3/31/10 REVIEWS!!

by

Here they are, bitches!

Reviewed this week:

Blackest Night #8 (of  8 )

Jack of Fables #44

Justice League of America #43

Justice Society of America #37

She-Hulk Sensational #1

Torch #6 (of 8 )

X-Men: Second Coming #1

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Dave’s Best of the Week Spotlight: Essential Chuck Austen Vol. 2

Just kidding. Clearly, top honors this week (/year) go to:

HOLY ####!!!

BLACKEST NIGHT #8 (of 8 )

Written by Geoff Johns; art and cover by Ivan Reis.

RATING: Higher than I can count/5

One more time: HOLY ####!!! I don’t know how much more I can say without spoilers — which means I’ll probably have to do a spoiler edition soon. Goki said it all very well in his review, linked above. Simply put, this lives up to the hype. The ramifications are massive, and Reis delivers once of the best-drawn comics I’ve ever seen.

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X-MEN: SECOND COMING #1

Written by Craig Kyle and Chris Yost; drawn by David Finch; cover by Adi Granov.

RATING: 5/5

It’s tough coming out the same week as the Blackest Night conclusion; nothing is going to look as good by comparison. But take a break after BN, and when you’re ready to settle back into comics with a fresh slate, check out Second Coming, because it is damn good. The long-awaited sequel to Messiah Complex, this crossover starts with a bang, as Kyle and Yost weave a story that feels one of the classic X-epics while still taking in all the good changes over the past several years. Best of all, it’s very accessible for old X-readers who have perhaps gotten a bit burned out the past couple years (looking at you, Goki); Kyle and Yost use almost exclusively A-list heroes, and the villains’ unveiling at the end feels like a role call of classic bad guys. Good stuff.

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JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #37

Written by Bill Willingham; art and cover by Jesus Merino.

RATING: 4.5/5

At this rate, Willingham’s JSA could become even better than Johns’ classic run. It actually feels less like Johns’ stint on the book, and more like Grant Morrison’s run on JLA. Admittedly, that level of praise might be slightly premature, but it’s rocketing toward that level. Merino has become one of my favorite artists, too. Look for this in the Essential category next month.

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TORCH #6 (of 8 )

Written by Mike Carey and Alex Ross; art by Patrick Berkenkotter; cover by Ross.

RATING: 4/5

This issue is from a week ago, but a good read. The miniseries has slowed down slightly, mostly because of the waits between issues, and I can’t tell whether there have been delays or if they’ve just gone bimonthly. Yet it still hits some big high points, and the Torch and Toro have become one of my favorite heroic duos. Things are unraveling for the Thinker, and time is running out for Torch. The end of this mini should be outstanding — hopefully, it won’t take too long/

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SENSATIONAL SHE-HULK #1

Written by Peter David; art by Iban Coello; cover by Gary Frank; back-up story by Brian Reed; reprint written and drawn by John Byrne.

RATING: 3.5/5

This is a tough one to rate, because it was kind of all over the place. The one-shot is a special celebrating the 30th anniversary of Stan Lee creating She-Hulk (one of his last Marvel creations). The first story is by Peter David, and it’s a very fun romp, with Lee himself guiding Jen through a Christmas Carol-type look at her past, present, and potential future. A really good read. Reed’s back-up, on the other hand, is just awful. He teams Shulkie with Ms. Marvel and Spider-Woman in a story that immediately devolves into cliches, convenient plot holes, and terrible dialogue. Honestly, it’s painful to get through. But the light at the end of the tunnel is the Byrne reprint from the early ’90s. I could tell it would probably be better if you could read the build-up to the issue, but it’s still enjoyable.

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JACK OF FABLES #44

Written by Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges; art by Tony Akins.

RATING: 3.5/5

The action isn’t great, but the twist at the end is pretty fun, and there are a few good moments. Otherwise, I’m reserving judgment until the story’s conclusion next month.

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JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #43

Written by James Robinson; art and cover by Mark Bagley.

RATING: 2.5/5

I feel like we’ve already seen this issue. Twice. The “slow adjustment” period for the team is getting a little old, and the nondescript filler battles aren’t particularly interesting. We do finally get the revelation behind the mysterious device, but it’s made a little less interesting because it’s in the hands of a bunch of weird, second-rate villains. The Green Arrow drama is the best thing going for this book, and I think Robinson would be best off focusing in on that, though perhaps DC wants him to leave some of that for the Green Arrow monthly.

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10 Responses to “3/31/10 REVIEWS!!”

  1. spiffyithaca Says:

    What’s the Green Arrow drama, babe?

    That’s my question, not what is the mindblowing twist/events of the end of one of the best crossovers of all-time. Mostly because I cling to the idea that I’ll someday read it myself and want to be surprised and thrilled the same way you guys were.

    Glad Second Coming had an awesome start.

    Torch and Incredible Herc are my favorite of your titles that you read that I get to read about. Whatever that means.

  2. davidry214 Says:

    SPOILERS (JLA/Green Arrow-related)
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    *
    I don’t know if you’re familiar with Prometheus, a badass villain Grant Morrison created during his JLA. He got poorly used after Morrison and made lame, but Robinson restored him to badass in Cry for Justice. Anyway, in that mini, Prometheus destroyed much of Star City (the Arrow family’s home city). He also caused Roy (Speedy/Arsenal/Red Arrow) to get his arm cut off. And the coup de grace, Roy’s very young daughter was murdered in the Star City destruction. To keep Prometheus from completely leveling what was left of the city, Ollie convinced the Justice League to let the villain go — but his real motivation was to be able to go after Prometheus without anyone stopping him. Then, he secretly left the team, hunted down Prometheus solo, and killed him in cold blood (arrow through the head).

    The rest of the league just found out what he did, and Ollie is on the run. Dinah is hurt and angry, and speculation is that she’s going to leave him (fueled by the book’s change back to Green Arrow, instead of Green Arrow/Black Canary). The rest of the JLA is trying to find Ollie and bring him down, while he’s continuing to hunt down and murder Prometheus’ co-conspirators. It’s fairly badass. Meanwhile, Roy is getting a bionic arm or something, and he’s apparently going to become a more major player now, which is meh, whatever. Not that I have anything against Roy, at all, but I really liked Connor, who has been pushed way to the sidelines.
    *
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    (End Spoilers)

    I should just send you the first couple of Herc trades, since you’re apparently so interested in them, just so I’ll have someone to talk about them with.

  3. spiffyithaca Says:

    SLIGHT SPOILERS IN RESPONSE TO SPOILERS
    .

    Wow. I mean, I kinda get tired of the whole “superheroes can’t kill” idiom (because I’m a serial murderer), but that sounds really cool/awesome, aside from the Dinah ramifications. Was this all in the main series and not Green Arrow, or both?

    And I can always swing by Oklahoma on my way back home during my last cross country road trip and borrow/steal your comics. And give you $5 for Ultimates. Creepy? Yes. But I’d weather creepy for a free couch/bed/floor.

  4. davidry214 Says:

    The first paragraph of spoilers was all in the Justice League: Cry for Justice miniseries. The JLA found out in the one-shot, Justice League: The Rise and Fall. This issue of JLA and the next few issues of Green Arrow will continue the Ollie fallout, while the four-issue miniseries Justice League: The Rise of Arsenal will deal with Roy’s aftermath.

    I will gladly give you a free couch, if that actually happens. We can stay up all night, reading comics, watching Arrested Development, talking about Goki, maybe touching ourselves a little, whatever; I’m open to suggestions.

  5. spiffyithaca Says:

    Well, I think I’d want to have a wee bit of alcohol too, so we can drunk dial Goki (I have his phone number). Or we can go see a Thunder playoff game!

    But, I’m actually fairly serious. Oklahoma is one of the few states I have not yet traversed, and a free couch is a free couch, and there’s gotta be something to do there. I may or may not have a friend or two with me, which would either add to the awkwardness or subtract, who knows. We can pretend we “meet” at a bar.

  6. Gokitalo Says:

    we can drunk dial Goki (I have his phone number)

    IT’S TRUUUUUUE

    I actually didn’t end up getting She-Hulk, but next time, I promise. PAD’s got an awesome sense of humor, and John Byrne’s She-Hulk is the stuff of gamma-irradiated legends.

    And now for a few words about Cry For Justice, based solely on the parts of it I saw scattered around the Interwebz: Dudes, you’d think the guy who almost took out one of the strongest JLA teams ever (Morrison’s Big 14) would’ve taken some sort of precaution against getting shot in the head by an arrow. Amirite? Didn’t dig the whole “Prometheus wants to be Batman” thing either; their similarities are supposed to be IMPLIED, not overt. And is killing off a hero’s seven-or-so-year-old daughter really what the fans want?

  7. davidry214 Says:

    When would this trip be? I might be unavailable in mid-to-late May for a while, but I don’t know when yet. I would seriously be up for it if the timing works, though. Could be epic. Lol, we could even do an in-person Previews Reviews. 😉 And if this does go down, then Goki, you bet your ass you’re getting a drunken phone call.

    As for Cry for Justice, I dropped it before any of the actually interesting stuff happened, so I too am going off what’s I’ve seen elsewhere, mostly in recaps from other books. But I’m not sure I have a problem with how things went down. Prometheus’ successes, at least under Morrison, were the results of preparation and technology (specifically, his downloaded abilities). If Green Arrow surprised him, which I gather is what happened, then he might not have had either ready.

    The Batman parallels worked best under Morrison as implications, certainly, and I’m not sure I disagree that they should have stayed that way. But that was also the first (and then the second) times he’d appeared. After he’s been around a little longer and studied up on, it’s natural to think intelligent heroes would pick up on the similarities. It’s trading subtlety for realism.

    And killing Liam, or whatever Roy’s girl’s name was, well … yeah, that’s certainly crossing a line not often crossed. I don’t blame any fans who are upset. But we’ve seen more girlfriends/wives die than we can count, and wouldn’t you think villains would be just as willing to strike through children? I’m surprised it’s never happened before, really.

    All of which is to say, I have no conceptual problems with the developments. Just annoyed that Robinson is too inconsistent to really capitalize.

  8. spiffyithaca Says:

    Well, I graduate May 23rd, but I doubt I’ll be on the road and on my way westward before June 1st. I’ll keep you posted with details. An in person preview reviews would be nerdy and kind of perfect. A possible pitfall is that I may or may not have 1-2 friends in tow.

  9. davidry214 Says:

    That timeframe could work, though I may have just moved. I was somewhat kidding about in-person Preview Reviews, though hopefully we can do something more interesting than that (= drinking and watching movies).

  10. What to Buy: April 14, 2010 « Eat More Comics Says:

    […] I didn’t even remember to buy #31. But hey, it sounds good, and the cover looks great. And as we discussed recently, the Green Arrow drama is pretty […]

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