Saturday, February 26, 2005

COMICS: Wed. 2/23/05 continued

Grimjack: Killer Instinct: Loving this series. I'm digging how it's explaining parts of John Gaunt's backstory (now we know why he uses the alias "Joe Chaney" in his later years) while adding more mystery to it at the same time (like how he became "Brother John" of the Knights Sewar -- funniest line of the issue: "...according to the holy text of Uncle John's Reader, Volume 19..."). Also nice to see Gaunt making the progression from thoughtless hired gun to becoming his own man. And hey, cameo appearance by Bob the watch-lizard! (Now, where's Munden's Bar?) Timothy Truman's artwork continues to amaze -- the airbike/wraith collision on page 3 is particularly nice, as is the zombie/wraith encounter on pages 10-11 -- although there were a couple of Liefeld-like perspective irregularities, especially on pages 18-19. And I still don't get why Gaunt's ears are so damn pointy! When did he become an elf? Overall, though, it's such a damn treat, I feel petty for nitpicking. Great stuff.

Fantastic Four: Okay, this is not Waid & Wieringo's last issue, as I said before. Wouldn't that have been an ass-kicker of a cliffhanger to hand off to a new writer? This was great fun, and exemplifies everything I'm going to miss about this team on this book. Each character is handled so well. And the wrap-up to Galen/Galactus' story is satisfying, while being intentionally open-ended -- Waid knew he couldn't even begin to pretend he had gotten rid of Galactus forever, so he didn't try to, but still gave a decent resolution. Okay: next month, we'll say goodbye to Waid & Wieringo -- and I'll say goodbye to Fantastic Four, once again.

Spider-Man/Human Torch: I loved every single panel of this comic. It fits so perfectly into continuity -- Capt. Stacy is aware of Spider-Man's identity, but doesn't let on, Mary Jane is flirting with Peter shamelessly while Harry watches (MJ's dreamy expression when she has her head on Peter's shoulder is so gosh darn adorable!) -- while poking fun at it as well -- Spider-Man's "And what's with the big black dots everywhere?!" is a hilarious nod to classic Kirby cosmic artwork. Dan Slott should be given a continuing Spider-Man title to work with -- I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have Norman Osborn boning Gwen Stacy (which is probably why he won't get a regular Spider-title -- he's just interested in being entertaining, rather than playing the short game of shock value).

Powers: I enjoyed it while I was reading it, but at the end I just thought, "Did we really need 22 pages just to get to Blackguard's wife as the bad guy?" It's like, Bendis comes up with big, cliffhanger, chapter stops to his stories, then uses the rest of the issue to monkey around until the page count is full. I generally like the characters and dialogue enough to enjoy the pages and pages of monkeying around, but it's wearing on me more and more. Recently, I've dropped Daredevil and The Pulse over similar complaints; I'd thought Bendis wouldn't allow his flagship title to suffer in the same way, but it's starting to appear I was wrong.

Invincible: This was a weird, funny issue. I appreciated the joke at Y: The Last Man's expense, and I loved the bizarre London street cult that is worshipping the crap Mark has thrown into the sky in earlier issues. Some good character moments, like Mark's mother finally recovering, and Amber showing that she's no Lois Lane or Mary Jane -- she's not going to stand for being abandoned in the middle of a crisis.

Y: The Last Man: Speaking of which. Hero finally redeems herself, to a certain degree. And who is the letter Yorick gave Hero for? Looks like the next story's gonna be all about Dr. Mann, as the Simpsons go to Japan! Hey, Australia's just a hop, skip, and a jump from there -- I bet we'll be seeing Beth story after next.

Seven Soldiers of Victory: I had no idea what kind of an event this was setting up until I got to the end of the issue. And I think I liked this issue enough to sign on for the rest -- which will be a good year's worth of an investment on my part. This is great Grant Morrison stuff -- weird, but not so inexplicably weird for the sake of being weird that it makes no sense. Gorgeous art, too. And, like I said, I knew nothing about the whole upcoming event, so I sure as hell was surprised by the ending.

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