Thursday, January 13, 2005

COMICS: Wed. 1/12/05

Hero Squared: Keith Giffen has always been hit-and-miss with me, more often miss. But I really enjoyed this comic. Maybe it's his pairing with J.M. DeMatteis that elevates it (I don't know, I can't say I'm very familiar with DeMatteis). Or maybe it's because it's an original creation, unburdened with DC continuity. But I liked the characters, I liked the story (even though it sounds exactly like the plot of some movie I can't think of right now -- seriously, isn't there some movie just like this? Hero from another dimension crosses into our dimension to find his non-superpowered counterpart? No? Maybe I dreamed it), I liked the pop culture banter, and I laughed a number of times. (Like at the newspaper headline: "Bush Signs Literacy Bill -- Misspells Name.") The art is enjoyable, but rough; much like Phil Foglio's Girl Genius, it looks like xeroxes were made directly from the pencils, skipping the inking stage. And the cover, by Giffen, is tremendously ugly. It looks like he drew it with his wrong hand while on hold with the cable company.

Shaolin Cowboy: Not much story here, is there? Just beautiful, beautiful carnage. Geof Darrow's artwork is so exquisitely detailed, it took me several minutes to absorb one panel. Of course, it was an eight-page long panel, but still. The more I looked, the more I found to admire. But there's not much to the comic. It sure takes a different tack from all those first issues that are nothing but set-up, set-up, set-up. This drops us right into the middle of a completely unfathomable situation, with bizarre characters, and explains nothing. I liked it.

What If Aunt May Had Died Instead Of Uncle Ben?: A leftover from last week. It escaped my notice that Ed Brubaker had written it. I picked it up this week, and much like the other What Ifs... eh. It was a nice gimmick, framing it as a conversation between comic shop denizens, but the story overall didn't work for me. The circumstances under which Uncle Ben wound up in jail were a little too forced and contrived for me to buy. Just didn't care for it.

The Pulse: Yet another issue in which Jessica Jones bumbles around hysterically, saying, "I have no idea what's going on with this Secret War thing!" Well, neither do we, sister, and guess what? I'm now officially pissed off. This title is dropped. P.S.: The art sucked, too.

Fables: The end of the four-issue holding pattern, which I've actually been enjoying a great deal. A year has passed since Snow gave birth, and we learn there's a seventh baby she didn't know about. Hmm... seven? Seven children, very young, very short... you might even say they're dwarf-like in stature. Funny. Much as I've enjoyed these change-of-pace issues, I'll be glad to see what's going on with Bigby again (hopefully next issue).

The Punisher: Frank gets taken down by Mini-Lee. (Lee, Bruce.) What a revoltin' development. I still don't get what the plane-hijacking has to do with anything. I don't know if I'm missing something, or if it's just the muddled mess it seems to me. Whatever. As long as Nick Fury appears, grousing about the time he's wasting when he could be with his whores, I'm a happy reader.

Marvel Team-Up: I really liked the last issue. This one was a mess. The disparate plot threads are distracting and annoying, not intriguing. I'll stick around for the end of the storyline, but if things don't pick up in those two issues, I'll probably be dropping this title, too.

Haven't read yet: a Dan Slott two-fer, She-Hulk and Spider-Man/Human Torch. I'm really looking forward to the Ty Templeton art in the latter.

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