Sunday, March 02, 2008

Quick Reviews

Justice Society of America #13
I've got mixed feeling on the series right now. I don't like that it's focused on the KC Superman instead of the JSA, and this issue we have elements that tie into some of DC's meta-arcs, which takes even more time away from the titular characters. So i'm not happy with that. At least the current story is starting to move now. It's not bad, it's just not focused on the characters for which i buy the book. I'm just holding out until this story is over. If the next arc isn't about the JSA, i'll drop it.

Blue Beetle #24
AWESOME. This book is so very good. I can't say much about it without spoiling things, but there are more yahoo moments in this issue than in months and months worth of other comics.

Green Lantern Corps #21
This comic feels very different since SCW. Before that, it felt like it had its own identity: it's own stories, characters, subplots, etc. A lot of that climaxed in SCW (and it was cool to watch things like Ranx work into that story). It now feels like GLC is an annex to [i]Green Lantern[/i]. The only thread left over is the gradual change of the Guardians, and the larger prophecy, which i reckon will culminate in the Black Lantern story. I'm not sure if i like this book anymore.

Project Superpowers #1

I'm intrigued by this series. It's more the exploration of these characters than the story at this point. What i really want out of it is a cool new set of superheroes (new to me anyway), more than another [i]Kingdom Come[/i]/[i]Marvels[/i] -style Epic of Grand Import. There's something very appealing about these Golden Age characters, though whether it's something inherent, or something i'm projecting onto them (thinking maybe they could be as iconic/cool as their more successful GA peers) i'm not sure. The Green Lama has developed further powers over the decades. I like his setting; it's very pulpish in the [i]Lost Horizons[/i] tradition. I guess this Dynamic Man guy was a Superman/Capt. Marvel type of guy in the original comics?

Fables #70
Niko Henrichon provides fantastic fill-in art. There's a lot of great dialog here, as well as smart, fun character moments as the fables at the Farm have to make a decision about their futures. Little Boy Blue and Rose Red have some strong moments, too but i can't talk about them without spoiling them.

Atomic Robo #5
This is the best new series of the past year. It is so much fun, so well done, with sharp writing and very cool, stylized art that perfectly fits the tone. I've loved every issue of this series. This issue features some dungeon delving, and as RPGers know, that always ends in a big fight. In this case, it's a fight with evil combat cyborgs. Highly recommended.

Shadowpact #22
Phil Winslade's art is amazing. It works very well in the fantasy milieu of this issue. Nightmaster's story takes an unexpected turn at the end, but with the knowledge that the series is ending soon, it feels like a proper way of winding things down. I'll miss this book, since it's been fun and featured some characters i really liked.

Perhapanauts Annual #1
There are a handful of "paranormal" comics out there right now that combine various creatures from cryptozoology and weird folklore. This is the one that clicks for me. It feels like a lot of planning and "preproduction" went into it. The characters have multiple dimensions, the setting is fairly deep, and you can hear the gears of a larger story grinding away in the background without distracting from the here and now. This time our team of investigators--MG, a man who can move between worlds; Choopie the chupacabra; Arisa the telepath, Molly the girl ghost, and Big the Buddhist bigfoot--take on the legendary Jersey Devil.

Miranda Mercury #295
This comic manages to be both rollicking and thoughtful, which is a neat trick in and of itself. This does everything a first issue should do (the numbering is kind of a gag). It introduces the lead, her immediate supporting cast/sidekick, the world in which she operates, and the tone of the series. It's also a fun read. Miranda is "the greatest adventurer in this or any other galaxy", who has made a career out of doing the impossible. This time out she's trying to solve the puzzle that will free the legendary hero Rebel Ronin. The story starts in media res on two levels: first, by pretending that this is the 295th issue of an ongoing series, and secondly by starting this issue's story in the middle of a huge fight between Miranda and a gang of thugs. The narrative begins on the cover, in fact. Peaks of the next covers imply that this will continue throughout the series. Recommended.