Blog and Blog Again: Jeff's Reviews of the 3/14 Books (Part I)

Warning: If last week was the greatest week for comics this year, it'd be news to me. Friday was busy and even if Hibbs had stayed in the shop longer than the hour or so that he did, I doubt I would've gotten a chance to read any more books. It was just that damn busy, which is a shame because there wasn't a lot of stuff that knocked me out this week and/or that Graeme & Bri didn't do a kick-ass job of reviewing, already. Nonetheless, here's my meager part 1:

52 WEEK #44: Sure, sure, plot hammering, thread dangling, character biffing, but let's talk about what's really important: why do two of the four horsemen have no hands whatsoever? For that matter, why don't any of them have horses? How does Black Adam fire a gun without any trigger (or, for that matter, hold a high-tech gatling gun by the barrels and still have it fire)? Hopefully Douglas Wolk will add these to his 100 questions because dammit, I need some closure. Shamefully Eh.

AUTHORITY #2: There's been a bit of a cock-up on the Wildstorm front, it looks like. The first issue of this made me think we might get an Authority tale told M. Night Shamalayan style--slow, brooding and full of dread, with the Authority seen as terrifying Others to our ignorant, impoverished world. The second issue is so disparate in tone and formulaic (well, for Morrison), it's easy to imagine he wrote the script while waiting for the toast to pop up. Rather than going on hiatus and pretending the whole fiasco never happened, I think they should give Gene Ha the script to Justice League Unlimited #3 and just change all the characters where applicable. If nothing else, we'd get to see Gene Ha draw a gorilla army... So disappointing it's Awful.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #25: Like a chump, I forgot to sign up for this--amusing since I've been with Brube's run from the beginning (unlike EbayIsRad0481)--but read it in the store. It was Good, with a particularly good next-to-last-page twist, and I'm glad they decided to off Cap here rather than in Civil War proper. I'm very happy for Brubaker--even if this book wasn't lacking for storylines, his work deserves the attention--but can't really pass judgment until I see how the rest of it plays out.

CIVIL WAR INITIATIVE: I read the badly-misprinted copy in the store and didn't feel like I missed anything despite hearing about (and, thanks to LITG, seeing)the missing pages. I'll give this to Marvel--none of that $1.99 Brave New World bullshit here: they plunked original Bendis and Ellis material in here and charged the customer almost five dollars for it. If this had been $2.99, I would've gone with OK, but at that price, Eh.

CRIMINAL #5: This really was Brubaker's week, wasn't it? Three books on the stand, one of which him is garnering national attention, and one of which is this one, an exceptionally strong wrap-up to his creator owned crime book. I loved the twist here, as we find out what our protagonist is really scared of, and Phillips' art is exceptional. I only hope the time off between issues helps this book find even more new readers. Very Good work, and I'm looking forward to more.

DARK TOWER GUNSLINGER BORN #2: I liked that the first issue had more than just set-up to it, so felt a bit let down that's all that happened here. I'm loving the art but wonder if the book might've benefited from something a little simpler: with both the prose and the art being so ornate, it's more of a slog than I would like. And while I can see that's probably what King wants (The Lord of the Rings was on the baroque side, too), I doubt a Hildrebrandt comics adaptation of LOTR really would have been what the readers wanted either (at least after the third issue or so). OK.

FANTASTIC FOUR #543: My esteemed colleagues didn't care much for the main story, but it didn't seem to bother me too much--The Thing's been replaced at least twice, after all--and considering what bad shape Civil War's left the book in, I'll take what I can get. I do agree, however, that the two back-up features were far more enjoyable (even if you had to mentally squint to combine Lee's charm in the first and Kirby's uncanniness--reconfigured via Paul Pope--in the second to get a taste of what the FF could be like overall). Thanks to the back-ups, very highly OK.

Hmm, yeah. So that's part 1. More later (if not sooner).