Sunday, March 4, 2007

Looking To The Stars - Starman's Reviews

As record numbers of people come down with the flu in Texas and I seal myself up in my Fortress of Solitude, here are some reviews of some books I read this week when I wasn’t stocking up on chicken soup and orange juice and hoping that new cough was just due to allergies.

Oh, and there will be Spoilers on 52 – just so you know.

52 Week #43
Company Name: DC Comics
Writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid
Art: Various

As much as I may crack wise about Marvel and their lack of editorial prowess, I must admit that DC has not been much better. Elongated Man’s death would have meant a lot more to me had I not seen the villains he sacrificed himself to stop alive and well and back to their wicked ways in some of the One Year Later titles. Vic Sage’s death would have been a lot more powerful if it had just been sudden and not dragged out over the course of two months, making him the most hammy dying man since Boromir.

So while I know I’m supposed to be shocked at the death in this issue, it just seems too much, too soon given all the deaths I actually cared about.
Grade: D

Conan and the Midnight God #2
Company Name: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Josh Dysart
Artists: Will Conrad & Juan Ferreyra

More than even the monthly Conan series, this title seems to be less a story about Conan than it does an unearthed piece of hereunto discovered Hyborian history. His first born child killed by Stygian sorcery, Conan takes the whole of the armies of Aquilonia across the continent intent on revenge. Many stories have been told about Conan leading his armies and about fighting the evils of Stygia but never, to my knowledge, has a story actually had Cimmeria’s favored son taking the fight to his most famous enemies.

With such a novel concept put forth along with Dysart’s masterful dialogue as well as Conrad and Ferreyra’s suitably spooky art - truly, this is a Conan tale worthy of Howard himself!
Grade: A

Connor Hawke: Dragon’s Blood #4
Company Name: DC Comics
Writer: Chuck Dixon
Artist: Derec Donovan

Am I the only one who noticed how much the newly-grey Eddie Fyers looks an awful lot like Chuck Dixon? And how - while this story is nominally about Connor Hawke in an archery tournament and confronting the woman he blames for having destroyed his father’s life – there seems to be just as much time being devoted to Eddie picking up the hot blonde assistant to the Vegas showman archer?

Well, all wondering about Dixon’s writing his dreams into his own stories aside, it’s still an amusing story. Pity the artwork by Donovan doesn’t come close to equaling the story in quality. They really should have let Scott McDaniel do this one.
Grade: C average. B for the story. D for the art.

Green Lantern #18
Company Name: DC Comics
Writers: Geoff Johns
Artist: Ivan Reis and Oclair Alber

Most of the complaints I had about the last few issues are now negated. We now know why John Stewart hasn’t been around. We know that Cowgirl – who is looking more and more a match for Hal Jordan in all respects – is still alive. And the Sinestro Corps plot is finally moving forward with some unexpected recruits. (The scene with Batman was priceless!) My one complaint - and I hope this will be addressed next issue – is that the new Star Sapphire’s costume still looks ridiculous. Regardless, this is still one of the best written and best looking books on the market.
Grade: A

One more thing before I go: a shameless plug for the convention I will be appearing at in two weeks time. So if you live abouts the DFW area, come see me! Look for the guy in the Dr. Who scarf and fedora.

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

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