Monday, January 23, 2006

The Week In Review: Quantity Over Quality Edition

The Inevitable Iron Man #2
Written by Joe Casey
Art by Frazer Irving
Iron Man winds up fighting off The Ghost and The Spymaster as he has his assistant venture into the mind of the Living Laser, who’s been transformed into pure energy. Not the most compelling tale ever told but it’s fun.
My early, and recent, experiences with Joe Casey’s books have been marked by false expectations. Fellow PTP member AFKAP of Darkness described him as an American Grant Morrison (or more precisely an American trying to be Grant Morrison), leading me to believe he’d be into all kinds of high concept meta-weirdness. Turns out he’s not, well, not in the same way at least.
In reality he’s closer to Silver Age aficionados like Darwyn Cooke and Mike Allred. He gets his kicks creating light hearted and broadly appealing action filled comics and fortunately for us he seems to be matched with the perfect artists to communicate his vision.
Irving’s artwork is fantastic. He’s given much more to work with visually here than he did in Morrison’s Klarion series and he makes the high-tech craziness flashy as hell. Fantastic work.
This might not be as important in the grand scheme of the Marvel Universe as Ellis’s Iron Man series, but hey, it’s actually coming out and each issue has been filled to the brim with action.

Infinite Crisis #4
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Phil Jimenez and Andy Lanning, George Pérez and Jerry Ordway
What can be said about this comic without descending purely into fan boy predictions and pipedreams?
Big changes in the status quo to say the least, honestly I couldn’t even begin to describe the plot of this issue at all without revealing a million spoilers.
I will say that I love the usage of Chemo, a personal favorite, in the opening pages.

And that Superboy is one crazy son of a bitch. We’ll always remember you Crazy Mask Girl, Red Monster With Helmet, The Magnificent Green Shirt and Sword Guy.

All-Star Superman #2
Written by The Honorable Grant Morrison
Art by His Majesty Frank Quitely
Superman has The Titanic in his living room, a black hole for a house pet and he’s one hell of a seamstress.
Once again Morrison and Quitely take us beyond the constrictions of mere “wide screen” comic books. There’s really too much to rave about. So I’ll just point out how amazingly Quitely is able to make Superman’s world feel so intimate. There’s so much grace in the way Superman and holds himself and he manages to bring out incredible emotion from Lois.
This is one of the most beautiful and touching comics ever created.

Quick Words:

Conan #24
Written by Kurt Busiek
Art by Cary Nord
Conan’s got female troubles again. That happens when you’re an asshole of a barbarian I suppose. Pretty talky, but solid as usual. ***

Sgt. Rock #1
Written by and Art by Joe Kubert
Good old-fashioned hardboiled warfare filled with affable racial and class stereotypes. I’m not complaining.
Kudos to DC for respectfully saving the advertisements for the back pages. ***1/2

The Walking Dead #25
Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Charlie Adlard
The gang find a way to move outside of the prison gates and find something surprising. Hopefully big things will go down next issue. ***

The Green Lantern #7
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Carlos Pacheco
This series keeps on getting better, although Hal hasn’t gotten any more interesting as a character. It’s nice to see The Green Arrow involved and that Johns has brought in a classic Alan Moore conceived weapon. ***1/2

Ex Machina #17
Written by Brian K. Vaughan
Art by Tony Harris
Holy crap, a rivalry with the mayor of Baghdad? Yep, Vaughan is taking us into the early days of the second Gulf War and proves he’s the master of the last page cliffhanger. This series never lets me down. ****

Mister Miracle #3
Written by His Holiness Grant Morrison
Art by Freddie E. Williams II
This is the most confusing of the Seven Soldiers series. Maybe if I had some knowledge of the New Gods I’d be on firmer ground. But as confounding as it is Shilo is a compelling character, I imagine it’s impossible not to sympathize with the guy after what goes on here, it’s like The Passion of The Christ. I really dig the art as well. ***

Chicanos #3
Written by Carlos Trillo
Art by Eduardo Risso
How did this comic come to be? This is the strangest shit ever conceived by mankind. The stories are pretty dull, but add a protagonist and narrator who’s a naïve four-foot tall female P.I. facing down the mafia, the police and gigantic bodygaurds with the most ungainly cup size imaginable as drawn by Eduardo Risso and it becomes amazingly compelling. ****


JRennoldz said...

Damn, I agree with you on everything but Mister Miracle; that comic was powerful. To me that issue epitomizes superhero comics; an average dude with powers beyond (his own) comprehension facing insurmountable odds. The ending with Shilo reaching for the Depends and being helped by Dark Side was stellar....damn?!

Chicanos #3 is brilliant!

buckshot said...

Damn, that's a lotta comics!!

50 more stars for All-Star Superman, I say!

And I'm not sure I really 'get' Mr. Miracle just yet. So far I've found it to be the least penetrable Seven Soldiers mini yet.