12.03.09 Reviews (Part 1)

Scalped #33 (DC/Vertigo): Right from the opening page, there’s an air of real world authenticity to the clipped dialogue from Jason Aaron and the lean anemic lines of R.M. Guera. As usual, the book is dripping with attitude, and everything that’s been bubbling up for what feels like a beautiful excruciating eternity is now finally starting to boil over. Diesel, Carol, Nitz, Catcher, Falls Down, the lost informant, and the Hmongs all have their own threads, they’re all gonna’ converge, and it’s gonna’ be cataclysmically entertainingly fucking grand. There are so many developments here that hum with energy and begin to pay off faithful readers. I can’t really say very much without spoiling things, but damn! Agent Newsome! Damn! Shunka knows a big secret! Aaron is laying down a modern crime epic that is poised to eclipse 100 Bullets as a flagship for the line, and Guera is bringing his best claustrophobic tight, dark, and, murky action. It really doesn’t get any better than this. Grade A+.

Uncanny X-Men #518 (Marvel): Oh, why do I keep doing this to myself? The good is that we finally get an explanation as to why Emma is/was stuck in diamond form, and Dodson’s art is much less offensive than Land’s (though Psylocke’s boobs are way too big to be consistent with her previous depictions, or even physically plausible in some shots), but I don’t know why Scott is in uniform on the cover, and then in the same scene in the book he’s in a suit. Aside from those two redeeming (kinda’ I guess?) qualities, I’m left with a few questions and concerns. The scenes, and series as a whole for at least the last six months or so, have felt very disjointed, with very rough jump cuts that flit around indiscriminantly. The story itself in this issue is a little more coherent than usual, but there’s definitely some instances of awkward dialogue. There’s a double “is” making a sentence read (minus a parenthetical phrase) “Dr. Rao is saying is that with you being the Master of Magnetism…” Why is bloody Beast saying “bloody” so bloody much? Did he get his Madonna on and suddenly become British? Beast keeps saying “they tortured me,” but I have no clue what he’s talking about. I’m pretty sure that never occurred in this title, not in my recollection anyway, must have been some crossover thing. If Scott is a psychic projection inside Emma’s fractured mind, why can he use his optic blasts to harm something? They’re psychic projections, not real or tangible. Why am I still buying this book? Grade C-.


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