5.24.06 Reviews

Powers #18 (Marvel/ICON): Very fulfilling issue as the stand-up comic riff comes to a close, the flirtatious bisexual vibe from the FBI chic really hits on all cylinders, and Deena absolutely hits rock bottom with a fantastically rendered flashback sequence. First rate graphic storytelling. Grade B+.

Checkmate #2 (DC): For everything I like about this book, there's something I don't. I kinda' dig the cool mix of characters that make up this new incarnation of Checkmate. But I think Kobra is a retarded, hokey villain. I kinda' dig the espionage that Rucka weaves in Queen & Country style. But some of the dialogue, like the post-love scene between Mister Terrific and Sasha Bordeaux is ridiculous. I kinda' dig that the black side of the board is the covert ops arm of the organization, while the white side is the political arm. But then there's Alan Scott's eye patch. I mean really, what the hell is that about? It's serious and intriguing, then it's campy and expository, which makes it all kinda' average. Grade C+.

52: Week 3 (DC): For a second, I was really excited about the 52 project, but it's turning into dreck pretty quickly. Anyone who's ever been around a crime scene knows it doesn't work that way. Hearing anyone but Courtney (Stargirl) refer to Power Girl as "Pee Gee" is jarring. The lame-ass villain on the air-Harley just hurt to look at. The rebelliousness of Steel's daughter or whoever is wearing thin quickly. The Kahndaq bits with Black Adam are boring. The Booster Gold show is growing tiresome. I mean, yes, just find Rip Hunter already and sort out the time travel thing and why things aren't turning out as predicted. Time travel stories rarely work anyway, right? The fact that Booster is there in the "past" anyway, his very presence alters the future, it's basic Back to the Future logic, so that whole story thread is flawed. All in all, 52 just lacks any narration to let me know how all this crap is supposed to be connected. Like, what's the *story* here? So far, it feels like a bunch of disparate scenes strung together with not even a courtesy strand of dental floss or flick of scotch tape. I want to read it to know what happened in the "missing year," but so far it looks like nothing at all happened worthwhile. And the "History of the DC Universe" featurette in the back is basically a big barrel of monkey spunk. Grade D-.

X-Factor #7 (Marvel): Peter David's scripting remains very strong and engaging, I love the voices he brings to these interesting characters. And the cameo from Scott Summers was great. But, Jesus H, man! FIND A REGULAR ARTIST ALREADY!!! Dennis Calero got in, what, an issue and a half, as replacement for Ryan Sook? And now, here comes Ariel Olivetti with no explanation? What the hell? Who is drawing this book? It's very annoying and is starting to push me out of the story, which is unfortunate, because it's a good one. And I'm sorry, but Olivetti's style is just a little too cartoony and soft for the dark tone of this book. And what's with Peter David saying this is the last letters page? Is it cancelled already? Even before the Civil War crossover? Haha! Fuck man, just when this book was getting rolling, it's rolling off the tracks from a project management standpoint. Writing is an A, art fluctuations are a C at best. Overall, Grade B.

Squadron Supreme #3 (Marvel): Dude, I don't know what's happening with this book. The MAX run was one of my favorite books in the last few years. But this. Whew! It feels like a mess. All of the "extra" characters that were brought in after the MAX line just don't feel right. Too many to juggle and I don't have the history with them to care about them. And this story line was just so flawed logically. The dude controls minds so let's all rush in so that he can mind fuck us and make us fight eachother. How smart is that for America's secret super team? Lame. And holy shit, what a preachy political issue. The book had already been working as political analogue, you don't need to spoon feed us your political position. Grade C+.

The New Avengers #19 (Marvel): Worked about as well as they all do. Mindless entertainment, but don't eeeven try to apply any logic to it. Why is Iron Man suddenly the exposition king? Why does he choose to explain that you can't talk in the vacuum of space and then... proceed to do just that? Why is Tony not actually in the armor? Why isn't it more of a big deal that Director Maria Hill of SHIELD just unmasked Spider-Man? Does this happen before or after the first issue of Civil War, because if it's supposed to happen in the order they were released, it makes zero sense whatsoever from a continuity standpoint. Why don't I care who the "Michael" in space is? Oh wait, those are all pretty logical questions... never mind. Grade C.

Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. #5 (Marvel): Definitely a fun issue as the humor starts to creep back up to par with initial issues, and the self referential bits about the Marvel U with the Avengers, Cable & X-Force, etc. play pretty well. Immonen's pencils, aside from maybe ShockRockets, have never been better. Bang up character designs, inks, and colors. Which reminds me... damn was I bummed that my local shop sold out of the coloring book edition of this book before I could pick one up! COOL idea! I still want one! Grade B+.


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