Friday, April 08, 2005

COMICS: Wed. 4/6/05 cont.

Running down my list of comics purchases yesterday, I left out The Punisher. I always forget one.

Speaking of: good issue, mostly. Best bit is Frank's advice to a soon-to-be-dead gangbanger who held his gun sideways (you know, like the cool kids do): "They put the sights on the top for a reason." Except the issue relied a little too much on knowledge of previous storylines. I don't really look for a great deal of continuity in my Punisher comics. In fact, I frown upon it. I slightly maybe kinda remember Nicky, from the Micro story a year or so ago; I guess his previous escape from Frank is what's supposed to really sting about his violation of the bodies of Frank's family this issue. But if I don't remember Nicky (and for all intents and purposes I don't), then that extra emotional kick doesn't work. Also, who's the woman in jail? Am I supposed to recognize her, too? One more thing: the point of Nicky's plan is to make Frank... what? More angry? More violent? Frank Castle is the angriest, violent-est person in the world to begin with. Trying to make him go to 11 -- #1, that's a dumb plan, and #2, Frank is already at such a raging extreme, there's nowhere left for Ennis to take the character which would make a "this time it's personal" vendetta dramatically affecting, or even plausible. I mean, he's the frickin' Punisher. It's always personal.

The Incredible Hulk: Felt like the story hit a speed bump this issue. The flashback moments, with young Bruce Banner possibly getting involved in some Heathers-style school bombing, were interesting -- as long as they don't turn out to be some kind of false memories. The rest of it was dragging. There were some neat bits, like Banner finally figuring out something goofy is going on because of his ability to dodge Wolverine's attack, but mostly it was more: "Look, everyone's in on some conspiracy! Do you care yet?" Answer: no. And the ending, with Banner in an asylum, was a pretty lame twist, a blatantly false one at that, sure to be reversed in the opening pages of next issue. I really wish I were enjoying Peter David's return to the Hulk a little more.

Y: The Last Man: This was a mostly fun issue, although you kind of have to question Vaughan's decision to have 355 -- a character who's been pretty well established as being in love with Yorick, despite her denials this issue -- go for some lesbian sexin' with Dr. Mann, just because she's bored and horny. That's a fairly implausible development, I think, especially for a character whose emotions are so tightly controlled. I did like Yorick's interactions with the captain, especially his total obliviousness to her interest in him.

Zatanna: My least favorite of the Seven Soldiers comics so far. With the majority of it told in flashback, it's already lacking in dramatic urgency, then with the majority of the flashback taking place on the mystical plane, or whatever, I just felt myself tuning out. When the characters are going on about the geography of the magic realm, or the rational explanations for its existence, here is what I'm reading: "bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz." Nothing but static. And having the main character begin the story stripped of her powers is another uninvolving choice. I know, Zatanna is a long, long-standing character in the DC Universe, and we should all be deeply aware of and in love with her rich background, and her loss of powers should be significant because of blah. But this is a new story, this is ground zero, this is where new readers need to be grabbed. Having Zatanna lose her powers during the course of the story might have been interesting. But having her start out powerless, and talk about how she lost her powers -- not interesting. I was completely bored with this comic.

Oh, and I haven't read The Walking Dead yet, but don't you fear, I'm sure I'll find something in it to bitch about, too.

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