Reviews for the Week of 9/24/08: Top Heavy

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A big week finished off September, with the end of “Death of Captain America” to name one out of the 8 issues that highlighted the week. Read on to find out what was the best. Hint: It wasn’t Captain America.

Since I can’t differentiate any of the bottom three, we have a three way tie for last place. Even so, all three issues were good stuff.

6. Ambush Bug #3 (of 6): Keith Giffen, Robert Loren Fleming. This issue followed Ambush as he wakes up from a one night stand married to Dumb Bunny. Then, he flees the scene, into various hot spots around DCU that is hard to follow, but there is some good takeoff’s of Final Crisis and 52/Infinite Crisis to be found here, especially with the crazy Kent family with the super turtle. It’s really hard to rank this title, but it’s not laugh out loud funny enough to get up in the rankings. #1 was such a surprise treat that it blew me away, the others have been much of the same, but not hilarious enough to do damage.

6. Batman: Gotham After Midnight #5 (of 12): Steve Niles, Kelley Jones. This was one of the best issues of the series, with Midnight continuing to ravage Gotham, and the moments with Bruce Wayne at the gala were great. Some fun Alfred moments here, as well as another Man-Bat appearance. Jones’ art again is hit or miss, but when it’s good, it’s fucking sweet, even if it isn’t the most detailed work in the world. The ending is what made this issue a big treat. That said, I don’t know if I can afford to keep going on this mini series, but I’ll try.

6. New Avengers #45: Brian Michael Bendis, Jim Cheung. Cheung continues the tradition of awesome pencillers on the New tie-in’s. He’s deserving of a big time book and a full-time gig. This issue deals with House of M, and while I did like it, and enjoyed the ending and everything that came with it, it read far too fast and was too light on “big” moments to warrant anything other than a three way tie here, even if I loved the scene between the Queen and Skrull Hank Pym.

5. The Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall and the Death Queen of California #1 (One-Shot): Duane Swierczynski, Giuseppe Camuncoli. With perhaps the two hardest to spell names in the industry, we get a jam packed extra sized issue one shot from the land of Iron Fist. I love the Orson Randall character: the one Iron Fist not to die at 33 (or whatever the number was, I suck), and someone who had to resort to drugs and alcohol to make the evil go away. Here we get S-whatsit’s take on the character, and it’s pretty dead on. Camuncoli’s art is actually a treat here. I’d prefer him over Travel Foreman on the current Iron Fist monthly. I’ve never heard of him before, but he captures the early days of Hollywood well. Basically, Orson is sent to find the daughter of an old war buddy, who is a young starlet in hostage from an evil studio cult. But it’s not what it seems. Good stuff, but some of it was pretty cliche. Still, well worth the purchase, as the Iron Fist universe grows and grows.

4. X-Men Legacy #216: Mike Carey, Phil Briones. I get another introduction to an artist I had never heard or seen of: Briones. His stuff was pretty damn good, but it’s no Scott Eaton, the regular artist on the series. But he proved to be more than a capable fill in. Carey continues to amp up the psychological mess that is Xavier, as Emma puts him through tenuous moments from his past. It’s great stuff, and this two parter was a welcome piece of the Xavier mythos that Carey is building practically from scratch and bits and pieces from the past. I’m loving the ride so far, even if I’m sure that I’m not following all the intricacies of the X-continuity.

3. Marvel 1985: Mark Millar, Tommy Lee Edwards: More old school Marvel hits the stands, and I continually love it. Edwards’ art is just terrific, his unique style perfect for the “80s” look that is necessary, when Toby finds himself thrust in the Marvel Universe. He tries, in vain, to find superheroes to stop the villains that are ravaging his universe. That is, until he decides to take a trip to the Daily Bugle, and fun ensues. Meanwhile, Toby’s dad Jerry goes to save his ex-wife and mother of his child (and 7 months pregnant), going into the depths of the dangerous marvel villains. The ending here features introduces perhaps the most dangerous one. Next issue is the last issue, and I’d be very surprised not to see it challenge for the top spot.

2. Captain America #42: Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting. This marks the end of the epic, orgasmic, life changing “Death of Captain America”, and it almost seemed too….easy. Or just not as fucktastic as it could be. All the build up, and I felt let down by this last issue. Epting’s art is its usual brilliance, but aside from the great narration from Bucky as usual, something felt off about this issue. It’s a testament to Brubaker and company that it still gets the runner up spot in this week’s rankings, though. That said, there was still some great Bucky/Sin action, some awesome Sharon redemption, and some more redemption from the “other” Captain America. The epilogues were also responsible for making this a topnotch issue, even if it suffered from being overhyped in my mind, especially with some sexy/badass Black Widow stuff. Most importantly of all, What’s going to happen next? I can’t wait to find out.

1. Fantastic Four #560: Mark Millar, Bryan Hitch. This issue solidified this title as one of my favorites and continued to facilitate Mark Millar’s reign on comicdom (let’s list them: FF, War Heroes, Wolverine, 1985, his upcoming Ultimate Avengers, etc). His FF run had been great thus far, but this issue was by far the best one yet, and brought it all together. This issue was pure brilliance. And who cares if I saw some of it coming, if you know me, you know I love being proved right. Hitch’s art is the best in the industry, and so far the book has been on time all the way through. We get some huge revelations about Hulk and the Secret Defenders. This book has so much scope it’s crazy, even if it is stand alone from the rest of current Marvel continuity. This issue outlines the future and end of the world (kinda like Millar’s also excellent Wolverine). It’s so fucking good. Get onboard before it’s too late.

Fucktastic Writers of the Week: Mark Millar for 1985 and of course FF. Brubaker gets a nod for Cap.

Fucktastic Artists of the Week: Bryan Hitch for FF, Epting for Cap.

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2 Responses to “Reviews for the Week of 9/24/08: Top Heavy”

  1. Gokitalo Says:

    Man, I’ve fallen behind on Millar’s FF: I’m wondering if I should play catch up or just wait for the trade. Definitely will be grabbing 1985, though.

    Sounds like Cap #42 was good, but a bit of a letdown; I think I heard that at IGN too, actually. Me, I’m still debating whether or not to pick up the rest of Bru’s run. He’s a great writer, obviously, and I liked the issues I read, but replacing Captain America with his previously-thought dead sidekick? Not sure that entirely flies with me. I’m still not sure I like the “Bucky was never dead, he was brainwashed into a Soviet super-assassin with a bionic arm” thing!

  2. spiffyithaca Says:

    If you can, get FF now!

    Brubaker makes it all work. I’m pretty sure AA had the same qualms, but he grew to love the book as much as me. Captain America for the past two years has been the best book on the market, IMO.

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