12.24.08 Reviews

The Umbrella Academy: Dallas #2 (Dark Horse): The introduction of a pair of strange new antagonists makes this feel a bit Lynchian, like some of the oddball characters that used to inhabit Twin Peaks. I'll probably catch hell for this, but I'm not as enamored with UA as many people seem to be. I think it's good, but not great. I think its at its best when the actions it depicts are juxtaposed against familiar archetypes and locales. Notice the subtlety of positioning some of this issue's actions amid slices of Americana, like the typical diner scene or something as banal as apple pie or Girl Scout cookies. There's the comedic horror of anthropomorphic versions of Jules Winfield and Vincent Vega ("our man in The City!") extracting the line "W-we use canned apples..." Notice the way Kraken enters and exits the police office, surely a riff on the typical Batman entrance and egress from Commissioner Gordon's. There are just enough nuggets of originality here, like the familial breakdown, the dark side of something like the Teen Titans, and introduction of Mr. Perseus to keep my curiosity piqued. Grade B+.

I also picked up;

The Hot Breath of War (Sparkplug): Being the long-awaited follow up to Trevor Alixopulos' wonderful little crime book Mine Tonight.

Avengers: Volume 1 HC: Avengers Assemble (Marvel): Not released this week of course, but I got this for 30% off at a sale. This is the superb Kurt Busiek and George Perez run in a beautiful oversized hardcover, collecting (I believe) the first 12 issues. If not for this book and the accompanying Avengers Forever, I probably would've never developed an appreciation for this seminal Marvel team.

The Boys: Volume 1: The Name of the Game (Dynamite Entertainment): Again, not a current release, but for 30% off, I'll check it out. Not a huge fan of the creative team, but with some mixed buzz on the interwebs and a discount price, hopefully this will make an entertaining holiday read.

X-Men & Spider-Man #1-2 (Marvel): Picked this up based on a recommendation from a friend; looks like an interesting, time spanning, four issue look at the relationship between Peter and the X-Gang, written by Christos Gage (who doesn't really disappoint, regardless of property) and artist Mario Alberti, who passed the casual flip test with flying colors.


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