3.02.2006

3.01.06 Reviews

Local #4 (Oni Press): This issue didn't connect as strongly with me as the previous two have. But what I did appreciate about this was that it was deliberately stripped down to focus on just one or two base emotions. It was extremely powerful, but just didn't resonate with me personally. Grade B.

Nextwave #2 (Marvel): Immonen's art has some great energy in the action scenes and Ellis really steps up the smart ass tone in the scripting department. It's been a long while since a comic book has made me laugh out loud, but there were plenty of fun examples here. Dirk Anger's "I have hard bits." And Fin Fang Foom's "Fin Fang Foom need bathroom. Fin Fang Foom... eat too many people?" My favorite was Machine Man's deadpan delivery of "My robot brain needs beer. Also? I want to die." Ellis is having a ball and so are we! Grade B+.

Infinite Crisis #5 (DC): This book is so difficult to review. It's like watching a 30 second clip of a movie that has nothing to do with any of the other clips surrounding it. The first page had some very interesting dialogue about faith with Mr. Terrific and Ragman. There was also a great page with Superboy and personal fave Nightwing stepping up. Other than those two single pages, it was tons of Superman and Wonder Woman hoo-haa that bored me to death. Let's hope it all pulls together in trade format. Grade N/A.

Green Lantern Corps: Recharge #5 (DC): Decent enough ending to a fun series. Not sure about all of the "reverse polarity solar incantation" jibba-jabba with the Spider Guild, but this is a fun ride that sorts out which of the various Earth-based Lanterns will be doing what and where, setting the stage for more ongoing series. Grade B-.

Untold Tales of the New Universe: Starbrand (Marvel): Another odd one. Pretty slow and boring opening scenes. When it takes a turn toward a self-referential send up of a failed line, it's kind of campy fun I guess. Ellis' soon-to-be "reimagining" (Marvel's word, not mine) of a failed line of books from 20 years ago makes me wonder if Marvel Editorial is really that strapped for ideas that they feel forced to scrape the barrel for this sludge or if Ellis really has some fresh concepts to offer. Grade C+.

X-Factor #4 (Marvel): I find myself not caring too much about what's going on in Mutant Town post-decimation event. The jarring feeling of Ryan Sook's art being in and out on every page is also getting more annoying. But damn it, I'm still pretty engaged by a Peter David script. Great dialogue and pacing. Seems like all of the letters hate Monet as a character, but I find her presence and interaction with Jamie one of the strongest points of the book. Do your thing, Pete. Grade B.

Queen & Country Declassified: Volume 2 #3 (Oni Press): *Sigh* What's up Oni Press? This book is ohhhh, about 8 months late now? And after all that we're treated to numerous typos, one even in the indicia (Fenruary 2006?!) . What happened to the roster page? Am I expected to recall what happened in the first two issues? It pains me to say that all of these little issues were completely distracting me from what would otherwise have been a great little story with energetic art about the British Empire's handover of Hong Kong. Hopefully the main title will get back on track now with March's issue #29. We're always hardest on the ones we love. A sorrowful Grade C.

Ex Machina #18 (DC/Wildstorm): Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris... I love you. All the rest of y'all creators who got shitty grades this week can learn a thing or two from the Ex Mach crew. *This* is how you do a fucking comic. The realism of the activation of the Emergency Command Center. Addressing real social issues in a non-preachy way. Having the nerve to have your characters voice unpopular, but commonly held opinions. The misdirected anger and blind bigotry of the confrontations that is reminiscent of the film Crash, it's really that powerful. Ex Machina continues to be intelligent, relevant, and entertaining. Bravo gentlemen, bravo. Grade A+.

Hellboy: Makoma #2 (Dark Horse): I really enjoyed Corben and Mignola's ethereal and secluded work. It's tough to extrapolate how this impacts the greater Hellboy mythos, but is highly enjoyable nonetheless. Anxiously awaiting what looks to be a strong year for Hellboy books. We have the new mini-series Darkness Calls. Another trade collection of recent short Hellboy arcs. And a new BPRD series that addresses Roger the Homunculus' recent "demise." Grade A-.

Godland #8 (Image): Feels like this book has lost a little of it's charm. The "Iboga is the origin of the universe" rant went on a bit too long without much humor. I did enjoy Basil Cronus' head on Discordia's body though. Grade B-.

Fear Agent #3 (Image): Decided to give this a spin based on positive word of mouth and a really cool cover image. Any time a 1950's style "ray gun" is burrowing a hole through a robot's head it grabs my attention. I imagine the "woooo-oooo-OOOO!" noise in my head and smile. Gotta' say I was pleasantly surprised by this. A rockin' good time that reminded me a little bit of Firefly/Serenity in that our hero is always one step behind where he needs to be and is generally getting his ass kicked. Dug the sarcastic, if expository, narrative. Will definitely pick up issues 1 and 2. Grade B.

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