Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Bunch of Rant-Reviews on Great, Good, and Terrible Comics--Breathe it in, Sucka

Been awhile...
I was looking over the site and realized it has been awhile since I did my smaller rant-reviews/capsule reviews/whatever you want to call them. When I do those I'm not always snarky or attempt to be funny, but for fun's sake let's try to return to form.

Avengers #3
I like Hickman when he does the big-idea stories full of grandiose concepts. This series started with that but this issue illustrated clearly the big flaw Hickman suffers from--namely, ending the story terribly. "The Nightly News," is an absolute joy until those last few pages with the supposed, "big reveal," being just plain stupid. His Fantastic Four mega-story-line kind of whimpered out when Hickman stayed on the book after what should have been the concluding issue (should have stopped with #604 and not gone to #611 or whatever it was), His time doing the, "Ultimate Comic's Ultimates," started with a wonderfully surreal concept of a bubble-world and an evil Reed Richards before it ended with Tony Stark's brain cancer forming a friendly psychic child....really. I still love Hickman's, "S.H.I.E.L.D." comic because he cleverly has never had the last issue come out, thereby preventing me from insulting him for it (seriously, that thing has got to be at least 18 months late). Therefore Hickman yet again starts strong and ends this arc with a resounding, "What the fuck?" Apparently the aliens on Mars who murdered countless earthlings with bio-bombs are going to be allowed to just chill on that planet and create stuff as long as they promise to leave Earth alone now. Um, since when have the Avenger's let mass-murder slide? Even if some super-being makes everyone chill-out and think things are cool...just...wow. This third issue doesn't just falter at trying to, "Stick the landing," this thing lands so abruptly and terribly it should give reader whip-lash. Hopefully the next arc won't do the same thing, but I doubt it. Oh, and Jerome Opena is one of the best artist's around so at least these 3 issues stayed stellar art-wise the whole way through.
2.5 out of 5 stars.

Saga #9
Brian K Vaughn is just so damn good. Even some of the best comic writers out there can only dream of getting to drink his bathwater in hopes that Vaughn's sweat contains a modicum of his writing ability. The man writes such good stories and Saga is shaping up to be an amazing tale from what we've seen so far. Even this issue which breaks away from our main characters to focus on some secondary ones is fascinating and advances some plot points I honestly didn't expect to be resolved as quickly as they were, but that's Vaughn for you, always surprising the reader. Fiona Staples delivers amazing artwork to go with this too and frankly if you aren't reading this comic you're missing out. Drop one of the sucky comics you buy only out of a feeling of responsibility to whatever character they feature and pick this up instead.
5 out of 5 stars.

Batman #16
I really hope it is revealed that it isn't actually the Joker wearing that Joker flesh-mask. I say this because Scott Snyder has pretty much gone too far with the idea of the Joker being evil in this issue. Snyder has taken the Joker from an intriguing foil of Batman to just a weird psycho-monster who makes living flesh-paintings in a comic that reads more like torture-porn than a Batman comic. By making the Joker too inhuman he just can't be as interesting. When there is that hint of a shred of humanity within the Joker he is more interesting. Even at what could have been his most evil in, "The Killing Joke," Alan Moore had that quiet moment of humanity right at the end where the Joker himself admits its far too late to change for the better, he has just been too ruined by life. This issue of, "Batman," however, it just makes the Joker over-the-top evil to a point of obnoxiousness. Please, please have that not be the Joker or have there be some twist that it was all a test, dream, or simulation. I normally hate those kind of story, "cheats," but I'll let it slide this one time, just to save everyone's enjoyment of the Joker.
1.5 out of 5 stars.

X-Factor #250
How can there be a God? Seriously, how? In what world with a deity who isn't a total dick does someone as talented and cool as Peter David suffer a stroke while meanwhile Rob Liefeld gets to swim in money and attempt to sell a shitty screenplay about the early days of Image comics (which Abhay Khosla hilariously thinks would go like this)? You probably now see my point about how God either doesn't exist or is a huge jerk, and this example of yet another stellar comic by David illustrates my argument even further. I just hope Peter David recovers as best he can and continues to make awesome comics.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Team 7 #4
This comic is better than that time I was trapped in an elevator with a rambling hobo and had to listen to his ideas for a comic series set before, "Watchmen." I later realized the hobo was in fact Dan Didio, and if I hadn't thought such a stupid idea were impossible I maybe could have saved us all. With that hindsight I also would probably have told the hobo/Didio to axe, "Team 7," before it ever could have existed. The reason is that the whole thing just feels so unnecessary--yes, this series started with some promise, but it has just gone down the drains. It's dull, written with awkward dialogue, and fails to make me care about any of the characters on the team other than for the fact that a bunch of them in the future of the DC Universe have important roles ("Team 7," takes place earlier-on in the DC Universe's 5-ish-years-of-heroes-being-around history). This is just a completely underwhelming book, but at least isn't so stupid as to be insulting...it's just stupid enough to be annoying.
2 out of 5 stars.

Caligula #2
David Lapham has arguably the most disturbed mind in comics when it comes to the things he thinks up. Murder, Mutilation, Violent Sex, and demonic body-parts are all shown in such graphic detail that while reading this in public I felt a need to look around and over my shoulder for fear that someone would view what I bought and think me a deranged monster. Fear of being ostracized for reading this comic aside however, it is a pretty good story. Just don't give it to any children or you will be having to go door-to-door anytime you move to inform your neighbors you're on a registry...and I don't mean bridal one.
3.5 out of 5 stars.

Deadpool #4
The first issue of this didn't overly impress me. The second issue failed to get me really, "sold," on this new Deadpool series too. Then the amazing third issue came out with its hints of meta-awareness, clever historical jokes about our dead Presidents (who have come back as zombies), and otherwise awesomeness. Thankfully, that trend of great quality has continued with this fourth issue which moves at such a rapid pace in killing the lesser known zombie-Presidents that it is sheer mayhem, but good mayhem. Plus, Deadpool fights former President Lincoln in a mixed martial-arts cage-match. What else could you want?
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #5
This comic at once does things that are really fun and neat while simultaneously sometimes being teeth-grindingly hokey. I did my huge post about Peter Cannon some time ago and much of my points still stand, with the plot only thickening in some interesting ways while also getting sillier in others. Then that last-page reveal this issue makes me think things could be getting even more strange...whether for better or worse will be seen soon. I still think this is one of the best super-hero comics people are, "sleeping on," though.
4 out of 5 stars.

All New X-Men #6
I'm waiting, just waiting. Waiting for what, you may ask? I'm waiting for that point where Bendis will mess up writing a team book. When Brian Michael Bendis does a solo-tale such as his run on Daredevil it can be great stuff, but if I've said it once I've said it multiple times: The man can not do team books. When he first started up on New Avengers (his first run) it was okay, then got pretty subpar. Then his other Avenger's works and event books were so bad I just dropped the titles until this new run by the already-discussed Hickman. That is why I'm so surprised to see this series actually so far be good. The characters' stories are well-balanced, things are interesting, and...I'm waiting for it all to go wrong. Maybe things will stay good, but at the first sign of trouble I'm off this.
3.5 out of 5 stars.

There we go
If you had been missing my little-reviews you should now find yourself sated yet also regretting what you've spent your time doing. Sort of the same way I feel anytime I watch reality television.

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