New Year, Old School -- Hibbs on 1/9/08

I've been meaning to do an "old school" style Savage Critic for a while now, but keep running out of time at the end of each day. So today, I thought I'd try instead of reading everything, then writing it all up, that I'd write-as-I-go, in between helping customers (it's a slow day too, so I guess that works out). Hopefully this won't suck too hard...

This is pretty properly "old school" too in that I'm just writing up my reaction to the work presented, rather than actually reviewing anything, or being a "critic" -- most things will have two sentences or less. Its been a good long while since I've tried it this way, so be sure to tell me how much you hate it....

52 AFTERMATH THE FOUR HORSEMEN #6: All in all, pretty much a big nothing -- it strikes me any characters could have taken the place of the "trinity", so, meh. EH

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #546: I've already talked about how I thought the "One More Day" story was stupid and contrived (if executed alright at the end), but if you put all of that aside (something I know many of you won't be able to do), I thought this was quite a decent "new start" for Spidey. The writing is crisp, the art is really nice, and, most importantly, it feels exactly like a Spider-Man comic book should (something that was missing through much of the JMS run). I won't know for a little while whether people are BUYING this or not (as I write this, I've been open for 20 minutes), but I'm willing to look at OMD as a band-aid ripping off -- sure it stings, but you're better off at the end of the day. Judged on its own, I thought this issue was pretty GOOD.

BAT LASH #2: Great Severin Art, solid enough story, so let's say GOOD.

BOYS #14: Good enough conclusion, if uninspiring. A low GOOD.

BPRD 1946 #1: Terrific as always. VERY GOOD.

COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS 16: The last couple of issues have been pretty decent, I have to say. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that they rewrote the back half of this series once they saw the commercial reaction. I wouldn't nominate the Mark II phase of COUNTDOWN for an Eisner or anything, but I've read far worse comic books. EH.

EVIL DEAD #1: I didn't so much "read" this as page through it. I have a hard time in believing that anyone, at this point, is looking for an adaptation of this film, even "expanded" like it is. Nice art, but who cares? EH.

GOON #20: Funny stuff, and very well drawn. VERY GOOD.

GREEN ARROW BLACK CANARY #4: Man, Cliff Chiang's gets better and better each issue; and Judd didn't do anything too objectionable here either. I think a "Hey, aren't you dead?" might have been nice from someone, and the kinda huge absurdity of the situation (Superman can't find a trace, the bullet also had a poison, and so on) works badly against it, but yeah it was pretty as fuck. Still, four issues in, it would be nice to know by now to know what the book is about, y'know, thematically? OK

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #20: Yeah, that was fine; nothing much more that I can say. OK.

HULK #1: There's something funny about the Hulk pulling out a gun and busting a cap in someone's face, but, like much of Loeb's work the "big funny idea" doesn't really play that much out into becoming a good comic. There's nothing really wrong with this book; but there's equally no real reason for this reader to come on back for issue #2. OK

INFINITY INC #5: Uninteresting characters, ugly art... but even with moving Pete Woods on to the book (see Newsarama today), it's hard to imagine any audience coming back/sticking with this. It's generally impossible to recover from such a lousy start. AWFUL.

JENNA JAMESONS SHADOW HUNTER #0: The cover price says $2.99, but it's actually meant to cost 25 cents. If you bought one, and your LCS charged you more than a quarter, go ask for your money back. In fact, if you paid that much, you might want to ask for your money back, since this isn't a story, but a "preview" of #1 (wait... what?!?). This can't even be rated, since it isn't actually a comic, but an ad they're charging for.... NO RATING

JLA CLASSIFIED #50: Stern and Byrne reunite for some "old school" JLA action -- decent enough material, but won't set the world on fire. A rock-solid OK.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #7: "Super hero hoo hah" is, I think, the phrase? I'd probably have been more enamored if we hadn't seen the Venom scenes what feels like 6 months ago. Lime green lettering on a yellow background is REALLY hard to read. Still and all, strongly OK.

NIGHTWING #140: I liked it. Solidly well written, with some interesting bits of history and whatnot. Though the idea of Bruce Wayne owning the Cloisters is... kinda strange. GOOD.

NOVA #10: I wish this stupid transmode virus storyline would end already -- I'm not interested in a page of it. On the other hand, being trapped in a transdimensional birth-canal is pretty much high concept. EH

PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL #15: A seriously nothing idea stretched out too long, and that didn't end as much as stop. Plus the art was pretty stinky. AWFUL

SALVATION RUN #3: What happened to Bill Willingham? Not that he's really needed here -- this is a limp premise, limply executed. Lots of running and hitting and gnashing of teeth, but nothing I especially care about or want to see how it ends up. AWFUL.

SCALPED #13: Really strong stuff. I haven't read the last 3-4 issues either, and I followed everything here just fine. This is probably Vertigo's strongest current title. VERY GOOD.

SIMON DARK #4: Pretty, but I just don't care about any of the characters or situations. EH

SPIRIT #12: I find myself carrying very little about the stories involved in this series, but instead just marveling over the art and storytelling. Cooke's amazing Eisner flashbacks raise that bar even further. A really strong GOOD.

SUICIDE SQUAD RAISE THE FLAG #5: solid enough espionage material, though a big part of me wonders why this is running concurrently with CHECKMATE when they both basically mine the same territory. Another part of me wonders how this lines up with SALVATION RUN, which shows some of these characters off world... Either way, a low GOOD.

SUPERMAN #672: Perfectly fine, I guess, but I was a bit more interested in the Chris-has-a-fever sections than the Insect Queen stuff... probably because she may look like Lana, she isn't. Reasonably OK.

TEEN TITANS THE LOST ANNUAL: Seriously strange (as was probably to be expected), but I think Jay Stephens inked by Allred didn't look as good as I was hoping it would -- the other way around might have been better? EH

TWELVE #1: No idea where this can/will go, moving forward, but as a single issue I was strongly entertained, both by the setup and fish-out-water elements, as well as the relative innocence of the "golden age" heroes. Spiffy art, too. VERY GOOD.

WOLVERINE #61: Another storyline that went probably an issue or two past its expiration date. The real problem is that despite the "stakes" and the Angel of Death and the talk of missing souls, there's little real tension involved here -- its not like they're going to kill Wolverine, after all. EH

WONDER GIRL #5: Terrible art, and a yammering on-and-on story (this coulda been 3 issues, tops) AWFUL

X-FACTOR #27: Another week, another chapter of crossover. Actually, this has been a reasonably strong event all around, but nothing thrilling for me. Probably because of all of the time travel elements, which seem like they're overwhelming the point of this. EH.

YOUNGBLOOD #1: Pretty generic hero stuff, and nothing that hasn't been done better elsewhere, really. EH

There, my patience came to an end -- not quite everything read, but most of it....

PICK OF THE WEEK: I'm going to go with THE TWELVE #1 -- nice solid read, with an intriguing set up


TP/GN OF THE WEEK: This one is easy: BLACK HOLE COLLECTED SC -- if you haven't read it yet, it's the must have.

So, what did YOU think?