6.07.2007

6.06.07 Reviews

Scalped #6 (DC/Vertigo): Simply put, Scalped is properly positioned to inherit the mantle of Vertigo Flagship Book once things like Y: The Last Man and Fables ultimately wrap up. It's definitely on par with 100 Bullets, Preacher, and the like in terms of sweeping scope, intensity, social commentary, and quality of execution. Jump on board now so you can say you were there when it all started! Jason Aaron exhibits a mastery of language cadence here with lines that drip fluidity like, "How you're more than just some two-bit, trailer trash billy jack raised on gutmeat and government cheese." We're being given an absolutely brilliant portrayal of the warped dynamics that occur in a closed society. The art remains a tad confusing and murky at times, particularly in some isolated action sequences, but is otherwise solid, with a consistent and unique style. Aaron throws in a mysterious figure dropping cryptic knowledge, manages to advance the superstory, all while stringing us along with cliffhanger-y endings that make us beg for more. Also enjoyed a slew of ads for new Vertigo books like Lapham's Silverfish, the hip-hop infused Sentences, and Faker by Mike Carey and Jock. Grade A.

The Lone Ranger #6 (Dynamite Entertainment): Brett Matthews and company offer up a touching family moment here as they continue to lay the ground work for the reimaging of the Lone Ranger origin. I love how they incorporate familiar elements in a completely organic way - the horse, the guns, the term for friend, etc. It's all slowly building and fun to see coalesce into something mythic. Cariello's already strong art is really improving over time and starting to pick up collaborator Cassaday's influence. There are certain panels with the Ranger's face, that boast a level of fine detail very reminiscent, and near indistinguishable, from Cassaday's own pencils. I do appreciate that LR is fallible here, not an uber-competent hero, he's still learning. I know I always complain that this reads incredibly fast, but it still rings true. Not sure if it's the effective panel to panel transitions or the sparse, stripped down dialogue, but as soon as I crack it open, it's as if I'm turning to the last page. Make no mistake, I enjoy every second it it, but it's just that, it feels like fleeting seconds. Oh, and I'm *still* waitin' on that collected edition hardcover. Whadda' y'all reckon's the dadgum hold up on that thar fella? Grade A.

Fear Agent: The Last Goodbye #1 (Dark Horse): It appears that Fear Agent is now meant to function as a series of mini-series(?). It seems that we pick up right where the last issue of the Volume 2 TPB left off. Were we ever told this was the plan with the move to Dark Horse? I just don't recall. Anyway, aside from some political messaging that's a little too overt (not that I disagree with it, but still...), it just feels like it's coming straight from the author, and is not the characters speaking. This issue pulls off an odd little dance that weaves in some scenes from the last issue, simultaneously reprinting and integrating the old series from the old publisher with the new series from the new publisher, all the while being an effort at a flashback arc. Got that? Some obvious influences from sci-fi pop culture (War of the Worlds, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Independence Day, etc.), but overall pretty entertaining. Beautiful art and colors from Tony Moore and Lee Loughridge. Grade B+.

Uncanny X-Men #487 (Marvel): The opening scene, while meant to be full of intrigue, was not that great for me since I've never held much interest for the Morlocks. Brubaker has definitely captured the voices of most of the characters and downright nails a regretful tone, filled with a sense of duty, between Nightcrawler and Xavier, as they discuss Havok and the continuing Sh'iar rebellion. Nice little recurring cameo set up for Storm-Queen of Wakanda-Fantastic Four Member, and X-Man. Larroca's pencils are nice, with some effective dark inking. This is a well done set up for the next arc, but that arc kinda' feels like filler material that could have been done at any time (I mean, Caliban? Really?), and is just buying us time until X-Men #200, the Endangered Species special(s), and whatever they're cooking up for Uncanny #500. Grade B.

I also picked up;

Exit Wounds (Drawn & Quarterly): Award winning writer/arist Rutu Modan's new book, serving as further evidence of the strong and growing Israeli (female) comics scene.

2 Comments:

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Jason Aaron said...

Wow, thanks for the great review. Glad you're liking SCALPED.

 
At 9:54 AM, Blogger Justin said...

Jason,

I am LOVING it! I've been reviewing the hell out of it, but let me know if there's anything else I can do to support you guys. I've had a few writer/artists ask to use pull quotes for single issues or trades, so feel free if you find something suitable.

Thanks for stopping by!

Justin

 

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