A Glimpse of the 6/22 Books

Between last week's reviews and the CE newsletter, I wrote close to 9,000 words--I'm pretty burnt out, to be honest. So there aren't going to be a lot of reviews from me this week, they're not going to going into a lot of depth, and they're going to be crankier than the books probably deserve. I felt it only fair to warn you. CAPTAIN AMERICA #7: A reasonably enjoyable game of cat and mouse being played with the reader's expectations here, but that runs the risk of losing readers altogether if that gets played out too long (I believe they call this "Howard Mackie Syndrome"). Good, I thought.

DOC FRANKENSTEIN #3: The part of my brain that read past page 7 or so got erased, I guess. Either I didn't finish it or it became so dull and pedantic I forgot about it already. It's issue #3; why isn't he kickboxing Jesus yet? Eh.

DREAM POLICE #1: Exactly like those really clever and amusing eight page stories Alan Moore used to do for 2000 A.D., except it's not clever, it's not amusing, it's not eight pages and JMS, whatever else he may be, is no Alan Moore. But other than that, it's identical. Awful.

HELLBOY THE ISLAND #1: What's not to love? I can't even begin to figure out how something so creepy can be so much fun to read. It's a rare achievement. Very Good.

HOUSE OF M #2: So it's a quarter over already and nothing's happened? Hey, great! The more protagonists Bendis has, the slower things seem to move. A little bit of in media res would have gone a long way here. A very low Eh.

IRON GHOST #2: Enjoyable enough, I guess, although I'm a long way from being personally involved in the storyline. I also keep second guessing Dixon's choices for the story, probably because the hook is so good. Eh.

NEW AVENGERS #6: I love how Cap goes to such great lengths to save Yelena from Wolverine and then, after she runs off--you know, on fire--he's all "Meh. Guess we should get home so I don't miss Fear Factor." This is--how you Americans say?--Awful.

NIGHTCRAWLER #7: That Darick Robertson draws like a sumbitch, and the story looks like it's going to get moving, but if there's one thing NuMarvel has driven out of me, it's appreciation for the full-issue fever/dream/fantasy sequence. Scraping the bottom of the Eh barrel.

SHAOLIN COWBOY #3: Not as insane as the previous two issues, but still enjoyably apeshit and that double-paged spread of brutally murdered bodies knocked me out--I just can't help but imagining Darrow whistling a jaunty tune while he draws stuff like that. Very Good.

SPIDER-MAN HOUSE OF M #1: More enjoyable than the first two issues of House of M, but there's still sort of an innate "who cares?" to the whole thing--not only is it unlikely that any of this will matter in the larger scope of things when it's all over (I'm assuming all of the "House of M" stuff is going to end with the shiny red rest button being hit) but I also feel like I've read this before. Well done but still Eh.

SUPREME POWER #17: Anything I would say about this would be just cribbing even more egregiously from Hibbs than I normally do. Hopefully, he'll chime in this week. Good.

ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #20: The all-silhouette art in the second half was a really impressive cheat--to get the issue out on time, I'm assuming--but I thought the story was ace. It worked perfectly well on its own, but once Rhona starts crabbing about the x factor, and the android shows up, and I realized this was the Mad Thinker--well, that was some extra-tasty frosting on top of an already Very Good cake. A really keen stellar pair of issues.

PICK OF THE WEEK: In fact, let's give it to Ultimate Fantastic Four #20. That just worked.

PICK OF THE WEAK: There was a lot of stuff that was pretty stinky that I didn't even bother to review, but the pricey half-assedness that was Dream Police #1 is a pretty easy lock for the title.

TRADE OF THE WEEK: Barely cracked 'em, but I've really enjoyed what I've read of the MARVEL MASTERWORKS GOLDEN AGESUB-MARINER VOL. 1 (although I didn't realize I'd be getting so much of The Angel for my money). I also picked up WALT & SKEEZIX VOL 1 HC, LITTLE LULU VOL 4, BATTLE ROYALE VOL 13 (or should have; I must not have marked it on the sub form), and am curious to check out MBQ GN at more length. I also read a review copy of THE PUSH MAN and will try to post some thoughts on that in the next couple of weeks.