Saturday, 31 May 2008

Notes on comics I read today

Final Crisis #1
Loaded with obscure DC characters, this is a mite hard to follow for those of us who didn't bother to read Countdown or Death of the New Gods. Nonetheless with the help of Wikipedia all becomes a lot clearer.

I actually liked it, which doesn't mean I'm about to take out a bank loan to follow its expensive trail through the DC Universe, but does pretty much guarantee that I'll be on board for the core seven issue mini.

1985 #1
You know who Mark Millar reminds me of? Stephen King. Something to do with the fact that he keeps cranking out these shamelessly nostalgic page turners involving "special" kids. First there was Chosen, then Kick Ass and now comes 1985, a manipulative little comic that plays on the childhood memories of the 30 somethings who make up a large chunk of Marvel's audience. That all makes it sound like I hated 1985 right? Well no actually, in a guilty sort of way, I liked it. Again, it's the Stephen King thing, I know that this isn't particularly "worthy" comics, but it is entertaining. An easy read.

Astounding Wolf-Man #6
The weakest issue of this series so far. Some of the dialogue sounds like it's lifted from a daytime soap, and Jason Howard's art looks more hurried than usual. He's clearly decided that he's not going to bother drawing detailed backgrounds in the majority of his panels, this leaves a lot of blank space behind the characters, which doesn't look good.

Kirkman seems to be acknowledging that this is a weak issue by telling his readership that issue #7 is where the story really begins.

Dan Dare #6
I'm not enjoying this as much as I thought I was going to after reading the excellent first issue. It just seems to be dragging along a bit now. At his worst (ie for much of the 1980's run in the revamped Eagle) Dan Dare is a big old bore, I'm afraid that Ennis's Dare is closer to that Dare than he is to the turbo-charged version that appeared in 2000AD or even the original 50s incarnation of the character.

Giant-size Astonishing X-Men #1
And so Joss Whedon and John Cassady's run come to an end. Obviously it looks beautiful and reads well, but lets face it, the huge gaps between each issue has made this story damn hard to follow in single issue format. I'd already sat down and reread all the issues leading up to this one, but that was so long ago that by the time I came to reading this, I'd forgotten everything that had happened all over again.

Never mind. Anyone going back and reading the run in trade format is in for a treat.

All Star Superman #11
Gargggh! Two Grant Morisson comics in a week! My brain hurts.

As ever, the beauty of All Star Superman is in the detail. Whether it's the Welcome mat outside the Fortress of Solitude or the cavalcade of Luthor costumes on the wall of Lex's hideout, there is plenty to admire here. Definitely the most beautiful looking comic on the stands.

Green Lantern #31
Another fine issue. Just one question, why are all the buildings on Oa yellow? Surely that would be a bad idea. Is this just a mistake by the colourist that got overlooked, or am I missing something?

Northlanders #6
Err, more viking shenanigans. Yeah, that's all I got to say about this one.

That's it. I'm too knackered to write much more today. Instead here are two Manic Street Preachers songs that relate to this week's read pile. The first one is called 1985 - nuff said. The second, Solitude, has been going round in my head for a week or two now. It always makes me think of Superman.

Both tracks are from the Manics' most underrated album Lifeblood. Neither song was ever released as a single so no official videos. Instead you get a fan made vid for 1985 and a live performance of Solitude. Enjoy...

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