1.30.2006

1.25.06 Reviews

Nextwave #1 (Marvel): Definitely their best new book in a while, like a breath of fresh air in a stale Marvel marketplace. Just goes to show that the value of an idea is not in its conception necessarily, but in its execution. Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen offer up an exciting, fun, and attitude filled take on some Marvel irregulars such as Photon, Machine Man, and Ellie Bloodstone that on the surface would sound bland and without potential. Immonen's art is as strong as usual, with a slightly more angular, cartoony line. Ellis seems to incorporate a little Joe Casey style corporate mumbo-jumbo on top of his wicked humor. "Every day I smoke 200 cigarettes and 100 cigars and drink a bottle of whiskey and 3 bottles of wine with dinner. And dinner is meat. Raw meat. The cook serves me an entire animal and I fight it bare-handed and tear off what I want and eat it and have the rest buried. In New Jersey." Grade B+.

New Avengers #15 (Marvel): Happy to see Frank Cho still on art chores for this arc, but not much happens. Nice involvement of Warbird, strong characterization of J. Jonah Jameson, and some furthering of Spider-Woman's dilemma as The New Avengers have their media coming out party. We'll see where it goes. Grade B.

Green Lantern Corps: Recharge #4 (DC): Lots of exposition here that didn't really engage me. I'm also back to not liking the art so much. Feels like nothing more than gearing up for the final showdown on Oa. One more issue to see where the Corps will sit in the "new" DCU. Grade C+.

Godland #7 (Image): Usually love this book, but this issue didnt feel like it had the same punch of a typical one. But it is the first ish of a new arc, so maybe it's all set up. Still strong in terms of craft, but a slow build whose strength is tough to realize in a single issue. Grade C+.

Revelations #6 (Dark Horse): Wow, this issue wins the award for Exposition King. Feels almost as if Jenkins wrote himself into a corner, having dropped no real useful hints along the way, so now he must rely on one character divulging everything in the last 5 minutes that explains all that's come before. I didn't mind the depressing ending, in fact I thought it was quite strong and a brave move for Dark Horse, just wish we could have gotten there without truckloads of exposition which felt like a bit of a cheat. Ramos' art remains cool as evidenced by the dramatically different style he employs on the cover. But overall, felt too crammed in for just 6 issues or the plotting needed to be spread back out over issues 4 and 5. Grade B-.

Local #3 (Oni Press): Holy shit. My absolute pick for the week. The strongest issue to date, amid some already pretty strong issues. The juxtaposition of an interview session interspersed with sequences of different band members is very powerful. An insightful take on fan gratitude vs. outright ownership of someone in the public eye. Creators feeling no obligation other than to create, the public's reaction being completely their own. A deceptively simple narrative structure that transcends to become a complex study of character motivations. Highly recommended. Grade A+.

BPRD: The Black Flame #6 (Dark Horse): I really enjoyed the opening shots of the BPRD's war machine in action, very impressive. If nothing else, this finale reveals Liz's growing mastery of her elemental powers of fire. Heartbreaking conclusion as the creative team yet again pushes on Johann's character via the inhumane clinical treatment of a "dead" Roger. I sort of dug the "no end" end which leaves all kinds of possibilities open. The characters are just as baffled as we are, which is 10x better than the overly wrought exposition that some other titles offered this week. Grade B+.

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