Monday, September 6, 2004

Looking To The Stars: Quick Shots

Every month, there are some comics I read that I don't get the chance review that I still want to comment on. Luckily for me (and for you, should you enjoy my rantings and find my opinions valuable), I have a whole column that I can fill with my brief opinions as to what's what on my reading list. So belly on up to the bar, folks! It's time to do some shots. And as always, beware of SPOILERS!

Amazing Spider-Man #511

Just when I think this issue can't get any more twisted, JMS finds a way to twist it further once again. Of course I know SOMETHING is up regarding these kid's ages but at least this issue settles the other big question regarding this storyline, re: Peter Parker fathering children out of wedlock with Gwen Stacy. Still, I can't help the sinking feeling that part of me will be screaming in outrage for one reason or another by the time this story is over.

Final Score: 8 out of 10.

Fantastic Four #517

You know what this issue reminds me of in the weirdest way? Ghostbusters 2. There's a scene in that movie where utter chaos is spreading around New York City and The Mayor says "Get me the Ghostbusters!" An aide hurriedly explains that he had them committed after they came to him with a warning of the trouble to come. The Mayor's response there is much the same as the mayor here, who informs the aide who keeps telling him that dealing with the Fantastic Four in the wake of their falling out with the public would be career suicide, "For the last time, your opinion is duly noted. And let me also add, you're fired." Forget the Stan Lee retreads of Marvel Age, the obsession with toilet humor in Ultimates and the inappropriate darkness of the Marvel Knights title. This is Fantastic Four, the best way, and indeed the ONLY way it should be done.

Final Score: 10 out of 10.

Green Arrow #41

No time for the mushy sentimental monologues of the Smith run. Forget the calculated ethos of the Meltzer run! It's Winnick's turn and that means non-stop action with demons galore! Okay, there's no ACTUAL demons in this issue. But there's a big red guy called Brick who looks pretty demonic! Who cares? No worries about taking a whole issue to deal with the ramifications of a Black Canary/Green Arrow break-up like some other writers did in their books! This is Green Arrow, where there will be no emotional investment at all! At least until we get a writer who actually gives a damn.

Final Score: 4 out of 10, and that's purely for the artwork. Hester and Parks deserve better to work with.

Fables #27

Fans of Sgt. Fury, Sgt. Rock and any other classic war comic will love this issue about a team moving behind enemy lines, lead by book regular Bigby Wolf. Next issue promises to be even better, as the tagline at the end promises us a fight between a certain patchwork man and a certain other man who has lunar cycle issues.

Final Score: 9.5 out of 10.

Green Lantern #180

I have to admit, I got snookered but good on this issue. The double fake-out caught me as off-guard as it did Kyle. Great issue, but the sad thing is that Marz's run ends next issue. It just figures that DC would cancel this title after Rabb and Marz finally made it worth reading again after the malaise of Winnick. Oh well; hopefully Kyle will come out of this with his heroic code still intact.

Final Score: 9 out of 10.

Hawkman #31

Yet another one of Carter Hall's girlfriends is killed just to prop up some new villain. But whereas Johns took time to develop Cater's relationship with his co-worker before killing her, Palimotti barely gives us a chance to get to know the psychic singer Domina before snuffing her out. While this could be seen as tragic, it comes off more as lazy writing. And the villain, a walking disease farm who thinks himself the patron saint of healers reborn is sorely lacking.

Final Score: 3 out of 10.

JSA #64

If you're a DC history fan, you'll love it. If you're a Sandman fan, you'll love it. If you're a Geoff Johns fan, you'll love it. If you enjoy good comics, you'll love it. If none of the above applies to you, then you're probably a drooling Marvel zombie, wallowing in your own filth and a small stack of double poly-bagged X-Force #1's.

Final Score: 9 out of 10.

JSA : Strange Adventures #1

This one has me hooked for another issue at least. Perfect balance of Golden Age heroics and humor, as Starman and Green Lantern fight Nazis over Gotham City. Meanwhile, Johnny Thunder tries to break into pulp writing by writing about the exploits of his teammates. This entire sequence is a laugh, with Thunder's internal injections as to what his friends should say being appropriate, but utterly horrible prose.

Final Score: 6.5 out of 10.

Phantom Jack

This series comes to a brief end with this, the highly anticipated "With Special Guest Star Saddam Hussein issue. Though the series is going on hiatus, there is a promise at the end of the book of more issues along the way. Good thing, because this is easily the best thing to have come out of Marvel's recent attempts to revive the Epic line and Image got one right for once in snatching this out of their hands.

Final Score: 7.5 out of 10.

Ultimate Spider-Man #65

What starts off looking like Breakfast Club 2005 turns into the typical 'Peter is reminded that "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility" Issue'. This is not altogether a bad thing, although I still think that the death of Gwen Stacy in this book was an awful mistake and that the book will suffer from her absence. And I'm somewhat let down by what Flash Thompson has been trying to talk to Peter about for the last… god, how long HAS that subplot been left dangling? Taken for what it is, this is a good issue… but not a great one.

Final Score: 6 out of 10.

Y: The Last Man #26

This entire issue reads like several of the series of cut scenes from a DVD Special Features menu spliced into one story. What we get here is to see expansions on past scenes as well as some new "cut" scenes which show the life of Hero, sister to our main character Yorick as well as an explanation for what she's been doing the past few years in the comic. What we see does not bode well, particularly the revelation on the last page.

Final Score: 9 out of 10.

Tune in next week. Same Matt time. NEW Matt Website.

No comments:

Post a Comment