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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Comic Reviews -- Week of June 2


Stephen King's N #4: What I need to do now is read the actual short story "N" to see how well Marc Guggenheim and Alex Maleev translated it. I can tell you that from the viewpoint of someone who has never read this story, this comic was phenomenal. Maleev's art was at first jarring. But now, I don't think the series would have succeeded without it. The pseudo realistic art is necessary in presenting the human aspect of the story. Humanity, in King's work, is always an undercurrent. "N" is no different. Marc Guggenhiem understands King, grasps his language perfectly, and knows what to cut out and what to leave in. He knows what parts make the story a Stephen King story, is what I'm trying to say. I think Marvel may have discovered something pretty phenomenal here. They can do comic translations of King's best stories. I only hope that they have talent like Guggenheim and Maleev on board.


Red Hood: The Lost Days #1: Judd Winick has done some stuff I really enjoy, particularly Green Arrow and Batman. So, when I saw this title, I wanted to pass on it. I mean, who really cares what the Red Hood did during his time away from Gotham? It reminds me of Ben Reilly's "Lost Years" series where we learned of the time between when Ben Reilly left New York City, and then returned to take over as Spider-Man. So what does The Lost Days offer? Nothing really. The last page is the only interesting part of the issue, but before that, it plays off of Winick's Batman Annual #25, so if you haven't read that issue, Winick makes no apology for you not knowing how Jason came back. This seems like a take it or leave it series -- I don't think it has much bearing in the entire DCU. Maybe it was fan motivated, or commercially motivated (because I know I'm not the only one that bought it). Either way, I don't think you need to read this series. Batman will continue to be Batman regardless of it.

Red Robin #13: I can't believe I was ready to drop this series! I know that Fabien Nicieza is now in charge of the writing duties, but the feel is still the same. Tim is still trying to figure out his place in Gotham, as well as managing his identity and his relationships. It's almost like the feel that Batman first had has now been supplanted in Tim Drake. There's no heavy continuity that weighs the character down, and Nicieza shows that Tim really enjoys his role. I love that Tim plays "nice" with a character until she pisses him off. Then he ends the fight very quickly. This is a fun series to read, and I think its strength lies in how light it is. Considering how dark Batman is supposed to be, it's nice to see a lighter take on the characters.

Nemesis -- The Impostors #4: I enjoyed the hell out of this series! Cliff Richards's art is phenomenal. And Ivan Brandon knows how to write a gripping, exciting story that balances exposition and action. If anyone out there knows people at DC, I beg you to push them to give Nemesis his own series. I think Nemesis -- The Impostors proves that Ivan Brandon can handle the more familiar characters of the DC Universe.

Brightest Day #3: I could care less about the Firestorm conflict, nor do I find the Hawkman mystery all that interesting, but the rest of the story is fascinating. We're still not getting any major answers, but I trust that we'll at least get them. It just might not be for a while. As for now, I'm hooked. If you enjoy mysteries, you should read Brightest Day. It's definitely one of the most epic mysteries I've read in that it involves major and minor DC characters. It's frustrating to read because I cant' figure out a damn thing! But I want to know more, and that will keep me reading.


Irredeemable #14 (BOOM! -- Waid & Barret0): We're getting a little more plot now. The series felt like it stalled for a few issues, but it's starting to pick up again. I'm not completely sold in that I don't know how much longer Waid can keep this going. I'm interested in the characters, but I feel like I don't really know any of them, so I'm not completely sure who they are, or how they play into the plot. I'm going to give Irredeemable a few more issues to solve some of its issues, but if the series doesn't pick up, I'm going to end up dropping it. There's a lot to read out there, and a lot of writers who have created more intriguing plots. It hurts to say that about Mark Waid, but this series isn't as gripping as his others. I hope Irredeemable picks up because if it doesn't, my $3.99 will go to something else.

Sweet Tooth #10 (Vertigo -- Lemire): Here we go!! Jeff Lemire delves into Gus's past, but not in the traditional sense. We don't get an origin story. We still don't know how Gus came to be, but we do know that Gus's father is quite the whack job. Lemire chooses hypnotism to give us Gus's background so we see both younger and older Gus. The effect is that we're again reminded of his innocence, and how much he is a victim of his heredity and environment. We also know that when Tommy gets reunited with Gus, it will most likely be a very bloody encounter. Sweet Tooth churns forward a little more this month, and it looks like there will be more reveals about Gus's past in following issues. If they're anything like this one, we can expect quite a bit more from Jeff Lemire.

iZombie #2 (Vertigo -- Roberson & Allred): iZombie #2 works better than #1. We're given a little more in terms of the mythos of the series, and the initial mysteries around which the series revolves. And I'm hooked. Michael Allred's pop art works well for the series in that it mirrors older comics, like Archie. I can't figure out why he does this -- maybe it's because the mood of the piece is dark enough already so that a little levity will detract from the nature of the series. Additionally, Chris Roberson's dialogue can be laugh out loud funny. Gwen, as a character, is interesting, but nowhere near as interesting as her supporting cast and this is where iZombie shines. And as seen in Irredeemable, a supporting cast can make or break a series. And in iZombie, the supporting characters make the series worth reading.

The Waking #4 (Zenescope -- Gregory & Drujiniu): When I saw this on the shelf, I knew my comic week was going to be great.

Chimichanga #2 (Albatross Exploding Funny Books -- Powell): Visually strange, and filled with heart, Chimichanga is the story of the "freaks" as we see them, and the real "freaks" of society: people who are willing to deform humanity in the interest of business, whereas the natural freaks are entertaining and caring. Weirdly funny and visually engaging, Chimichanga is a brilliant series. If you want to read a "different" comic, one that is out of the realm of accepted comic books, read this comic. It's one of the best comics I've ever read.

Bannen's Book of the Week:

The Waking #4: As with most mysteries, the explanation isn't as good as the journey there. Plus, every loose end is tied up so there's no room left for questions. But the ending is hella creepy. I know that Raven Gregory has written other continuous series, and I hope he does the same thing here because The Waking was the best new take on the Zombie story. And it leaves it open for more story. I've raved enough about this in the past, so I don't need more space to do that again. For me, The Waking set the bar for new comic book series, and the bar is set pretty high.

1 comment:

  1. Nice reviews this time around Brian. I never got to reading Waking, but after reading what you've been saying about the series, I might have to pick it up in trade.

    I'm interested in iZombie. What looked like a throw-away zombie series is actually getting good reviews, so I might have to run out and pick up the first two before I regret it later on...then again, if it comes down to picking up that or Chimichanga, I'll definitely go with the latter.

    Oh, and like Nic Cage in the '90s, Sweet Tooth rocks my face-off