Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Notes on some comics I read yesterday

I read eight comics yesterday and they were all good. Here's the what and why of them all...

Green Lantern Corps #31
Delayed, delayed, but worth the wait. Krib - a particularly creepy lady alien from the Sinestro Corps who steals babies and stores them in a cage that grows out of her back - goes toe to toe with a giant green foetus. Meanwhile the guardians say no to jiggy jiggy while Mongul says yes and chills with some scantily clad extra terrestrials. Bonkers brilliance.

Fantastic Four #562
At this point I realise that I'm the only person in the world enjoying Millar and Hitch's Fantastic Four. Well yah boo sucks to the rest of you, you don't know a good Fan 4 comic when you see it! Big super-hero funeral shenanigans that give Hitch the chance to draw EVERYONE. Some nice characterisation of Franklin Richards, and a decent dash of talking heads between Doom and Reed.

Captain America #45
Not much to say really, just another solid issue in a consistently good run. Luke Ross and the mighty Butch Guice provide pencils, but it might as well be Steve Epting, because it looks as good as ever.

Incognito #1
Brubaker and Phillips new book from Marvel's Icon imprint. The Super-Villain in witness protection thing is a decent idea and this issue does a good job of setting the scene for what promises to be an interesting tale. It is slightly reminiscent of Millar's Wanted, but given how good that was, this is no bad thing. Lovely colouring job from Val Staples, and a very interesting text piece in the back on the early days of The Shadow.

Marvel Zombies #3
This Fred Van Lente fellow is a proper geezer. First he produces Comic Book Comics, one of my favourite books of last year,  then he does this - a sequel to a sequel that not only succeeds in outdoing the first two chapters in the zombies trilogy, but is also quite easily the best Marvel comic on the stands at the time of writing. 

Honestly, this comic is ACE. First off, van Lente has taken the Aaron Stack Machine Man from Warren Ellis's Nextwave and made him even more awesome than he was in that book. Then he's somehow made the whole Marvel Zombies thing seem fresh and exciting DESPITE the fact that (pardon the pun) it's an idea that should be dead in the water by now. AND, on top of all that he's produced an action packed page turner of a story loaded with witty dialogue. 

The art by Kev Walker looks just like Sean Phillips' stuff on the first two books which lends the story the feel of a proper continuation and also means that it looks flat out fantastic. Issue #3 features a quite sensational sequence where Machine Man nicks the bike of zombie Ghost Rider and outruns a trio of Marvel's most famous speedsters. I read it, put it down and muttered "fuck, that was excellent!" 

THIS is why I buy super-hero comics folks. Sadly there's only one issue left. Make sure you buy the trade.

Gigantic #2
Robots, satire and sick humour - this is sooooooooo 2000AD. Which is excellent given how shite the real 2000AD is these days. Rick Remender is kicking arse at Dark Horse, and this tale of intergalactic reality TV gone wrong is threatening to top the other grade A goodness he's been producing for the company. I still think that the colour palette is a touch muted for the robot smashing, planet busting style story, but it's a minor quibble. Top notch sci-fi.

Superman #683
What happened to the Creature Commandos? I'm getting confused. Oh well, I still enjoyed this. Part nine of the New Krypton saga and those pesky Kandorians are getting madder by the minute. An enjoyable super-hero romp.

Final Crisis Secret Files
Written by Len Wein, this is a look at Libra's origin. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but do have a couple of reservations about it. Firstly, the interior art isn't much cop. Sorry, but it isn't. I think my main gripe with it is that the artist chooses to ignore drawing backgrounds in a lot of his panels, thus we get a shot of Big Ben with no Houses of Parliament, and a warehouse which is quite literally empty and, as a result pretty uninteresting to look at. Several of the figures are also out of proportion. There you go. 

NEVERTHELESS, the story was OK. It's a heavy-handed retelling of a tale originally written in the 70s (I think) complete with exposition heavy dialogue and corny set pieces. Sounds dreadful, right? well it is in a way, but I also found it strangely refreshing, a nice change from the well written comics we've got used to. 

I say DC let that Len Wein fellow write more throwback super-hero romps, but next time give him an artist who can bring his work to life - Berni Wrightson would be alright I reckon!

3 comments:

Jim Doom said...

I think I'd have liked Final Crisis: Secret Files a lot more had it not been advertised as being written by Grant Morrison and had it not also been solicited as being the key to understanding how Darkseid's fall sent continuity ripples throughout the multiverse.

Dom Sutton said...

yeah. My local comic shop recommended it on this basis and to their eternal credit are now offering anyone who bought it a refund as a result. True story.

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