Sunday, March 16, 2008

Val's Marathon Of Comic Reviews, Part One

I have this little Ikea table-thingie that I keep all my to-be-reviewed comics in.

Checked out the sucker the other day and was like HOLY S**T! I totally let that back up.

So I'm going to do a marathon of reviews to clean it out. Here is the first off several.

Marvel Zombies 2 #5
A surprisingly disappointing finale that seemed really rushed. An ending that made me want to go, in the words of Zombie Hulk, "Rahhhhhhhhhh!!!" Actually, I can't find where Zombie Hulk actually said that. But if he read this issue that's what he would probably say.

Project Superpowers #1
There is a lot for me to like in this book -- awesome character designs, an absolutely gorgeous color palette, and some intriguing ideas with the "Dynamite Family" concept. However, the plot for this issue inexplicably unravels 1/2 way through, and by the time Black Terror finally makes his appearance, I'm sort of lost.

Papercutter #4
The best story in this anthology by Tugboat Press is the moving "Graveyard" by Sarah Oleksyk, about a young woman's doomed romance with a drug addict. The art is organic and adept at capturing nuances of emotion through facial expression, body language, or even the physical environment. John Porcellino's "Snowstorm" is more of a quiet mood piece, and Vanessa Davis's "Night Moves" aptly captures the sweaty beauty of the bar scene.

Avengers Classic #9
This issue re-tells the first appearance of Wonder Man from Avengers #9 -- and apparently he was a bit of a jackass. The new backup story by Macon Blair and Juan Doe attempts to fill in a gap the original tale left; it felt, probably by virtue of nothing more than its intended purpose, a little like fan-fiction. But artist Doe's art is a stand-out and quite original, with a distinctively animated feel.

The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury #295
We are introduced to the world of Miranda Mercury in media res, as it were; the young space adventurer is at the top of her game. While on one hand this works because it cuts out the oft-cliche and hokey "origin sequence" many first issues have, it also puts the book at a disadvantage because we don't have enough structure built for us to share in the obvious admiration everyone else has for Ms. Mercury. Still, the book is well-intentioned and has a nice, stream-lined style courtesy of Lee Ferguson.

Robin #171
Chris Batista's art is clean, pretty, and Silver Age-sharp, but Chuck Dixon's writing is starting to seem tired; I feel like I've traveled this road before. On the other hand, if I was to judge this as a comic purely written for teens, it's not bad. But, it's just not doing it for this thirtysomething.

The Incredible Hercules #114
More gorgeous art and fast-paced and funny narrative keeps my interest up in this series. I like the flashbacks to The Champions days, and that baby coyote or whatever looked so cute in that one scene (though unfortunately he or she might be dead in it). The "Dark Cho" foreshadowing is cool -- but I think his friendship with Hercules is an essential part of the comic, so I wouldn't want it to be any more than temporarily interrupted.

The Hulk #2
Please tell Jeph Loeb that comics are not TV. The sudden heart-stopping reveals when a character pops out of nowhere works in TV but not in a comic, and they were way too overused in this issue. Still, some intriguing hints are thrown in as to the identity of Red Hulk. Liked issue #1 better.


  1. same for me on project superpowers

  2. Nice to see Archaia Studios Press getting some reviews on OS, and I would *love* to read more of it. I'm not terribly wowed by Miranda Mercury, but ASP is putting out a whole bunch of very interesting stuff. I know its all about the "big two" but small press publishers are kicking arses in terms of art, writing, and creative-quality (in my opinion, of course).

    I love your blog, and I also love the faux-drama that your "critics" dream up. Please keep doing your thing.

  3. Also loving Hercules - although you really do need to add PROOF to your list. I'm going to keep hammering that one home till you do! :)

  4. Good call on Zombies. What a ridiculous ending.

    "Oh hey guys, let's not be zombies anymore. Ok. The End."

    Postscript: "TACKED ON CLIFFHANGER!!!!"