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Friday, February 5, 2010

Comic Reviews: Week of Feb. 3

MARVEL:

1. Siege #2: Some pretty horrific stuff happens in this issue. So far, Siege has been a pretty memorable series, and while I'm happy it's only four issues, Bendis has done a lot so far. An Avenger does die in this issue, and while I don't think people will be surprised by the death, people will be shocked in the WAY in which the character dies. I don't want to give anything away because the shock value is worth the price of admission. This is shaping up to be a stellar story with tight, gripping action, and gritty dialogue. Pick this up, and pick up #1 if you haven't already.

2. Ultimate X #1:

In the previous Ultimate Universe, Wolverine died at the hands of Magneto (who ripped the adamantium skeleton out of his body!). In comics, one thing everyone knows is that no one stays dead for long. The character usually returns, in a different form, or in a convoluted way. Here, Wolverine does not return. But, he is central to the story. I find Jeph Loeb's storytelling to be hit or miss. Not to say that this issue is a miss, but I don't fully trust the story yet. So far, it's promising. I've said it before -- if you're a fan of the Ultimate Universe, pick this up, it's got potential. There's a lot of familial conflict here, and we still have to go through the "hero getting used to his power" cycle, so much more is going to come out of this.

3. Spider-Man Noir:

Eyes Without a Face #3: Carmine Di Giandomenico's art works well with the Noir Universe. There's a section where he illustrates Spider-Man getting pummeled -- through the lenses of Spider-Man's mask. It's impressive. And brutal. There's also a scene we (thankfully) don't get, but the after-effects are just as disturbing. I think Hine is putting in hints of his follow-up because, hopefully, the Noir universe is doing well enough to necessitate more arcs. What I've enjoyed is that the arcs are small (only four issues), and the writing is solid. I can't wait to see how this ends, who else gets introduced, and the ways in which old characters are "updated" to fit the Noir Universe. If you're a Spidey fan, I think you'd like this series.


DC:

1. Red Robin #9: There are parts of this comic I enjoyed. I like how Yost writes Ra's Al Ghul, and I enoyed the banter between him and Tim. I also like Yost's occasional dips into Tim's head, and the supporting character's heads as well. So why am I not excited about this series? I don't think it's going to last. I feel that people will be turned away from it because while the writing is okay, it's not gripping enough to keep readers as well as encourage new ones. I think something big has to happen to keep me involved in this series much longer. I know I threatened that last time, but there are stories out there that deserve reading more than this one.

2. Superman: World of New Krypton #12:

So, the series ended. And with a whimper. When the true villain was revealed, I didn't feel any ephiphany. I felt . . . nothing. In the end, the story took a cool idea, and pushed it into mediocrity. There's more to follow here, but I'm not interested in spending more money on one more insignificant Superman story. DC has really let a character whom I feel is the heart of the DC Universe fall by the way side. They need to make Superman into the hero he's supposed to be.


MISC:

1. Lone Ranger #20 (Dynamite):

I'm still enjoying this. Brett Matthews is altering the status quo for Lone Ranger, and it's an excellent change. It's the beginning of, I think, a deeper conflict. Plus, I've enjoyed watching the Lone Ranger work in a world where villains are villains because they're evil and disturbed, not because they have some sort of wicked power. This works for the hero as well. The Lone Ranger has no super power, and maybe I'm just a sucker for the world of the cowboy, but this is a great comic. It's sparse in dialogue, and when the characters speak, it's important. Plus, the main character is dark enough that when he occupies the frame, Sergio Cariello conveys how shark-like he is. If you haven't read this, you should catch up on the trades.

2. Existence 3.0 #2 (Image): I picked this up because when I flipped through it, I turned to a page where one character, a teenage boy with a knapsack, was talking to a man standing at his desk. Except, he wasn't wearing a suit. He was wearing women's underwear and a bra. I thought, "I gotta find out what this is about." Nick Spencer pens this, and I think it follows off of another series of his called Existence 2.0. There's a ninja girl who slaughters a lot of people, a guy with superspeed who beheads a lot of others, and robot women who are being created for the purpose of sexual pleasure. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it, and I think I'll have to go back and read the previous series, but for me, that means Nick Spencer has peaked my interest. I'll try to follow this up with information from Existence 2.0.

3. The Boys #39 (Dynamite):

The shit really hits the fan in this one. While I've drifted out of the boys, the cover brought me back. Hughie has been in a secret relationship with one of the superheroes sponsored by American Voight. I was please to see that it was still just as raunchy, just as bloody, and just as twisted. If you haven't read The Boys, you need to. Garth Ennis turns the world of the superhero upside down, and I wouldn't be surprised to see this story eventually adapted for a movie.

4. Sweet Tooth #6 (Vertigo): I went back and picked up the back issues to Sweet Tooth, and I'm glad I did. This story is continually gripping, and we're just starting to get some hints of how things occurred, and what led to Gus's creation. If you haven't read this series, I suggest you pick up a trade. The main character, Sweet Tooth, is so naive and so sad that, as a reader, I constantly felt for him. This is turning out to be one of the best things I've read in the past year.

5. Dingo #3 (Boom):

The best part of this issue came at the end when Cerebus, the large black dog that the main character saves, gets pelted with machine gun fire. At the end, he stands up, making noises that at first seem like wheezing. In the end, it's revealed that the dog is laughing. Francesco Biagini's rough art complements the rough elements of the story. This is a bloody mess full of hard hitting, and bone breaking. If you like that kind of story, you'll like Dingo.

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