Monday, March 28, 2005

Looking To The Stars: The Week In Review

Since I actually got a considerable number of comics this week and since, due to a really heavy homework load, I’m off the reviews rotation for a while (gad, but I love Grad School around mid-terms) here’s some of my thoughts on a few of the books that came out this week. Little treat for those of you who can’t live without my reviews. (Don’t laugh. I got letters.)

Amazing Spider-Man #518

“Skin Deep” concludes as a mixed bag. While this book did offer the first positive thing I have seen come out of the idea of Spidey as an Avenger (I laughed-out-lout at the scene where Spidey asks Tony Stark if he can borrow some equipment and trash it…) it still reeks of a story built by editorial order right to the bitter, last-minute “surprise” ending. Still, the vibranium-covered villain was the most interesting of the baddies created by JMS and I hope he’ll get used again some day.

Final Score: 6 out of 10.

Conan #14

In recent memory, no writer and artist have come together to revive a defunct classic so well as this. Busiek and Nord have created a masterpiece worthy of the legacy set down by RE Howard. If you aren’t reading this book, there is something wrong with you.

Final Score: 10 out of 10.

Daredevil #71

Brian Michael Bendis continues to phone it in as, yet again, we get to see the same story repeated from a different viewpoint. While this was a novel idea the first time, it has been so long since anything has actually HAPPENED in this title that I’m totally lost as to how things stand NOW. The only thing that keeps me reading is the knowledge that Ed Brubacker will be taking it over soon enough. And yet, that’s not soon enough.

Final Score: 2 out of 10.

Hellblazer #206

A one-off issue from the current storyline that comes at the worst possible moment. After all the revelations of the last issue (John’s sister dead, his spectral ally being a demon he has a bad history with, etc…), the last thing we needed is an issue centering upon John’s sidekick Chas going on a wave of badness after enduring the corrupting influence of a demon for too long. Not that this story isn’t enjoyable on its’ own merits, but the timing is annoying as piss. Still, this is Carey writing so I’m sure this will all tie into the bigger story at the end.

Final Score: 7 out of 10.

JLA Classified #5

BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA! That’s all I have to say.

Final Score: 8 out of 10.

Knights of the Dinner Table #101

We’re back to the on-going storylines with this issue and not a moment too soon. Joss Whedon fans may want to pick this one up as the Knights gaming group get into the “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” role-playing game. It reminded me of my own group, with the one lone female player trying to talk everyone into it and then everyone slowly admitting that they not only watch Buffy, but enjoy it. Aside from that, the magazine delivers as always with a very amusing rant about the Starship Troopers movie and the works of Heinlein in relation to it and the other usual amusing columns for gamers and gaming-related matters. There’s a reason why this comic/magazine has lasted 100 issues. It will easily last 100 more.

Final Score: 9 out of 10.

Lullaby #1

Fan of Fables that I am, I just had to give this one a shot. Though initially turned-off by the Manga-esque artwork, it grew on me as I kept reading. The plot is a bit scattered at the moment, centering upon two people- a girl who is obviously Alice of Alice in Wonderland and a young man who seems to be Jack Hawkins of Treasure Island. Beyond that, it’s hard to say where this story is going but you can be sure I’ll be here to read the next chapter.

Final Score: 7 out of 10.

Spider-Man/Human Torch #3

Why is Dan Slott not writing a Spider-Man book on a regular basis?!?!

Expect to see that statement shouted by me, and a number of other critics, over the next year. For Slott has created the only Spider-Man title I can recommend to anyone without any reservations. In this issue, he not only shows his famed ability to write a fun story like no other (and what is more fun than the concept of a Spider-Mobile?) but he tackles some serious emotional moments, showing Spidey and the Ol’ Matchstick bonding through some talk about their lost loves. All this and some fruit-pies. Best book of the week.

Final Score: 10 out of 10.

Tune in next week. Same Matt time. Same Matt website.

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