and its next one (Siege). It involves Norman Osborn rather arbitrarily deciding to move on Asgard. He also has a violent argument with Doctor Doom over Namor. I don't really care for this comic. I think the problem is that I don't understand the characters' motivations. They just seem to be performing random acts in service of Bendis' plot. Also, the preview of Siege #1 is disappointing. It looks like Loki and Osborn are going to team up to create an inciting incident nearly identical to the one that started the Civil War, as an excuse for Osborn to move on Asgard. First of all, I don't even get why Osborn is going after Asgard. He has to know he can't take on a whole city full of Gods. Why not just let them be if they're not coming after him? And it's also really disappointing to me that Bendis is just going to reuse the same plot mechanic from Civil War. I mean, come on. That is lame.
Thumbs Sideways

Supergod #2
This series is amazing. The natural next step in Warren Ellis' examination of the concept of the superhuman. Now he's looking at the superhuman in relation to humanity's conception of religion - Superheroes as Gods. The problem is, once you've made a God, how do you control it? How do you understand it? And the answer is, you can't. This comic is loaded with amazing, mind-blowing ideas and incredibly dark humor.
Thumbs Up

Ultimate Spider-Man #5
I was really excited about this comic at first, but I'm starting to get tired of it. It's cute. The art's good. The story's okay. But it's not blowing me away anymore. And that Bendis dialog! It really starts to grate on you. I mean, how many books did I buy this week by Bendis? That guy is everywhere! Can't he just back off a little?
Thumbs Sideways
Tagged (?): Avengers (Not), Batman (Not), Brian Michael Bendis (Not), Buffy (Not), Captain America (Not), Comic books (Not), Criminal (Not), Dark Reign (Not), Ed Brubaker (Not), Final Crisis (Not), Ghost Rider (Not), Grant Morrison (Not), Jason Aaron (Not), Mark Waid (Not), Pixar (Not), Scalped (Not), Siege (Not), Spider-Man (Not), The Take (Not), Vampires (Not), Warren Ellis (Not), X-Men (Not)
Back to Top




About
Welcome to the blog of Jim Genzano, writer, web developer, husband, father, and enjoyer of things like the internet, movies, music, games, and books. For a more detailed run-down of who I am and what goes on here, read this.

RSS icon  Twitter icon  Facebook icon  Google Plus icon



Advanced Search

Recent Entries

Recent Comments

Most Popular Entries

Entry Archive

Tags

RSS Feeds
  • Main feed: RSS icon
  • Comments: RSS icon
  • You can also click any tag to find feeds that include just posts with that tag.


Back Home


© Copyright 2004-2017 Jim Genzano, All Rights Reserved

Like what you see here? Show your gratitude in the form of cold, hard cash, and you could help me make it even better!