Monday, August 31, 2009

Thoughts On Nearly Everything I Read In August

There's a few things I feel the need to write full reviews for. So apart from all those books (and all the Blackest Night tie-ins, which are going to get their own post), here are my thoughts on everything else I've read this mont.

CONAN THE CIMMERIAN #12 - The Black Colossus adaptation comes to a close but not quite soon enough for my tastes. Don't get me wrong - this was a good read. But it did feel slightly padded in the middle chapters. Some characters can benefit from decompressed storytelling but Conan is not one of them. And they fail to save the ending of the story (Conan ravishes a princess on the altar of the evil god he just saved her from being sacrificed too) from seeming cliched, even though this is probably one of the most definitive sword and sorcery tales ever.

DOCTOR WHO #2 - Your love of this issue will depend upon two factors; how much of a Doctor Who fan you are and your ability to cope with a silent-film tribute in the middle part of the issue, where the Doctor's pursuit of the villain becomes a Keystone Cops skit. Take that as you will - but note that I loved it.

DOCTOR WHO: COLD BLOODED WAR - Another Doctor/Donna tale, this one centers upon the duo being dragged into a civil war regarding sexism and monarchies in the Draconian empire. Ugly artwork distracts from a decent story where Donna does more to save the day than The Doctor. Only required reading for the most dedicated of Whovians.

EX MACHINA #44 - The plot thickens. More is revealed about the source of Mitchell Hundred's amazing powers and the purpose he was meant to serve. It is awesome. Get the trades and start from Issue #1 if you aren't already reading this book.

FABLES #87 - Oh good. After last month's origin of just how Mr. Dark escaped from his prison and a crossover which has nearly ignored the mental breakdown of one of my favorite characters in the whole series (Rose Red), I'm overjoyed to see that this issue... continues to ignore her breakdown and instead focuses upon all the bad evil magic stuff that is now running loose and the power struggle among the witches of what was the 13th Floor.

*sighs* You'd think at least Snow White would give a damn about her sister and what might have happened what with Jack raping her. But no - Red Rose doesn't even get a bloody mention, though Bigby, Beast and Cole can't stop talking about what a scoundrel Jack is without even MENTIONING Rose.

HELLBLAZER #258 - Crap. Utter crap. The art is about the same as ever - and that's not a good thing - but Milligan makes multiple continuity mistakes that only further aggravate the problems with his portrayal of John Constantine. To make a long story short, John tries to use his magic powers to resurrect his murdered girlfriend - something which, according to the widely available and very popular Hellblazer story Son of Man - you CAN NOT do with magic under any circumstances. Throw in John, who is no idiot, trying to use a magical device that depends on the user being pure... yeah. John hasn't been written this sleazily or stupid since the Brian Azzarello days. In my personal continuity, these stories DID NOT HAPPEN. Period.

JACK OF FABLES #37 - Jack is going bald and fat. Gary lost his power to make inanimate things come to life. And somewhere in the Homelands, Jack Frost - son of Jack Horner - is embarking upon a quest to become a great hero or at least a much better person than his parents. At last this book is still awesome and knows how to keep a plot thread going.

KNIGHTS OF THE DINNER TABLE #153 - Most of the comic space is devoted toward some of the series regulars playing a Car Wars style board game, which is quite amusing. The on-going stories advance somewhat, with magical things being afoot in Bagworld and the fight for who owns Hackmaster getting ready to go into overdrive.

The Gaming At The Movie column continues to be a blight upon the printed page, with this month's column advising you on how to best rip-off the Pirates of the Caribbean movies for your D&D campaign. Yeah - I'll still clear of anything which advises me to use Jack Sparrow as an GM NPC who "wouldn't overshadow the player characters."

Son, if you're doing CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow any justice, he'll steal every scene he's in. Savvy?

POWER GIRL #4 - Pure unadulterated win. The best new book to come out this year.

RED SONJA #47 - Last issue, Sonja was racing northward against her sworn enemy toward their mutual vague goal. This issue... they are both still racing northward toward their mutual vague goal. But Sonja does kill her traitorous sister and give her niece up to another family. And then at the end of the issue, everyone is STILL racing northward toward their mutual vague goal.

The one bit of good news? Apparently the series is ending and restarting as Queen Sonja, with Mel Rubi returning as artist and a good writer this time!


  1. Could the whole thing with Rose Red be wiped from everyone's memories like the crossover? Jack mentioned it, but I wonder if we'll see it fade away. Not saying it shouldn't be mentioned [because it should], but I wonder if they're using it for a dramatic upswing or something. Or maybe they'll get back around to it in the next issue and decided to use #87 for build-up.

  2. I'd like to credit the writing team with that kind of foresight. Really, I would. But there's really no good reason for Rose being forgotten along with everything with The Literals existence because she isn't a literal. Hell, there's more reason for them to forget Jack ever existence than Rose and they can't shut up about Jack.

  3. Damnit, you have an excellent point.
    I'm holding onto hope for next month. Partly because I'm a sucker like that, and partly because I know the team's good enough to catch themselves if they want to.

  4. I love the fact that the very artist is getting his revenge on Jack.

  5. That's the thing - not sure they want to. And with JSA on the burner now, it almost seems like Fables is on auto-pilot.

  6. See, I'm not sure that's valid now that The Literals are gone and the Fables are - for better or worse - free of their influence.
    I thought what was happening was that similar to how Jack replaced Wicked John (or was it the other way around?), Jack Jr. (or Jack Frost) is now replacing his father as the trickster hero archtype and - as such - has somehow stolen Jack's mojo.
    After all, Jack isn't really doing anything great or heroic or worthy of his legacy now.... and here's this other Jack trying to become a great hero, when everyone in the Mundy world thinks Jack IS a great hero.

  7. That's a pretty interesting theory. I'd like to see Jack's reaction to his son being the popular hero he always pretended to be.