3.08.06 Reviews

Fear Agent #1 (Image): Yes! This is exactly what I was hoping it would be! So much damn fun. Exceptionally strong coloring! Loved that this first installment was a basic prologue which effectively set up the world, touched on origin, and set the "attitude" of the book squarely up. *Loved* Remender's wonderfully focused and acutely accurate afterword which proves that this creative team is accomplishing exactly what they set out to do. Grade A+.

Doll & Creature #1 (Image): Yeah, not so much on this one. I didn't really "get" this one, the high concept is lost on me. Heebink's art looks great in spots, but the story just doesn't connect with me. I'll stick with Fear Agent for now, thank you Rick Remender. Grade C+.

Teen Titans #33 (DC): There are some wonderful moments here that really pull on the ol' heart strings if you're a Dick Grayson or Conner Kent fan. Loved the duality of the narration. This was a great character driven issue that reminded me of something that I think I read way back in some crossover book, in which Dick said something to the effect of "the JSA teaches you how to be a hero, the JLA teaches you how to fight, but the Titans teach you how to be a family." Conner sees Dick as an out of touch elder. Dick sees Conner as a punky kid who isn't terribly self-aware. See Dick and Conner learn to recognize eachother as equals. Dick: I'm not one of those statues, "I'm a Titan like you." Dick becomes a true mentor and Conner finally grows up, learns how to trust himself and not be an arrogant prick. This is where everything changes, where Dick and Conner fulfill their destiny. "The end of today, the beginning of tomorrow" in the DCU. Highly enjoyable. Grade B+.

Powers #17 (Marvel/ICON): Cool download of info from the Millennium Guard people. Awesome to see Walker finding comfort in Calista's presence. The Dennis Miller style rant of the stand up comedian was a great bonus. Deena is all kinds of rogue with her stalking of the Internal Affairs chic and is strung out on power confronting some known criminals. Not much of a review was that? Well, this was great. Grade B+.

Captain Atom: Armageddon #6 (DC/Wildstorm): What a hot love scene between Atom and The Engineer! Loved the hot oozing liquid metal as metaphor for umm... you know. Dug the little things like the media references from Shen and Jack Hawksmoor. I like how Atom is slowly courted and won over by The Authority's results-oriented methods. Great moment when Angie refers to him as "fallout boy." Cam's art is literally improving leaps and bounds with each issue.
Enjoyed the metatextual comments to Mr. Majestic about "the old ways don't work anymore." Classic cliffhanger ending as we assume Nikola is the new Void. Grade B+.

Down #4 (Image/Top Cow): Hamner's art really falls apart in spots, especially the big shootout which looks extremely rushed and really lacks some detail in the foreground characters. And the backgrounds are just, well, non-existent. Which is kinda' lame considering how late this is. Ellis drives a known point home really strongly, which is "you can't look into the abyss without it looking back and altering you." The ending tone reminds me of Roger Ebert's comments about Scorsese's Goodfellas. That the true sin is not in committing the sin itself. The true sin is committing the sin, understanding the bad outcome and ramifications, but ultimately craving to do it again. I finally noticed something about Ellis' work too. The true impact of his creativity is one that hits you during the journey, during the arc, not at the destination or conclusion of the story. If you go into it expecting a long build up with a pay off at the end, it reads in a very anti-climactic fashion. However, if you choose to enjoy the ride and open yourself up to the consistently strong moments throughhout, it reads quite strongly. My enjoyment is directly tied to my mindset going into it. Great story from Ellis, but really hindered by Hamner's wonky art. Compare the first page with those pages about the shootout and you'll see a big difference in quality. Grade B.

American Virgin #1 (DC/Vertigo): I'm really not sure I can buy the whole premise of the book being "don't have sex until God shows you who you can have the perfect sex with." I actually find that comically absurd and sickly offensive. This is a tough pill to *ahem* swallow, as are the cliched supporting characters like Mom, Earl, and the other trailer park relatives. I do have faith in Seagle's writing ability though, It's a Bird is one of the strongest works to come out of this medium in the last few years. Hoping that he takes these hokey conventions and turns them upside down. Hoping that hating these people and their belief system was the point. Hoping that he does not pull punches and really kills the girlfriend in Africa. Those hopes and Becky Cloonan's refined art, which looks fantastic in full color, are the only things even remotely nagging at me to try another issue or two. Grade B-.

Fantastic Four: First Family #1 (Marvel): Chris Weston's art definitely has its moments here, but the story itself just feels like tired rehash of the same old FF elements. I just don't see the point or anything unique. Grade C.


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