Friday, August 14, 2009

Reviews of the Week (RotW) by Phenompyrus

I decided it would be a good idea to utilize our blog by posting my weekly reviews here as much as I can. Let's get the ball rolling:

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1
I missed picking up the first series from the get go, but always heard that it was one of Marvel's best and most consistent books for years. So I was not going to pass this up, even though I still have a bad taste in my mouth with Ultimatum and the main continuity's One More Day. That said, the results of this one were not so bad. If there is one perfect match in comicdom for a writer and character, its Bendis and Spider-Man. He knows how to write the perfect Peter Parker, no matter what version it is. The art makes this seem like a non-television cartoon, part anime. I like the idea of new characters showing up so early too, so let's hope Marvel keeps things fresh with their new Ultimate Comics.

Ultimate Comics Avengers #1
Since I missed Spider-Man and X-Men on the first go around with Ultimate Marvel, I made sure to be there to pick up The Ultimates. As it turned out, it and its sequel were some of the best comic stories I've ever read to this day. Let us forget the horror that was Ultimates 3. How Jeph Loeb still has a job is a wonder to me, but that's a story for a different day. This first issue is very similar to the first issues of Millar's first 2 volumes, and yet again features a focus on Captain America. The characters are back to form, to Hawkeye still being a badass, Cap not missing a beat even though he got his ass kicked by Red Skull, Fury still in charge even though he's not, and Tony being a casual and cool drinker. The art is superb too, capturing some each of Hitch and Mad! (the only good slightly good and redeemable thing about volume 3). The future looks and sounds promising too, with new versions of Wasp, Hulk, War Machine, and Black Widow coming, as well as seeing Ultimate versions of Punisher and Blade. Good start to a book that Marvel desperately needed to revive to its original form.

Uncanny X-Men #514
It is no secret around OKP that I am a huge X-Men fan. I love almost everything from Marvel that has to do with the team. The past few X events have been pretty great, and this one is still delivering. I'm not sure what to think of Emma's 'defection', and I really hope it doesn't cause any long term problems, b/c she might just be the best X-Man of the past few years. Her relationship with Cyclops is much better than that between he and Jean. Dodson lightens things up while keeping it pretty with his art, but the real star here is Matt, who absolutely understands how to write this book. He brings them up to date by also hooking them up with classic devices, such as the little character power profiles. I always think how I could make certain books better, and with this one, I don't know if I could. I hope this creative team (yes including Greg Land) sticks around for some time. Marvel promises big changes, but we all know that just means a lead in to something else. I just hope that it doesn't disappoint a la Secret Invasion.

Blackest Night #2
Let's get to some DC. I read more Marvel overall, but this, GL, the new Doom Patrol, and Batman & Robin are also in the rotation, and they are every bit as good as Marvel's bulk of my reading list. DC knows how to tell a crossover story with all the right points of continuity. This story found the perfect loophole to bring back all the dead characters they want without actually bringing them back. Will any of them stick around? I don't know, but it's a little trickery they have used to get to this point. Will Bruce Wayne come and save the day for his return? Next issue looks to be a doozy. If they bring anyone back, let's do another JLA with the big 7 and Jim Lee drawing.

Walking Dead #64
COTW. This one has been slacking until this issue, which re-established it as the best monthly title that I read. That last panel gave me goosebumps as I said to myself 'Hell yeah!' Part of me feels that it would be a good idea to tell how the plague came to be, but its lasted this long on its own 2 legs without, and that's how it should be. Rick, Carl, Abraham, and Michonne should never die, although with all the crazy stuff that has happened so far, it might be hard not for Kirkman.