10.09.2013

10.09.13 [Weekly Reviews]

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X-Men #6 (Marvel): For me, this doesn’t feel as bogged down in crossover mandates as the prior may have. I thought it was maybe a bit of a slow start, but by the end, the characterization and cameos shine right through. Jubilee’s story (her, her family, how her powers now work) becomes more of an active concern than all of the time-jumping exploits of different X-squads (which still aren’t fully clear as to who is doing what or why), but I pretty much blame editorial and the prime architect for the crossover, not the writer who got his run hijacked three issues in. Ahem. Anyway, I uh, I love Betsy! The line about what it takes to be a mom was rich, and Lopez’s art is just fantastic, especially when rendering the interesting takes on her powers, her distinct ethnicity, and all of the coloring (Laura Martin!) is just great, like when we get a chance to see funny Doop, striking Rachel, or creepy Deadpool, it’s largely the color that punches up the art to a higher level. Lopez is good about pulling the camera out on a lot of the scenes. It lets you see a wide shot of things to get a bearing, especially during the action, so there’s no Michael Bay “shaky zoom cam” where you’re up so close on things flinging around that you can’t tell what’s going on or how the scene is staged. Lopez understands choreography and the slightly smaller scale figures allow him to get a lot of mileage out of a single page. Wood also gets a chance to write the chaotic funny voice of Deadpool, and continues the parental humor with stuff like “push the beep-beep.” I enjoyed future Jean, the relationship dynamics with Storm, and all of the fast-paced sense that there’s lots going on. It’s one of the few times I’ve seen where an individual writer’s strengths sort of outweigh the baggage of a crossover. Grade A-.

Rocket Girl #1 (Image): Amy Reeder’s pencils may have been a little stronger on Batwoman(?), but I still mostly enjoyed her and Brandon Montclare’s take on a sassy New York Teen PD girl jumping from “future” 2013 back to 1986 to investigate “crimes against time.” There was a typo on “mechanincs,” but this was otherwise a neat examination of the true cost of cleaning up NYC. The art was, at times, a little too bubblegum cutesy for my personal taste (I hate the cheesy glasses and racial caricature of the Police Commissioner, for example), but Reeder’s emotive facial expressions really do sell most of the proceedings. I also enjoyed the little Easter Eggs littering some of the background shots. I didn’t quite understand why the two 80’s cops would see “Rocket Girl” descending from the sky and taking over their call, but they just go along with her no questions asked(?). That didn’t seem very logical or realistic at all. There’s some pretty fly action scenes though, I like Rocket Girl’s capable attitude, and if you’re looking for a harmless fun read, you could do much worse than this title. Grade B+.

Superman/Wonder Woman #1 (DC): Oh, I don’t know, the art is just so stiff and awkward. There's nothing inviting about it. This is basically the epitome of what people mean when they refer to DC’s “generic house style.” I only cracked this open because Charles Soule wrote it, and I’ve deeply enjoyed his creator owned work like Strange Attractors at Archaia and Letter 44 at Oni Press, but this just feels so dated and tired. I guess I’ve learned my lesson to just stick with his creator-owned work. I think there was an interesting angle buried in here somewhere about how Clark and Diana’s personalities are so different, because their cultures of origin are so diametrically opposed, the Amazonian in full glory, the Kryptonian hiding his secret, etc., but it’s just so expositional, and basically everything going on in The New 52 feels of zero consequence, regardless of who’s writing it. Is that villain reveal supposed to be a big deal? Yawn. Grade C.

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