2.27.2006

2.22.06 Reviews

Iron Man: The Inevitable #3 (Marvel): I've been drawn to this series because I love all things Joe Casey and the odd approach that Frazer Irving brings to the art is really interesting and different, in a 70's porn-star sorta' way (it's that moustache!). That said, I haven't been able to really connect with the series until now. I think what Casey is doing, his "hook" if you will, is to comment on the cyclical and repetitive nature of the superhero structure. The inevitability of that. It seems that this calm approach is a deliberate analysis of what it means to be a hero, and more importantly, why would Tony do it, what drives him? And in retrospect, the same question can be posed to his villains, which makes their odd dialogue a little more readable. Grade B+.

Green Lantern #9 (DC): Rough art. Weird inking. Boring story. What a lame excuse to get Bruce to put on the ring. Some really hokey dialogue between Hal and Bruce. That whole Batmobile conversation was excruciating. Grade C-.

Astonishing X-Men #13 (Marvel): Felt pretty flat with the exception of some touching Kitty/Peter moments, and the sight of the SHIELD Helicarrier always takes my breath away. Basically felt like the "no-big-deal" continuation of the first arc, rather than the "flash-bang" first issue of the second arc, which is what I was expecting. Mostly for JC's art, Grade B.

The Sentry #6 (Marvel): The... *ahem* "big reveal" was neither dramatic, nor very clearly told. But for some reason, I still kinda' like this book. Romita's Dr. Strange was fun to see. I just hope that the Sentry/Void persona is going to get sorted out and resolved once and for all in the next 2 issues and not continue to be circular logic that doubles back on itself like Chris Carter's storytelling ala X-Files. Grade B.

The American Way #1 (DC/Wildstorm): Sometimes you can throw all the fancy college vocabulary out the window, suspend the critical analysis, ignore the benefit of the doubt, stop wondering what the creators were going for, and simply do a gut check. Gut? This book sucked. For so many reasons. I mean it really made me mad. I was a little angry that I wasted my $3. That they thought they could get away with this stuff. The opening pages read like a pastiche of Tucker: A Man & His Dream, Redford's Quiz Show, the narrative style of Seabiscuit, strong doses of Astro City, and outright steal some War of the Worlds imagery. The following pages are continued collages of those parts in varying percentages. They use the Tucker and Quiz Show feel to set the time period. They spoon in a little Quiz Show style paranoia for the conspiracy feel. They try to set up an instant world from the everyman's point of view with a sustained Astro City groove. They introduce the Lois Lane archetype and then do... nothing with it except make it painfully obvious. They throw in Bobby Kennedy, which makes for a really uncomfortable mix of images. This book is filled with information but has no clear direction. The ending panels are designed to be striking but fall flat on their face since they were telegraphed and I was so disgusted by that point. Homage is one thing when it's embedded in some originality. But when everything is borrowed, it's called a swipe. And when it's strung together as poorly and thinly as this, we call it artistic thievery. You should all be so ashamed of this. I mean seriously, get an original idea, I've seen all of these elements countless times before and in infinitely better renderings. This book makes it's audience feel like a caged zoo monkey that is so fed up and disgraced with repetition and boredom that he has to throw his own monkey shit out from behind the bars to generate anything remotely entertaining in a doomed attempt to alter the crumbling artistic landscape and prevent severe depression. Grade F.

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