11.22.06 Reviews

Casanova #6 (Image): "Indentured Sexitude." Hah! Again, there are things to love and a few bits that grate on me. There's some reliance on a little Charlie's Angels and a little Kill Bill, which don't make it feel terribly original. But, in that regard it reads sorta' like an awesome mix tape sounds. You know the person didn't write the songs, but the magical way they lace them all together can become something awesome on its own. I dig the way that Sabine Seychelle, in all his "breakitude of the 4th wallery," interrupts a few panels to talk to us as the "did you not?" realization about Cass hits him. Loved how old man Quinn has to scribble the immunity deal on a stray console. It's funny like Ellis-Nextwave funny. Overall, Fraction's scripts are losing the slightly pretentious vibe I wasn't into before and are upping the funny/meta/remix quotient. All for $1.99. Grade B+.

X-Factor #13 (Marvel): The long-awaited Doc Samson psychoanalysis issue finally hits. It's a solid issue, but not as strong as the fabled X-Factor #87 from a previous Peter David run, as I recall it through my nostalgia goggles, anyway. What I remember from #87 is that Doc Samson was completely wrong in his analysis of the previous lineup of the X-Factor members. And that in itself was the charm. It could be superficially played for laughs because he was *so* off, but then it took a very interesting turn. The characters themselves seemed to know themselves and their respective psychoses quite well and strongly informed Doc Samson about their pasts and motivational drivers. It was played from their points of view as we rotated through their individual sessions. Here, in #13, it's handled a little differently. To me, it seems that David's script is completely from the POV of the Doc. He's more in control and has to wade through layers of denial and false facades that the new incarnation of X-Factor wears. And while the personalities of the characters are often the opposite of what they overtly present to the world, it's not Doc Samson that's wrong or confused, he knows what they're laying down, it's the characters themselves that feel lost and truly in need of a guiding hand from an objective therapist. So, it's different. It's not better or worse in itself, but there is little room for twists when handled like this. True, there are some interesting bits of revelation, like Layla and Jaime's future, or nods to the past (Pietro's waiting in the ATM line was nice), but overall it's more straightforward and less surprising. Yes, the characters are opposite of what they seem, but it's presented more matter of factly and less insightful. And so for that, for my money, while a strong issue, it does not have the fun edge, the unexpected bite that #87 had. Raimondi's art is also a little "squishy" compared to the edge that Quesada had with his pencils back in the day. What am I really saying? If forced to pick, I'd take #87 (more pointed) over #13 (a little more obtuse), but in and of itself, a great issue. Grade B+.

Hatter M: The Looking Glass Wars #4 (Image/Desperado): I still like the concept for this book. But, there are moments when the panel to panel storytelling just isn't clear. And it's also just a pet peeve when intentions are not made clear by the creators. So this is going to be a series of mini-series(?) is all I can assume at this point. I remember when this book came out, I didn't know if it was an ongoing or a mini. Then when I discovered it was a mini, I didn't know how many issues it would be. Now that I know it's 4, and it's over, the plot is left completely dangling. I mean, the throughline is to find Princess Alyss. End of series and she's still missing. Umm, what? So there will be more mini-series now? Or not? Are we 'sposed to go buy the prose novel? I need a clearly articulated marketing plan, please. Also, the rainbow colored word balloons with a young off-beat female character who talks in pseudo-riddles? Umm, yeah, Neil Gaiman did that like 10 years ago with Delirium in Sandman. Grade B-.

52: Week Twenty-Nine (DC): Well, it should have been called 52: Week Exposition. With lines like (and this is only about 1/4 of the text in the speech baloon) "Sandman uncovered charges brought against a dozen 'heroes' over the last few months." Really? Sandman? Funny, I don't recall Sandman being in 52. Rule #1 in spotting expository dialogue... show me, don't tell me, what happened. On top of that, cruddy art that makes everyone's facial expressions look like they're trying to umm... "drop the kids off at the pool." And, it's just not funny. Egg Fu? Really, Egg Fu? That's all we can muster for chuckles? More like Egg Flat. Grade D-.

I also picked up;

New X-Men Omnibus Hardcover (Marvel): Hey man, it may be $99, but this is like 40 issues of Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, and Igor Kordey, about the X-Men, in hardcover. 'Nuff said.


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