Reviews of 6/22 books

OK, Jeff sent me an email that he doesn't have time for reviews this week... and oddly, I don't either (Both ONOMATOPOEIA and having to finish this month's Diamond order put a serious crimp on my weekend -- it REALLY sucks when the next PREVIEWS ships the same week the order is due!) Having said that, there's not much point in this site if at least ONE of us isn't doing our thing, so let me do what I can, and see if I can do some short reviews... maybe "old school" Savage Critic short, even.

ASTRO CITY THE DARK AGE #1: A VERY GOOD issue, not that we'd expect less from KB and co. I don't like the trade dress though -- "Astro City" receded into the cover design, and sales were MUCH slower than I was expecting because of that. (I think, that's it, at least)

BATMAN JEKYLL AND HYDE #3: Average stuff. OK. The Batman movie hasn't moved the needle a jot on regular Batman comics, BTW -- though there's a lot of demand for the "classic" TPs (DARK KNIGHT, etc.) Too fucking bad that YEAR ONE and ARKHAM are OOP as SCs. Coulda sold a lot of those. Ah well.

BLACK PANTHER #5: We kept cutting away from the Panther to show his family members -- none of which has become a resonant character yet. Given the bad things that a reboot of BP does to the Marvel timeline, I find this an unfortunate turn of events. OK.

BOOKS OF MAGICK LIFE DURING WARTIME #12: Oh, super fucking yawn. "I betrayed you! Ha! I didn't! Psyche!" Man, I've seen that way too many times. Not any better here, and a weak-ass resolution to this really unpalatable storyline. Doesn't this also kind of fuck the "life during wartime" subtitle? AWFUL.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #7: Except for the fact that this character development stuff is rendered pretty moot by the ending, I liked this just fine. GOOD.

CATWOMAN #44: I thought the end was pretty cheesy (Selina's smarter than all that), and "East End is mine" is growing really really thin, but other than that, an adequate start to the new creative team. I DO seriously think its time to start pruning all of these ancillary bat-books, especially when I can't get much more excited than EH.

DOC FRANKENSTEIN #3: Liked it quite a bit -- there's some fun world building going on here, too. GOOD.

DOOM PATROL #13: Man, when even the characters in the book are commenting about what a ripoff of a TV show your story is, don't that suggest that you're wandering down the wrong path? On the other hand, the last page proves that something clever could possibly come out of it. I'll go with an EH because of that last page.

DREAM POLICE #1: The problem is that this isn't exactly an idea for a STORY: The cops from DRAGNET, except instead of LA, it's "dreams". Here's the problem: the cops from DRAGNET can't, won't and don't WANT to change. A story has to affect SOME change upon a character to work. Interestingly, Jeff and I both flashed to Alan Moore's infinitely better, done-in-8-pages "Chrono Cops" from 2000 AD. I thought this was extraordinarily EH.

GIRLS #2: Better than issue #1, in fact, I think I would have liked #1 if that last page here was the last page there. I still think some of the characters and dialogue is too close to cliché, but it's warming on me. OK.

HELLBOY THE ISLAND #1: It's Hellboy, it's EXCELLENT, that's easy.

HOUSE OF M #2: Fuck me, the series is a quarter of the way done and NOT A THING HAS HAPPENED. I was really really REALLY hoping for more than a big ol WHAT IF...? story, because WHAT IF...? stories CAN'T matter. Even if this series DOES allow certain aspects of the Marvel universe to be "rebooted" "naturally" BECAUSE OF the WHAT IF...?, the main content itself is just a inconsequential thing. I wanted more. I'd also have liked better sales -- we're hovering around the 65% mark, which is fucking awful for a big summer event, so clearly my customers were smarter than I. Worst thing is, it's well drawn, it's well written, but nothing happens. How do you rate that? I'll go middle-of-the-road and EH.

LEGION OF SUPER HEROES #7: Back on the building curve now -- I'm really liking this quite a bit. VERY GOOD.

NEIL GAIMANS NEVERWHERE #1: Comic adaptations are, by themselves, kinda Meh for me. Especially when I keep thinking "No, that's not what they look like". Still, I guess Neil would know better than me, and I'm sure he told Fabry. Trying to approach this as if I'd never read the novel, or watch the BBC adaptation, and I guess I'd give this a high OK.

NEW AVENGERS #6: As Big Bam Boom goes, I guess that was an OK wrap-up to the arc, sorta kinda. I was really struck by Cap's "No Killing" fever, then not, y'know, stretching out his shield arm to protect the Widow. OK, I guess.

QUEEN & COUNTRY DECLASSIFIED VOL 3 #1: Terrific stuff, inside The Troubles in Ireland. Comparisons to any number of Garth Ennis comics is inevitable, but I thought it really rose to the challenge, and gave me an EXCELLENT read.

ROBIN #139: Brucie's little speech there at the front.... well, wow. "Now you're thinking like an insane person who has chased all of his friends away!" Let's give this one to 12 year olds! EH.

SEA OF RED #3: I'm real curious as to where this can go, giving that every issue has been a 90 degree turn from the one ahead of it. Like it though: a very strong OK.

SHAOLIN COWBOY #3: Not as full-on crazy as last issue (though, how could it be?), and, hence, not as much fun. Still, a few good wacky ideas and images. A mild GOOD.

SPIDER-MAN HOUSE OF M #1: Even more so what I said about HoM up above -- at least there's a chance that "something" will happen before issue #8 (Probably: someone kills Wanda, and reality restarts itself in a big ball of white 'splody), but, here, what CAN happen? Oh, sure, I guess Peter can "remember his one moment where everything was perfect and wonderful, and be tortured by it forever", but "defining moments" like that kinda don't work if, in order to explain them, you have to explain the plot of half a dozen other comics as well... Worst part is, this was very well written and drawn -- an easy GOOD, except I Just Simply Don't Care At All. So: OK.

SUPREME POWER #17: "We see no reason to keep SP a MAX book" goes the interview... published right before the issue set in a strip club. Am I the only one who expected a little "Man Of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" moment there at the end? Or even a comment of any kind whatsoever? *shrug* Despite that, I'm still liking this tons: VERY GOOD.

TEEN TITANS #25: If you're going to have a cross-book crossover SAY SOMETHING ABOUT IT ON THE FUCKING COVER YOU FEEBS. Damn, I still have half my OUTSIDERS order left over because the editors can't figure that out. No, sure, they'll tell us something else is a crossover when it's not... but when it is? *sigh* Storywise, I'm ready for this to be resolved quickly... not really enjoying this at all. EH.

ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #20: Heh, the Mad Thinker, that's cool that I didn't figure it out. Nice Jae Lee art, even with the deadline-past-due silhouettes everywhere. GOOD.

YEAR ONE BATMAN SCARECROW #2: Ultimately I think this might have ran a bit long, and was definitely overpriced... but it was nice to see Batman do some Detecting for once. a very low GOOD.

PICK OF THE WEEK: Lots of fine fine comics to choose from, I think I'll go with QUEEN AND COUNTRY DECLASSIFIED v3 #1 though, despite all of the potent competition.

PICK OF THE WEAK: BOOKS OF MAGICK #12 was probably the worst read of the week, but HOUSE OF M #2 let me down too much to be anything but the Weak pick.

As far as BOOK / TP OF THE WEEK goes, I think I will go with WHATS MICHAEL VOL 10 SLEEPLESS NIGHTS TP. Fun, charming stuff, immaculately drawn, and very funny.

That's it, that's what I thought, how's about you?