Giant-Size Week In Ink: 12-29-05 and 1-5-06
You didn't think I was going to let the last comics week of the year get by without any comment, did you? Especially with gems like this floating around out there:
Yes, as we rapidly approach tomorrow's One Year Invincible Super-Anniversary, I'm pulling out all the stops for a special double-sized review of the comics from the last week of last year (the week there was too much rape) and the first week of this year (the week there was almost, but not quite, too much Frankenstein). Buckle up, pilgrim, it's all on the line here.
A1 Bojeffries Terror Tome #1: I'll be honest with you: The only things I read out of this sixty-four pager were the two Alan Moore stories and the Neil Gaiman bit, but I assure you that my top men are working on getting the rest of it read right now. Top. Men.
All-Star Batman & Robin, The Boy Wonder #3:
And now, a word from Frank Miller:
"I looooooove crack!"
That's what I got out of it, anyway.
Man oh man. This is probly one of the most hilariously awful comics I've ever read, and that's coming from someone who subscribes to Tarot. Say what you want about Miller being consciously over-the-top and playing it for laughs, but really: "love chunks?" Not only have I never heard that before in my life, but nobody I know has ever heard it. Beyond that, though, the thing's full of bad storytelling. The Black Canary sequence uses small, crowded panels and way too much dialogue to set up the majesty of the double-page spread, but the fact that I was aware of it even while reading means it's not exactly working.
And even worse, the Batman and Dick stuff takes place "now." The Superman sequence at the end takes place "fifteen hours ago." Considering that Batman and Dick haven't even gotten out of the car yet, that means that at least twelve hours before he was even kidnapped, somebody down at the milk factory was slapping his picture on a carton.
Then again, Metropolis is the City of Tomorrow...
Even so, it's sloppy. But enough negativity. There's at least one genuinely good moment in every issue, and this one has a couple good gags: The sign above the door of the bar's a nice touch, as is the fact that the guy hitting on Black Canary bears a strong resemblance to Green Arrow. What caught my eye, though, was the box on page 14 for "Del'Otto Pizza," with "Never Late" written in Italian on it. That's funny.
And as loath as I am to admit it, even though the shot of Superman on page 21 is absolutely Liefeldian, Lee's art is starting to grow on me. Especially now that we know what he's working with:
(Jacked from somewhere and put up here, on the off chance that this is your first day on the internet and you haven't already seen it. Also: Comdey Gold)
I was serious when I said this thing was going to be Giant-Size. Now let's move on to the rest of the alphabet.
BPRD: The Black Flame #5
Fallen Angel #1: I really enjoyed this series back when it was coming out from DC and we were all pretty sure that Angel was Linda Danvers, but I'm not sure about its new incarnation--especially since it takes place about twenty years later, but nobody seems to have aged. Plus, a four-dollar price tag is pretty steep, although it's worth it for the DC ad in the back of an IDW book.
Fantastic Four Special #1: That's right, it's a Special. Not to be confused with an Annual. A great stand-alone Richards and Doom story by my main man Dwayne McDuffie that definitely deserves a read if you haven't already picked it up.
JLA Classified #15
New Avengers #14: Probably the best issue so far, which has a lot to do with Frank Cho's superb art, although it looks for all the world like Captain America's bitching out Brandy from Liberty Meadows at times. Bendis does a much better job with the script this time around, as opposed to the Giant Size Spider-Woman issue, which opens with the phrase "I'm a cheap slut," but the whole thing feels like he's someone else trying to clear up Brian Bendis continuity. It's hard to explain, so let's just look at the pretty pictures and move on.
She-Hulk #3: I really wish Mike Mayhew was doing the covers to this series instead of Greg Horn. I like Horn well enough, mind you, I just think Mayhew's take on She-Hulk looks much better. On the script side of things, Dan Slott continues to be my new personal hero, if for no other reason than her harried explanation of Avengers Disassembled during her trial. It's a great comic.
Silent Dragon #6
Spider-Man and the Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do #5: All this one needed was Spider-Man talking about that time his friend Skip molested him and it would've been complete. Seriously, can we just go ahead right now and agree to not have so much rape in comics in 2006? Please?
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #1: I really, really like the Mary Jane books. I just wanted to put that out there of proof of my overwhelming confidence in my heterosexuality.
The Thing #2: It's come to my attention that there are still some people out there who aren't reading this book, and I can only assume that those people are enemies of all that is good and awesome in this world. I've always had a soft spot for Arcade ever since I was a kid and had a paperback of the X-Men's first encounter with him, and Slott delivers a story that captures all the fun of my memories. The secret ingredient? Thought balloons. That's right, baby, they're back and they're awesome.
Thor: Blood Oath #6: Easily one of the top five miniseries of 2005. Seriously, it's downright Simonsonian, and that's the highest compliment I can pay an issue of Thor.
Wonder Woman #224
Young Avengers Special #1: Goddammit, Heinberg, I said no more! Ah well, I suppose I'll give you a pass this time, since this is actually a really good comic.
Astonishing X-Men Saga: If ever there was a more unnecessary comic--excepting that new Wolverine thing, I mean--I haven't seen it. But still, that's got to be one of my favorite covers of all time. Plus, you get handbook pages for Danger and Ord of the Breakworld, whose entry sadly leaves out the fact that he sleeps on pillows stuffed with diamonds. That guy's awesome.
Batman and the Monster Men #3
Day of Vengeance Special: Not only is this a great read from Willingham, but Justiniano does one of the best splash pages in recent memory, which I say without hint of hyperbole. Seriously, if you can imagine ten things more awesome than a double-page spread featuring Zauriel, Janissary, Amethyst (Princess of Gemworld!), Rex the Wonder Dog, and The Goddamn Freedom Beast, then thanks for dropping by, Walt Simonson.
Doc Frankenstein #4
Gotham Central #39: Kevin has already bemoaned that this series is coming to an end, regardless of what it's replaced with, and I agree with him wholeheartedly. Still, when we were bantering around the idea of Cris Allen becoming the new Spectre at work, I got excited. Imagine the first issue of that new DC title: The Spectre vs. Jim Corrigan, because YOU demanded it! I'm still holding out hope that that's going to happen, but with Montoya spending this entire issue talking about how much anger she has, and how she's worried that Corrigan's going to escape justice, she'd make a good one too. Man-oh-man I hope that happens.
Iron Man #5: Okay, I know it's like four months late, but that full-page shot of Tony in the original armor? Gorgeous. I don't know how thrilled I am with the Tony Stark: God of Machines direction that Ellis seems to be taking the character into, but at the very least, it's interesting and well-done, and I can see a lot of potential in there. It's definitely a futurist take on him, and I know one guy that wants to see Iron Man always going forward.
Jonah Hex #3: Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray seem to have found a book to write that I don't just not hate, but I'm really liking more and more as it goes on. A book made of completely self-contained stories reads as a breath of fresh air, and they get Hex's character pretty much spot-on. Plus, for extra fun, try reading this issue aloud using the voices of Sawyer from Lost for Hex and Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday from Tombstone for Bat Lash. Trust me, it's great.
JSA #81: It's not what anyone would call a great comic, but I've got a lot of affection for Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., and I really enjoyed this issue's focus on Courtney Whitmore and her folks. Even better, it also included throwaway references to Sugar and Spike, Captain Carrot, and Angel Frigg'n Love! Plus, you know, The Shade. That guy's awesome.. Oh, and hey Alex Ross: What the hell is up with Stargirl's lower body on the cover? Jesus Christ, man!
Marvel Team-Up #16: From an economic standpoint, the purpose of comics, just like any other form of serialized fiction, is to get you to read more comics. The current senses-shatteringly awesome story in Marvel Team-Up not only got me to read Gravity, but as you may recall, I read an entire run of Terror, Inc. And not only that, but thanks to this issue, I'm actually glad I did. Robert Kirkman, you are officially The Man.
Marvel Zombies #2: See above.
Mythos: X-Men #1: Apparently, the purpose of this series is so that when people see the X-Men movies, they can go into a store and pick up something that'll do a good job of providing movie-friendly iconic stories of the characters, which explains the All Star-esque cover design and the bookstore-friendly Paolo Rivera art. Not that that's a bad thing, especially with a solid Paul Jenkins story underneath it all.
The Punisher #29: In my time, I've read enough issues of the Punisher and had enough conversations with Scott about Death Wish to notice something. When Garth Ennis writes him, the Punisher's not just a guy who kills people. He's a guy who kills the people that we all, deep down, want to kill. The people so bad, so gut-wrenchingly, disgustingly evil that every single one of us wants to utterly destroy them. And he does it with every bit of brutality that they deserve. And boy, is that what he does in the last six pages of this one.
Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein #2
Teen Titans #31: The Brother Blood story wraps up nicely with some good stuff and one of Geoff Johns' patented Fun and Intriguing Old Continuity Guest Stars™, but that's beside the point, which is this: Whatever Happened to Captain Carrot is the bomb. What a great punchline.
Y - The Last Man: Great stuff from BKV as always, but hey: I realize they haven't updated the website in a while, but how come the racist guy's wearing a shirt with Bubs from Homestar Runner on it? That's a little harsh.