Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Rant-Reviews--Funny Comics, Serious Comics, and Just Plain Confusing Ones

Adventures in Reading
Even though my blog had been a bit sparse on the posting until this avalanche of content, I still was reading plenty of comics when I had the chance. Therefore, I now present to you my thoughts on some of them.

Deadpool #7
Poshen and Duggan have been writing one fun Deadpool. Despite a start that I found a bit weak, once the book found its footing around issue #3 it became highly enjoyable. Interestingly enough, this issue doesn't continue the story of the first six issues, choosing instead to be a faux-inventory issue set around the Bronze Age of comics. With an art style that could easily pass as being from then you could almost believe this were set in the past, were it not for the fact that Deadpool hadn't been created yet back then (plus there are some smart little winks to the future in a few of the jokes). Scott Koblish absolutely nails the aforementioned art and most of the jokes are successful in making me laugh. Whoever said you can't do quality done-in-one issues this modern day was as liar, as this comic proves otherwise.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Stormwatch #19
I've seen some positive reviews of this issue and am wondering if something is wrong with me and the not comic. I say that because I read this issue and instead of fully liking or hating the it I can only wonder just what the Hell is happening. It seems the current Stormwatch has been erased from existence so now heroes are being pulled from other dimensions to form a new team, but some of them are the previous versions of Stormwatch characters? Is that what is going on? Do those weird robot-looking things that are altering history serve as villains or are they actually doing good things and we don't realize it? Why is that creepy guy with the huge eyes around, as I've read writer Jim Starlin created him long ago for a different comic? Seriously, what is happening in this comic? I ask because I truly have no clue, and that makes it pretty low in enjoyment-levels.
2 out of 5 stars.

The Standard #2
It is only on its second issue, but after its strong debut (as I've discussed before in a post on new publisher Comixtribe) and this equally excellent entry I'm prepared to say "The Standard" is shaping up to be one stellar story. Between its clever bouncing-around from the past to present, an older superhero investigating the death of his former sidekick, and some clever meta-commentary on how heroes have functioned in society's psyche ("If people see us as fun and colorful they're not as scared of us") this is definitely a comic worth buying, or demanding your store start stocking if they haven't been carrying it yet.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Batman #19
The opening to this issue had me absolutely scratching my head until I reached the conclusion (which I'm going to spoil) some 20-ish pages later. After that everything made sense. Writer Scott Snyder is at his best when instead of trying to tell complicated sweeping tales (such as "Court of the Owls") he focuses in on characters and their motivations. His run on "Detective Comics" was stellar in making James Gordon extremely creepy, and in this single issue Snyder has made the villain of the issue, Clayface, pretty interesting between his powers changing and new mysterious motivations occurring. Clearly the evil Bruce Wayne at the start of the issue is Clayface, but the question now is what does he have planned, and why? After the somewhat disappointing, "Death of the family" arc with the Joker I'm pleased to see the book become a good read again.
4 out of 5 stars.

Team 7 #7
I've given up on trying to understand this comic. The characters that randomly show-up, their motivations, what the overall plot is, I just don't care. This thing went from moving at a relatively leisurely pace to throwing out every random idea it has now that the series dies a sad and unnoticed death next issue. This is just bad comic-booking right here.
1 out of 5 stars.

Age of Ultron #6
This came out today and I read it first out of my stack of new comics. I didn't do this because it is such an amazing comic that I have to read it as soon as I buy it. No, it is more a curiosity about if Bendis can keep this pretty-good-so-far story moving along as well as he has. Perhaps having Bryan Hitch turn in lovely artwork those first five issues helped as his super-detailed way of drawing scenery really imparted the destruction being wreaked by Ultron. That, and things are relatively fun with the whole, "The heroes lost and are just trying to survive now," plot. Also, Bendis has a tendency to have a huge team then strangely just focus-in on a single character or two, but that has worked pretty well in this series, giving everyone a bit of limelight. Be it showing Black Widow and Moon Knight on the West Coast, Hawkeye and Spider-Man escaping a bunch of villains, or Luke Cage and She-Hulk working together to trick Ultron, having all these little moments of duos has helped move things along pretty well.

One thing that has bugged me is we still haven't actually seen the main Ultron doing all this and learned what his true motivations are beyond killing everything--and we're more than half-way through the series now. Perhaps there isn't much of a twist beyond, "Ultron hates human life," but the story has kept hinting at such a thing, be it in the text or with the weird announcement that a character Neil Gaiman wrote for an issue of "Spawn" will be showing up at the end (I still can't wrap my head Angela showing up like that). I'm just concerned with the next issue seeming to go the, "We changed the past and ruined the future!" route if it turns out that actually occurs. Still, the accelerated release schedule of the book has been great as it keeps it fresh in readers' minds and means the event won't go on forever ("Secret Invasion" felt like it took 2 years). I'm liking this still, and that's always good.
3.5 out of 5 stars.

That's All She/He Wrote
We've got some comics reviewed, some being quite good and others pretty bad. I guess at the end of the day all you can do is hope the positive outweighs the negative. Then again, most comics weigh the same so that saying doesn't really work now, does it? Such is life...

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