8.09.06 Reviews

Man, I can't remember a week where I spent less than 10 bucks on comics. Yep, this week amounted to a whopping $9.14... I wandered around aimlessly looking for something else to grab my attention and it just didn't. Kinda' sad...

The Escapists #2 (Dark Horse): Damn, this turned out to be the belle of the ball, being the only book I enjoyed this week. This was definitely as strong as the first issue. Dude, put James Jean on cover art, and I'll buy just about anything. His style really does pop off the stand. I absolutely love the "story within a story" structure when it's done well, and this one is! I really didn't see it coming, I was just drawn right in. Jason S. Alexander's art has a nice Jae Lee darkness to it, and Steve Rolston is always a treat. I enjoyed the industry commentary embedded in the narrative, this could serve as a primer on how to launch a book, touches on viral marketing, and is also an engaging read in itself about an unlikely group of creators. And they're teasing me just right with that John Cassaday art for the next issue. Oh, and Case is hot! Grade A.

52: Week Fourteen (DC): All things Renee Montoya and The Question continue as they head to Khandaq to track down the Intergang incursion. And that's kinda' all that happens. I'm starting to lose patience with what we're being shown and the snail's pace that the "plot" advances. What I'm being shown sure feels like a rather myopic view into the DCU and it's hard to believe that any of this is going to "reshape" the universe. All in all, I just feel that 52 isn't working as a concept. Perhaps the only thing that goes toward the price of admission is the cool backup of Metamorpho's origin featuring art from The Goon creator, Eric Powell. Grade C-.

Martian Manhunter #1 (DC): See, the thing about Martian Manhunter is that the book is called Martian Manhunter, singular. It's not called "The Martians." He's the last one. That's the only thing that made him remotely interesting. Last member of a dead world. What Supes is to Krypton, MM should be to Mars. This whole mess is trying very hard to sound important and takes itself very seriously. And it's so not. I thought the opening page was very presumptuous, telling us that all humans are derivative from Cain and Abel. I mean, not that I have a problem in buying into creationism as a model, it just seems out of place for a non-Vertigo book. Basically everything about this is shoehorned in. There's no story man, they just got someone to shlock it out and went through a checklist of extremely minimal elements to include. It's like some guys at DC were sitting around bored one day and one said, "hey, we should do a Martian Manhunter book! It's been a while." The other one says, "yeah, ok. What should it be about?" The first one rhetorts "umm, well he was in the JLA, right? And uhh... he's a Martian... we'll just have him do some different stuff... and uhh... make him look more Martian-y." That was the pitch. In fact, I would rather read a book called "DC Editorial & The Martian Dilemma" that chronicles these two guys talking about the concept, going to lunch, batting bad ideas back and forth, conning a creative team into participating... that would have been infinitely more interesting to me. Grade F.


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