Reviews for 1/19/05 Comics

My schizophrenic approach to reading comics (read the ones I don't buy while working Fridays, read the ones I do buy over the weekend) and my slapdash approach in ordering comics has left me looking at the new release list and going: "Hmmm, why didn't I read that? And why didn't I *buy* it?" So that particularly incisive review of Eric Red's Containment #1 is going to have to wait, dammit. But here's a quick take on some stuff I did read:

ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #636: I'm still shocked that Rucka's work on this just isn't doing the trick for me. The story is so cautiously doled out, it feels frugal: once Superman called in Batman and Wonder Woman, it was hard for me to imagine why he wouldn't have done so immediately, whereas at least, say, Jeph Loeb would have thrown them into a full-page spread halfway through the second issue of the arc. I actually prefer the trainwreck of Action to this. How sad. Eh.

EXILES #58: Enjoying the economy of the plotting on this--I think most teams would have dragged out the Evil-God-Controlling-The-Team angle for at least a couple of issues, but nope, they wrapped it up right after it was introduced. I'm not sure about the insistently comical tone that keeps popping up in the book, but it may be because the execution isn't just living up to the potential. Definitely a high OK, but I think the creative team's got some kinks to work out before it'll get higher than that from me.

FREEDOM FORCE #1: I was really amped for this, not only because I enjoyed the game so much but because the people who worked on it seemed like such big Kirby fans. So this was a mighty disappointment: nothing more than a retelling of the events in the game and, apart from an occasional thick ink line and a dynamic close-up or two, having almsot none of the Jack Kirby dynamism I would have hoped for. Between this and the similarly unimaginative Metal Gear Solid comic, my cool-comics-about-cool-video-games dreams have been thoroughly crushed. Awful.

NIGHTCRAWLER #5: Aguirre-Sacasa, bless his heart, strikes me as someone who stopped reading comics around 1962 or so, or else is modelling a lot of his Marvel work on Scooby-Doo episodes. I mean: the nine scary ghosts of the subway? I was kinda surprised there was no scene of Kurt running with Logan, Ororo and Kurt's date stacked on top of his head. The art is lovely, but really: the nine scary ghosts of the subway? Eh.

PLASTIC MAN #14: I think it's great Kyle Baker is doing a comic that'll make his kids laugh, but I don't think I want to pay to read it, particularly. Eh.

SIMPSONS COMICS #102: Too in-jokey, or too much of a "tribute" issue, I guess, because I saw most of the jokes coming from a mile away. And there are a few shticks Boothby does (like the faux-dramatic splash page) he might want to consider retiring. Again, just an Eh.

TEEN TITANS #20: Worked for me as a very solid bit of characterization, and, weirdly, I'm always happy to see that ugly ol' Luthorsuit. Good.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #71: Think I'm done with this title-it's just seemed very sloppy since that bungled ending to the "Ultimate Carnage" storyline. Kind of a drag because I remember when this used to be the most consistent book on the stands.

WANTED #6: Probably the dumbest last page I've seen in quite some time. And Millar seems genuinely unaware how much his "nah, I'm fucking with ya" scene undercuts any emotional resonance in the climax (because, you know, emotional resonance is for pussies and shit)--or, more than likely, he doesn't care. I started this title wanting nothing more than a good story; I finished it wanting Eminem and Chuck Palahniuk to team up and beat Millar's lazy stealing ass. The art gives it an Eh it doesn't really deserve otherwise. Bleah.

WOLVERINE #24: Millar's take on Daredevil (basically, if Daredevil=Ben Affleck, then Daredevil=widely loathed himbo of the Marvel Universe) was sorta funny but annoyingly lazy. It seemed to serve no real point to the story other than to help fill up all those little colored caption boxes, and also made this one of those issues where I figured out the last page from about page four. It was still entertaining enough, although even the John Romita, Jr. art felt kinda phoned in this time around. OK.

WOLVERINE THE END #6: How long did this take? A year? A year plus? And to top it off, Wolverine doesn't even "end," which is a real testament to how impressively Jenkins flaked off on this project. Crap.

X-MEN #166: This was so awful I wondered if Peter Milligan licensed his name for Chuck Austen to use--and the art looked surprisingly rushed and inept to boot, making me wonder if the script on this was not only lousy but late. Playing "The Naked Time" card with the X-Men is not exactly rocket science, so you'd think this would have been no worse than mediocre, but it was, in fact, full-blown Awful.

Wow. A whole lot of cranky, huh? Let's hope Bri will appear and show me the error of my curmudgeonly ways...or at least point out some gems I might have missed.