5.25.11 Reviews

Xombi #3 (DC): I vaguely remember this as a Milestone property and think I might have even bought the original #1 waaay back in the day. I've heard great things about the book and since this week turned out to be such a dud, I thought I'd give it a spin. It opens with some incredibly dense exposition that totally obliterates the "show don't tell" rule. There was such a sea of text on the page that my eyes were glazing over and I was starting to count the panels which had all expository text boxes (98%) vs. the panels that had any semblance of actual dialogue (2%) so that I could make some snarky observation, but then even got bored doing that. Frazer Irving's art is stunning as usual, all drenched in amber and sepia tones, but without it being attached to a story I can access, I'm not sure what good it does. Something something something monster slaying and setting traps and twisty plans, but beyond a visually interesting character named Maranatha, I couldn't tell you what was happening. I actually got more enjoyment out of the Super 8 insert. The art sort of had a John Paul Leon thing going on, all steeped in the gravitas of post-WWII Cold War era tension vis-a-vis an alien threat and the US/USSR space programs. It's not like anyone interested in pop culture isn't already planning on checking out this JJ Abrams/Steven Spielberg collabo, but hey, a nice comic tie-in can't hurt. As for Xombi, the strength of the art saves it from a worse rating than Grade C.

Ugh. This was not a very inspiring week in the world of comic books. Two weeks ago, I picked up Batman Incorporated #6, which I really enjoyed. The script was suprisingly coherent for Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham's art was seriously on par with Frank Quitely and/or George Perez. I actually thought it could be a small little gateway back into the DCU. I almost went back to my LCS and picked up the whole run, but (thankfully) decided to cautiously just grab issues 4 and 5 to test it out this week. Issue 4 was also a Burnham issue that had him aping a bunch of different art styles, and while issue 5 was back to regular series artist Yanick Paquette (who I haven't really enjoyed since he did a single issue of Uncanny X-Men with Matt Fraction), it did feature Batwoman prominently, which is ok with me. Anyway, both of the issues kind of sucked. It was back to incoherent Morrisonian continuity porn and the art was just mediocre, so I'm out on Batman Inc. just as quickly as it seemed to enthrall me. I suppose there's a chance that if issue 7 were to feature Burnham and continue anything resembling what I liked in issue 6, I could conceivably follow it, but I'm not holding out hope based on the inconsistency I've seen so far. There's just nothing like picking up a random issue of a series, liking it, and then realizing it happened to be a totally anomalous issue.

Another book I was interested in this week was Strange Adventures #1, also from DC, though now it's not clear if this is just a one-shot or there will actually ever be a second issue. It had a decent Paul Pope cover, but thumbing through it I realized that I was basically going to only be interested in the Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso preview of Spaceman, but, sorry, I'm not going to pay $7.99 for like 8-10 pages of a story.

The other book that I thought I was going to purchase was Butcher Baker Righteous Maker #3 from Image Comics. I bought the first two issues, but haven't been loving it. I read Joe Casey's back matter standing in the store and then realized that I had no desire to read the actual comic, so that was instantly off the pull list.

Lastly, I was probably going to pick up the collected edition of DV8: Gods & Monsters (WildStorm) from Brian Wood & Rebekah Isaacs, but of course, the most reliable comic for me this week was something that Sea Donkey decided not to order in all his infinite undersea wisdom.


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