9.20.2007

9.19.07 Reviews

Wasteland #12 (Oni Press): There’s just no other way to say it, all hell breaks loose this issue! The city gate is under siege, lies are told, some bonds are strengthened while some begin to dissolve, old alliances are tested while new ones are seeded, the council’s hold on the city comes under fire, conspiracies are revealed, and faulty assumptions are made while disinformation is spread. How Johnston and Mitten can make a book so dense with such weighty concepts and juggle so many plot threads, while simultaneously making it read so smooth and linear as it jumps from scene to scene is like a craftsman’s tutorial in scripting and panel to panel storytelling. Special thanks again to the gang at Oni Press for including a pull quote from 13 Minutes on the back cover! Grade A.

The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite #1 (Dark Horse): I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed this more than the FCBD sample, which actually read a little flat to me, despite much critical praise. I loved the flashes forward and back through time. With an assist from Gerard “My Chemical Romance” Way and budding pop star artist Gabriel “Casanova” Ba, Dark Horse may be properly positioned to have another BPRD-like hit on their hands with a heaping dose of familial dynamics and a dash of interstellar intrigue. Grade A.

Ex Machina #30 (DC/Wildstorm): In many ways, this felt like a return back to Ex Machina’s roots. The political monologues are still present and appreciated for their ability to raise the level of public social debate, but are also nicely intertwined with the adventures and plot devices, rather than just a series of talking heads walking around the mansion. Grade A.

Checkmate #18 (DC): In a similar return to greatness, Rucka pours on the tight scripting and engaging dialogue, with a set of complex but easy to follow plot threads boasting reserved political intrigue and wild espionage thrills. If only the art were upgraded slightly and consistently, this would easily be in "A" range. As is, Grade B+.

World War Hulk #4 (Marvel): There are some grand spectacle style fight sequences to be found here as The Hulk pushes the retribution so far that even his cadre of interplanetary cohorts begs him to stop. Entertaining, if a little over the top. Grade B.

I also picked up;

Doctor 13: Architecture & Mortality (DC): Simply put, the best mini-series from DC in a long, long time. Bravo to DC for publishing this independent of The Spectre lead story (which was a real stinker) that made up the Tales of the Unexpected book. In addition to some downright endearing characters, the creative team gives us a tight deconstruction of storytelling, with actual creations taking on their creators in self-aware and fourth wall breaking hilarity. Any fan of the genre should do themselves a favor and snap this overlooked gem up. Grade A+.

Finder: Sin-Eater: Book 1 (Light Speed Press): This attractively designed digest-sized hardcover was just too nice to pass up. I really like Carla Speed McNeil’s art (even have a few pages of original art framed up from her Queen & Country run. That said, I have tried a few stray issues of Finder in the past without much success, so I decide to give it a final chance in one sitting from the beginning. It’s also a deal at this price for 15 whole issues in hardcover format.

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