Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Last week in Review

Crickets #01
Written and drawn by Sammy Harkham
Want something a little different? Look no further, with that cover it’s pretty hard to.
The story is something like this: A guy is pierced, plentifully, by a throng of arrows and dies in a forest. Then a Golem (a mythical Hebrew giant made of clay) resurrects him, the guy’s sort of surprised but he’s also really hungry. Elsewhere in the evening a father and son discuss the burial of an infant sibling over a campfire supper. These two parties meet and tragedy ensues.
Neato. Really.
Harkham employs a somewhat childish style with a limited pallet of colors (black, white and green). The kind of offbeat work D&Q is supposed to supply. Top notch.
It’s all very beguiling, touching and poignant—although I’m not sure why.
****/****

Astonishing X-Men #13
Written by Joss Whedon
Art by John Cassady
Like everyone else I’ve missed this series and am overjoyed that it’s back. Too bad it doesn’t quite start with a bang.
Whedon decides to restart the book by giving us a glimpse of what House of M has done to the student body, set up the Hellfire Club and reintroduce us to character conflicts. We get some trademark Whedon-wit of course, but I want some wide screen John Cassady action damnit!
There’s really not much here to discuss beyond fan-boy theories. Too bad, but is still Astonishing X-Men.
***/****

Solo #9
Written and drawn by Scott Hampton
Best series around and yet another fantastic issue.
Hampton shows himself to be just a bit more ambitious and unique than previous artists. Every story has been constructed entirely by himself and he seems much more interested in presenting a different, more grounded, world than is shown by other titles featuring the DC logo. Only one story features a superhero (Batman) and even then the appearance is brief and he isn’t really the subject of the piece.
We get a cool homage story with the EC inspired “The Monsters”. Hampton gives us a cool little breakdown of how he created the art for this one. I hope that feature returns in subsequent entries.
“Batman:1947” is a touching little story about a Batman impersonator who’s inspired to heroism.
There’s a poignant little piece based on a love letter Hampton found decades ago. You read it as you watch the recipient reading the touching thing on the train, surrounded by everyday passengers.
“Another Success Story” is clearly the centrepiece of the book. It centres on a renegade artist who hires a couple of over-ambitious fan-boys to front his work. Funny, deftly illustrated in a noir style (he’s ideally suited for this) and it makes plenty of sense in a comic about artists.
The final story, "The Road To Samarra”, is a bit of a letdown. The artwork is top notch but at this point I was expecting more from his writing (saying quite a bit in a book dedicated to art). It’s a really passé ghost story.
Hampton, according to the back page, is responsible for the first painted comic art. He deftly varies his technique with every story, it’s all thoroughly fantastic. He’s certainly a master of it at this point, but he’s also a skilled writer. This is one of the best SOLO’s yet.
****/****

Quickies:

Chicanos #4 – The insanity continues. ***1/2

Green Lantern #9 - Hal and Bats make-out, a new action figure possibility is born, cliché dragon tattoos get their asses kicked. Nothing groundbreaking, but solid. ***

The Inevitable Iron Man #3 – More great artwork, smart writing, a pink cover. Fantastic. ***1/2

8 comments:

JRennoldz said...

Solo came out of nowhere this month (who's Scott Hampton?) and killed the game. Astonishing fell flat for me BUT it was nice to see the Cassie Nova tie-in; they went all the way back to Morrison's first ish of New X-Men? That was illy!

The Green Lantern makeout issue was good but the "Bruce rocking the ring" moment was too short-lived.

buckshot said...

I actually liked the low-key comeback of Astonishing. It felt more like a first issue set-up story, and after such a long break, I think that's just what they needed.

SOLO was definitely my pick of the week, though.

And I couldn't find Crickets anywhere, unfortunately.

neo said...

Who's the dude on the front cover of "Solo?" art work seems pretty intriguing..would get it based off that.

DrNO said...

the half-alligator salesman on the cover is nowhere inside of the book. But if you dig just that cover you'll love what's inside.

buckshot said...

Half-alligator salesman deserves his own series.

Melanism said...

Didn't they steal that tattoo bit in Green Lantern from the Elektra movie?

Brother Afron said...

I actually liked the Batman/Green Lantern interaction in GL #9. Usually Batman's arrested development is portrayed as a good thing, but this time around you get to see it for what it truly is.

phenompyrus said...

I loved Astonishing 13. It was a great reintro to the book and a cool back story mention to Morrison's run on New X-Men. This next year of stories is going to be the shit, nuff said.