Monday, June 18, 2007

Bite-sized Comic Reviews :

Once again, some of these include comics released on 7 June 2007 :

Justice #12 : The final issue of this mini arrives, and the high standard that has been set so far is solidly maintained. Make no mistake, with all due respect to Jim Krueger and Doug Braithwaite (contributing to script and art respectively), this is Alex Ross' baby, and oh boy, does it show.

In the style reminiscent of his best known works, Kingdom Come and Marvels Ross portrays both the heroes and villains as larger than life and above the mere concerns of mortals. I literally can't remember as to whether any non-superpowered entity even has a line in this entire series. A place for the 'humble', this is not.

It is still a marvellously impressive achievement, and delivered relatively on time, whic in this environment is to be admired, particularly with the consistently high standard of artwork.

Well done.

Superman #663 - Kurt Busiek's arc continues (despite interruptions) and still revolves around the interesting concept of whether Superman's 'holding back the tide' of disasters and super-villain is going to, in efffect, weaken humanity and result in the 'harder' fall of the civilized Earth as we know it. The confrontation at the conclusion of this issue was eminently predictable, and was one of the least fascinating parts of this story. I still want to know exactly how it turns out, and have little doubt that Busiek won't let me down.

Avengers - The Initiative #3 - I still want to know what this series will be called once 'The Initiative' banner fades from the majority of Marvel's titles. At amy rate, the series is an interesting concept, although the idea of a 'super-hero' school is hardly ground-breaking. To be explored further at a later stage.

Detective Comics #833 - Paul Dini's fantastic run continues, although its almost a shock to discover that this is not a 'done-in-one', and that there is in fact a 'cliff-hanger' of sorts. I really liked the portrayal of Batman and Zatanna's relationship. It made use of the Identity Crisis back-story, while also portraying believable characters, that were able to focus upon the problem at hand, without panicking about these 'minor' disputes.

DMZ #20 - This series appears to have gone off the radar for a number of readers, but it continues to exhibit high quality work. This arc, showing the fall-out from an incident where a high number of civilians were slaughtered, particularly given the current 'fog-of-war' difficulties concerning the U.S. forces in Iraq and elsewhere. This, more than almost any other comic reviewed this week, gives us a truly haunting picture of human characters in a human situation. The future of this series appears assured, but those of you who haven't had a look yet should check it out.

Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man #21 - I've just received word that this series is to be terminated, and replaced with Amazing Spider-Man as published three times per month. I'm still deciding whether this is a bad or good move. Anyway, this series continues for the time being, and I'm really enjoying the focus on Spidey's supporting cast. Characters such as Flash Thompson are crying out for more screen time, and a writer such as Peter David is able to give them the attention to continuity which they deserve. Give it a look.

New Avengers #31 - This is the issue where the conclusion is meant to change everything and the revelation about a certain supporting character can be as major or minor as you may choose. ALternatively, the revelation can have whatever future weight that Marvel chooses to give to it. The hype machine has certainly gone into overdrive, so we will see what happens in the future. It would be a shame to over-turn Civil War with the simple escape that 'Tony and Reed were Skrulls'.

Countdown #46 - This had better start getting better soon, or the sales numbers of 52 will only be a sweet memory for DC.

World War Hulk #1 - Loved it. Seriously, this was a wonderfully simple yet seductive hook to build a story on. Hulk is treated in a terrible way by 'heroes' with the best of intentions. And we all know what the road to hell is paved with. Unfortunately, the Hulk is back, and its often best not to piss off a monster who gets more powerful the angrier he is. The series almost writes itself from there, although the conclusion is yet to be found. Great first chapter, and can't wait to see the rest.

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