Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chronic Capsule Reviews: Crap I Read Today!

Let me kick this off by saying that I WON'T be reading Secret Avengers, even though it seems to me that Brubaker's little shadow team is by far the most intriguing of the relaunched Avengers nonsense.

If this book were $2.99, I'd be all over it. But it isn't. I've been making far too many excuses about that lately, and it needs to stop. We simply can't afford (literally!) to reward this behavior. If the trend on trades continues, I won't be buying that either, regardless of how well it gets reviewed. Suggested retail on that collected Psylocke mini? If you thought the $3.99 on the floppies was bad, wait til you get a load of the $4.99 per issue they think it's worth in trade form. No. Nononononononononno you don't.

We're watching, Marvel. And we're pissed. Lots of people sitting at the breaking point, Mr. Buckley. We can live without that Psylocke book, trust me. Hell, the fact you're pushing us toward is that we can live without any of it. That's not a bitter threat any more, that's becoming the undeniable reality of it. We're at the breaking point. Tread carefully.

War of the Supermen # 4
Nothing much for me to rave about or complain about, I guess. I hadn't been reading the Superman books prior, so this is resolving issues that don't resonate as much for me. My sense is that if you went through the whole "New Krypton" stuff, this paid off fairly well.

There's nothing here that would compel me to pick up Superman from here on. I'm thinking about doing it simply because of the Straczynski factor. I'm really enjoying Brave & The Bold (more on that later) and I've been re-reading some Rising Stars, too. JMS is pretty good. So yay for him on Superman, his dream project.

Green Lantern # 54
This title has been on the cusp of the "drop zone" lately. It isn't that I feel it's a bad title. But there's a general feeling you carry around about each of the books on your pull, and inevitably certain books stop feeling like urgent reads and you start to wonder about them. If you're smart.

Thing is, every issue of Green Lantern tends to redeem itself upon closer inspection. I mean, in this issue that Red Lantern cat threw up on a bunch of people in a subway, and how can I deny that? There's no way. Every time that cat pukes rage blood on something, I'm in love all over again. Speaking of love, Sinestro has a delicious little one-liner he fires at Hal Jordan regarding his aching loins over Carol, too.

And that's the juice for me. I don't want to say that I can't care about the whole "sword in the stone" white lantern conundrum or the search for the missing "entities"...but I don't care, so I guess I'll say it. Green Lantern stays for now. Next!

Brave & The Bold # 34
The previous issue may end up being the best comic of 2010. It's certainly # 1 in my heart right now. I guess no system is perfect, but this is such a classic example of how broken the system is, and how quality never quite seems to translate into sales. And that, folks, is what is KILLING the industry.

Because there's no "Brightest Day" banner or some event connection, the rotating cast pretty much demands that nobody buys this title. And it's awesome. Every month, it's quality story after quality story. Straczynski takes full advantage of the freedom inherent in a "what if" type framework and just runs wild with interesting crap.

This month the Legion runs into a problem - primordial black hole make Earth go bye-bye. Now THAT'S a problem! Do you see how fun this stuff gets? Lightning Lad concocts a scheme to go back in time and fix that, and he needs the Doom Patrol's help to do it. And here's where it gets really weird, folks. Straczynski sets it up in the story so that internally it makes sense to need Negative Man! Revolutionary!

Now, JMS has been teasing for months that he's going to do something funky with the title that should make it a "Top 10" selling comic. Something feels slightly awry at the end of this issue, and I think that the ramifications of saving Earth are going to open up that can of worms next issue. Something from the future or another dimension, I don't know. But I think we'll see the ace Straczynski's been holding up his sleeve next month. Yay!

Fantastic Four # 579
As usual, so much to say about this comic, and I'm not sure this little blog entry is really the place to get into all of it, but here goes.

With what went on in # 578, this is a real button-hook. Last issue ramped up the stakes to Factor 11, and then this issue behaves as though none of that Inhumans stuff ever happened. It's a "breather" issue, if you will.

First of all, I don't want to say that Neil Edward's art sucks, but it sure gives a strong inhale. Eaglesham is missed, and that's a fact. Reed gives a speech about the future at the Singularity conference, and basically tells everyone (except She-Hulk) that they're old people with no vision, and he's bowing out of the group.

It's an interesting case he makes, and (as usual) an interesting path to explore. I happen to not agree with much of what Reed believes. He sees expansion as inevitable and hopeful, touting
"one trillion human beings spanning an entire galaxy." To me, that's not a message of hope. I believe in quality, not quantity. If you really liked the galaxy, you wouldn't be spreading people as we know them about it. That's littering.

But Reed is more optimistic than I, so it makes sense in that regard. His response is interesting, daring, and quite in keeping with the "Heroic Age" of optimism. He ditches the stagnant old white dudes and sets up his own think-tank with his children, the moloid kids, Artie, and Alex Power. There's your new Future Foundation!

Hickman spends a lot of time acknowledging plot threads in scattershot form. (Nu-World, Sue as ambassador, the Wizard) There's a TON of balls in the air right now, and Hickman is basically letting you know that he knows this stuff is out there. And all of it is entertaining. All of it.

Does it feel weird to me that the Inhumans stuff just went "poof"? Yup. Was it a bad issue? By no means. This is still the must read Marvel book of the lot, hands downs.

Tales of the Dragon Guard # 3
This was the best comic I read today. The super sad part is that it concludes the series. Are there more Tales of the Dragon Guard out there? I don't know. For all I know, there are reams of this stuff in France as I type. But I'll never get to see it, because the sales figures will not have Marvel ordering more of this, I wouldn't think.

And what a shame. There's a little box in the bottom right-hand corner of the comic that says "mature content", and for once that's accurate. Dragon Guard is a hokey little hook about half-dressed virgins killing big lizards, except it dresses itself in poignant characters, and gripping drama.

Wherever these dragons set up camp, they cast of field of corruption called "The Veil". It taints the people inside of it like a disease, and to watch the progression is always a trip. I'm really going to miss this book. A lot.

- Ryan

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Vicki and I both laughed at the FF littering comment.

I will have to pick up Dragon Guard in TPB form, sounds like it would be up my ally.