5.31.07 Reviews

Silent War #5 (Marvel): My favorite part of this issue is how The Inhumans are able to hand the Mighty Avengers their own asses on a silver platter. Tony's newly formed Avengers squad comes prepared for a good old fashioned street brawl, but find they've been out-manuevered by some of the most tactically cunning and brilliant minds (not) on the planet. It's a great lesson that would make Sun Tzu proud of their ability to know their opponent, feign attacks, and play the proverbial chess pieces 5 moves ahead. Couple that with Frazer Irving's inventive, creepy, moody art, and you have one of the best books Marvel is publishing at the moment. It truly lives up to its name, we see a war being waged that's hidden from the spotlight and could have significant repercussions. Grade A.

Hellboy: Darkness Calls #2 (Dark Horse): This really feels like an old-school Hellboy story in the way it relies heavily on loose references to myth and legend. That's also aided by tons of connection to earlier stories and characters from the Hellboy mythos. It does read quite like a middle chapter and doesn't offer a complete thread here, but we've come to expect that with the current method of reading better in trade format. For me, the BPRD "spin-off" book has surpassed Hellboy for sheer enjoyment, but I still like checking back in on the big guy as we get closer to his ultimate fate. Grade A-.

Shaolin Cowboy #7 (Burlyman Entertainment): If you want some semblance of a linear plotline to follow and clearly defined thematic arcs, you'd best take your ball and go home. If, however, you want some manic craziness depicted with skillful glee, this is where you need to be. Darrow has taken some adventurous quest elements in this issue and paired them with some bizarrely entertaining (not quite "haha" funny) dialogue. I can say that I don't fully "get" Shaolin Cowboy and what it's laced with in terms of hidden layers of meaning, but what keeps me returning for more is that it's completely original and unique. And at this point in my comic book reading career, where I feel I *have* seen it all, twice even - that's something surprisingly rare and appreciated. There is absolutely nothing like this on the stands. Grade A-.

I also picked up;

Fun Home (Mariner Books): Really looking forward to this Alison Bechdel graphic memoir chronicling her relationship with her late father and struggles with sexuality that made Time Magazine's #1 Book of the Year!

Fear Agent: Volume 2 (Dark Horse): Anxious to read Rick Remender's space adventure in one sitting and hope it holds up in collected form better than the sporadic single issues seemed to play in this second story arc.


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