Monday, 5 October 2009

Off the stack

Oi, Oi! How goes it? I've knocked a few issues off the old stack and felt like blathering on a tad, so let's have at it!

Firstly, I just reread Fantastic Four #571, the second installment of Hickman and Eaglesham's run on the title. I've now gone through this one three times. Why? Because it's flipping ace is why! Pretty much my idea of a perfect Marvel comic really. It hooks you right from the off with a fresh spin on the obligatory Galactus appearance, which sees Hickman resist the obvious device of using Galactus as the big reveal villain at the end of the book, and instead gets him out of the way at the START of the issue. It's a great moment rendered beautifully in a splendidiferous Eaglesham spread of all the alternate reality Reeds fighting Galactus and a whole squadron of Siver Surfers. Sort of the comics equivalent of the preludes in James Bond films and a typical piece of Hickman thinking.

The rest of the issue is also top drawer as Hickman reels off a series of big concepts all drawn very nicely by Mr Eaglesham, who seems to be channeling the bastard lovechild of Jack Kirby and Chris Sprouse. Even with a squadron of Silver Surfers, an army of lobotomised Dooms, a terraformed planet and some intergalactic DIY, Hickman still finds time for the obligatory Fan 4 family moment, a flashback to Reed's childhood and another genuinely exciting cliffhanger. All this while developing the characters of a bunch of alternate Reeds. I'm still not sure how he manages to cram all that into 22 pages without everything becoming a confused mess, but he does. Top stuff, a PROPER comic which has gone straight to the top of my list of superhero faves.

Giant-Size Old Man Logan was a satisfying enough end to a very good Mark Millar story. I have issues with the $4.99 price point, largely because the extra pages were padded out with uninteresting concept art and a gallery of covers, but the story itself was a fittingly over the top gorefest. The big moments were all entirely predictable, but they still made me chuckle. McNiven does another fine job with the art and there's an ending which leaves things open for a possible sequel - not that we really need one.

Blackest Night Superman #2 Oh now, this was just terrible, but I found myself enjoying it anyway. Basically, Psycho Pirate (of Crisis fame) comes back as a zombie and starts using his funky emotional manipulation powers to mess with the population of Smallville - making teenagers get off with old ladies, that sort of thing. Meanwhile Superman and Superboy duke it out with Zombie Superman while Supergirl has a ruck with her old man on New Krypton. There's an absolutely laughable bit at the end of the book where Ma Kent goes all pissed off action hero, brandishing a torch in a corn field and shouting at zombie Earth 2 Lois Lane that "It's On!" It's a WTF? moment that actually made me laugh out loud. The rubbernecker in me is looking forward to reading the car crash that will come as an old lady fights her zombie daughter-in-law in the next issue. Yay comics!

1 comment:

Brian Doan said...

Agree with you on FF-- Hickman's writing is great,and I love the intergalactic art. I'm still not sold on how Eaglesham is drawing Reed, but that's a small price to pay for the best version I've read in some time of one my favorite teams.