AA’s Judgment: Comics of 8/13/08

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It’s a sad state of affairs when I, of all people, am the “active” one. Still, read on for reviews of books from 10 days ago.

 

THE BEST

Batman #679 (Writer: Grant Morrison. Artisti: Tony Daniel.)

With its fourth installment, Batman: RIP  finally makes its first entrance into the top of my rankings. To be fair, it was a surprisingly underwhelming week, but this was still a fine story. It was the first issue of the arc where I didn’t feel a little bit lost or confused, as we get some nice explanations and cool plot developments. Batman’s mental state is depicted very well, giving hints of humor and of slight darkness. There were several tidbits that should set up for an even better story as we go to next month’s issue, which I’m looking forward to now. Tony Daniel’s art was truly awesome as he continues to climb the list as one of my favorite artists today.

 

THE WORST

X-Men: Secret Invasion #1 (of 4) (Writer: Mike Carey. Artist: Cary Nord.)

If, like me, you were hoping that X-Men Legacy scribe Mike Carey could deliver a better Secret Invasion tie-in than most the crap ones we’ve seen so far, then like me, you’re probably going to be disappointed. Cary Nord’s art was mediocre, and Carey’s plot was wholly unimpressive. Probably my least favorite change to the Skrull backstory that Bendis has made in SI has been the random ultra-religiosity the Skrulls suddenly possess for essentially the first time in 45 years. It’s been an odd but forgiveable subplot in the main SI series, but Carey really overdoes it here. Really, not much even happens in this issue, so if you were expecting some huge reveal, don’t hold your breath. The final page could be interpreted as a huge development, but the way it’s unveiled, it’s very unclear as to what the intended implication of the ending is. So now, you pretty much have to stick around for the next issue, even though it may be pointless.

 

THE REST

Final Crisis: Revelations #1 (of 5) (Writer: Greg Rucka. Artist: Philip Tan.)

So, I didn’t know until FC started that Detective Allen had become the Spectre, nor that Montoya has become the Question. And I still don’t get exactly what the Question is, even after reading this, though I’ve seen references to the character in older comics, and Montoya’s status seemed to have an interesting background in this issue. But in spite of my lack of knowledge, I found this quite enjoyable. Every Spectre seems to go through a time of difficult adjustment, and it looks to be no different for Allen, and his torment is displayed quite well here. Montoya’s story was a little ahrder to get into, but the ending was great and guaranteed I’ll be around for at least the next issue. Tan’s art was really spectacular; it might not get any better than this guy.

 

Secret Invasion #5 (of 8 ) (Writer: Brian Michael Bendis. Artisti: Leinil Francis Yu.)

I wasn’t trying to imply that Revelations was necessarily better than this by review it first, but it at least had a good cover, while SI would have to win worst cover of the week, so I didn’t want to have to post that image. Anyway, this was a very good issue, one right on the cusp of being great and going in the “Best” category. Actually, pretend it is in the “Best” with Batman, because now that I’ve started typing, I think it does deserve it (I just don’t feel like changing now). But still, I had a few misgivings about it. The main one was the art. Yu has delivered some great visuals throughout this mini, but in the years I’ve viewed his stuff, this may have been one of the weakest efforts I’ve ever seen from him. He’s much better than this poor attempt. The story was mostly awesome again, but Bendis let it get slightly over the top in a few areas, including the final page. The events leading up to that last page were some of the best of the series, but I feel certain there would have been a better way to cap it off than that particular ending splash. Nevertheless, I give this issue high marks, and look forward to the rest of the mini.

 

Writer of the Week: Grant Morrison (Batman)

Artist of the Week: Philip Tan (Final Crisis: Revelations)

Line of the Week: “He’s not here yet, is he? I don’t want him to be here yet. My nails are still drying.”  – Joker (Batman)

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One Response to “AA’s Judgment: Comics of 8/13/08”

  1. spiffyithaca Says:

    I agree on your reviews for Batman and Secret Invasion, and I’m not sure how I’d rank them, but they’d be in the best department. I’d probably take Bats over SI too, just for me finally getting stuff.

    Mike Carey was the only reason I considered getting the X-Men tie in, but it sounded shitty, so I’m glad I avoided it. And how was the art?

    Final Crisis: Revelations sounds like a lot more confusing shit. It’d be a revelation if they could put out a mini series that was completely accessible. Although Tan’s art almost makes me want to consider FC

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