Sunday, June 15, 2008

Short, Sinus-Problem-Impaired, Reviews for Comics of June 11, 2008

Local #12 - Local reaches its destination at
last, as Megan returns to her deceased mother's house in rural Vermont. At first read this issue didn't work as well for me as previous ones, but that might be the bug i've come down with, so i'll read it again later when my head is clearer. Ryan Kelly's art remains awesome.

Wonder Woman #21 - It dawned on me while reading this one that there was a Beowulf series from DC back in the 70s. That explains why he isn't like the real Beowulf. I'm liking this arc, but i'm a sucker for the sword & sorcery, so YMMV. Wonder Woman has a flying clamshell vehicle? She borrowed it from Venus, i reckon? While it's kinda cool to see a new version of Nemesis, i'm not keen on the DEO portion of WW's current status quo.

Madman Atomic Comics #9 - I think i'll enjoy this series more if i stop expecting it to be the adventures of Madman and friends, and instead accept that it's Mike Allred's Experiments In Making Comics featuring Madman and friends. This entire issue consists of two-page spreads that follow a battle as it moves down a street in Snap City. Imagine a movie filmed entirely with one camera on a track rolling from left to right, and that's a close approximation. It's cool that Allred makes it work, but the story isn't very interesting.

Wildguard Insider #2 - The first story stars Lillyhammer, who has a fun punny name, and i don't generally like puns. I don't know the background referred to here, but it' still fun, and Todd Nauck's art is attractive. Btw the deal here is that the team called Wildguard is the result of an American Idol type TV show for superheroes. I got this series b/c i'd wondered about the previous Wildguard comics but never bought them, and this has turned out to be a good primer/introduction to the characters. There are a handful of short stories here, focusing on different characters. Some of these heroes made the final team, others didn't. Astro-Girl is like a younger, female-r version of Adam Strange. Power Temp superheroes part time. (Joey Mason's art on PT's story is great.)

Green Lantern Corps #25 - Less Mongul = better GLC. The origin of the black mercys is cool. Mother Mercy is all lovecraftian-looking, which is more cool. This story explains why the black mercys' powers are different here. Not a bad issue, at all. Gleason's excellent art makes even the grody bunch-a-corpses scenes engaging. Here's hoping next issue begins with Mongul's head exploding, and a new, interesting villain taking his place.

Trinity #1 & 2 - A promising start to a weekly series that apparently will be thankfully free of constraining continuity concerns. Busiek gets the characters right in every scene, and conveys everything clearly to the reader. Bagley's art looks maybe even better that his Ultimate Spidey stuff.

#1 - Cosmic stuff with screaming faces made out of nebulae: could any of this be related to the JLA/Avengers and Busiek's JLA run that followed it? That face doesn't look like Krona, but you never know.

The lunch scene does a good job of defining these characters vis-a-vis each other, and sets up the mystery that will drive at least the first arc of the series.

A ghostly castle is a cool thing. The choices for the anti-trinity aren't what you'd expect, which makes them interesting. Most folks think this Enigma guy is the Riddler, and he may be, but it doesn't fit IMO. Riddler ain't that technological or spooky. Plus, i like his private eye act in Detective, so i don't want that abandoned. Maybe he's Riddler from the future.

Dig that Ragman in the alternate Gotham scene. It's all Joe Kubert-y. Nice.

Is that yahoo on the last page the same as the nebula-face at the beginning? Probably, but looks a bit different.

#2 - A micro-solar system? Cool. Kinda Silver-Age-y. I wonder why it didn't disappear like the other alternate reality stuff? Hopefully there's really cool and weird stuff on those planets, and we'll see some crazy adventures there.

I think these alternate reality scenes are not multiverse-related. I think they're just brief, alternate timeline or imaginary worlds.

Those insectiod giant robots that Wonder Woman's fighting are cool. They remind me of Bagley's work on Thunderbolts.

Tom Derenick is a really good superhero artist. What's going on with John Stewart's powers here? I've never seen anything like that happen to a GL before.

The two-story structure looks like it will work, especially if they're closely linked like in #2.

Okay, i really don't have a lot to say about this, b/c i enjoyed it and it was pretty uncomplicated. So other than saying "i liked it", that's about all i got.

Comparison to Final Crisis (inevitable, right?) - This doesn't seem to be tied into/tied down by continuity concerns. No other series counted down to it, and it doesn't claim to change the universe. So the stakes and expectations are very different. It's easier to read this as just a good superhero yarn, and i'm happy with that.

Good so far.